CHAPTER IV. EARLY CONDITIONS IN THE TERRITORY (Continued).


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CAPTAIN W. H. HARDY—DESCRIPTION OF—HIS EARLY EXPERIENCES IN ARIZONA—METHODS OF INDIAN WARFARE—FREIGHTING FOR THE GOVERNMENT—EXPERIENCES WITH INDIANS—WILD GAME IN THE TERRITORY—DRIVEN OUT OR KILLED—INDIAN CUNNING—THE FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE IN THE TERRITORY.

Mention has been made in these pages of W. H. Hardy, who established the town of Hardyville, above Fort Mohave, on the Colorado River. Captain Hardy ran a ferry and a store at that place for a long time, and, as stated in a previous chapter, established a branch store at Prescott, after the location and survey of that town. He was among the first settlers in Mohave County. He was a man highly respected, of great energy and force of character, and did a great deal for the development of his county, which he represented several times in the upper house of the Territorial Legislature. He died June 30, 1909, at Whittier, California.”

F. J. Wattron, at one time sheriff of Navajo County, has the following to say about Captain Hardy:

‘‘

“Captain Hardy was an old settler upon the Colorado above Fort Mohave at Hardyville. He ran a ferry and a store at that place, also a toll road from Hardyville to Prescott. All parties travelling on the road had to pay Hardy in proportion to the size of their outfit. The repairs on the road were kept up by Hardy walking


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along and leading his horse and kicking out such rocks as he could with a pair of number eleven boots. Hardy's stock consisted of flour, $20 per hundredweight; bacon, 50c per pound; coffee, 50c per pound; sugar, three pounds for a dollar; soldier's boots, $10 per pair; overalls, $3 per pair, cash down, and no kicking. His ferry was also a paying business, but if you had no money, he would give you what you wanted out of the store, and cross you over the river for nothing.”

’’

The “Mohave County Miner,” of December 8th, 1888, contains the following letter written by Captain Hardy, which is perhaps as good a statement of conditions in Arizona during the period of which we are writing, as could be found:

‘‘

“Editor ‘Mohave County Miner’:

“You ask me to write some of my early experiences in Arizona. What I write may not be worth the space it takes in your valuable paper. Again, if printed, it may not be worth reading. However, as I have a little leisure time to-day, I will put in a couple of hours in telling, as I remember, what happened over twenty years since. I distinctly remember, because trials and incidents which happened in those days were frequently stained in blood.

“I crossed the Colorado River near Fort Mohave January 20th, 1864. At that time there was no real settler in Mohave County. A company of California Volunteers under Capt. Charles Atchison was stationed at Fort Mohave, as a road had been partly worked from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Los Angeles, California, via Fort Mohave, and the Indians were found


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to be hostile and required the presence of United States troops to keep them in check, as when permanent settlers began to settle upon land, the Indians soon broke out in general warfare.

“I came to Arizona seeking adventure. I brought with me some money and a stock of merchandise, including mining tools, etc. I will give a short history of what happened in the summer of 1866.

“The Indians of Arizona were different in their warfare from those in many other States and Territories; it was more like bushwhacking. Small bands of Indians would watch the roads and trails, and surprise and attack small parties or individuals, kill them and mutilate their bodies, and hide away in the rocks. They were rarely ever caught or punished by the United States troops, yet after a bloody war of ten years, General Crook managed to enlist Indians (as all Indians were then at war with their neighboring tribes) and succeeded in conquering and making peace, except with a part of the Apaches located at San Carlos. It seems that a line was run around this tribe and established as a reservation. These Indians were not first conquered and put on a reservation as they should have been; hence the consequences that have followed.

“In June, 1866, four men came to my place on the Colorado River. They were mounted on good horses, had three pack animals, and were going east of Prescott to look up some mines they claimed to have heard of through a soldier scout. In talking with them I learned that not one of the party had ever had any experience in an Indian country. They had read of the


