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Arizona Copper Camp
Walter Lyon and Frank Lovett started the Arizona Copper Camp in Ray, Arizona, in February 1910, as reported by the Daily Arizona Silver Belt [LCCN: sn 87082863]. Ray, Arizona, was a company town of the Ray Consolidated Copper Company. In 1913, the Arizona Republican [LCCN: sn 84020558], which sometimes reprinted news items from the Copper Camp, described it as a “small but interesting paper.” By 1915, the newspaper was published by the Ray Publishing Company. No editor or editorial staff was named, but T.S. Jacobs, who had worked for Ray Consolidated, was listed as “Local Representative.” Over the next five years, five other men served as local representatives, with Jacobs returning in late 1919 and staying on until the newspaper ceased at the end of 1920.
The newspaper mainly covered mining news from around the state and functioned as a booster for the industry and the town: “Whoop ’er Up For Ray”—"Ray is the best mining camp in the state of Arizona to live in. There is not a miner who is familiar with conditions in Ray and in other camps of Arizona who will not say that such is the case.” For a few years, the slogan of the newspaper, posted above the title, was: “In the Heart of the Mining District --- The Second Largest Proven Body of Copper Ore in the World.” This changed at the end of 1916 to: “In the Heart of the Great Superior—Ray—Christmas Mineral Belt.” The other predominant news was about the local baseball teams and the Tri-Copper League. Detailed reporting of the games was regularly top news on the front page. The newspaper, usually about four pages long, also printed serialized fiction.
The Copper Camp reported negatively about labor and union activities in the state. In fall 1915, the front pages featured photographs and articles about the miners’ strike at Clifton-Morenci. The copper companies there had set up a tent camp in Duncan, and the paper reported that “those who left the strike zone…are having one grand, glorious time.” The Western Federation of Miners was described as “rabid,” and an editorial commented on “the recent open encouragement of lawlessness and violence by the governor in the Clifton-Morenci strike district.” A few days before the Bisbee Deportation in July 1917, when striking miners and others were violently arrested and deported from Bisbee, Arizona, the Copper Camp reported on federal troops being sent to Globe, Arizona, “to quell I. W. W. strikers.” The front page characterized “the slimy-tongued I. W. W.” as being “The Hand of the Kaiser.”
While mining was the main focus of the paper, it also reported news about World War I. The April 7, 1917 headline read: “United States Formally Declares War on Germany” and called President Wilson’s war message “one of the great documents of history.” Interestingly, tucked between these headlines and stories about the war were announcements about the baseball games that week.
Essay provided by University of Arizona Libraries.Dates of Publication1910-1920Frequency of PublicationWeeklyPlace of PublicationRay, ArizonaLanguageEnglishPermissions and ReuseThe contents of the Arizona Digital Newspaper Program (ADNP) are available to the public by our partners for using in research, teaching, and private study. Please note that U.S. Copyright and intellectual property laws apply to the digital resources made available through this site.