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Mormon Settlement in Arizona
by James H. McClintock
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Springerville and Eagar

Valle Redondo (Round Valley), 32 miles southeast of St. Johns, was the original name of the Springerville section. The first settler was Wm. R. Milligan, a Tennessean, who established a fort in the valley in 1871. The name was given in honor of Harry Springer, an Albuquerque merchant, who had a branch store in the valley. A.F. Banta states that the first town was across the Little Colorado from the present townsite. Banta was the first postmaster, in Becker's store.

The first Mormons on the ground, in February, 1879, were Jens Skousen, Peter J. Christofferson and Jas. L. Robertson, from St. Joseph. Soon thereafter came Wm. J. Flake, with more cows available for trade, giving forty of them to one York, for a planted grain field. Flake did not remain. In March came John T. Eager, who located four miles south of the present Springerville, in Water Canyon, and about the same time arrived Jacob Hamblin, the scout missionary. The latter took up residence in the Milligan fort and was appointed to preside over the Saints of the vicinity, but remained only till winter.

In 1882, President Jesse N. Smith divided Round Valley into two wards, the upper to be known as Amity and the lower as Omer. In 1888 the people of these wards established a townsite, two miles above and south of Springerville, which was a Spanish-speaking community. The new town, at first known as Union, later was named Eagar, after the three Eagar brothers.

A Land of Beaver and Bear

Nutrioso, sixteen miles southeast of Springerville, is very near the dividing ridge of the Gila and Little Colorado watersheds. The name is a combination of nutria (Sp., otter) and oso (Sp., bear). "Nutria" was applied to the beaver, of which there were many. The first English-speaking settler was Jas. G.H. Colter, a lumberman from Wisconsin, who came to Round Valley in July, 1875, driving three wagons from Atchison, Kansas, losing a half year's provision of food to Navajos, as toll for crossing the reservation. He grew barley for Fort Apache, getting $9 per 100 pounds. In 1879, at Nutrioso, he sold his farm, for 300 head of cattle, to Wm. J. Flake. The Colter family for years had its home four miles above Springerville, at Colter, but the founder is in the Pioneers' Home at Prescott. One of the sons, Fred, was a candidate for Governor of Arizona in 1918.

Flake parcelled out the land to John W., J. Jas. M. and Hyrum B. Clark, John W., J.Y., and David J. Lee, Geo. W. Adair, Albert Minerly, Adam Greenwood, George Peck and W. W. Pace, the last a citizen of later prominence in the Gila Valley. The grain they raised the first season, 1700 bushels, chiefly barley, was sent as a "loan" to the Little Colorado settlers, who were very near starvation.

In 1880 was built a fort, for there was fear of Apaches, who had been wiping out whole villages in New Mexico. There was concentration in Nutrioso of outlying settlers, but the Indians failed to give any direct trouble. A sawmill was started in 1881 and a schoolhouse was built the following year. A postoffice was established in 1883.

In Lee's Valley, sixteen miles southwest of Springerville, is Greer, established by the Saints in 1879. The first to come were Peter J. Jensen, Lehi Smithson, James Hale, Heber Dalton and James Lee. In 1895, was added a saw-mill, built by Ellis W. Wiltbank and John M. Black. The name Greer was not applied till 1896. The postoffice dates from 1898.

Altitudinous Agriculture at Alpine

Alpine, in Bush Valley, near the southern edge of Apache County, four miles from the New Mexican line, has altitude approximating 8000 feet and has fame as probably being the highest locality in the United States where farming is successfully prosecuted. Greer is about the same altitude. The principal crop is oats, produced at the rate of 1000 bushels for every adult male in the community. Crop failures are unknown, save when the grasshoppers come, as they have come in devouring clouds in a number of years. The location is a healthful and a beautiful one, in a valley surrounded by pines. Anderson Bush, not a Mormon, was the first settler, in 1876. March 27, 1879, came Fred Hamblin and Abraham Winsor, with their families. For years there were the wildest of frontier conditions, between outlaws and Indians. the latter stole horses and cattle, but spared Mormon lives. This was the more notable in that many villages of Spanish-speaking people were raided by the redskins in New Mexico. Naturally, the settlers huddled together, for better defense. In 1880 the log homes were moved into a square, forming a very effective sort of fort, nearly a mile southeast of the present townsite. Until that time the community had kept the name of Frisco, given because of the nearby head-waters of the San Francisco River. In 1881 most of the settlers moved over to Nutrioso for protection, but only for a few weeks. Alpine is the resting place of the bones of Jacob Hamblin, most noted of southwestern missionaries of his faith.

In 1920 the County Agricultural Agent reported that only two farmers in the United States were growing the Moshannock potato, Frederick Hamblin at Alpine and Wallace H. Larson at Lakeside.

In Western New Mexico

Luna, in New Mexico, twelve miles east of Alpine, Arizona, was on the sheep range of the Luna brothers, who did not welcome the advent of the first Mormon families, those of the Swapp brothers and Lorenzo Watson, February 28, 1883. Two prospectors had to be bought out, to clear a squatter's title. In the summer came "Parson" Geo. C. Williams, also a pioneer of Pleasanton. The first name adopted was Grant, in honor of Apostle Heber J. Grant, this later changed to Heber, as there was an older New Mexican settlement named Grant's. But even this conflicted with Heber, Arizona (named after Heber C. Kimball), and so the original name endures, made official in 1895. The first house was a log fort. A notable present resident is Frederick Hamblin, brother of Jacob and of the same frontier type. There is local pride over how he fought, single-handed, with a broken and unloaded rifle, the largest grizzly bear ever known in the surrounding Mogollon Mountains. This was in November, 1888. The bear fought standing and was taller than Hamblin, a giant of a man, two inches over six feet in height. The rifle barrel was thrust down the bear's throat after the stock had been torn away, and upon the steel still are shown the marks of the brute's teeth. The same teeth were knocked out by the flailing blows of the desperate pioneer, who finally escaped when Bruin tired of the fight. Then Hamblin discovered himself badly hurt, one hand, especially, chewed by the bear. The animal later was killed by a neighbor and was identified by broken teeth and wounds.

New Mexican Locations

As before noted in this work, the Mormon Church sought little in New Mexico in the pioneering days, for little opportunity existed for settlement in the agricultural valleys. In western New Mexico, however, the country was more open and there was opportunity for missionary effort. Missionaries were in the Navajo and Zuni country in very early days and at the time of the great Mormon immigration of 1876 already there had been Indian conversions.

In that year, by direct assignment from President Brigham Young, then at Kanab, Lorenzo Hatch, later joined by John Maughn, settled in the Zuni country, at Fish Springs and San Lorenzo. Thereafter, on arrival of other missionaries, were locations at Savoia and Savoietta. It should be explained that these names, pronounced as they stand, are rough-hewn renditions of the Spanish words cebolla, "onion," and cebolleta, "little onion." Nathan C. Tenney and sons were among the colonists of 1878.

In 1880 were Indian troubles that caused abandonment of the locations, but a new start was made in 1882, when a number of families came from the deserted Brigham City and Sunset. A new village was started, about 25 miles east of the Arizona line, at first known as Navajo, but later as Ramah. The public square was on the ruins of an ancient Indian pueblo. Ira Hatch came in the fall. A large degree of missionary success appears to have been achieved among the Zuni, with 165 baptisms by Ammon M. Tenney, but at times there was friction with Mexican residents. The land on which the town stood later had to be bought from a cattle company, which had secured title from the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company.



Bluewater, near the Santa Fe railroad, about thirty miles northeast of Ramah, is a Church outpost, established in 1894 by Ernst A. Trietjen and Friehoff G. Nielson from Ramah. For a while, from 1905, it was the home of C.R. Hakes, former president of the Maricopa Stake. Bluewater now is a prosperous agricultural settlement, with assured stored water supply and an excellent market available for its products.

Most southerly of the early New Mexican Church settlements was Pleasanton, on the San Francisco River, in Williams Valley, and sixty miles northwest of Silver City. The first settler was Geo. C. Williams, who came in 1879. At no time was there much population. Jacob Hamblin here spent the few last years of his life, dying August 31, 1886. His family was the last to quit the locality, departing in 1889.



