Items 1 to 10 of 1051 total

By Murray Smolens

Old Bill Williams was in a quandary. It was November 1848; snow was early and deep in the mountains of the West. John C. Frémont, the famous “Pathfinder,” was determined to find a route for a transcontinental railroad through the Rockies. He had already been warned by eastbound travelers not to proceed, but the Pathfinder was stubborn. Unable to find old pal Kit Carson to lead or to persuade any other reliable guide to help, he ran into Old Bill in Pueblo (in present-day Colorado) who was recuperating from a clash with his old friends, the Utes, and their Apache allies. Frémont wouldn’t take no for an answer, double-dog-daring the 61-year-old mountain man into a decision that resulted in disaster.
 

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By Drew Desmond

As Yavapai County grew at the turn of last century, the Old Courthouse had become too small. At a cost of $6000 an addition was constructed, but the old building never had the structural integrity to support it.
 

As soon as it was married to the Old Courthouse, the new addition seemed to demand an immediate annulment: "The occupants of the new addition to the courthouse...are becoming alarmed for their safety. The entire new addition is becoming detached from the old building, there being a crack...extending from the ceiling to the floor a quarter of an inch wide," the paper reported. One judge refused to even enter the building.
 

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By Bob Harner

After two failed trapping expeditions in present-day Arizona, James Pattie settled into a more sedate (and more lucrative) life with his father, Sylvester, operating the Santa Rita del Cobre copper mines in New Mexico Territory. Unfortunately, this venture also ended in failure when the mine’s assistant manager absconded with most of their money. At the same time, they learned that the Mexican president had ordered all Spanish-born residents to dispose of their property and leave the country. The mine’s Spanish-born owner, who had been renting the mine to the Patties, hoped to sell them the mine. With the loss of their funds, this proved impossible.
 

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By Bob Harner

If you have been following our series on “How Arizona Got on the Map,” you’ll recall that by 1821, the land that would come to be known as Arizona was part of Mexico. There were Spanish-speaking settlements at Tubac and Tucson. North of Tucson the land was largely ungoverned. There were no English-speaking settlements; there was no Anglo presence. Into this void stepped a handful of rugged individualists who cared little for governments or boundaries. These were the “Mountain Men” – men like James Ohio Pattie.
 

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By Jan Cleere

Few records exist detailing the life of the Apache warrior Lozen who rode beside her brother, Chief Victorio, during the height of the Indian wars. With valor, determination, and perseverance, she played an important role in western history, as did many other women who gave their lives during the early years of westward expansion.

 

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Cold-Blooded Conman

Jul 21, 2018

By Leo Banks

Perhaps the most cold-blooded conman early Arizona ever knew, Louis Eytinge suffered from tuberculosis, weighed 119 pounds and had two months to live. He should’ve died unknown, another bankrupt soul in a rugged land struggling to emerge from its frontier past. Yet upon entering Yuma Territorial Prison in 1907, prisoner No. 2608 made a remarkable comeback. By 1922, he was celebrated nationwide.
 

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By Heidi Osselaer

The circumstances surrounding Arizona’s deadliest gunfight were so improbable, most people believed vengeance was the only logical explanation. After all, why would a federal posse travel all night on horseback over rugged terrain with a winter storm approaching to arrest men for non-violent crimes?
 

The bungled arrest attempt resulted in the deaths of four men—three Graham County lawmen and the owner of a mining claim in the Galiuro Mountains. Although evidence suggested the officers initiated the gunfight when they surrounded the cabin at dawn on Sunday, February 10, 1918, the surviving occupants of the cabin were found guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison.

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A Basketful of Stories

Jul 07, 2018

By Dave Lewis

There was a time that wicker luggage was all the rage.  Families might pack things they needed and head out on a great adventure.  Or they might move from their winter homes to their summer places.  Strong, lightweight wicker served for carrying their possessions.

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By C. Gilbert Storms

Soon after the Gadsden Purchase was ratified in April 1854, Americans began settling in the Santa Cruz and Sonoita Creek valleys of southern Arizona. Popular Western travel writer John Ross Browne wrote that by 1861 the Santa Cruz Valley was well populated between Tucson and the Calabasas ranch, fifteen miles south of Tubac. But when he visited the area just three years later, Browne found that the ranches and mine sites of the area were deserted and in ruins. The immediate cause of this sudden reversal was raiding by Western and Chiricahua Apaches.  But early relations between Apaches and Americans in the Southwest had been non-violent.  So how did American settlement in the region come to be wiped out by Apache raids?
 

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By Dave Lewis

Previously:  By the late 1700s and into the early 1800s, Spaniards -- explorers, soldiers, priests and settlers -- had criss-crossed Arizona several times.  There were permanent Spanish settlements at Tubac and Tucson, nowhere else.  Spain had tried and failed to establish a foothold at the critical Colorado River crossing at Yuma.  Spanish progress in Arizona seems to have stopped.

 

Of this period, historian Edwin Corle wrote:

 

“From the death of Father Garces (1781) up to 1821. . . the history of all of Arizona is meager.  It was a land where nothing happened.”

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