Verde Heritage By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
1918: JEROME - CLARKDALE - COTTONWOOD ROAD; January 5
An announcement was made "to the Verde Copper News this morning by County Supervisor C. C. Stukey who, with Supervisor Jack Jaeger, came over from Prescott last night."
"Work on the new road south of the chalk hill between Jerome and Clarkdale is to be commenced next week. Two road crews, one at Ash Fork and one at Crown King, are on their way here now. As many men as can be utilized will be employed. The man who will be in charge of the work has not been selected, but it will probably be someone from this side of the mountain."
From Jerome, "that part of the road over the 'chalk hill,' at the lower end of the Hogback, is to be eliminated." ... "The new road is not to cross Walnut gulch. It will run between the hill and the gulch and into Clarkdale from the south, by way of the street between the high school and the main business block of Clarkdale."
"The new road to Cottonwood will lead out along this street, eliminating two railroad crossings, several hills and numerous curves. It is expected that the U. V. Extension will build a direct auto road northward from Verde, running west of Cottonwood, and connecting with the new road. This, however, has not been definitely decided."
"GRAVEL-SPREADING TRUCK: A $6,000 White truck, built especially for road work, has been purchased by the county. Its principal feature is a gravel-spreading arrangement at the rear. This truck is already in Prescott and the supervisors hope to have it in Clarkdale before the storms start. If the present plan is carried out, it will be kept in the Verde district." ... "The road from Jerome to Clarkdale is to be surfaced with from two to three inches of gravel."
"Supervisor Stukey's idea is that the gravel should be hauled up from the river and piled along the road before snow flies and spread as soon as the road gets wet. It is unlikely that there will be time for this, however."
"The necessary gravel may be purchased from the United Verde Copper company, which has a large quantity at its chute in the river below the smelter. Stukey and Jaeger are this afternoon conferring with U. V. officials and getting figures on gravel in the chute. If the figures are not satisfactory, the county will put up a chute of its own in the bed of the Verde."
"REASON FOR DELAY: 'This work would have been started months ago had we not been expecting to make the Jerome-Clarkdale road part of the state highway system,' Supervisor Stukey explained this morning. 'Governor Campbell and State Engineer Tom Maddock were agreeable to the plan for a state road from Prescott to the Coconino line, by way of Jerome, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, the new Verde bridge, and Oak creek. In all probability work would be under way now between Jerome and Prescott but for the change of administration at Phoenix. Campbell is out of the governor's office and Hunt is in; Maddock is out of the engineer's office and Lamar Cobb is in. We do not know the attitude of the new officials toward our plan, but next week a delegation of prominent Prescott citizens, representing the Chamber of Commerce, will go to Phoenix to urge that the road be built. A few letters from the Verde district people might help a great deal in showing the sentiment that exists in the populous centers of the county."
"'For three months $86,000 of the state road fund has been available for use in Yavapai county. The old officials were agreeable to the plan of spending it on the direct line between Prescott and Jerome. On the first of May another $124,000 will be available. Altogether that will be $200,000, a sum I believe sufficient to put a good road all the way from Prescott to the Coconino line. Doubtless Coconino will be willing to use her share of state road funds to complete it on to Flagstaff'"
"'And when this road is built it will be maintained by the state. The county will not be called on for a dollar.'"
"VERDE BRIDGE: When asked in regard to the Verde bridge, Stukey stated that Maddock, the former engineer, called for bids some time ago. He expects to see Cobb let a contract very shortly. Stukey is convinced that the bridge will be finished in the course of the winter."
"The state appropriated $20,000 to pay half the cost of the bridge and the county must pay the other half. Maddock's estimate of the probable cost was $30,000. Under the terms of the act, however, half must still be paid by the county."
"Supervisors Jaeger and Stukey and County Assossor C. E. Gentry, who is traveling with him, expect to return to Prescott late this afternoon."
(Verde Copper News; Saturday, January 5, 1918; page 1.)