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noble red man in Cooper's novels, but admired rather than feared the noble red man of the mountains of Arizona. I told the party that if they would rest at my place about three days, I would accompany them as far as Prescott. They consented. The real fact was I was satisfied they would not reach Prescott unless I did see them through. So I tied my blankets to my saddle, packed a few pounds of dried beef, jerky, a little coffee, sugar, crackers, etc., to last four days, as the distance to travel was a hundred and sixty-five miles, without house or inhabitant. The third day out we reached the summit of the Aztec Range, since called Juniper Pass. It was about 10 a. m. The grass was good, so we camped for a rest, as before us lay a ride of ten miles through a rocky, bushy canyon. I advised that we let our stock rest till dusk, as it would be much safer to ride through this canyon in the night. We had hardly got our stock unsaddled and picketed, when we heard what appeared to be a wild turkey gobble not a quarter of a mile away. The turkey appeared to be in a small, rocky, bushy canyon, leading up a low mountain to the south of us. My travelling companions now declared that nothing would taste so good as a fine, fat wild turkey. I told them it was not a turkey they heard, but Indians imitating a turkey to lead them into the rocks and brush so they could fill our backs with arrows, as our breechloading rifles were too formmidable weapons for open warfare against the bow and arrow. But my companions did not believe me. Such was their appetite for wild turkey that they were ready to risk their lives. I reasoned with them and said: ‘You see it is


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now ten in the morning. Wild turkeys do their gobbling on the roost, never so late as this in the morning. Again, if we have frightened a flock of turkeys, they would cry “Quit! Quit!” and sulk off into the brush out of our reach, for it is the time of year they have their young.’

“My reasoning they did not heed, but turkey they must have; so I took my rifle in hand and went with them toward the canyon. The turkey seemed to travel as fast as we did, and kept up its gobble. As we reached the mouth of the bushy canyon, I called their attention to footprints in the sand, some made by bare feet, and some by moccasined feet. This took away their appetite for wild turkey. We returned to camp and when it was dark we packed up and rode nearly twenty miles that night to open county. I was then, and have since been, satisfied that I saved the lives of this party. However, a few months later I learned through the ‘Arizona Miner’ that two of these men were waylaid and killed by the Indians.

“I had taken a contract to haul government freight from Fort Mohave to Fort Whipple, near Prescott, and Camp Verde. There was to be about six hundred tons of freight, and the contract commenced July 1st, 1866. I had purchased ten mule-teams of ten mules each, also ten oxteams of twelve oxen each. With these teams I intended to haul this freight. The country from the Colorado River to Fort Whipple, a distance of a hundred and sixty-five miles, was uninhabited. I was obliged to build a road first, then fit out men with improved arms, and would generally hire men (sometimes men who were travelling through from California would volunteer for protection)


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to assist to guard the trains while en route, and improve the roads when needed. For wagon-master and drivers I hired a party of young men who came through. They had been driving teams on the plains from the Missouri River to Santa Fe, New Mexico, for Russel, Majors & Co. and were thoroughly posted on Indian tricks and Indian warfare. They had had a little experience in the army of the South that helped accustom them to the use of arms, and they were of the right stripe—full of grit and dash. I believe those men would rather have fought Indians than eat when hungry. They really enjoyed themselves. They looked upon an Indian as a wild beast, and they always got away with the fight. During that fall and winter many an Indian was converted from a bad Indian into a good one, and they remained good ever after. In fact the Indians learned to fear these drivers and gave them a wide berth, and made but little trouble after a few brushes. I did not lose a hoof of stock during the year those boys handled the teams.

“I loaded the mule train with freight about the 10th of September, and told the boys as they pulled out that I would overtake them on the road and stop a day with them, and be at Fort Whipple to help unload. I was detained at home two days longer than I expected, but finally got off at 4 p. m. alone, intending to take advantage of the darkness of the night for my protection. The Indians were either superstitious about night or cowardly. They never attacked at night, but were always up at daylight and would sometimes try to stampede the herd, but with my train always lost out. I would ride


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two or three hours fast, then dismount and let my horse roll and pick grass about five or ten minutes, then saddle up and go as fast as the horse could travel and stand up to it. I expected to have reached the train before morning, but it had had good luck and made more miles than I expected. I rode a noted large buckskin horse. When daylight came I found old camping places. I rode on until after 4 p. m., until I overtook the train, and had ridden over a hundred and twenty miles. The train had camped on the same ground that I had camped upon when the turkeys tried to fool me. During the day I noticed signal smokes rise from hill and valley and mountain tops. I could read these signal smokes. They meant war. I could read in these pillars of smoke the number of teams I had, and the number of men with the train.

