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Arizona’s ‘Billy the Kid’

Arizona’s ‘Billy the Kid’

William Floyd Claiborne, called Billy the Kid (not to be confused with the original “Billy the Kid” whose given name was William H. Bonney), was born in Mississippi on Oct. 21, 1860. He came to Arizona in the early 1880s and worked as an amalgamator at mines in Charleston (a town a few miles southwest of Tombstone) and at the Neptune smelter in Hereford. Claiborne eventually fell in with a group of heavy-drinking cowboys and became friends with Tombstone’s infamous Clantons and McLaurys. He was a hothead.

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Highway 180: A Timeless Trail

Highway 180: A Timeless Trail

The mostly two-lane U.S. Highway 180 travels through historic, scenic and scientific regions in northern Arizona. The highway winds through Texas and New Mexico before reaching the eastern border of Arizona where it generally follows ancient paths and wagon roads that connected small communities and water sources.

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Tombstone’s Chinese Pioneers (access required)

Tombstone’s Chinese Pioneers <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

In the late 19th century, about 400 Asians resided in Tombstone and were ruled by a Chinese woman named China Mary. She was known for wearing opulent brocades and expensive jewelry, and was considered one of Tombstone’s most influential Chinese residents. China Mary, whose Chinese name was apparently Sing Choy, had acquired enough money to buy a Tombstone property on block 2, lot 9. She also was the wife of Ah Lum, a partner with Quong Kee in the town’s famous Can-Can Restaurant.

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Johnnie Love: Flagstaff Pioneer (access required)

Johnnie Love: Flagstaff Pioneer <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Johnnie Love was an early-day pioneer remembered by many in Flagstaff for his incredible stamina and exceptional memory. He arrived in Flagstaff with his widower father in March 1880, when he was 15 years old. Apparently, he got along poorly with his father because three weeks after his arrival, he ran away from him and never returned.

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‘…Going Sketching Now, Will Write Again Soon…’ (access required)

The above quote is from artist Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton in a letter to her mother in Philadelphia. Colton was among the Eastern born and trained artists who relocated to Arizona in the early 20th century to experience for themselves the surreal colors in the ever-changing panorama of Arizona landscapes, the native peoples, and regional uniqueness. Their painting canvases attempted to capture what they saw. Some stayed only briefly while others remained for their lifetimes.

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A case of territorial voter fraud

Robert Paul was born in Massachusetts on June 12, 1830. At the age of 12, he boarded a whaling ship and spent the next several years traveling around the world. In 1849, he arrived in San Francisco — just in time to participate in the gold rush. Then from 1859 to 1864, he served as sheriff of California’s Calaveras County. After several financial setbacks, Paul began riding shotgun for Wells Fargo.

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Locating Lowell (access required)

Locating Lowell <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Flagstaff was but 12 years old in 1894 and still struggling to exist, but the rough town became a topic of international attention when an eminent New Englander arrived to scout possible locations to establish an observatory. The opening of Lowell Observatory was the first of several major scientific organizations to locate in the town that was already well-known to scientists and explorers for its unique attributes.

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