CHAPTER IX. EARLY PIONEERS AND SETTLERS
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Pauline Weaver—Friendly With Indians—Discovers Gila Placers, Also Weaver Diggings—Death of—Charles O. Brown—Member of Glanton Band—At Tucson at Time of Confederate Invasion—Had Monopoly of Selling Liquors and Gambling—Brought First Sewing Machine into Territory, Also First Baby Carriage—Built Congress Hall in Tucson—Wrote "History of Arizona"—L. J. F. Jaeger—Ran Ferry at Yuma—Established Town of Sonoita—First American Store in Tucson—Charles D. Poston Prospects and Opens Mines—Appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs—Promotes Irrigation—Herman Ehrenberg—Mining Engineer—Town of Ehrenberg Named After Him—Early Settler at La Paz—Killed by Indians—Peter Kitchen—A Successful Rancher—Fortified Houses—Fights With Indians—Description of His Ranch—Hiram S. Stevens—Becomes Rich in Arizona—Elected Delegate to Congress—Story of His Election—James Pennington and Pennington Family—Harassed by Indians—Story of Capture of Mrs. Paige by Indians—James Pennington and Son Killed by Indians—W. H. Kirkland—Raised First American Flag
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.
Charles O. Brown, who has been mentioned in these pages already, was born in New York, and when but a young man came west. He is said to have been a member of the Glanton band which was engaged in gathering scalps of the Indians in Chihuahua, for which they received $150 each. Reference to this band has been previously made. Brown had gone to California when Glanton and his associates were murdered by the Indians at Yuma. It is not certain when he returned to Arizona, probably about the year 1858. He was a saloon man and a gambler, a dead shot, and it is said that he had several notches on his gun. He was in Tucson at the time of the Confederate invasion, and remained there after the Confederates left. When the California Column arrived he was, as before stated, given a monopoly for the selling of liquor and gambling in Tucson by Colonel West. From there Brown went to the Mesilla Valley, where he married a Mexican woman of good family, and settled permanently in Tucson about the year 1864 or 1865. He was very prosperous in his saloon business, his saloon becoming the popular resort of all classes when the prospectors, miners and adventurers began to flow into the southern part of Arizona. He brought into the Territory the first sewing-machine, which was a great curiosity to the Mexican inhabitants of Arizona and Sonora. Many came from as far as Magdalena in Sonora to see a machine which sewed rapidly by the application of a little foot-power. Upon the birth of his first son, he sent to St. Louis and brought in a baby cariage, an unheard of thing
|How it was made,|
|And who made it.|
|The Devil was given permission one day,|
|To select him a land for his own special sway;|
|So he hunted around for a month or more|
|And fussed and fumed and terribly swore,|
|But at last was delighted a country to view|
|Where the prickly pear and the mesquite grew.|
|With a survey brief, without further excuse|
|He took his stand on the banks of the Santa Cruz.|
|He saw there were some improvements to make,|
|For he felt his own reputation at stake;|
|An idea struck him and he swore by his horns|
|To make a complete vegetation of thorns;|
|He studded the land with the prickly pear|
|And scattered the cactus everywhere,|
|The Spanish dagger, sharp pointed and tall|
|And last—the choya—the worst of all.|
|He imported the Apaches direct from hell,|
|And the ranks of his sweet-scented train to|
|A legion of skunks, whose loud, loud smell|
|Perfumed the country he loved so well.|
|And then for his life, he could not see why|
|The river should carry more water supply,|
|And he swore if he gave it another drop|
|You might take his head and horns for a mop.|
|He filled the river with sand till it was almost|
|And poisoned the land with alkali,|
|And promised himself on its slimy brink|
|The control of all who from it should drink.|
|He saw there was one more improvement to|
|He imported the scorpion, tarantula and|
|That all who might come to this country to dwell,|
|Would be sure to think it was almost hell.|
|He fixed the heat at one hundred and seven|
|And banished forever the moisture from|
|But remembered as he heard his furnace roar,|
|That the heat might reach five hundred or|
|And after he fixed things so thorny and well,|
|He said, "I'll be d—d if this don't beat|
|Then he flopped his wings and away he flew|
|And vanished from earth in a blaze of blue.|
|And now, no doubt, in some corner of hell|
|He gloats over the work he has done so well,|
|And vows that Arizona cannot be beat,|
|For scorpions, tarantulas, snakes and heat.|
|For with his own realm it compares so well|
|He feels assured it surpasses hell.|
In his gambling hall and liquor saloon, Brown had a mint, but it went almost as fast as made. He was very generous to his friends, and he managed in this way to squander a fortune. He was, also, always staking men for prospecting, which seldom proves a lucrative venture. He died a few years ago, leaving no property whatever.
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
In 1851 he returned to Yuma with the troops under General Heintzelman and General Thomas. He established the second ferry just about seven or eight miles from the present Fort Yuma school, which was then the Fort Yuma Military Reservation. They fought with the Indians about a year, and at the end of that time peace was made with the Indians. The treaty was made at the Jaeger house. The Yuma Indians have never broken the peace treaty. During the years 1851–54 Fort Yuma was established and the building completed. My father was at this time carrying passengers across the river, also large droves of cattle and sheep being driven into California by the Luna and Baca families from New Mexico. On the discovery of the Vulture Mine at Wickenburg, my father hauled out the first train load of ore from the mine, which was shipped to San Francisco. He had contracts with the Government for hauling supplies to all the forts up to 1863. He was one of the stockholders in the first canal in the Salt River valley. He also established the town of Sonoita, just across the line in Sonora, and from there he drew a great deal of his supplies furnished to the Government. In
(The part left out in the above designated by asterisks, is a description of Mr. Jaeger's trip to San Diego, on the return part of which he was severely wounded by the Indians. This is given in full in an earlier chapter of this work in that portion devoted to the Yuma ferries.)
