VERDE HERITAGE Jerome: Pioneer Store - T. F. Miller Company

1924: "Inseparably and fundamentally connected with the history of Jerome and of the Verde district, the T. F. Miller Company store is approaching the end of 34 years of active business existence and of as many years of real service to the community."

"With 67 people on its payroll and an annual wage disbursement of $107,802.45, the Miller company is one of the really big industries of the Verde district and is fairly comparable with a mine that is considerably out of the prospect class."

"SUPREME FAITH: "'I came to Jerome,' said Walter C. Miller this morning, 'when it was but a small and struggling camp and I have seen it grow to its present position of importance as one of the sources of the state's wealth. I was one of the pioneers of the district and I have never regretted the determination I made at that time to stay with Jerome. We had plenty of real struggles in the early days and conditions were not what they are today, but I always envisioned a great mining center here --- and I have lived to see my prediction verified.'"

"'Today, I believe, we are far and away the best mining district in the west, if not in the world. We have good people, good schools, good churches, good stores, and the good spirit that spells success. We have before us the prospect of long continued and steady development and production and we have every assurance of a continued prosperity. There may be better towns than Jerome and Clarkdale, but I don't know where they are.'"

"Asked for a word on the 'Trade at Home --- Use Arizona Products' movement, Mr. Miller said:"

"'It sounds like tooting one's own horn, perhaps, but I often wonder when I hear of thousands of dollars being sent out to mail order houses, just how people figure values and how they think they are helping to build up the community that they are proud to call "home" and from which they draw their revenues. The local merchants pay out their payrolls here; they pay their taxes here; they live here; they support every forward movement; they are always on hand when funds are needed for any civic betterment, whether it is a church, a school, a concert course, or, if you will, a baseball team. Suppose all we merchants went out of business tomorrow and left the field to the mail order people, I ask you what sort of town we would have and what measure of comfort and enjoyment the people would have. I wonder who would support the varied activities of the town and contribute to its advancement. I wonder what sort of a newspaper the district would have --- and I suppose we would send elsewhere for our letterheads and other job printing.'"

"'Just to show where we stand in this matter, I will say that the T. F. Miller Company will donate, at any time to any local church, lodge, or charity, just 10 times the amount that can be secured from a mail order house. This should be a fine opportunity for the good people who believe in sending their money out of town.'"

"ARIZONA PRODUCTS: 'I believe that every merchant should press the sale of the products of our own state whenever possible, due regard being had to price and quality. The T. F. Miller Company stocks and sells every Arizona product that it is possible to obtain, and we propose to continue that policy, for we believe in building up the district and the state --- not in tearing either down.'"

ADVERTISEMENT: "Miller Company employs 67 people and upon these are dependent 106 (173 in all) who live here, supporting hotels, restaurants, other stores, picture shows, etc. This firm pays annually $9,352.20 in taxes to the support of Jerome, Yavapai County, and the State of Arizona; in addition this firm pays $260.00 in town licenses." ...

(Verde Copper News; Jerome; Tuesday, March 18, 1924; page 4.)

The old Miller Warehouse is the oldest building in Jerome and the Miller name is still on an old building at Clarkdale.

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