VERDE HERITAGE 1900: JEROME; The Mummy and the Petrified Man
"A JEROME DISCOVERY: The Camp Suspends Business to Gaze on a Work of Art."
Jerome, November 28 --- D. D. M'Donald, correspondent for the "Arizona Republican," wrote: "Well, here I am back home again, after a most eventful trip to Phoenix,... the metropolis of Arizona. It is always good to be where your reputation is spotless and where you are well known. So many things always happen when a person is away that he ought really to never leave. Who would have thought that there would be a petrified man found near Jerome while I was gone? I never imagined such an unusual thing would happen in the history of the town. But it happened, just the same."
"Two men, strangers in the town, came in Sunday morning with the thing in a wagon and reported that they found it below the Verde Queen mine south of town. There was great excitement when the news spread. The St. Elmo saloon, where the stone image was left, was crowded day and night, and the proprietors reaped a harvest from the thing as a drawing card. The bar was lined day and night with men who gazed at the remains of what was said to have been a great and strong man."
"Just when he was alive no one seemed to be able to tell, but different old timers remembered when Mr. So-and-So was killed and buried below what is now Jerome. Of course, the man was shot, or the story would not have been so good. To prove the correctness of their theories, there were the bullet holes in the stone man to show where the assassin had pulled the trigger on him and laid him low."
"Where he was buried was in a deposit of lime. If there had been no lime there he would not have been buried there the day previous to the time he was found, for the men who manufacture them do not bury them in other deposits, for granite does not turn objects into stone. It is only the action of lime and water that does the work. So good was the work and so perfect the image that many persons were fooled and still believe that the thing is a genuine petrified man. I will not dispute them, for to do so would be to invoke their displeasure, but I have lived in the days gone by, when such things were made, and I was almost tempted to go into the business myself, for it is a good paying enterprise."
"Anyone will give a quarter to see a petrified man. The owner of this object was offered all kinds of things for this treasure, and one even went so far as to put up $1 to bind the bargain. They then thought they were getting bit, and forfeited the bonus, rather than pay the small remainder."
"The owner of the image got hilariously drunk on the night of the find and wound up in jail. Hooker & McFarland advanced $10 to pay the fine, and he was released. Now they have taken Mr. Pet. away in a wagon; probably in the wagon he was hauled here in, and I imagine he will be next heard of in Phoenix, at the grand carnival, where the owner will reap a rich harvest."
"The image is perfect and is either the genuine article, or a splendid imitation. Who can say but what the find was once a living man? Stranger things have happened and will happen again."
(Arizona Republican; Phoenix; November 30, 1900; page 7.)
Jerome, December 2. --- Correspondent D. D. M'Donald continues: "I said in my letter to the 'Republican' the other day that the petrified man had been taken away from Jerome; but such is not the case. He was hiding out in Jerome somewhere, and has now come into prominence again."
"Yesterday he was taken with a severe case of the jim-jams and had to be operated on. An expert surgeon was at his side for 3 hours removing the petrified liquor from him. The theory that Dr. Woods gives was that he was drinking when he was shot, and the liquor petrified with the rest of his body, and when he was dug up and placed in a saloon in a warm place, the heat caused the stimulant to assume liquid form. The effect of the old liquor on the body of the man was something fearful. Dr. Woods says the old boy will be drunk every time he is placed too near the fire. What a lesson to whiskey drinkers this ancient stiff presents."
(Arizona Republican; December 5, 1900; page 3.)
"It was significantly suggestive and approximately appropriate that Jerome should find that petrified man in Deception Gulch. A telegram says he was found in a lime formation and it has the appearance of lime rock. The corpus delicti was an unaccommodating 'stiff.' to turn into limestone, when in that highly mineralized section he might just as well turned into a statue of copper." (Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; December 5, 1900;page 2.)
"Jerome reports the discovery of a petrified man. This petrified human business is quite an antiquated fake. The original discoverer of a petrified human in California, died recently in Fresno. He created quite a sensation for a time, but afterward admitted that he manufactured the figure. This Jerome petrification had its feet sticking out of the ground when discovered. It was probably troubled with cold feet. It weighed 350 pounds, but no one has been found yet who identifies it. The art of producing petrified humans, from cement, and mummified humans, from paper mache, has been advanced in recent years to a high state of perfection." (Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; December 5, 1900;page 3.)
"That 'petrified man' found near Jerome turned out to be a fake, just as intimated in the 'Journal-Miner.' The 'Reporter' says: 'Judge McKinnon called upon the fakers with the petrified man to deposit $20 to the credit of the Town of Jerome. They paid the fine and immediately left for the valley. Those who saw the outfit passing in the direction of Phoenix say that the men were heavily armed with revolvers and Winchesters.' Probably they intend to petrify another victim." (Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; December 5, 1900; page 3.)
"AN AZTEC MUMMY: An Alleged Discovery of a Dried Up Pre-Historic Man at Jerome"
"The 'Jerome News' gives an extended account of the alleged finding of a mummy in the United Verde mine. The finding of a mummy is a possible thing, but this alleged discovery coming so closely on the heels of the finding of the bogus petrified man will make the story to be received with a large decoction of salt. After giving a very plausible account of the discovery the 'News' spoils the story by claiming it to be that of Montezuma, the Aztec chief. The plausible story of the find as given in the 'News' is as follows:"
"The finding of a mummified man by workmen at the United Verde mines on Monday, December 3rd, created some little excitement in Jerome."
"The body is undoubtedly that of a man who, during life, was a giant, at least everything surrounding the find would signify that such was the case, as beside him was found a fine arm somewhat similar to the shotgun used at the present time, but so large and of such weight that the average man to today could not pose it for shooting. Beside the gun there was found near him working tools all of which were manufactured of tempered copper, showing that the man must have been buried over 3,000 years ago during the first age of copper. The body is well preserved but has evidently shriveled, yet many of the most important parts have undoubtedly remained their natural size."
"The numerous articles found with the body would signify that he was a king of some renown."
"The find was made in a cave exposed by the late caving in of the Verde mines. It was with wonder and awe that the workmen first entered the cave and handled the relics that must have been laid away centuries ago."
(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; December 12, 1900; page 2.)
"It takes nerve to exhibit a petrified man, but it requires a supply of unadulterated gall to attempt to convince newspapers that an apology is due for exposing the fake. The 'prospector' who found the one of last week was a caller at this office Tuesday and was indignant that a question had been raised as to his good faith. He thinks he is certain of large houses in both Prescott and Phoenix, where he is counting on showing the petrified. ''' 'Jerome Reporter.'" (Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; December 12, 1900; page 3.)
"Arouses His Curiosity: Prescott, December 11. --- (Editor Journal Miner.) Having read of late about the finding of a petrified man, and then of a mummified man at Jerome, I would like to know the difference between the two classes of people. Will you kindly give the information. 'Anxious Enquirer.' The only difference is in the way they are manufactured. When an individual wants a petrified man he secures a quantity of cement, plaster of paris, and other ingredients and just manufactures him. Mummies of these modern days are made out of paper mache. The art in both lines has been developed to a very high degree of perfection." (Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; December 12, 1900; page 1.)
"The petrified man display in Tempe since the Phoenix carnival ended, took his departure yesterday." (Arizona Republican; December 24, 1900; page 6.)
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