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Mill City, or East Phoenix, became a village of considerable importance, and in 1872 demanded and received postal facilities. Ed. K. Buker, a well known resident of the valley, was appointed the first postmaster. By the middle of 1873, W. B. Hellings & Co., had built up a valuable trade the flour and produce, and during the following year added to their stock quantities of bacon and lard. At this time their steam mill was turning out an average of twelve thousand pounds of good flour every twelve hours from a superior quality of wheat grown in the valley.

In 1873 there was no demand for bran, so the manufacturers of the flour had to purchase hogs to consume all the refuse and unsalable stuff about the mill. The mill and the surrounding buildings were kept in first class repair, and the tract of land belonging to the firm was large, some of it planted to various crops. In 1873 the Swilling farm was added to these holdings. Upon this farm were planted apple and peach trees, and grape vines.

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In a letter dated in November of the year 1872, the late Edward Irvine, of Phoenix, wrote the following description of the Swilling farm:


"On Saturday, November 9th, Granville H. Oury, J. B. Hartt and myself started out afoot, on a little excursion. Avoiding the roads we followed up the Dutch Ditch, a branch of the Swilling Canal; crossed the Extension, another branch of the same, and came upon a neat little artificial pond in a clump of willows and cottonwoods, which was covered with tame ducks, the property of J. W. Swilling, whose house, a comfortably large one, 59 x 80 feet stood nearby. Mr. Swilling's ranch is conveniently situated near the head of the main ditch, on which he has a vineyard and an orchard containing apple, peach, plum, pear, cherry, fig, walnut and orange trees, all of which looked thrifty and promising, except the latter, which were injured by the frost. A patch of fine large cane close by, gave indications of the future production of sugar."


Long rows of cottonwoods, some poplars, and other shade trees were growing rapidly upon Hellings & Co.'s property, while castor bean plants were also abundant. In 1870, the property was covered with nothing but sage brush and greasewood, with not a drop of water in sight, so that the great change brought about in a few years by the owners was gratifying to all those who were interested in the progress of the valley.

The following article which appeared in the "Tucson Citizen" of January 2nd, 1875, shows the enterprise of Hellings Bros.:

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"Among the noteworthy establishments of Arizona is that of Wm. B. Hellings & Co., of East Phoenix, in the Salt River Valley. It is well known throughout Arizona that they have a very large and complete steam flouring mill in the heart of the largest area of agricultural land, well supplied with water, in Arizona, and that they have been quite successful in operating it, as well as in making pork, bacon and lard. But during this year they intend enlarging and perfecting their pork and bacon establishment by the introduction of all the best appliances obtainable in the old states. Additional buildings will be erected and machinery installed for handling the hogs and for the making of all the barrels and casks required, right on the ground, and the whole business is to be systematized and perfected in its details as it is in the cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati. They killed 250 hogs in 1874, and they proved to be of better quality and weight than in 1873, and better than was expected prior to killing and dressing. The result of their operations in 1874 was, or will be when completed, 400 barrels of mess pork with proportionate quantities of bacon, lard and sausages. They will ship these articles to various markets in the Territory, not supplied by local producers. It is the purpose of the firm to make their articles equally as good as can be purchased in the San Francisco or other markets, and sell them as cheaply as they can be laid down here from any other market. Local dealers will find it to their advantage to patronize them."


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The following item also appeared in the same newspaper shortly after:


"W. B. Hellings & Co., have 60,000 pounds of hams and bacon on the way from Phoenix to Tucson, and have made arrangements to supply all the stores of this town. Samples of their manufacture may be seen at E. N. Fish & Co.'s store, and we are entirely safe in saying that no better articles of hams and bacon were ever offered in any market. They have put the bacon up in shape particularly convenient for miners or other persons who have to camp out, and yet in entirely acceptable form for household uses. Mr. W. B. Hellings has satisfied himself that the Salt River Valley climate cannot be excelled for the curing of hams and bacon; in fact, he is of the opinion that it is superior to any other part, and he stands ready to guarantee that everything made by his firm will keep perfectly for one year, and we thoroughly believe that he is entirely safe in making such an offer. We think this locality favored in getting the products named, for they are without question, first class in every way."


In March, 1875, the Hellings Company opened a branch store at Tucson for the special sale of the flour, pork, bacon, and lard produced at East Phoenix. A grocery trust, such as are quite common throughout the country to-day, existed at the time in the Old Pueblo, called the "Mercantile Association," with which the Hellings Company had no connection. Their advertisement stated that ‘‘"From all persons who desire a fair competition in trade, and who are opposed to combinations and monopolies, such as now

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exist here, we ask patronage. Within sixty days we will receive a large stock of staple groceries, which will be sold much below the present rates."’’

