TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Fri, Sept. 20

UNITED VERDE WAS PROBABLY THE FIRST MINE

"Declaring that there is 'a strong probability that the United Verde is the first mine in the United States on which a white man ever set foot,' and backing the declaration by quotations from early histories, Engineer Joe McCarthy delivered last week a most excellent address before the meeting of the operating department of the United Verde at the regular meeting of the organization." ...

"Mr McCarthy said: 'Fifteen years ago, the majority of us had never heard of Jerome, but after Robert E. Tally's system of opening up this mine began to show results and he developed what had been considered an ore reserve of only a few years' life into what is today one of the best mines on earth, we saw jottings in the mining magazines and elsewhere that the wizard of the mining game, Senator Clark, had again picked a winner. We got out the old maps of this country and this is what we were surprised to find in Bancroft's history:'"

"'It shows that the old Spanish explorers had made several trips to this region, Espejo coming here first in 1583, Farfan in 1598 and Ornate in 1604. They describe their trips, as Bancroft says, with tolerable accuracy.'"

"Antonio Espejo's records show that he came down Beaver creek, which he called 'Rio Antonio' in the 'Valley of Partridges.' Thence four leagues west to Oak creek; thence two leagues to the Verde river, which he called 'Rio Sacramento,' and where he must have established a camp, for he no longer gives bearings or distances, but says 'thence to the mines, the hot springs and the salt licks.' He also speaks of marine deposits near the mines which led them to think the coast was not far off.'"

"'The hot springs are at Ed. Meek's place down the Verde river; the salt licks are just south of Camp Verde and the coral atoll above the steam shovel pit is the only one so far found in this valley, and as the Apache and Moqui Indians used to come here from all over this section of country to obtain the bright pigments with which to dye their faces and garments, Espejo's Indian guides were well aware of the location of this spot so there is a strong probability that the United Verde was the first mine on which a white man ever set foot in the United States.'"

"EARLY HISTORY: Mr. McCarthy gave a short and intensely interesting history of the United Verde as follows:"

"'This property is a striking example of the truth of the saying, 'Mines are made, not found.' The cliffs of the Verde disheartened the early explorers from trying to do anything with their find. More than two centuries elapsed before Captains Boyd and Kell located it during the early Indian war days, but they also abandoned it.'"

"'Ruffner and McKinnon who, on June 16, 1876, located this ore body and realized that some day it would be worth millions, nevertheless transferred it to A. D. Dannes for a small sum, but Dannes evidently never paid them their money, for when he transferred the property to Hugo Richards on February 21, 1881, there is a clause in the transfer that Richards shall pay Ruffner and McKinnon $1000 out of the net proceeds of the mine. Richards evidently never paid that $1000 either, for while there are several other transfers recorded, Ruffner and McKinnon still held an interest in the property, and when it was transferred to the United Verde Copper company on November 24, 1883, Dr. A. L. Hawkins tells me that Ruffner, who then lived at the doctor's house, got $15,000 for his interest, as did also each of the McKinnon brothers.'"

"STEAM SHOVEL OPERATIONS: Mr. McCarthy then went exhaustively into the reasons for determining to remove the upper part of the mine by steam-shoveling. He told of the ore that was necessarily left under the old smelter and of the fire zones which render ordinary mining impossible, and showed that the bodily removal of the fire area was the only possible way to get rid of it. The estimates, he said, call for the removal of 3,161,130 cubic yards of diorite, porphyry, bedded sediments and slag, all this removed as waste; 1,370,889 cubic yards of stockpile material and 380,045 yards of what was classed as 'ore.' In addition, 2,879,178 cubic yards of material were to be handled by mill-hole methods, a total of 7,791,242 cubic yards. The richer ores, he said, were supposed to have been taken out in the old days, but experience has shown that the former operators missed or overlooked much of the values. He cited many cases where drifts and raises have been run within a few feet of profitable ore bodies which were not suspected until opened by the shovels."

"A COURSE IN GEOLOGY: Repeating the statement made some weeks ago to the Verde Copper News and published at that time, Mr. McCarthy said:"

"'The young fellows here who contemplate following the mining game and who did not pay frequent visits to the steam-shovel pit, lost the chance of a lifetime. It was like a great book on geology with pages 100 x 300 feet and a page two feet thick turned every day. Here, right before your eyes, you could see the formations change day by day. ... The colors are constantly changing and each color means a difference in the chemical composition of the rock and each color seemed also to have an individual effect on the amount of values. ... The mine fires also have their effect on the ore bodies and wherever the ground is porous enough to allow fumes to pass, copper and other metals and minerals are being deposited on the surrounding rocks. H. DeWitt Smith's discovery of voitaite in the pit is the only known deposit of this mineral outside of Mount Vesuvius in Italy.'"

"The remaining part of Mr. McCarthy's able paper was devoted to a discussion of the best methods of breaking ground ahead of the shovels and to a description of shovel operation and disposition of the ores and waste."

(Verde Copper News; Jerome; Tuesday, September 25, 1923.)

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