Chapter Seventeen

Economic Conditions

Nature and Man Both Were Difficult

To the struggle with the elements, to the difficulties that attended the breaking of a stubborn soil and to the agricultural utilization of a widely-varying water supply, to the burdens of drought and flood and disease was added the intermittent hostility of stock interests that would have stopped all farming encroachment upon the open range. Concerning this phase of frontier life in Arizona, the following is from the pen of B.H. Roberts:

"The settlers in the St. Johns and Snowflake Stakes have met with great difficulties, first on account of the nature of the country itself, its variable periods of drought, sometimes long-continued, when the parched earth yields little on the ranges for the stock, and makes the supply of water for irrigation purposes uncertain; then came flood periods, that time and again destroyed reservoir dams and washed out miles of irrigating canals. This was also the region of great cattle and sheep companies, occupying the public domain with their herds, sometimes by lease from the government, sometimes by mere usurpation. The cattle and sheep companies and their employees waged fierce war upon each other for possession of the range, and both were opposed to the incoming of the settlers, as trespassers upon their preserves. The stock companies often infringed upon the settlers' rights, disturbed their peace, ran off their stock and resorted to occasional violence to discourage their settling in the country. Being 'Mormons,' the outlaw element of the community felt that they could trespass upon their rights with impunity, and the civil officers gave them none too warm a welcome into the Territory. The colonists, however, persisted in their efforts to form and maintain settlements in the face of all these discouraging circumstances. The fighting of the great cattle and sheep companies for possession of range privileges is now practically ended; the building of more substantial reservoirs is mastering the flood problems and the drought periods at the same time, and the Saints, by the uprightness of their lives, their industry, perseverance, and enterprise, have proven their value as citizens in the commonwealth, until the prejudices of the past, which gave them a cold reception on their advent into Arizona, and slight courtesy from the older settlers, have given way to more enlightened policies of friendship; and today peace and confidence and respect are accorded to the Latter-day Saints of Arizona."

A view of early-day range conditions along the Little Colorado lately was given by David E. Adams:

"When we came to Arizona in 1876, the hills and plains were covered with high grass and the country was not cut up with ravines and gullies as it is now. This has been brought about through over-stocking the ranges. On the Little Colorado we could cut hay for miles and miles in every direction. The Aztec Cattle Company brought tens of thousands of cattle into the country, claimed every other section, overstocked the range and fed out all the grass. Then the water, not being held back, followed the cattle trails and cut the country up. Later, tens of thousands of cattle died because of drought and lack of feed and disease. The river banks were covered with dead carcasses."

Breaking the ground in Arizona was found a very serious task, even on the plains or where Nature had provided ample rains. Where industry created an oasis, to it ever swarmed the wild life of the surrounding hills or deserts. Prairie dogs, rabbits and coyotes took toll from the pioneer farmer, sometimes robbing him of the whole of the meager store of foodstuffs so necessary to maintain his family and to secure his residence. From 1884 to 1891 there were occasional visitations, in the Little Colorado Valley, of grasshoppers. For several years the settlement of Alpine was reported "devastated" and for a couple of years at Ramah the crops were so taken by grasshoppers that the men had to go elsewhere for work to secure sustenance for their families. St. Johns, Erastus and Luna all suffered severely at times from insect devastation. Winters were of unusual severity.

Railroad Work Brought Bread

Just as the Saints of Utah benefited by the construction of the Central and Union Pacific railroads, so there was benefit in northeastern Arizona through the work of building the Atlantic and Pacific railroad in 1880-82. John W. Young and Jesse N. Smith, joined by Ammon M. Tenney, in the spring of 1880 took a contract for grading five miles, simply to secure bread for the people of the Little Colorado Valley. During the previous winter there had been a large immigration from Utah, where, erroneously, it had been reported the Arizonans had raised good crops, so comparatively little food was brought in. The limited crop of 1879 soon was consumed and the spring found the settlers almost starving. Lot Smith had loaned the people a quantity of wheat the previous season and much of the crop was due him.

Young and Smith went as far as Pueblo, where they secured their contract and on their return made arrangements with merchants at Albuquerque for supplies. The first contract was for a section about 24 miles east of Fort Wingate, N.M., and to that point in July went all the men who could possibly leave home. The first company was from Snowflake, Jesse N. Smith taking about forty men. Soon thereafter, flour was sent back to the settlements and there was grateful relief. After a while, Smith drew out of the railroad work. Tenney returned to the railroad the following year to assist Young in filling a contract for the grading of 100 miles and the furnishing of 50,000 ties.

The work on the railroad, while securing food in a critical period, still caused neglect of agriculture at home, where the few men remaining, together with the women and children, had to labor hard.

Burden of a Railroad Land Grant

The settlers on the Little Colorado appear to have had something more than their share of land trouble. Not only were hardships in their journeyings thither, with following privations in the breaking of the wilderness for the use of mankind, but there came an additional and serious blow when even title to their hard-earned lands was disputed, apparently upon adequate legal ground. The best story at hand concerning this feature of early life on the Little Colorado is found in the Fish manuscript, told by one who was on the ground at the time and who participated in the final settlement:

"In March, 1872, the General Government gave a railroad land grant of every alternate section of land bordering the proposed Atlantic and Pacific railroad, extending out for forty miles each side of said road, through the public lands of the United States in the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona. The rule was that any lands settled upon, prior to the date of the grant, should be guaranteed to the settler, and the railroad be indemnified with as much land as was thus taken up on an additional grant of ten miles each side, called lieu lands, just outside the forty-mile limits of the main grant. In the fall of 1878 and the winter of 1879, when the settlers arrived on the ground where Snowflake and Taylor now stand, they supposed the railroad grant would doubtless lapse, as there was then no indication that the road would be built. They bought the Stinson ranch, paying an enormous price for it. The Government had not then surveyed the land and the government sections were not then open for entry at the land office. But early in 1880 the railroad company began building its road west from Albuquerque. In May of said year, Jesse N. Smith, on behalf of the settlers of Snowflake, applied to the railroad company for the railroad lands they occupied, and received the assurance that they, the settlers, should have the first right to their land, and the first refusal thereof, and that the price would not be raised on account of their improvements. The railroad company even furnished blank applications, which a number of the settlers made out and filed with the company, which were afterwards ignored. About this time capitalists and moneyed men, many of them foreigners, began turning their attention to cattle raising in our Territory. Among others, a company known as the Aztec Land and Cattle Company was organized, composed mostly of capitalists from the east. This company bought a very large block of the railroad lands, including Snowflake and Taylor, and all in that vicinity. The new owners immediately served notice on the settlers that they must buy or lease the railroad portion, the odd-numbered sections of the land they occupied. The settlers appointed Jesse N. Smith and Joseph Fish a committee to represent their claims, but no definite understanding could be obtained from the local officers of the company, all such business being referred to the central office in New York City. The railroad company not having sold the land at Woodruff, it served a similar notice on the settlers there, and it seemed that they would all be compelled to abandon their improvements and move away. In this emergency, the settlers, who were of the Mormon faith, applied to the Presidency of the Church for relief. An estimate of the value of the improvements of the settlers was made and the amount was found to so far exceed the probable cost of the land that the Presidency of the Church appropriated $500 for the expenses and sent Brigham Young, Jr., and Jesse N. Smith east to negotiate a purchase. They started on their mission in the latter part of February, 1889. They finally, on April 2, 1889, closed a contract in New York City for seven full sections of land at $4.50 per acre, one-fifth of the price being paid down, and Jesse N. Smith giving his note for the remainder, to run four years at 6 per cent interest; one-fourth the amount to be paid at the end of each year, and the interest to be added and paid every half year."

