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Mormon Settlement in Arizona
by James H. McClintock
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The best development of the idea was at Brigham City, Utah, sixty miles north of Salt Lake City, where the movement was kept along business lines by none other than Lorenzo Snow, later President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the officer credited with having first put that great organization upon a business footing. He established a communal system that proved a potent beneficial force both for the individual and the community. The start was in 1864, with the establishment of a mercantile business, from which there were successive expansions to include about forty industries, such as factories at which were made felt and straw hats, clothing, pottery, brooms and brushes, harnesses and saddles, furniture, vehicles and tinware, while there were three sawmills, a large woolen mill and a cotton goods mill, the last with large attached cotton acreage, in southern Utah. There were 5000 sheep, 1000 head of stock cattle and 500 cows, supplying a model dairy and the community meat market. The settlement was self-clothed and self-fed. Education had especial attention and all sorts of entertainment of meritorious character were fostered. Members of the Order labored in their own industries, were paid good wages in scrip and participated in the growth of general values. In 1875 the value of the products reached $260,000.

By 1879 there had been departure from the complete unity of the United Order plan, though eleven departments still remained intact. There had been adverse circumstances, through which in nine months had been lost about $53,000. The woolen mill, a model, twice had been destroyed by fire. There had been jealousies outside the movement, through which a profitable railroad contract had been ruined, and federal authorities had taxed the scrip issue about $10,000 per annum. The first assessment was paid, but later was turned back. But, with all these reverses piled upon the people, the unity remained intact, and today, upon the foundation laid by the United Order and its revered local leader, Brigham City is one of the most prosperous communities of the intermountain region.

Edward Bellamy, the writer, became so much interested in what he had heard of the United Order in Brigham City, that he made a special trip to Utah in 1886, to study its operation. He spent three days with President Lorenzo Snow, listening to his experiences and explanation of the movement. As a result of this lengthy interview, Mr. Bellamy, the following year, wrote his book, "Looking Backward."

Another example of the operation of the United Order was in Kane County, Utah, about eighteen miles north of the Arizona line. In March, 1871, there was re-settlement of Long Valley, where two towns, Berryville and Winsor, had been deserted because of Indian encroachments. The new settlers mainly came from the breaking up of the Muddy Mission settlements in Nevada, Long Valley having been suggested by President Brigham Young as a possible location. About 200 of the former Muddy residents entered the valley in March, 1871, founding Glendale and Mount Carmel. The residents of the latter, in March, 1874, organized into the United Order. The following year, a number who wished to practice the Order in its fullness, founded a new settlement, midway between Glendale and Mount Carmel, and named it Orderville. This settlement still is in existence, though the communistic plan had to be broken up about 1883, there having arisen a spirit of competition and of individual ambition. The plan of operation was comprehensive of many features, yet simple. The community ate in a common dining hall, with kitchen and bakery attached. Dwelling houses were close together and built in the form of a square. There were work shops, offices, schoolhouse, etc., and manufactories of lumber and woolen products.

Not a General Church Movement

There had been an idea among the adherents to the Order that they were fulfilling a Church commandment. They were disabused by Apostle Erastus Snow, who suggested that each occupation be taken up by small companies, each to run a different department. There was conference with the First Presidency, but the Church declined responsibility sought to be thrown upon it. So there were many defections, though for years thereafter there was incorporation, to hold the mills and machinery, lands and livestock.

The United Order by no means was general. It was limited to certain localities and certain settlements, each of which tried to work out its own problems in its own way, entirely without connection with any other community of the sort. In a few instances the plan proved successful, but usually only where there was some directing leader of integrity and business acumen, such as at Brigham City.



The United Order principle was used, with varying degrees of relative success, in a number of northern Arizona settlements, especially in the early camps on the lower Little Colorado, as noted elsewhere.

The Jones party, that founded Lehi, was organized for traveling and working under the United Order, drawing from a common storehouse, but each family, nevertheless, looked out for its own interest. The United Order lasted until the end of Jones' control of the colony.

An attempt was made in the early part of 1880 at Mesa, to organize, under the laws of Arizona, to carry out the principles of the United Order as far as practicable. A corporation was formed, "The Mesa Union," by President Alex. F. Macdonald, Geo. C. Dana, Timothy Mets, Hyrum Smith Phelps and Chas. H. Mallory. About the only thing done by this organization was to purchase some land, but this land later was taken by members of the Church.

Mormon Cooperative Stores

In the economy and frugality that marked, necessarily, the early days of the Mormon people, there naturally was resort to combination in the purchases of supplies and in the marketing of products. When the United Order declined, there was resort to another economic pioneer enterprise, the cooperative store, established in many of the new communities. Each store, to an extent, was under local Church supervision and, while open to the trade of all, still was established primarily for the benefit of the brethren. Under early-day conditions, the idea undoubtedly was a good one. Mercantile profits were left within the community, divided among many, while the "Co-op" also served as a means through which the community produce could be handled to best advantage.

In the north, June 27, 1881, at Snowflake, with Jesse N. Smith at its head, was organized a company that started a cooperative store at Holbrook, taking over, largely for debt, a store that had been operated by John W. Young at old Holbrook. In January, 1882, this establishment was left high and dry by the moving of Holbrook station a mile and a half west to Berardo's, or Horsehead Crossing. There was difficulty in getting a location at the new site, so this store, in February, 1882, was moved to Woodruff.

In January, 1881, at Snowflake was started a "Co-op" that merged into the Arizona Cooperative Mercantile Institution. The following month, under David K. Udall, a similar institution was opened at St. Johns, where there was attached a flouring mill. Both at St. Johns and Snowflake were cooperative livestock herds.

One of the most extensive enterprises of this sort was started in Mesa in September, 1884, with Chas. I. Robson, George Passey and Oscar M. Stewart at its head. The first stock was valued at $45, yet in 1894, the Zenos Cooperative Mercantile & Manufacturing Institution had a paid-up capital stock of over $25,000 and a two-story building, and had paid dividends ranging from 10 to 50 per cent annually.

Almost every phase of communal effort now appears to have been abandoned in Arizona Mormon business life, probably because found unnecessary in the latter-day development in which the membership of the Church has had so large a share.

The Author feels there should be addition of a statement that the Church is far from acceptance of the European idea of communism, for one of its tenets is, "Thou shalt not be idle, for he that is idle shall not eat of the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer." Nothing of political socialism ever was known in the United Order.



Chapter Thirteen

Spreading Into Northern Arizona

Failure of the First Expeditions

The first attempt from the north of the Mormon Church to colonize within the present limits of Arizona failed. It was by means of an expedition placed in charge of Horton D. Haight. A number of the colonists met March 8, 1873, in the old tabernacle in Salt Lake City, and there were instructed by President Brigham Young. At Winsor Castle they were warned to be friendly to but not too trustful of the Indians and not to sell them ammunition, "for they are warring against our government." The route was by way of Lee's Ferry, the crossing completed May 11. On the 22d was reached the Little Colorado, the Rio de Lino (Flax River) of the Spaniards. From the ferry to the river had been broken a new road, over a tolerably good route. There was no green grass, and water was infrequent, even along the Little Colorado, it being found necessary to dig wells in the dry channel. Twenty-four miles below Black Falls there was encampment, the road blocked by sand drifts.

On June 1 there returned to the expedition in camp an exploring party, under Haight, that had been absent eight days and that had traveled 136 miles up the river. There was report of the trip that the country was barren, with narrow river bottoms, with alkaline soil, water bad and failing, with no spot found suitable in which to settle. There also appeared to be fear of the Apache. So the expedition painfully retraced its steps to Navajo Springs, sending ahead a dispatch to President Young, giving a full report of conditions and making suggestion that the settlement plan had better be abandoned. At Moen Copie on the return was met a party of 29 missionaries, under Henry Day.

An interesting journal of the trip was written by Henry Holmes of the vanguard. He was especially impressed with the aridity of the country. He thought it "barren and forbidding, although doubtless the Lord had a purpose in view when He made it so. Few of the creeks ran half a mile from their heads. The country is rent with deep chasms, made still deeper by vast torrents that pour down them during times of heavy rains." There were found petrified trees. One of them was 210 feet long and another was over five feet across the butt, this in a land where not a tree or bush was found growing. Holmes fervently observed, "However, I do not know whether it makes any difference whether the country is barren or fruitful, if the Lord has a work to do in it," in this especially referring to the Indians, among whom there could be missionary effort. Jacob Miller acted as secretary of the expedition.

On the back track, the company all had ferried to the north bank of the river by July 7, although there had to be improvised navigation of the Colorado, for the ferry-boat had disappeared in the spring flood and all that remained was a little skiff, behind which the wagon bodies were floated over. In all, were ferried 54 wagons, 112 animals, 109 men, 6 women and a child.

This first company had been called from different parts of Utah and was not at all homogeneous, yet traveled in peace and union. The members assembled morning and evening for prayers, at which the blessings of the Lord were asked upon themselves and their teams and upon the elements that surrounded them.

President Young directed the members of the 1873 party to remain in Arizona, but the message was not received till the river had been passed. The following year he ordered another expedition southward. According to a journal of Wm. H. Solomon, who was clerk of the party, departure from Kanab was on February 6, 1874. John L. Blythe (who had remained at Moen Copie after the 1873 trip) was in charge. With Blythe was his wife. Ira Hatch took his family. Fifteen other individuals were included. Progress southward was stopped at Moen Copie by reports of a Navajo uprising. Most of the party returned to Utah after a few weeks, leaving behind Hamblin, Hatch and Tenney.

Missionary Scouts in Northeastern Arizona

When the unsuccessful expedition turned back to Utah in the summer of 1873, there remained John L. Blythe of Salt Lake and a number of other missionaries. They located among the Indians on the Moen Copie, where they sowed the ground and planted trees and grapevines, also planting at Moabi, about seven miles to the southwest. Blythe remained at Moen Copie, alone with his family, until 1874, including the time of the Indian trouble more particularly referred to in this volume in connection with the work of Jacob Hamblin.