“The question will naturally arise, how did those Indians make those signal smokes? In those days the Indians had no knowledge of matches. They had no guns. Each Indian when out on the warpath carried two sticks, one of dry stock of beargrass with notches cut in it, and the other a hard stick like an old fashioned fog-horn ramrod. They would place the sticks with notches on the ground, put their feet on it, and set the other stick with the end in the notch, then roll fast between the hands. Within half a minute they would start a blaze of fire, caused by friction. These sticks the Indians called ‘ocacha.’ They sometimes used flints. These the Indians called ‘otavia.’ When the fire was started they would sprinkle a little pulverized pitch or resin on it, and this would start a black smoke quick. Then they would


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spread a handful of green weeds or grass on the fire and a white smoke or steam would follow. Again they would remove the grass and blow the fire a little, and add pitch. Thus dots and dashes would be made, quite like the old-fashioned way of telegraphing on paper. Again at night I have seen signal fires on the side or top of mountains and a blanket or robe passed in front of it conveyed information. There was no patent covering this way of conveying news by the savages. I have seen on a calm day a column of smoke with black and white spots rise near one thousand feet high. I have known correct news concerning the movements of United States troops in war times to be smoked through at least three hundred miles in two or three hours, and news by courier five or six days later would prove the news by Indians to be correct.

“As I dismounted, Jack, the wagon-master, said: ‘We will have fun to-night.’I said: All right, ‘we'll give them the best we have in the house.’

“The teams were unharnessed and hitched to the wagons, and fed grain. There were in the train ten drivers and one wagon-master, and two night herders. These men had their beds on top of loads and with a wagon sheet over them, would ride and sleep during the day. There was also a cook, and it so happened that five tramps or extra men were along. As soon as we could get supper the night herders took the stock, my horse included, out about one mile in open ground to herd. Two of the drivers went along. This time they spread their blankets under a tree and went to sleep. At a little before day these men were called and saddled up ready for


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a jump. They well knew the custom of the Indians to stampede a herd at break of day, and the boys had fixed for them before retiring. Several of the lead animals were hobbled side and fore so they could not run.

“With the train there was a man, German by birth, whom they called ‘Dutch Jake.’ He had an old white horse. I advised him to put his horse with the herd. This he refused to do, and said he would take care of his own horse. So he took him some fifty yards from camp and picketed him to a small tree, and spread his blanket down by the tree. When I returned at 7 p. m., all was still and quiet in camp. Having gone without sleep the previous night, and made a long ride, I was tired and soon fell asleep. I was awakened by the alarm clock going off in the wagon-master's bed. In five minutes all hands, including myself, were up and dressed. The fact was that but little undressing was done. Every man had his rifle by his side and his revolver in his belt, so when we got up we could get up shooting if necessary. We watched for the noble red man, who did not come but had been. I noticed that the Dutchman's horse was missing. I called Jack, the wagon-master, and said, ‘Jack, the Indians have got the Dutchman's horse.’ He said, ‘it served the fool Dutchman right, he knew so much.’

“As soon as it got a little light, the Dutchman went to the end of the picket rope, which had been cut. He at once discovered prints of bare feet. He said, ‘Who has been out here mit his bare feet on?’ I said, ‘Indians.’ Then he kicked himself and talked broken English mixed with Dutch. Finally, as it got fairly light, he


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spied his old white horse on the side of the mountain, near the head of the little bushy rocky canyon. ‘There is my horse, mein Gott,’ he exclaimed. He soon got his gun and revolver on and started for his horse. I told him to come back, and each teamster and the wagon-master advised him to stop with the train, but go he would. We all saw the trap and I watched the poor fellow climbing to be shot. The herd came in, and by this time the Dutchman had reached a little open space near his horse, when he suddenly stopped, fired his rifle, and gave a peculiar moan and yell. I well remember the different expressions made by the boys. One said, ‘The Dutchman has got his dose.’ Another remarked: ‘We will have Jake for breakfast. We will mix a little Indian with Dutch.’ After dropping his gun the poor fellow made fast time for camp. One of the boys said, ‘He doesn't want his horse.’ Another said, ‘He'll have no further use for a horse, he won't get back.’ The poor Dutchman got within thirty yards of camp and fell. I got hold of a canteen of water and ran to assist him, but he was dead. I pulled six arrows out of his back and sides. The blood ran out of his mouth and nose.