While in New York they also bargained with J.A. Williamson, the railroad land commissioner, for one section of land at Woodruff at $8 per acre, one-half at the expiration of each year, with 6 per cent interest to be added each half year. Payment was made for the last purchase in Albuquerque, the contract being closed May 3, 1889. The Mormon Church furnished much of that money for these purchases, receiving back a small portion, as individuals were able to pay the same, and appropriating the remainder for the benefit of schools and reservoirs in the vicinity of said towns.

Little Trouble With Indians

It is notable that the settlers on the Little Colorado had very little actual trouble with the Indians, with the Navajo of the north or the Apache of the south. The Indians were frequent visitors to the settlements and were treated with usual Mormon hospitality. There were no depredations upon the livestock, and when the peace of the settlements was disturbed it was by the white man and not by the red brother. During the time of the building of the Atlantic and Pacific railroad, there was an Indian scare. This originated in the outbreak of Nockedaklinny, a medicine man of the Coyoteros, who, August 30, 1881, was killed in the Cibicu country, a day's travel from Fort Apache, by troops led by Col. E.A. Carr, Fifth Cavalry. Two days later the Indians attacked Camp Apache itself, after killing eight men on the road, and the post probably was saved from capture by the hurried return of its commander, with his troops. He left behind seven of his men, having been treacherously fired upon by 23 Indian scouts, whom he had taken with him. A number of murders were committed by the Indians in northern Tonto Basin, but the insurrection extended no farther northward than Camp Apache. Still it created great uneasiness within the comparatively unprotected settlements of the river valley. June 1, 1882, was the killing of Nathan B. Robinson, this the only Indian murder of a Mormon in this section.

Church Administrative Features

While this work in no wise seeks to carry through any records of Church authority, it happens that the leader in each of the southwestern migrations and settlements was a man appointed for that purpose by the Church Presidency and the greater number of the settlers came by direct Church "call." In the case of the Little Colorado settlements, this "call" was not released till January, 1900, in a letter of President Lorenzo Snow, borne to St. Johns by Apostle (now President) Heber J. Grant. The several organizations of the northeastern districts are set forth, with official exactness, by Historian Roberts, as follows:

"On January 27, 1878, the Latter-day Saints who had settled on the Little Colorado, in Navajo (then Yavapai) County, under the leadership of Major Lot Smith, by that time grouped into four settlements, were organized into a Stake of Zion, with Lot Smith as president and Jacob Hamblin and Lorenzo H. Hatch as counselors. Three of the settlements were organized into wards, a bishop being appointed in each; the fourth was made a 'branch' with a presiding elder. This was the first stake organization effected in Arizona. Before the expiration of the year, viz., 27th December, President John Taylor directed that the settlements forming further up the Little Colorado in Apache County, be organized into a Stake. A line running southward from Berardo's (now Holbrook, on the Santa Fe railroad), was to be the dividing line between the two Stakes thus proposed. The western division was to be the Little Colorado Stake, and the eastern division, Eastern Arizona Stake of Zion. The division of the Stakes on these lines was not carried out at that time; the Little Colorado continued for several years, while the Eastern Arizona Stake had within its jurisdiction, for a number of years, the settlements on Silver Creek, in the southeast corner of Navajo County, and also the settlement of St. Johns near the headwaters of the Little Colorado, and other minor settlements in Apache County. In 1887, however, the directions of President Taylor, with reference to the division of these settlements into two Stakes, were carried into effect. The name of the Eastern Arizona Stake, however, was changed at the time of the reorganization, July 23, 1887, to St. Johns Stake, David K. Udall, bishop of St. Johns, being chosen President, with Elijah Freeman and Wm. H. Gibbons as counselors. Later, viz., December 18, the settlements on the west side of the line running south from Holbrook, on upper Silver Creek, Woodruff Ward, and the fragments of settlements formerly constituting the Little Colorado Stake, by now discontinued, were organized under the name of the Snowflake Stake of Zion, Jesse N. Smith, formerly of the Eastern Arizona Stake, being made President."

Here there may be notation that David K. Udall, still president at St. Johns, is one of the very oldest in seniority in such office within the Church. At Snowflake today the president is Samuel F. Smith, son of Jesse N. Smith, who died in his home town June 5, 1906.



Chapter Eighteen

Extension Toward Mexico

Dan W. Jones' Great Exploring Trip

The honor of leading Mormon pioneering in south-central Arizona lies with Daniel W. Jones, a sturdy character, strong in the faith. He had been in the Mexican war, in 1847, as a Missouri volunteer, and had remained in Mexico till 1850. In the latter year he started for California, from Santa Fe, and, in the Provo country of Utah, embraced Mormonism within a settlement that had treated him kindly after he had accidentally wounded himself. About that time he dedicated himself to life work among the Indians, the Lamanites of the Book of Mormon. He appeared to be successful thereafter in gaining the confidence of the red men and in carrying out the policy so literally expressed by Brigham Young, "It is cheaper to feed the Indians than to fight them." Speaking Spanish, he helped in translation by Meliton G. Trejo, of a part of the Book of Mormon.

The printing done, a missionary party was started southward September 10, 1875, from Nephi, Utah, its members being, besides Jones, J.Z. Stewart, Helaman Pratt, Wiley C. Jones, a son of the leader, R.H. Smith, Ammon M. Tenney and A.W. Ivins. The journey was on horseback, by way of Lee's Ferry and the Hopi Indian villages and thence to the southwest. At Pine Springs, in the Mogollons, were met Dr. J.W. Wharton and W.F. McNulty, who told them something of Phoenix and the Salt River Valley and who advised settlement in the upper valley.

Jones' personal story of his impressions of the future metropolis of the State and of the Salt River Valley possibly should be given in his own language:

"We were much surprised on entering Salt River Valley. We had traveled through deserts and mountains (with the exception of the Little Colorado Valley, a place which we did not particularly admire) for a long ways. Now there opened before us a sight truly lovely. A fertile looking soil and miles of level plain. In the distance the green cotton wood trees; and, what made the country look more real, was the thrifty little settlement of Phoenix, with its streets planted with shade trees for miles. Strange as it may seem, at the time we started, in September, 1875, the valley of Salt River was not known even to Brigham Young.

"Our animals were beginning to fail, as they had lived on grass since leaving Kanab. We bought corn at 4 cents a pound and commenced feeding them a little. Although Salt River Valley is naturally fertile, owing to the dryness of the climate, there is no grass except a little coarse stuff called 'sacaton.'

"We camped on the north side of the river. On making inquiry, we learned that Tempe, or Hayden's Mill, seven miles further up the river, would be a better place to stop for a few days than Phoenix. C.T. Hayden, being one of the oldest and most enterprising settlers of the country, had built a grist mill, started ranches, opened a store, blacksmith shop, wagon shop, etc.

"On arriving at Hayden's place, we found the owner an agreeable, intelligent gentleman, who was much interested in the settlement and development of the country, he being a pioneer in reality, having been for many years in the west, and could sympathize with the Mormon people in settling the deserts. He gave us much true and useful information about the country and natives. Here we traded off some of our pack mules and surplus provisions. We had already traded for a light spring wagon, finding that the country before could be traveled with wagons. We remained here a few days, camping at the ranch of Mr. Winchester Miller. His barley was up several inches high, but he allowed us to turn our animals into his fields and treated us in a kind, hospitable manner. The friendly acquaintance made at this time has always been kept up. Mr. Miller was an energetic man, and manifested a great desire to have the Mormons come there and settle. He had already noticed the place where the Jonesville ditch is now located. He told me about it, saying it was the best ditch site on the river. What he said has proved true. We wrote to President Young, describing the country."

The party tried some proselyting among the Pimas and Papagos. At Tucson they met Governor Safford who offered welcome to Mormon colonists. Sonora was in the throes of revolution, so they passed on to El Paso, on the way talking to a camp of Apaches, given permission by the agent, Thos. T. Jeffords. The San Pedro Valley was looked over for possible settlement.