Their establishment in Tucson was called the "Marble Front," and was located on Main Street.

In Hinton's "Handbook to Arizona," published in 1878, appears the following description of East Phoenix:


"East Phoenix is a very pretty little hamlet gathered about a large flouring mill, with water running on either side of its only street, which for half a mile is also lined with young cottonwood trees."


To-day, however, nothing remains but a few crumbling ruins where this thriving and ambitious village once stood. The bare blackened walls of the three storied mill are still standing to designate the center of Mill City's business activity. In later years the land upon which the little village had flourished became the property of John J. Gardiner, and was known as the Gardiner Ranch. He cleared away most of the old ruins, and used the old mill for the storing of hay and grain until fire destroyed it.

The population of the Salt River Valley had increased to such an extent, that when the election was held in 1870 for Territorial and County officers, it was the second largest precinct in Yavapai County. In Phoenix precinct at this election the vote cast numbered 188, while the vote cast in Prescott was 306. J. A. Young and C. Carter, were elected Justices of the Peace, and James A. Moon, constable.

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The Sixth Territorial Legislature was convened at Tucson in 1871. Its members were as follows:

Name. Residence. Occupation. Age. Where Born.
Yavapai County.
John T. Alsap, Phoenix, Farmer, 40 Kentucky.
Harley H. Cartter, Prescott, Lawyer, 61 New York.
Andrew J. Marmaduke, Prescott, Farmer, 45 Virginia.
Mohave and Pah-Ute Cos.
Not Represented.
Yuma County.
John H. Phillips, Eureka, Physician, 56 New Jersey.
Pima County.
Hiram S. Stevens, Tucson, Merchant, 39 Vermont.
Daniel H. Stickney, Santa Rita, Clerk, 58 Massachusetts.
Estevan Ochoa, Tucson, Merchant, 37 Chihuahua.
Francisco S. Leon, Tucson, Ranchero, 52 Arizona.
Name. Residence. Occupation. Age. Where Born.
Yavapai County.
J. H. Fitzgerald, Wickenburg, Metallurgist, 39 Kentucky.
John L. Taylor, Prescott, Farmer, 36 Kentucky.
William J. O'Neill, Kirkland Val., Farmer, 40 Ireland.
G. A. Wilson, Phoenix, Farmer, 52 Virginia.
Joseph Melvin, Verde, Farmer, 40 Pennsylvania.
James L. Mercer, Phoenix, Farmer, 36 Ohio.
Mohave and Pah-Ute Cos.
Not Represented.
Yuma County.
Marcus D. Dobbins, Arizona City, Lawyer, 43 Pennsylvania.
C. H. Brinley, Arizona City, Miner, 43 Massachusetts.
Thomas J. Bidwell, Ehrenberg, Gardener, 38 Missouri.
Pima County.
J. W. Anderson, Florence, Farmer, 45 North Carolina.
F. H. Goodwin, Tucson, Physician, 37 Georgia.
William Morgan, Tucson, Farmer, 27 Pennsylvania.
W. L. Fowler, Tucson, Farmer, 25 Pennsylvania.
Ramon Romano, Tubac, Farmer, 34 Mexico.
Juan Elias, Tucson, Farmer, 30 Mexico.
Rees Smith, Tubac, Farmer, 42 Ohio.

The Legislature was organized by the election of Daniel H. Stickney, of Pima County, as President of the Council. He died before the end of

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the session and Harley H. Cartter, of Yavapai, was elected to fill the vacancy.

Marcus D. Dobbins, of Yuma, was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The following is the record concerning the creation of the County of Maricopa at this session:


"Jan. 26-Mr. Fitzgerald introduced a bill ‚Creating the County of Pinal,‚ and a motion to suspend the rules, for second reading, was lost by the following vote:

"AYES-Messrs. Anderson, Bidwell, Melvin, Mercer, O'Neill, Smith and Taylor-7.

"NAYS-Messrs. Brinley, Elias, Fitzgerald, Fowler, Goodwin, Romano, Wilson and Mr. Speaker-8.

"Jan. 27-The bill ‚Creating the County of Pinal, read a second time and a motion to make it the special order for Feb. 23rd was lost by a vote of 7 to 8, being then referred to the "Committee on Counties and County Boundaries."

"Jan. 28.-A petition from Pima and Yavapai citizens for a new county was refused reference to the ‚Committee on Counties and County Boundaries‚ by a vote of 5 to 9, and was then referred to a ‚Committee of Fve'-three from Yavapai, and two from Pima-consisting of Messrs. Fitzgerald, Mercer, Taylor, Anderson and Smith.

