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Sun, March 07

VERDE HERITAGE 1901: JEROME Snow and News

"JEROME COVERED OVER WITH BEAUTIFUL SNOW"

"Jerome, Ariz., Feb. 9. --- It has been a long time since I wrote. ... It seems to your readers, probably, that Jerome is off the surface of the earth. But such is not the case --- we are still here. Although there has been almost enough rain and snow in the past 2 weeks to sweep a common town off the earth, we are so securely anchored there is no danger of our being damaged by any old kind of a storm. The main street of the town resembles a river more than a street of a lively city, but that only makes the town better than it was before the storm began. Now we are happy. We have had what all of we Christian soldiers have been praying for --- rain and snow. It looked for a time as though the good old weather clerk had forgotten his agreement with us, but the promise was kept, and rain fell on the unjust as well as on the just ones."

"The Verde River resembles the great Mississippi when the great father of all waters is on the rampage, but that will go down again after the storm has ceased, and then the good ranchers on the other side will be able to get to town again to buy a jug or a sack of flour. With the mildest of weather for the next week the snow will disappear, but with the kind of weather we have had for the past week it will only be deeper. We men may now stay up town as late as we desire without fear of the lady at home calling at the club for us; she is penned up for a few days."

"With the assurance of an abundance of water this year for the rancher, cattleman, and miner, Jerome has prosperity before unheard of staring her in the face. Let the overwhelming wave of prosperity strike us. We are ready and prepared to ride on its crest. There will not be any shutting down of Uncle Bill's [William Clark] mill this coming summer, for there will be so much water he could put in a water power plant and run the machinery at a reduced cost. With the prospects of the early splitting of the old and wealthy Yavapai County, and the certainty that Jerome will be the county seat of the new county, the spirits of the people of our town have risen to the highest pitch. What more do we need to make us happy?" ...

"In the county bastille at Prescott there languishes a man who has ample time to reflect over the sin he has committed. His reflections must be bitter, for by these acts he has embittered not only his own life but the lives of a sickly wife and 4 poor little children. What was the crime he committed, did you ask? Only this! From a position of esteem and trust in which he was given charge of the funds belonging to the brothers of the same order, he has fallen to a common criminal and will soon go the way of the common criminal; to the penitentiary. His name is Richard Belk. I will not say that the second letter of his name should have been an 'i' instead of an 'e' but the readers may spell it to suit their individual tastes. Belk was a miner in good standing in the community; I mean in good standing with his fellow men. He could scarcely have been in good standing with his patient and worried wife, for he never supported her as she deserved. He never bought those luxuries that women love and children expect."

"He squandered his money in drinking and gambling. Not knowing that he was addicted to these habits the men of the newly organized miners' union elected him treasurer of the organization and gave him the funds without requiring him to give any security. The result was that he decamped from Jerome with what he had left of the money. He was entrusted with less than $500. He left Jerome last August, and so confident were the members of the union that they did not believe he had gone until he had had time to get miles away. Then a reward was offered for him and he was finally located in San Bernardino, arrested and returned to Prescott, where he awaits the action of the courts of justice."

["Sheriff Munds has returned from California. He brought back with him a man named Belk, an ex-treasurer of the Jerome miners' union, who is charged with embezzling the funds of the union. --- Prescott Courier." (Florence Tribune; February 6, 1901.)]

"Meantime, what became of the poor family he thus deserted? He left them with $10 in money and nothing in the house to eat. The poor wife was so sickly she scarcely weighed 80 pounds when this trouble was thrust upon her. Poor in body and racked with mental torture, she looked as though each day might be her last. No word was left for her. There are none more hospitable than the citizens of Jerome. They took up a collection for her, filled a basket with victuals sufficient to last her and her children until they reached the southern part of California, and sent her on her way as happy as she could be under the circumstances. Altogether they helped her to the extent of over $80. She said she would be able to make a living there for her small children. She expected to have her little sons pick fruit in the summer to make both ends meet."

"Anton Pejk, the former owner of the property now owned by the Verde King Copper Company, and present owner of 20% of the capital stock of the company, is in Los Angeles enjoying a well earned vacation. By the sale of the property Mr. Pejk has made himself independent for life. He has refused $12,000 in cash for his interest in the corporation. He is thoroughly acquainted with the property, which he has held for years, and is the best judge of its value."

