Items 1 to 10 of 1320 total

by Marjory J. Sente

From 1880 and for more than four decades, J. (Josiah) Q. Stephens was a prominent rancher and businessman as well as a mine developer in Yavapai County. In 1880 Stephens moved his family to Prescott from Roseburg, Oregon, driving 160 head of horses and mules. According to J.Q.'s son Joe, interviewed in the February 21, 1947 Yavapai County Messenger, the demand for the stock was high and it was quickly sold, allowing him to buy cattle ranches. Stephens’s first purchase was the 7-Up ranch at Camp Wood. The Head and Lincoln outfit, the 5-Bar, the Diamond and a Half and the Long Meadow were ranches that Stephens operated in Williamson Valley.  

Although more than a thousand miles from Roseburg, Oregon, Stephens was in close contact with his friend Asher Marks. In 1883 his letter to Marks stated, “I think I will come back there and get some more good mares as they are very high here. . . This is a good country to make money in, but it takes time to get acquainted and get started right.”

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by Kathy Lopez


Williamson Valley’s history of the mid-1860s could be told as a “Tale of Two Toll Roads” with Hardyville Road playing the major role in the communities of Walnut Creek and Williamson Valley. Ehrenberg Toll Road takes the lead when southern Colorado River towns and American Ranch Stage Station in Mint Valley enter the narrative.


In 1858 Arizona's first gold rush began when Jacob Snively (surveyor, engineer, Texas Ranger and miner) led an expedition that discovered a deposit of gold on Gila River about 20 miles east of Yuma. Snively was involved, with Hermann V. Ehrenberg, in the discovery of silver in Castle Dome Mountains north of Gila City. From these beginnings, further discoveries of gold, silver and copper enticed prospectors up and down the Pacific Coast and throughout the southwestern US.


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by Drew Desmond

Everything was ready for the unveiling of the Rough Rider monument except for one minor detail: the statue was missing! W.A. Drake, vice president of the railway, instructed a special agent to find it and get it to Prescott in time for the unveiling. It turned out that the railcar carrying the heavy bronze broke an axle and the statue was “buried in the yard at Albuquerque," the Weekly Journal-Miner disclosed. After being loaded into a new railcar and sent express, it broke another axle at Winslow. After several hours of repair, the journey continued. At Ash Fork, a special express engine was waiting to race the cargo to Prescott without further incident. 

“In anticipation of the three-day celebration,” the Weekly Journal-Miner wrote, “Prescott is already assuming its holiday attire: flags, bunting, and the red white and blue being displayed on every side. Not the least of the downtown decorations will be the numerous electrical displays which, at night, will make the Plaza a veritable blaze of vari-colored lights. The [old] county court house is being decorated from dome to foundation with flags and bunting and numerous incandescent lights; four strings of lights running from the four corners of the building…to the four corners of the Plaza, [adding to] the beautiful effect.” The statue was mounted onto its base the day before the unveiling, which was the ninth anniversary of Buckey’s death. “A guard was sent over the statue [that] night to prevent anyone removing the wrappings,” the paper wrote.

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by Drew Desmond

After Governor Kibbey appointed the Rough Rider Memorial commission, designs for the monument were accepted. The first submitted was by architect M.J. Mahoney who used the Statue of Liberty as the base for the figure. Frank Leich, a sculptor from San Antonio, suggested a monument that was broad at the base and not too tall, “with a good portrait statue of O’Neill surmounting it, either in bronze or marble,” the Weekly Journal-Miner recorded. “You cannot make a number one equestrian statue out of it for the amount of money at the disposal of the committee,” Leich explained.

Despite this, the governor’s commission, headed by Robert Morrison, headed to New York to see what could be done. When the Prescott contingent arrived in the east, their “enthusiasm began to sink when the price was more and more brought home to [them,]” the Weekly Journal-Miner related.

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by Worcester P. Bong

Over the past 200 plus years, the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) has been tasked to protect, promote and advance the health and safety of our country. Created in 1798 as the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service, they focused on protecting against the spread of disease from sailors returning from foreign ports and maintaining the health of immigrants entering the country. In 1912 Public Health and Marine Hospital Service was shortened to the U.S. Public Health Service. Congress broadened USPHS scope by authorizing investigations into human diseases (such as tuberculosis, malaria, typhus fever and leprosy), sanitation, water supplies and sewage disposal. The USPHS coordinated with other nations to address public health issues. 

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by Drew Desmond

As soon as news reached Prescott of William “Buckey” O’Neill’s death in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, one of his closest friends, MJ Hickey, was inspired to want a memorial to the late sheriff and mayor in his hometown. Hickey organized “a meeting of Prescott citizens [who] decided to incorporate the Captain O’Neill Volunteer Monument Association,” the Weekly Journal-Miner reported. They immediately began taking donations and recording pledges.

Several novel methods of fundraising were employed. One farmer donated a gigantic pumpkin, which was auctioned off for the fund. A city councilman bought it for the price of nearly an average month’s wages and then put it back up for auction to continue funding the statue. According to Sharlot Hall, Joe Crane’s pumpkin “was sold again and again until it had brought many dollars into the fund.”

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Are You a Downwinder?

Apr 13, 2023

By Shannon Williams

(Originally published February 03, 2018)


The term Downwinder is well known in Yavapai County. Downwind radiation exposure is cited in cancer diagnoses and blamed for the deaths of long-term residents of the county. 

During the Cold War, the U.S. government built a huge nuclear arsenal. Above-ground testing began in 1951 at the Nevada Test Site where over 100 nuclear bombs were detonated. All nuclear testing stopped in 1958 by agreement among the United States, the United Kingdom and the USSR. In July 1962, the government detonated several above-ground nuclear devices  for the last time. Nuclear testing continued below ground at the Nevada Test Site. January 21, 1951 to October 31, 1958 and June 30, 1962 to July 31, 1962, when above-ground testing was conducted, were later designated as Downwind time periods.

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By Kathy Lopez

Daniel O’Leary took a solemn oath when he registered to vote in Mojave County, Arizona in 1890. He swore: he was age 57, born in Ireland (1833), a resident in Fort Mojave, and a naturalized American Citizen “by virtue of his father.” Beyond those truths, there are volumes written about O’Leary, the scouting legend.

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By Bradley G. Courtney

Last week’s readers learned that Robert “Bob” Brow left Deadwood, South Dakota, at the age of 24 and eventually wound up in Walnut Grove, Arizona. There the worst natural disaster in Arizona’s history occurred on February 22, 1890, when the Walnut Grove Dam broke.

The dam disaster soon led Bob to Prescott again where he would become a household name and historical figure still known by many in Prescott today. In 1892 he began his legendary stint with Prescott’s Palace Saloon when he purchased a 50 percent interest, co-owning it with L.F. Hale. Bob bought out Hale in 1895, becoming the sole proprietor of the Palace.

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By Bradley G. Courtney
 

Robert “Bob” Brow, born circa 1857 in Missouri, was a true western pioneer. His name is the one most associated with the early days of Prescott’s iconic Palace Saloon, the oldest, if not most historic, saloon in Arizona—perhaps even the West, and the man himself led a fascinating Old West life. 

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