1897: VERDE RIVER FLOW; Litigation Pending, July.

"A chance for irrigation litigation is opening up on the Verde river. Years ago, when Camp Verde was flourishing and railroads were unknown in Northern Arizona there was a very considerable agricultural population in the neighborhood of the post. But the post was abandoned, railroads brought to Prescott and Northern Arizona all kinds of agricultural supplies much cheaper than they could be marketed from the Yavapai valleys and the Verde farms were deserted and the farmers moved away."

"But Jerome has sprung up in the last half dozen years and is waxing great. Today, it is the most important of Arizona's mining camps; next year it may be one of the most important cities of the southwest. Jerome consumes hay and grain and fruit and vegetables and is best supplied by the Verde valley just at the foot of the mountain side on which the city is builded. The old farms are cultivated and new ones are being plowed, and new ditches are being taken out till almost the entire flow of the stream is appropriated. This water now appropriated has till lately been allowed to run down to the Salt river channel, whence it was taken out by the Salt River valley canals. These canals have had estimates made of the flow of the Verde at all stages and will insist that at least the maximum average be left in the Verde during the summer months. This water is now the means whereby a number of excellent men are making for themselves and families a livelihood on the Verde lands. It is hardly probable they will surrender without a struggle and that struggle attended with serious features. --- Stockman."

(Phoenix Weekly Herald; July 15, 1897; page 2.)

"POSSIBLE LITIGATION."

"The Southwestern Stockman publishes an article in regard to prospective litigation over the waters of the Verde river. It has been an open secret for some time that the Phenix [old town spelling] water sharks have been looking with jealous eyes upon the irrigation enterprises in the Verde valley, and parties have been sent up into that valley at sundry times for the past three or four years to investigate affairs. The Stockman says:"

"'Years ago, when Camp Verde was flourishing, and railroads were unknown in Northern Arizona, there was a very considerable agricultural population in the neighborhood of this post. But the post was abandoned, railroads brought to Prescott and Northern Arizona all kinds of agricultural supplies much cheaper than they could be marketed from the Yavapai valleys, and the Verde farms were deserted and the farmers moved away.'"

"That makes a nice little paragraph, the only trouble with it being that it lacks the element of truth. Not a single case can be cited of a farmer who had water moving away or abandoning his farm. The fact is, there has been a constant demand for land in the Verde valley possessing water privileges."

"Farmers there have had considerable trouble from their irrigating ditches being washed out, and have incurred great expense in maintaining their irrigation system. The Stockman very correctly and appropriately says that 'this water is now the means whereby a number of excellent men are making for themselves and families a livelihood on the Verde land, and it is hardly probable they will surrender without a struggle and that struggle attended with serious features.'"

(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; July 14, 1897; page 2.)

"A fine 500 pound bell consigned to Charles Eaman, of the Verde, has arrived and will be forwarded at once. It is to be used jointly by the school and religious elements down there, and if occasion ever arises to warn people of the approach of land grabbers or water stealers from Phenix, Col Geo. Hance is to give the alarm."

(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; August 11, 1897; page 3.)

Comments

Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comment submissions may not exceed a 200 word limit, and in order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.