Glenda Farley is a columnist for The Verde Independent. Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde Valley history. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The United Verde Copper Company smelter at Jerome closed after 32 years and was relocated at Clarkdale for 35 years closing in 1950, leaving only the concentrators running until the Jerome mines closed.
The area of what is now the City of Cottonwood developed as 3 individual, separate villages in the area named “Upper Verde” by the residents in 1876. Land in the Cottonwood and Carrollton villages was claimed by settlers in 1875. Carrollton became the east part of the 1917 Smelter City development.
Residential and agricultural development had been nearly impossible without water. Homes were located near a spring, creek, irrigation ditch, or river. Most irrigated land was located below a ditch and various types of waterwheels and mechanical devices were used to raise water to the few cultivated areas above the ditches.
Beginning in 1865, the civilian economy of the Verde Valley was based on supplying the needs of the military through contracts and employment of individuals for freighting and other services. The Sutler Store provided for the needs of both military and civilians residents.
United Verde Copper Company smelter began Aug. 1, 1883, and resumed Aug. 1, 1887.
In 1952, the dream of having an airport “was only a gleam in the eyes of two enthusiastic and dedicated airmen, Joe Moser, then chairman of the Sedona-Oak Creek Chamber of Commerce’s airport committee, and Ray Steele, one of its most active members. They supplied the push that turned an impossible dream into reality.”
“Camp Verde was the scene of atrocious murders when Robert M. Rodgers and Clinton D. Wingfield, who ran a store at that place, were shot and killed by an unknown man."
During World War I, a few days after the new state-of-the-art smelter began producing copper, investigation into the murder of James Lowry revealed the existence of pro-German traitors and a dangerous conspiracy to interfere with copper production. Federal troops arrived in September.
When the cook at the Eat-Mor Sandwich Shop got up this Monday morning and started his day’s duties at 5 o’clock, he did not imagine that his gasoline coffee urn would explode and cause a loss estimated as being over $10,000, but that’s what happened.