CHAPTER V. EARLY SETTLEMENTS-PHOENIX AND VICINITY.


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LOCATION OF PHOENIX TOWNSITE-EAST PHOENIX - FIRST COUNTY ELECTION - WEST PHOENIX CHOSEN-EARLY SETTLERS-SALE OF TOWN LOTS - HAYDEN'S FERRY, NOW TEMPE-CHARLES TRUMBULL HAYDEN'S EXPERIENCE AS FIRST PROBATE JUDGE IN TUCSON-WINCHESTER MILLER-HIS EXPERIENCES WITH INDIANS AND RENEGADES-HISTORY OF TEMPE-EARLY SETTLERS-JAMES T. PRIEST-NIELS PETERSON-NAMING OF PHOENIX AND TEMPE-STORY BY MAJ. BEN C. TRUMAN-ESTIMATE OF ARABLE LAND IN TERRITORY-LAND UNDER CULTIVATION-MAIZE AND WHEAT RAISED IN 1867-PRICES PAID BY GOVERNMENT FOR PRODUCE.

According to Mr. Neri Osborn, the Phoenix Townsite was located in the following manner:

‘‘

"Bill Osborn and Barnum took out a ditch in 1868, and afterwards took out the ditch known as the Salt River Canal north of Phoenix, which irrigated some of this land from the north, that is, where the present site of the city is. They took the ditch out, but Barnett & Block farmed the land, where the town was first located, at East Phoenix, or Mill City. A man by the name of McKinnie owned it. There were some old ruins there, and McKinnie and Alvaney built a building there, a two-room building, and


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started a saloon and a small eating-house. Old Tom Farley used to run a restaurant there in 1870, and Hancock and Mowry came down from Fort McDowell and started to build a town there. The old foundations are there yet, and Johnnie Moore owned the place right west at the time. He wanted to give them forty acres for a townsite, but father (John P. Osborn), always contended that forty acres was not enough, and told them that three hundred and twenty acres should be set aside for the townsite. In the fall of 1870 a meeting had been called at the foundation of a store which had been laid one and one-half miles east of Phoenix by Jim McKinnie, John Alvaney and Captain Hancock. The meeting was called for a certain Saturday. On the Friday preceding the called meeting, father and I visited the present site of Phoenix to get a load of wood. We found two men quarreling over the quarter section which lies directly east of Center Street. Father asked the men why one did not take the quarter in dispute, and the other the quarter adjoining to the west. This proposition was refused by both, and it occurred to father that the two quarter sections would make an excellent townsite, and, after a little coaxing, the parties to the dispute agreed to quit claim their right, title and interest to the quarter section upon the payment of twenty-five dollars to each on the following Monday. At the meeting, the following day, the fifty dollars was raised by popular subscription, and what is now the thickly settled portion of Phoenix, worth millions, was surrendered for a pittance. Maricopa


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County had not yet been organized. It was a part of Yavapai, and the Probate Judge of that county, transacted the necessary work to make the townsite transfer legal.

"W. B. Hellings located his store and mill on Section 1, because there he could get more ground. He bought in there and started the town which was called East Phoenix, put up a mill and a store, and said he was going to start a town there. Jack Swilling was interested in that section, and he worked very hard to have the county seat given to East Phoenix. At the first county election, in May, 1871, they nominated for sheriff from East Phoenix, Jim Favorite; and for sheriff from West Phoenix, J. G. Chenowith. They had two tickets, East Phoenix and West Phoenix. This election was for county officers. Jack Swilling was married to a Mexican woman, and he had control of the Mexicans, and there were more Mexicans than white men. John Dennis and some of the boys put up a job on Swilling, and switched tickets on him, and all the Mexicans voted for West Phoenix. This decided the election in favor of West Phoenix. The campaign was a bitter one, and toward its close Chenowith, candidate for sheriff of West Phoenix, and Favorite, candidate for sheriff of East Phoenix, quarreled, and Chenowith killed Favorite. Chenowith was acquitted but retired from the race. East Phoenix put up John Moore, and West Phoenix, Tom Barnum, and the latter became the first elected sheriff of Maricopa County. The first interment made in the city of Phoenix was that of a man ‚who died with his boots on.‚ Captain


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Hancock was the first sheriff, but he had been appointed to hold the office until the election was held.