"There has been an epidemic in Jerome during the past 2 weeks, unprecedented in the history of the town. The epidemic is not dangerous at all, for it is only an epidemic of babies. There are young cherubs all over town. It is not confined to any certain part of town, but seems to be general all over the city. On Giroux Street there are babies; on the Hogback there are little ones. At the home of John Lyons there is a fine little baby that makes the heart of the young couple glad when they look at it. It was born only last Sunday. The happy druggist, E.F. Tarr, is a proud father. The little girl is a peach, to express it mildly. Then at the home of Ike Laskin, where happiness has always reigned, there is a sweet little daughter. The fond parents can only look at her little face and wonder. Mr. and Mrs. George Goodwin have a healthy boy. They have had 2 girls for some time, but their hearts yearned for a boy. Joe Urich is the happier for the arrival of another baby."

"One night last week Rev. Mr. Oliver was agreeably surprised to find his house filed with members of the church and their friends, who had assembled to give him a regular old pound party. The party was arranged by Mesdames Reese, Berner, and McDonald, who had worked so quietly they had not aroused the suspicion of the pastor. Finding the house too small to accommodate the crowd, the party of merrymakers repaired to the church, where the evening was spent most pleasantly. Supper was served during the evening, and it was a fine repast. Besides the donations of groceries, $29 dollars was given to the pastor. Rev. Oliver is a young man in the ministry, and is making a good record."

"As the days glide by interest in the mining business in and around Jerome increases. Many of the companies operating mining properties nearby are meeting with gratifying success, and it is only a matter of a short time when there will be several smelters pouring out their streams of copper in this district."

"The Verde King Copper Company is working several men on its property within a mile of town. The men working in the first tunnel started by the company were in town this week to get the money due for the first 25 feet of the second hundred feet. They report the prospects for striking ore very flattering. They say the soft matter in the big ledge they are driving in on has widened to several feet and is half quartz. An assay of this quartz has not been made, but it has the appearance of being rich in gold. The men, who are miners from Colorado, think they will soon open up a big body of pay ore. The men who have the contract for running the second tunnel, which will tap the mountain 500 feet below the apex, are working every day and are making good progress. They are taking out some good looking stuff and believe they will soon be getting out copper ore. Another tunnel will soon be started further up the creek on a big ledge that is copper stained in many places. The Verde King Company has now over $15,000 in the treasury to be expended in development work, and will push operations until the property has been thoroughly explored. Stock has advanced from 15 to 25 cents, at which price only 50,000 shares will be sold."

"Charles J. George will be in Prescott on Monday and will come on to Jerome the following day. He comes this trip on business connected with the Lincoln property near the Crowned King mine. He has an option on the group and will close the deal while in town Tuesday. A 3-stamp mill has been ordered for the Lincoln group and will be installed immediately. The mill is a lately improved piece of machinery and is guaranteed to crush 20 tons of ore in 24 hours. With the 2-stamp mill now on the property the milling facilities will be very good. This mine is one of the very best in this county and will soon take its place as one of the best producers in the territory. While in Arizona Mr. George will also look into the merits of several other mining deals he has in view."

"About my trip to Los Angeles I must say a few words. I certainly had a great time. When the hack I rode in from the depot swung into Spring Street my eyes stuck out like the heels of a pair of red socks. The sight of the street cars and other things took my breath away. Before I had been in town 3 hours every confidence man in Los Angeles knew I was there and all kinds of schemes had been proposed to me. I was offered a fair-sized gold brick, but declined the chance and turned a cold shoulder to him. Then, thinking better of it, turned and tried to sell him a little mining stock, even offering to take the brick as partial payment. He would not trade, so we parted company. The second man to accost me had a little shell game that he wanted me to take a try at. I had heard all about that racket from men in Jerome who once worked the same game, so I was prepared to turn him down. I offered him some good mining stock for his shells and ball, but he did not know what price the stock was listed at, so would not do business with me along those lines. I was accosted by all manner of strange women, but would not talk to them. I was holding onto the 6 bits I had, and would not let go of my hold. Well, it would take me a week to recount the experiences I had in the big city, so will say no more lest I tell something I did not intend to."

"D. D. McDonald"

(Arizona Republican; Phoenix; February 12, 1901; page 7.)

"D. D. McDonald, of Jerome [the son of A. McDonald], has gone to Los Angeles on mining business. Mr. McDonald is connected with several mining companies, among them the Verde King. He was formerly the proprietor of the 'Jerome Hustler' [newspaper], and was a newspaper man for the 'Pomona Progress' in Merced County, California." (Jerome Mining News; February 16, 1901.)

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