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Tag Archives: Arizona history

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Murder at Ruby

In the 1870s, Jack Smith discovered rich ore reserves of silver, gold, lead, zinc and copper at the Montana Mine located in Ruby, Ariz. The Ruby town site is located in southern Arizona, roughly halfway between Tubac and Sasabe. Julius Andrews operated the general store near the mine for 18 years and became the area’s first postmaster. He named the post office in honor of his wife, Lillie B. Ruby.

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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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Bisbee’s mighty tug of war (access required)

In December 1903, handbills began appearing around Bisbee announcing a mighty tug-of-war competition. Tug-of-war was popular in the early 1900s, particularly in the rough and ready mining towns of the West, where a man’s strength and brawn was a measure of his success.

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The Best of All Games (access required)

This is Willie Marshall, Warren Country Club’s first golf pro, hitting a fairway shot in 1910. Over his right shoulder, in the distance, is the Warren/Bisbee Trolley. The trolley provided transportation to the golf course, which was located just south of Warren, Ariz.,within sight of the Mexican border.

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The New Mills House (access required)

Susie and Ernest Mills came to Arizona in 1881. Ernest was a Canadian who ran away from home to join the American Civil War. He served three years with an Ohio regiment and was wounded in battle. After the war, he settled in Kansas, married Susie and worked in a variety of governmental jobs — U.S. marshal, county coroner and justice of the peace.

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