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Dot Wilkinson

Dot Wilkinson was a well known catcher for the Phoenix Ramblers, a professional women’s softball team that won national championships in 1940, 1948 and 1949. She is considered the greatest female athlete in Arizona history and is a member of two amateur Halls of Fame (softball and bowling).

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Tovrea Castle

Alessio Carraro was an Italian immigrant who settled in San Francisco in 1906. He became a successful businessman, land developer and investor, and according to his son, Leo, was always adventurous. That may be why in 1928 he sold his San Francisco sheet metal business and moved to Phoenix. He bought 277 acres of desert between Van Buren and the Salt River, east of 40th Street, and planned to construct a luxurious resort hotel. At the time, 16th Street was the eastern boundary of Phoenix, and Van Buren was the only road to Tempe. Alessio believed that the hotel would attract the development of homes and businesses, allowing the city’s boundaries to expand.

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The Getaway Train

It all started when Thomas Hart, a drifter with a penchant for alcohol, stole a case of whiskey from Paul Moretti’s saloon. Moretti reported the theft to Yuma County Sheriff Gus Livingston. Not long after, Moretti spotted Hart on Main Street and pointed him out to a young deputy, Matt DeVanem, who confronted Hart and tried to arrest him. Hart shot the deputy at point blank range with a gun hidden in his pocket. The deputy died an hour later. Hart was taken into custody shortly after.

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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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Central Avenue grows up

Pioneer developer William J. Murphy planted the ash trees that originally lined Central Avenue As he developed subdivisions across the Valley, he also built his own home for north of the Phoenix city limits on Central Avenue in the Orangewood subdivision.

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Communities, state face tight budgets as they prepare for centennial

It's closing in on 100 years since veterinarian A.J. Chandler sold plots of his 18,000-acre ranch to establish the city. That was three months after Arizona became a state on Feb. 14, 1912. City leaders are organizing to commemorate both centennials next year. But given the poor economy and tight budget, it's going to require scaling back some and seeking private donations, said Jean Reynolds, Chandler's public history coordinator.

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Marvel Crosson and the Powder Puff Derby (access required)

Women had been flying airplanes since the early days of aviation, and by 1928, they had also piloted balloons, parachuted out of disabled planes, served as their own mechanics, set altitude and speed records, wing-walked and barnstormed. But they hadn't yet raced airplanes.

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The Southwestern Society of Spizzifiers (access required)

According to a writer for the Great Depression's Arizona Federal Writers Project, Arizona's prospectors and miners have been famous for stretching the truth for many years. These raconteurs have spun marvelous stories about their diggings and exaggerated the value of their strikes, often for the sole purpose of entertaining friends.

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A legendary Tombstone cowboy (access required)

On the silver screen and the wide-open southern Arizona ranges, Sid Wilson was one of the last authentic 19th century cowboys. His genuine, hard-working, real cowboy lifestyle provided authenticity to the characters he played in Hollywood movies and Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show.

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