Collection: History Of Arizona

History of Arizona

The following collection provides 28 biographies extracted from the History of Arizona by Thomas E. Farish in 1915, as well as histories on the 6 mining districts found within Arizona. If you’d like to peruse the more historical portions of the manuscript then I suggest you view The History of Arizona at our sister site which provides the first two of the eight volume set.

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Biography of Herman Ehrenberg

Herman Ehrenberg, for whom the town of Ehrenberg on the Colorado River is named, was a German by birth. At an early age, he left his native country, and, landing in New York, worked his way down to New Orleans, where he had located when the Texas War of Independence broke out. He enlisted in the New Orleans Grays, and was present at the battle of¬†Goliath¬†and Fanning ‘s defeat, being one of the few who survived the barbarous massacre of prisoners who surrendered at that time to the Mexican authorities. He returned to Germany at the close of the Texas War, and wrote an account of that interesting period, giving full information of the new country, which induced a large number of Germans to settle in Texas. He returned to the United States in 1840, and joined a party at St. Louis, which crossed the continent to Oregon. From thence he went to the Sandwich Islands, and, after wandering in Polynesia for a few years, returned to California in time to join Colonel Fremont in his efforts to free California from the Mexican rule. When the Gadsden Purchase was perfected, his restless ambitions were directed to Arizona, with the history of which Territory he was closely identified to the time of his death. When the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company was organized in 1856, with Major, (afterwards Major General),...

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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...

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Biography of Peter Kitchen

One of the earliest pioneers of Arizona was Peter Kitchen, who came to the Territory in 1854. He was born in Covington, Kentucky, in 1822. Little is known of his early life beyond the fact that he served in some capacity during the Mexican War. He was a man, as I remember him, about five feet ten inches in height, rather spare, always wearing a wide brimmed sombrero; very quiet in his manner; low and soft spoken. There was nothing about the man to indicate the daredevil of dime novels, which is associated in the Eastern mind with the pioneers of the West. After coming to the Territory, he lived at the Canoa for several years, and then moved to a ranch near Nogales, called the Potrero, where he farmed a little, and raised cattle and hogs. He fortified his residences, both at the Canoa and the Potrero by building the adobe walls of the houses higher than the roofs, and having loopholes to shoot through. On many occasions he and his employees stood off Apache attacks. He lived in the heart of the Apache country, and, although subjected to severe losses, he refused to leave the country, but defied the red devils to the end. The following description of his ranch is taken from Bourke’s “On the Border with Crook.” “Approaching Pete Kitchen’s Ranch, one finds himself in...

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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...

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Biographical Sketch of Hiram S. Stevens

Hiram S. Stevens was born in Western Vermont on March 20th, 1832, and came to Arizona in 1855. When a youth of 19 he enlisted as a United States soldier and came to New Mexico in Company “I,” First United States Dragoons. On being discharged from the service in 1855, he came to Arizona where he resided continuously up to the time of his death. At first he was a sporting man, then afterwards a trader and speculator, and in 1874, he was counted one of the richest men in the Territory. At this time he was elected Delegate to Congress. The story told of how his election was accomplished, is illustrative of the wild and woolly way of doing things at that time. The gambling fraternity was a very numerous and influential citizenship of Arizona. R. C. McCormick had served several terms in Congress, and in seeking a reelection, was supported by the administration, both territorial and national, which was a force hard to overcome. Stevens was equal to the occasion. He took twenty-five thousand dollars for his campaign fund and sent his agent to all the prominent gamblers in the Territory, saying to them: “Bet one thousand; bet two thousand; three thousand, according to the influence of the man and his following, on Stevens being elected, and if you win, return to me the amount which you...

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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....

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Biography of James Pennington

James Pennington, familiarly known as “Old Pennington,” was also one of the pioneers of Arizona. The Pennington family consisted of James Pennington, his wife and five children, three daughters and two sons. They moved from Tennessee into Texas, and from thence pushed westward through New Mexico into Arizona and settled upon the Sonoita near Fort Buchanan in the year 1857 or 1858. During the time of the abandonment of the country by the Americans “he occupied,” says Ross Browne, “a small cabin three miles above the Calabasas, surrounded by roving bands of hostile Indians. He stubbornly refused to leave the country; said he had as much right to it as the infernal Indians, and would live there in spite of all the devils out of the lower regions. His cattle were stolen, his corrals burned down, his fields devastated; yet he stood it out to the last. At times when hard pressed for food, he would go out in the hills for deer, which he packed in on his back at the risk of his life.” Frequently, in his absence, his daughters stood guard with guns in their hands, to keep off the Indians who besieged the premises. About this time, Miss Lucera S. Pennington, was married to a Mr. Paige, and was living with her husband in a canyon where she was captured by a roving band of...

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Biographical Sketch of John T. Alsap

John T. Alsap came to Arizona a few months before the organization of the Territory, and settled in what is now the city of Prescott. He was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, in 1832. He was graduated in 1854 from the New York College of Medicine as a bachelor of law and physician, in which year he crossed the plains, and for some years thereafter practiced medicine to some extent in California in conjunction with mining and prospecting. Upon his arrival in Arizona he took up mining and prospecting in the vicinity of Prescott. The Apache Indians being troublesome the following winter, he accompanied King Woolsey on an expedition against the tribe as surgeon of the command. He was appointed the first Territorial Treasurer of Arizona, and served during the administration of Governor McCormick. In 1868 he was elected to the Legislature as the representative from Yavapai County. In 1869 in company with his wife’s brother, W. L. Osborn, he settled in the Salt River Valley, about a mile northeast from Phoenix, and thereafter was intimately connected with the development of this section. He was elected to the legislature in 1870, and aided in the organization of Maricopa County. The same year he was Probate Judge of the new county. His term in the Assembly expired in 1872. He was admitted to the practice of the law in Arizona in...