Charles D. Poston, whose name is thoroughly identified with the early history of Arizona, and to whom we have had occasion to refer to heretofore, and will, in future volumes record his further activities, was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, April 20th, 1825. He was left motherless when twelve years of age, and soon thereafter was placed in the County Clerk's office, where he served an apprenticeship of seven years. He was in the office of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, at Nashville, for the next three years, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. Upon the annexation of California,
In 1856, having accomplished the task he had assigned himself, Mr. Poston returned to Arizona, provided with funds for prospecting and opening mines, which were furnished by a New York company. Afterwards he was transferred to the New York office when the civil war broke out, for, as we have seen, all work upon these mines was then abandoned. Upon the organization of the Territory in 1863, he was appointed by President Lincoln, Superintendent of Indian Affairs. This office he held for about one year, when he was elected first Delegate to Congress from the Territory of Arizona. At the conclusion of his term, he made a tour of Europe, and visited the Paris Exposition of 1867. Returning to Washington, he engaged in the practice of law there. When the news of the Burlingame Chinese Embassy came over the water, it aroused an ambition to see the historic places of Asia, and in company with J. Ross Browne, an old friend and the then minister to China, he crossed the ocean, bearing with him a commission from Mr. Seward to visit Asia in the interests of immigration and irrigation, and was also the bearer
Before the inauguration of President Hayes, Mr. Poston was appointed by President Grant, register of the United States Land Office of Arizona, and he also served as consular agent at Nogales, Mexico, and Military agent at El Paso, Texas. The five years subsequent were spent in Washington, where he promoted the interests of Government irrigation, a measure which has since been so perfected that it is making homes for many thousands of our citizens upon the arid lands. For some time prior to his demise, he lived in Phoenix, where he died on June 24th, 1902.
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 Goliad 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
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), Heintzelman as President, Ehrenberg was appointed topographical and mining engineer, and surveyor, for that company. For a number of years he was actively engaged in the operation of the Cerro Colorado and other mines near the Sonora line, the reports upon which first gave him a reputation as a mining engineer in San Francisco and New York. Ehrenberg's map of the Gadsden Purchase, although the first, was accredited as being one of the best at that time of the Territory of Arizona. In 1862–63, Mr. Ehrenberg was attracted by the rush of miners to the Colorado River, and was one of the earliest settlers at La Paz, where he made his residence at the time of his death. In connection with B. Phillips, he took an active part in developing the Picacho mine near La Paz. He was interested with Messrs. Gray, Cunningham and others in the Harcuvar Copper Mines, afterwards known as the Yuma Copper Company, on the direct road from La Paz to Weaver, to which road the miners gave his name in 1864, in view of his being the first to call attention to its great advantages.
Mr. Ehrenberg visited Prescott in May or June, 1864, when the town was being laid out. During the year 1866 he spent considerable time there examining the mines in that vicinity. He wrote several excellent descriptions of Northern Arizona for the Alta California, of which paper he had long been a favored correspondent.
A man of acknowledged integrity, he was both scientific and practical; a careful and accomplished student of geology, mineralogy and metallurgy, he was an authority on all matters relating to mining. His reports were never overdrawn, and invited most critical investigation. To have him speak well of a mine was to establish its reputation at once. As a writer he was clear and precise, and his contributions to the various mining journals would make a valuable volume. He was a fearless and enthusiastic pioneer. He loved the frontier and was never so happy as when roaming around the hills of Arizona, eagerly examining their rich metallic formation. He was unobtrusive as a citizen, but was progressive. He was repeatedly offered offices, but the only one of which there is a record of his having accepted was, when in connection with Thomas E. Dunn, in 1864–66, he was Indian agent for the Mohaves on the Colorado River Reservation. All other political offices he refused, although in all that tended to the welfare of society, he had the liveliest concern.
His death was mourned, not only through the Territory of Arizona, but by the mining men of San Francisco and New York, and in the scientific circles of Europe. He was shot at Dos Palmas, California, on the road from San Bernardino to La Paz, in October, 1866, by parties unknown, but supposed to have been Indians.
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 a fertile valley, with a small hillock near one extremity. Upon the summit of this has been built the house from which no effort of the Apaches has ever succeeded in driving
Within the hospitable walls of the Kitchen home the traveller was made to feel perfectly at ease. If food were not already on the fire, some of the women set about the preparation of the savory and spicy stews for which the Mexicans are deservedly famous, and others kneaded the dough and patted into shape the paper-like tortillas with which to eat the juicy frijoles or dip up the tempting chili colorado. There were women carding, spinning, sewing—doing the thousand and one duties of domestic life on a great ranch, which had its own blacksmith, saddler, and wagon-maker, and all other officials needed to keep the machinery running smoothly.
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 re-election, 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 have wagered, keeping your winning.’’ In this way he enlisted the active support of the sporting fraternity of Arizona, with the result that he was elected by a handsome majority. He served two terms as Delegate to
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 Indians, together with a little girl about ten years of age, said to be a Mexican, and who it is said, afterwards became the wife of the late Charles A. Shibell of Tucson. Mrs Paige, not being able to keep
"Old Man" Pennington, the head of the family was described as a man of excellent sense, but rather eccentric; large and tall, with a fine face and athletic frame, he presented a good specimen of the American frontiersman. One of the principal streets in Tucson is named for him. This is about all that is known of the Pennington family.
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