CHAPTER X. EARLY HISTORY OF PHOENIX (Continued).


Up: Contents Previous: CHAPTER IX. EARLY HISTORY OF PHOENIX. Next: CHAPTER XI. SALT RIVER VALLEY PROGRESS; CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS.


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FIRST LAWYERS-FIRST CHINESE-FIRST BAKERY-FIRST RESTAURANT-FIRST CARRIAGE FACTORY - FIRST SUGAR CANE MACHINERY - FIRST APIARY - FIRST MILKMAN - FIRST PHOTOGRAPHER-FIRST ASSAYER-NEWSPAPER CORRESPONDENTS-FREIGHTERS - BICHARD & COMPANY'S FLOURING MILL - DESTRUCTION OF BY FIRE-HAYDEN'S MILL AT TEMPE-JOHN M. OLVANY, FIRST POSTMASTER OF PHOENIX - OTHER POSTMASTERS - FIRST AMERICAN COUPLE MARRIED IN PHOENIX - GENERAL EARL D. THOMAS'S REMINISCENCES OF PHOENIX-FIRST WHITE CHILD BORN IN PHOENIX-DISPUTE OVER WHO WAS-FIRST AMERICAN DEATH IN PHOENIX - FIRST BUILDING BRICK AND FIRST BRICK BUILDING - SCARCITY OF LUMBER - FIRST MASONIC LODGE IN TERRITORY-FIRST MASONIC LODGE IN PHOENIX-FIRST ODD FELLOWS LODGE IN PHOENIX.

William A. Hancock, E. Irvine, John T. Alsap and J. R. Barroche (the latter a pioneer schoolmaster) were admitted to practice law by the District Court of Maricopa County on the 7th day of May, 1872. These were the first attorneys licensed to practice in Phoenix. The first notary public appointed for the county was Charles C. McDermott, of Phoenix, who was the first clerk of the District Court, and whose commission was signed August 7, 1871. Then followed


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William A. Hancock on the 26th of September of the same year; next came James A. Tomlinson, post trader at Camp McDowell, on October 25th, and he was followed by E. Irvine who was appointed June 3rd, 1872. No further appointments were made by the Governor during 1872, but on February 15th, 1873, John T. Alsap was appointed Probate Judge for the second time.

In June, 1872, the first Chinese arrived in Phoenix. The group consisted of three males and two females, and they soon afterwards put in operation a Chinese Laundry.

The first town baker was named J. Bauerlein, who used a small furnace made of adobes for an oven. He became quite a feature of the town as will be seen by the following notice in the press of that day:

‘‘

"On Tuesday last the town had no bread and the baker had a holiday because an innocent dog upset the yeast the evening before." August 9th, 1872.

"Our town has grown so large that the baker was compelled to pull down his oven and build a new one. On this account the bachelors have all turned bakers for the last ten days." November 22nd, 1872.

’’

The first restaurant was opened by John Cady, who sold out to Tom Worden, one of the early county sheriffs, who soon after transferred the business to W. H. Pope, who also conducted a barbershop. In December, 1872, H. Hamilton also opened a restaurant.

J. E. G. Mitchell operated the first carriage factory, and James Grant, proprietor of many


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stage lines, opened the first harness shop. The latter was a widely known Arizonan and passed away at San Bernardino, California, on May 21st, 1875, at the age of fifty-five years.

C. D. Rumberg was the first settler to install a machine for the grinding of sugar-cane in the Valley, and commenced the manufacture of cane syrup in November of 1872.

J. Chamberlin, from the Gila Bend Settlement, was the first resident of this portion of Arizona to enter the bee business, and had the first supply of honey ready for the Phoenix market in August, 1872.

George Roberts was among the first, if not the first, to supply Phoenix with fresh milk, and he, in company with J. Romain, an old vineyardist from California, was the first to engage in the manufacture of wine.

A man by the name of Cook, from Prescott, started the first photograph gallery, and C. R. Heyne was the first assayer.