"'Lum‚ Gray settled here in 1868. Ben Peterson and his wife came in at the same time; they came together, Mrs. Peterson and Mrs. Gray. I think they were the two first white women here. Barnum came at the same time that Peterson did. Mrs. Barnum, my sister, came in 1869, at the same time my father and Bill Osborn, Alsap, McKinnie, and others came in. That was in the spring of 1869. When I came in in 1869, there was ‚Lum‚ Gray, his wife, Ben Peterson and wife, Rogers and wife, and Mrs. Barnum. They were the only white women in the valley; only four of them. Right after we came in, old ‚Coho‚ Young and his family moved in. Then that fall the Murrays came; Old Man Murray and seven daughters; his wife was dead, and the daughters were all grown up."

’’

After the purchase of the two quarter sections of land for the townsite of Phoenix, Captain Hancock surveyed the land, the town was laid off, divided into blocks and lots, and the selling of the same commenced. The Prescott "Miner," in January, 1871, notes the sale of town lots in Phoenix in the preceding December, sixty-one lots being sold at an average price of forty-eight dollars each. Judge Berry, of Prescott, bought the first town lot, paying therefor the sum of one hundred and sixteen dollars. This property is now occupied by the Dorris Grocery Store on the southwest corner of First and Washington Streets. By this time, 1871,

CHARLES TRUMBULL HAYDEN.


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there was quite a population around Phoenix, probably five hundred persons.

This was the beginning of a settlement in the deserts of Arizona which, at this writing, 1918, has developed into a city of 30,000 people, with all modern improvements, paved streets, electric lights, electric cars, large business houses, and banks with deposits aggregating over ten millions of dollars, in the heart of a valley where two hundred thousand acres of land are under cultivation, with annual products approximating twenty millions of dollars, and which is only the beginning of, perhaps, one of the richest and most prosperous communities under the American flag.

A settlement was also started on the south side of the river at what was then known as Hayden's Ferry. The first canal taken out there was projected by Swilling and his associates, and was completed about the year 1869. Charles Trumbull Hayden located there about the year 1870; also Captain Sharp, Winchester Miller, Niels Peterson, and other pioneers of the South Side.

Captain Sharp afterwards moved from Tempe to Alhambra, about three miles from Phoenix, where he died a few years ago. I have been unable to learn anything of his early life. I knew him personally, however. He was an industrious farmer and a good citizen.

Charles Trumbull Hayden, a biography of whom is given in Volume II, was the founder of Tempe, where his son, Carl Hayden, the first representative in Congress of the State of Arizona, was born. Mr. Hayden established the


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first ferry there, and also the first mercantile business. He was known as the "Father of Tempe."

In a letter written by Charles Trumbull Hayden, under date of Feby. 8th, 1898, to Joseph Fish, Mr. Hayden, speaking of the time he was Probate Judge says:

‘‘

"I was the first Probate Judge in Tucson, A. T., under the laws of New Mexico that were extended over this Territory on its formation. They gave the Probate Judge limited civil and criminal jurisdiction, and in the year I occupied the bench, there was no case of death, not a civil case, and only one criminal case before the court, and that crime was committed by a citizen of Sonora. The five hundred Mexicans that constituted nearly all of the population of Tucson, like the American population upon the very extreme frontier, settled their own disputes without the aid of the courts."

’’

Winchester Miller, who was located at Tempe when Charles Trumbull Hayden arrived there, was, according to the Fish manuscript, a native of Ohio, coming to Arizona in 1870, and locating at Tempe, where he died in November, 1893. Of him it is said, in the Arizona "Republican" of Dec. 25th, 1901:

‘‘

"The early settlers of Tempe in opening up this Territory were called upon not only to endure many hardships but face the greatest dangers as well. Perhaps one of the bravest and most respected of these old timers was Winchester Miller. Miller was a man possessed with a nerve of iron and did not know the meaning of fear. He used to relate an exciting


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episode that occurred back in the 70's or thereabouts, when he held the office of sheriff. We give it herewith as he told it to a friend of his. It is claimed to be an absolute fact:

‘‘

"In executing the duties of his office at one time it unfortunately became necessary for Winchester to hang two Indians. While undoubtedly it was an unpleasant job Miller went about the business and stretched the redskins' necks in the most approved fashion. When he had finished they were good Indians and all they needed was a pair of wings each.

