People who are looking for homes in a new country, naturally feel an interest in knowing the rates of wages paid, and the cost of living in the region to which they think of emigrating. In this chapter we shall endeavor to answer the many inquiries which are being made from the East, and from the Pacific States and Territories, asking for information on these points.
Miners are paid $4 per day throughout the Territory. This is the rate of wages for underground work which has prevailed in the neighboring State of Nevada, and which has been established in Arizona. In some small and isolated camps a lower rate has obtained, but good workmen, who understand their calling, can not be hired for less than the prevailing rates.
Blacksmiths receive from $4 to $6 per day, first-class workmen commanding the latter price. Carpenters get from $4 to $5 per day; bricklayers and masons from $5 to $6 per day; engineers from $5 to $6 per day; printers from $4 to $5 per
The supply of labor is generally in excess of the demand. Like all mining countries which have received a sudden impetus from the opening of railroads, Arizona has drawn within its borders a number of people who have found themselves, on their arrival in the country, destitute of means. While there is always a chance for men of energy and industry to make their way, it is not advisable for mechanics and laboring men, who have no means, to rush to Arizona. While those who are employed obtain good wages, it must be borne in mind that this is a country whose many resources are just beginning to be developed, and that the demand for labor is limited. To men who have some means; who are in a position to take advantage of the many profitable openings that present themselves; who may be in possession of a small capital to begin the battle of life; who have the wherewithal to try their fortune in seeking for the treasures that lie hidden in our mountain fastnesses, Arizona offers advantages not equaled by any State or Territory in the Union. But of the workingman, who has only means sufficient to bring him to the country, and is dependent solely on his daily labor, Arizona has already enough, and it is not the desire or intention of this publication to hold out uncertain inducements to that class of emigrants.
The cost of living in the Territory is not more expensive than could be expected in a country, the greater portion of whose supplies are brought from such a distance. With the exception of some grain, flour, hay, and vegetables, everything worn or consumed by the people of Arizona is shipped from California or the East. In Tucson board can be had at from $6 to $8 per week, and at the leading hotels at from $1 to $2 50 per day. In Tombstone, board is from $8 to $10 per week, and in the different mining camps throughout the southern portion of the Territory, the same rates prevail. Rents in Tucson and Tombstone are not high, considering the rush of emigration to those towns, and the remarkable advance in real estate. A comfortable residence of three or four rooms, in a suitable location, can be had in Tucson at from $20 to $30 per month. The rates are about the same in Tombstone. Clothing, boots and shoes, dry goods, groceries, and everything necessary for housekeeping, are sold at fair prices. A suit of clothing can be bought at from $15 to $30; a pair of boots at from $4 to $8, and all other articles in a like proportion. Of groceries, sugar is 20 cents per pound; coffee, 25 cents; flour, $5 per cwt.; beef, 8 to 12 cents per pound; and vegetables and all other articles of food at similar rates. In Phœnix, the agricultural center of the Territory, prices of clothing and groceries are about the same as in Tucson and Tombstone, while grain, flour, vegetables and fruits, are much cheaper.
There is no Territory on the distant frontier where law and order are so strictly maintained, or where the rougher elements, peculiar to the border, observe so mild-mannered an attitude, as in Arizona. In the newest mining camp, as well as in the larger towns, like Tucson and Prescott, life and property are as secure as in older communities who boast of their culture and civilization; and if sometimes the festive "cowboy" from Texas, or the "bad man from Bodie," should forget himself while under the influence of "fighting" whisky, he is quickly brought to a realizing sense of the situation by the strong arm of the law. On the opening of the Southern Pacific railroad, a crowd of outlaws from the East and the West flocked into Arizona, but the prompt and energetic action of officers and citizens, soon compelled that gentry to seek fresh fields. Even the contests over mines, which seem to be inseparable from a "live" camp, have been fewer than in most of the mineral States and Territories; the pistol and the shotgun have been laid aside, and the law allowed to have its course.
Tucson, Tombstone, Phœnix, and Prescott are incorporated under the laws of the Territory. They have an efficient police force, and the best of order is maintained. In fact, it has been remarked by travelers and new-comers that Arizona has less of that typical western lawlessness than any region they had visited on the frontier. In the leading towns of the Territory will be found a society whose culture, intelligence, and refinement will compare with any portion of the Union. Surrounded by churches, schools, newspapers, and the other adjuncts of modern progress, the people of Arizona are among the most intelligent, liberal, and progressive to be found in the United States. The emigrant who decides to cast his lot here will find the foundations of a broad and enlightened society firmly established; he will meet a generous, progressive, and liberal-minded people, ready to lend a helping hand to the new-comer; and he will find order, security, law, and enlightened public
The manufacturing interests of Arizona are yet in an embryo condition. Lumber and flour are its chief products at the present time. Yavapai county has three saw-mills near Prescott, and one on the line of the Atlantic and Pacific railroad. These mills turn out a good quality of pine lumber, and supply a large area. Lumber is worth from $20 to $30 per thousand at the mills. At Prescott, there is a sash, door and blind factory, which is kept steadily at work. A small foundry has been established here, but it is now closed.
Maricopa county manufactures nearly three fourths of all the flour produced in the Territory. It has four flour-mills in active operation; one at Phœnix, one three miles east of Phœnix, one on the Grand canal, and one at Tempe. All these mills are supplied with the best machinery and the latest improvements, and turn out a quality of flour preferred by some to the best California. An ice factory has been established at Phœnix which supplies its citizens with a luxury which is almost a necessity during the sultry summer months. Large quantities of sorghum are also manufactured in the Salt-river valley. It is a superior article and finds a ready sale.
The manufacturing industries of Pima county consist of two flour-mills in Tucson, well-appointed establishments, which produce a superior article. A foundry and machine shop was established here in 1880, and is prepared to make every variety of quartz-mill machinery and castings in iron and brass. Several large blacksmith and wagon shops are also in full operation in Tucson, and turn out superior work in their line.
Cachise county has five saw-mills in operation, three in the Huachuca mountains west of Tombstone, and two in the Chiricahua range east of that point. These mills produce an excellent quality of pine lumber, which finds a ready sale in the bonanza camp and the mines adjacent. Tombstone has also a foundry where castings for quartz-mills of every description are manufactured.
The manufactures of Gila are confined to two saw-mills in the Pinal mountains, which supply Globe and the mining camps throughout the county with a superior article of pine lumber. At Yuma is situated the largest wagon factory in the Territory. The peculiar dryness of the climate at this point seasons the wood so thoroughly that it never shrinks. The mesquite, which grows in such profusion on the Gila and Colorado bottoms, makes the very best wagon timber, and the work turned out at this place is considered the most durable and best adapted to the climate of the Territory.
Apache county has several saw-mills steadily at work on the magnificent pines which crown her mountain ranges. Two flouring mills have been put up on the Colorado Chiquito, which produce a fine article of the staff of life.