Biographical Sketch of James Cusenberry

James Cusenberry built the twenty stamp mill, (or superintended the building of it) and also added the twenty new stamps; then turned the management over to a man named Sexton, who stole everything that he could during the four years that he kept it running, and was over $100,000 in debt in Arizona when he had to close down. It is hard to tell how much the Vulture Company owed in California at that time, and it is doubtful if any of the debts were ever paid.

The ten stamp mill owned by William Smith, Fritz Brill, and others, was moved from Wickenburg to a point about thirteen miles lower down the Hassayampa in order to get wood, as the wood had all been consumed near the town. The mill was run until 1878 or 1879, when Smith and Company sold out the claims they held on the Vulture Ledge to James Seymour of New York, who had bought out the old Wickenburg interests. Seymour employed James Cusenberry to superintend the working of the properties, and he moved twenty stamps of the old mill down to a point on the river about eleven miles below and the twenty stamps were run at the place called Seymour for nearly a year, when a man named Shipman was put in charge.

Instead of moving the other twenty stamps to Seymour, he advised building a larger mill at the mine, and pumping the water from the river to it. The result was an eighty stamp mill, and a seventeen mile pump line to it.

The amount taken from the Vulture Mine is variously estimated at from seven to ten millions of dollars. The ore was hauled to Wickenburg, a distance of sixteen miles from the mine, at a cost of seventeen dollars a ton. Vulture gold passed current throughout the territory at that time having a value of about fifteen dollars an ounce. Henry Wickenburg, after parting with all his interest in the mine, settled at the town which bore his name, having a ranch there up to the time of his death in May, 1905. He was a fine character, honest, straightforward and industrious, a typical Westerner, quiet, unobtrusive, bold and fearless, and generous to a fault. He was not possessed of much property at the time of his death. He was a member of the Seventh Legislature of the Territory.



Farish, Thomas Edwin. History Of Arizona, Volume 2. Printed and Published by Direction of the Second Legislature of the State of Arizona, A. D. 1915.

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