"Feb. 1.-Messrs. Fitzgerald, Mercer, Smith and Taylor, of the ‚Special Committee‚ to whom was referred the petition of citizens from Pima

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and Yavapai, for a new county, embracing the Gila and Salt River Settlements, reported it back and recommended that it be laid on the table. Subsequently the petition came up for action, and by a vote of 9 to 6, it was laid upon the table.

"Feb. 6.-Mr. Fowler, of the ‚Committee on Counties, etc.‚ reported favorably upon the bill to create the ‚County of Pinal,‚ which was considered in Committee of the Whole, without recommendation.

"Feb. 7.-The Pinal County bill was considered in Committee of the Whole, and was amended; the committee arose and asked to sit again. The Pinal County bill came up again and was amended in Committee of the Whole, so as to exclude Wickenburg; this proceeding was adopted by the following vote:

"AYES-Messrs. Anderson, Bidwell, Brinley, Elias, Melvin, Mercer, Morgan, O'Neill, Romano, Smith, Taylor and Wilson, 12.

"NAYS-Messrs. Fitzgerald, Fowler, Goodwin, and Mr. Speaker, 4."


After this action the bill and report was referred to the Yavapai Delegation as was also a petition presented by Mr. Mercer, from citizens of Salt River Valley on the same subject.


"Feb. 9.-The Yavapai Delegation, to whom had been referred the Pinal County bill, reported a ‚substitute bill‚ for that ‚Creating the County of Pinal'; which was adopted."


Mr. Anderson, of Pima, moved to amend the substitute bill so as to embrace territory

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south of the Gila; upon this motion the vote stood as follows:


"AYES-Messrs. Anderson and Morgan-2.

"NAYS-Messrs. Bidwell, Elias, Fowler, Goodwin, Mercer, O'Neill, Romano, Smith, Taylor, Wilson and Mr. Speaker-11."


The substitute bill "Creating the County of Maricopa" was then considered engrossed and passed by the following vote:


"AYES-Messrs. Bidwell, Elias, Fowler, Goodwin, Mercer, Morgan, O'Neill, Romano, Smith, Taylor and Wilson-11.

"NAYS-Mr. Anderson and Mr. Speaker-2.


"Feb. 11.-After the opening of the day's proceedings, Mr. Phillips, of Yuma, presented a petition from citizens of Wickenburg, Vulture City, the Vulture Mine and Phoenix, asking for a new county, to be formed out of Yavapai; this petition was ordered laid on the table."


The "substitute bill" for that creating the County of Pinal, which was the one to "Create the County of Maricopa," was then brought up and was passed unanimously.


"Feb. 15.-After the opening of the day's proceedings, a communication was received from the office of the Governor announcing his approval of a number of bills, among them being:

"'An Act to create the County of Maricopa,'" this bill having been signed by Governor Safford on the previous day.


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Thus, on February 14th, 1871, on the 35th day of the session of the Sixth Legislative Assembly, the county of Maricopa was officially created.

This was the second county created by an Arizona Legislature, under pressure of public petitions.

The First Legislative Assembly divided the Territory into the four immense counties of Mohave, Pima, Yavapai and Yuma.

Out of the northern portion of Mohave County was carved in 1865 the county of Pah Ute, the first created by petition of citizens after the initial session of the Legislature, and which occupied the extreme northwestern corner of Arizona.

For some reason, to this day unexplained, the greater portion of the land included in this Arizona county was ceded to the State of Nevada by the Congress of the United States under an act passed on May 5, 1866.

This act provided, however, that the cession should not be valid unless consent for the acceptance of the same, was formally given by the Nevada Legislature. This latter body, soon after, accepted in due form this valuable grant, which comprised an area of 12,225 square miles, by passing the required legislation on January 18th, 1867.

By this peculiar act Arizona's area was reduced from 126,141 to 113,916 square miles, its present area, and "Pah-Ute" County, Arizona, was almost wiped out of existence.

In 1871, by the same legislature which created the county of Maricopa, the act creating this first county was repealed, furnishing, at the same time, the only instance in our political history,

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wherein a once official county name cannot be found upon the maps or records of today. That remnant of Pah-Ute county which was left in Arizona was again merged with the mother county, and is still a portion thereof, valuable mostly for its vast stretches of virgin timber.

