CHAPTER XXI. EARLY DAYS IN ARIZONA.
Tucson—Population—Lawlessness—Charles D. Poston—Granville H. Oury—William S. Oury—Estevan Ochoa—Pennington Family—General Stone—Dr. C. H. Lord—W. W. Williams—Peter R. Brady—William Kirkland—Hiram Stevens—Samuel Hughes—sylvester Mowry—John G. Capron—Solomon Warner—General Wadsworth—Colonel Ed. Cross—C. H. Meyer—First American Store in Tucson—First Flouring Mill—Tucson Only Walled City in United States—"Tucson a Century Ago"—Another Account of Survey and Location of Yuma.
At this time Tucson was the leading town or settlement of Arizona. It had a population of perhaps a thousand, mostly Mexicans. The American flag had been raised there by a company of United States Dragoons, but its citizenship was not of a class to inspire confidence in peaceful, law-abiding Americans. In the absence of civil law, the nearest courts being in New Mexico, every man was a law unto himself, and the consequence was that its graveyards were largely filled with the victims of private quarrels, but there were, among its citizenship, many of that class of Americans who marked the trail of civilization across the continent, many of whom inscribed their names in the early history of our State. Among these may be mentioned
W. H. KIRKLAND AND WIFE.
In 1856 Solomon Warner, above mentioned, established the first American store in the "Old Pueblo," which event was speedily followed by other American stores. His stock of goods was brought in from California upon the hurricane decks of a mule train, which was, in that time, the favorite (and only) method of freighting. He also established the first flouring mill in the Territory, the ruins of which now stand on the west bank of the Santa Cruz river, where, at that time, the village was located in what is now the southwestern part of the city, from time immemorial "Old Tucson," and within the old walls erected by Padre Garces for the protection of the inhabitants against the incursions of the Apaches. Life in this far country was not ideal; lurking foes lay in wait to ambush the traveller at every turn of the trail. The murderous Apache, and the Mexican outlaw, rivalled each other in their deeds of pillage, robbery and slaughter.
The exact date of the founding of the village or city of Tucson is somewhat uncertain. Some writers claim that it was first located about the year 1555, and that it is the oldest city in the United States. Others, however, claim that it was not a settlement until the latter part of the seventeenth century, when the missions along the Santa Cruz were established by Father Kino, and that Tucson was a visitation attached to San Xavier del Bac. Of one thing, however, there seems to be no doubt, and that is that Tucson, whatever the exact date of its founding may have been, was the first and only walled city ever existing in the United States. The descriptions
The enclosure formed by this wall occupied space bounded as follows: Beginning at Washington Street, thence south to Pennington; up Pennington to about the middle of the courthouse; thence north to Washington Street, along Washington Street to the place of beginning. A map, herewith shown, was made by Major Ferguson of the California Column, in 1861 or 1862, which shows the boundaries of the wall practically as above set forth. There were two entrances by immense doors made of heavy timber put solidly together, and these were invariably closed at night. One of these entrances,
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 were, 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 food supply. They had no communication with California and she never knew there was such a country until she had become an old woman. San
Among the leading and wealthier men who lived here at that time, she mentioned the names of Epumusema Loreles, Santa Cruz, Ygnacio Pacheco, Rita Soso, Padre Pedro, and Juan Diaz. 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 that the Apaches got the worst of a fight on the Arivaca 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
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.
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 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
In Tubac was printed the first paper ever published in Arizona, its editor being the Colonel Ed. Cross before mentioned, who fought a bloodless duel with Lieut. Sylvester Mowry. This paper was called the "Arizonian" and was printed on the first printing press brought into the territory. This printing press was brought around the Horn and transported overland through California to Tubac. It was afterwards used in publishing the Tombstone Nugget and is now preserved among the curiosities of the Pioneer's Historical Society in Tucson.
In the meantime Colorado City had been formed on the Colorado River, as we have heretofore noted. An account of its survey and location by Charles D. Poston and party, is given in Pumpelly's Across America and Asia. The party, having no money to pay Don Jaeger for their ferriage across the river, located the townsite on the Arizona side, surveyed and mapped the same, and gave their German friend a glowing account of the future possibilities of a steam ferry, and the large population which would inevitably people the new town, and had no difficulty in selling him several large lots and giving him a deed to one lot in exchange for $25.00, his price for ferrying the party across the river. Outside of the military post which was located on the California side, there were but few settlers at what is now Yuma City, although it remained for many years the principal port of entry to Arizona from the west, and also to California from the East.