Location: Yavapai County AZ

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...

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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...

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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...

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