In January, 1876, the party passed the international line at Paso del Norte. Jones claimed this to have been the first missionary expedition that ever entered Mexico. The party found it a good land and started back in May with a rather favorable impression of the country for future settlement. Return was by way of Bowie, Camp Grant and the Little Colorado. At Allen's Camp were met Daniel H. Wells, Brigham Young, Jr., and Erastus Snow, with whom return to Utah was made. President Young was met late in June, at Kanab, there expressing appreciation of the determination that had brought Jones through every difficulty in the ten months of journeying.

The Pratt-Stewart-Trejo Expedition

Of notable interest is the fact that certain members of the Jones expedition were so deeply interested in what they saw that they made request for immediate return. So, October 18, 1876, there started southward, from Salt Lake, at the direction of the Church Presidency, another expedition, in character missionary, rather than for exploration. It embraced Helaman Pratt, Jas. Z. Stewart, Isaac J. Stewart, Louis Garff and George Terry. Meliton G. Trejo joined at Richfield. Phoenix was reached December 23, there being found several families of the Church who had come the previous year. The day the missionaries arrived happened to be exactly thirty years after the date on which the Mormon Battalion passed the Pima villages on the Gila River, just south of Phoenix. The members of the party worked all over southern Arizona, especially among the Mexicans and Indians.

In February of 1877 headquarters were at Tubac. In April, after a Mexican trip, a letter was received from President Brigham Young asking that Sonora be explored as a country for possible settlement. Later in May the Stewarts started eastward, in continuing danger from hostile Apaches after they had crossed the San Pedro. On the road, while the missionaries were passing, a mail rider was killed. At Camp Bowie the Apaches were found beleaguering the post. East of that point the Stewarts had to replace a wagon tire just as they were passing a point of Apache ambush. Return to Utah was in December, 1877. It was concluded that border settlements better had wait on Indian pacification.

Trejo was a remarkable character. He was of aristocratic Castilian birth and had been an officer in the Spanish army in the Philippines. It would appear that he became interested in the Mormon doctrine, which, in some manner, had reached that far around the earth, and that he resigned his commission and straightway went to Utah. There his knowledge of Spanish, backed by good general schooling, made him valuable as a translator, though his English was learned in the Jones family. His later work was in Arizona and Mexico, as a missionary, his home in 1878 moved to Saint David on the San Pedro, where he died a few years ago. He was a fluent writer and sent many interesting letters to the Deseret News. In January, 1878, he wrote from Hayden's Ferry:

"We are now between the Salt and Gila Rivers, on a very extensive rich plain, covered with trees and small brush, watered in some places by means of canals from the two rivers named. The river dams and canals are very easy made, on account of the solid bottoms of the rivers and pure farming clay of the plain. In fact, the people who are now living here find it very easy to get good farms in one or two years without much hard labor. They unite as we do in making canals. The climate is one of the most delightful in the world and until a few years ago, one of the most healthy too, but lately the people have been troubled with fevers, which nobody seems to know the cause. The water is good and the sky is clear, there being no stagnant pools; the ground is dry and the winds blow freely in every direction. I don't believe these fevers are naturally in the country, but are caused by the people not taking proper care of themselves."

An interesting letter has been found, dated at Tubac, March 4, 1877, addressed to President Brigham Young and written by Elder Jas. Z. Stewart. It told that the country is "better than the north part of the Territory, from the fact that the land is as good, if not better, the water is good and regular and the climate more pleasant." He referred to the ruins of whole towns, to the rich mines, to the abundance of game and to the drawback of Apache raids. He described the southern Arizona Mexicans as "all very poor, having no cows, horses, houses nor lands and but very little to live on. Though they live for days on parched corn, they are willing to divide their last meal with a stranger. They are industrious, but ignorant, it being seldom you can find one who can write."

Start of the Lehi Community

The reports from the south gave ample encouragement to expansion ideas within the First Presidency. So, after due deliberation, was organized another Jones expedition for the settlement of the land.

As letters of the time are read and instructions found, it becomes the more evident that President Brigham Young and his counselors had in view a great plan of occupation of the intermountain valleys, reaching down into Mexico, or beyond. It was a time when the Church was growing very rapidly and when new lands were needed for converts who were streaming in from Europe or from the eastern States. Logically, the expansion would be southward, though there was disadvantage of very serious sort in the breaking of continuity of settlement by the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River and by the deserts that had to be passed to reach the fertile valleys of the southland.

When the second Jones party started, according to an official account, "President Young sat with a large map of America before him, while saying that the company of missionaries called were to push ahead as far as possible toward the Yaqui country in Mexico, which would finally be the objective point; but if they could not reach that country they might locate on the San Pedro or Salt River in southern Arizona."



In either case there would be a station on the road, or a stepping stone to those who later would go on to the far south. President Young also said to the brethren on that occasion that if they would do what was right and be guided by the spirit of inspiration, they would know the country as they passed through, and would know where to locate, the same as did the Pioneers when they first reached the valley of the Great Salt Lake.

The pioneering expedition was organized in St. George, in southwestern Utah. In the party were 83 individuals, the family heads being Jones, Philemon C. Merrill, Dudley J. Merrill, Thomas Merrill, Adelbert Merrill, Henry C. Rogers, George Steele, Thomas Biggs, Ross R. Rogers, John D. Brady, Joseph McRae, Isaac Turley and Austin O. Williams.

Start was made January 17, 1877. The way was through Beaver Dams to the mouth of the Virgin. That profiteering was not unknown in those early days is shown by the fact that the expedition, at Stone's Ferry on the Colorado, had to pay ferriage of $10 per wagon. Much of this cost was borne by Joseph McRae, who turned over one wagon, some horses and a little money to the ferryman.

To the southward was found a road, well-traveled in those days, that led from the Fort Mohave ferry to Prescott. But Prescott, then the capital, was left to one side and a direct route was taken from Chino Valley, through Peeples Valley and Wickenburg, to Phoenix. At the latter point there was agreement that the travelers had about reached the limit of their resources and of the strength of their horses. There was remembrance of the valley section of which Winchester Miller had told. So determination to stop was reached in a council of the leaders. There was fear, apparently well grounded, that claim jumpers would cause trouble if the destination of the party became known. On this account, departure from Phoenix was not by way of Hayden's Ferry, but by the McDowell road, as far as Maryville, an abandoned military subpost and station on Salt River, at the Maricopa Wells-McDowell road ford. Here the river was crossed, and the weary immigrants were at their journey's end. The day was March 6, 1877. The camp was at the site of the canal head, the settlement later placed a few miles below.

Henry C. Rogers took charge of the construction of the ditch, started the day after arrival. Ross R. Rogers was the engineer. His only instruments were a straight edge and a spirit level. This still is known as the Utah ditch. Its first cost was $4500. There was the planting of a nursery by George Steele, the trees kept alive by hauling water to them. Jones wrote to Salt Lake that Salt River was at least four times as big as the Provo and had to be tapped through deep cuts, as the channel was "too expensive to dam."

Sunday, May 20, 1877, Jones baptized his first Indians in Salt River, four of the "Lamanites" being immersed. In July, 1877, Fort Utah was located as a place of protection. It was built upon the cross line of four quarter-sections of land, enclosed with an adobe wall, and with a well, on the inside, 25 feet deep. The families lived there while the men went out to work.

President Young soon wrote Jones in a vein indicating that the stop on Salt River was considered merely a camp on the way still farther southward, saying:

"We should also like to know what your intentions are with regard to settling the region for which you originally started. We do not deem it prudent for you to break up your present location, but, possibly next fall, you will find it consistent to continue your journey with a portion of those who are now with you, while others will come and occupy the places vacated by you. We do not, however, wish you to get the idea from the above remarks that we desire to hurry you away from where you are now, or to enforce a settlement in the district to which you refer, until it is safe to do so and free from the dangers of Indian difficulties; but we regard it as one of the spots where the Saints will, sooner or later, gather to build up Zion, and we feel the sooner the better."



Transformation Wrought at Camp Utah

The newcomers found pioneering conditions very harsh indeed, for it is a full man's task to clear away mesquite and brush and to dig a deep canal. Joseph A. McRae made special reference to the heat, to which the Utah settlers were unaccustomed. He wrote, "as summer advanced, I often saturated my clothing with water before starting to hoe a row of corn forty rods long, and before reaching the end my clothes were entirely dry." But there was raised an abundance of corn, sugar cane, melons and vegetables, and, in spite of the heat, the health of the people was excellent.

