When Jeanne Johnson of rural Fayette read the recent Observer story about an antique bell with “Morenci Mich” cast into the yoke, it sort of rang a bell in her her head.
She got out a ladder to take a close look at the bell in her yard and sure enough, it looked exactly the same as the one in the paper on June 6.
The bell came from the homestead where her husband, Curt, grew up. Early settlers first built a cabin, Jeanne said, followed by a barn and finally a house. Curt remembers being told that his relatives acquired the bell when they lived in the cabin.
“The house was built in 1890, so the bell would have to be older than that,” Jeanne said.
She hadn’t looked at the bell in a long time, but she recalls being curious about it years ago when she worked at a hospital.
“I knew it had Morenci on it when we moved it here,” she said, “and I used to ask older residents at the hospital if they knew whether bells were ever made in Morenci.”
No one ever knew, she said, so the “Morenci Mich No. 3” bell remains a mystery.