Genealogy Trails         Arizona Trails

Pima County, Arizona
History


Pima County has an area of 9,424 square miles, making it about equal to the States of New Jersey and Rhode Island combined. Pima County is one of the original counties into which Arizona was divided by the first legislature that met at Prescott in 1864, and is the portion of the Territory first settled by Europeans. This county is bounded on the north by the counties of Maricopa and Pinal; on the east by Graham and Cochise Counties; on the south by Santa Cruz County and the Mexican State of Sonora, and on the west by the County of Yuma.

Tucson, the oldest and at this time most populous town in the Territory, is the county-seat. This county has a large amount of fine land for agricultural purposes along the Santa Cruz River, which crosses the county from southeast to about northwest. There are several tributaries of the Santa Cruz, along which there is fine land for cultivation. Much of the tableland or mesas would produce well if water were gotten upon them. What is necessary is that artesian wells should be developed, or that the great amount of water that runs to waste during the periodical floods of the Santa Cruz River and its tributaries, the Rillito and other streams, should be gathered into reservoirs for use upon the land during seasons of drought.

There are several mountain ranges lying partially or wholly in this county, and there have been many mining claims taken up in all of them. Some few have been patented, but most are held by possessory title. Some are being successfully worked, while on others only enough work is being done as development work to hold the claim under the mining laws of the United States. Many considerable fortunes have been made from working the mines and from the sale of mines.

Some settlements were made by the Spaniards within the limits of Pima County, or what was Pima County, as early as 1687. The Mission of San Xavier del Bac, some nine miles southwest of Tucson, was started by the Society of Jesus in that year; also a sub-mission near Tucson for a school for the Indian children, and visited by a priest at stated periods.

The presidio of Tucson was occupied by Spanish soldiers as a military protection to the mission soon after. The Indian rancheria, or as some call it, "Old Tucson," was about a mile a little west of south from where the city of Tucson is today.

Pima County as originally constituted included all of the Gadsden purchase, from the sixth meridian of west longitude to the county of Yuma upon the west. Since that time there have been taken from the county of Pima two entire counties, viz.: Cochise and Santa Cruz, and those parts of Graham, Pinal and Maricopa lying north of the Gila River.

The light of Christianity for Arizona first shone, though faintly, through the night of barbarism within the limits of Pima County, and though many times nearly extinguished, again blazed forth, until it has illuminated the dark caves of superstition with life-giving light, and the inhabitants stand forth in the full blaze of the regenerating Gospel.

Rich in mines, in grazing land, in soil for raising grain and vegetables, in timber, in purest air and almost perpetual sunshine, Pima County offers great and varied inducements for the capitalist, the merchant, the mechanic or the hardy tiller of the soil, or whoever seeks an ideal home which can not be surpassed in any part of the world.

This county takes its name from a once-numerous tribe of Indians, who dwelt within its limits and made their living by agriculture.

Tucson, the county-seat, from its position in the Santa Cruz Valley, is the great center, commercial and social, and source of supply for a vast domain.

In Pima County are many mountain ranges and detached peaks, some rising to a considerable altitude, though hardly assuming the majesty of great mountains. To the east and northeast of Tucson are the Santa Catalina Mountains, whose culminating point is Mount Lemon, nearly ten thousand feet above sea-level; while to the southeast from same point is what is generally called the "Rincon." The apex or highest point is called by the Spanish-speaking people, "Santa Rosa," whose altitude is about eight thousand feet above sea-level. South from Tucson, some thirty-five miles, is the Santa Rita Range of mountains, crowned by "Old Baldy," or Mount Wrightson, with an altitude of 11,400 feet; but the major part of this range lies in the adjoining county of Santa Cruz. West, about fifty miles, is the Babo- quiveri Range, with the apex rising up to the altitude of 10,600 feet above sea-level in massive and rocky grandeur. It has generally been considered that the foot of man had never trodden this lofty summit, but in 1898 Professor Forbes of the University at Tucson, by the aid of ropes and grappling hooks, made the ascent and spent a day or more upon this elevated rock, leaving a fire burning, which attracted the attention of the people of the surrounding country for a circuit of thirty or forty miles; and among the superstitious Papago Indians it at first created great consternation, they thinking their mountain god had commenced to burn. One of their chiefs, more venturesome or less superstitious than his people, ventured to the mountain and saw Professor Forbes upon the summit, saw him come down, and his evidence served to dispel the illusion. There is a tradition among these Indians that many moons before the white man appeared in the country one of their great chiefs had a beautiful daughter, so beautiful that even as a child whenever she appeared great crowds followed her and were ever eager to gaze upon her exquisite face and form. From the charm of her voice she had been named in their language "The Heavenly Vision."

