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 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 Samuel Hughes

Samuel Hughes, probably the oldest pioneer Arizonan now living, was born in Wales, British Isles, August 28th, 1829. In 1837 his father settled in Pennsylvania, where Mr. Hughes lived up to 1848, when he became a cabin boy on the Mississippi River, which vocation he followed until 1850, at which time he came to California overland from St. Louis. His first mining was done in Hangtown, California. In 1851 he went to Yreka, California. In 1852 he crossed the mountains to Rogue River Valley in Oregon, where he was one of the first to discover Rich Gulch at Jacksonville. In 1853 he kept Cole station at the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains, and remained there until 1856, when he returned to the Shasta Valley, and soon afterwards became interested in the stock business. In 1857 he was compelled to leave California for the milder climate of Arizona, being, at that time, in the last stages of tuberculosis. He started with a party from Yreka in that year. At Yuma it seemed that his lease of life had apparently expired, with no hope of renewal, but after a few days’ rest, the sick man determined to make one more effort to reach his destination, and started again with the party. At Maricopa Wells, about four miles east of the present station at Maricopa, he was seized with a hemorrhage and...

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Biography of L. J. F. Jaeger

The following biographical sketch of L. J. F. Jaeger was furnished me by his son, now living at Tucson: “My father, L. J. F. Jaeger, was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He worked as a mechanic in the Baldwin shops, Philadelphia. Later was appointed mechanic in the arsenal at Washington, D. C. In the latter part of 1848, he took the first sailing vessel out of Philadelphia bound for San Francisco, the ‘Mason. ‘ On reaching San Francisco he worked for a while as a carpenter. At that time the Bay extended to Montgomery Street. He was then employed as engineer on the boats running between San Francisco and Oakland at $25.00 per day. Giving up this position, he joined a party formed to go down to the Colorado River. They had heard of a big influx of people coming into California from New Mexico and Mexico. The party landed at a point about 9 miles below the present site of Yuma, at what was known as Fort Yuma. They had to saw their own boards out of cottonwood trees to make flat boats to ferry the traffic over the river. This was the beginning of the ferry they established. Later on my father bought out the other parties and operated the ferry on his own account. The company built a stockade at the ferry to protect themselves from...

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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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Biography of King S. Woolsey

Among the most notable of the early pioneers of Arizona, was King S. Woolsey. He was a native of Alabama, but was raised to manhood in Louisiana, from which state he emigrated to California when only eighteen years of age. He came into this territory in 1860 in company with Mr. Benedict of Tucson, and Colonel Jackson, who settled in Yavapai County. When they landed in Yuma, all the money in the party was five dollars, which King Woolsey had. In addition he had a horse, rifle and pistol, and the others were similarly mounted and armed. They had ridden all the way from below San Francisco into the territory. Woolsey’s first occupation in Arizona was that of a mule driver; he then became the owner of a mule team and made contracts for the delivery of hay, etc., to the Government. Later he engaged in partnership with George Martin, who afterwards lived at Yuma, and they purchased the Agua Caliente Ranch. When Albert Sidney Johnson’s party came across the territory on their way to join the Confederates, Woolsey joined them, but when they reached Maricopa station, he was taken down with smallpox, and was left behind. He was watched as a Secessionist for some time thereafter, but never took any part in the civil strife. The Texan invasion found him actively engaged in private business. He had many...

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Castle Dome Mining District

At a meeting held at La Paz on the 8th day of December 1862 by persons claiming interests in mineral veins near the Castle Dome range of mountains Col Snively was requested to act as Chairman and H. Ehrenberg as Secretary of the meeting and the following resolutions were adopted. “That the District wherein said veins are situated be called the Castle Dome District and be bounded as follows: Beginning at the peak known as Castle Dom – Thence 10 miles south – Thence East 10 miles – Thence north 10 miles – Thence West 10 miles to the starting point. “2 That a mining claim in this District shall be 100 yards along said vein including all the angle spurrs &c belonging thereto – “3 That the Discoverer or Discoverers of a vein shall be entitled to 100 yards extra on each & ever vein discovered by him or them. “4 That in taking possession of claims the shall be clearly denned by conspicuous stakes or monmts of rock with the names of persons claiming. “5. That 100 yards on each side of the vein where not conflicting with prior rights shall be considered part of the claim, and shall belong to the same, with any and every substance or thing found within these bounds on or below the surface. “6. That all claims shall be recorded within...

