Mon, Feb. 17

Verde Heritage 1905: Jerome Miners Put Boycott On Saloons

"According to reports from Jerome that thriving mining camp has a peculiar boycott in force which it would seem is destined to work to the good of some of the miners living there. Just prior to the big Fourth of July celebration in Prescott the saloonmen of Jerome imported a fast stepping biped to lead the Jerome hose team in a contest against that of Prescott."

"He was what is known as a 'scab.' A 'scab' and a skunk are just alike in the eyes of the union man and when the miners of Jerome heard who was to do the honors for their town they protested to the business men who were backing the team, but they were given to understand that they were off their beat. It was none of their business."

"The miners then served notice that the saloons and gambling joints would be boycotted if the 'scab' was not invited to seek another field of labor, but he was not told. The races were pulled off and a Prescott man skinned that Jerome importation all hollow. He was then cut adrift but the miners were not through making the saloonists remember it. The boycott is still on and the miners have put about $50,000 in the bank from the time it was started up to date besides sending $10,000 out of town."

"One of the prominent saloon men has rented a place in Prescott and will go into business there. Others will have to follow his lead, it is said. The female warbler has been cast from the saloon and her voice is no more heard to echo down the mountain sides."

"Now a petition is being circulated and signed by the miners requesting the city council to stop gambling in the town. The boys are determined to make it plain, where they stand."

"Jerome is one of the most busy towns in Arizona. About 1,100 men are employed by the United Verde people making wages ranging from $3 to $8 per day and that is the bone and sinew of the town. Were the United Verde to be abandoned, which it never will until the crack of doom, Jerome would be as deserted as a grave yard in 6 months."

"To get to Jerome from Phoenix one goes to Prescott, hundreds and hundreds of feet above sea level. And then on a railroad that curves snake fashion up the mountain side one winds one's way hundreds of feet heavenward to Jerome. So badly crooked is this road that the conductor of a freight train seated in the cupalo of the caboose often borrows a chew of tobacco of the engineer on one curve and then has to have a care as he spits the juice out of the opposite window that he don't squirt it in the eye of the fireman at the next curve. Far up the mountain side Jerome perches."

"Her streets slant down the steep slope in picturesque style. The buildings look as if they were preparing to slide into the valley far below. Strolling down the streets of Jerome or laboring up one of them, a misstep would mean death by drowning in the Verde River many hundred feet below. Though you are near heaven when in Jerome and often bump your head on the clouds you are more reminded of the other place by the eternal scent of sulphur which pervades the air. It's fumes from the great smelter, the life giver of Jerome, and tells why that prosperous town is clinging there to the hillside."

(Bisbee Daily Review; August 8, 1905; page 2.)

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