Among the early business establishments in Phoenix was the blacksmith shop of Ford & Ware, with a carriage-making annex in connection with the carpenter shop of Pearson & Barber, which turned out excellent work.

The "Weekly Arizona Miner," of Prescott, was, for many years, the official publication of Maricopa County. It had been established in 1864, and when Maricopa County was created, was owned by John H. Marion. The local agents were, at first John W. Swilling and John T. Alsap. Later, the firm of E. Irvine & Co., newsdealers, succeeded Mr. Swilling, who had sold out his interests in the valley. At East


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Phoenix, or Mill City, W. B. Hellings & Co. were the agents of the "Miner"; at Wickenburg, Barnett & Block, merchants, and Abe Peeples, owner of the Magnolia Brewery and Saloon, were the agents, while at Camp McDowell the representative was James A. Tomlinson, the post trader.

In the early days all supplies coming or going out of the Valley were transported upon what is known in Western parlance as "prairie schooners," large freighting outfits drawn by twelve or sixteen oxen, or the same number of mules or horses. These freight trains came in usually loaded with lumber or merchandise, and for back freight carried grain, flour and other farm products. Among the best known of the freighters during the early seventies were the Miller Bros., Sam and Jake, of Prescott, Dr. W. W. Jones, and J. M. Bryan, known as "Crete," of Wickenburg, Cosgrove & Cavaness, Murphy & Dennis, Barnett & Block, and Charles W. Beach of Phoenix. A. Daguerra, Chenowith & Fenter, Stanfield, Rogers, Garfield, Lutgerding, Elders, Hayden, and many others, whose names were familiar upon the highways of Arizona in the "vanished days." These continued until superseded by the transcontinental railroads and the railroads in and out of Phoenix.

Soon after the laying out of the Phoenix Townsite the commissioners who conducted the village government donated various parcels of city land to a number of individuals and societies, in order to induce the building or inauguration of needed industries. Among these gifts was the donation of an entire block of ground to William Bichard, a member of the firm of W.


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Bichard & Company, of Adamsville, for the construction of a flour mill. This piece of ground is, to-day, owned by George H. Luhrs, of the Commercial Hotel and is bounded on the north by Jefferson Street, on the east by Center Street, and on the south by Madison Street, while First Avenue runs along its western side. It is known officially as Block 64 of the City of Phoenix. The Bichard Brothers began work on their Phoenix Mill in the early part of 1871, and on March 24th, 1871, the following was written from Phoenix:

‘‘

"Bichard & Co., of Adamsville, have commenced building a mill in Phoenix, fronting toward the Plaza, the Commissioners having presented them with a city block for that purpose. I understand the machinery will be on the ground by the first of June. Work on Hellings' Mill at Mill City is moving briskly. After this harvest let us hope that we will have no more scarcity of breadstuffs."

’’

A Phoenix correspondent wrote the following in April 27th, 1871:

‘‘

"Our town seems to be prospering as well as its most sanguine friends could wish. Messrs. Bichard & Co. are pushing the work on their mill with their usual energy. We are looking forward to the time when we can get our flour ground from our own wheat. On an average the crops are very promising, and in twenty days the crops that are the most forward will be ready for the thrasher. The people are much better supplied with implements for harvesting than they have been heretofore, and we have reason to hope that the greater portion of the grain will be


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secured before the summer rains will commence. Work is still progressing on several of the new acequias, and we shall have water in all of them in time for the next crop. When all of them are completed that are now under way, we can accommodate a population four times as great as we have at present."

’’

The machinery for this mill arrived and was put in place during the month of June, 1871, and on the 4th day of July, 1871, the mill steamed up and made the first flour ever ground in the Salt River Valley, as will be noted by the following:

‘‘

"From Salt River. Varney A. Stephens, of this place, returned home from Phoenix, Salt River, Thursday afternoon, and says Bichard's new flouring mill steamed up and ground the first flour ever made there on July 4th last."

’’

("Miner," July 15, 1871.)

