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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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Mortgage bill striker draws ire for Reagan and McLain (access required)

A pair of Republican lawmakers was on the defense yesterday after bloggers began weaving a tale of conspiracy, alleging a piece of real estate legislation was killed in exchange for a lawsuit against one of the lawmakers being settled.

But according to the two lawmakers, the issue is an overblown case of coincidence and ignorance about the mechanics of how bills move through the Legislature.

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Gilmore and Salisbury’s ‘custom’ smelter (access required)

Benson was established in June 1880 by the Southern Pacific and became an important maintenance center for the railroad and the shipping point for the Bisbee and Tombstone mines, neither of which was served by rail. The town was less than three months old when, according to the Tucson Citizen, “the first shipment of copper bullion from Bisbee (arrived) in Benson, where it (was) shipped to San Francisco.” It was transported to Benson by mule-drawn wagons, weighing 43,003 pounds.

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Pioneer Days (access required)

For several decades, Arizonans held a grand, multi-day celebration of those who came to the territory before Dec. 31, 1890, called Pioneer Days.

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