Verde Heritage: 1896: JEROME: Home of the Great Copper Mines; Part 3
"THE TOWN OF JEROME"
"Among the other large buildings in the city is the Grand View hotel, a hostelry that is fully equipped for the accommodation of the traveling public. It was formerly conducted by S. F. Mequire, who sold out on the first of December (and went with his wife to live at Phoenix) to J. A. Knoblock, a practical hotel man and a most obliging and courteous person. Mr. Knoblock will shortly enlarge the hotel, building on twenty-four more rooms. The dining room will also be enlarged to accommodate 100 persons. The rapid growth of the town during the past year has made such a step necessary."
"In addition to the Grand View hotel there are several lodging houses and five restaurants and all appear to be doing well."
"There are eight general merchandise stores as follows: T. F. Miller & Co., Con O'Keefe, Ralph Dillon, Baker & Co., Merrill Bros., Scott & Son, New York store, and C. M. Clark. The transfer and livery business is well represented by J. C. Duff, although buggies are an unusual sight on the streets on account of the rocky and hilly nature of the country. However, Mr. Duff is always on hand when his services are required."
"There are two barber shops in addition to the shop at the company's works. The latest tonsorial parlor was opened by George Emmett, formerly of Mesa and Phoenix. Mr. Emmett found Jerome a very favorable location and took advantage of it. Ha has a very handsomely appointed shop and is doing a very good business."
"As a general rule saloons flourish thickly in mining camps and it is not to be supposed that Jerome is an exception. There are several here, but all are conducted in an orderly manner. Among the principal resorts are 'The Senate,' 'Fashion' and 'Alec Cadness.' 'The Senate' is conducted by William R. Harrell, well known throughout Arizona as a caterer to the thirsty public. The 'Fashion' is owned by Hoover & Cordner, and like 'The Senate' is a popular resort. Harry W. Walters, formerly of Prescott and a very popular man, is the expert mixologist who presides during the day behind the handsome bar of 'The Fashion.' B. F. Dunkle holds down the night shift. 'Alec Cadness' is another favorite resort. Thomas Kelly, who for many years resided in Tempe and Phoenix, is chief mixologist."
"Nearly every line of business is represented and prices are much cheaper than would be expected of a mining town situated in the heart of a mountain region. This may be accounted for by the advent of the railroad. Before the line was built everything had to be freighted across the mountains from Prescott. Many thousands of dollars were expended in Prescott annually, as it was the shipping point for supplies used in Jerome. Since the United Verde & Pacific Railway was built the bulk of this trade has been lost to Prescott, the Jerome merchants now shipping direct from the large markets."
"There is one lively and newsy weekly --- the 'Jerome Miner' --- published by W. S. Adams. 'The Arizona Educator,' a periodical devoted to the educational interests of the territory at large, is also published here. The newspaper field, however, is about to be invaded by another weekly, which will make its appearance in the New Year under the guidance of Joscelyn & Riley."
"Take the town altogether a superficial observer can detect an air of prosperity with a decided energetic, progressive policy."
"The town, though, is almost entirely dependent on the Jerome [United Verde Copper Company] mine, as every pay day indicates. There are several other mines in the region, however, and numerous rich prospects that when opened will add materially to the growth of the town. A good many of there prospects are now in litigation, but when once settled, effective results will happen immediately."
"A great deal has been written about the United Verde mine, but comparatively little is really known of it by outsiders. That it is one of the richest mines in the world no one who has examined the outer works will gainsay. None but the employees who work underground can form any direct conception of the actual magnitude of its riches, but their mouths are sealed. A very fair idea may be formed from the fact that about three cars of copper bullion are shipped daily and an average of one car of matte. This output is represented at about $600,000 a month. The mine is not a mere lode or vein, but an entire mountain of ore. It is not only a copper proposition, there is also a large percentage of gold and silver. It is said that an immense body of silver ore was uncovered a short while ago, but the company does not intend to work on the ore for obvious reasons."
"The company has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in mining machinery and has about the most perfect plant in the country. No expense is spared in that line and an addition will shortly be made to the smelter, several carloads of machinery and material being already on the grounds."
"The employees of the company are well paid and nothing is overlooked that would add to their safety and comfort. The miners in fact are unanimous in saying that they are better treated here than in any mine where they have been employed."
(Arizona Republican; Phoenix; December 25, 1896; pages 1 and 8; "Special Correspondence, December 24.")
The Christmas Eve fire that destroyed the business district in 1897 was followed by a fire that nearly wiped out the town during September of 1898. An estimated 150 residential and business buildings were burned and about 1,500 people were left homeless.