“While looking at the dead man I heard a little stir in camp. I looked up and saw all the horses saddled (we could not depend upon a mule in a fight). My horse was also saddled. I inquired what was up. Jack said, ‘We are going after Mister Indian.’ I said, ‘Let me go too.’ ‘No, you stay in camp, they may attack yet,’ Jack, the wagon-master, said. ‘I will take Dick, Tom and Joe, and take to the left for that open ground beyond. Sam, you take those other


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three boys and climb up that open ridge to the right, and get there, you know.’ These men threw themselves into the saddle and rode the horses up the rocky steep in remarkably quick time. The Indian, when he gets hold of a horse, hates to lose him again. They had double hobbled the Dutchman's horse, and tied him to a tree, so the horse could not be easily freed. As the Indians saw the boys coming two of them attempted to free the horse and ride him away, but Sam was too quick for them. He rode to within about one hundred yards of the horse and dismounted, and left one man to hold the horses. The other three opened fire just as one Indian had got on the horse, and the other was climbing on. Result, both Indians were instantly killed. I then heard Jack fire. He had dismounted and left one man to hold the horses, and the three opened fire on the red devils as they skedaddled through the brush. I had not eyes enough. I could not see all that was going on at once. I enjoyed the sport hugely.

“Sam soon got back to camp. He had peeled the scalps from the two Indians he had killed. He also had their bows and quivers of arrows. These scalps were fastened to the bridles of the lead mules or forward team, and the long black hair would wave and frizzle around. These scalps had to be taken as a sort of voucher that good Indians had actually been made. Jack soon returned to camp without scalps. He reported: ‘As soon as I dismounted, I saw a big Indian dressed in buckskin, with a feather in his cap, painted black. He was not fifty yards from me and seemed to be giving orders. I put my rifle to my face-and pulled for his heart. At


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the crack of my rifle he jumped about three feet in the air, gave a whoop and fell, and began crawling off into the brush. Several other Indians came to his assistance, so I got one more fair shot, and the boys all got two good shots each.

“‘I think that old fellow was a chief,’ Jack continued. ‘I would like to have had his scalp, but did not care to crawl around in the brush to hunt dead or wounded Indians, as I well know that as long as there is life in an Indian he will fight back. He is like a wounded wolf or bear.’

“During all this time the cook had been perfectly oblivious of what was going on. He had cooked breakfast; the balance of the teamsters had harnessed up and fed the teams, and a man had set at work and dug a shallow grave. The Dutchman was wrapped in his blanket and buried under a large juniper tree, without ceremony or prayers. It would have frightened a tramp to have heard some of the remarks that were made at that breakfast.

“When breakfast was over, Jack said: ‘We have the start of the Indians, and there must be over a hundred at least around our camp. Our trouble is not yet over, for they may try to retaliate, but we will keep on the safe side.’

“I was ready to obey orders, and so informed the wagon-master. Said he: ‘We may be attacked in the canyon ahead. You take those three men and follow the rear of the train, and I will take these other men and keep along ahead on the side of the canyon, so I can defend the advance.’

“We went all right for three or four miles, when I heard Jack's rifle crack, and a ‘whoa’ all


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along the line. I jumped on a rock and saw the sport. Jack had scared a fine buck out of the thicket, and about the second jump the buck made, Jack shot him through the heart. The buck made a few more jumps, and fell in the road not five feet ahead of the lead team, dead. The team started to turn and stampede, but a little help from the cook stopped them, and got them around all right. The entrails were taken out of the deer, and its carcass thrown on the wagon to be served for supper.

“Again we started down the rough road. Soon Jack and one of his men fired four or five times. Again I looked and found they had killed two wild turkeys. These were also thrown on the wagon.

“About two p. m., we came to a little prairie and a small spring of cold water. We camped and turned in. I at once wrapped myself in my blanket and fell asleep, only to awake suddenly. I dreamed I was in an Indian fight and got shot, and as I jumped up the boys had a good laugh. However, I soon got to sleep again. At 6 p. m., I was awakened for supper. We had venison, roast; broiled and stewed turkey a la campfire. I was hungry, and particularly hungry for wild meat, and I got outside of an immense quantity of this choice fat game. Is there a man living who has spent a few years on the frontier, or even went out on a hunt and cooked by a camp fire that does not relish choice game when cooked to order to suit his taste?