Concerning the early Jonesville, a correspondent of the Prescott Miner wrote:

"The work done by these people is simply astounding, and the alacrity and vim with which they go at it is decidedly in favor of cooperation or communism. Irrespective of capital invested, all share equally in the returns. The main canal is two and a half miles long, eight feet deep, and eight feet wide. Two miles of small ditch are completed and four more are required. Their diagram of the settlement, as it is to be, represents a mile square enclosed by an adobe wall about seven feet high. In the center is a square, or plaza, around which are buildings fronting outward. The middle of the plaza represents the back yards, in which eleven families, or eighty-five persons are to commingle. They are intelligent, and all Americans."

The settlers, with their missionary turn of mind, were pleased to find the Indians of southern Arizona friendly and even inclined to be helpful. One chief offered to loan the settlers seed corn and wheat. The Indians gathered around to listen to whatever discourse the Saints should offer, the latter, at the same time energetically wielding shovels on a canal that "simply had" to be built in a given time.

An appreciated feature was that Salt River abounded in fish, supplementing very acceptably the plain diet on which the pioneers had been subsisting. Possibly it was as well that the Saints had rules against the use of table luxuries. One pioneer of the Lehi settlement told how his family had lived for weeks almost entirely upon wheat, which had been ground in a coffee mill and then cooked into mush, to be eaten with milk. "We thought ourselves mighty fortunate to have the milk," he said.

Soon after the settlement of Camp Utah, Jones' methods of administration excited keen opposition among the brethren. There was special objection to his plan that the settlement should receive Indians on a footing of equality, this being defended as a method that assuredly would tend toward the conversion of the Lamanites speedily and effectively.

Jones was fair in his statement of the matter, and hence special interest attaches to his own story of the earliest days of the settlement:

"We commenced on the ditch March 7, 1877. All hands worked with a will. Part of the company moved down on to lands located for settlements. Most of the able-bodied men formed a working camp near the head of the ditch, where a deep cut had to be made.

"We hired considerable help when we could procure it, for such pay as we could command, as scrub ponies, 'Hayden scrip,' etc. Among those employed were a number of Indians, Pimas, Maricopas, Pagagos, Yumas, Yaquis and one or two Apache-Mohaves. The most of them were good workers.

"Some of the Indians expressed a desire to come and settle with us. This was the most interesting part of the mission to me, and I naturally supposed that all the company felt the same spirit, but I soon found my mistake, for, on making this desire of the Indians known to the company, many objected, some saying that they did not want their families brought into association with these dirty Indians. So little interest was manifested by the company that I made the mistake of jumping at the conclusion that I would have to go ahead whether I was backed up or not. I learned afterward that if I had been more patient and faithful, I would have had more help, but at the time I acted according to the best light I had and determined to stick to the Indians.

"This spirit manifested to the company showing a preference to the natives, naturally created a prejudice against me. Soon dissatisfaction commenced to show. The result was that most of the company left and went on to the San Pedro, in southern Arizona, led by P.C. Merrill. After this move, there being but four families left, and one of these soon leaving, our little colony was quite weak."

Departure of the Merrill Party

It was a sad blow to the settlement when the Merrill company departed, in August, 1877, leaving only the Jones, Biggs, Rogers and Turley families. Nearly all the teams available went with the Merrills, thus delaying completion of the canal, which at that time had reached the settlement. The fort also was left in an incomplete state. The few left behind mainly were employed by Chas. T. Hayden of Tempe, who was described as, "so very kind to the brethren and their families, giving them work and furnishing them with means in advance, on credit, so that they might subsist."

A very interesting item in a letter written by Jones is:

"This country is so productive and easy of cultivation, but, notwithstanding, this colony was too poor at seed time to buy a common plow. From present prospects, we hope to be able to save up and have enough for seed and plow the coming season. You speak of the ancient Egyptians using a crooked stick for plowing; if you will call down here soon, we can show you some 300 acres of good wheat patch plowed by our colony with a crooked stick plow, without so much as a ram's horn point."

Probably Jones included a part of the holdings of his Indian wards in this demonstration of primeval agriculture. For years following the advent of the white man, the Pima Indians habitually plowed by means of a crooked mesquite stick, connected by a rope to a pole, tied firmly across the horns of a couple of oxen.

Whatever the dissension between Jones and the other pioneers, he appeared at all times to have been popular with his Indian wards. This is evidenced by the fact that to the north of Lehi is a thriving Pima-Papago Mormon settlement, known as Papago ward. Dan P. Jones followed his father in its administration. A few years ago it had a population of 590 Indians, mainly Pimas, and of four white families, headed by Geo. F. Tiffany, with an Indian counselor, Incarnacion Valenzuela. This counselor has been described by Historian Jenson as "one of the most intelligent Indians I have ever met. He speaks Spanish fluently, as well as the Papago and Pima language; he also understands English, but does not like to speak it." Henry C. Rogers also was a successful Indian missionary. Tiffany's son now is in charge of the Lehi Indians.

Besides the Indians directly belonging to the ward, is a record of 1500 baptized Mormon Indians, mainly Papago, in the desert region to the southward, as far as the Mexican line.

Sunday schools and meetings are held in the Papago ward schoolhouse, built a few years ago. The Indians farm and raise stock; some of them live in good houses and all are learning the habits and ways of their neighbors, who have been their friends from the beginning.

Jones was charged by the people of Phoenix and Tempe with protection of Indians who had trespassed upon crops. He was warned by the Indian agent at Sacaton that he must cease his proselyting, a warning he calmly ignored. He seemed to have had assistance generally from the military authorities at Camp McDowell, about fifteen miles northward, for a time commanded by Capt. Adna R. Chaffee, Sixth Cavalry. Trouble was known with Pima Indians, who lived across the river, where they had been placed a few years before by Tempe settlers, as a possible buffer against Apache raids. This reservation's extension cost Lehi several sections of land.

Altogether, Jones' life in the Salt River Valley was not an easy one. Finally he joined a community in northern Tonto Basin, where his wife and youngest child were killed by accident. After that he moved to Tempe. Thereafter he went to Mexico, where he had mining experience. In the winter of 1884, he helped Erastus Snow and Samuel H. Hill to cross the border at El Paso. His latter days mainly were spent in Utah and California. Early in 1915 he returned to Arizona. His death occurred April 20 of that year, at the Mesa home of a son. His life work is well set out in a book written by himself and published in 1890. The descendants of the sturdy old pioneer are many in southern Arizona and numbers of them have occupied responsible office with credit. A son, Dan. P. Jones of Mesa, is a member of the current Legislature. Other sons and grandsons have been prominent especially in educational work.

Lehi's Later Development

Lehi now is a thriving settlement in bottom lands along Salt River, where growth necessarily is limited. Its school-house is about three miles north of Mesa, which has made by far the greater growth. First known as Camp Utah, or Utahville, for years it was called Jonesville, but finally the postoffice name of Lehi, suggested by Apostle Brigham Young, Jr., has firmly attached.

The first Mormon marriage in the Salt River Valley was at Lehi, that of Daniel P. Jones and Mary E. Merrill, August 26, 1877. The first birth was of their son. The first permanent separate house, of adobe, at Lehi, was built by Thomas Biggs, in the spring of 1878. There was a public school as early as 1878, taught by Miss Zula Pomeroy. In 1880 an adobe schoolhouse was built at a cost of $142, the ground donated by Henry C. Rogers, with David Kimball its main supporter. The following year was built a much better schoolhouse.

The settlement has a townsite of six blocks, each 26 rods square, with streets four rods wide, surveyed in November, 1880, by Henry C. Rogers.

Lehi was badly damaged February 19, 1891, when Salt River reached a height never known before or since. The stream flooded the lower parts of Phoenix and inundated a large part of the farming land at Lehi. A second flood, a few days later, was three feet higher than the first. Five Lehi Indians were drowned and several hundred of them lost their possessions.



