EARLY HISTORY OF THE JEROME DISTRICT
"Captain John D. Boyd was in Jerome Monday and Tuesday from Equator Hill, where he is at present living. To those interested in the history of the Verde mining district, it is always a pleasure to meet the Captain, as he has a fund of reminiscences of the early days and doings of the earlier inhabitants of this great mineral district."
"'The blowing in of the smelter at the Equator mine was an interesting event in the history of the Verde mining district and to me personally,' said the Captain to a NEWS man. 'To the district because it proves to the outside world that there are great possibilities in store for the district, and to me because for more than 28 years I have predicted that a smelter would eventually be at work on Equator Hill, and I now predict that others will follow, not only on Equator Hill where the ores from the Copper Chief mine and the Patterson group will be reduced, but at many other points along the mineral zone of the Verde district.'"
"'It was in the year 1875 that John O'Dougherty, Doctor O'Dougherty and myself started from Pioche, Nevada, on a prospecting trip, our objective point being the southern part of Arizona. We had an outfit which included a 4-horse team, three riding animals, an assaying outfit and supplies for one year. We arrived in Prescott early in January, 1876, where we disposed of our horses and wagon, bought some smaller pack animals, pack saddles, etc., and fitted out a pack train of seven ponies, and started for the Verde River. Following down this river we found some float on the banks of a small creek, east of where the smelter is now located. We then went south along the foothill to the mouth of Deception Gulch, going up the gulch to the ridge opposite to where the Nichols well is now, camping there that night. The next morning we started out to prospect up what is now called Bitter creek. Following up this creek to its head we prospected over what is now known as United Verde mines, and located thereon with others the Crome North, Crome South, Azure North, Azure South, Gift, Hermit, and continuing along south, located the North and South Venture, Cliff, Oak, Nathan Allen and other claims.'"
"'We set up our assaying outfit at G. V. Kell's ranch, now known as the Kerwagen-Haskell ranch, where we tested the ores, one of our party, Doctor O'Dougherty being a practical assayer. Being satisfied with the results of the tests made from the ores, we proceeded to form the Verde Mining District, John D. Boyd being elected president, Doctor O'Dougherty, secretary, G. V. Kell, recorder. We then recorded all our claims with the recorder of the new district, and also with the county recorder in Prescott. After spending six months on these claims, we went into Tonto Basin and placed the first locations in that country.'"
"'For several years we kept up the assessment work on our mines in the Verde district and had several experts examine them, Prof. Douglas, Doctor Allen, a copper expert from New York, and W. Raymond. Prof. Douglas could not see much in them. Later Prof. George A. Treadwell and Walter S. Logan came, and they were favorably impressed with the property and succeeded in getting Prof. Thomas interested who succeeded in getting Mr. Jerome, of New York, and Gov. Tritle, of Arizona, interested, Jerome going in with the understanding that the mines be named "Jerome" --- when Senator Clark bought the mines he changed the name to the United Verde. We bonded the mines to Jerome and Tritle, with the privilege of taking one or all of them. They took them all, except the Cliff, Oak and Nathan Allen, paying us $10,000 cash for the property taken.'"
"'Were you not interested at one time in what is now known as the Equator mine, Captain?' asked the reporter."
"'Yes,' replied Mr. Boyd. 'It was on March 14, 1876, that I located the Oak mine, now known as the Equator. I did assessment work on it until 1885. On the day it became delinquent it was located by the Jordan brothers, W. S. Head and others, and bonded to Senator W. A. Clark as the Iron King mine. The Nathan Allen I located on the same day as the Oak and did assessment work on it for four years, when it was located as the Nelly by G. V. Kell, and later by Ferguson who took John Duke in with him, as the Copper Chief. From Tonto Basin I traveled 100 miles every year to do assessment work on these mines for nine years, aggregating 1800 miles.'"
"'The wonders, in a mineral way, of Equator Hill, 'continued the Captain, 'I believe are but partially exposed. The Equator mine, which is now feeding the new smelter with high grade ores, is a great mine, as is also the Copper chief mine with its millions of dollars worth of ore blocked out, and I believe that the Patterson group, which is located on the south end of the Copper Chief will prove as big a property as either of the above, with the same amount of development.'"
"'South of the Copper Chief property, starting at a point a little less than 500 feet from the main shaft on that property, lies the James Patterson group of claims. Through this group the Equator and Copper Chief ledge can be plainly traced on the surface and by numerous shafts and tunnels in all of which there is ore. About 600 feet south of the Copper Chief shaft Patterson has an 80-foot tunnel cutting the ledge for that distance. This tunnel is fifteen feet from the floor to the roof and for the eighty feet has been run through matter all of which carried mineral, gold predominating. In some places this tunnel has run through bodies of ore from six inches to two and a half feet in width that assayed 15 per cent copper and $10 per ton gold, with some silver. The showing in this tunnel is very encouraging. Work is being continued there.'"
"'North and south of this tunnel there are a number of other openings in all of which there is ore. In a shaft, some distance north of this tunnel and near the soth line of the Copper Chief property, there is a shaft which is sunk through ledge matter for some feet, where the strata of lime rock was encountered; this lime was cut through when ore was encountered. This lime cap, judging from the work done elsewhere, on the ledge, covered the ore body on this property. This group of claims has 3000 feet of the Equator and Copper Chief ledge, and in places it has been demonstrated that it is six hundred feet in width. With a smelter being fed from workings on the ledge only 1500 feet north, and with the workings of the Copper Chief, in which it is claimed there is in sight over 3,000,000 worth of ore, the belief that the Patterson group is a good one is certainly justified.'"
"'Directly through the group there is a splendid flow of pure cold water coming from the mountains west. This water belongs to the property, and is secure from all interference from outside parties for any purpose.'"
(Jerome Mining News; March 17, 1904; page 1.)
(See: The Verde Independent; "1899 ATROCIOUS MURDERS: Captain Boyd Shot; 1876 Mines;" July 11, 2012.)