In Yavapai county, the passage of the "Maricopa County" bill created much discussion, and some doubt was expressed as to the ability of the residents of the Salt River Valley to sustain a separate county government, without the aid of the settlements along the south side of the Gila River. The following correspondence expresses fully the sentiment of that day:


"The trustees of the young and growing town of Phoenix, have shown very good sense in having set apart lots for school, church, and Masonic purposes, and we are sorry that the entire people of the settlement did not exhibit equally good sense upon the county question.

"They should not have severed their connection with us at this time, when both we and they are ‚hard up.‚ Had they succeeded in having the ‚Gila Settlements‚ included in their new county, we would not have said one word against the movement. But as ‚Maricopa County‚ now stands, we cannot help thinking that its people will have to ‚pay too dear for their whistle.'

"But then the railroad is coming, and all will soon be well with our neighbors of Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona." ("Miner," March 4th, 1871.)


And also the following:


"By ‚The Citizen‚ of February 18th, we learn of the creation of the new county of ‚Maricopa,'

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and also, to our astonishment, learn that it is made entirely out of Yavapai County. There is but little feeling here about the division of this county, as it is large enough to be divided again and leave plenty of land for us, but that the southern boundary of the new county should be made the Gila river, is surprising to us who have not yet learned the reason. If the southern boundary had been so located as to take in all the settlements in the Gila Valley, south of that river, it would have been a sensible arrangement and have been geographically correct; as it is, the inhabitants along the Gila in Pima County are not benefited, their natural affinities with their neighbors on this side of the river are not strengthened, and the new county has not the population without them to go on as prosperously as would be desirable. Probably two years will show all parties interested that ‚Maricopa County,‚ must have the southern portion of the Gila Valley to be complete and comfortable."


Over twenty times two years have now passed, and these misgivings sound strange and out of place to us of today, when Maricopa County is one of the wealthiest and most prosperous subdivisions in the State.

The Bill as passed, was as follows:


"Section 1. All that portion of the Territory of Arizona, now embraced within the present boundaries of Yavapai County, and bounded as follows, to-wit:

"Commencing at the point where the San Carlos River crosses the parallel of thirty-four degrees of north latitude, and running thence to a point on the Rio Verde, thirty miles above its

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mouth, where it empties into Salt River, thence to the White Tanks, and thence due west to the eastern boundary of Yuma County; thence south along said line to the Gila river; thence up said river, following the principal channel thereof, to the mouth of the San Carlos river to the point of beginning; be and the same is hereby created into a county to be known and designated as the County of Maricopa.

"Section 2. The Governor of this Territory is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint all such county officers in the county of Maricopa, as may be necessary to effect a complete county organization under the laws of this Territory, and the Probate Judge so appointed may qualify before any officer in the county of Yavapai, or Pima, authorized to administer oaths; and all other county officers, appointed as aforesaid, shall qualify before the Probate Judge of Maricopa County; and the bonds of all county officers appointed in said county, where by law bonds are required, shall be subject to his approval.

"Section 3. All officers except the Probate Judge appointed in the said county of Maricopa, as hereinbefore provided, shall hold their respective offices until their successors shall be duly elected and qualified, and the Probate Judge, appointed as aforesaid, shall hold his office until his successor shall be duly appointed and qualified under the general laws of this Territory.

"Section 4. There shall be a special election held in the County of Maricopa, on the first Monday of May, A. D. 1871, at which special election

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all county and township officers, except Probate Judge, shall be elected, and all officers elected, at said special election, shall qualify within twenty days after their election, by taking the oaths and filing the bonds required by law of such officers, and shall hold their respective offices until after the next general election, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

"Section 5. All acts and parts of acts relating to County and township officers and their duties, now in force in this Territory, and not in conflict with the provisions of this act, are hereby extended to and made applicable to the County of Maricopa.

"Section 6. The county seat of Maricopa County is hereby located at the town of Phoenix, near Salt River, subject to removal as hereinafter provided.

"Section 7. At the special election hereinbefore provided for, any voter may designate upon his ballot a place for the county seat of Maricopa County, and all such votes shall be received, counted and returned as other votes, and the place receiving the highest number of votes shall immediately become the county seat of Maricopa County.

"Section 8. No indebtedness now existing against Yavapai County, by reason of its county organization, shall be considered as indebtedness against the said County of Maricopa, nor shall any credits, demands, public buildings or other property of any kind, now owned by or belonging to said Yavapai County, be claimed or allowed in whole or in part as belonging to said county of Maricopa.

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"Section 9. All acts and parts of acts in conflict with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed.

"Section 10. This Act shall be in force and take effect from and after its passage."


