CHAPTER II. EARLY CONDITIONS IN THE TERRITORY.


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CHARLES B. GENUNG—HIS STORY OF HOW HE BECAME A HASSAYAMPER—MEMBERS OF THE PARTY—DESCRIPTION OF TRIP FROM SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, TO ARIZONA—LOCATION OF MONTGOMERY MINE.

Charles B. Genung was born in Yates County, New York, on the 22d of July, 1839. When about sixteen years old he came with his family to California, and from there came into Arizona in 1863. He married in Arizona and raised a large family. He is still living on a ranch in Kirkland Valley, and will figure quite extensively in this history, as it progresses.

The following, from the pen of Mr. Genung, will give the reader a general idea of conditions in the Territory at that time:

‘‘ “HOW I BECAME A HASSAYAMPER.

“On July 27th, 1863, with a weak lung and bad cough, I left the fogs of San Francisco and went to Sacramento, and stayed long enough to contract a good strong case of chills and fever, which sent me back to my home in San Francisco, where I contracted a bad co1d, which, with a chill every other day, and a bad cough every night and morning, soon had me confined to my room and bed most of the time.

“My mother realized that I had to get away to some better climate, so when Dr. John R. Howard, a friend of ours, suggested a trip overland to Mexico, we both, mother and I, concluded that this was the best thing that I could do. It


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was soon arranged that Dr. Howard and I should go to Los Angeles by stage, there to outfit for the trip to Mexico.

“A prospector named Jack Beauchamp, whom I knew, called on me one clay after I had decided to go to Mexico. I told him of my plans and he said he would go with me if it was agreeable. In two days we started by stage, Beauchamp and my mother helping me to get to, and into, the stage. We stayed the first night at San Jose; the next morning we started, and did not stop only to change horses and eat till we got to Los Angeles, five days and nights travel.

“I was entirely worn out, but felt better than I did when I left San Francisco. We, the doctor, Jack, as we called Beauchamp, and I, had arranged to buy saddle horses and a pack horse, and go via Yuma and Tucson to Hermosillo, but in Los Angeles we met the news of a big find of placer gold at Rich Hill. So, after getting all the information we could, we decided to go via La Paz, take in the new strike, then on to the Pima Villages, where we would strike the Tucson and Yuma road.

“We soon had our outfit ready and at San Bernardino two more men joined our party, Cal Ayers and Ben Weaver, a half-breed son of Pauline Weaver. We were very glad of the company of these men, as Weaver had been over the road and knew all the water. The second day from San Bernardino we camped at a spring in a cave of the San Jacinto Mountains, called Agua Caliente. There my horse took a run on his rope and broke it, and started back to the settlements. I tried with the doctor's horse to head him off, but could not. There I was on foot and thirty miles out in the desert


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from Hobles ranch, the last white man's place in California at that time.

“I offered twenty dollars to any one who would get the horse and return him to me. Weaver undertook the job, and started right back, after instructing us to go ahead next day twenty-eight miles to an Indian ranch called Toros, where there was grass for our stock, there being none at Agua Caliente.

“I was to wait for Weaver to come up with my horse. I remained at the spring till about nine o'clock next morning, when a party of men rode up from the east, one of whom I recognized as a Dr. Webber whom I had met several years before at Webber Lake in the Sierra Nevadas. I made inquiry about the new gold field, and after telling me something about the new country, Dr. Webber walked me off a few steps from his party, and told me that he had on his pack mule, forty thousand dollars in gold, which he had taken out of his claim on Rich Hill since May, he being one of the eight original locators.

“He also told me that he was afraid of his companions, as they were a bad lot, but he intended to get to Dr. Smith's ranch that night, and then to San Bernardino. I guess he was right about his companions, for ‘Boss Danewood,’ one of them, was hanged in Los Angeles shortly after that by a mob.

“Dr. Webber also told me that there was a water hole at a point of the mountain, which we could plainly see about eight miles from us. After what Webber had told me about the gold and the nearby water, I became uneasy and anxious to get on, so I filled my gallon canteen with the warm water, hung my saddle, bridle and other equipment in a mesquite tree where


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Weaver would be sure to see them, and started to make the twenty-eight miles to Toros on foot. I drank all my water before I got to the point of the mountain that Webber had pointed out to me, and was getting very tired, and what made it worse for me, the soles were beginning to rip from my boots, a pair I had had made in San Francisco, and they were old and thread rotten. The hot sand would work into my boots and scour my feet until I would have to sit down and empty it out. This was drifting sand, such as formed the sand hills that once stood where Market Street, San Francisco, now is.