The failure of the Haight expedition in no wise daunted the Church authorities in their determination to extend southward. In general, reports that came concerning the Little Colorado Valley were favorable. Finally, starting from Salt Lake October 30, 1875, was sent a scouting expedition, headed by Jas. S. Brown, who had a dozen companions when he crossed into Arizona. This party made headquarters at Moen Copie, where a stone house was built for winter quarters. Brown and two others then traveled up the Little Colorado for a considerable distance, not well defined in his narrative, finding a fine, open country, with water plentiful and with grass abundant, with good farming land and timber available. The trio followed the Beale trail westward to a point southwest of the San Francisco Mountains, where there was crossing back to the Little Colorado. Christmas Day, before Moen Copie was reached, the scouts were placed in serious danger by a terrific snowstorm. Brown returned to Salt Lake with his report, January 14, 1876, after traveling 1300 miles, mainly on horseback.

Here might be stated that Brown was none other than a Mormon Battalion member who had participated in the discovery of gold at Sutter's Fort in California. At some time prior to coming to Arizona he had lost a leg, shot off by hunters who had mistaken him for a bear. He should not be confounded with Capt. James Brown of the Battalion.

Foundation of Four Settlements

The first Presidency apparently had anticipated Brown's favorable report, for quick action was had immediately thereafter. Four companies, each of fifty men and their families, were organized, under Lot Smith, Jesse O. Ballenger, George Lake and Wm. C. Allen. The 200 missionaries were "called" from many parts of Utah, but mainly from the north and around Salt Lake. There was no formal gathering of the companies. Each member went southward as he could, to report to his leader on the Little Colorado. The assembling point was Kanab. Thence there was assemblage of groups of about ten families each, without reference to companies. An entertaining detail of this journey lately was given the Historian in Phoenix by David E. Adams, captain of one of the Tens.

The leading teams reached Sunset Crossing on the Little Colorado March 23, 1876, the migration continuing for many weeks thereafter. Allen, Smith and Lake continued up the river twenty miles, to a point about five miles east of the present site of St. Joseph.

From exact data furnished by R. E. Porter of St. Joseph is learned that Allen's company settled at the point where this march ended, establishing Allen's Camp. There was later change to a point one mile east of the present location, a site maintained till 1877. The name was changed January 21,1878, to St. Joseph, after Prophet Joseph Smith.



Lot Smith's company retraced, to establish Sunset, three miles north of Sunset Crossing, on the north side of the river.

Lake's company established itself across the river, three miles south and west of the present site of St. Joseph. The settlement was named Obed.

Ballenger's company located four miles southwest of Sunset Crossing, on the south side of the river, near the site of the present Winslow.

Genesis of St. Joseph

There was quick work in the way of settlement at Allen's Camp, where the first plowing was on March 25, 1876, by John Bushman and Nathan Cheney. Jacob Morris immediately commenced the construction of a house. Two days later an irrigation ditch was surveyed and on the following day John Bushman got out the first logs for a diversion dam. April 3, Bushman sowed the first wheat. A temporary structure was built for protection and for storage. May 26 the name of Allen City was given the settlement, in preference to a second suggestion, Ramah City. Early in August, 23 men, including Allen, started back to Utah, from which a few returned with their families.

On Allen's return southward with a number of families, the old Spanish Trail was used, in its eastern section, via the San Juan region, with some idea that it might be made the main thoroughfare, for thus would be obviated the ferrying of the Colorado River, either above or below the Canyon. But the way into Arizona through northwestern New Mexico was too long, and the experiment was not considered successful.

In the fall, the families moved into a stockade fort, planned to be 152 feet wide and 300 feet long. Only part of this was finished. Probably twenty or more houses were built within it.



August 23, 1876, a postoffice was established, with John McLaws in charge. A weekly mail service operated between Santa Fe and Prescott.

The first child in the settlement was Hannah Maria Colson, July 17, 1876. The first death was exactly a year later, that of Clara Gray. The first school district was established and the first school was taught during the winter of 1877-78. Of all the lower Little Colorado settlements, this is the only one now existent.

The present St. Joseph lies only a hundred rods from the main line of the Santa Fe railroad system, 25 miles east of Winslow. The first Allen's Camp, in April, 1876, was three miles east of the present site. There was a change to the western location in June, at the suggestion of Daniel H. Wells, who had followed for an inspection of the new settlements. Later there was survey, nearby, of a townsite, the same that now is occupied. Among the few remaining settlers of the Little Colorado settlements, is Joseph Hill Richards, who writes that he was the first justice of the peace for Yavapai County in that region and the first captain there of territorial militia. He also was prominent in the Church organization.

Struggling with a Treacherous River

Every settlement along the Little Colorado River has known repeated troubles in maintaining its water supply. It would be vain recapitulation to tell just how many times each of the poor struggling communities had to rally back on the sands of the river bed to built up anew the structure of gravel and brush that must be depended upon, if bread were to be secured from the land. The Little Colorado is a treacherous stream at best, with a broad channel that wanders at will through the alluvial country that melts like sugar or salt at the touch of water.

There are instances that stand out in this struggle for water. The first joint dam of Allen's Camp and Obed cost the settlers $5000. It is told that 960 day's work was done on the dam and 500 days more work on the Allen ditch. This dam went down at the first flood, for it raised the water about twelve feet. Then, in the spring of 1877, another dam was built, a mile and a half upstream, and this again washed away. In 1879 the St. Joseph settlers sought the third damsite at LeRoux Wash, about two and a half miles west of the present Holbrook. In 1881 they spent much money and effort on a plan to make a high dam at the site of the first construction, but this again was taken downstream by the river. In 1882, a pile dam was built across the river, and it again was spoiled by the floods. This dam generally was in use until 1891, but had to be repaired almost every year. In the year named, work was started upon what was hoped to be a permanent dam, at an estimated cost of $60,000. In 1894, Andrew Jenson wrote that at least $50,000 had been lost by the community upon its dams. Noting the fact that only fifteen families constituted the population, he called St. Joseph "the leading community in pain, determination and unflinching courage in dealing with the elements around them."

St. Joseph, as early as 1894, had completed its eighth dam across the river. Jos. W. Smith wrote of the dedication of the dam, in March of that year. He remarked especially upon the showing of rosy-cheeked, well-clad children, of whom the greater part of the assemblage was composed, "showing that the people were by no means destitute, even if they had been laboring on ditches and dams so much for the last eighteen years."

The main prayer of the exercise was brief, but characteristic: "O Lord, we pray that this dam may stand, if it be Thy will—if not, let Thy will be done." The invocation was effective. The dam stood, as is illustrated within this book.

Decline and Fall of Sunset

Sunset, the lowest of the settlements, was near the present railroad crossing of the river, below the river junction with Clear Creek. There had been a temporary location two miles upstream. The main structure was a stockade, twelve rods square, mainly of drift cottonwood logs. Within were rock-built houses, a community dining hall and a well. Combination was made with Ballenger, across the stream, in the building of a dam, two and a half miles above the settlement.

Apparently the sandy land and the difficulty of irrigating it drove the settlers away, until, finally, in 1885, Lot Smith's family was the only one left upon the ground, and it departed in 1888.

Years later, Andrew Jenson found the rock walls and chimneys still standing. "Everything is desert," he wrote, "the whole landscape looks dreary and forbidding and the lonely graveyard on the hillside only reminds one of the population which once was and that is no more." Only ruin marks the place where once was headquarters of the Little Colorado Stake of Zion. The settlement was badly placed, for floods came within a rod of the fort and covered the wheat fields.

Lot Smith wrote in poetic vein, "This is a strange country, belonging to a people whose lands the rivers have spoiled." Very practically, however, he wrote of good lands and slack water supply, "though the river shows it would be a mighty rushing torrent when the rains commence in summer, with the appearance of being 25 miles broad, and the Indians told us that if we are indeed to live where we are encamped, we had better fix some scaffolding in the trees."

In August, 1878, a correspondent of the Deseret News wrote from Sunset that for a week the rain had been pouring down almost incessantly, that the whole bottom was covered with water, that some of the farms were submerged and grain in shocks was flooded, that the grain of Woodruff was entirely destroyed, the grist mill of Brigham City inundated and the grain stacks there were deep in water, with the inhabitants using boats and rafts to get around their farms.

Village Communal Organization

The settlements all established themselves under the United Order. Early in 1876 one of the settlers wrote from Allen's Camp, "It is all United Order here and no beating around the bush, for it is the intention to go into it to the full meaning of the term." This chronicler, John L. Blythe, April 11, 1876, again wrote, "The companies are going into the United Order to the whole extent, giving in everything they possess, their labor, time and talent." In August there was a report from the same locality that "the people are living in a united system, each laboring for the good of all the community and an excellent feeling prevails."

The communal system was given formal adoption at Allen's Camp April 28, 1877, when articles were agreed upon for a branch of the United Order. June 5, 1877, with Wm. C. Allen presiding, there was an appraisal of property and a separation of duties. Henry M. Tanner (who still is in St. Joseph), was secretary, John Bushman foreman of the farm, James Walker water master and Moses D. Steele superintendent of livestock. Niels Nielsen was in charge of ox teams and Jos. H. Rogers in charge of horse teams, harness and wagons. The Church historian has given in detail the manner in which the system worked:

"From the beginning the Saints at Allen's Camp disciplined themselves strictly according to Church rules. Every morning the Saints, at the sound of the triangle, assembled in the schoolhouse for prayer, on which occasion they would not only pray and sing, but sometimes brethren would make brief remarks. The same was resorted to in the evening. They did not all eat at the same table (a common custom followed in the other camps), but nevertheless great union, peace and love prevailed among the people, and none seemed to take advantage of his neighbor. Peace, harmony and brotherly love characterized all the settlers at Allen's Camp from the very beginning."

In August, 1878, Samuel G. Ladd wrote from the new St. Joseph, that the United Order worked harmoniously and prosperously. In that year manufacturing of brooms was commenced by John Bushman. Up to 1882 each family was drawing from one common storehouse. In 1883 the Order was dissolved at St. Joseph and the stewardship plan adopted. Each family received its part of the divided land and a settlement of what each man originally had put into the Order. Proforma organization of the Order was continued until January, 1887.