Chapter Nineteen

The Planting of Mesa

Transformation of a Desert Plain

Though by no means with exclusive population of the faith, Mesa, sixteen miles east of Phoenix and in the Salt River Valley, today includes the largest organization of the Saints within Arizona and is the center of one of the most prosperous Stakes of the Church. It is beautifully located on a broad tableland, from which its Spanish name is derived, and is the center of one of the richest of farming communities. In general, the soil is of the best, without alkali, and its products cover almost anything that can be grown in the temperate or semi-tropic zones.

At all times since its settlement, Mesa has prospered, but its prosperity has been especially notable since the development, a few years ago, of the Pima long-staple cotton. Nearly every landowner, and Mesa is a settlement of landowners, has prospered through this industry, though it has been affected by the post-war depression. The region is one of comfortable, spacious homes and of well-tilled farms, with less acreage to each holding than known elsewhere in the valley.

Mesa is second only to Phoenix in size and importance within Maricopa County. There are fine business blocks and all evidences of mercantile activity. The farming area is being extended immensely. The community was one of the first to enter the association that secured storage of water at Roosevelt. Thereafter, to the southward came extension of the farming area by means of pumping, this continuing nearly to the Gila River, out upon the Pima reservation. Now there is further extension eastward, and the great plain that stretches as far as Florence is being settled by population very generally tributary to Mesa. It would be idle to speculate upon the future of the city, but its tributary farming country is fully as great as that which surrounds Phoenix.

Mesa was founded by Latter-day Saints from Bear Lake County, Idaho, and Salt Lake County, Utah. The former left Paris, Idaho, September 14, 1877, were joined at Salt Lake City by the others and traveled the entire distance by wagon, using the Lee's Ferry route, and coming over the forested country to Camp Verde.

The immigrants included, with their families, Chas. I. Robson, Charles Crismon (of the San Bernardino colony) of Salt Lake, Geo. W. Sirrine (of the Brooklyn ship party), Francis M. Pomeroy (a '47 pioneer), John H. Pomeroy, Warren L. Sirrine, Elijah Pomeroy, Parley P. Sirrine, all of Paris, Idaho, Wm. M. Newell, Wm. M. Schwartz, Job H. Smith, Jesse D. Hobson and J.H. Blair of Salt Lake. Altogether were 83 individuals.

The valley of the Verde proved a pleasant one, after the cold and hardship known on the plateau, though Christmas was spent in a snowstorm. Both humanity and the horses needed rest. So camp was made at Beaver Head, a few miles from the river, while a scouting party went farther to spy out the land. This party, which went by wagon, included Robson, F. M. Pomeroy, Charles Crismon and G.W. Sirrine.

The scouts, within a few days, had covered about 125 miles that lay between Beaver Head and Camp Utah. Their New Year dinner was taken with Jones, who extended them all welcome. It was proposed that the newcomers settle upon land adjoining that of the first party, but there was a likelihood of crowding in the relatively narrow river valley, and there were attractive possibilities lying along the remains of an ancient canal shown them by Jones.



Legal appropriation of the head of this old water way was made and Crismon was left behind, with a couple of the Camp Utah men as helpers, to start work on the new irrigation project. Incidentally, Crismon made location of land near the heading and thus separated his interests from those of the main party. Later, he started a water-power grist mill on the Grand canal, east of Phoenix. He had rights to a large share in the canal, as well as to lands on the mesa. These he later sold.

Robson, Pomeroy and Sirrine returned to the Verde Valley, to pilot the rested travelers southward. The journey was by way of the rocky Black Canyon road, with difficulty encountered in descending the steep Arastra Creek pass. Fording Salt River at Hayden's Ferry, Camp Utah was reached February 14, 1878. The journey had been a slow one, for cattle had to be driven.

A few days were spent at Camp Utah and then the new arrivals moved upstream five miles, where tents were pitched on a pleasant flat, a couple of miles below the canal heading. There had been conclusion to settle upon the tableland to the southwest. Pomeroy and Sirrine made a rough, though sufficient, survey with straight-edge and spirit level, along what then was named the "Montezuma Canal," eleven miles to a point where a townsite was selected.

Use of a Prehistoric Canal

Nothing short of Providential was considered the finding of the canal, dug by a prehistoric people into the edge of the mesa, which it gradually surmounted. This canal, in all probability, had been cut more than 1000 years before. It could be traced from the river for twenty miles, maintaining an even gradient, possibly as good as could have been laid out with a modern level, and with a number of laterals that spread over a country about as extensively cultivated as at present. A lateral served the Lehi section and other ditches conducted water to the southwest, past the famous ancient city of Los Muertos (later explored by Frank H. Cushing) and then around the southeastern foothills of the Salt River Mountains to points not far distant from the Gila River. The main canal cut through the tableland for two miles, with a top width of even fifty feet and a depth of twelve feet, chopped out in places, with stone axes, through a difficult formation of hardpan, "caliche." The old canal was cleaned out for the necessities of the pioneers, at a cost of about $48,000, including the head, and afterward was enlarged. At the time, there was an estimate that its utilization saved at least $20,000 in cost of excavation. There were 123 miles of these ancient canals.

This canal undertaking was a tremendous one, especially in consideration of the fact that for the first five months the Mesa settlers available for work were only eighteen able-bodied men and boys. The brethren were hardly strong enough in man power to have dug the canal had it not been for the old channel. A small stream was led to the townsite in October, 1878, and in the same month building construction was begun. An early settler wrote:

"We were about nine months in getting a small stream of water out at an expense of $43,000 in money and labor, so that we could plant gardens and set out some fruit trees. A man was allowed $1.50 and a man and team $3 per day for labor. Our ditch ran through some formation that would slack up like lime; and as whole sections of it would slide, it kept us busy nearly all the time the following year enlarging and repairing the canal. Our labors only lessened as our numbers increased, and the banks became more solid, so that today (1894) we have a good canal carrying about 7000 inches of water."

It would appear that a tremendous amount of optimism, energy and self-reliance lay in the leaders of the small community, in digging through the bank of a stubborn cliff, in throwing a rude dam across a great flood stream and in planting their homes far out on a plain that bore little evidence of agricultural possibilities, beyond a growth of creosote bush, the Larrea Mexicana. There were easier places where settlements might have been made, at Lehi or Tempe, or upon the smaller streams, but there must have been a vision rather broader than that of the original immigrant, a vision that later has merged into reality far larger and richer than had been the dream.

Within this prosperity are included hundreds of Mormon pioneers and their children. It often is said that the development of a country is by the "breaking" of from three to four sets of immigrants. It is not true of Mesa, for there the original settlers and their stock generally still hold to the land.

Moving Upon the Mesa Townsite

The honor of erection of the first home upon the mesa lies with the Pomeroy family, though it was hardly considered as a house. Logs and timbers were hauled from the abandoned Maryville, an outpost of Fort McDowell, at the river crossing northeast of Fort Utah. It was erected Mexican fashion, the roof supported on stout poles, and then mudded walls were built up on arrowweed latticing. This Pomeroy residence later was used as the first meetinghouse, as the first schoolhouse and as the first dance hall, though its floor was of packed earth. It might be added that there were many dances, for the settlers were a lighthearted lot. Most of the settlers re-erected their tents, each family upon the lot that had been assigned.

The first families on the mesa were those of John H. Pomeroy, Theodore Sirrine and Chas. H. Mallory. The Mallory and Sirrine homes quickly were started. Mallory's, the first adobe, was torn down early in 1921.

By the end of November, 1878, all the families had moved from the river camp upon the new townsite.

Early arrivals included a strong party from Montpelier, Bear Lake County, Idaho, the family heads John Hibbert, Hyrum S. Phelps, Charles C. Dana, John T. Lesueur, William Lesueur, John Davis, Geo. C. Dana and Charles Warner. Others, with their families, were Charles Crismon, Jr., Joseph Cain and William Brim from the Salt Lake section. Nearly all of the settlers who came in the earlier days to Mesa were fairly well-to-do, considered in a frontier way, and were people of education. Soon, by intelligence and industry, they made the desert bloom. Canals were extended all over the mesa. In 1879 was gathered the first crop of cereals and vegetables and that spring were planted many fruit trees, which grew wonderfully well in the rich, light soil.