As this bewitching princess approached womanhood, her hand was sought far and near by princes and the sons of princes; but the wayward beauty turned with a joyous laugh from their blandishments. Finally, when in the full flush of her resplendent beauty, came the son of a great chief, with whom her people had long been at war, as the head of a peace embassy. A peace was concluded finally from the exhaustion of both parties, and not from any love for each other. The young brave found such favor in the eyes of the Indian maiden that she consented to be his and to repair to his wigwam if he would ascend Baboquiveri peak unaided and return to claim her within seven suns. The young man ascended the peak, witnessed by the whole tribe, amid shouts of congratulation; but in descending he became careless, perhaps his eyes were too much occupied in gazing upon his beloved. So he stepped upon a rolling stone, lost his balance and fell from a great height and was dashed to pieces before and in the presence of his beloved. As he fell, the maiden uttered a despairing cry and fell to the ground in a death-like swoon, and though from that she recovered, she never spoke more; but on the anniversary of the fatal day would repair to the spot where he fell and chant the Indian death-song over the resting place of her departed lover, until there came a time when she returned not. When sympathizing friends repaired to the spot, it was found her broken spirit had flown to join her heart's choice in that silent world where there are no sorrows. Even among the old Indians of the tribe today their folklore has it that up to within the last few years, upon the anniversary of that day the death song is sublimely chanted there by spirit voices in the stillness of the night: "Adieu, beautiful ones; sleep on, ever faithful hearts."

To the north and east of Baboquiveri Range of mountains is the lower range of the Tucson Mountains, and to the west are the Cababi and Quijotoa Ranges. Southeast of the Baboquiveri are the Las Gijas, Pajarito and Tumercacavi Ranges.

From these vast belts of rock-ribbed mountains the scenery is grand beyond description. Their granite heads, bold and destitute of other vegetation than scrub oak, pifion pine and the giant cactus (sujaro) can be seen on clear days for hundreds of miles. Beneath the shadow of lofty heads and up their steep sides are to be found great forests of pine, juniper, quaking asp, ash oak, cherry and walnut. Streams of pure water rush down the mountain sides and are swallowed up by the thirsty plains below. Locked in these mountains, as in a vast treasure house, are mineral deposits of gold, silver, copper and lead, and many other metals of recent discovery in Arizona, to greatly enhance the riches of the world; awaiting the touch of labor, backed by judgment and capital, to develop into great wealth producers.

And of the plains, what shall be said of them ? They, likewise, possess every element requisite for advancing an industrious and enterprising people to prosperity and greatness. The Santa Cruz River runs through this county, with many windings, nearly from south to north for some fifty miles, and there are fully fifteen hundred square miles of fine land for agriculture in this river bottom and its tributaries that will produce largely all the products grown in semi-tropical countries.

The great problem which has met the farmers face to face has been how to get water upon the land; how can a sufficient quantity be obtained to render the fine soil of this county productive and insure to a reasonable certainty a fair crop each year without too great an expense. Later developments made within the past year have in a great measure solved this question, as it has been demonstrated that a large flow of water can be obtained all along the Santa Cruz River by boring, and at no great depth. The policy has not yet been acted upon, though often talked of, of constructing reservoirs and having them filled when the streams are flooded in seasons of heavy rains, to be run out over the parched land in the dry season. When such a policy is adopted, Arizona will be a great producer of the necessaries of life. Arizona has the soil, now it remains for the moisture to be gotten upon that soil, and by the sun's aid cause the life-giving plants to spring forth.

The resources of Pima County are mining, stock-raising and agriculture. At this present time probably stock-raising is most remunerative. Various reasons are given why mining is not receiving more attention than it is at present. Among others, the low price of silver affords a convenient willow on which to hang the sorrowing harp. It is dwelt upon as though some one is to be blamed for the result, forgetting or not willing to understand that silver is but a product, and that what any product shall be worth in the markets of the world is not a matter to be regulated by law or at the behest of any one government or of all combined, for that matter. Supply and demand regulate the price of necessary commodities, or such as are deemed necessary, either for comfort, convenience or luxury, and gold and silver are no exceptions to the rule.

The old church of San Xavier del Bac, erected by the Jesuits and Franciscans as a mission church for the Papago Indians, is now in a good state of preservation, having been thoroughly repaired in the last few years. The exact age of this structure, built in the moorish style of architecture, is not known definitely, but the year 1797 is marke'd upon the vestry door, and it is generally considered that the church was completed that year. A temporary chapel was dedicated in the presidio of Tucson, perhaps for the convenience of the military and the few inhabitants occupying the same. The church of San Augustine, now a hotel of that name, is a later structure, having been erected in 1863.

The evidences of the cultivation of the soil by the Papago Indians and the mission priests are very plain, even at this date. From their old ruins, the foundations of buildings and ruined aqueducts are still discernible, also reservoirs, with a part of their embankments still in place, together with a vast amount of broken pottery on both sides of the Santa Cruz river, also on the Rillito, some six miles northeast and east of Tucson.

At the date of the transfer from Mexico to the United States (1853) of that portion of the Gadsden Purchase included in what is now Arizona, there were only two villages within those limits that contained other inhabitants than Indians, and these villages were Tucson and Tubac. Near each place were a few small ranches, under cultivation by the inhabitants.

The old name of Tucson, Tulqueson, Tuqueston, is an Indian appellation, but it is not easy to find from what derived.

There was a garrison of forty Mexican troops at Tubac in 1840, and the place then contained a population of about 400. In 1861 it was the restored ruins of an old village, and occupied by a mixed population of Americans and Mexicans, and near at hand were camped about one hundred Papago Indians, but in 1863 the place was again abandoned and in ruins.