Hospitality Was of Generous Sort

From Sunset Crossing Camp, G. C. Wood wrote, in April, 1876, "The brethren built a long shanty, with a long table in it and all ate their meals together, worked together and got along finely." In February, 1878, President Lot Smith wrote the Deseret News in a strain that indicated doubt concerning the efficiency of the United Order system. His letter told:

"This mission has had a strange history so far, most who came having got weak in the back or knees and gone home. Some, I believe, have felt somewhat exercised about the way we are getting along, and the mode in which we are conducting our culinary affairs. Now, I have always had a preference for eating with my family and have striven to show that I was willing to enlarge as often as circumstances require, and the same feeling seemed to prevail in these settlements. We have enlarged ourselves to the amount of forty in one day. We have noticed that most people who pass the road are willing to stop and board with us a week or two, notwithstanding our poor provisions and the queer style it was served up."

In July of the same year, Lorenzo Hatch wrote from Woodruff, "At Sunset, Brigham City and Woodruff, the settlements eat at one table, hence we have no poor nor rich among us. The Obed camp also had gone into the United Order in the fullest sense in May, 1876."

Brigham City's Varied Industries

Ballenger, in September, 1878, was renamed Brigham City, in honor of President Brigham Young. Its people were found by Erastus Snow in September, 1878, with a remarkable organization, operating in part under the United Order system. There was a fort 200 feet square, with rocky walls seven feet high. Inside were 36 dwelling houses, each 15x13 feet. On the north side was the dining hall, 80x20 feet, with two rows of tables, to seat more than 150 persons. Adjoining was a kitchen, 25x20 feet, with an annexed bakehouse. Twelve other dwelling houses were mentioned, as well as a cellar and storehouse. Water was secured within the enclosure from two good wells. South of the fort were corrals and stockyards. The main industry was the farming of 274 acres, more than one-half of it in wheat. A pottery was in charge of Brother Behrman, reported to have been confident that he could surpass any of the potteries in Utah for good ware. Milk was secured from 142 cows. One family was assigned to the sawmill in the mountains. J. A. Woods taught the first school. Jesse O. Ballenger, the first leader, was succeeded in 1878 by George Lake, who reported that, "while the people were living together in the United Order they generally ate together at the same table. The Saints, as a rule, were very earnest in their endeavors to carry out the principles of the Order, but some became dissatisfied and moved away." Discouragement became general, and in 1881 all were released from the mission. The settlement practically was broken up, the people scattering, though without dissension.

Some went to Forest Dale, and later to the Gila River, and some left Arizona altogether. There was a surplus from the experiment of about $8000, which went to the Church, after the people had drawn out their original capital, each taking the same number of animals and the same amount of property contributed originally. In 1882 only a couple of families were left and an added surplus of $2200 was used by the Church in settling the Gila country. In 1890 only the family of Sidney Wilson remained on the old site of Brigham City. The Brigham City water-power grist mill built in 1878, a present from the Church, was given to the people of Woodruff, but was not used.

The abandonment of Brigham City should not be blamed to the weakness of a communistic system. There had been frequent failures of crops and there had come a determination to find a locality where nature would smile more often upon the barley, so scouts were sent to the San Juan country in Utah, the Salt River country and to the Gila. George Lake, Andrew Anderson and George W. Skinner constituted the Gila party. Near Smithville they bought land, a transaction elsewhere referred to. Anderson and Skinner, in December, 1880, returned to Brigham City. At that point a business meeting was called at once and the authorities of the United Order approved the purchases made.

January 1, 1878, was announced a census of the settlement of the Little Colorado country. Sunset had 136 inhabitants, Ballenger 277, Allen's Camp 76, Woodruff 50 and Moen Copie 25, a total of 564, with 115 families.

Brief Lives of Obed and Taylor

The settlement of Obed, three miles southwest of St. Joseph, directly south of old Allen's Camp and across the river, bears date from June, 1876, having been moved a short distance from the first camp ground. At that time was built a fort of remarkable strength, twelve rods square. In places, the walls were ten feet high. There were bastions, with portholes for defense, at two of the corners, and portholes were in the walls all around. The camp at the start had 123 souls. Cottonwood logs were sawed for lumber. The community had a schoolhouse in January, 1877, and a denominational school was started the next month, with Phoebe McNeil as teacher. The settlement was not a happy one. The site was malarial, selected against Church instructions, and there were the usual troubles in the washing away of brush and log dams. The population drifted away, until there was abandonment in 1878.

Taylor was a small settlement on the Little Colorado, about three miles below the present St. Joseph, and should not be confounded with the present settlement of the same name near Snowflake. This first Taylor was established January 22, 1878, by eight families, mainly from Panguitch and Beaver, Utah. In the United Order they built a dining hall, a quarter-mile back from the river and organized as a ward, with John Kartchner at its head. But there was discouragement, not unnaturally, when the river dam went out for the fifth time. Then, in July, 1878, members of the settlement departed, going to the present site of Snowflake on Silver Creek. They included a number of Arkansas immigrants. There had been little improvement outside of the stockade and dining hall, and for most of the time the people lived in their wagons.



Chapter Fourteen

Travel, Missions and Industries

Passing of the Boston Party

Keen interest in the Southwest was excited early in 1876 by a series of lectures delivered at New England points by Judge Samuel W. Cozzens, author of "The Marvellous Country." There was formed the American Colonization Company, with Cozzens as president. Two companies of men, of about fifty individuals each, were dispatched from Boston, each man with equipment weighing about thirty pounds. The destination was a fertile valley in northeastern Arizona, a land that had been described eloquently, probably after only casual observation. The end of the Santa Fe railroad was in northern New Mexico. There the first party purchased four wagons and a number of mules from a grading contractor, Pat Shanley, afterward a cattleman in Gila County.

The best story at hand of the Bostonians is from one of them, Horace E. Mann, who for years has been a prospector and miner and who now is a resident of Phoenix. He tells that the journey westward was without particular incident until was reached, about June 15, the actual destination, the valley of the Little Colorado River, on the route of the projected Atlantic & Pacific Railroad. The travelers were astonished to find the country already taken up by a number of companies of Mormon colonists.

In New England the Mormons were considered a blood-thirsty people, eager to slay any Gentile who might happen along. It is not to be intimated that the Bostonians were mollycoddles. They appear to have been above even the average of the time, manly and stalwart enough, but the truth is, as told by Mr. Mann, the expedition did not care either to mingle with the Mormons or to incur danger of probable slaughter. Therefore, the parties hurried along as fast as possible. The same view is indicated in a recent interview with David E. Adams, of one of the Mormon settlements. He told the Historian that he found the Bostonians suspicious and fearful. At that time the Utah people still were living in their wagons. They were breaking ground and were starting upon the construction of dams in the river. The second Boston party passed June 23.

At Sunset Crossing Mann and three of his companions entered upon an adventure assuredly novel in arid Arizona. They constructed a raft of drift cottonwood and thought to lighten the journey by floating down the river. It was found that the stream soon bent toward the northward, away from the wagon trail. Sometimes there were shoals that the raft had to be pushed over and again there were deep whirlpools, around which the raft went merrily a dozen times before the river channel again could be entered. The channel walls grew higher and higher until, finally, the navigators pulled the raft ashore and resumed their journey on foot, finding their wagon in camp at the Canyon Diablo crossing. There, apparently considering themselves safe from massacre, was an encampment of a week or more.

At the Naming of Flagstaff

Mann, his bunkie, George E. Loring (later express agent at Phoenix), a Rhode Islander named Tillinghast and three others formed an advance party westward. This party made camp at a small spring just south of San Francisco Mountains, where Flagstaff is now. Mann remembers the place as Volunteer Springs in Harrigan Valley. While waiting for the main party to come up, the advance guard hunted and explored. Mann remembers traveling up a little valley to the north and northwest to the big LeRoux Springs, below which he found the remains of a burnt cabin and of a stockade corral, possibly occupied in the past as a station on the transcontinental mail route.

With reference to the naming of Flagstaff, Mr. Mann is very definite. He says that, while waiting for the main party, this being late in June, 1876, and merely for occupation, the limbs were cut from a straight pine tree that was growing by itself near the camp. The bark was cut away, leaving the tree a model flagstaff and for this purpose it was used, the flag being one owned by Tillinghast and the only one carried by the expedition. The tree was not cut down. It was left standing upon its own roots. This tale is rather at variance with one that has been of common acceptance in the history of Flagstaff and the date was not the Fourth of July, as has been believed, for Mann is sure that he arrived in Prescott in June. The main section of the first party came a few days later, and was on the ground for a celebration of the centennial Fourth of July that centered around the flagstaff.

Mann also remembers that Major Maynadier, one of the leaders of the expedition, surveyed a townsite for Flagstaff, each of the members of the expedition being allotted a tract. The second party joined the first at Flagstaff. Word had been received that mechanics were needed at Prescott and in the nearby mines, with the large wages of $6 a day, and hence there was eagerness to get along and have a share in the wealth of the land. It remains to be stated that all the men found no difficulty in locating themselves in and around Prescott and that no regret was felt over the failure of the original plan.

Southern Saints Brought Smallpox

One of the few parties of Southern States Saints known for years in any of the Stakes of Zion joined the poverty-stricken colonists on the Little Colorado in the fall of 1877. Led by Nelson P. Beebe, it numbered about 100 individuals, coming through New Mexico by wagon, with a first stop at Savoia. The immigrants were without means or food and there had to be haste in sending most of them on westward, more wagons being sent from the Little Colorado camps for their conveyance. At Allen's Camp was a burden of sickness, mainly fever sufferers from the unfortunate Obed. To these visitors were added seventy of the "Arkansas Saints," who came October 4. Yet the plucky Allenites not only divided with the strangers their scanty store of bread, but gave a dance in celebration of the addition to the pioneers' strength. The arrivals brought with them a new source of woe. One of their number, Thomas West, had contracted smallpox at Albuquerque and from this case came many prostrations.

