Verde Heritage 1919: Mines and Smelters Close from February 13 until May
United Verde Extension Mining Company, "March 22. --- Work has been started at the Verde [Clemenceau] smelter which precludes all possibility of the plant being blown in again within 3 months."
"The reverberatory boilers are being rearranged and shifted about generally. It was found before shutting down that they were wrongly placed to give the maximum of efficiency, so A. G. MacGregor, the designer of the smelter, was called to Verde a few days ago to make plans for the necessary changes. He got out his blueprints and now the boilers look as though a cyclone had been along. New foundations are being built which will elevate them considerably above their old level."
"'We cannot get the boilers in shape for operation in under 3 months from now," General Manager George Kingdon declared this morning. 'That will be early enough, though.'"
"Some other work not in connection with the boilers is being done at the smelter, but none is of any great importance."
"AT VERDE TOWNSITE: Since the suspension of production the company has adopted a policy of rushing work on the new Verde townsite. About 100 men are now employed in grading there and rapid progress is being made in getting ready for the builders."
"Work is being continued in the haulage tunnel and in various parts of the mine. About 300 feet more work in the tunnel will effect a connection from the pocket end to the mine end. Several weeks ago water in the mine end caused abandonment of work there and now all work is being done in the other heading."
"The tunnel work is now going forward in very bad ground and recently, in order to drain the territory as quickly as possible, the size of the face was reduced to that of an ordinary mine drift. After a connection is made and some of the surplus water is drained away, men will be started to work from both ends to enlarge the small portion to the size of the rest of the tunnel. Then it will take months to concrete the tunnel and lay the standard-guage railroad track which is to carry trains from the smelter right up into the mine."
"Preparations for concreting the lower 250 feed of the Audrey shaft are now practically complete and that work will be under way in a day of two. Since the shut-down the collar of the Edith shaft has been concreted, as some of the timbers there were beginning to show signs of decay. There is now intention, however, of concreting the Edith to the bottom."
"FORCE 50 PER CENT NORMAL: Manager Kingdon today made the surprising statement to the 'Verde Copper News' that his company is now employing more than 50 per cent of the force on the payroll at the time of the suspension."
"Prior to the suspension the force had been trimmed somewhat, in keeping with the policy of decreasing production, until 750 men were employed at the mine, tunnel, townsite, and smelter. Today there are 400 men employed. One hundred of them are working on the townsite and another 100 in the tunnel. The present force will be reduced in the next few days, but the Extension expects to keep nearly 400 men in its employ until it resumes production, whenever that may be."
(Bisbee Daily Review; March 23, 1919; page 7.)
"COPPER PLANTS SHAPING UP FOR ACTION"
"On or about May 15, the United Verde Extension smelting plant at Verde will be in action, and within 10 days afterward a similar move will be made by the United Verde at its Clarkdale works. This information came from reliable sources at Jerome yesterday, and was based on a remark by an official of the United Verde Co., who said: 'Do you see that cold stack down there? Well, keep your eye on it. The Extension smoke curls up about the 15th, and maybe we will be warming up a few days later. That is as far as I can state the situation.'"
"Another significant move by the United Verde is that its railroad out of Clarkdale has been completed into the outskirts of Jerome, entering the city by switchbacks within a short distance of the old hospital burned down some months ago, and the shifting of the big steam shovel plants from the lower to the higher elevations to provide fluxing material is suggestive that reduction is early contemplated."
"Miners are being employed daily, and repairing of long used machinery is nearing the end, only minor matters being unattended to."
"It is also stated that scores of dwellings are to adorn the unoccupied area where was located the old smelter and will extend into the main part of the city after the intervening elevations are reduced, work thereon beginning at once."
"Many former employees from overseas are being placed at work, while those married miners who have remained since the shut-down over 3 months ago are also being given preference."
(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; May 14, 1919; page 2.)
United Verde Copper Company: "The management of the United Verde copper mine announced that they would resume operations on May 14th with approximately half a crew. This announcement was received with joy in the camp, as the mines have been closed since February 13, when a shutdown went into effect due to the alleged activities of the I.W.W."
"The United Verde Extension has also announced that they will shortly follow suit, and it is expected that, in the near future, Jerome will resume its usual activities."
(The Copper Era and Morenci Leader; Clifton, Arizona; May 16, 1919; page 1.)
"After a close down of 4 months, caused by I.W.W. activities in the Jerome district, the United Verde is again in operation. The United Verde Extension and all other properties that were closed at the same time will follow suit. Following on the report of resumption of work on the United Verde also comes the authoritative statement that the smelter capacity is to be doubled to care for the immense tonnage of ore that has been opened in recent work and also the ores from subsidiary properties of the company."
"Jerome and its surroundings, which include Clarkdale and Cottonwood, is said to have more than 15,000 people depending on the mines of the district for their livelihood. The mines are among the greatest copper producers of the world and while they have produced millions of dollars in dividends their ore bodies have only been scratched."
(Mohave County Miner and Our Mineral Wealth; Kingman; May 17, 1919; page 4.)