In order to preserve the chain of history of the country, it may be well to state that the Spanish records of those times show that during the eighteenth century something near two hundred silver mines were worked in what is now Arizona and Northern Sonora, many of them being within the limits of Pima County. The King of Spain arbitrarily claimed a large share of the silver produced, as property of the Crown, which pretension on the part of Spain's ruler caused much indignation, not only among the silver producers, but the whole people as well, and after that time the proceeds of the mines were concealed as far as could be done and smuggled out of the country. It would seem to a certainty that in the vicinity of missions it was necessary to have the protection of troops, at least part of the time. It probably was the case that the Papagoes and Pimas, with the assistance of the priests did manage to struggle along and repel the often-repeated attacks of the Apaches, but between those tribes of Indians was perpetual war, and wherever and whenever one was caught by the opposing tribes, he was killed without mercy. As a matter of history, by the scanty records then kept, about the year 1800 Tucson was garrisoned by about one hundred regular Spanish troops.

The town consisted of about one hundred and fifty adobe houses, and had a population of three hundred and fifty persons, many of them discharged soldiers, who made a precarious living by cultivating small tracts of land in the river valley near the fort and selling the product to the troops and few citizens. No extensive cultivating of the fine bottom land could be done owing to the frequent and fierce raids of the ever hostile Apache Indians. Several times the old records state the Apaches made well-organized and desperate attempts to capture Tucson, under their bravest and ablest leaders and over one thousand warriors strong, but were always repulsed. The presidio of Tucson was the most northerly Spanish settlement, and was a constant hindrance to the raids of these Indians upon the settled portion of Sonora where prisoners, of whom slaves were made, and cattle could be obtained, and, therefore, the most strenuous efforts of Indian ingenuity and power were exerted through long years for its destruction—a second Tyre, but the Apaches developed no Alexander to break down its walls. In 1856 the place had some four hundred inhabitants, some thirty of whom were Americans.

On the 2ist of March of that year the. first American store, in the place was opened by Solomon Warner, who came from California with thirteen pack mules loaded with merchandise. Don Solomon, as the Mexicans called him, came only eleven days after the Mexican troops had been withdrawn, in pursuance of the terms of the Gadsden Treaty of purchase made in previous years. At this time Tucson had a flour mill and soon had another store.

In 1857, the first mail arrived from San Antonio, Texas, succeeded, in 1858, by the great overland tri-weekly mail line from St. Louis and Memphis, via Fort Smith, Fort Chadborne, El Paso, Mesilla, Tucson, Yuma, Indian Wells, Warner's Ranch, Los Angeles, and over the Coast route to San Francisco, California. This line was generally known as the "Butterfield" line, and did good and prompt service up to the breaking out of the Civil War, in 1861, when the Confederate authorities, or those pretending to act in their name, took possession of all of the stage company's property within their reach. The establishing of this mail and stage line put southern Arizona in easy communication with the outside world, which, with a few petty settlements along the Colorado River, was all there was of Arizona not dominated by the Apache.

The annals of Tucson, though of most absorbing interest to the student of history, are indistinct as to her past. For a period of time, approximating one hundred years, it was a walled fortress guarded by vigilant, armed and drilled Spanish soldiers. Up to within the last sixty years, or say up to 1840, Tucson was a military post—a walled town protected by a regular fort constructed in such a manner as to be a guard over the whole place, an immense wall in the shape of a square enclosed the entire place, shutting in the inhabitants and shutting out the Apache Indians— the hostile portion of them. The rear end of every house was built into and against this wall, and the only openings in the houses were the doors which opened into the central plaza. A heavily ironed gate, which was guarded continually, and which remained open in the daytime when there was no alarm from Apaches, afforded ingress and egress to this plaza. At night the gate was closed, locked and bolted. The wall at the back of the houses was some four feet higher than the house roofs, thus affording an excellent breastwork behind which, from their flat roofs, the inhabitants could with comparative safety fire upon an attacking force. These flat roofs were used almost universally during the summer season as the family bedroom.

The first establishing of Tucson seems to have been solely for military purposes, and its walls were built so strongly and so well fortified that no body of Apache warriors which could be assembled against it stood much chance of success. The result was that Tucson for at least one hundred years stood against all Apache wiles and machinations, though they were constantly on the watch to be able, in some unguarded moment, to strike a fatal blow, and destroy the place. The existence of this stronghold of the hated white race so far within their claimed jurisdiction, was a thorn in their side, and expedition after expedition was organized by their ablest war chiefs for its destruction, only to fail at immense loss of blood and energy to themselves.

It is clear from Spanish records that the Fort of Tucson was established in 1694 by them to protect the Catholic missions of San Augustine and San Xavier del Bac, at which date Tucson -may be said to have been permanently settled by Europeans. Before that time its occupation by whites was upon sufferance of the Apache Indians—a sufferance liable to be terminated by Apache treachery at any time and the priests with most of their following murdered. The Papago Indians, who early became converts to at least the forms of the Catholic religion, have, from the earliest times, been friendly to the whites, and it can be said to their credit that many times they have joined with the garrison at Tucson and rendered valuable assistance in beating off these marauders upon their raids. This was particularly the case in the great raid of 1720, when it seemed at one time as though the native race would sweep the whites into southern Mexico.