"He was living on the ranch now owned by Mons Ellingson. One day not long after he had given the two Indians their quietus, as Miller was standing in the yard near his house, his quick eye noted rising in the distance a great cloud of dust rapidly approaching. It did not require a second glance for him to realize that a band of painted bloodthirsty savages were swooping down upon him to avenge the death of their two brethren. Stepping into his house the nervy pioneer took his rifle from its peg, buckled on two cartridge belts, stuck in a couple of six shooters and a knife, and returned to the yard. Fortunately there was a fence about his house, behind which he took his stand.

"All this took but a short time, but when Miller reached the fence the savages were in full view, coming pellmell, yelling in their eagerness and excitement in anticipation of plenty of loot, incendiarism and scalps. On they came, a horde of 250, not observing Winchester Miller behind the fence until they bumped up against the end of his gun. As soon as they were in


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speaking distance Winchester bellowed at the top of his lungs, ‚Now is a good time to begin the shooting!'

"The redskins were taken by surprise and halted in confusion a short distance away. Accustomed to fighting in ambush the boldness of the man disconcerted them. The moment one started forward he was met with the cold muzzle of Winchester's gun. He watched every move and instantly checked the slightest show of advance, meanwhile constantly pouring at them at the top of his voice a string of epithets defying them to advance. Drawing off to a safe distance they dismounted, formed a circle, seated Indian fashion, and held a powwow, or council of war.

"They had come fully prepared for butchery, carrying the different implements of battle known to savages-rifles, tomahawks, bows and arrows, spears, clubs, anything they could get hold of. The fierce tribal hatred of their race was boiling in their veins. The powwow was of short duration. They again decided the white man must die. Springing onto their ponies once more, they came howling toward the house.

"'G--d d--n you, come on, you dirty devils!‚ shouted old Winchester, at the top of his voice. ‚I know you'll get me, but I'll fix a lot of you before you nail me!'

"The Indians stopped. One of them attempted to circle around to the rear of the house.

"'Get back there or I'll bore a hole through you,‚ shouted Winchester as he took aim at the savage.


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"Another started to dismount from his pony, but in an instant he was an object of interest to Winchester's gun. He concluded that his pony's back was safer than the ground and crawled back. For two days and nights, strange as it may seem, Winchester Miller stood off the band of savages who had come there with the express purpose of scalping him, burning the building to the ground and carrying off all movable property. Miller stood at his post without food or water until finally the Indians dispersed, either through fear of admiration for the man's dauntless courage.

"Ever afterwards both Indians and Mexicans held Winchester Miller in great respect.

"An illustration of his remarkable personality was given at one time in more recent years when a number of Indians and Mexicans had gathered near the old Hayden mill. They had imbibed too freely of a quantity of bad whisky; were fighting among themselves and had reached such a state of frenzy that they constituted a dangerous element to the community.

"An officer was dispatched to arrest them. Winchester was not sheriff then. The mob simply laughed at the officer and dared him to arrest them if he could. He returned and reported the state of affairs. Some one suggested, ‚Send for Winchester Miller.'

"No sooner said than done. Two or three went out to his house and explained the situation and asked him if he would not come down and see what he could do. ‚Sure,‚ replied Winchester. Buckling on a six-shooter he set out


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for the mill, As soon as he was near enough he bellowed at the top of his voice:

"'Get out of here, you dirty devils!'

"Without waiting a second, upon recognizing his voice, the drunken mob scrambled and fell all over each other in their haste to get out of the way. By the time Winchester Miller had reached the spot not an Indian or Mexican was in sight."

