Items 1 to 10 of 1246 total

By Tyler J. Elsberry

The genesis of the World’s Oldest Rodeo can be traced to the development of early Prescott. Founded in 1864, Prescott grew as miners and cattlemen flocked to the area. The cattlemen capitalized on the area’s remoteness to establish numerous ranches. These ranches attracted cowboys who brought new blood to Prescott and supported the town’s economy. Ranches held biannual roundups (rodeos) during which cowboys engaged in long, arduous work. Afterward, they reveled in comparing their skills. These cowboy contests initially provided opportunities to establish bragging rights on who was the best roper or best bronc rider. Outside spectators and participants alike would root for and bet on their favored competitors.

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By Bob Harner

Although the popular image of Prescott in the late 1800’s may be of a wild frontier town centered on Whiskey Row, with drunken cowboys and miners engaging in frequent bar brawls and shootouts, the reality was far different. While the town had its wild west aspects, it also had a thriving and active “high society,” with the same kinds of community activities, sophisticated entertainments and social conventions as more “civilized” Eastern cities.

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By Nancy Burgess

This is Part 2 of a true story about an automobile – a 1913 Studebaker SA25 “machine” and the people who took it on an approximately 1,000-mile tour of Arizona in 1913.

An Arizona Auto Adventure: Clarence Boynton’s 1913 Travelogue” is the story of the excitement, sights, experiences, trials and tribulations of a road trip in the early days of automobile travel in a place and time when the “Wild West” of Arizona was still in evidence. The book includes all of Clarence Boynton’s journal of the trip, which he titled “An Account of the Watkins-Boynton 1,000 Mile Tour Through Northern Arizona, August 28 to October 3, 1913.” It is a treasure, and gives today’s traveler an eye-opening glimpse of travel in Arizona just one year after statehood.

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By Bob Baker

The title is only one of John Hance’s outlandish claims made to fellow travelers and visitors to the Grand Canyon from the late 1800s to 1919. He and his brother George arrived in the new town of Prescott in the Arizona Territory in December, 1868 and purchased land to farm along Granite Creek. The following year, John sold his share of the farm and homesteaded Orme Ranch, living on his earnings as a teamster. While hauling wood and hay for Fort Whipple and Camp Verde, he often entertained his fellow teamsters and travelers with tall tales of the old west. When the military business dropped off, he went bankrupt.

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By Parker Anderson

This year, Prescott celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of Sam Peckinpah’s motion picture, “Junior Bonner,” starring Steve McQueen. In 1972 it was not a commercial success nationwide, but locally, Prescott has always regarded it as “our” movie, filmed entirely in Prescott and set in Prescott against the backdrop of the Frontier Days rodeo.

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By Stuart Rosebrook

Fifty years ago, ABC Pictures was preparing to leave the movie business, but first, they had two final productions to release: Cabaret on February 13 and Junior Bonner on June 20, 1972. Both had major casts and directors and received positive reviews. Both are considered classics in their genres.

How did Junior Bonner get produced in Prescott? It started with the screenwriter making an inspirational trip in 1970 to Prescott’s 4th of July rodeo.

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By Bradley G. Courtney

Prescott’s Great Fire of 1900 was the pivotal point in the town’s history. Harry Brisley, a pharmacist who owned two downtown drug stores that would burn to the ground, was an eyewitness to most, if not all, of the Great Fire. He wrote of an incident that transpired during the earliest stages of the fiery nightmare.

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By Bob Baker

Hoomothya was a Kewevkapaya (Southeastern Yavapai) Indian child captured by the US Army 5th Cavalry before the Battle of Salt River Cave (Skeleton Cave Massacre). He witnessed the massacre and saw the bodies of his family members. Capt. James Burns, who led the attack, took responsibility for Hoomothya, renaming him Mike Burns.

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By Marjory J. Sente

Jessica E. McDaniel Hunter was born about 1877 to Andersen and Katherine McDaniel in Texas. Little is known about her until 1913 when ads for Madame Hunter’s business began appearing in the Prescott Weekly Journal Miner. Madame Hunter advertised herself as a beauty specialist and chiropodist (one who treats hands and feet), and a seller of bath salts. Her parlor, located at the Congress Hotel, was reachable by phone at 313. Not a doctor, she had “two diplomas from Chicago institutions for the practice of drugless treatment,” according to the November 8, 1919, Phoenix Tribune. The newspaper, a member of the National Negro Press Association, kept Arizona’s African-American community informed on local and national news.

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By Brenda Taylor

As the early pioneers established settlements, and towns began dotting the deserts and forests of the Southwest, a specialized group of frontiersmen began arriving in these newly formed places. These were not your ordinary pioneers; they were part artist, part technician and part chemist,  documenting the landscapes, contemporary Native American cultures and prehistoric ruins, miners and mines, shipping and freighting industries, businesses, townspeople and the population springing up around them. Some established photographic studios in burgeoning communities, and others were itinerant photographers who wandered through the deserts and woodlands documenting a fast-changing territory.

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