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Biography of Michael Goldwater

One of the earliest business men to settle permanently in Arizona was Michael Goldwater, who came to Arizona in 1860, locating at La Paz on the Colorado River. At that time he was associated in business with Mr. B. Cohen, and founded a large forwarding and trading business besides being Government contractors and merchants. They erected the first mill upon the Vulture Mine, and when it was completed, Mr. Goldwater, with Mr. James Cusenberry, the superintendent, took charge of the property, and ran the mill for about ninety days, paying off all the debts upon it and then turning it back to the owners. In 1870, having large Government freighting contracts and the Colorado River having receded from the town of La Paz, Mr. Goldwater laid out the townsite of Ehrenberg on the Colorado River, as a result of which the town of La Paz was soon abandoned. In 1869 Mr. Goldwater secured a contract to supply Camp Whipple and Fort Verde with corn, but a corner having been made in the market, he was unable to obtain the corn in the Territory, except at a great loss, and travelled overland to New Mexico, where he bought his supply and freighted it in by ox teams to Verde and Whipple. In 1870 he opened a mercantile business in Phoenix, the first store of any size in what is now the Capital city. After about four years, he disposed of his business in Phoenix, to J. Y. T. Smith, King Woolsey and C. W. Stearns, retaining his business in Ehrenberg. In 1876 he opened a store in Prescott, which is...

Biography of Jackson McCracken

Jackson McCracken, a member of the Walker Party, served in the First Legislative Assembly of Arizona Territory in 1861, as a member of the lower house from Yavapai County. He was born in South Carolina in 1828. After his arrival in the territory with the Walker Party, he spent his time in mining and prospecting. Evidently, he was not very fastidious as to dress or personal appearance, for the following story is told of him: After his election, some of his constituents went to him and told him that he was now a member of the First Legislature of the great Territory of Arizona, and he should be dressed and equipped in keeping with the dignity of the office. He replied: “I am in the hands of my constituents.” For answer they said: “All right Jack, we’ll attend to you.” So they formed a committee, took Jack down to Granite Creek, where they had a tub made from the end of a whiskey barrel, filled with water and soap. They gave him a good wash, scrubbed him down with a horse brush, wiped him off well, dressed him up with clean underclothing and a hand me down suit; took him to a barber and had his whiskers and hair trimmed properly, and turned him over to the Legislature, a man of the people, a thoroughly clean and Progressive Democrat. McCracken was an indefatigable prospector. With few advantages in early life he became a wanderer in the west, prospecting through Colorado and New Mexico until finally he reached Arizona. He discovered the Del Pasco mine, and also the McCracken mine,...

Biography of Charles Trumbull Hayden

Charles Trumbull Hayden, whose name is linked with the early history of Arizona, was born in Windsor, Connecticut, April 4th, 1825. When eighteen years old he taught school in New Jersey, and afterwards near New Albany, Indiana, and in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1848 he loaded a wagon with merchandise, and left Independence, Missouri, for Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he marketed his goods and returned in the fall. He continued in business at Independence for some time, but when the gold excitement began in 1849, he outfitted a train of ox teams, and started over the Santa Fe Trail. He arrived in Santa Fe late in 1849, and met some parties from California, who bought his outfit, consisting of fourteen wagons loaded with supplies, each drawn by six yoke of oxen. He then returned to Missouri to purchase another stock of goods and establish himself in business in Santa Fe. He was a passenger upon the first Overland Stage to Tucson in 1858, to which place he moved his stock of goods from Santa Fe and established himself in business there. He engaged in contracting with the Government for the furnishing of supplies to the soldiers and did a large freighting business to the mines, hauling supplies in, and ore out. He had many freight teams and brought his merchandise in these early days from Port Ysabel on the Gulf of California. After the close of the Civil War, supplies were brought up the Gulf of California from California. Mr. Hayden was appointed the first Probate Judge at Tucson under the laws of New Mexico, and bore his...

Biography of Edward C. Peck

Edward C. Peck was born in Canada in 1834. When a young man he came to the United States and in 1858, he joined a party of emigrants en route to California. He came over the old Santa Fe Trail as far as Albuquerque, New Mexico, at which point they decided to strike westward along the Whipple trail and emigrant route between Albuquerque and Los Angeles. Without any serious mishaps, the party reached the villages of the friendly Zunis. Although warned against the Navajos and Apaches, the party continued their journey to the west. They reached the little Colorado and crossed to the west side at Sunset, near the present town of Winslow. They then travelled down the west bank of the little Colorado to the mouth of the Canyon Diablo, from which point on they were continually harassed night and day by Apaches. By the time the party reached Antelope Springs, near the present city of Flagstaff, the Indians had become too numerous to proceed further. The emigrants decided to retreat at once. They travelled all night in comparative safety, which was a disappointment to the Indians, who expected to murder the party at their leisure. The party travelled altogether at night until they reached the Zunis, where they stopped for some time to recuperate their worn out animals and themselves, following hunting and trapping until the fall of 1863, when Peck returned to Arizona in company with two others, Collier and Farrington. Peck secured the first hay contract at Fort Whipple, which was then located in Chino Valley. It was for three hundred tons of hay at...

