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Author Archives: Jane Eppinga

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Tombstone’s deadliest gunfighter

John Peters Ringo — famously known as Johnny Ringo and dubbed Tombstone’s deadliest gunfighter — first turned up in Arizona at a bar in Safford in 1878, where he offered a whiskey to a man seated next to him. The unarmed man declined and said he preferred beer. Ringo then drew his pistol and fired, nicking the man’s ear. When the case came before a grand jury, Ringo did not appear.

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Tucson Mayor William Armine Julian

William Armine (W. A.) Julian arrived in Tucson in 1899 at age 34 from San Diego with his wife Margaret. He promptly opened the W. A. Julian Company in a two-story building featuring a handsome facade of granite and pressed brick and several large show windows at 122 E. Congress. The business would eventually control 85 percent of Tucson’s plumbing, heating and roofing business. He also sold Charter Oak stoves, crockery, glassware and solar water heaters.

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Hi Jolly: The Camel Man

When the U.S. Army sent the first survey crews to northern Arizona in 1857 to survey a wagon road along the 35th parallel, it included in the contingent a herd of approximately 30 camels.

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A Territorial Christmas (access required)

Christmas time in the 1860s in the Arizona Territory was similar to Christmas in the state of Arizona in 2010. People had feasts, decorated large Christmas trees, children ate candy and townspeople spread cheer by caroling.

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The questionable Battle of Carrizal (access required)

In 1916, Capt. Charles T. Boyd, Lt. Henry Adair and Capt. Lewis S. Morey, on direct orders from Gen. John “Blackjack” Pershing himself, led their regiments across large swaths of desert to check on a possible buildup of Mexican troops around the small northern Mexican town of Villa Ahumada.

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Tombstone’s Boothill Cemetery (access required)

The Boothill Cemetery, which was laid out in 1878 on a rocky hillside facing the Dragoon Mountains, earned the name for a reason. If a body was buried not wearing boots, it meant the person died of natural causes. If the body was buried wearing boots, it meant the person was killed.

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Alexander J. Chandler (access required)

Shortly after arriving in Arizona Territory from Detroit in 1887, Alexander J. Chandler was appointed territory veterinary surgeon as a part of the newly created Territorial Livestock Sanitary Commission by Gov. C. Meyer Zulick.

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Tombstone’s Sad Clown Legacy (access required)

For the Kelly family, clowning around was the only way to live. Three successive generations of Emmett Kellys would try to play the lucrative character of “Weary Willie,” a sad-faced hobo who would eventually become one of world’s most famous clowns.

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