’’’’

In the same paper is a short history of Tempe by Frederick C. Wright, Editor and Manager Tempe Department of the Arizona "Republican," which I here reproduce:

‘‘

"Tempe, a Greek word meaning ‚beautiful valley,‚ is a town of about 1190 inhabitants situated on the south bank of the Salt River nine miles east and but a short distance south of Phoenix, the capital of Arizona Territory.

"It is beautifully located in the heart of the richest and most productive farming section in the Salt River valley.

"Just thirty years ago, in October, 1871, the first white man, Charles T. Hayden, located on the present site of the town of Tempe and took up a quarter section of land extending as far south as the present site of the post office. It was then called Hayden's Ferry.

"At that time the country round about presented an unbroken expanse of desert waste and sage brush.

"It took the dauntless courage and untiring energy of a brave pioneer to cope with seemingly unsurmountable difficulties to reclaim and upbuild an arid waste such as these early settlers encountered.


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"Mr. Hayden erected a small pole shanty about 14x16 feet, upon the spot now occupied by the old Hayden house. This shanty was used as a store and was the only structure in this locality for some time, with the exception of an old adobe building on section 17, built shortly after, on what was known as the Pacho ranch. It was built by a man named Mendosa.

"The Tempe Canal was constructed about 1869 by Jack Swilling, who organized a company for that purpose. He was also the leading spirit in the construction of the Swilling canal, later known as the Salt River canal.

"After Mr. Hayden the first settlers to locate here in the order of their arrival were: Captain Sharp, Winchester Miller, Mr. Vader, John J. Hill, Conrad Meyer, Charles Balzan, J. T. Priest, Niels Peterson, Bob Carley, Charles Beach and others. Nearly all these took up farms in the country near by and were the founders and organizers of the present rich farming section about Tempe.

"J. T. Priest located here in December, 1871, and went to work on the Kirkland and McKinney ditch. This ditch was completed in the winter of 1872 and the first grain crops were then planted. In 1873 C. T. Hayden planted the first crop of alfalfa this side of the river on the present site of the Arizona Mercantile Company's store.

"Farms were quickly taken up. In 1871 John J. Hill took a farm where the public school now stands. Carley and Beach located on section 8, where Joe Wallace now lives. Captain Sharp located upon the ranch now owned by


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Wolf Sachs. In the fall of 1872 Niels Peterson located here and settled upon the ranch his partner, C. M. Hildebrand, had taken up in 1871, where Mr. Peterson now lives.

"In 1873 Mexican, or Old Town, was settled. A man by the name of Kirkland, who lived on the Winchester Miller place, organized an association known as the ‚San Pueblo Town Association.‚ The first building in San Pueblo was built in 1873 by a man named Sontag, and was an adobe west of the church that now stands on the hill near the railroad.

"The first flour mill in the valley was the Helling mill, later known as the Vail place. The mill was located just east of the present site of the insane asylum, between Tempe and Phoenix.

"The Hayden flour mill was at first but a small ‚coffee-grinder‚ mill, located upon the present site. The present structure was completed in 1874. Flour was ground out by common mill stones, with a capacity of about 2,000 pounds of flour per day. The mill, run by water, from that day to this has been kept in motion with ten shares of the Kirkland and McKinney ditch, fifteen shares of which were owned by Mr. Hayden.

"A man by the name of Freeman settled upon eighty acres just south of Hayden's quarter section, beginning at Fifth Street. In 1872 J. T. Priest purchased this land and in 1875 sold it to Mr. Hayden."

’’

According to the Fish manuscript, the James T. Priest mentioned in the foregoing was born in Canada September 19th, 1835. He came to Arizona in 1871 and became a permanent resident


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of the Salt River Valley. When the writer came into the valley in 1887, Mr. Priest was a prominent citizen of the South Side, and served for a number of terms as a member of the Board of Supervisors of Maricopa County. He was one of the leading Republicans of the county whose influence was always exercised in behalf of his party.

