Mon, Feb. 17

Verde Heritage 1910: Land Sales, Verde Fruit Company

"News of an important land deal effected in the Verde Valley, in which the well known Spencer C. Cherry ranch was disposed of to William F. Wingfield, of Camp Verde, has been learned."

"The price paid was $8,000, and included in the deal is title to 110 acres, the water rights, flumes, rights of way for 9 miles, and other privileges. Following the closing of this purchase, Mr. Wingfield also took over for a nominal consideration, 33 acres of land belonging to F. E. Jordan, in the same locality, which gives him ownership of a strip of the most profitable land in that valley."

"Many transactions have taken place in this productive valley in the past few weeks, and heavy sums in the aggregate have been paid. The high state of cultivation shown there in recent years has added materially to the value of this character of the land, and taking last year as a criterion to go by in hay and fruit yield, the prolific Verde of the present is not the struggling Verde of the past."

"An era of prosperity is prevailing from one end of it to the other, and in a few years hence it is believed it will be without peer in the territory for abundance of the crops raised."

"Several thousand acres additional to that now productive are to be taken up by the new syndicate that has been formed, and the initial movement toward that end is now under headway. Upon its consummation this old settlement will be the scene of one of the strongest and thriftiest agricultural domains in the territory."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; February 16, 1910; page 4.)


"To make the 360-acre place, formerly owned by E. L. Jordan, 6 miles northeast of Jerome, the finest ranch in Arizona, is the intention of R. A. Watkins, L. L. Young, H. T. Duffy, and H. T. Byers, of this city [Phoenix], who recently formed the Verde Fruit Company and purchased that property, says the 'Phoenix Gazette.'"

"The Jordan ranch is already one of the best paying places in the fertile Verde Valley. Mr. Jordan, the former owner, has lived along the Verde River for 30 years and has held this ranch 14 years. From it he has not only made a good living, but laid up a comfortable private fortune. Fifty acres of the ranch are planted to apple, peach, and pear trees. Altogether, 160 acres are under cultivation, and it is possible to cultivate 180 acres. Mr. Jordan has constructed 2 private ditches. The water problem does not exist, for there is more than enough for irrigating purposes, and it is diverted from the Verde at almost no cost."

"There is in Arizona little land suitable for apple growing. The soil in the Salt River Valley is good, but the climate is not right. It has been proven that apples require either a wet or a cold climate, and along the upper Verde there is 25% more rainfall than in this section, while everyone knows that the climate is much cooler. Moreover, the ranch is well sheltered on all sides."

"Therefore, Messrs. Watkins, Young, Duffy, and Byers feel that they have secured a piece of property that is not only very valuable at the present time, but can be made more so. Mr. Duffy, Mr. Young and Mr. Byers will devote all their time to the ranch. Mr. Duffy, who came to Phoenix several years ago from Iowa, is a level-headed business man, who has had 20 years' experience as a farmer and has spent several years selling groceries and other commodities. He will be general manager of the Verde ranch. Mr. Byers came here from Colorado and will have charge of the fruit-growing and of the work. He is a graduate of an engineering college and has paid special attention to fruits. Mr. Young has been farming in the Salt River Valley practically all of his life and will have charge of the growing of vegetables and small fruits such as strawberries. He will leave for the ranch next week and intends to immediately plant about 2 acres of strawberries."

"The plans of the young men are extensive, including the planting of about 100 acres to apple trees as soon as that can possibly be done. The entire 180 acres will be brought under cultivation, while the remainder of the 360 acres, which runs back into the hills, is valuable pasture land."

"Apples are the most successful fruit in the Verde Valley, and the members of the Verde Fruit Company will devote most of their attention to that crop. Most of the trees set out on that 100 acres to be planted will be that of the black Arkansas variety."

"All Arizona knows that the Verde Valley grows as fine apples as can be found anywhere, and the east is now waking up to that fact. Mr. Watkins sent half a box to the United States Land and Irrigation Exposition at Chicago, in December last. The exhibit attracted widespread attention, and growers from the Yakima Valley, in Washington, admitted that they could show no better fruit. The apple-growers of the Verde have a steady source of income. Mr. Jordan has been making $5,000 per year from the place he sold to the Phoenicians."

"Strawberries are no experiment in that section. Mr. Jordan says that he has raised 22,000 boxes from 1 acre in a single year. The berries are picked almost every day, 6 months in the year."

"Some months ago, Mr. Watkins, in whose hands Mr. Jordan placed the ranch for sale, took William Morgan to see the place. Mr. Morgan is the Californian who recently bought the Thomas McGrath place. In California, he had a great deal of experience in apple-growing, and he pronounced the Jordan ranch the best he had ever seen for that purpose. He would have purchased it had it not been for his children. The place is somewhat remote from schools. Later, Mr. Watkins interested Messrs. Young, Duffy and Byers, and formed the Verde Fruit Company. The proposition looked so good to him that he wanted to get in on it himself."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; February 23, 1910; page 7.)

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