Items 1 to 10 of 1246 total

By Parker Anderson

On February 20, 2022, the Elks Opera House in Prescott turned 117 years old. It is perhaps the oldest operating theater in the Southwest. In its many years, the facility has had its ups and downs, but today it is considered one of the major assets of downtown Prescott.


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By Worcester P. Bong

As noted in Part 1, Arizona Airways ceased operations on March 1, 1948. After that, Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc (TWA) provided the only passenger air service into Prescott. But in June 1949, CAB authorized a new interstate route between Reno, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona for Bonanza Air Lines. CAB gave the Las Vegas-based Bonanza a three-year temporary certificate to operate this route which stopped in several cities, including Las Vegas, Nevada, and Prescott. CAB also gave Bonanza an opportunity to acquire TWA route 38 between Phoenix and Las Vegas and TWA route 2 between Phoenix and Boulder City, Nevada, if it could prove it had sufficient financial resources. By the end of the year, with support from TWA, these routes were transferred to Bonanza Air Lines.
 

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By Worcester P. Bong

On March 30, 2021, a new passenger terminal opened at the Prescott Regional Airport, Ernest A. Love Field in Prescott, Arizona. As reported in the March 31, 2021, edition of the Daily Courier, the terminal represented a new era for air travel into the Prescott/Quad Cities region. Currently, United Express (operated by SkyWest Airlines) connects Prescott with daily flights to Denver and Los Angeles.
 

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By Marjory J. Sente

The morning after her twelve or thirteen-hour stage ride to the Grand Canyon, Martha Burton Williamson wrote a penny postal card to her daughter Estella Williamson. The message was brief. “My Dear Estella, We are now at the camp ready to see the Grand Cañon. We arrived here at 9 P.M. yesterday. We are enjoying the trip immensely. Everything has been perfect and the trip not so hard as anticipated so far. Love to you all. Papa, Lillie, Virginia, yourself and Edward. Lovingly, Your Mama.” Martha added, “Grand Cañon, Ariz., June 9, ’95 Sunday A.M.”

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By Marjory J. Sente

Martha Burton Woodhead Williamson, better known as Mrs. M. Burton Williamson, was born in England in 1843. She came to America the next year with her parents and lived in the Midwest. Well educated, she became a newspaper reporter, and in 1882, the associate editor of the Terre Haute Enterprise in Indiana.
 

In 1887 the Williamson family moved to Los Angeles, where Martha became involved in education, natural science, history and women’s rights. A prolific writer and scholar, she was a member of the Southern California Press Association. Her involvement with this organization led to her trip to the Grand Canyon.
 

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By Bob Baker

Dr. Elliott Ladd Coues was truly a “Renaissance” man, serving as an Army doctor, naturalist, historian, ornithologist (study of birds) and author of numerous books in his lifetime.

Born on September 9, 1842, Elliott Ladd Coues graduated from Columbia College, Washington, D.C. in 1863. On March 30, 1864, he was commissioned an Assistant Surgeon in the U.S. Army (equivalent to First Lieutenant). In August 1864 he arrived at Fort Whipple in Prescott in the new Arizona Territory. In their book, Elliott Coues, Naturalist and Frontier Historian, Paul Russell Cutright and Michael J. Brodhead quote Coues’s letter to his mentor Spencer F. Baird, Asst. Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, describing his arrival at Fort Whipple: “I have just arrived here and assumed charge of the Hospital and I am at present busy getting official matters in order, - which will occupy me for a few days. I will then get settled in my tent, - we have nothing else to live in,- and shall try to prosecute Nat. Hist. with the same animus with which I left Washington for this country.”

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By Worcester P. Bong

Did you know many streets at the VA Medical Center of the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) in Prescott are named for important people? Look for these historic streets the next time you visit the Bob Stump VA Medical Center.

For instance, Whipple Parkway  and Fort Whipple are named after Major General Amiel Weeks Whipple, an American military officer and topographical engineer. Working for the US War Department between 1848 and 1854, he surveyed the new U.S. and Mexico boundary and a possible transcontinental railroad route along the 35th parallel from Arkansas to Los Angeles. On May 7, 1863 he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia. Whipple is buried at the Proprietors' Cemetery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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By Marjory J. Sente

Martha Rebecca Yount, an independent spirit as a youth, became a trail blazer for other women. The daughter of Dr. Clarence and Clara Criley Yount, she was born in Prescott on June 7, 1912 during the first months of Arizona’s statehood.

At an early age, Martha was smitten with horses and became an outstanding equestrian. At the University of Arizona, she joined the Desert Riders, an honorary riding society that rode in parades and competed in horse shows in Tucson and Phoenix. Specializing in English style, Martha rode for local roundups. Cowboys teased her but respected her riding expertise.   

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By Susan Cypert

For Dennis A. Burke, the words “Go West, young man” became the impetus he needed to leave his home and follow his dreams. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1859, he was the son of Patrick and Mary Ann Burke, immigrants from Galway, Ireland.

To get west, Dennis enlisted in the Army in 1878 and was assigned to Company B, 12th Infantry Regiment during the Indian Wars. He first served at Fort Verde, Arizona Territory, and was promoted to Corporal and then to Sergeant. Before his discharge in 1882, he served at Whipple Barracks in Prescott.

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By Bob Baker


The New Year’s Eve dances (hops) and balls were regularly mentioned or advertised in the Arizona Weekly Miner, Prescott’s local newspaper. The Dec 31, 1874 edition announced the “Odd Fellow’s Ball” on New Year’s Eve would be held at Hatz’ Hall. Each ticket would cost $10 and admit one couple. The paper predicted “Knowing that our Odd Fellows have never yet failed in giving good entertainments, we predict that the coming one will be first class.” On January 4, 1878, the Weekly Arizona Miner reported that “A large number of the residents at Fort Whipple were joined last evening in celebrating the New-year with a hop, at the General Crook Club Rooms…The lunch spread for the occasion was excellent, and the affair, in every particular harmonizing and brilliant.” The Dec 5, 1884 edition advertised a “Masquerade and Fancy Dress Ball” by the Milligan Guards at Howey’s Hall on New Year’s Eve. On Dec 29, 1886, the Arizona Weekly Journal Miner advertised the opening of the new opera house on New Year’s Eve. The opening would include a promenade, concert and ball. On January 5, 1887, the newspaper noted “A ball was given at the Thumb Butte school house on New Year’s Eve.” Again on January 4, 1888, the newspaper reported a “New Year’s dance, Monday night at the Bellevue Hotel.”

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