Niels Peterson, one of the early settlers on the south side of the Salt River, was born in Denmark on October 21st, 1845. He received a liberal education in the land of his birth, and at the age of sixteen entered upon a seafaring life, which took him to all parts of the world. In 1865 he came to the United States, and sailed out of the port of New York until 1869, when he returned to his native land. In 1870 he again came to the United States, and spent one year in California, from which place he came to Arizona in the summer of 1871, at once settling in what is now Tempe. Since that time he has been prominent in that section, and also in the affairs of the Territory, having, at different times, been president of the Farmers and Merchants' Bank at Tempe, treasurer of the Tempe Irrigating Canal Company, and a member of the eighteenth Territorial legislature. Mr. Peterson is the owner of a farm of twelve hundred and fifty acres of land, and of one of the finest residences and rural homes in the Salt River Valley. In addition to the offices held by Mr. Peterson enumerated above he has served as a member of the board of trustees of the school district of his neighborhood, and, during the eighties was elected a member of the Maricopa


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county board of supervisors, upon the Democratic ticket, of which party he has always been a stanch adherent. He is a member and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Tempe.

Mr. Peterson has been twice married. His first wife was Isabel Dunphy, of Duluth, Minnesota, and his second Susanna Decker, of South Montrose, Pennsylvania.

Concerning the naming of Phoenix and Tempe, the following article appeared in 1910 in the "Arizona Republican":

‘‘

"When A. K. Stacy of Phoenix was in California for a short stay lately, he spent a part of the time most pleasantly at Arrowhead Hot Springs, near San Bernardino, in company with Mr. and Mrs. George F. Gardiner the latter Mr. Stacy's daughter. While the springs were enjoyed for their beauty of environment and for the baths, one of the experiences that will live long in the memory of the visitors was meeting with Major Ben Truman, who is spending a part of the summer at Arrowhead with Mrs. Truman, who happens to be an aunt of Mrs. Frank Ainsworth of Phoenix.

"Though Major Truman had not stopped in the Territory for more than thirty years, he still claims to be an Arizonan by virtue of pioneer experiences. Mr. Stacy soon learned that Major Truman had been special agent of the post office for the Pacific coast department in 1867, and that his jurisdiction embraced Arizona, and that he had received instructions to


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carefully examine into the mail conditions of the Territory and to re-establish the old Butterfield route between Los Angeles and Santa Fe, via Yuma and Tucson, and that he spent sixty odd days in Arizona from February 16, to April 16, visiting Maricopa Wells, Prescott, Tucson, Tubac, Wickenburg, Casa Grande and other places.

"He established new post offices and new mail routes during his stay, many of which still exist. This was before there was any Phoenix or Florence; or, as he said, there were only stage stations between Yuma and Tucson, about 300 miles, although there was a big store at Maricopa Wells, owned by Hooper, Whiting & Co. After an hour's running conversation and reminiscences, the major said, in substance, as remembered:

"'It may be of interest to you to know that I named Phoenix-that is, officially. As a matter of fact, Governor R. C. McCormick asked me to have the spot called Phoenix, the name the settlement had previously been called, and I so recommended to the postoffice department, and this gave it its name officially. Shortly afterwards I named Florence, after a maiden sister of the governor, Florence McCormick. At the time I crossed the Salt River on my way from Tucson to Prescott, via Camp McDowell and the Vulture Mine, near Wickenburg, the Apaches were very dangerous, and the only white man our party met for 150 miles was a man named White, who owned a small flouring mill some distance from Maricopa Wells, within the


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safety of the Pima Indians, who were about 12,000 strong and who fought and whipped the Apaches often, and whose boast it was that they had never killed a white man. The Maricopas numbered 1,500 and they and the Pimas were friendly and intermarried, but each spoke a different language.

"'I stayed over at the Vulture mine twenty-four hours, in March, 1867, and was greatly interested, as it was the first gold mine and the first stamp mill I had ever seen. The owners were taking out lots of gold and gave me a fine little cube, and a free gold specimen of quartz, which in 1877 I presented to John Sherman, Secretary of the Treasury, under President Hayes.

"'We were five days going from the Vulture mine to Prescott, the latter place having been so named by Governor McCormick after Prescott, the historian. Here I was entertained by the officers of the army, and at one of the dinners given me saw a roasted wild turkey that had weighed thirty-eight pounds after being dressed. There were deer and wild turkeys only a few miles from camp, but also Apaches.