During Spanish occupancy of Tucson as a military post there were no outlying settlements owing to the frequent and ferocious incursions of the Apaches, there not being a sufficient number of soldiers in the country to overawe them. Movements of the inhabitants outside the walled town were made under the protection of troops. Over all the surrounding country and far south into the Mexican State of Sonora constant incursions were made by the active and fierce Apaches, who slaughtered many of the inhabitants, made captives of the young women and children and drove off whole herds of cattle and mules. The necessary supplies of the settlers around the post for many years came in from Guaymas and Hermosillo, under the protection of the troops. The Apaches for many years kept the military authorities in a state of constant watchfulness.

In 1847, during the Mexican War, a small force of United States troops and a battalion of Mormon Volunteers under command of Philip St. George Cook, en route for California, captured the town, but as they were pressed for time did not attempt the fort but left it with its brave garrison unmolested. The Mexican commander did not attempt pursuit, but congratulated himself on his "victory" in an "official" report to his government.

In 1849 the national boundary line was defined under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of February 2, 1848, which closed the Mexican War, the garrison was largely increased and Tucson had trebled in population. The Gadsden Pur? chase was accomplished in 1853 and the boundary line of the new purchase ran out and settled in 1854-5, and in 1856 the United States took formal possession of the purchase by sending four troops of the First Dragoons into it,—this force was stationed first at Tucson and later at Calabasas. In 1857 a permanent site for a military post to be called "Buchanan" was selected on the stream called Sonoita, about twenty-five miles east of Tubac and fifty miles south from Tucson. During the Civil War quite a military force was kept at Tucson and many of the citizens of enterprise became contractors for furnishing such supplies as the quartermaster and commissary branches of a military force might require, and that the surrounding country could furnish, even calling largely upon the Mexican States of Chihuahua and Sonora. This gave Tucson a great impetus and she became almost at once a commercial center to a vast extent of country.

In 1868 the capital was removed from Prescott to Tucson, and at that day this also was considered a great promoter of a permanent prosperity; goods of all descriptions were brought in from the East and West.

From the Eastern marts of commerce, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis and even from Europe, goods came by railroad and steamer to Independence, Missouri, and from there by ox or mule trains, across the great plains via Cim- arron, Raton Mountains, Santa Fe, down the Rio Grande via Albuquerque, Soccoro, Fort Craig, across the dreaded Jornada del Mucrto (journey of death), and crossing the Rio Grande at Roblero or farther down stream in the vicinity of Las Cruces, then west through mountain canons and across wide plains three hundred miles from the Rio Grande to Tucson. Traveling by train frequently occupied from three to four months and nearly the whole distance a vigilant lookout had to be kept for either Apache or Co- manche Indians, who, if in sufficient force, would attack a train and endeavor to capture it or some part of it, and at least stampede and run off the animals on every opportunity. So it was absolutely necessary to have a sufficient force to guard the whole train with military precision, night and day, as though traveling through the country of an enemy—in fact such was the case. Every man was well- armed and trained more or less in the use of arms, so that when a train was attacked the first business of teamsters under direction of the wagon-master was to park the train; that is, form a hollow square with the wagons, animals were driven into this square and the wagons used as a fortification. Old hands would park a large train in a few minutes, even the animals seemed to understand. One fierce old bull, part buffalo, which had been born on the plains and used as a draught animal seemed to have a spite against Indians and whenever they were around he was in a perfect fury and frequently gave the first alarm. Brave old "Buff," he was called, as it was known that he killed at different times three Comanche Indians; two he impaled upon his horns, tossed and stamped them to death, a third gave the old fellow a mortal wound with a spear, but as he fell he succeeded in ripping the Indian open with his sharp horns, then stretched out and died with a look of triumph in his dying eyes, that his foe was dying, too. His owner, General Otero, after the Indians were driven off, had the faithful animal buried with the honors of war and declared that over the grave of that old ox more tears were shed than he ever saw at a funeral; old bronzed teamsters and Indian fighters broke down and cried like children, and to restore order, he was compelled to give the order to "hitch up" and move on.

From the West, goods were shipped by steamer from San Francisco to the mouth of the Colorado River, then up the river by barge or the light draught steamers to Yuma, and from these transferred to wagons upon the Arizona side of the river and hauled to Tucson mostly by mule teams, two hundred and fifty miles.

Freight on goods those days was an important item as from the Colorado River alone, the charge was from nine to ten cents per pound, so that it can be seen on such articles as salt and iron it enhanced the value very materially. Much of the salt used was packed on mules and burros from the Gulf of California in sacks of about twenty-five pounds each, and not very clean at that. This packing of salt from the Californian Gulf was entirely engrossed by Papago Indians, male and female.

The advent of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which reached Tucson in 1880, changed the order of business very materially, and now the commercial affairs of Tucson and the country generally are conducted upon the principles of other large mercantile centers. The population of Tucson now (1903) is about twelve thousand and steadily increasing. Of churches the Catholics have an $80,000 cathedral; the Episcopalians, a church; Presbyterians, a church, (to be built) ; Methodists, a church; Baptists, a church; Congregationalists, a church; the Salvation Army have a hall and the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) have a foothold or a "stake" as they style it. All are prospering and instructing the people according to their light, how to live better here and reach a "better world" beyond "life's fitful fever."