This event occurred several months before the Hellings Mill at Mill City commenced to grind wheat, and about a year before construction work was commenced on the Hayden Mill at Tempe.

The product of the Bichard mill was sold at the plant for $6.00 per hundred, showing at once the beneficial results of home manufacture. This happy condition, however, was not destined to last very long, for, on the night of September 2nd, 1871, this first mill, after having been in operation about two months, was destroyed by fire.

The "Miner" of September 16th, 1871, had the following:

‘‘

"From Phoenix. The flouring mill of W. Bichard & Co., at Phoenix, was destroyed by fire


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on the night of the 2nd inst. Our correspondent gives it as his opinion, and the belief of the people generally, that the burning was the work of an incendiary."

’’

The destruction of this mill was a serious setback to the citizens of the Salt River Valley, who had begun to depend upon it for all the flour they might need at a reasonable price, while the financial loss to the Bichards was estimated at $10,000. There was some talk of rebuilding this mill, but nothing was done in connection therewith. After the destruction of their mill Bichard & Co. established a branch store in town, where they kept constantly on hand a large supply of flour made at their Gila River mills. Referring to the destruction of this pioneer mill, the following is found in a letter from Phoenix, dated Jan. 3rd, 1872:

‘‘

"Our flouring mill, from which we had hoped to obtain flour so cheaply, has been lost to us for a time, but we entertain the hope that it will be rebuilt in the spring. In the meantime our neighbors, three miles away, are making a very fair article of flour, while Mr. Bichard has a good supply always on hand in his store at this place. Mr. Bichard made flour here last summer and retailed it, at the mill, for six dollars; since his mill burned down, he has hauled flour from his other mill at the Gila, and sold it at eight dollars, and this is as good as any flour that has ever been made in the country by any mill. I think that it is going a little too far to say that the new mill (Hellings' Mill) is making a much better article of flour than has ever been made in the country and selling at prices much lower than those for


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which we have been previously able to get the same quality of flour, when we have just as good an article for sale in town at one dollar less than Hellings & Co. retail it at their mill."

’’

The Bichard Mill was located on the Jefferson end of the block, the main building facing toward Center Street, and for many years after its destruction remnants of the ruined machinery could be seen on the ground it had occupied. It was run by steam, the same power later used to run the Hellings Mill. The building was of adobe. Some years after the fire the building was repaired and used for the manufacture of beer by G. Cecher. Still later the entire structure was demolished to make room for a corral conducted by George Hamblin, an old resident of Phoenix, who is still living in Phoenix.

This mill was in operation but a short time, but the owners complied with the terms of their original agreement with the Townsite Commissioners, namely, that construction work on the mill should commence by the first of May, 1871, and that the machinery should be on the ground by July of 1871. The terms of the agreement having been complied with, the Bichards received a proper deed from the Commissioners for Block 64. After the death of William Bichard, senior member of the firm, the entire block of ground was bought from his estate by George Loring, as heretofore stated.

About the middle of the year of 1872, Charles Trumbull Hayden commenced the construction of a large mill near Hayden's Ferry, now the city of Tempe, which was to be erected on the south


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side of the river and the third to be completed in the valley.

The Phoenix correspondent of the "Prescott Miner," under date of August 13th, 1870, writes as follows:

‘‘

"John M. Olvany has just received the appointment of postmaster and the news is very welcome. There are several hundred of a population now, and it is to be hoped that they will be punctually supplied with, at least, a weekly mail."

’’

George W. Barnard, postmaster at Prescott, took up the matter of establishing a postoffice in the Phoenix Settlement with the Postmaster General in 1869, but it was not until 1870 that his efforts were successful, when Mr. Olvany, as noted above, was appointed. He was postmaster for several months, when he was succeeded by Captain William A. Hancock, who had come to the Valley from Camp Reno during that same year, as is shown by the "Arizona Citizen" of March 18th, 1871, which said:

‘‘

"W. A. Hancock, P. M., at Phoenix, in place of John M. Olvany, removed."

