1432 - W. Ray Aiken, 14 Aug, 1974, Transcript: Yes and Digitized: Yes


William Ray Aiken (b.1896 – d. 1983) was born in Lampasas, Lampasas County, Texas. He went by his middle name Ray. He came to Jerome Junction, Arizona in 1904. He settled in Prescott in 1966.  In addition to being a long-time rancher, he was the original builder of the Mingus Mountain Service Station near Potato Patch Campground. He, also, worked for the Arizona Department of Highways building the road in Chino Valley. He was instrumental in the naming of Perkinsville.  He was a resident of the Arizona Pioneer’s Home at the time of his death.






Oral History
Interviewee:  W. Ray Aiken (b. 02/28/1896 - d. 07/29/1983)
Interviewer:  Virginia Rice
Audio Number: 1432
Duration: 00:42:48
Date:  August 14, 1974
Topics Discussed:  Growing up in Chino Valley (1904-1920), Ranching, cattle and cowboy way of life, Mail transport in 1920s, Perkins Cattle Company, Marion Perkins family, Life as a chuck wagon cook, building gas station near Potato Patch on Mingus Mountain, and Citrus business in Mesa and Phoenix Arizona.

Time          Topics
00:00:18    Born in Lancaster, Texas, 1896
00:00:27    Came to Arizona in 1904 to Jerome Junction
00:00:42    Location of Jerome Junction in relation to Chino Valley
00:01:20    Father worked for railroad at first, then for Perkins Cattle Co.
00:02:22    Perkins Cattle Company/M.A. Perkins family – Rob, Nick, Ben, Fanny
00:02:40    Used to be Baker and Campbell 76 Ranch?
00:02:55    Located on Verde River/railroad station on ranch
00:03:10    Naming of Perkinsville
00:03:40    Nick Perkins only one left
00:04:00    Extent of ranch
00:04:30    Only made it through 3rd grade/bad eyesight
00:04:50    Early Chino Valley
00:05:56    Open range/ no fences except uncle’s place and Del Rio Springs
00:06:50    Travel to Prescott as kid
00:07:12    Water in Chino Valley/wells
00:08:15    Del Rio Springs/pumping station
00:09:10    Prescott pumping station at Del Rio
00:09:25    Del Rio Ranch
00:09:50    Worked at dairy there – about 1920
00:10:44    Tractors came in
00:11:48    Building of highway through Chino Valley
00:13:20    First car he ever rode in was a White/steam car
00:14:40    Annual cattle roundups/twice a year
00:14:29    Cattle shipped from Del Rio in fall
00:16:40    Worked for Perkins’ wife in kitchen when he was 10 years old
00:17:30    Making “light bread” (yeast)
00:18:27    Getting supplies from Prescott
00:19:28    Getting “Texas syrup”
00:19:35    Bashford Burmister Store/J.R. Gardner store
00:20:23    Shift in winter weather patterns
00:20:10    Left cattle out all winter
00:21:50    Chuck wagon cooking
00:22:40    Differences between stove and Dutch oven cooking
00:23:17    Biscuit making/dried fruit/beans
00:25:43    Chuck wagon/four mules
00:27:16    Breaking horses
00:28:01    Wild horse roundups/300 head in Chino
00:31:16    Rounding up cattle with a jeep
00:32:09    1923  bought  224 N. Marina, Prescott, with brother and made apartments
00:32:55    1924 hauled mail/passengers/freight to Jerome and Clarkdale
00:35:19    Jerome Union bought out by Arizona Bus Company
00:35:41    Not allowed to charge passengers on mail runs
00:36:20    Roads – Prescott to Clarkdale via Jerome
00:37:04    1925 – built filling station near Potato Patch/permit from Forest Service
00:38:10    Worked for highway department until 1946
00:39:45    1946 – Sold filling station, bought 100 acres of citrus groves 9 miles east of Mesa from “old Spear”,
                   Dodge Agency man
00:40:26    Citrus business/Phoenix Land Supply
00:41:46    Quit citrus business and went to work for Buckhorn’s, a bathhouse east of Mesa.
00:42:05    Bought a diner, ran it for three years
00:42:15    Ran a water works
00:42:46    Been at Pioneer Home 8 ½ years, lost an eye