An Irrigation Clash That Did Not Come

The summer of 1879 was one of the dryest ever recorded. Though less than 20,000 acres were cultivated in the entire valley, the crops around Phoenix suffered for lack of water. Salt River was a dry sand expanse for five miles below the Mesa, Utah and Tempe canal headings. The Mormon water appropriation was blamed for this. So in Phoenix was organized an armed expedition of at least twenty farmers, who rode eastward, prepared to fight for their irrigation priority rights. But there was no battle. Instead, they were met in all mildness by Jones and others, who agreed that priority rights should prevail. There was inspection of the two Mormon ditches, in which less than 1000 miners' inches were flowing and then was agreement that the two canal headgates should be closed for three days, to see what effect this action would have on the lower water supply. But the added water merely was wasted. The sand expanse drank it up and the lower ditches were not benefited. There was no more trouble over water rights. Indeed, this is the only recorded approach to a clash known between the Mormon settlers and their neighbors.

Mesa's Civic Administration

In May, 1878, T.C. Sirrine located in his own name the section of land upon which Mesa City now stands, thereafter deeding it to Trustees C.I. Robson, G.W. Sirrine and F.M. Pomeroy, who named it and who platted it into blocks of ten acres each, with eight lots, and with streets 130 feet wide, the survey being made by A.M. Jones. Each settler for each share worked out in the Mesa canal, received four lots, or five acres. Two plazas were provided.

For many years there was a general feeling that the streets of Mesa were entirely too wide, though it had been laid out in loving remembrance of Salt Lake City, and the question of ever paving (or even of crossing on a hot summer day) was serious. It appears from latter-day development that the old-timers builded wisely, for probably Mesa is alone in all of Arizona in having plenty of room for the parking of automobiles. The main streets have been paved at large expense. In several has been left very attractive center parking, for either grass or standing machines.

Mesa was incorporated July 15, 1883. The first election chose A.F. Macdonald as Mayor, E. Pomeroy, G.W. Sirrine, W. Passey and A.F. Stewart as Councilmen, C. I. Robson as Recorder, J.H. Carter as Treasurer, H.C. Longmore as Assessor, W. Richins as Marshal, and H.S. Phelps as Poundkeeper. All were members of the faith, for others were very few in Mesa at that time.

Growth was slow for a number of years, for in a city census, taken January 4, 1894, there was found population of only 648, with an assessment valuation of $106,000. The 1920 census found 3036.

Mail at first was received at Hayden's Ferry. Soon thereafter was petition for a postoffice. The federal authorities refused the name of "Mesa" on the ground that it might be confused with Mesaville, a small office in Final County. So, in honor of their friend at the Ferry, there was acceptance of the name Hayden. Though the Ferry had the postoffice name of Tempe, there ensued much mixture of mail matter. In 1887, there followed a change in the postoffice name to Zenos, after a prophet of the Book of Mormon. In the order of things, Mesaville passed away and then the settlement quickly availed itself of the privilege opened, to restore the commonly accepted designation of Mesa.

Foundation of Alma

Alma is a prosperous western extension of Mesa, of which it is a fourth ward. The locality at first, and even unto this day, has borne the local name of Stringtown, for the houses are set along a beautiful country road, cottonwood-bordered for miles. The first settlers of the locality were Henry Standage (a veteran of the Mormon Battalion), Hyrum W. Pugh, Chauncey F. Rogers and Wm. N. Standage, with their families. These settlers constituted a party from Lewiston and Richmond, Cache County, Utah, and arrived at Mesa, January 19, 1880. In that same month they started work on an extension of the Mesa canal, soon thereafter aided by neighbors, who arrived early in 1881. There were good crops. Early in 1882 houses were erected.

Highways Into the Mountains

In 1880, the Mesa authorities took steps to provide a better highway to Globe, this with the active cooperation of their friend, Chas. T. Hayden. Globe was a rich market for agricultural products, yet could be reached only by way of Florence and the Cane Springs and Pioneer road, over the summit of the Pinal Mountains, or by way of the almost impassable Reno Mountain road from McDowell into Tonto Basin, a road that was ridden in pain, but philosophically, by the members of the Erastus Snow party that passed in 1878. The idea of 1880 was to get through the Pinal Mountains, near Silver King. A new part of this route now is being taken by a State road that starts at Superior, cutting a shelf along the canyon side of Queen Creek, to establish the shortest possible road between Mesa and Globe. The first adequate highway ever had from Mesa eastward was the Roosevelt road, later known as the Apache Trail, built in 1905 by the Reclamation Service, to connect the valley with Roosevelt, which lies at the southern point of Tonto Basin.

Hayden's Ferry, Latterly Tempe

Tempe, eight miles east of Phoenix on Salt River, was first known as Hayden's Ferry. Its founder was Chas. Trumbull Hayden, a pioneer merchant who early saw the possibilities of development within the Salt River Valley and who built a flour mill that still is known by his name. Arizona's Congressman, Carl Hayden, is a son of the pioneer merchant, miller and ferryman. The name of Tempe (from a valley of ancient Greece) is credited to Darrell Duppa, a cultured Englishman, who is also understood to have named Phoenix. It was applied to Hayden's Ferry and also to a Mexican settlement, something over a half-mile distant, locally known as San Pablo.

Hayden welcomed the advent of the Mormons, led to the country by Daniel W. Jones in 1877, and befriended those who followed, thus materially assisting in the upbuilding of the Lehi and Mesa settlements.

Tempe, as a Mormon settlement, started July 23, 1882, in the purchase by Benjamin Franklin Johnson, Jos. E. Johnson and relatives, from Hayden, of eighty acres of land that lay between the ferry and the Mexican town. For this tract there was paid $3000. The Johnson party left Spring Lake, Utah, in April and traveled via Lee's Ferry. There was survey of the property into lots and blocks, and the Johnsons at once started upon the building of homes. There was included also a small cooperative store. The foundation was laid for a meeting house, but religious services usually were held in a bowery or in the district schoolhouse that had been built before the Saints came.

In the fall of 1882 there arrived a number of families, most of them Johnsons or relatives. When the Maricopa Stake was organized December 10, 1882, David T. LeBaron was presiding at Tempe. June 15, 1884, Tempe was organized as a ward, successively headed by Samuel Openshaw and Jas. F. Johnson.

In August, 1887, most of Tempe's Mormon residents moved to Nephi, west of Mesa, mainly upon land acquired by Benj. F. Johnson, the settlement popularly known as Johnsonville. The departure hinged upon the building of a branch railroad of the Southern Pacific from Maricopa, through Tempe, to Phoenix. An offer was made by a newly-organized corporation for the land that had been taken by the Johnsons, who sold on terms then considered advantageous. Upon this land now is located a large part of the prosperous town of Tempe, within which is a considerable scattering of Mormon families, though without local organization.

Patriarch B.F. Johnson died in Mesa, November 18, 1905, at the age of 87. At that time it was told that his descendants and those married into the family numbered 1500, probably constituting the largest family within the Church membership.

Organization of the Maricopa Stake

The Church history of Mesa started October 14, 1878, when Apostle Erastus Snow, on his memorable trip through the Southwest, at Fort Utah, appointed a late arrival, Jesse N. Perkins, as presiding elder and H.C. Rogers and G.W. Sirrine as counselors. Perkins died of smallpox in northeastern Arizona. In 1880, President John Taylor at St. George, Utah, appointed Alexander F. Macdonald to preside over the new stake. He arrived and took office in February of that year. Macdonald was a sturdy, lengthy Scotchman, a preacher of the rough and ready sort and of tremendous effectiveness, converted in Perth, in June, 1846, and a Salt Lake arrival by ox team in 1854. In 1882, on permanent organization of the Stake, Chas. I. Robson succeeded Sirrine as counselor. Robson December 4, 1887, succeeded to the presidency, with H.C. Rogers and Collins R. Hakes as counselors, Macdonald taking up leadership in the northern Mexican Stakes, pioneering work of difficulty for which he was especially well suited. In December, 1884, he headed an expedition and surveying party into Chihuahua, Mexico, looking for settlement locations, and secured large landed interests. He became ill at El Paso, on his way back to his home at Colonia Juarez. He died at Colonia Dublan, thirty miles short of his destination, March 21, 1903.