It will be seen that Maricopa County, as originally laid off in this bill, comprised nearly double the area which it now has, the lines extending across Pinal and Gila counties into Graham County. One peculiar thing about the bill is that there is no fixed boundary as to the eastern portion of the county, the reason for which was that on account of the Apaches in that part of the country, little was known of its geography.

On the 21st day of February, 1871, Governor Safford, acting upon a petition presented by the citizens of the new county, made the following appointments for temporary county officers:

For Probate Judge- John T. Alsap,
Sheriff, Wm. A. Hancock,
Recorder, J. L. Mercer,
District Attorney, Richard Stinson,
Treasurer, George E. Mowry,
{Columbus H. Gray,
Supervisors, {Francis A. Shaw,
{Martin P. Griffin,
Public Administrator, James McC. Elliott,
Justices of the Peace, {Charles Carter,
{James A. Young.

These appointments met with the hearty approval of the residents of the Salt River Valley, especially that of Dr. Alsap, who was well liked

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and who, as Probate Judge, occupied the most important position in the new county. This position was appointive at that time, the power of naming the incumbent being vested in the Governor until 1878, when the Legislature made the office an elective one.

In some correspondence of that day is found the following:

‘‘"We have been favored more than we expected in the appointment of officers. For Probate Judge we have Dr. Alsap, that sterling old Democrat, who is the unanimous choice of the county. A better selection could not have been made. Hancock, the Sheriff, is a good fellow, and a great friend of Safford's. The others are good men and all are highly pleased."’’ ("Miner," March 18th, 1871.)

On Tuesday, the 28th day of February, 1871, the appointed members of the Board of Supervisors for Maricopa County, took the oath of office before Probate Judge Alsap.

At their first official meeting, held upon the same day, they resolved to make "Hancock's Store" the official location of the Recorder's office, where their first sessions took place, thus making it, for the time being, the official seat of county government. Hancock's store was the first building to be erected upon the Phoenix Townsite, following the first public sale of town lots in December, 1870, and stood close to the north side of Washington Street, near the west side of First Street. This building served as a temporary courthouse for some little time, or, more definitely speaking, until about the first of October, 1871, when a large and substantial adobe structure was completed by Messrs. Hancock

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& Monihon on the east side of south First Avenue, some fifty feet south of Washington Street. A jail was added at county expense to the Hancock & Monihon building, which was maintained as county headquarters for some four years.

On Wednesday, March 1, 1871, the rest of the newly appointed officials were sworn in, and the county government of the youngest county in the Territory was put in full operation.

At this point we find the following press comments:

‘‘"We bid Yavapai adieu with the kindest feelings. You are our friends and, in connection with you, there are many proud and grateful recollections that hover over our record. With you, we constituted the only Democratic county in the Territory, and, with you, we hope to act in conjunction and redeem our Territory from the misrule of the ‚Carpet Bag faction‚ who now disgrace it."’’ (Letter from Phoenix, March 3, 1971.)

Also the following:

‘‘"THE FIRST BORN-Yavapai's baby, Maricopa County, is now set up in business for herself, and although her ‚poor old mother‚ was loth to part with her, yet she feels a pride in being the first of the original sisters to give birth to a new county, which she hopes to see prosper and remain true to the principles of Democracy."’’ ("Miner," March 18th, 1871.)

For Judicial purposes Maricopa county was attached to the Third Judicial District, a bill providing for holding district courts therein having been introduced in the Council by Dr.

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Alsap, on February 13th; it passed that body unanimously on February 15th; it passed the House by 15 ayes, nays none, on February 17th, and on February 18th the Council received a message from the Governor announcing his approval of the same.

Judge Charles A. Tweed presided over the District, and he opened the First District Court for the County at Phoenix, with C. C. McDermott as Clerk of the court. Judge Tweed received his appointment to the Arizona Bench while a resident of California, his name being sent to the Senate on April 14th, and being confirmed by that body on April 18th, 1870. At the same time John Titus was appointed Chief Justice in place of Wm. F. Turner, who had served in that capacity ever since the organization of the Territory.

Before coming to Arizona, Judge Tweed had been a resident of Auburn, Placer County, California, for a period of fifteen years, where, for a time, he served as District Attorney, and for one term represented that county in the State Senate. He was noted for his amiability; a profound thinker and a rare conversationalist, he was a favorite in every circle.

On the night of July 22nd, 1871, J. H. Fitzgerald, of Yavapai County, one of the most active members of the House in this Legislature during the county division controversy, committed suicide at Mill City by taking a dose of strychnine. He had been living at Wickenburg when elected, and left a wife and family in Los Angeles, California, at the time of his death.


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