Arizona history Oct. 11-17
Sunday, Oct. 11
On this date in 1890, the Yuma Prison entered into a contract to supply prison labor for the making of hemp rope.
On this date in 1920, a fire, doing $750,000 worth of damage destroyed more than half the town of Lowell.
On this date in 1929, Tucson’s first “skyscraper,” the 11-story Consolidated National Bank Building, opened and was visited by 33,000 people in two days.
On this date in 1935, hundreds of Arizona and Utah residents gathered at Lee’s Ferry on the Colorado River to commemorate the historic crossing of early emigrants who came to Arizona to found Mormon communities.
Monday, Oct. 12
On this date in 1849, the first recorded birth of an Anglo baby in Arizona occurred when a “Mrs. Howard,” traveling with a party of immigrants led by Charles E. Pancoast in Flatboats down the Gila River, stopped along the riverbank to give birth to a child she named “Gila.”
On this date in 1869, Miss Charity Gaston, the first teacher on the Navajo Reservation, arrived at Fort Defiance, but because no space was available, she was unable to start classes for two months.
On this date in 1872, in negotiations lasting from Oct. 1 through Oct. 12, Gen. O. O. Howard and Cochise Chief of the Chiricahua Apaches, drafted and signed a peace treaty in the Apache camp in the Dragoon Mountains.
On this date in 1879, the first Methodist church was organized in Tucson by Superintendent George H. Adams.
On this date in 1901, Camillus S. Fly, well known Tombstone photographer and Cochise County Sheriff from 1895 to 1896, died.
On this date in 1929, the city of Florence dedicated its new airport with an aerial circus and speeches.
On this date in 1929, the University of Arizona dedicated its stadium, and the city of Tucson declared a public holiday in honor of the occasion.
On this date in 1940, Tom Mix, early Western movie star, was killed when his car overturned in a wash on what is now the Pinal-Pioneer Parkway.
Tuesday, Oct. 13
On this date in 1908, a suit against six Yuma property owners was filed in federal court by the government to have land condemned for the construction of Laguna Dam.
On this date in 1909, President William Howard Taft visited Arizona on a transcontinental tour and promised to do his best to bring statehood there.
On this date in 1913, federal officials arrested the Justice of the Peace at Washington Camp, Arizona, after finding 10,000 rounds of ammunition in his possession. He was charged with running arms across the border.
On this date in 1934, five prisoners broke out of the Holbrook Jail, locked the deputy in a cell, stole all the guns from the sheriff’s office and escaped in a stolen car.
Wednesday, Oct. 14
On this date in 1908, a fire destroyed part of Bisbee’s business district and left 500 people homeless. Damage was estimated at $500,000. The blaze originated in the Grand Hotel at about 6:30 p.m. and was finally brought under control with dynamite at 9 p.m.
On this date in 1909, President William Howard Taft visited the Grand Canyon.
On this date in 1934, residents of Paradise Valley burned effigies of Gov. B. B. Moeur, Congresswoman Isabella Greenway and Interior Secretary Harold Ickes in protest of the revocation of a $4,000,000 allotment which had been promised for the construction of a dam on the Verde River.
Thursday, Oct. 15
On this date in 1870, citizens of Phoenix held a meeting and selected an official town site. The first town lots were sold on the following Dec. 23.
On this date in 1873, John L. Blythe built and launched the first large ferry at Lee’s Crossing on the Colorado River.
On this date in 1930, the first airmail arrived in Tucson at 11 a.m. aboard a tri-motored Fokker.
On this date in 1956, construction began on the Glen Canyon Dam, a structure 573 feet (175 meters) above the bed of the Colorado River, 1500 feet (457 meters) long at the crest and containing a lake of over 28 million acre-feet of water which would extend 186 miles (299 kilometers) behind the dam.
Friday, Oct. 16
On this date in 1907, lands were set aside for the Kaibab-Paiute Reservation.
On this date in 1929, the old wooden “pest house” at Ajo was burned to the ground to allow construction of a new and modern isolation hospital on the same land.
On this date in 1929, astounded Tucson residents, including three border patrol men, observed “icebergs” floating in the Santa Cruz River near San Xavier Mission. The phenomenon was explained by the driver of an ice wagon who said he forgot to put up his tailgate while his horse team forded the river. As he pulled up the wagon on the opposite bank, the ice slid off.
On this date in 1929, an 8-foot 8 (2.4-meter) wall of water roared down an arroyo near Fort Thomas, flooding several homes.
On this date in 1934, lawmen tracked down five men who escaped from the Holbrook jail after stealing all the guns in the sheriff’s office. The five were taken in a gun battle in the Tonto Valley.
Saturday, Oct. 17
On this date in 1916, efforts of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce to abolish the Papago Reservation failed.
On this date in 1919, the funeral was held for Jim Sheridan, Tucson pioneer and one of the original locators of the Twin Buttes Mine.
On this date in 1922, the Fort Apache Military Reservation, which had been under War Department jurisdiction since 1877, was declared useless for military purposes and placed under control of the Interior Department.
On this date in 1926, it was announced that Joseph Ferrin, Tucson pioneer, had died.
On this date in 1929, an announcement was made of the completion of the U.S. Magnetic Observatory in Tucson. It was the first fully equipped facility for measuring atmospheric electricity in the U.S., and the third in the world.
On this date in 1933, the trial date was set for a man charged with inventing a fabulous mine near Greaterville and setting it amid sparkling lakes, cold trout streams, then promoting it by mail to unsuspecting easterners.