Of schools, there is a large parochial school under the supervision of the Catholics, well attended and ably conducted. There are five public schools within the corporate limits of Tucson, and good, substantial buildings have been provided in every instance, together with all the modern appliances for teaching up-to-date. The Territorial University of Arizona is located at Tucson, where a first-class university education may be obtained at a slight cost.

There is also at Tucson a very flourishing Indian school, mostly under the supervision of the Presbyterians, which has done more for the elevation of the rising generation among the Papago Indians in the few years of its existence than all others have done in the three hundred and more years that have passed, since those professing Christianity first came among them. John Wannemaker, the merchant prince of Philadelphia, is understood to have contributed largely from his ample resources to forward the school and make it a success.

Of newspapers, there are three: two Democratic in politics, The Star, a morning daily issue, and the Citizen, an evening issue; The Post, a weekly issue, is Republican in politics.

Pima County's great industry and that which must, in the future be the chief reliance for supporting a large population, is agriculture. She has large bodies of fine land, which with water upon it, and properly tilled, would produce enough of the essentials of life to supply the wants of a dense population. At this time, January, 1903, there are but about three mines being worked within the county boundaries, and these not in an extensive manner. Of mining locations there are many, but the holders seem content to do the work required to hold a possessory title and wait for the boom that has been dancing upon the horizon of the future for these many years, when a fortune can be realized at once, and for the rest of their lives, freed from all care, they can enjoy a long life of unalloyed happiness. These are Life's dreams, which most indulge in, yet how few, how very few arrive at the reality. As a rule the individual who has accumulated a fortune or a competency by mining has earned it and is entitled to enjoy it.

Tucson has a free public library, the finest library building in the Territory, costing twenty-five thousand dollars, for which she thanks the Hon. Andrew Carnegie, who donated that princely sum for that purpose to the city. This leads to a few words upon the accumulation of riches: many holding that an individual ought not to be allowed by law to accumulate beyond a small competency. Those holding these views lose sight of the great incentive principle which causes men to struggle to accumulate property that is but the surplus product of labor. Were it not for the hope of accumulating for themselves and those who may come after them, how many would strive to carry on extensive business—call it by any name one will it is the incentive, the love of gain for himself, that first starts the savage on the road to civilization, and without it there never has been, nor could there be, progress in the world's history. The very people who most vociferously cry out against this accumulation of property are themselves in the race; to accumulate is the great incentive to labor, and when there can be no individual reward of industry, then will nations retrograde from civilization toward barbarism —so much for Socialistic theories.

St. Joseph's Academy, under the supervision of the Catholic sisters, affords for female children all the advantages of a thorough English and Spanish education. Though this institution is Catholic, yet pupils of every religious denomination, or maybe of none, from all parts of the country, are made welcome. The course of instruction embraces Christian Doctrine, orthography, reading, writing, grammar, composition, arithmetic, bookkeeping, algebra and geometry, modern topographical and physical geography, with use " of globes, astronomy, chemistry, history, and biography, rhetoric, literature, physiology, botany, natural philosophy and French, music on the piano, guitar and violin, drawing and painting in oil and water colors; plain and ornamental fancywork, etc.

Of secret and benevolent societies, there are Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Elks, Red Men, Ancient Order of United Workmen and several other distinguished orders, and all seem to be in a flourishing condition. The Grand Army and Pioneers will go out with this generation.

Assessed value of property, $3,898,347.25 for 1903.

I will now proceed to give some personal history from an old resident of Tucson, whose memory of events extends back near a century, and who died here but a few years ago and was well known to some members of this society:

"We met an old lady this week, who is supposed to be over one hundred years old, and was born in Tucson. Her name is Mariana Dias, and from her we obtained several historical items relating to old times, which were very interesting to us. She says as long ago as she can remember Tucson consisted of a military post surrounded by a corral, and that there were but two or three houses outside of it. The country was covered with horses and cattle and on many of the trails they were so plentiful that it was quite inconvenient to get through the immense herds. They were valuable only for the hides and tallow, and a good sized steer was worth only three dollars. This country then belonged to Spain and the troops were paid in silver coin, and on all the coin the name of Ferdinand I was engraved, and money was plentiful. Goods, such as they required were brought from Sonora on pack animals. They had in those days no carts or wagons. The fields in front and below Tucson were cultivated and considerable grain was also raised upon the San Pedro. With an abundance of beef and the grain they raised they always had an ample supply. They had no communication with California and she never knew there was such a country until she had become an old woman. San Xavier was built as long ago as she can remember, and the church in the valley in front of town, and there was also a church on Court House Square, which has gone to ruin and no trace is left of it. The priests were generally in good circumstances, and were supported by receiving a portion of the annual products, but for marriages, burials, baptisms and other church duties, they did not ask or receive any pay.

"Among the leading and wealthier men who lived here at that time, she mentioned the names of Epumusena Lo- reles, Santa Cruz, Ygnacio Pacheco, Rita Soso, Padre Pedro, and Juan Dias. On inquiry about the Apaches she spoke with considerable feeling and said that many efforts had been made for peace with them, but every attempt had resulted in failure; that whatever promises they made, but a few days would pass before they proved treacherous and commenced murder and robbery again; that they murdered her husband in the field about two miles below Tucson and that most of her relatives had gone in the same way; that she was now left alone and would be in want but for such men as Samuel Hughes.

