With a majestic backdrop of the Pinal Mountains on one side and the Apache Range on the other, the town of Globe perches on the banks of Pinal Creek, its old buildings huddled on steep slopes. It was one of the great mining camps the West, braving everything from isolation to frequent, unwelcome visits by Apache war parties. The intrepid citizens carved out a community in the rugged mineral-laden mountains and producing some of Arizona greatest leaders, including two governors.
In the early years the remote mining town was 120 miles from the nearest railroad. By 1878 the new town of Florence, just sixty miles away, was suppling the town but the trip through the rugged mountains still took five days.
About the time the silver was playing out copper was in great demand and in 1886 citizens were boasting that all U.S. copper coins were minted from Globe copper. By 1924 the Old Dominion, Globe’s greatest mine had produced $134 million in gold, silver and copper.
Like all western mining towns Globe produced an abundance of colorful and independent characters. One of those was a Frenchman named Andre Mural. He grew peaches along the road leading up to one of the mines. Each morning as the miners were walking up to work they’d help themselves to Andre’s peaches. He was chagrined and told them to stay out of his orchard but they’d just laugh. They should have known that it’s not a good idea to ruffle his feathers. Hell hath no fury like an annoyed Frenchman.
One day Andre went down to the local drug store and purchased a needle, syringe and a supply of croton oil. Croton oil is a powerful purgative and irritant that causes severe diarrhea. That evening Andre injected croton oil into the peaches on each tree that bordered the road up to the mine.
The next morning the miners paused to pluck peaches off Andre’s trees just as they did every morning. But something was different. They failed to notice the duplicitous smile on the Frenchman’s face as he sat quietly on his porch. He seemed to say, “Help yourself boys, take all you want and eat all you take.”
Had they been more observant they might have surmised he was up to some mischief.
There was quite a bit of chaos as the miners scrambled to get in line for the ore cars that doubled as primitive privies down in the mine later that day.
Old timers in Globe say Andre Mural was the only man in western history to shut down an entire mine for three days and live to tell about it.
Today, there is a street in Globe named for Andre Mural. One can’t help but wonder if it could in part, be in honor of his bold little act of defiance.
An ordinance had been passed in Globe stating a house of prostitution couldn’t be less than 400 feet from a school. When the Old Central School opened in 1891 some local citizens insisted the brothel was too close and must be closed. The madam insisted her establishment predated the school and she wasn’t about to be intimidated. She had an equal number of “concerned citizens” who agreed.
The local town marshal was called in to arbitrate. He decided to measure the distance between the two structures with a 400-foot rope. Anchoring it to the front door of the school he walked to the brothel, arrived at the front door and then stepped inside the parlor. The rope extended four feet into the front room.
With the wisdom that would have done Ol’ King Solomon proud, the marshal declared that all business activities must be conducted and in the small bedrooms that lay just beyond the end of the rope.