’’

The first postmaster was a well known rancher, and in the Democratic Convention of 1870, at Prescott, was an unsuccessful aspirant before that body for a nomination to the Territorial Assembly. He took an active part in the construction of the first canals on the south side of the river, near Tempe, and was, for years, a prominent resident of that section.

When Captain Hancock assumed the duties of postmaster, he established the postoffice in Murphy's adobe store on the Tempe road, and, in


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November, 1870, when Francis A. Shaw of Phoenix, first reached the Valley, the postoffice was being conducted by Captain Hancock at this location, George E. Mowry holding the office of assistant and doing most of the actual work. It continued to be kept in the store until removed to the Phoenix Townsite in 1871, where its first location was on the north side of Washington Street, opposite the Plaza, where Messrs. Murphy & Dennis had erected a small adobe building and opened one of the first stores established within the Townsite limits, into which they transferred the stock of goods formerly stored on the Tempe road. After the removal of the postoffice to the townsite, Mowry continued as assistant, and attended, as formerly, to most of the office work, his superior, Captain Hancock, being too busy on the outside to give much attention to the duties of postmaster. The office was small at this time and the emoluments still smaller. The office rent, clerk hire and incidental expenses were subtracted from the postmaster's salary. Subsequently the postoffice was moved to the old Goldwater Building, and afterwards to the Loring store. Its next location was in Peralta's store in the building afterwards occupied by Goldman & Co., on the northeast corner of Center and Washington Streets.

The first American couple to be married in the town of Phoenix were George Buck and Miss Matilda Murray, which marriage took place in the early part of the year 1872. In some correspondence from Phoenix, dated December 12th, 1872, is found the following:


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‘‘

" * * * And the first American couple married in town was G. Buck to Miss Murray, who were married in Mr. Kirkland's home about nine months ago. ("Miner," Dec. 21, 1872.) This marriage is also referred to in the "Prescott Miner" of February 24th, 1872, which contains the following notice:

"MARRIED.

"In Salt River Valley, Maricopa County, February 13, 1872, by J. A. Young, J. P., Mr. George Buck and Miss Matilda Murray, both of Salt River Valley."

’’

The bride was a daughter of William P. Murray, and the first of the Murray sisters to be married in the Valley.

The second marriage in the Salt River Valley was that of Charles H. Kenyon to Miss Sarah J. Moore, both of Maricopa Wells, who were married on the 27th day of November, 1872, by Probate Judge John T. Alsap; an account of the reception following this marriage is to be found in a previous volume.

General Earl D. Thomas, when commanding the Department of the Colorado, not many years ago, in the course of an official tour of the country, visited Phoenix, and the local paper in referring to General Thomas, said:

‘‘

"The few hours' wait in Phoenix yesterday was spent mainly in shaking hands with old friends, for the General is a Hassayamper and the oldtimers all know him. His first acquaintance with Arizona was in 1872 when he was stationed at Fort McDowell. He left this country


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then as First Lieutenant of Cavalry, and returned thirty years later as a general officer.

"One of his favorite reminiscences of Phoenix is the celebration of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kenyon in 1872. Mr. Kenyon, who was for many years a resident of Globe, died a few years ago, but Mrs. Kenyon, and her children, still live there. Mrs. Kenyon was formerly a Miss Moore, whose father had charge of the stage line from Yuma to Tucson, via old Maricopa Wells, a station situated near the present Gila Crossing, long before the railroad town of Maricopa was dreamed of. The wedding of the young people was celebrated in Phoenix by a public dance, in which all the swell society of the town and the officers from McDowell who chanced to be here participated. The ballroom was an adobe house with a dirt floor, and when the music started and the young people entered, the doors were closed and nobody was allowed to go home until daylight."

