Dewey Homboldt Tidbits
Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona is situated in the County of Yavapai. According to the 2010 census, the community had a population of some 3,894 people. The population of the combined Dewey-Humboldt region was 6,295 people.
The year 2004 brought the incorporation of Dewey-Humboldt. This was accomplished by annexing the existing unincorporated communities of Humboldt and of Dewey.
During 1863, gold was discovered in Lynx Creek. By that time the Dewey region was settled, by Indian fighter, rancher, and prospector named King Woolsey, who established the Agua Fria Ranch, to supply the miners. Mr. Woolsey constructed his ranch using some stones from a prehistoric ruin. He also created an irrigation system from the Agua Fria River. He then introduced some of the first cattle into the recently organized County of Yavapai County. Mr. Woolsey constructed as small grist mill that was powered by water, in order to work gold ore from the close hills. He also led the legendary Woolsey Expeditions to the east in search of gold in 1864, and conducted retaliatory attacks on the Apache Indians. All of these activities resulted in him filing bankruptcy, and the Bower Brothers bought his ranch land near Fort Whipple.
The brothers were continuously using the farm as well as the house in order to provide the area agricultural products that included barley and corn. Mr. Woolsey's ranch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1875, a post office was established as the valley started filling up some farms and ranches. The post office that was close by as well as a stagecoach station was established. By the middle of the 1870's, a silver lead furnace that was powered by water, was constricted in order to work the ores from what came to be known as the Iron King mine region. What is currently known as Humboldt was the location a small plant that was constructed at the location at location of Mr. Woolsey's earlier mill. This mill was valued, although it was too isolated to be profitable.
In late 1898, the isolation of the area ended. The Prescott and Eastern Railroad arrived close to Mayer and Prescott. The Prescott and Eastern Railroad followed next to the Agua Fria River, and Val Verde, the location of a smelter that was constructed by the Val Verde Smelting Company, which was large plant at the location of Humboldt. In 1895, the post office of Agua Fria closed. In 1898, when a new post office opened in the community was renamed Dewey, possibly to the great victory in the battle of Manila that was achieved by Admiral Dewey. This was during the SpanishAmerican War. In 1899 another post office was established at Humboldt. In a rather small way farming continued in the area, until 2006 when developers purchased the last working farm.
In 1902 the Val Verde works smelter burned down to the ground in 1902. The Consolidated Smelting Company of Arizona established. This company constructed a huge smelting factory in the ruins of the Val Verde works. In 1905, the name of the community as changed to Humboldt. The railroads and this smelter and the railroads into the Bradshaw probably developed the most widespread mining boom in the county. The population if the community had increased to 1,000 people by 1907. Having two trains daily, business in the community was booming and the community elected to showcase their development that year by hosting a Labor Day celebration. The celebration featured a parade on Main Street, which became a yearly tradition, and is currently organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Agua Fria.
After the 1907 panic, the Humboldt smelter operation reorganized for a period of five years. This panic nearly ruined local mining boom. It was only after the mineral Revival came during the high mineral market prices increased during WW I, which to help when the smelting plant resume operation again, in conjunction with the Blue Bell Mine, which was the one of only productive copper mines in the Bradshaw Mountains. The train that connected the smelter with the mine was the only thing that kept the community of Dewey-Humboldt prosperous. Several of the history building in Dewey-Humboldt date back to the early 1900's.
One of the most important early mines was the close by Iron King. However, in the early 1900's, it was overly promoted. The 1907 panic resulted in the mine to temporally shut down. As the result of higher process for minerals, the mine reopened during WW I. After the end of WW I, both the mine and the smelter closed again, as the result of the post-war economic downturn. During the middle 1920's, the local mine and farm was prosperous, until 1929 with the crash of Wall Street occurred. Both the smelter as well as the mines shut down. The population of Dewey-Humboldt had decreased to some 300 people. In 1934, Dewey-Humboldt experienced another but smaller boom, after the mines had reopened. The Iron King produced $100 million dollars worth of zinc, lead, silver, and gold, before 18silver, lead and zinc before its closure in 1968 when it closed.