Items 1 to 10 of 1161 total

By Bob Baker

The Chinese were among the many immigrant groups that migrated west during the 1860s -70s seeking work on the railroads or in the gold fields. Some of these Chinese, along with others journeying from the west coast, sought jobs in the Prescott area.  

Joe Ah Jew arrived in Prescott in 1870 when he was just 17 years old. He became a highly successful caterer, culinary manager, and restaurant proprietor over the next 40 years. During those years, he learned English, became a Christian and largely adopted American ways. While he generally wore western clothing, he did keep his queue, a unique hair knot, recognizing his Chinese heritage.       

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By Susan Cypert

Ranching traditions in central Arizona run deep.

When Marion Perkins, family patriarch, arrived in central Arizona from Texas with his family and stock in November of 1900, his oldest son Rob recalled the challenges of traveling to Springerville and Holbrook. Lightning caused cattle to stampede. Wranglers spent days looking for horses and cattle that wandered off. The few watering holes they came across were filled with alkali, and a mule was almost lost to quicksand. Feed was in short supply.

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By Susan Cypert

Before long, the chuckwagon was adopted all over the West. The heyday for trail drives and roundups lasted about twenty years, from the end of the Civil War to the 1880’s, but during those years, millions of cattle were driven thousands of miles with “Cookie” in his chuckwagon following along.

Cowboys respected the cook and called him affectionate nicknames like Coosie or Cookie, Belly Cheater, Biscuit Roller or Gut Robber. They never touched his tools or utensils, or helped themselves to a taste before dinner, or used his worktable or cooking fire for any reason.

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By Susan Cypert

Besides cowboys, there is probably no more quintessential symbol of the Old West than the chuckwagon.

Some pioneers drove versions of mobile kitchens across the plains on their way West, but the chuckwagon as we know it was specifically invented for Texas cowboys who were driving herds thousands of miles to market or the nearest railroad, or for roundups that might last for months. Before the chuckwagon, each cowboy was responsible for his own food and had to make do with what little he could carry.

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By Mick Woodcock

Prescott’s first ever major structural fire on May 2, 1867 caused a stir in the business community, as it was only by great effort that a larger loss of buildings and inventory was averted. Men turned out to battle the blaze with no equipment except what buckets and ladders could be found.

The town had a water source by August of 1864, a well on the Plaza which  provided an…”abundant supply for the town.” The problem was getting the water from the Plaza to a building on fire. The answer seemed to be formation of a volunteer fire department.

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A Case of Arson

Mar 06, 2021

Over the years, Prescott, and Montezuma Street in particular, have experienced fires which destroyed buildings and created hardship for territorial Prescottonians. Perhaps the earliest of these was reported in the May 4, 1867 Arizona Miner.

At about 3:00 AM on May 2, a fire was discovered at the Pine Tree Saloon which sat on the south end of Whiskey Row where the present day Galloping Goose is. The fire spread north quickly, destroying or damaging a number of other businesses, including a bakery, a theater, and a mercantile.

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By Barbara Patton

Last week’s article recounted the events leading up to the agreement between the city of Prescott and Sharlot Hall which allowed her to move into the Old Governor’s House and make it a museum.

In March of 1928, Sharlot moved into a shabby and dirty old building. Sharlot’s cousin, Sam Boblett, helped her with the cleaning and necessary repairs to make the house habitable. Since her ranch in Dewey was for sale, Sharlot moved all her furniture to Prescott. She set up her bedroom and workroom in the attic garret, where she planned to do her writing. A water heater was installed and a kitchen was set up in the back of the house.

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By Barbara Patton

How did a deteriorating log house whose history was covered in clapboards and neglect become a museum for territorial history?
 

The building, built in 1864, was home for the first two territorial governors. When the capital moved to Tucson in 1867, the governor’s private secretary, Henry Fleury, purchased the house. He defaulted on the mortgage, but was allowed to live in it until his death in 1895. After Fleury, the residence changed hands a couple of times before owner Joseph Dougherty converted it to a duplex and a rental property. To give the building a Victorian look, he covered the ponderosa logs in clapboards and added a dormer and side porch.
 

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By Bob Harner

Although most Arizonans were initially thrilled to learn their new territorial governor was the famous “Pathfinder” and former Presidential candidate, John C. Frémont, many quickly became disillusioned because of his frequent personal business trips and perceived lack of interest in territorial affairs. Territorial Secretary John J. Gosper, who officially filled in for an absent Frémont, hoped to build on that public attitude in his quest for full-time governorship.

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By Bob Harner

Despite considerable effort, John Jay Gosper experienced only thwarted ambition in his campaign to become Arizona Territorial Governor.

After losing his left leg in the Civil War, Gosper married a widow with a twelve-year-old son, earned a degree at Eastman Business College and tried farming and raising hogs. He first entered politics in Lincoln, Nebraska, as a member and later president of the city council. Continuing his political rise, he served as Nebraska’s secretary of state from 1873 to 1875.

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