Location: Yavapai County AZ

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: Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose...

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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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