By Bob Baker
During the 1800s, mules were an essential part of the settlement and development of Prescott - indeed, of the Arizona Territory. Frontiersmen and early prospectors rode saddle mules and carried their provisions and equipment on pack mules. Early settlers used mules to ride, haul supplies, plow fields and transport equipment. Freight and stage lines often used them on their more mountainous routes. The U.S. Army quickly recognized the mules’ adaptability and began using them to ride and in pack trains in mountainous terrain.