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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : blogsold : verde heritage May 25, 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.
Saturday, January 18, 2014

1927: HOPEWELL; Explosion Killed John Porterie, January 17.

Verde Heritage


"John Porterie, 26, and one of the most deservedly popular young men in the employ of the United Verde Copper company, was killed instantly yesterday morning by an explosion in one of the loading chutes of the mine on the Hopewell tunnel level. The accident was one of the most peculiar that ever happened in the mine and was entirely unavoidable."

"The evidence showed that the ore in the chute had jammed, almost 100 feet above the door, and that a stick of dynamite had been placed under the ore to loosen it. Before the fuse exploded the powder, the ore became loosened and began falling to the loading level, the fuse still burning. Just as the ore reached the bottom of the chute, the dynamite exploded and the door of the chute was blown off. Young Porterie happened to be passing along the tunnel at the instant of the explosion and was instantly killed, the door being blown against him."

"A jury was impaneled yesterday afternoon by Coroner Clyde B. Jones, the members being Perry M. Ling, Myron L. Scott, L. B. Sykes, W. R. Fitzgerald, H. D. Tanner and Francis H. Lyons. After viewing the body and hearing all the evidence that could be adduced, the jury returned a verdict that the deceased had come to his death by an unavoidable explosion of dynamite which blew off a chute door which struck the deceased as he was passing."

"WAS SERVICE MAN: Young Porterie was a former service man, a member of the local post of the American Legion, married and the father of a young daughter. His father, Joe Porterie of Phoenix, is one of the veteran mine men and assayers of the state and the family is well and favorably known in Maricopa county."

"The body was shipped to the family home at Phoenix where the funeral will be held. The arrangements have not been announced. Great sympathy for the unfortunate family is expressed by all who knew the victim, a young man of highest character and ability. A funeral service will be held at 5 o'clock this afternoon at the Scott & McMillan chapel, the body being shipped later to Phoenix."

(Verde Copper News; Jerome; Tuesday, January 18, 1927; page 1, column 2.)

JOHN ALEXANDER PORTERIE was born in Phoenix, Arizona Territory, on March 21, 1902. He is the son of Joseph A. (born in Corsica, France) and Jessie Hancock (born in Tucson, Arizona) Porterie. He was 24 years old when he died on January 17, 1927, of "injuries received in unavoidable explosion of dynamite blowing a chute door off of the chute as deceased passed." The informant was Louis A. Porterie of Phoenix. (Certificate of Death)

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