Edited by Michael Wurtz 

A Yavapai College class is currently studying the year of 1914 in an attempt to learn about history from a different perspective. The students have chosen different topics from prostitution to the status of Native Americans in Prescott.  The students will be looking to see what the town was like in 1914 in relation to these topics. 1914 is mostly known for The Great War era, which was beginning to show Europe, and the world, that battles were no longer going to be glorious as trenches lined the quiet farms of eastern France and western Russia. Although removed, for the time being, from the troubles of WWI, Prescott was celebrating its 50th anniversary of its founding in 1864.

Prescott was also celebrating Thanksgiving eighty-three years ago this week. Along with the coverage of the war, the Weekly Arizona Journal-Miner, had news from a revolution in Mexico led by Pancho Villa. The Journal-Miner, which claimed to be "A Live Paper for Live People," also had news of the new schoolhouse in Mayer, a large fire in Little Rock, Arkansas, and a story titled, "Bad Brace of Women in Prescott." This article is vague at best, but it appears to be about two women who came to town recently "plying a vocation to put baby shows out of the realm of possibility and deplete the American Army to a minimum." The true meaning of this story seems to be obscured by the writer who felt the actual events were unspeakable. 

Prescott also had a grand Thanksgiving in 1914. "Swatting Flies Thanksgiving Day: Mercury Ranges From 28 to 70; Day Long To Be Remembered in Prescott" was the article about Thanksgiving activities published on November 27, 1914: 

"It simply does not lie in the power of the weather man to make a finer day for Thanksgiving than the one in Prescott yesterday, and it is probable that the people enjoyed it to the full measure of their capacity for such perfect things. 

In the morning the thermometer registered twenty eight above at 7 o'clock. At nine o'clock Old Sol had driven the silver point up twenty, and at noon it was 67, becoming still warmer than this as the beautiful afternoon wore slowly away. 

It seemed that the whole populace enjoyed a day in the open. All the automobiles available were in use. Save the sheriff's office, all of the office doors in the court house were locked from morning to night. The general delivery of the post office was open but one hour. Some of the down town stores were open a short time in the morning but there was none open in the afternoon. Professional men and their helpers also took a day off, save a very few who found it impossible to leave their desks until after the noon hour. The cigar stores, saloons, and pool halls were about the only places available for any one who wished to while away the time in the down town district. And in any of these places men were noticed during the day swatting at flies as though it was July, an incident of Thanksgiving 1914, which is worthy of transmitting to eastern people and pasting in the crown of one's hat. The plaza was a popular place. There the comfortable seats were crowded with people all the afternoon, who seemed to enjoy the beautiful day as much as the more fortunate ones with their automobiles and carriages. 

A number of sportsmen went to the turkey shoot at the Whipple Barracks in the afternoon, and many scores attended the football game between Prescott and Tempe teams at the ball park, witnessing the locals get another "trimming," it being the last game of the gridiron season. 

It was a great day-a feast day- a sport day, and a day which could not fail to inspire thankfulness on the hearts of all Prescottonians for a multiplicity of blessings. And it closed last evening with religious services at the Odd Fellows' hall, where Evangelist DeLaye delivered a Thanksgiving Sermon and the large choir, led by Prof. Pfaffenberger, sang many selections appropriate to the occasion. 

Today it will be cold stew. 
Tomorrow, turkey hash. 
Saturday, bone soup. 
And Sunday-just plain beef. 

Michael Wurtz is the Archivist at the Sharlot Hall Museum.

Illustrating image
Sharlot Hall Museum Photograph Call Number: (misc121pg2)
Reuse only by permission.

The Plaza was a popular gathering place during one of Prescott's warmest Thanksgiving on record in 1914. The William "Buckey" O'Neill Memorial had been unveiled in 1907.