Fort Moroni, at LeRoux Spring

One of the most important watering places of northeastern Arizona is LeRoux Spring, seven miles northwest of Flagstaff on the southwestern slope of the San Francisco Mountains. This never-failing spring was a welcome spot to the pioneers who traveled the rocky road along the 35th parallel of latitude. San Francisco Spring (or Old Town Spring) at the present Flagstaff, was much less dependable and at the time of the construction of the Atlantic & Pacific railroad in 1881-2, water often was hauled to Flagstaff from the larger spring, at times sold for $1 a barrel.

The importance of this water supply appears to have been appreciated early by the long-headed directing body of the Mormon Church. Early in 1877, under direction of John W. Young, son and one of the counselors of Brigham Young, from the Little Colorado settlements of St. Joseph and Sunset, was sent an expedition, that included Alma Iverson, John L. Blythe and Jos. W. McMurrin, the last at this writing president of the California Mission of the Church, then a boy of 18.

According to Ammon M. Tenney, this LeRoux spring was known to the people of the Little Colorado settlements as San Francisco spring. Mr. McMurrin personally states his remembrance that the expedition proceeded along the Beale trail to the spring, near which was built a small log cabin, designed to give a degree of title to the water and to the locality, probably also to serve as a shelter for any missionary parties that might travel the road. There is no information that it was used later for any purpose.

The men were instructed to build a cabin at Turkey Tanks, on the road to the Peaks, this cabin to be lined with pine needles and to be used as a storage icehouse, Counselor Young expressing the opinion that there would be times in the summer heat of the Little Colorado Valley when ice would be of the greatest value. The tanks were hardly suitable for this purpose, however, and the icehouse was not built.

Location of the LeRoux spring by the Iverson-Blythe party in 1877 appears to have been sufficient to hold the ground till it was needed, in 1881, by John W. Young, in connection with his railroad work. About sixty graders and tie cutters were camped, mainly in tents, on LeRoux Prairie or Flat, below the spring, according to Mrs. W. J. Murphy, now of Phoenix, a resident of the Prairie for five months of 1881, her husband a contractor on the new railroad. She remembers no cattle, though deer and antelope were abundant.

Stockaded Against the Indians

In the early spring came reports of Indian raids to the eastward. So Young hauled in a number of double-length ties, which he set on end, making a stockade, within which he placed his camp, mainly of tents. Later were brush shelters within, but the great log house, illustrated herein, was not built until afterward. Thereafter was attached the name of Fort Moroni, given by Young, who organized the Moroni Cattle Company. At the time of the coming of the grade to Flagstaff, Young also had a camp in the western end of the present Flagstaff townsite.

Fort Moroni was acquired about 1883 by the Arizona Cattle Company. The large building was used as a mess house. The stockade ties were cut down to fence height and eventually disappeared, used by the cowboys for fuel.

An entertaining sidelight on the settlement of what later generally was known as Fort Valley has been thrown by Earl R. Forrest of Washington, Penn., in early days a cowboy for the Arizona Cattle Company. He writes that the building formed one side of a 100-foot square, with the stockade on the other three sides. In his day, the name of the ranch was changed to Fort Rickerson, in honor of Chas. L. Rickerson, treasurer of the company. Capt. F.B. Bullwinkle, the manager, a former Chief of the Chicago Fire Department, and a lover of fast stock, was killed near Flagstaff, thrown from a stumbling horse while racing for the railroad station. Thereafter the property passed into the possession of the Babbitt Brothers of Flagstaff. The old building was torn down late in 1920.

In August, 1908, the first forest experiment station in the United States was established in Fort Valley.

The great spring is used only for watering cattle, and the spring at Flagstaff appears to have been lost in the spread of civilization.

LeRoux spring was named for Antoine LeRoux, principal guide of the famous survey expedition of Lieut. A.W. Whipple, along the 35th parallel, in 1853. Incidentally, this is the same LeRoux who was principal guide of the Mormon Battalion.

Mormon Dairy and the Mount Trumbull Mill

Mormon Mountain, Mormon Lake and Mormon Dairy still are known as such, 28 miles southeast of Flagstaff. The Dairy was established in September, 1878, by Lot Smith, in what then was known as Pleasant Valley, in the pines, sixty miles west of Sunset. In that year 48 men and 41 women from Sunset and Brigham City, were at the Dairy, caring for 115 cows and making butter and cheese. Three good log houses had been built.

Seven miles south of Pleasant Valley (which should not be confounded with the Tonto Basin Pleasant Valley of sanguinary repute), was the site of the first sawmill on the Mogollon Plateau, upon which a half-dozen very large plants now operate to furnish lumber to the entire Southwest. This mill, probably antedated in northern Arizona only at Prescott, first was erected, about 1870, at Mount Trumbull, in the Uinkaret Mountains of northwestern Arizona, to cut lumber for the new temple at St. George, Utah, fifty miles to the northward. This mill, in 1876, was given by the Church authorities to the struggling Little Colorado River settlements. Taken down in August by the head sawyer, Warren R. Tenney, it was hauled into Sunset late in September and soon was re-erected by Tenney, and, November 7, put into operation in the pine woods near Mormon Lake, about sixty miles southwest of Sunset, soon turning out 100,000 feet of boards. Its site was named Millville. The mill, after the decline of the first settlements, passed into the possession of W. J. Flake. In the summer of 1882, it was transferred to Pinedale and in 1890 to Pinetop. It now is at Lakeside, where, it is assumed, at least part of the original machinery still is being operated. Its first work at Pinetop was to saw the timbers for a large assembly hall, or pavilion, to be used for the only conference ever held that included all the Arizona Stakes.

Also in the timber country are to be noted Wilford, named in honor of President Wilford Woodruff, and Heber, named for Heber C. Kimball, small settlements fifty miles southwest of St. Joseph, established in 1883 from St. Joseph and other Little Colorado settlements, for stock raising and dry farming. John Bushman is believed to have been the first Mormon resident of the locality. Log houses were built and at Wilford was a schoolhouse, which later was moved to St. Joseph, there used as a dwelling. When a number of the brethren went into Mexican exile, their holdings were "jumped" by outsiders. Wilford has been entirely vacated, but Heber still has residents.

Where Salt Was Secured

Salt for the early settlements of northern Arizona very generally was secured from the salt lake of the Zuni, just east of the New Mexican line, roughly 33 miles from St. Johns. As early as 1865, Sol Barth brought salt on pack mules from this lake to points as far westward as Prescott. In the records of a number of the Little Colorado settlements are found references to where the brethren visited a salt lake and came back with as much as two tons at a load. This lake is of sacred character to the Zuni, which, at certain times of the year send parties of priests and warriors to the lake, 45 miles south of the tribal village. There is elaborate ceremonial before salt is collected. Undoubtedly the lake was known to prehistoric peoples, for salt, probably obtained at this point, has been found in cliff ruins in southern Colorado, 200 miles from the source of supply. The Zuni even had a special goddess, Mawe, genius of the sacred salt lake, or "Salt Mother," to whom offerings were made at the lake. Warren K. Follett, in 1878, told that the lake lies 300 feet lower than the general surface of the country. The salt forms within the water, in layers of from three to four inches thick, and is of remarkable purity.

The Hopi secured salt from a ledge in the Grand Canyon, below the mouth of the Little Colorado, about eighty miles northwest of their villages. At the point of mining, sacrifices were made before shrines of a goddess of salt and a god of war. The place has had description by Dr. Geo. Wharton James, whose knowledge of the gorge is most comprehensive.

On the upper Verde and in Tonto Creek Valley are salt deposits, though very impure. Upper Salt River has a small deposit of very good sodium chloride, which was mined mainly for the mills of Globe, in the seventies. The Verde deposit now is being mined for shipment to paper mills of its sodium sulphate. Reference elsewhere is made to the salt mines of the Virgin River Valley.



The Mission Post of Moen Copie

One of the most interesting early locations of the Mormon Church in Arizona was that of Moen Copie, about 75 miles southeast of Lee's Ferry. The name is a Hopi one, signifying "running water" or "many springs." The soil is alkaline, but it is a place where Indians had raised crops for generations. The presiding spirit of the locality was Tuba, the Oraibi chief, who had been taken by Jacob Hamblin to Utah, there to learn something of the white man's civilization.

Joseph Fish wrote that at an early date Moen Copie was selected as a missionary post by Jacob Hamblin and Andrew S. Gibbons and that in 1871 and 1872, John L. Blythe and family were at that point.

Permanent settlement on Moen Copie Creek was made December 4, 1875, by a party headed by Jas. S. Brown. There was establishment of winter quarters, centering in a stone house 40x20 feet, with walls twenty inches thick. The house was on the edge of a cliff, with two rows of log houses forming three sides of a square.

Indians Who Knew Whose Ox Was Gored

The Author is pleased to present here a tale of Indian craft, delightfully told him by Mrs. Elvira Martineau (Benj. S.) Johnson, who, in 1876, accompanied her husband to Moen Copie, where he had been sent as a missionary. July 4 the women had just prepared a holiday feast when Indians were seen approaching. The men were summoned from the fields below the cliff. Leading the Indians was a Navajo, Peicon, who, addressing Brown as a brother chieftain, thrust forward his young son, dramatically stating that the lad had killed three cows owned at the settlement of Sunset and offering him for any punishment the whites might see fit to inflict, even though it be death. Brown mildly suggested that the Sunset people should be seen, but that he was sure that all they would ask would be the value of the animals. During the protracted argument a party of accompanying Utes came into the discussion, threatening individuals with their bows and arrows. The Navajos were fed and then was developed the truth. It was that the men of Sunset had killed three Indian cattle and the wily chief had been trying to get Brown to fix a drastic penalty upon his own people. Brown went with the Navajos to Sunset, there to learn that the half-starved colonists had killed three range animals, assumed to have been ownerless. The matter then was adjusted with little trouble and to the full satisfaction of the redskins.

In September, 1878, Erastus Snow visited Moen Copie, where the inhabitants comprised nine families, with especial mention of Andrew S. Gibbons, of the party of John W. Young and of Tuba. There had been a prosperous season in a farming way.

This visit is notable from the fact that on the 17th, Snow and others proceeded about two miles west of north and at Musha Springs located a townsite, afterward named Tuba City. Tuba City was visited in 1900 by Andrew Jenson, who found twenty families resident, with one family at the old Moen Copie mission and three families at Moen Abi, seven miles to the southwest.