"She related the circumstances of one peace that was made about ninety years ago. It seems the Apaches got the worst of a fight on the Aravaca Ranch; several were killed and the son of a chief was taken prisoner and brought to Tucson, and the Indians at once opened negotiations to obtain this boy. Colonel Carbon, in command of the Spanish forces, agreed with them that on a certain day the Indians should all collect here, and to prevent treachery and being overpowered, he brought in at night, and concealed within the walls of the fort, all the men he could get from all the towns within one hundred and fifty miles. On the day appointed the Indians came in vast numbers; all the plains around were black with them. The colonel then told them if they had come on a mission of peace they must lay down their arms and meet him as friends. They complied with his request, and then all the people inside the walls came out and went among them unarmed. The colonel gave them one hundred head of cattle and the boy prisoner was produced and turned over to his father and they embraced each other and cried and an era of reconciliation and peace seemed to have arrived. The boy told his father that he liked his captors so well that he desired to live with them and in spite of the persuasions of the old man he still insisted upon remaining and the Indians were compelled to return to their mountain home without him. The boy was a great favorite with the people. Sometime afterwards he went to visit his people, but before leaving he saw everyone in the village and bade them good-by, promising to return, which he did in fifteen days. A few days after his return he took the small pox and died. Very soon after his death the Apaches commenced to murder and rob the same as before.

"The aged lady then remarked with apparently much feeling, that since her earliest recollection she had heard it said many times, 'We are going to have peace with the Apaches,' but every hope had been broken and she did not think we would have any peace as long as an Apache lived. When she was a girl the Apaches made two attempts to capture Tucson. The first time nearly all the soldiers and men were away. The Apaches, learning of this, took advantage of the absence of the defenders and attacked the town and would have taken it and murdered everyone in it, but for the timely assistance of the Pima and Papago Indians, who came to the rescue in large numbers, attacking the Apaches on two sides, driving them off and killing many. The next time the sentinel on the hill west of town discovered them coming, he gave the alarm, and after a severe fight the Indians were driven off. The Apaches had no firearms in those days and were armed with spears, bows and arrows.

"She referred to the pleasant times they used to have when their wants were few and easily supplied and told how they danced and played and enjoyed themselves. We asked her if she thought the people were happier then than now; she did not seem inclined to draw comparisons, but remarked that if it had not been for the Apaches they would hardly have known what trouble was. Crime was almost unknown and she never knew anyone to be punished more severely than being confined for a few days. The law required all strangers, unless they were of established reputation, to engage in some labor or business, within three days after their arrival, or leave the town, and to this regulation she attributes the exemption from crime. On inquiry as to whether they had liquor in those days, she said that she never knew a time when there was not plenty of mescal, but it was only on rare occasions that any one drank to excess, and then they acted to each other as brothers."

(The extract is taken from Tucson Citizen, June 21,

1873).

We here have a view of times in this country a century or so ago and it does not differ much from Greece as pictured in the days of Homer, some twelve centuries before the time of Christ.

It appears the town of Tucson was not the point first chosen as the residence of settlers, but was at first only a presidio or military post. The first church was some three miles down the Santa Cruz River, upon what is known as Grosetta's Ranch, where the old Padres lived, and it is within the memory of persons now living when an old ruin down there was styled "Casa de las Padres," Priest's House.

The following is a translation of an old document written in Tucson in 1777:

"Senor Capitan Don Pedro Allande y Savedra:

"In virtue of your order, dated the 2Oth of current month, to the effect that two citizens of the most eminence, well- known in the country and reliable, should appear in your presence to give you information concerning this locality as to watering places, lands for corn fields, pasture for horses and cattle, minerals, and, also, as to points of ingress and egress of the inimical Apaches, and where they make their abodes, I, Don Manuel Barragua and Antonio Romero and Francisco Castro (who are the individuals that possess the requisites which you demand), most respectfully obey, and affirm that the town of Tubac is situated between two mountains which are distant from each other six leagues.

"In the valley there is much land, fertile and suitable for corn fields; there is sufficient water for wheat growing but scarcely enough each year for corn; but if that which is at Tumicacori be distributed, one week to the Indian laborers, and another, for Tubac, it will sufficiently benefit the said laborers and there will be an abundance of water; in this manner was it disposed of by our former capitan, Don Juan Bapt Anza, and recently this same disposition has been sanctioned by your honor.

"There is as much pasture, with an abundance of sustenance for horses and cattle as well, on the hills and in the dales, as on the mountainless plains. In the same valley there is a great deal of cottonwood and willow, and in the Santa Rita Mountains there is an abundance of excellent pine of easy access, six leagues distant.

"Of provisions alone there is raised every year, by the inhabitants, six hundred or more fanegas of wheat and corn; one-third of the land not being occupied. There are many mines, very rich, to the west in the vicinity of Aribac at a distance of seven leagues. There are three, particularly in the aforesaid vicinity, one of which yields, according to rule (de sopotable ley), a silver mark from one arroba (twenty-five pounds) of ore, the other yields six marks from a load (one hundred pounds) of ore, and the third yields a little less.

