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home : blogsold : verde heritage May 26, 2016

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.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

1925: COTTONWOOD FIRE: Cottonwood Bakery.

Verde Heritage

Rounseville's drugstore and bakery was one of the wood buildings burned in the Cottonwood fire on December 3, 1917. When the structure was rebuilt on the corner of what is now Main and Pinal, the concrete building used as a bakery on the back of the lot was completed in 1918; the rest of the structure was wood.

According to the 1920 Census, Fred A. Eckert, 53, was a baker and Annie Eckert, 52, was a bakery helper. The fire on April 20 burned the wood structure and the roof and contents of the concrete building, but left the walls standing. Less than 1 month later The Cottonwood Bakery was back in business.

"NEW MACHINERY: The old plant was a total loss and now Eckert is replacing it with better and more improved machinery than ever. Among other things that arrived are bread pans and all manner of mixing pans, muffin tins, etc. Carpenters some time ago completed the big dough troughs and tables, all mounted on wheels, and replaced the roof, the burned windows and doors and re-cemented the floor. The bakery really does not appear as if it had been through a fire. It will be about a week or ten days before the new front will be begun." (Verde Copper News; Jerome; May 11, 1925; page 3, column 4.)

"BEGIN TO BAKE: Next Monday morning the new Eckert bakery will open, and will be the first of the burned buildings to be rebuilt enough to conduct business. The walls of the bakery withstood the tremendous heat of the recent fire and have all been gone over and strengthened. The new machinery has all been put into place and the new baker is on the job." (Verde Copper News; May 15, 1925; page 3, column 4.)

"BAKERY TO RESUME: The Cottonwood Bakery is about to resume operations after being out of the game for a month by virtue of the recent fire. The Eckerts immediately began to rebuild before the smoke had cleared away from the heaps of burning debris." (Verde Copper News; May 19; page 5, column 2.)

Advertisement: "Announcing the Reopening of THE COTTONWOOD BAKERY, F. W. A. Eckert, Proprietor. The bakery is again operating and ready to serve the people of the district in the same satisfactory manner with their high grade Butter Crust Bread and bakery goods as in days before the fire. The shop is operated under the most sanitary conditions. Bread for Sale at All Stores in Cottonwood and Clemenceau District." (Verde Copper News; May 18, 1925; page 4, columns 5-6.)

"PLANS ABOUT READY: It is understood that the plans and specifications for the new Eckert drug store and bakery building are about completed by Architect Guilford of Jerome and that a contract will be let in a very few days for the erection of a fine building on the site of the old store recently destroyed by fire. Eckert plans on a one story concrete building with modern conveniences." (Verde Copper News; May 29, 1925; page 3, column 5.)

Fred W. A. Eckert, born in Germany on October 24, 1865, had lived in Cottonwood 13 years when he died on December 15, 1930. He married Anna Zerves, who was born in Minnesota, and their son, Fred Henry Eckert, born in Minnesota on June 1, 1891, had lived in Clemenceau 26 years when he died December 17, 1950. (see: Certificates of Death.)

More information: The Verde Independent; "Verde Valley Olive Oil Traders Moves in Old Town;" April 4, 2012.

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