A Woolen Factory in the Wilds

Primarily the Tuba settlement was a missionary effort, with the intention of taking the Gospel into the very center of the Navajo and Hopi country. Agriculture flourished a all times, with an abundant supply of water for irrigation. But there was an attempt at industry and one which would appear to have had the very best chance of success. The Navajo and Hopi alike are owners of immense numbers of sheep. The wool in early days almost entirely was utilized by the Indians in the making of blankets, this on rude hand looms, where the product was turned out with a maximum of labor and of time. John W. Young, elsewhere referred to in connection with the establishment of Fort Moroni and with the building of the Atlantic and Pacific railroad, thought he saw an opportunity to benefit the Indians and the Church, and probably himself, so at Tuba City, in the spring of 1879, he commenced erection of a woolen factory, with interior dimensions 90x70 feet. The plant was finished in November, with 192 spindles in use. In the spring of 1880 was a report in the Deseret News that the manufacture of yarns had commenced and that the machinery was running like a charm. Looms for the cloth-making were reported on the way. Just how labor was secured is not known, but it is probable that Indians were utilized to as large an extent as possible. There is no available record concerning the length of time this mill was operated. It is understood, however, that the Indians soon lost interest in it and failed to bring in wool. Possibly the labor supply was not ample and possibly the distance to the Utah settlements was too great and the journey too rough to secure profit. At any event, the factory closed without revolutionizing the Navajo and Hopi woolen industry. In 1900 was written that the factory "has most literally been carried away by Indians, travelers and others." Old Chief Tuba took particular pride in watching over the remains of the factory, but after his death the ruination of the building was made complete. Some of the machinery was taken to St. Johns.

Lot Smith and His End

In general the Saints at Tuba appear to have lived at peace with their Indian neighbors, save in 1892 when Lot Smith was killed. The simple tale of the tragedy is in a Church record that follows:

"On Monday, June 20, 1892, some Indians at Tuba City turned their sheep into Lot Smith's pasture. Brother Smith went out to drive the sheep away, and while thus engaged he got into a quarrel with the Indians and commenced shooting their sheep. In retaliation the Indians commenced firing upon Lot Smith's cows and finally directed their fire against Lot Smith himself, shooting him through the body. Though mortally wounded, he rode home, a distance of about two miles, and lived about six hours, when he expired. It is stated on good authority that the Indians were very sorry, as Smith always had been a friend to them."

The Author here might be permitted to make reference to the impression generally held in the Southwest that Lot Smith was a "killer," a man of violence, who died as he had lived. Close study of his record fails to bear out this view. Undoubtedly it started in Utah after his return from Mormon Battalion service, when he became a member of the Mormon militia that harassed Johnston's army in the passes east of the Salt Lake Valley. There is solemn Church assurance that not a life was taken in this foray, though many wagons were burned in an attempt, October 3, 1857, to delay the march of the troops. Smith (who in no wise was related to the family of the Prophet Joseph) became a leader in the Deseret defense forces, but there is belief that in all his life he shed no blood, unless it was in connection with a battle with the Utes near Provo, in February, 1850. In this fight were used brass cannon, probably those that had been bought at Sutter's Fort by returning Mormon Battalion members. According to a friendly biographer, "There never was a man who held the life and liberty of man more sacred than did Lot Smith." Ten years after his death there was re-interment of his remains at Farmington, Utah.

Moen Copie Reverts to the Indians

In 1900 Moen Copie ward embraced 21 families and about 150 souls. There had been an extension of the Navajo reservation westward and the Indians, though friendly, had been advised to crowd the Mormons out, on the ground that the country in reality belonged to the aborigines. There was no title to the land, which had not been surveyed and which was held only by squatter rights. There had been some success in a missionary way, but conditions arose which made it appear best that the land be vacated to the Indians. There was much negotiation and at the end there was payment by the government of $45,000, this divided among the whites according to the value of their improvements and acreage.

In this wise the Mormon settlement of Tuba City was vacated in February, 1903, the inhabitants moving to other parts of Arizona and to Utah and Idaho. A large reservation school has been established on the Wash, many Indians there being instructed in the arts of the white man, while government farmers are utilizing the waters of the stream and of the springs in the cultivation of a considerable acreage. A feature of this school is that fuel is secured, at very slight cost, from coal measures nearby.

Woodruff and Its Water Troubles

Closely following settlement of the ephemeral lower Little Colorado towns came the founding of Woodruff, about 25 miles upstream from St. Joseph and about twelve miles above the present Holbrook. It is still a prosperous town and community, though its history has been one in which disaster has come repeatedly through the washing away of the dam which supplies its main canal with water from the Little Colorado and Silver Creek.

In the locality the Mormons were antedated by Luther Martin and Felix Scott. The section was scouted in December, 1876, by Joseph H. Richards, Lewis P. Garden, James Thurman and Peter O. Peterson, from Allen's Camp, and they participated in starting a ditch from the river. There appeared to have been no indication of occupancy when, in March, 1877, Ammon M. Tenney passed through the valley and determined it a good place for location. In the following month, however, Cardon and two sons, and Wm. A. Walker came upon the ground, with other families, followed, three weeks later, by Nathan C. Tenney, father of Ammon M., with two sons, John T. and Samuel, Hans Gulbrandsen and Charles Riggs. For about a year the settlement was known simply as Tenney's Camp. L. H. Hatch was appointed to take charge in February, 1878. About that time the name of Woodruff was adopted, in honor of President Wilford Woodruff, this suggestion made by John W. Young. The first settlement was in a rock and adobe fort, forming a half square. There was a common dining room as, for a while, there was adherence to the system of the United Order. It is told that all save two of the settlers participated and there is memorandum of how three sisters were detailed weekly for cooking, with girls as assistants.

In February, 1882, was survey of the present townsite, on which John Reidhead built the first house. This townsite was purchased from the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company, in May, 1889, for $8 an acre. At first it had not been appreciated that the town had not been built upon government land.

The history of Woodruff has in it much of disastrous incident through the frequent breaking of the river dams. In May, 1880, the dam had to be cut by the settlers themselves, in order to permit the water to flow down to St. Joseph, where there was priority of appropriation. At several times, the Church organization helped in the repair or building of the many dams, after the settlers had spent everything they had and had reached the point of despair. At suggestion of Jesse N. Smith in 1884, all the brethren in the Stake were called upon to donate one day each of labor on the Woodruff dam. Up to 1890, the dam had been washed out seven times and even now there is trouble in its maintenance.

Of passing interest is the fact that President Wilford Woodruff, after whom the settlement was named, was a visitor to Woodruff on at least two occasions, in 1879, and in 1887, when an exile from Utah. He was at Moen Copie when there came news, which later proved erroneous, that pursuers had crossed at Lee's Ferry. Then, guided by Richard Gibbons, he rode westward, making a stop of a few days at Fort Moroni.

Holbrook Once Was Horsehead Crossing

Holbrook, on the Little Colorado, county seat of Navajo County, shipping point on the Santa Fe railroad system for practically all of Navajo and Apache Counties, had Mormon inception, under its present name, that of an Atlantic and Pacific railroad locating engineer, F.A. Holbrook. The christening is said to have been done in 1881 by John W. Young, then a grading contractor, applied to a location two miles east of the present townsite. Young there had a store at his headquarters. Later the railroad authorities established the town on its present location.

The settlement, since the first coming of English-speaking folk, had been known as Horsehead Crossing. For years before the railroad came, a roadside station was kept at the Crossing by a Mexican, Berardo, whose name was differently spelled by almost every traveler who wrote of him. One of the tales is from E.C. Bunch, who came as a young member of the Arkansas immigration in 1876, and who later became one of the leaders in Arizona education. He tells, in referring appreciatively to Mexican hospitality, that "Berrando's" sign, painted by an American, read, "If you have the money, you can eat." But the owner, feeling the misery coldheartedness might create, wrote below, "No got a money, eat anyway." Berardo loaned the colonists some cows, whose milk was most welcome.



Chapter Fifteen

Settlement Spreads Southward

Snowflake and its Naming

Snowflake, one of the most prosperous of towns of Mormon origin, lies 28 miles almost south of Holbrook, with which it was given railroad connection during 1919. The first settler was James Stinson who came in 1873, and who, by 1878, had taken out the waters of Silver Creek for the irrigation of about 300 acres. In July, 1878, Stinson (later a resident of Tempe) sold to Wm. J. Flake for $11,000, paid in livestock.

July 21, the first Mormons moved upon the Stinson place. They were Flake, James Gale, Jesse Brady, Alexander Stewart and Thomas West, with their families, most of them from the old Taylor settlement. Others followed soon thereafter, including six Taylor families, headed by John Kartchner, they taking the upper end of the valley.

Actual foundation of the town came in an incident of the most memorable of the southwestern trips of Erastus Snow. He and his party arrived at the Kartchner ranch September 26, 1878, the location described by L. John Nuttall of the party as "a nice little valley." As bishop was appointed John Hunt of Savoia, who was with the Mormon Battalion, and who remained in the same capacity till 1910. Flake's location was considered best for a townsite and to it was given the name it now bears, honoring the visiting dignitary and the founder. The townsite was surveyed soon thereafter by Samuel G. Ladd of St. Joseph, who also laid out several ditch lines. Even before there was a town, there was a birth, that of William Taylor Gale, son of James Gale.



January 16, 1879, arrived Jesse N. Smith, president of the newly-created Eastern Arizona Stake, appointed on recommendation of Erastus Snow. After trying to negotiate for land at St. Johns, he returned, and he and his company concluded to locate in Snowflake, where they took up lots not already appropriated. The farming land went in a drawing of two parcels each to the city lot owners, who thus became possessed of twenty acres each. Joseph Fish headed a committee on distribution, which valued each city lot at $30, each first-class farming plot of ten acres at $110 and each second-class plot at $60, giving each shareholder property valued at $200, or ten head of stock, this being at the rate that Flake paid for the whole property. Flake took only one share.