Biography of Samuel C. Miller

Samuel C. Miller as we have heretofore seen was one of the Walker Party, the first to discover gold in northern Arizona. He was the youngest member of this exploring band, and was, in many respects, a very remarkable man. He was born in Peoria, Illinois, November 4th, 1840. At the age of fifteen, he crossed the plains to the Pacific coast with his father and mother, making the entire journey on foot. He was naturally a frontiersman, which may account for the fact of his joining the Walker party at the age of twenty-one years to explore the wilderness of Arizona. During the days of Indian dominancy, he had many thrilling experiences with the savage tribes, the most notable of which was the killing of Wauba Yuba, at which time he was one of the largest freighters in the Territory, owning a large number of mule teams, and engaged in hauling from the Colorado River to the different army posts, mostly under Government contracts. During this time, he had many adventures with the Indians, the principal one, as has been noted, being the killing of Wauba Yuba, the Hualapai chief, the following account of which is taken from the Journal Miner of October 13th, 1909, and may be considered the personal statement of Mr. Miller himself: “In the early days, Mr. Miller took passengers along with merchandise, Pullman accommodations barred. He left Hardyville on the Colorado River on one trip loaded to the brim on the main deck and in the ‘trail’ wagon there were three families, and that means several women and more children. George Banghart was...

Biography of J. W. Swilling

J. W. Swilling, known as “Jack Swilling,” was born in the state of Georgia in 1831. He emigrated to Missouri in early life, and there settled down. After having resided in that state some four years, his wife died, leaving one child, a girl, who afterwards married and lived in Missouri. About the year 1857, Swilling emigrated to Texas where he remained for two years, when he came to Arizona, and was in the employ of the Overland Mail Company for quite a length of time. During the Rebellion, Swilling was a lieutenant in Captain Hunter’s company of volunteers in Baylor’s regiment, and occupied himself with thirty of his men, in protecting settlers and others from the Indians along the Rio Grande in Southern New Mexico, and along the road to Tucson, Arizona. When the Confederates were driven out of New Mexico, Mr. Swilling remained in Arizona, and a few months afterwards, was carrying the express for the soldiers and acting as guide for them through the countrv. The following winter, he joined the Walker Party. He was one of the party that accompanied Colonel Jack Sniveley, a veteran of the Texas War of Independence, and General Houston’s private secretary, in a prospecting trip when the mines of Pinos Altos were discovered, and Swilling, it is said, was at the head of the party that discovered Rich Hill, near Weaver Creek, in the lower part of Yavapai County, in the year 1863. Be this as it may, Jack Swilling accumulated quite a fortune, either from these places or others. In 1867, Swilling organized a company and built the first...

Biographical Sketch of A. F. Banta

A. F. Banta was born in Indiana in 1846, and came to the Territory in 1863. He was one of the chief Government guides and scouts, with headquarters at Fort Whipple, from 1865 to 1871. He was a member of the 10th Legislature, and introduced and passed a bill organizing the county of Apache, of which he became District Attorney, holding the office two terms, 1879-80 and 1889-90. He was Probate Judge of the same county in 1881-82; a member of the Legislature in 1883-84; Justice of the Peace at St. John in 1876; at Springerville in 1877-78, and County Assessor in 1880. He was the chief guide of the Wheeler Exploration Expedition, and also the 100th Meridian Expedition in 1873. He served as United States Marshal and Deputy Sheriff in the 80’s. He was the first postmaster at Springerville during President Hayes’ administration. At various times he has been an editor. His last adventure of this kind was editing the “Observer” at St. Johns, Apache County. His personal adventures would fill a volume. In the enjoyment of all his faculties, and in perfect health for one of his age, he is still scouring the country and prospecting. The writer saw him a few weeks ago when he was organizing an expedition to find what is known as the “Lost Dutchman...

Biography of Pauline Weaver

Probably, the first white settler, if, indeed, a trapper at that time could be called a settler, was Pauline Weaver, a native of White County, Tennessee. Of his early history there is little known. His name is inscribed upon the walls of the Casa Grande with the date, 1833. He is credited with having explored the Verde, and also the Colorado River numerous times. There was hardly a foot of the Territory of Arizona he was not conversant with. Differing entirely from the majority of the trappers of that day, he had no difficulties with the Indians, but was always free to enter their camps. He had the confidence of the Pimas, the Maricopas, the Yumas, the Wallapais, the Mohaves and the different tribes along the Colorado, speaking their languages fluently. He was never known to engage in any hostile expedition against them, but was frequently a peace messenger, arranging, as far as possible, any difficulties between the whites and the Indians, without resorting to arms. He discovered the placers along the Gila, and also the placers at Weaver Diggings near Antelope Creek in the southern part of Yavapai County, a full account of which is given in one of the succeeding chapters of this volume. Weaver located a ranch in Yavapai County, where he lived for many years, and died at Camp Verde in the late 60’s and is buried in the Government burial...
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