“After supper was over and night came on, I saddled my horse and rode to Prescott, a distance of about forty-five miles, arriving in Prescott before daylight.


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“As soon as the teams had arrived and unloaded, they started back. I waited in Prescott five days, then left at sunset, reaching the train at Juniper, at the same camp that had been made on the way out. The boys had killed three deer and one bear, so meat was plenty, but they saw no signs of Indians. I travelled with the train the next day, then travelled during the night and arrived home during the next night, making the trip, one hundred and sixty-five miles, in three nights.

“A word about these young men who formed this tittle crew of teamsters or band of scouts. They were all bricks, and had not a cowardly hair in their heads. Several of them live in this Territory at the present time. During the two years that these men were in my employ, not one got killed or wounded. Three men in my employ who were at work repairing the road near Union Pass were killed by Indians during the summer of 1866. Their names were Thomas McCall, William Brown, and John Killtan. McCall was caught in the same kind of a trap that the Dutchman was. A horse had been stolen. McCall followed and got in sight of it, but was filled with arrows before reaching his property.

“This trap business is an old game of the Indians. General Custer was caught in a trap. When Custer saw the Indians in force, had he fallen back to high ground and allowed the Indians to attack him, he might have got away with the fight. A man to deal with hostile Indians must have no fear. He must look and laugh the Indians in the face, though danger and death is at hand. It won't do to weaken.


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I was several times within the ten years from 1864 to 1874 in tight places among Indians, but got out. I never feared but that an Indian would run or get behind a shelter to get an advantage. When I had the advantage, I cared but little for an Indian. I looked upon them as upon wild animals. They are wild human beings, and when hostile are but little better than a wolf or bear. Killing makes good Indians of them.

“About the wild game that was in Arizona at that time. The mountains were alive with game. The particular section described lies between two tribes of Indians, the Wallapais, sometimes spelled in Spanish, Hualapais, and Yavapais, or Apaches. As these tribes were at war they dare not hunt or be found in small parties in this country.

“It was not uncommon in travelling through the Aztec Pass, to see two or three hundred deer and antelope in a day. A little to the north of this there were large bands of elk. There was also the brown, the cross, and the cinnamon bear, too plenty for fun. There were also many carniverous animals: the cougar, the panther, the large grey wolf, and coyotes without number. Turkeys and quail were quite common.

“I have known three crack shots to leave Prescott in the fall of the year, and in camping on this divide, kill a four horse wagon load of game in three days, and return to prescott, not being gone from home but six days in all. Sam accompanied this crowd. At one time as a band of antelopes ran past him, he emptied his Spencer six shooter rifle at them, killing five, and wounding three more that they got the next


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day. The five were shot through the heart at a distance of from a hundred and fifty to two hundred yards, the antelope on the dead run at that. You would hardly think they had time to get their guns to their faces before they would fire, and the game would fall. This game has all been driven out or killed off, and the whole country around is overstocked with cattle and horses. Game is rarely seen, but there are cattle on a thousand hills.”

’’

The last expedition of King Woolsey, which is given in the preceding volume, was directed against the warlike tribes along the Colorado River, and, naturally it had a tendency to deter the Indians from open and aggressive warfare, but their sentinels were along every road on the lookout for plunder.

In the winter of 1867, according to Judge E. W. Wells, of Prescott, one night, when the faro banks and saloons were running at high speed in Prescott, there came into one of the principal saloons a Mexican youth, garbed as an Apache. He explained that he had been taken captive a few years before by the Indians, and that two of them had a camp upon the hill adjacent to the present waterworks of Prescott, where they had kept a lookout for two or three years previous. From this place they could spy upon Fort Whipple and the town of Prescott and locate every outgoing body of citizens or soldiers. He said that the two bucks who had accompanied him had left their camp in the early evening for further investigation around Fort Whipple, and he proposed to conduct a party to their camping ground, that they might be ambushed and killed or captured upon their


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return. There was some delay in organizing the party, and when they reached the camp they found signs that the Indians had returned and, not finding the Mexican captive, had immediately fled. This will illustrate the policy pursued by the Indians at that time, which was to send out scouts in all directions, so they were advised at all times of any party leaving Prescott or Whipple on any excursion into the Indian country, and it was extremely dangerous for any party of two or three to go in any direction without exercising great caution and care, for at any time their lives might pay the forfeit of their temerity.