The Mormon towns usually were of the quietest, but occasionally had excitement brought to them. On one such occasion at Snowflake, December 8, 1892, was killed Chas. L. Flake, son of Wm. J. Flake. A message had come from New Mexico asking detention of Will Mason, a desperado said to have had a record of seven murders. Charles and his brother, Jas. M., attempted the arrest. Mason fired twice over his shoulder, the first bullet cutting James' left ear, and then shot Charles through the neck. Almost the same moment a bullet from James' pistol passed through the murderer's head, followed by a second.

Of modern interest, indicative of the trend of public sentiment, is an agreement, entered into late in 1920, by the merchants of Snowflake and the towns to the southward, to sell no tobacco, in any form.

Snowflake was the first county-seat of Apache County, created in 1879, the first court session held in the home of Wm. J. Flake. At the fall election, the courthouse was moved to St. Johns. In 1880, by the vote of Clifton, which then was within Apache County, Springerville was made the county seat. In 1882, St. Johns finally was chosen the seat of Apache County government.

Joseph Fish, Historian

The first consecutive history of Arizona, intended to be complete in its narration, undoubtedly was that written by Joseph Fish, for many years resident in or near Snowflake. Though Mr. Fish is a patriarch of the Mormon Church, his narration of events is entirely uncolored, unless by sympathy for the Indians. His work never had publication, a fact to be deplored. A copy of his manuscript is in the office of the State Historian, and another is possessed by Dr. J. A. Munk, held by him in his library of Arizoniana in the Southwestern Museum at Garvanza, Cal.

The history has about 700 pages of typewritten matter, treating of events down to a comparatively late date. Mr. Fish has a clear and lucid style of narration and his work is both interesting and valuable. Though of no large means, he gathered, at his home on the Little Colorado, about 400 books and magazines, and upon this basis and by personal interviews and correspondence he secured the data upon which he wrote. He is a native of Illinois, of Yankee stock, and is now in his eightieth year. He came to Arizona in 1879 and the next year was in charge of the commissary department for the contract of John W. Young in the building of the Atlantic and Pacific railroad. His first historical work was done as clerk of the Eastern Arizona Stake. In 1902 he began work on another historical volume, "The Pioneers of the Rocky Mountains." He now is resident in Enterprise, Utah.

Another historic character resident in the Stake was Ralph Ramsey, the artist in wood who carved the eagle that overspreads the Eagle gate in Salt Lake City.

Taylor, Second of the Name

Taylor, the second settlement of the name in the Mormon northeastern occupation, lies three miles south of Snowflake (which it antedates). It is on Silver Creek, which is spanned by a remarkable suspension bridge that connects two sections of the town. When the first Mormon residents came, early in 1878 the settlement was known as Bagley. Then there was to be change to Walker, but the Postoffice Department objected, as another Walker existed, near Prescott. The present name, honoring John Taylor, president of the Church, was adopted in 1881, at the suggestion of Stake President Jesse N. Smith.

The first settler was James Pearce, a noted character in southwestern annals, son of the founder of Pearce's Ferry across the Colorado at the mouth of Grand Wash, at the lower end of the Grand Canyon. James Pearce was a pioneer missionary with Jacob Hamblin among the Paiutes of the Nevada Muddy region and the Hopi and Navajo of northeastern Arizona. He came January 23, 1878, in March joined by John H. Standiford. Other early arrivals were Jos. C. Kay, Jesse H. and Wm. A. Walker, Lorenzo Hatch, an early missionary to the northeastern Arizona Indians, Noah Brimhall and Daniel Bagley. A ditch was surveyed by Major Ladd, who did most of such work for all the settlements, but the townsite, established in 1878, on the recommendation, in September, of Erastus Snow, was surveyed in December by a group of interested residents, led by Jos. S. Carden, their "chain" being a rope. The irrigation troubles of the community appear to have been fewer than those of the Little Colorado towns, though in the great spring flood of 1890 the dams and bridges along Silver Creek were carried away.

Shumway's Historic Founder

Shumway, on Silver Creek, five miles above Taylor, has interest of historical sort in the fact that it was named after an early settler Charles Shumway, one of the most noted of the patriarchs of the Church. He was the first to cross the Mississippi, February 4, 1846, in the exodus from Nauvoo, and was one of the 143 Pioneers who entered Salt Lake with Brigham Young the following summer. In December, 1879, his son, Wilson G. Shumway, accepted a call to Arizona. Most of the winter was spent at Grand Falls in a "shack" he built of cottonwood logs, roofed with sandstone slabs. In this he entertained Apostle Woodruff, who directed the chiseling of the name "Wilford Woodruff" upon a rock. Charles Shumway and N.P. Beebe bought the mill rights on Silver Creek, acquired through location the previous year by Nathan C. and Jesse Wanslee, brought machinery from the East and, within a year, started a grist mill that still is a local institution. The village of Shumway never has had more than a score of families. Charles Shumway died May 21, 1898. His record of self-sacrifice continued after his arrival in Arizona early in 1880, the first stop being at Concho. There, according to his son, Wilson G., the family for two years could have been rated as among "the poorest of poor pioneers," with a dugout for a home, this later succeeded by a log cabin of comparative luxury. For months the bread was of barley flour, the diet later having variety, changed to corn bread and molasses, with wheat flour bread as a treat on Sundays.

Showlow Won in a Game of "Seven-Up"

Showlow, one of the freak Arizona place names, applied to a creek and district, as well as to a thrifty little settlement, lies about south of Snowflake, twenty miles or more. The name antedates the Mormon settlement. The valley jointly was held by C.E. Cooley and Marion Clark, both devoted to the card game of "seven-up." At a critical period of one of their games, when about all possible property had been wagered, Clark exclaimed, "Show low and you take the ranch!" Cooley "showed low." This same property later was sold by him to W.J. Flake, for $13,000.

The Showlow section embraces the mountain communities of Showlow, Reidhead (Lone Pine), Pinedale, Linden, Juniper, Adair (which once had unhappy designation as "Fools' Hollow"), Ellsworth, Lakeside (also known as Fairview and Woodland), Pinetop and Cluff's Cienega. Cooley, in the Cienega (Sp., marsh) is the site of a large sawmill and is the terminus of a railroad from Holbrook. But the noted scout Cooley, lived elsewhere, at Showlow and at Apache Springs.

The first Mormons to come to Showlow were Alfred Cluff and David E. Adams, who were employed by Cooley in 1876. They were from Allen's Camp, almost driven away by necessity. Others soon came, including Moses and Orson Cluff, Edmund Ellsworth and Edson Whipple, a Salt Lake Pioneer. There was gradual settlement of the communities above listed, generally prior to 1880. While only one member of the faith was killed during the Indian troubles of the eighties, log and stone forts were erected in several of the villages for use in case of need.

Mountain Communities

Out in the woods, twenty miles southwest of Snowflake, is the village of Pinedale, settled in January, 1879, by Niels Mortensen and sons and Niels Peterson. The first location was at what now is called East Pinedale, also known at different times as Mortensen and Percheron. In the following winter, a small sawmill was brought in from Fort Apache and in 1882 came a larger mill, the original Mount Trumbull mill. In that year a townsite had rough survey by James Huff and in 1885 a schoolhouse was built. The brethren had much trouble with desperados, horse and cattle thieves, but peace came after the Pleasant Valley war in Tonto Basin, in which thirty of the range riders were killed.

Reidhead, also known at times as Woolf's Ranch, Lone Pine Crossing, Beaver Branch and Reidhead Crossing, is one of the deserted points of early settlement, historically important mainly in the fact that it was the home of Nathan B. Robinson, killed nearby by Apaches June 1, 1882. Fear of the Indians then drove away the other settlers and, though there was later return, in 1893 was final abandonment. Reidhead lay on Showlow Creek, ten miles above Taylor and ten miles from Cooley's ranch. It was one of the places of first white settlement in northeastern Arizona, a Mexican having had his ranch there even before Cooley came into the country. Then came one Woolf, from whom squatter rights were bought in April, 1878, by John Reidhead, then lately from Utah.

Pinetop, 35 miles south of Snowflake, dates back to March, 1888, when settled by Wm. L. Penrod and sons, including four families, all from Provo, Utah. Progress started with the transfer to Pinetop of the Mount Trumbull mill in 1890. The name is said to have been given by soldiers, the first designation having been Penrod. A notable event in local history was a joint conference in Pinetop, July 4, 1892, with representatives from all Arizona Stakes and attended by President Woodruff's counselors, Geo. Q. Cannon and Jos. F. Smith. For this special occasion was built a pavilion, the largest in Arizona, a notable undertaking for a small community. The structure was destroyed by fire a few years ago.

Forest Dale on the Reservation

In the settlement of what now is southern Navajo County, the Mormon settlers a bit overran the present line of the Apache Indian reservation, where they located early in 1878 upon what now is known as Forest Dale Creek, a tributary of Carrizo Creek. The country is a beautiful one, well watered from abundant rains and well wooded, possibly a bit more favored than the present settlements of Showlow, Pinetop and Lakeside, which lie just north of the reservation line. There is reference in a letter of Llewellyn Harris, in July, 1878, to the settlement of Forest Dale, but the name is found in writings several months before. Harris and several others refer to the Little Colorado country as being in "Aravapai" County. This was in error. The county then was Yavapai, before the separation of Apache County.

The valley was found by Oscar Cluff while hunting in the fall of 1877 and soon thereafter he moved there with his family. In February there followed his brother, Alfred Cluff, who suggested the name. The settlement was started February 18, 1878, by Jos. H. Frisby, Merritt Staley, Oscar Mann, Orson and Alfred Cluff, Ebenezer Thayne, David E. Adams and a few others.

The overrunning referred to was not done blindly. Jos. H. Frisby and Alfred Cluff went to San Carlos. There they were assured by Agent Hart that Apache Springs and the creek referred to were not on the reservation, and that the government would protect them if they would settle there. It was understood that the reservation line lay about three miles south of the settlement. This information is contained in a letter signed by Agent Hart and addressed to Colonel Andrews, Eleventh Infantry, commanding Fort Apache. Mr. Hart stated that he would be "glad to have the settlers make permanent homes at Forest Dale, for the reason that the Indians strayed so far from their own lands that it was hard to keep track of them as conditions then were, and that the settlement of the country would have a tendency to hold the Indians on their own lands upon the reservation."

