By Dewey Born

Jules Baumann was born in Chur, Switzerland in 1855.  At the age of 22 he sailed to NewYork.  An older cousin, Daniel Hatz, had been a member of the Walker Party and was in the hotel and restaurant business in Prescott.  He encouraged Jules Baumann to join him which he did, arriving in 1879.


While engaged in the hotel business, he made the acquaintance of men who owned and played various musical instruments.  They formed the Prescott Town Band complete with uniforms.  Jules Baumann was the bandmaster . Band concerts were not new to Prescott.  The regimental band at Whipple had performed regularly on the Plaza since the founding of the town.  This was not the first civilian band either.  In 1866, Lucien Bonapart Jewell formed a civilian band which, according to newspaper accounts, was very professional.  Mr. Jewell left town in 1867, and the band ceased to exist.  A photograph of Jules Baumann in his uniform as band master is on exhibit in the Museum Store at the Sharlot Hall Museum. 

In 1892, in partnership with George S. Porter, Jules started a candy factory.  Accounts in the Journal Miner state that this is the first candy factory in Prescott.  Earlier accounts in the same paper, however, show that Dan Hatz started a candy factory on April 21, 1876.  Baumann did start the first ice cream parlor in Prescott.  Not only could one buy ice cream in a dish it was also possible to get it in a cone.  This was a real novelty.  An old, undated clipping describes the process of making the cones.  "A thin batter is poured upon an iron griddle heating upon the stove.  When done, the cake is removed and, while still hot, rolled into a cone shape.  When cool this becomes an excellent container for ice cream.  One not only enjoys the delicious contents but the container is also a delightful treat." 

In May 1891, Mr. Baumann produced a panoramic view of Prescott in color.  In addition to the streets, he included the more prominent buildings.  Around the margins are water color drawings of many businesses, churches and residences.  St. Lukes' Episcopal Church is depicted as a stone building rather than wood.  The church had not been built yet and Jules Baumann relied on the architect's rendering.  A full color copy is also the Museum Store. 

Frank Murphy and the Santa Fe completed a rail line from Williams to the Grand Canyon in 1904.  Four years later Jules and Mrs. Baumann visited the Grand Canyon.  While there Jules painted some views of the canyon.  One of these, titled The Grand Canyon of Arizona, became well known.  Copies were sold for 50 cents at the northern Arizona stops on the Santa Fe Pacific Railroad.  This included a text and mailing tube. 

Mr. Baumann spent as much time as possible prospecting for minerals.  He located some copper ore in the hills about two miles east of Humboldt.  The samples assayed from 35% to 46% copper with some gold.  He staked a claim called the "Swiss Girl".  Later he located an additional 24 claims covering an area of about 500 acres.  In order to raise the money needed for development of the mine he formed a corporation called the Baumann Copper Company.  Authorized to issue 600,000 shares of stock the number actually sold is not known.  The ore was sold to the Val Verde Copper Co. Smelter in Humboldt. 

A house was built on one of the claims and the Baumann family moved from Prescott.  He could now devote all of his attention to developing the mine claims. 

Sometime in the Fall of 1909, the Baumann Copper Company was dissolved and a new company, Baumann Mines Company, was formed in March 1910.  Share holders of the Baumann Copper Company were offered the opportunity to purchase shares in the new company at a reduced price.  Shares were then offered to the general public.  Finances were a continual problem.  The ore was of good quality and brought a fair price but the costs of producing it were always a little more. 

How long the Baumann Mines Co. continued to exist is not known.  The last record of a meeting of the board of Directors is dated December 30, 1916.  The only topic at this meeting was to renew a loan from the Bank of Arizona for $1,680.00. 

Jules Baumann continued to live and work at the mine until his death in November 1929, at the age of 74.  He was survived by his wife, a step-daughter, Mrs. William Schnieder, Humboldt postmistress, and a step-son. 

Dewey Born is a forth generation Prescottonian and his book Stories of Early Prescott is available at the Museum Store.

Sharlot Hall Museum Photograph Call Number: (m137pd). Reuse only by permission.
Jules Baumann in his mining company office in 1897.  In addition to Baumann's mining interests he had owned the first ice cream store, was a bandmaster for the community band, and drafted a lithograph of town showing the location of all buildings.