Thu, Aug. 05

Verde heritage: 1950: JEROME: J. C. Penney store closed December 23

The store opened in the booming mining town in 1918. The store building began to slide and was condemned in 1936.

"The curtains will be drawn over the windows of the J. C. Penney store at Jerome on Saturday evening, December 23, for the last time, Manager Allan Sneed announced this week. They will not be raised again. The final decision was made by the operating committee in the New York office."

"The store was first opened in Jerome by Matt Mansfield in 1918. At that time the booming mining town had a daily newspaper, the 'Verde Copper News.' The Clemenceau smelter [of the United Verde Extension Mining Company] had gone into operation, and both the United Verde [Copper Company] and the United Verde Extension mining companies were going strong."

"In three years profits from the Jerome store enabled the J. C. Penney company to open a store at Tucson. For 32 years the store at Jerome has continued to operate 'in the black.'"

"The store was moved to its present location on Hull Avenue in 1936, when the former building was condemned. It was in the faulted zone that had begun to slide."

"Twelve successful store managers succeeded Mansfield. Each increased his knowledge here, and was promoted to a larger field. Sneed, who came here in January, 1947, will become manager of a new store to be opened soon after the first of the year at Kingman."

"'I want to express my thanks,' Sneed said yesterday, 'and on behalf of the company I want to express their appreciation for the loyal patronage given us.'"

"The store stock will not be moved, Sneed said. In view of the fact that prices are rising, the company feels it should give residents of the Verde Valley the benefit of earlier purchases and the prices based on them. 'Due to existing conditions, however, it was felt that the store must be closed.'"

(The Verde Independent; Cottonwood; Thursday, November 23, 1950; page 1.)

The building occupied after 1936 by the J. C. Penney became known after 1950 as "Spook Hall."

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