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Biographical Sketch of W. H. Kirkland

W. H. Kirkland, who raised the first American flag in 1856 in the town of Tucson, was born in Petersburg, Virginia, July 12th, 1832, and emigrated to Arizona shortly after the Gadsden Purchase, eight or nine years before the organization of the Territory. He and his wife were the first white couple married in Arizona, being married in Tucson May 26th, 1860. In 1863 and 1864, he spent a good deal of time around Walnut Grove mining and ranching, about which time he purchased the ranch located by Pauline Weaver, and there engaged in stock raising. Later he settled in the Salt River Valley, where Mrs. Wayne Ritter, his daughter, was born in Phoenix on August 15th, 1871. She was born in the second house which was built in the city of Phoenix. Kirkland died in Winkleman, Arizona, January 19th, 1911, at the age of 78 years, and was survived by a wife and seven...

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Biography of William S. Oury

William S. Oury was born in Wythe County, Virginia, on August 13th, 1816. In early life he drifted to the west and was with General Sam Houston, at the battle of San Jacinto. He came to Arizona in 1856, and engaged in stock raising and trading. He bore his part in the early history of the Territory, and was a member of several expeditions against the Indians. He organized the expedition against the Indians which resulted in what has been called the “Camp Grant Massacre.’ ‘ The following is his own story concerning it; and is a paper read by him before the Society of Arizona Pioneers on April 6th, 1885: “Having been chosen by our President to give a paper upon some events connected with the early history of Arizona, the writer has selected for his theme the so called Camp Grant Massacre, believing it to be one of the events most important in its result to the peace and progress of our Apache cursed land. To give a mere recital of the act of killing a few more or less of the bloodthirsty savages without the details of the causes and provocations which drove a longsuffering and patient people to the adoption of remedial measures so apparently cruel in their results, would be a great wrong and injustice to those of our friends and neighbors who in...

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Biography of Estevan Ochoa

Estevan Ochoa was a New Mexican by birth. In his early youth he went to Kansas City, where he obtained employment and acquired a fair knowledge of the English language. He started in business on his own account at Mesilla, New Mexico. He made a success of the enterprise, and thereafter started a number of branch stores in both New Mexico and Arizona. The firm of Tully & Ochoa, of which he was a member, was one of the largest mercantile establishments in Tucson. In Bourke’s “On the Border with Crook” is an account of his visit to Tucson, in which he has this to say of Estevan Ochoa: “This rather undersized gentleman coming down the street is a man with a history – perhaps it might be perfectly correct to say with two or three histories. He is Don Estevan Ochoa, one of the most enterprising merchants, as he is admitted to be one of the coolest and bravest men, in all the Southwestern country. He has a handsome face, a keen black eye, a quick, businesslike air, with very polished and courteous manners. “During the war, the Southern leaders thought they would establish a chain of posts across the continent from Texas to California, and one of their first movements was to send a brigade of Texans to occupy Tucson. The commanding general – Turner by name...

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Biography of Peter Rainsford Brady

Among the early pioneers of Arizona, none bore a more prominent part in its development than Peter Rainsford Brady. He came, on his paternal side, from good old Irish stock. His mother, Anna Rainsford, was from Virginia. He was born in Georgetown, District of Columbia, August 4th, 1825; received his education, in part, at the Georgetown College, later entering the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, from which he was graduated about the year 1&44. After cruising around the Mediterranean Sea in the United States vessel “Plymouth,” he resigned from the navy, and left his home October 26th, 1846, for San Antonio, Texas, where he enlisted as a Lieutenant in the Texas Hangers, and served with distinction in the Mexican “War. After the war Mr. Brady joined a surveying party under Colonel Andrew B. Gray, who made a survey from Marshall, Texas, to El Paso; thence across the country to Tubac and from the latter point made branch surveys, one to Port Lobos on the Gulf of California, and the other to Fort Yuma and San Diego. Mr. Brady served as a captain on this expedition, and was prominent in many Indian fights. When the work was completed, the company disbanded at San Francisco. Mr. Brady was of an adventurous spirit, and in his younger life preferred the wilderness to the smooth paths of civilization. In 1854 he came to...

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Biography of John F. Stone

The Tucson Post prints the following concerning John F. Stone: “Stone Avenue was named for John F. Stone. Just how or why he came to the country no one now living seems to know. He was a man of considerable means and of magnificent physique. Of powerful build and wearing a heavy black beard he stood distinguished among his fellow men. A rich gold vein had been discovered in Apache Pass, and upon this he built a small reduction mill. While en route to Tucson with the proceeds of the first month’s run, he was killed by Indians in Dragoon Pass, about 1500 yards east of the old stage station. The driver of the stage, two soldiers and two other civilians were killed at the same time. Sometime in the early sixties, he built the first house on Stone Avenue. It was situated on the southwest corner of Stone avenue and McCormick Street, and is still standing.” Mr. A. F. Banta, in the Apache County ” Observer” gives the following account: “General Stone, as he was known in New Mexico, was Adjutant General of New Mexico under Governor Henry Connelly, appointed Governor in 1861. After the battle of Apache Canyon, the defeat of the Texans under Sibley, and their expulsion from the territory, via Fort Bliss, Stone resigned the Adjutant Generalship, and came down to Albuquerque, where, in partnership...

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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...

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