“Well, I trudged on as best I could, with my tongue perfectly dry. I finally reached what was then called Indian Wells, which the Indians had dug, and which in wet seasons had plenty of water, but at this time there was just a very little water in it, and that thick with insects. However, I got some of the stuff, and with a tin cup and handkerchief strained it into my canteen, and managed to swallow a little of it. It did not stay swallowed very long, still it put a little moisture into my mouth and relieved my thirst a little.

“I realized that I was in a bad fix, as I had heard Weaver say it was ten or twelve miles from Indian Wells to Toros. I pulled myself together, and after emptying the sand out of my boots, I started on. I had travelled something like a mile, when turning around the point of a sand hill, I came on a hole of water that had settled in the road from a recent rain. I was down on my hands and knees drinking like a horse in less time than it takes to write it. Although the water was as hot as a hot sun could make it, it tasted good to me. I drank until


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I could hold no more, then, filling my canteen, I made another start for the Toros. The unexpected happened. I had not travelled more than a half hour when I met Beauchamp coming with a led horse and saddle. That was the finest horse that I ever set eves on. Beauchamp had made up his mind after he got to Toros that I would get uneasy and start to follow on foot, so he took the doctor's horse and started back to meet me, and it was a good thing he did, as I was about all in. My feet were badly blistered, and the water I had drank made me very sick at the stomach.

“We stayed two days at Toros to rest the horses. Weaver came up to us on the second day with my horse. We only travelled a few miles next day to an Indian village, where there were a few old Indians and some small children. The place was called Cabezon, named after an old Indian who had a very large head. There we stayed one night and bought corn fodder for our horses, the salt grass at the Toros having made them all sick.

“The Indians at Cabezon told us a strange story of a ship which they said lay out in the great basin that is now the Salton Sea. They said that at one time that country was all under water, and the water full of fish. They pointed out the great water line on San Jacinto Mountain to the west of us and said that it was where the water had marked the rock. Any parties travelling on the Southern Pacific trains from Los Angeles to Yuma may see the same water marks now.

“The next day's travel was across the north end of the then dry lake. The surface was as


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white as snow and as hard as ice. A hard day's travel brought us to the Dos Palms springs, where we stayed two nights to let our horses rest and graze. There was a mud volcano about one and one-half miles from the springs, where there was an abundance of fairly good grass. Encamped at the springs were some San Bernardino Mormons who were freighting with teams to La Paz on the Colorado River. One of the Mormons had an extra pair of boots which I could wear, and I bought them for eight dollars. Leaving Dos Palms springs, we made about twenty-five miles, and found plenty of good tank water at what was called Tabbe Sakle, meaning in the Indian language, Yellow Hammer Nests. The finding of that tank was of much importance to us, as it made it possible for us to divide a five mile drive from Dos Palms to Chacagula springs. We were then beginning to realize that we had to favor our horses as much as possible, as they had been eating nothing but green grass, and that mostly salt, except the one night at Cabezon. At Chacagula, Weaver warned us to be careful about letting our horses eat the Galleta grass, as he had noticed a number of campo mucho on the grass that day. He advised us to cut the grass with our butcher knives and tie the horses up and feed them. The campo mucho is an insect something like a grasshopper, but much larger and sometimes as much as three inches long. They are the color of whatever they feed on, and a hungry horse or mule is liable to get one in biting off the grass. The teamsters who hauled across the road, used to carry heavy hoes and cut the grass for their stock when they were


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where the Galleta grew. The handling of the grass knocked the insects off; they are almost sure to kill any animal that eats them.

“From Chacagula we made the Mule springs, seventeen miles, and here again Weaver found water that a stranger never would have found, and here again our knives supplied us with grass for the stock. Our next day we spent a part of the time travelling through drifting sand hills, where the horses sank nearly half to their knees in the loose sand, with the sun pouring down all the heat there was in it, and our stock leg-weary. It was a grand sight when we came over the last sand hill and found ourselves on the Colorado River bottom, which had been overflowed from the river in July, and the vegetation was as high as a horse in many places among the mesquite trees. We all felt like taking our saddles off and camping, but Weaver said no, we had about fifteen miles to go to get to the river. The stock seemed to freshen up as soon as we got on the bottom, as the ground was firm and not rocky.

“We were greatly surprised by running smack into an Indian cornfield about halfway to the river. The overflows had come early that year, and some Mohave Indians had reoccupied an old ranch that Weaver knew of. We had a feast on watermelons and green corn that night. The next day I had a chill to pay me, the second one since leaving San Francisco. The first one I had the day following my hard tramp from Agua Caliente to Indian Wells. The chills seemed to come every seventh day, or if it missed the


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seventh, it would be seven or fourteen days before I would have another.