"Three leagues beyond this vicinity, in the valley of Babacomri, there are fine gold placers, examined by Don Jose de Tarro, and this whole population.

"After three visits, which these people made with Don Jose at great risks, and by remaining there over three days each trip, it was verified by their having brought away and spent with two traders, who at this time have it, as much as two hundred dollars in gold. In the Santa Rita Mountains and its environs, which is distant from Tubac four leagues, there have been examined five silver mines— two have been tried with fire and three with quicksilver with a tolerable yield.

"All of this is notorious among this entire population, and they do not work them because there are Apaches in all these places, because they live and have their pastures there and pass continually by this mountain itself, to a place a little more than four leagues off called Hot Springs, (Agua Caliente).

"Daily experiencing more violence from the enemy, because he is aware of the few troops that we possess, we have desired to break up our homes and sell our effects, and you being aware of it, we received the order, which you were pleased to send us, imposing heavy penalties upon us if we should remove or sell our goods, and have punctually obeyed it; and now finally, the last month, the Apaches finished with the entire herd of horses and cattle which we had guarded, and at the same time, with boldness, destroyed the fields and carried away as much corn as they were able. Since the fort was removed to Tucson these towns and missions have experienced great calamities and they have been obliged to burn the town of Calabasas, a calamity it had never before experienced.

"Also but a few days ago, the cavalcade, which the Apaches brought from the west, was grazing for three days in the vicinity, falling every day upon the fields to load with corn, and to run away with those whom they found there, and lastly, their not leaving the neighborhood, we momentarily expect that they may serve us and our families as they have served our property, there being nothing else left for them to do.

"We trust in God that by the numerous petitions of the poor people this fort may be restored to its ancient site, and, if necessity requires it, there shall be more troops to protect the herds by remaining at the several points of ingress and egress, which the enemy have established throughout this entire region, and that they may be continually watching from the hills and the adjacent mountains.

"We humbly beseech you, in the name of the whole community, that you will pity our misfortunes and listen to our petition, that you may remove the continual misfortunes that we have suffered, being in continual expectation of our total destruction.

"We live in great confidence, from the knowledge that some of us have of you, that by your exertion and by your conduct and by that of the military commandant, we shall receive the benefit to which we are entitled, since no one is better known than Senor Savedra, and he knows that we exaggerate nothing, considering the many years we have been under his orders."

"Your humble and obedient servant,

"manuel Barragua, "francisco Castro, "antonio Romero." "San Augustin de Tucson, November 24, 1777."
Source: The History of Arizona: From the Earliest Times Known to the People of Europe to 1903 By Sidney Randolph De Long, Arizona Pioneers' Historical Society Published by The Whitaker & Ray company, 1905

Santa Cruz County.

Santa Cruz County is the last county set off up to this date and was taken entirely from Pima County. It has an area of 1,212 square miles, about equal to the State of Rhode Island, and is bounded as follows: On the north, by Pima; on the east, by Cochise; on the south, by the Mexican State of Sonora, and on the west by Pima County. It was organized as a county in 1899. Nogales is the county-seat, situated upon the line of railroad running from Benson on the Southern Pacific, to Guaymas in Sonora, and upon the boundary line. The name Nogales is walnut, from the fact that long ago walnut trees grew upon the site.

This county possesses, in the aggregate, considerable agricultural land mostly confined to narrow valleys along the streams; perhaps the largest body is along the Santa Cruz River, which is the whole width of the county. The Sonoita, also, has considerable agricultural land and some about the head of the Babacomri Creek. There is considerable land being cultivated in the Soperi Valley also. There is much fine grazing land in this county and some of the cattlemen have succeeded in having large herds of cattle; between the Santa Rita Mountains on the west and Whetstone on the east and the northern end of the Huachucas is a great cattle range; also farther south at La Norio or "Lochiel," is, perhaps, the finest cattle range to be found in the Territory.

Much of the county is mountainous, and the mountain ranges are filled with minerals, principally gold, silver, copper and lead. Silver, probably, predominates, though it is not easy to judge of that as many of the mines are but slightly developed. At the present time the Oro Blanco Mining District and mines are coming to the front as producers, and it is found upon going down that mines which had been for years abandoned as played out, or, as miners say, petered, are found to be of great value as depth is reached, say from four to eight hundred feet. One, the Oceanic, which has more than once been abandoned as "petered," is now working successfully, though I think that is in Pima County, being over the mountain west from Ofo Blanco.

In other portions of this county are extensive mines, as in the Patagonia Mountains. The old Mowry; among the first worked in the Territory; those of the Harshaw District named after David Tecumseh Harshaw, who formerly had been a sergeant in the California troops. The name Tecumseh is a family name in the Sherman family and was one of the names of General Sherman. In the latter '30's and early '4o's of the nineteenth century, a celebrated steamboat captain, on Lake Champlain, was Richard Tecumseh Sherman, for that day commander of the palatial steamer Burlington; "Dick" Sherman, as he was familiarly called, was an uncle of David Tecumseh Harshaw, hence his middle name. The Ohio Shermans are of same family.

The whole population of the county by census of 1900, was 4,545. Nogales, the county-seat, by same census, had a population of 1,761. It is on the international boundary line, and when first started was known as "Line City." There is a Nogales on the Mexican side of the line, also, with about the same population, principally Mexicans.

