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Tag Archives: Times Past

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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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Hyman Capin

Hyman Capin, a native of Lithuania, learned the trade of tailoring, a skill which would serve him throughout his life and began working in New York and Pennsylvania around the turn of the 20th century. He did well in Harrisburg, Penn., but his wife, Dora, had respiratory problems, and her doctor recommended that the family seek a warm, dry climate. So, the Capin family moved to Los Angeles in 1907 where, ultimately, the climate proved to be too damp for Dora’s health.

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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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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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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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Hoover Dam

Construction of the Hoover Dam took five years — from 1931 to 1936 — to build what was then the largest concrete dam in the world. It was built in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, in northwestern Arizona on the border with Nevada.

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Times Past: Bob Burgunder, student murderer (access required)

As former Arizona State Teachers College student Bob Burgunder, Jr., sat on death row in Florence, he commented, “There’s too much free speech in this country. I think there’s too much education, too. I think we should stop educating the masses and educate only a few intelligent people.”

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