"'In 1878 I again visited Arizona as special agent of the post office department, and stopped over near Phoenix as the guest of a man named Hayden, who had a fine house and was building a big corral. Phoenix was then quite a town, and had a good hotel, several stores, and trees along one or more of its streets. The Southern Pacific only ran as far as Yuma, so I made the trip between Yuma and Tucson in a buckboard.


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"'Of course I could tell you a good many stories of this trip, how I was received at Tucson at receptions and balls given by Lord & Williams, the Zeckendorfs, and others, and of the good treatment I received at Phoenix, but I will call myself off now that I have presented the above salient features. But I have always had a mighty warm spot in my heart for Arizona, and have hoped for years that it would be made a state.'"

’’

During these early years agriculture, of course, made more rapid strides in the Salt River Valley than in any other section of the Territory, because here the settlers were comparatively free from raids by the Apaches, being protected to a great extent by the Maricopa and Pima Indians, but there was a good deal of planting done during the years 1867, 1868 and 1869 in the north, in and around Prescott, and good crops raised in many places. Some attempts were made to cultivate lands in the southern portion of the Territory, but whatever was placed upon the land there in the way of livestock was oftentimes confiscated by the Indians.

In a report of a geological survey for a railroad made by General W. J. Palmer in 1867 and 1868 over the 32nd and 35th parallels, an account of which is given by William A. Bell in a work entitled "New Tracks in North America," there is given an estimate of the arable land in the Territory, the number of acres under cultivation and the amount of grain, maize and wheat raised in 1867, which, to the present day reader, will prove interesting:


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‘‘

"Not reckoning its tributary valleys, the Gila valley has about 300,000 acres of arable land, capable of sustaining an agricultural and mining population of 200,000, which is, no doubt, a low estimate. During the same season the same land produces two crops, one of wheat and another of maize. The breadth of land now under cultivation-in many places subject to the frequent incursions of the terrible Apaches-is quite small. Intelligent residents gave me the following estimate for Southern Arizona:-

"ARABLE CULTIVABLE LAND.
Acres
"Valley of the Aravaipa 5,000
" " " San Pedro 50,000
" " " Santa Cruz 20,000
" " " Gila 300,000
" " " Salt River 50,000
" " " Colorado 15,000
"Total: 440,000
"UNDER CULTIVATION.
Acres
"Tres Alamos and vicinity 500
Calabasas " " 200
Tubac " " 500
Tumacacori " " 50
San Xavier del Bac 100
Tucson 2,000
Above Pima Reservation, on Gila 1,000
Pima Reservation 1,000
Total: 5,350


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"MAIZE AND WHEAT RAISED IN 1867.
lbs.
"Tres Alamos 500,000
Calabasas 200,000
Tubac 500,000
Tumacacori 50,000
San Xavier 50,000
Tucson 1,500,000
Gila river, above Reservation 1,000,000
Indian Reservation, wheat, 750,000
maize, 250,000 1,000,000
Total: 4,800,000

"That part of Southern Arizona lying east of a line drawn from Baboquivari Peak to the Gila above Sacaton possesses, in common with New Mexico, great pastoral advantages. It is covered at all times of the year with a magnificent growth of grama grass-one of the most nutritious grasses known to stock raisers; and at no season of the year do cattle need other shelter than that afforded by natural variations in the surface of the ground.

"Timber is scarce. In the Santa Catarina and Santa Rita Mountains pine is abundant, but elsewhere, and then only upon the immediate banks of the streams, cottonwood and mesquit alone are found to supply either timber or fuel. The latter is a remarkably hard and durable leguminous wood, and grows in the lower Gila valley and in the Colorado to a size large enough for cross ties, and not unfrequently attains a diameter of from 18 to 30 inches. It makes the most highly prized pianoforte legs."

’’


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During the years 1867 and 1868 a large amount of corn and other grain was raised in the northern part of Arizona, and during those years large quantities were furnished to the United States Government at from eight to ten cents a pound.

Up: Contents Previous: CHAPTER IV. SETTLEMENT OF THE SALT RIVER VALLEY. Next: CHAPTER VI. EARLY SETTLEMENTS-PHOENIX AND VICINITY (Continued).




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