Lieutenant Ray was sent with a detachment of troops and the Indians at Apache Springs were removed and the main body of the settlers, then temporarily located on the Showlow, moved over the ridge into the new valley.

In March, 1878, the settlers included Merritt Staley, Oscar Mann, Ebenezer Thayne, David E. Adams, Jos. H. Frisby, Alfred Cluff, Isaac Follett, Orson Cluff and several unmarried men. In September, Erastus Snow found a very prosperous settlement. A ward organization was established. The first white child, Forest Dale Adams, is now the wife of Frank Webster, of Central, Arizona. Seven springs of good water, known as Apache Springs, formed the headwaters of Carrizo Creek.

In 1879, Missionaries Harris and Thayne appear to have made a mistake similar to that of the Arab who allowed the camel to thrust his nose inside of the tent. They secured permission from the commanding officer of creek. The missionary efforts appear to have failed, and the Indians simply demanded everything in sight. Reports came that the locality really was on the reservation and the white population therefore drifted away, mainly into the Gila Valley. In December, 1879, only three families were left, and the following year the last were gone.

In 1881 rumors drifted down the Little Colorado that Forest Dale, after all, was not on the reservation. So William Crookston and three others re-settled the place, some of them from the abandoned Brigham City. Then came the Indian troubles of 1881-82. When Fort Apache was attacked, the families consolidated at Cooley, where they built a fort. Some went north to Snowflake and Taylor. In December, 1881, President Jesse N. Smith of the Eastern Arizona Stake advised the Forest Dale settlers to satisfy the Indians for their claims on the place, and received assurance from General Carr at Fort Apache, that the locality most likely was not on the reservation and that, in case it was not, he would be pleased to have the Mormon settlers there. A new ward was established and William Ellsworth and twenty more families moved in, mainly from Brigham City. In May, 1882, the Indians came again to plant corn and were wrathful to find the whites ahead of them. An officer was sent from Fort Apache and a treaty was made by which the Indians were given thirty acres of planted land.

June 1, 1882, Apaches killed Nathan B. Robinson at the Reidhead place and shot Emer Plumb at Walnut Springs, during a period of general Indian unrest. Soon thereafter, President Smith advised the settlers that they had better look for other locations, as the ground was on the reservation.

In December, Lieutenant Gatewood, under orders from Captain Crawford (names afterward famous in the Geronimo campaign to the southward) came from Fort Apache and advised the settlers they would be given until the spring to vacate. The crops were disposed of at Fort Apache and the spring of 1883 found Forest Dale deserted, houses, fences, corrals and every improvement left behind. The drift of the settlers was to the Gila Valley.



This Forest Dale affair was made a national matter, January 24, 1916, when a bill was introduced by Senator Ashurst of Arizona for the relief of Alfred Cluff, Orson Cluff, Henry E. Norton, Wm. B. Ballard, Elijah Hancock, Susan R. Saline, Oscar Mann, Celia Thayne, William Cox, Theodore Farley, Adelaide Laxton, Clara L. Tenney, Geo. M. Adams, Charlotte Jensen and Sophia Huff. Later additions were David E. Adams and Peter H. McBride.

The amounts claimed by each varied from $2000 to $15,000. A similar bill had been introduced by the Senator in a previous Congress. In his statement to the Indian Affairs Committee, the Senator stated that the settlements had been on unreserved and vacant Government lands and that the reservation had been extended to cover the tract some time in 1882.

Appended were affidavits from each of the individuals claiming compensation. All told of moving during the winter, under conditions of great hardship, of cold and exposure and loss of property.

David E. Adams, one of the few survivors of the Forest Dale settlement, lately advised the Author that the change in the reservation line undeniably was at the suggestion of C.E. Cooley, a noted Indian scout, who feared the Mormons would compete with him in supplying corn and forage to Fort Apache.

Tonto Basin's Early Settlement

Soon after location on the Little Colorado there was exploration to the southwest, with a view toward settlement extension. At the outset was encountered the very serious obstruction of the great Mogollon Rim, a precipice that averages more than 1000 feet in height for several hundred miles. Ways through this were found, however, into Tonto Basin, a great expanse, about 100 miles in length by 80 in width, lying south and southwest of the Rim, bounded on the west by the Mazatzal Mountains, and on the south and southeast by spurs of the Superstitions and Pinals. The Basin itself contains a sizable mountain range, the Sierra Ancha.

The first exploration was made in July, 1876, by Wm. C. Allen, John Bushman, Pleasant Bradford and Peter Hansen. Their report was unfavorable, in considering settlement. In the fall of the following year there was exploration by John W. Freeman, John H. Willis, Thomas Clark, Alfred J. Randall, Willis Fuller and others. They returned a more favorable report. In March, 1878, Willis drove stock into the upper Basin and also took the first wagon to the East Verde Valley. He was followed by Freeman and family and Riel Allen. Freeman located a road to the Rim, from Pine Springs to Baker's Butte, about forty miles. Price W. Nielson (or Nelson) settled on Rye Creek, in 1878. In the following year was started the Pine settlement, about twenty miles north of the East Verde settlement, with Riel Allen at its head. There is record that most of the settlers on the East Verde moved away in 1879, mainly to Pine, and others back to the Little Colorado. However, the Author, in September of 1889, found a very prosperous little Mormon settlement on the East Verde, raising alfalfa, fruit and livestock. It was called Mazatzal City and lay within a few miles of the Natural Bridge, which is on the lower reaches of Pine Creek before that stream joins the East Verde.

A settlement was in existence at least as late as 1889 on upper Tonto Creek. The first resident was David Gowan, discoverer of the Natural Bridge, he and two others taking advantage of the presence of a beaver-built log dam, from which an irrigating canal was started. The first of the Mormon settlers at that point, in 1883, were John and David W. Sanders, with their families, they followed by the Adams, Bagley and Gibson families. This location was a very lonely one, though less than ten miles, by rocky trail, from the town of Payson. It was not well populated, at any time, though soil, climate and water were good.

Erastus Snow in 1878 made formal visit to the Tonto settlements. He found on Rye Creek the Price Nelson and Joseph Gibson families, less than a mile above where the stream entered Tonto Creek. Thereafter were visited the East Verde settlements, from which most of the men had gone to southern Utah after their families and stock, and Pine Creek and Strawberry Valley, where later was considerable settlement.

According to Fish, the first settlement in Tonto Basin was by Al Rose, a Dane, in 1877, in Pleasant Valley, though he lived for only a few months in a stockade home which he erected. Then came G.S. Sixby and J. Church from California. There followed Ed. Rose, J.D. Tewksbury and sons, the Graham family and James Stinson, the last from Snowflake. Sixby is renowned as the hero of a wonderful experience in the spring of 1882, when, his brother and an employee killed, he held the fort of his log home against more than 100 Indians, the same band later fought and captured by Capt. Adna R. Chaffee in the fight of the Big Dry Wash.

There was good reason for the delayed settlement of Tonto Basin, for it was a region traversed continually by a number of Indian tribes. It was a sort of No Man's Land, in which wandered the Mohave-Apache and the Tonto, the Cibicu and White Mountain Apaches, not always at peace among themselves. Several times the Pleasant and Cherry Creek Valleys were highways for Indian raids of large dimensions. The Pleasant Valley war, between the Tewksbury and Graham factions cost thirty lives. No Mormon participated.

Most of the land holdings necessarily were small. The water supply is regular in only a few places. Hence it is natural that most of the Mormons who settled, moved on, to better agricultural conditions found farther southward. Abandonment of all Tonto Basin settlements was authorized at a meeting of President Woodruff with the heads of the Arizona Stakes, held at Albuquerque August 14, 1890.



Chapter Sixteen

Little Colorado Settlements

Genesis of St. Johns

One of the most remarkable of Arizona settlements is St. Johns, 58 miles southeast of Holbrook, its railroad station. Though its development has been almost entirely Mormon and though it is headquarters for the St. Johns Stake of the Church, its foundation dates back of the Mormon occupation of the valley of the Little Colorado.

Very early in the seventies, New Mexican cattle and sheep men spread their ranges over the mountains into the Little Colorado Valley and there were occasional camps of the Spanish-speaking people. In 1872 a mail carrier, John Walker, had built a cabin on the river, five miles below the site of St. Johns. As early as 1864 the locality had been visited by Solomon Barth, a Jewish trader, who dealt with the Indians as far eastward as Zuni and who, on burros, packed salt from the Zuni salt lake to the mining camps of the Prescott section. Barth, oddly enough, for a while had been connected with the Mormons, at the age of 13, a new arrival from Posen, East Prussia, joining his uncle in a push-cart caravan to Salt Lake. Later he was in San Bernardino, there remaining after the 1857 exodus, to go to La Paz, Arizona, in 1862. In 1864 he carried mail on the route from Albuquerque to Prescott, as contractor. In November, 1868, he was captured by Apaches, but was liberated, with several Mexican associates, all almost naked, reaching the Zuni villages, on foot, four days later. For food they shared the carcass of a small dog. In 1870 he was post trader at Fort Apache, then known as Camp Ord, in the year of its establishment. In 1873, a game of cards at El Badito (Little Crossing), a settlement on the Little Colorado, on the St. Johns site, determined his future terrestrial place of residence. From his adversaries, New Mexicans, he won several thousand head of sheep and several thousand dollars. Then he left the life of the road and settled down.

A.F. Banta, a pioneer of Arizona pioneers, then known by his army name of Charlie Franklin, tells that he was at Badito (Vadito) in 1876, the place then on a mail route southward to Fort Apache and the military posts on the Gila. In the same connection, James D. Houck, in 1874, contracted to carry mail across the Little Colorado Valley, between Fort Wingate and Prescott. Another mail route was from Wingate to St. Johns and Apache.

