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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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By Worcester P. Bong

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the evacuation and internment of all persons from the West Coast deemed a threat to national security to internment centers further inland. The order gave the military broad powers to ban any citizen from the restricted zone known as Military Area 1, which encompassed the western half of Washington and Oregon, the southern half of Arizona, the western half of California from the Oregon border to Los Angeles and everything south of Los Angeles. The remainder of the U.S. made up Military Area 2.
 

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By Marjory J. Sente

By 1902, with $250,000 of capital from the sale of stock, B-B Co. was considered the largest mercantile in the Arizona Territory. Reasons for growth included the local economy, railroads and an inexpensive means of communication. The B-B Co. boasted it had customers throughout the entire Rocky Mountains, Southwest and Arizona Territory.
 

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By Marjory J. Sente

The Great Fire of July 14, 1900 destroyed B-B Co.’s three-story brick store on Gurley Street and nearby warehouses, as well as stock and fixtures. The warehouses on the Hill and Gooseflat were saved, according to a telegram Fredericks sent to Weeks (who was in Chicago). During early stages of the fire, Secretary Aitken entered the store, opened the safe and saved the cash and books. He reported he had sufficient records of B-B’s accounts to continue business.

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By Marjory J. Sente

The Bashford-Burmister Co., or B-B Co., had a long history in Prescott before becoming the largest mercantile in the Arizona Territory. Carrying supplies from barbed wire and canned salmon to ready-made clothes, it met the needs of people on the frontier.  

In 1863 Lincoln appointed Levi Bashford as Surveyor General of the Arizona Territory. In January 1864, he and his brother Coles, who had been appointed Territorial Attorney-General, arrived in Governor Goodwin’s party. Soon Levi set up the first store, described as a small trading hut, in response to the needs of miners and the Goodwin party. Miners used gold dust to buy a limited variety of food and supplies.

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By Eric Jacobson

George Emory Goodfellow (1855-1910) was a frontier physician who became the United States’ foremost expert on the treatment of gunshot wounds.

Goodfellow attended Wooster University Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating in 1876.  That same year, George joined his father Milton in Yavapai County, Arizona, where Milton was a mining executive with the Peck Mine Company.  The mine in the Bradshaw Mountains produced $1.5 Million dollars in silver (approximately $37 million dollars today) between 1875-1885.  For two years George was the Peck Mine Company doctor.

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