’’

As to who was the first child born in Phoenix there is much doubt, and possibly the question will never be satisfactorily decided, owing to the length of time that has elapsed and the meagre records now extant dealing with that period. In the "Prescott Miner" of November 16, 1872, appears the following:

‘‘"Born, in Phoenix, Maricopa County, A. T., November 5th, 1872, to the wife of M. Cavaness, a son. This is the first American child ever born in Phoenix."’’ This child is A. T. Cavaness, who grew to manhood in this vicinity, and not many years ago was a resident of Raymond, State of Washington.


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In a letter from Phoenix to the "Miner" printed in that paper on the 21st of December, 1872, the following item appears:

‘‘

"The first American child born in the town was a daughter of Judge Kirkland, now nearly two years old."

’’

Evidently this was intended as a correction of the former notice, but it is an error, because Judge Kirkland came into the Valley in 1871, according to Barney, and commenced building a house on a lot he had purchased in Phoenix in February of that year. He later removed his family to a ranch which he had taken up near the Tempe settlement, where he continued to reside for many years. This daughter, who is said to have been born in Phoenix in 1871, afterwards married a man by the name of Pitter, and for many years resided at Tempe.

Mrs. Minnie Fenter Ashburn, of Patagonia, Arizona, claims that she was born in Phoenix on May 12th, 1871. She was the daughter of William D. Fenter, a prominent ranchman and politician of this section during its early settlement. Mr. Fenter came to Arizona in 1869 and first settled in Yavapai County, coming from there to this county. Many years ago he left here with his family for the southern part of Pima County, where a number of his children still make their home.

There was still another claimant for this honor as will be seen when the reader comes to the narrative of Thomas Thompson Hunter in a succeeding chapter.

In 1871 a visitor to Phoenix wrote that Mrs. J. J. Gardiner was the only American woman in


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the village, there being at that time about seventy-five American men.

The first American to die a natural death within the limits of the town of Phoenix was the young daughter of William Smith, one of the pioneer merchants of the town. The incident is recorded as follows:

‘‘

"Died-In the town of Phoenix, on Friday, September 27th, 1872, after an illness of two days, Casandra, the youngest child of William and Fanny Smith. Casandra was an interesting little girl, intelligent, pretty and affectionate, and the first American to die a natural death in this town. The community turned out on Saturday to pay a last tribute of respect to the departed, the Hon. Charles A. Tweed reading a chapter from the Bible, and making an appropriate address, thanking, at the same time, the friends present on behalf of the mourners."

’’

The first building brick to be made in Phoenix were moulded and baked by a man named Few, whose kilns were situated south of Washington Street, about where the gas works are now located.

The first brick building put up within the limits of the town is known now as the Afro M. E. Church South, on the southeast corner of Jefferson and Second Streets. When first completed this building was opened by William B. Hooper & Co., as a wholesale liquor house, the late Philip K. Hickey (who died on December 19th, 1916,) being their bookkeeper for some time. At this time all the buildings were of adobe. Lumber was exceedingly scarce and very expensive, the little reaching the valley coming


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from Prescott. In a letter from Phoenix, dated July 14th, 1872, the following is found:

‘‘

"Lumber is very scarce at present. Old boxes are selling for 14 cents per foot, knotholes, cracks and breakages included."

’’

For many years before the coming of the railroads to the Valley, coffins, a superfluity after death, were always made of drygoods boxes, the dead being extremely lucky to get even such a receptacle within which to make their final journey.

The first Masonic Lodge in the Territory was established in Prescott on July 25th, 1865. In 1874 there was a number of Masons in the Valley and the murder by Indians of Paul L. Mandel near Camp McDowell, called forth resolutions of condolence from the Free and Accepted Masons of the town of Phoenix. These resolutions, published at the time in the three periodicals of the Territory, were the first to be passed by Masons of Maricopa County in recognition of the death of a fellow member.

The first Masonic Lodge in Phoenix was organized about the year 1876.

The second fraternity to establish a Lodge in the Valley was the Independent Order of Oddfellows, the first Arizona Lodge of which had been organized in Prescott in July, 1868, and the first Lodge in Phoenix was organized about the year 1878.

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