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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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Weaver Mining District

Weaver Mining District Name and Boundary of District “1st This District shall be known as Weaver District and bounded as follows – to wit, commencing at the mouth or sink of the Hassayamp Creek following up the eastern bank of said creek to the Tanks on the Southern boundary line of Walkers, thence West to the head of the Canyon of the St. Maria, thence southerly to Indian Springs continuing in said direction crossing Date Creek near the Indian cemetery ten miles from said crossing, thence east to the place of beginning. Size of Claims. “2nd – The size of Claims in this District shall be one hundred & fifty feet on creeks or Gulches and seventy five feet on each side. Number of Claims, &C. “3d No person shall hold but one claim in this District except the original discoverers (Ten in number) and the discoverer of new creek or Gulch diggings who are & shall be entitled to one additional claim, all claims worked & recorded within five days from the time of location shall hold good for sixty days. After the expiration of said sixty days all claims shall be worked on one day in ten. Arbitration. “4th’. All disputes in reference to mining claims in this District to be settled by arbitration. Mexicans. “5th No citizens of Mexico shall hold or work claims in this...

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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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Pioneer Mining District

Miners Meeting on the Oolkilsipava River May 10th 1863 Mr. S Shoup President J. V. Wheelhouse Secretary “Names of original prospectors as required by Resolution No seven – Capt. J. R. Walker. George Bloper. G. Gillahan. Jos. E. Walker, Jr. A. C. Benedict. Jackson McCrackin. John Dixon. S. Shoup. Rodney McKinnon. Jacob Linn. T. J. Johnson. Felix Cholet. Jacob Miller. B. Ellis. M. Lewis. Jas. V. Wheelhouse. A. B. French. Jas. Chase. Jack Swelling Chas. Taylor. George Coulter. Frank Finney. H. B. Cummings S. C. Miller. Wm. Williams. “Preamble, laws & resolutions adopted & passed by the ‘Walker’ prospecting & mining company for their mutual guidance and protection at a meeting of said company on the Ookilipava River May 10th 1863 Sec. 1st To all to whom it may concern, be it know that the ‘Walker’ prospecting & mining company have taken up certain portions of Ookilipava river & Tributaries for mining purposes have formed the said portion into a District to be called Pioneer District extending from the head of said river to a tree below the falls at the foot of the mountains (on which the notice of claimants is put up) taking in all tributaries, gulches, & ravines drained by said portion of river to main summit on both sides. Sec. 2d That at a miners meeting duly called & at which a majority shall pronounce...

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Biography of Henry Wickenburg

Henry Wickenburg was a native of Austria, born in that empire in 1820. In 1847 he came to New York. He went to San Francisco in 1853, and came to Arizona in 1862. He remained at Fort Yuma for a time, then went up the river to La Paz. At La Paz, he learned that a party of explorers had left there a few days before* to go through the country to Tucson. Henry took their trail and overtook them at what is now known as Peeples’ Valley, having travelled nearly two hundred miles alone through the Apache country. After leaving Peeples ‘ Valley, the party travelled east to what is now Walnut Grove, then on to Turkey Creek and Black Canyon. Near Turkey Creek one of the party found some white quartz which had coarse gold in it. His name was Goss. He said nothing of his find to the balance of the party, but the next year he came back, and in company with Timothy Lambertson, worked some on the mine and packed the ore to Walnut Grove and arrastred it. From Black Canyon the exploring company made their way to Tucson. There Henry went to work driving a team for the United States Government. We next find him on a piece of land in Peeples’ Valley in 1863, where he learned through King S. Woolsey of...

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Yapapei (Sic) Mining District

By Laws Leihy & Mellons Camp September 10th 1863 “Notice is hereby given that a Miners Meeting will be held at Leihy & Mellon ‘s Camp on the 28th day of September for the purpose of forming a Mining District and to make laws governing the same – September 28th 1863 “The meeting called in accordance with the above notice was organized by electing A. B. Smith – President & Geo. W. Leihy Secretary – “A committee of 5 were elected to draft laws for government of District & its boundaries – A. B. Smith, Geo. W. Leihy, G. C. Welch, C. G. Mellon & G. C. Cross the gentlemen of committee “On motion meeting adjourned one hour to allow committee to make report. 4 o’clock P.M. 28th 1863 “Meeting again assembled – The committee made the following report & respectfully asked its acceptance & adoption as the laws & boundaries of the District. Resolved 1st That the District be known as the Yapapei District. 2nd That the District be bounded on the North by commencing at the North end of Point of Mountain Range lying on the West side of the Assamp River, near the headwaters of the Agua Frio River, from thence along the dividing ridge of said Mountain in a southerly direction to a point intersected by the Trail now traveled from Peoples Ranch to what...

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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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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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