Sol Barth and his brothers, Morris and Nathan, settled at St. Johns in the fall of 1873, with a number of New Mexican laborers. At once was commenced construction of a dam across the Little Colorado and of ditches and there was farming of a few hundred acres adjoining the site of the present town. In all, Barth laid claim to 1200 acres of land, though it proved later he had only a squatter title. With him originated the name of St. Johns, at first San Juan, given in compliment to the first female resident, Senora Maria San Juan Baca de Padilla. With this conspicuous exception, all saintly names in Arizona were bestowed by either Catholic missionaries or by Mormons.

Ammon M. Tenney, a scout of Mormondom second only to Jacob Hamblin, in 1877 at Kanab received from President Brigham Young instructions to go into Arizona and select places for colonization. He visited many points in western New Mexico and eastern Arizona, but his recommendation was confined to St. Johns, Concho, sixteen miles west of St. Johns, The Meadows, eight miles northwest, and Woodruff.

With the Tenney report in mind, in January, 1879, St. Johns was visited by Jesse N. Smith, just arrived in Arizona to be president of the Little Colorado Stake. But Smith was unable to make terms with Barth and his Mexican neighbors and turned back to Snowflake.

Land Purchased by Mormons

Under instructions from the Church, Ammon M. Tenney returned to St. Johns late in 1879 and, November 16, succeeded in effecting the purchase of the Barth interests, including three claims at The Meadows. The purchase price was 770 head of American cows, furnished by the Church, though 100 were loaned by W. J. Flake. The value of the livestock, estimated at $19,000, in later years was donated by the Church toward the erection of the St. Johns academy. Other land purchases later were made by arriving members.

Tenney was the first head of the colony, which was started in December, by the arrival of Jos. H. Watkins and Wm. F. James, missionaries sent from Ogden, who came with their families. In December, Apostle Wilford Woodruff, later President of the Church, held the first religious meeting, this at the home of Donasiano Gurule, a New Mexican. The Church authorities were active in their settlement plans and at a quarterly Stake conference in Snowflake, March 27, 1880, 190 souls were reported from the St. Johns branch.

A few days after the conference, Apostle Woodruff located a townsite one and a half miles below the center of the present site. This location, though surveyed and with a few houses, was abandoned the following September, on recommendation of Apostles Erastus Snow and Francis M. Lyman, for higher ground, west and north of the Mexican village. In the summer of 1880 the settlement, named Salem, was given a postoffice, but the Mormon postmaster appointed, Sixtus E. Johnson, failed to secure his keys from a non-Mormon, E.S. Stover, incumbent at San Juan.

A notable arrival, October 9, 1890, was David K. Udall, called from Kane County, Utah, to serve as bishop of St. Johns ward. With continuous ecclesiastical service, he now is president of St. Johns Stake, elevated in July, 1887.

Occupation of the new townsite started early in October, 1880, the public square designated by President Jesse N. Smith on the 9th. Twenty square-rod city lots were laid off in blocks 24 rods square, with streets six rods wide. In the spring of 1881 the farming land was surveyed into forty 40-acre blocks, these later subdivided. During the winter of 1881 was built a log schoolhouse, through private donations. The first teacher was Mrs. Anna Romney. The first church was a "bowery" of greasewood.

That the years following hardly were ones of plenty is indicated by the fact that in the spring of 1885 President John Taylor issued a tithing office order for $1000 and $1187 more was collected in Utah stakes, to aid the St. Johns settlers in the purchase of foodstuffs and seed grain.

A.F. Banta started a weekly newspaper, "The Pioneer Press," soon after occupation of the townsite, this journal in January, 1883, bought by Mormons and edited by M.P. Romney.

Wild Celebration of St. John's Day

There was a wild time in St. Johns on the day of the Mexican population's patron saint, San Juan, June 24, 1882, when Nat Greer and a band of Texas cowboys entered the Mexican town. The Greers had been unpopular with the Mexicans since they had marked a Mexican with an ear "underslope," as cattle are marked, this after a charge that their victim had been found in the act of stealing a Greer colt. The fight that followed the Greer entry had nothing at its initiation to do with the Mormon settlers. Assaulted by the Mexican police and populace, eight of the band rode away and four were penned into an uncompleted adobe house. Jim Vaughn of the raiders was killed and Harris Greer was wounded. On the attacking side was wounded Francisco Tafolla, whose son in later years was killed while serving in the Arizona Rangers. It was declared that several thousand shots had been fired, but there was a lull, in which the part of peacemaker was taken up by "Father" Nathan C. Tenney, a pioneer of Woodruff and father of Ammon M. Tenney. He walked to the house and induced the Greers to surrender. The Sheriff, E.S. Stover, was summoned and was in the act of taking the men to jail when a shot was fired from a loft of the Barth house, where a number of Mexicans had established themselves. The bullet, possibly intended for a Greer, passed through the patriarch's head and neck, killing him instantly. The Greers were threatened with lynching, but were saved by the sheriff's determination. Their case was taken to Prescott and they escaped with light punishment.



In the fall of 1881 the community knew a summary execution of two men and there were other deeds of disorder, but in no wise did they affect the Mormon people, save that the lawless actions unsettled the usual peaceful conditions.

Disputes Over Land Titles

It is not within the province of this work to deal in matters of controversial sort, especially with those that may have affected the religious features of the Mormon settlement but there may be mention of a few of the difficulties that came to the people of St. Johns in their earlier days.

The general subject of land titles in the Mormon settlements that came within the scope of railroad land grants has been referred to on other pages. In St. Johns there was added need for defense of the squatter titles secured from Barth and the Mexicans, while there was assault on the validity of the occupation of the townsite. On several occasions, especially in March, 1884, there was attempted "jumping" of the choicest lots and there was near approach to bloodshed, prevented only by the pacific determination of Bishop Udall. The opposition upset a house that had been placed upon one lot and riotous conditions prevailed for hours. reinforcements quickly came from outlying Mormon settlements and firearms were carried generally in self defense. A number of lawsuits had to be defended, at large expense. There was friction with the Mexican element, which lived compactly in the old town, just east of the Mormon settlement, and clashes were known with a non-Mormon American element that had political connection with the Mexicans.

About May 18, 1884, was discovered a plot to waylay and harm Apostle Brigham Young, Jr., and Francis M. Lyman, on the road to Ramah, but a strong escort fended off the danger. In the Stake chronicles is told that the brethren for a time united in regular fasting and prayer, seeking protection from their enemies.

Irrigation Difficulties and Disaster

St. Johns had its irrigation troubles, just as did every other Little Colorado settlement, only on a larger scale. In the beginning of the Mormon settlement, claim was made by the Mexicans upon the larger part of the river flow. Later there was compromise on a basis of three-fifths of the flow to the Mormons and two-fifths to the Mexicans, and in 1886 a degree of stability was secured by formation of the St. Johns Irrigation Company. A large dam, six miles south of St. Johns, created what was called the Slough reservoir. However, this dam was washed out in 1903, after years of drought. Then were several years of discouragement and of loss of population.

Thereafter came the idea of building a larger dam at a point twelve miles upstream, creating a reservoir to be drained through a deep cut. The plan was approved by the Church, which appropriated $5000 toward construction. There was formation of an irrigation company, to which was attached the name of Apostle F.M. Lyman, who had taken a personal interest in the improvement. A Colorado company provided one-half the necessary capital and the community the balance, and plans were made for the reclamation of 15,000 acres upon higher land than had been irrigated before. After expenditure of $200,000, the dam was completed and the reservoir filled. Construction was faulty and in April, 1915, the dam was washed away, with attendant loss of eight lives and with large damage to flooded farms below. There was reorganization of the Lyman Company and about $200,000 more was spent, with the desired end of water storage still unreached. Then came appeal to the State, which, through the State Loan Board, advanced large sums, taking as security mortgages on the land and dam. State investment in the Lyman project today approximates $800,000. The dam now is about finished and is claimed to be a structure that will stand all flood conditions.

Meager Rations at Concho

Concho was a Mexican village, at least a dozen years established, when the first Mormon settlers arrived. The name probably is from the Spanish word "concha," a shell. The settlement lies sixteen miles west of St. Johns. There were two sections, the older, in which Spanish was spoken and in which stock raising was the main occupation, and the Mormon settlement, a mile up the valley, in which there was effort to exist by agriculture on what was called a "putty" soil, with lack of sufficient water supply. The first of the Mormons to come was Bateman H. Wilhelm, who arrived in March, 1879. Soon thereafter Wm. J. Flake and Jesse J. Brady purchased the main part of the valley, the former paying for his half interest eight cows, one mule, a set of harness and a set of blacksmith tools. Before the end of the year, about thirty Saints were resident in the locality, some of the later arrivals being David Pulsipher, a Mormon Battalion member, Geo. H. Killian and Chas. G. Curtis. A townsite was roughly surveyed by brethren who laid their stakes by the North Star. September 26, 1880, there was organization of a Church ward and there was assumed the name of Erastus, in honor of Erastus Snow, who then was presiding at a Snowflake conference. This name was abandoned for that of Concho at a Church meeting held in St. Johns December 6, 1895. In later years, the Mormon residents, after building a reservoir and expending much effort toward irrigation, generally have turned from agriculture to stock raising.

Hunt is an agricultural settlement seventeen miles down the stream from St. Johns and one mile below a former Mexican settlement, near San Antonio, above which at some time subsequent to 1876 there settled an army officer named Hunt, who left the service at Fort Apache and whose descendants live in the county. The first Mormon settler was Thomas L. Greer in 1879, the old Greer ranch still maintained, a mile east of the present postoffice. Thereafter, the location was known as Greer Valley. In 1901, D.K. Udall became a resident and in that year his wife, appointed postmaster, was instrumental in naming the office and locality after her father, John Hunt, of the Mormon Battalion, who had a farm in the locality a year or so thereafter, though not actually resident.

The Meadows purchase, eight miles northwest of St. Johns, was occupied November 28, 1879. Among the settlers was the famous Indian missionary, Ira Hatch.

Walnut Grove, twenty miles south of St. Johns, was settled early in 1882 by Jas. W. Wilkins and son, who bought Mexican claims. There was trouble over water priorities on the flow of the Little Colorado and the place now has small population, much of it Spanish-speaking.

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