Discovery Park Campus presents The History of the Clifton-Morenci Mining District
By Stephanie Caffall
Thatcher, AZ—Discovery Park Campus presents The History of the Clifton-Morenci Mining District Eastern Arizona College’s Discovery Park Campus will present a free, family-friendly lecture on Saturday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m., in the Jupiter Room of Discovery Park Campus entitled, The History of the Clifton-Morenci Mining District. In this lecture, speakers William C. “Bill” Conger and Theodore L. “Ted” Cogut, long-time Morenci Mine employees, will discuss the many changes that occurred in the district’s copper-producing operations. They will cover the process of underground mining, producing copper in the pyro metallurgical process, and today’s method of open pit copper mining produced in the hydrometallurgical process. The lecture will also explain the discovery of the ore in the Clifton-Morenci Mining District, emphasizing the people who made it all happen. Conger and Cogut collaborated together to write the two-volume, History of Arizona’s Clifton-Morenci Mining District and Miners and Cowboys.
“Bill tells an interesting story of finding his way to the Morenci Mine, where very few people would have a more complete experience of mining operations there,” says Paul Anger, Discovery Park Campus director.
Conger received a degree in geology in 1951, and later worked as a geologist, ore control engineer, labor relations representative, and employee/benefits supervisor. He has also written the history column for the Morenci Copper Review, has served as chairman of the Morenci Chapter of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, and is currently vice-president of the Greenlee County Chamber of Commerce, as well as president of the Greenlee County Historical Society. He is originally from New Jersey, he now lives in Thatcher with his wife.
As a young man, Cogut worked at a Detroit war plant that made aircraft parts during WWII, and received extensive education in meteorology while in the Army Air Corps. Later, he completed two combat tours in the Vietnam War where he was decorated with the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit.
Cogut founded the Phelps-Dodge Morenci Environmental Department and served as editor in chief of Morenci Copper Review. He serves as chairman of the Morenci Chapter of the America Institute of Mining Engineers, president of the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, president of the Greenlee County Chamber of Commerce, and as president of the Greenlee County Historical Society. He has also written a book, Forecaster! , which describes his personalized account of meteorological operations beginning with the World War II era.
“We are excited to have these wonderful gentlemen come and share their rich experiences and extensive knowledge of Greenlee County mining history,” says Anger. “With their amazing backgrounds I’m sure they will have some very entertaining stories to share!”
There will be door prizes, Gallery Tours, Space Shuttle simulator rides, and public viewing of night sky objects through the 20” Tinsley Telescope, all free of charge and minutes away from home.
For more information about this event or about Discovery Park Campus, contact Paul Anger, Director of Discovery Park Campus at (928) 428-6260.