Sat, Sept. 19

Verde Heritage 1896: JEROME: Home of Great Copper Mines; Part 2


"Jerome is a typical mining camp and has a most picturesque appearance. It overlooks the Verde Valley and but a faint conception can be given of the picture presented. It is by no means a boom camp. It has not had the mushroom growth of most mining camps. For years mining has been going on in this section, but the first noticeable impetus was given when W. A. Clark became [a leasee] possessor of the United Verde mine in 1888. Since that time the town has steadily grown until the population is today between 1,500 and 2,000. Of this number over 500 are on the payroll of the mining company."

"The town lies on the side of a hill and a steep one at that. The principal business street, however, is comparatively level."

"The town can boast of many handsome residences and business blocks, unlike the makeshift buildings of most mining camps. The mining company recently erected several residences on the hill that cost about $3,000 each. These buildings are rented only to employees of the company at a very reasonable price. These homes are lighted by electricity and have many other conveniences that are not usually found in mining camps. The company will shortly erect several more residences for the accommodation of its employees. The company has contributed largely to everything that has benefited the town, although not obliged to do so."

"Jerome is lighted by incandescent lamps, the power being furnished by a plant in the smelter. Another pleasant feature is the water supply. The water is piped from a spring about three miles from Jerome to reservoirs situated on the hillside 500 feet above the town, giving sufficient water and power for all practical purposes. The water is pure and sweet."

"Like that of all mining camps the population of Jerome is heterogenous, but a most noticeable thing is the good order that prevails, the lawless element being in the minority. This may be partly accounted for by the efficient work of the marshal, Jim Roberts, who is very popular in the camp, but will not tolerate any lawlessness. He is a fearless man, though generous and wholesouled. In preserving the dignity of the camp the marshal has an able assistant in Justice St. James, who does not hesitate a second in imprisoning an individual found guilty of breaking the laws. Mr. St. James is one of the original Hassayampers of the territory, having resided for thirty years in Yavapai County and served several terms in public positions. To give the town due credit it is very orderly and the inhabitants are not wanting in hospitality. This is most striking to a stranger."

"It is far from being an unregenerate town, two churches flourishing; a Baptist and a Catholic. The last named was recently erected by subscription and is a handsome frame edifice. One of the finest school houses to be found in the territory outside of Phoenix is the pride of Jerome. It is a two story frame structure and cost several thousand dollars."

"The hospital erected by the United Verde company is another handsome structure. It is under the charge of Dr. Woods, the company's physician. It is most ably managed and the company spares no expense in maintaining it. The patients are mostly persons who have been injured in the mine or about the works. They have the best of care and have nothing but grateful words for the physician. In addition to being the company's physician Dr. Woods is the only medical practitioner in the camp and in a town of the proportions of Jerome that is a sure indication that the place is very healthful. Dr. Woods is a graduate of some of the best medical institutions on the country and has been the company's physician here for several years." ...

(Arizona Republican; Phoenix; December 25, 1896; page 1; "Special Correspondence, December 24.")

Officer Jim Roberts was working for the United Verde Copper Company when the bank at Clarkdale was robbed (an event remembered during the home tour each year).

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