An interesting happening in Arizona, which, unfortunately, bears no date, but which may have occurred in either of the years 1865, 1866, 1867 or 1868, was the providing of the first Christmas tree. A description of this, taken from Orick Jackson's “The White Conquest of Arizona,” is as follows:

‘‘

“There is one Arizonan alive to-day who holds a unique station among men, and who enjoys a distinction that is beautiful and praiseworthy. His name is J. N. Rodenburg, and to him belongs the honor of being the first man who conceived the idea of zealously and fervently observing the birth of the Savior in a wild land, and providing the first Christmas tree to be erected in Arizona. This tribute to Christianity was initiated by him under conditions that would seem in this day of peace and plenty as difficult of execution, but those who are yet alive bear evidence to it in its every detail.

“Every desert has its oasis. When the day arrived that Arizona was to have its first Christmas


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tree, and the birth of the Savior was to be fittingly celebrated, there was evidence of much humorous curiosity among the frontiersmen as to how the plan was to be carried out. Where were the goods and wares, toys, candies, and the like to be had? And where were the children to come from to brighten the occasion, as is so customary in events of this character? A census was taken and in the skirmish seven eligible ‘kids’ were rounded up, together with a half a dozen others who were still young, but grown tall. Mr. Rodenburg then got into the theological harness, and, with an escort of six men went into the woods to get the tree end of the occasion. A beautiful fir was secured, and the Indians permitted the party to return in safety. This tree was erected in Rodenburg's house, and thus was the ‘big doings’ started. A call was issued to the public for the presents to ornament the tree. In that day, over forty years ago, the stores carried absolutely nothing in the line of toys or trinkets, candies or bonbons, and it was here that the first serious problem confronted the committee. A big stock of brown sugar was purchased, and, with the assistance of a New Orleans negro, three kinds of blackjack were skillfully moulded. This settled the sweet end of the programme, the candy being encased in manilla paper bags glued together with flour paste. The tree must have illumination, so the market was searched for all the tallow candles obtainable. These were cut in two, and after being tied to the limbs with ordinary twine, another obstacle was conquered. There was a scarcity of ribbons to give the scene the beauty and brilliancy necessary, but the bottom of every


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trunk was scoured among the ladies who had recently arrived from the east, and a few bolts were donated. Various crude toys and goods were then manufactured by men conversant with the handling of tools, or skilled in such handiwork. Quite a respectable collection was secured in this manner, everybody contributing something that he either could manufacture or purchase. But the most important consideration yet faced the committee, and that was to secure music for the event. An inventory of the burg disclosed that there was but one musical instrument to be found—a violin, out of tune, and minus a string. The owner was conversant with but one air—The Arkansaw Traveller. This was humiliating to the directors, but there must be melody, and after the operator was admonished to play something half way through and then to repeat it with a change in cadence, the day arrived for the event—Arizona's first Christmas tree.

“The little home was jammed, and the men who usually wore hard-looking countenances, and in their reckless careers were accustomed to the rougher side of human life, recalled the long ago in old New England when they, too, were young, and when they also went up to get what was coming as their names were called out by the Superintendent of the Sunday School. So they weakened, as it were, and each gave himself up to the spirit of the day with a joyousness that was in harmony with their lives when they were home with the old folks beyond the Rockies. Mr. Rodenburg says that electric bulbs may glow in many colors from the Christmas trees of the present day, trained voices may chant the melodies,


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diamonds and gilt-edged presents may ornament the garments, children may devour the many colored sweets that are run out by the ton, but that that old blackjack was just as good, that old tree was just as handsome, and above it all there was the genuine and the devoted spirit around that old Christmas tree of long ago that cannot be duplicated, because, he says, we did not mix the occasion then, as they do now, with discrimination and commercialism—we gave them all a run for their money.”

’’

Veterans of the First Arizona Volunteer Infantry Company “B,” 1865-66. 1. Cheroquis. 2. Moh Ush. 3. Machie Gulack. 4. Moll Daker.5. Chaequetz Am. 6. Hamaware Quineal. 7. Oh Wan.

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