The street running along division line, separating the two countries, is called International Street. Nogales is the southern terminal of the New Mexico and Arizona Railroad, also, the northern terminal of the Sonora Railroad, which runs in nearly a direct line south to Guaymas on the Gulf of California, two hundred and sixty-four and seven-tenth miles or four hundred and twenty-six kilometers and gives Nogales daily a direct communication with a seaport. Both the United States and Mexican Governments have located custom-houses and warehouses for goods in bond and have consulates at this point.

The mineral region tributary to Nogales is very extensive and must materially aid in building up at this point a large city at no distant day. The grazing interest is also large in this vicinity.

Nogales, owing to its altitude, has a beautiful and healthful climate and is quite a summer resort.

The town in the county next to Nogales is probably Patagonia, a new town upon the Rio Sonoita and railroad, just in the mining center in the Patagonia Mountains and in the Santa Rita Mountains. The old adobe town of Tubac, at one time the principal town of Arizona, is within the limits of this county. In 1850, and for several years before that time, the Mexican Government kept a small garrison of troops there.

Tubac was for several years headquarters for all the large mining operations in what was then Southern Pima, viz., Salero, Cerro Colorado, Arivaca, Santa Rita and other active camps. Tubac was a presidio during the time the country was controlled by Mexico, after that country had thrown off Spanish domination. It was probably chosen as a settling point, as at seasons of the year the Santa Cruz River was a clear, running stream of quite a body of water, and there is considerable agricultural land near there; also it is the center of quite a mining region, whose richness was known even in far off Spain. Since cattle have been largely introduced into the country and considerable irrigation going on above Tubac, the water that formerly flowed above ground in the dry season near Tubac, disappears entirely. The Catholic Mission of St. Gertrudes was located here in 1750. At the present day it may be said of Tubac, "Its glory hath departed," in all probability never to return. The railroad station at the site of the old Mexican rancho of Calabasas, is some fifteen miles up the river from Tubac and about twelve miles north from Nogales. Here the Sonoita joins the Santa Cruz. At present it is a very small town, though its natural advantages are great. There is considerable water in the two streams for irrigating purposes, and with no large outlay of capital, sufficient water could be developed to irrigate the fine valley in proximity below.

Some fifteen miles westerly from Calabasas a peculiar mountain peak is visible called "Thumb Butte," from its resemblance in shape to a large human thumb. It stands fully sixty feet in height and about ten feet in diameter at what would be the base of the thumb. Calabasas is the nearest point to touch the Arizona and New Mexican Railroad for a large extent of country, both grazing and mining. A wagon road has been laid out and made practicable much of the way through the mountains west, direct to Oro Blanco, distant thirty-five miles; the cost would be but a small matter to render this road entirely practicable, so that instead of the long haul of seventy-five miles, Calabasas or Tucson Railroad can be reached in thirty-five miles from Oro Blanco.

A route for a railroad is now in contemplation from Tucson to the Gulf of California through the Baboquiveri Valley, that, should it be constructed, will give to the great mining region of Oro Blanco and Arivaca a still nearer railroad communication, also, the mines in the Baboquiveri Range of Mountains.

Camp or Fort Critten'den is almost historical ground, as the first military post established by the United States within the boundaries of the celebrated Gadsden Purchase (made in 1853, the treaty having been confirmed by the United States Senate on December 3Oth of that year), was here established in 1857 and called Fort Buchanan, after James Buchanan, then President, who had been inaugurated March 4th of that year. Fort Buchanan was abandoned upon the breaking out of the Civil War, in 1861, i. e., the regular United States troops were withdrawn to take part in other more active fields, and not again occupied until 1868, when it was re-established and called Crittenden, in honor of Thomas L. Crittenden, a son of Hon. John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, who then was in command of the military district embracing this portion of Arizona, south of the Gila River. At and around where was camp Crittenden, which is now upon the line of the Arizona and New Mexico Railroad, is one of the lovely spots of Arizona. The beauty of the scenery is hard to surpass, and the altitude is such that fruits of more northern climate, as the apple and the peach, ripen to perfection. At one time within the memory of oldtimers still living a band of wild horses, of the wild and free breed, roamed over these beautiful mesas, but with the advancing tide of civilization these horses have disappeared, being either frightened off or caught and broken to the uses of man. In the neighborhood of Camp Crittenden is an inexhaustible supply of limestone from which lime is supplied to the vicinity.

Mount Wrightson (Old Baldy), the highest point of the Santa Rita mountain range, with an altitude of fully 10,000 feet, is in this county about forty miles almost directly south from Tucson, in Pima County. There are fine schools established at the various points as required, and at Nogales is a fine schoolhouse. The schools are well managed and liberally patronized. There are no churches outside of Nogales, and there the Catholics predominate.

Of papers, there are two at Nogales, both lively sheets, the Oases and Vidette. The county, though at this time the youngest and smallest in area, contains vast natural resources that must, in the near future, make it the home of an industrious and rich people. The value of assessable property, $1,560,307.55 for 1903.

Source: The History of Arizona: From the Earliest Times Known to the People of Europe to 1903 By Sidney Randolph De Long, Arizona Pioneers' Historical Society Published by The Whitaker & Ray company, 1905


Return