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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : blogsold : verde heritage May 1, 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, January 21, 2014

1924: Verde Ranchers Bring Smoke Complaints, January.

Verde Heritage

"RANCHERS BRING SMOKE COMPLAINTS FOR A LARGE SUM: Total of $31,066.09 Sought in Suits Filed Saturday Against Mining Bodies."

"Suit for a total of $31,066.09 was filed in Superior Court here late Saturday afternoon by W. A. Jordan, W. E. Jordan, C. A. Jordan and W. A. Jordan, Jr., the co-partners doing business under the firm name of W. A. Jordan and Sons against the United Verde Extension Mining company, a corporation, to recover for the alleged damages done crops of the plaintiffs by smoke, gas and fumes said to have been carried from the company's smelter at Clemenceau in Yavapai County over farming lands owned by the plaintiffs in the county."

"A similar suit was instituted against the United Verde Copper company, and besides damages the plaintiffs seek an injunction preventing the defendant company from discharging into the pure air of the county, smoke, gasses, and noxious fumes to damage crops."

"In the complaint, the plaintiffs declare that they have been farming for many years, and that they have spent sums of money instituting improvements at their farms and that they have large investments in irrigation developments."

"During 1922 and 1923, it is alleged and prior to that time, the plaintiffs planted crops and were actively engaged in orchard work and during June and July and August of 1922, the defendant did operate a smelter in Clemenceau in Yavapai County which daily discharged into the pure air immense quantities of noxious, foul and poisonous gas, smoke and fumes, the contents of which were unknown to the plaintiffs and that the gasses were carried by the winds over the crops, doing great damage to them. The damages enumerated were: sweet potatoes, $1,899.22; alfalfa, $2,194.00; potatoes, $502.95; tomatoes, $271.19; watermelons, $295.98; cantaloupes, $38.73. The total damages of the first count, $5,202.07."

"It was further alleged that during the summer of 1923, the crops of the plaintiffs which would have matured but for the grievance, would have had a value as follows: lettuce, $173.75; sweet peppers, $173.31; tomatoes, $414.00; alfalfa, $3,643.75; sweet potatoes, $460.76; watermelons, $133.32; cantaloupes, $666.64; second crop watermelons, $665.00; second crop cantaloupes, $320.00; second crop lettuce, $206.25." ...

"In 1923, the plaitiff had an orchard of 216 peach trees valued at $2,200. The smoke is alleged to have damaged the trees to the extent of $733. The total of all damages in the first count was $13,305.01."

"In the second count, it is alleged that Mrs. Annie T. Jordan was engaged in farming. Her orchard was valued at $24,020. and was alleged to have been damaged by the smoke to the extent of $8,066.66."

"In the third count, Mrs. Mary Burrus and her hand, Charles, seek to obtain damages through the plaintiffs of $521.17 on an estimated crop value of $624. and of $275.33 on an orchard value of $826. and of $25 on a vineyard value of $45. The total in this count is $821.50."

"Peter Busich through the plaintiffs complains in the fourth count of damages of $717.50 on an estimated value of $717.50 for lettuce, $1674.67 on an estimated value of $5024. on a vineyard and $170. on an estimated value of $3210. on fruit trees."

"In the fifth count, Steve Galich, Mike Galich and the estate of Dujo Galich deceased, seek to recover damages of $526.05 on an estimated crop value of $1,200.50 in alfalfa, $100. on an estimated crop value of $200. in corn, $100. on an estimated crop value of $200. in squash and pumpkins. Damages on a second crop also were listed as $475. on an estimated crop value of $1,225., making the total of this count at $1,201.75."

"The sixth count cites the complaint of W. A. Jordan and C. O. Holsapple for damages of $1,850."

"A seventh count deals with the complaint of Peter Valazza to recover through the plaintiffs damages of $2,410."

"The eighth count summarizes the complaint and, in addition asks for the injunction to prevent further alleged crop damages."

"Robert E. Morrison is attorney for the plaintiffs. Howard Cornick announced that he had been retained by the United Verde Extension to prepare a defense."

"The new suit resembles the famous Biles-Wells litigation in 1922. The smoke cases were filed Feb. 16, 1921. The defendant corporation was assessed some $1,600 in court and jury costs and lost an appeal."

(Prescott Evening Courier; Monday, January 14, 1924; pages 1, 6.)

See: The Verde Independent; "1923: COTTONWOOD; Lightening Killed Joe Galich, July 29;" July 29, 2013.




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