“We reached Bradshaw's Ferry early in the day, but concluded to lay over that day in order to give me a fair chance to shake. We hobbled our horses and turned them loose, as there was good feed along the river. Next morning all the stock but my horse was easily found, Beauchamp, Weaver and Ayers hunting for him till late in the afternoon, when they found him mired in a slough about two miles from the river, with nothing but his head above the mud and water. He was a hard looking horse. We ferried across that evening and landed at Olive City in Arizona. The city consisted of one house about 12x10x10 feet high, covered with brush and sided up with willow poles stuck in the ground, and smaller willow poles nailed on the larger ones without any chinking. However, it was plenty warm enough for the climate. That night we pushed on to La Paz in order to get food for our stock, there being no grass on the Arizona side at that place. At La Paz we bought grass from the Indians, they bringing it from the hills on sticks. The way they manage they take a dry willow pole six or eight feet long, lay down a layer of grass the length of the stick, lay the stick on the grass, then a layer of grass on the stick, and with thongs made of the leaves of a kind of cactus, tie the grass firmly around the stick. In that way they would get fifty or sixty pounds into a bundle, and the squaws would pack it to market on their heads.

“We stayed in La Paz two days, where we found a number of men who had returned from the new diggings at Weaver and Walker. La


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Paz at that time was a town of several hundred inhabitants with several stores, a bakery and feed corral, but no postoffice nor mail service. When we left La Paz we followed the Colorado River bottom for thirty or thirty-five miles, where we found quail very plentiful and killed all we wanted to eat. The last night that we camped in the bottom, we stayed at a slough that I learned later the Indians called Supalm. There we met three men coming in from the new mining country. We all camped at the slough and next morning one of the strangers had but one boot, the coyotes having taken one during the night. I still had the old boots with the soles nearly ripped off, and I gave them to the unfortunate one.

“That day we started to cross the mesa and hilly country to Williams Fork, via Black Tanks. Beauchamp had been feeling bad all day, and about noon he had to lie down under a tree. I knew that we would be out of water by four o'clock, so I took all the empty canteens we had, and the horses, and started to Black Tanks, which was not more than seven or eight miles away. Dr. Howard remained with Beauchamp and suggested that I make some strong tea and put into a canteen for Beauchamp, so, after watering the horses, I set about making tea. I imagined I could hear voices, so after getting my water to heating, I climbed up past the tank and over the falls to another tank in the same canyon. There I found five Sonoranos, as we called the Mexicans at that time, cooking their dinner, which consisted of tortillas straight, and they were using a hat to mix their dough in. They were a little startled at my appearance,


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for I just rose up from behind a point of rock with shotgun in hand. There had been several murders committed on the trail within a short time, and every one was looking out for himself on that trail.

“When I had my tea made, I took the outfit and went back and got Beauchamp and the Doctor. Just before dark we got to the tank again, but there was no tortilla makers, and I never knew which way they went. That night we traveled a few miles to get feed, and the next day about twelve o'clock, we reached Bill Williams' Fork. We followed up the stream for two days. Leaving it to the left we traveled one day and part of the next through the low hills and mesa that lay to the south of the Fork and Date Creek.

“When we came in sight of Date Creek, we all stopped to feast our eyes on what we all agreed was the most beautiful place we had ever seen. It was a green meadow with grass of different kinds growing all over it, and some of the grass was four feet, or more, in height. There was scattered cottonwood trees and groves covering several acres of the same kind of timber.

“A few Indians were camping near a stream of nice clear water that ran through this meadow. I learned from the Indians, several years later, that they called the place Ah-ha-Carsona, meaning ‘Pretty Water,’ and have wondered if the Spanish might not have got the name Arizona from this place. Here we camped for the night, and Ayers, Ben Weaver and a Jew named Black Sol overtook us. The next day we made Antelope Creek, and here we camped three days, there being grass and water. A few Americans and


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many Mexicans were camped here, and working the gulches with pan and rockers. We bought a rocker at Weaver, where we got a small stock of provisions, and fell in with a man who had lived six years in Mexico, and understood working ores, gold and silver, by the arrastra process. His name was A. P. Mahan.

“From Weaver we crossed the mountains to the Ah-ha-Sayampa, which we struck just above the place where Walnut Grove dam was built. We camped two nights at this place, and did some panning from the bars and gulches. Got a little gold, but not enough to pay for a rocker. We moved up the creek about ten miles, and made our second camp, stayed one night and next day made camp on the creek above the little canyon, where we struck some rich float and traced it up to where we located and called it the Montgomery mine.

“We had come all the way from San Francisco to this mine, and only spent one day prospecting, until we reached the Montgomery, and found that on the second day. This was the first quartz mine located in the new country, and we had the location notices recorded in the placer mining book, John Pennington, Recorder, and he carried his book of records in his hip pocket, and his office was under a big juniper tree on the Hassayampa. Since then I have been a Hassayamper.”

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