© Mark Lipczynski
First known as Joy's Camp, Morenci was established in 1872 and built against the sides of Longfellow Hill in Eastern Arizona's Greenlee County. Settlers built up instead of out, and for decades, Morenci was known as "the town without a wheeled vehicle." Its roads were dangerous, and only footpaths led miners and their families into the heart of town. After statehood, town officials widened the roads, leading to an influx of new settlers — most of them miners. Renowned artist Ted DeGrazia's parents were among the town's new residents, and DeGrazia was born in Morenci. His father and uncles were miners there. So, too, was he — but only briefly. By 1933, the longtime contributor to Arizona Highways had left town to pursue a degree at the University of Arizona and a career in the arts. Although DeGrazia hit the road, Morenci's mines endured, and today, Freeport-McMoRan's Morenci Mine is the largest employer in both Morenci and the neighboring town of Clifton. The open-pit copper mine processes approximately 635,000 metric tons of ore each day.
— Kelly Vaughn Kramer