Chas. I. Robson served as President to the day of his death, February 24, 1894. He was of English ancestry, born February 20, 1837, in Northumberland. He was specially distinguished in the early days of Utah through his success in starting the first paper factory known in western America. As a boy, he had worked in a paper factory in England. In 1870, he was warden of the Utah penitentiary.

May 10, 1894, Collins R. Hakes (of the San Bernardino colony) succeeded to the presidency of Maricopa Stake, with Henry C. Rogers and Jas. F. Johnson as counselors. At that time were five organized wards, with 2446 souls, including 1219 Indians in the Papago ward, and to the southward toward Mexico. Mesa then was credited with 648 people of the faith, Lehi 200, Alma 282 and Nephi 104.

In 1905, President Hakes transferred his activities to the development of a new colony of his people at Bluewater, N.M., near Fort Wingate. His death was in Mesa, August 27, 1916.

To the Maricopa Stake Presidency, November 26, 1905, succeeded Jno. T. Lesueur, transferred from St. Johns, where, from Mesa, he settled in 1880. He is still a resident of Mesa. He resigned as president in 1912, the position taken, on March 10 of that year, by his son, Jas. W. Lesueur, who still is in office.

December 20, 1898, first was occupied the Stake tabernacle, 75x45 feet in size, built of brick and costing $11,000. At its dedication were Apostle Brigham Young, Jr., and a number of other Church dignitaries.

For more than a year plans have been in the making for erection at Mesa of a great temple of the Church, to cost about $500,000. It is to be the ninth of such structures. The others, in the order of their dedication, are (or were): at Kirtland, Ohio, of date 1836; at Nauvoo, Illinois, 1846; at St. George, Logan, Manti and Salt Lake, Utah, and at Laie, Hawaiian Islands. Another is being built at Cardston, Alberta, Canada. The Kirtland edifice was abandoned. That at Nauvoo was wrecked by incendiaries in 1848. The great Temple at Salt Lake, its site located by Brigham Young four days after his arrival, in July, 1847, was forty years in building and its dedication was not till 1893.

Merely in the way of explanation, it may be noted that a Mormon temple is not a house of public worship. It is, as was the Temple of Solomon, more of a sanctuary, a place wherein ecclesiastical ordinances may have administration. It has many lecture rooms, wherein to be seated the classes under instruction, and there is provision of places for the performance of the ordinances of baptism, marriage, confirmation, etc.

Especially important are considered the baptism and blessings (endowments) bestowed vicariously on the living for the benefit of the dead. There also is added solemnity in a temple marriage, for it is for eternity and not merely for time. Due to this is the unusual activity of the Church members in genealogical research. It is believed that the Mormon Church is the only denomination that marries for eternity, this marriage also binding in the eternal family relation the children of the contracting individuals.

The temple administration is separate from that of the Stake in which it may be situated and its doors, after dedication, are closed save to its officers and to those who come to receive its benefits. In the past years these ordinances have been received outside of Arizona, at large expense for travel from this State. Naturally, there has been a wish for location of a temple more readily to be reached by the devout.

The temple idea in Arizona appears to date back to an assurance given about 1870 in St. George by Brigham Young. A prediction was made by Jesse N. Smith about 1882, to the effect that a temple, at some future day, would be reared on the site of Pima in Graham County. The first donation toward such an end was recorded January 24, 1887, in the name of Mrs. Helena Roseberry, a poor widow of Pima, who gave $5 toward the building of a temple in Arizona, handing the money to Apostle Moses Thatcher. This widow's mite ever since has been held by the Church in Salt Lake. Possibly it has drawn good interest, for through the Church Presidency has come a donation of $200,000 to assure the end the widow had wished for.

Another "nest egg," the first contribution received directly for the Mesa edifice, came from another widow, Mrs. Amanda Hastings of Mesa, who, on behalf of herself and children, three years ago, gave the Stake presidency $15.

The new temple, of which there is reproduction herewith of an artist's sketch, is to rise in the eastern part of Mesa upon a tract of forty acres, which is to be a veritable park, its edges occupied by homes. The architects are Don C. Young and Ramm Hansen of Salt Lake. The temple will rise 66 feet, showing as a vast monument upon a foundation base that will be 180x195 feet. This base will contain the offices and preparation rooms. While the structure will be sightly from all sides, on its north will be a great entrance. Between the dividing staircase will be a corridor entry to the baptismal room. The staircase, joined at the second story, will stretch 100 feet in a great flight, its landings successively taking the initiates to the higher planes of instruction. In this respect, the plan is said by Church authorities to be the best of any temple of the faith. The rooms will be ample in size for instruction of classes of over 100.

The building of the Mesa temple was the primary subject at all meetings of congregations of the faith on September 12, 1920, and from voluntary donations on that day there was added to the temple fund $112,000.



Chapter Twenty

First Families of Arizona

Pueblo Dwellers of Ancient Times

In considering the development features of the settlement of central Arizona, the Author feels it might be interesting to note that the immigrants saw in the Salt River Valley many evidences of the truth of the Book of Mormon, covering the passage northward of the Nephites of old. There was found a broad valley that had lain untouched for a thousand years, unoccupied by Indian or Spaniard till Jack Swilling and his miners dug the first canal on the north side of the river a few years before the coming of the Saints to Jonesville. The valley had lain between the red-skinned agriculturists of the Gila and the Apache Ishmaelites of the hills. There had been no intrusion of Spanish or Mexican grants. The ground had been preserved for utilization of the highest sort by American intelligence.

Yet this same intelligence found much to admire in the works of the people who had passed on. From the river had been taken out great canals of good gradient, and it was clear that they had been dug by a people of homely thrift and of skill in the tilling of the soil. There still were to be seen piles of earth that marked where at least seven great communal houses had formed nuclei for a numerous people. These were served by 123 miles of canals.

These people were not Aztec. According to accepted tradition, the Aztecs passed southward along the western coast, reaching Culiacan, in northwestern Mexico, about 700 A.D., and there named themselves the Mextli. The ancient people of the Salt River Valley probably had moved, or were moving, about that same time. They appear to have been of Toltecan stock and undoubtedly came from the southward, from a land where was known the building of houses and wherein had been established religious cults of notable completeness and assuredly of tenacious hold. Just why they left the Salt River Valley is as incomprehensible as why they entered it, and how long they stayed is purely a matter of conjecture. Probably occupation of the valley was not simultaneous. Probably the leaving was by families or clans, extending over a period of many years. Probably they left on the ending of a cycle of peace, on the coming to the Southwest of the first of the Apache, or of similar marauders, who preyed upon the peaceful dwellers of the plains. That they were people of peace cannot be doubted, people who in the end had to defend their towns, yet sought no aggression.



Evidences of Well-Developed Culture

Possibly a great epidemic, of the sort known to have swept Mexico before the coming of the Spaniard, gravely cut down the numbers of the ancient valley settlers. Near every communal castle is to be found a cemetery, filled with burial urns, their tops usually less than a foot below the surface. These urns (ollas) are filled with calcined human bones. By them are to be found the broken pottery, of which the spirits were to accompany the late lamented on their journey to the happy hunting grounds. These dishes once contained food, intended for the spirit travelers' nourishment. When there was a child, ofttimes now is found the clay image of a dog, for a dog always knows the way home. The dog is believed to have been the only domestic animal of the time.

In some cases, in the greater houses, walled into crypts that might have served as family lounging places, have been found the skeletons of those who were of esoteric standing, considered able, by the force of will, to separate spirit from body. In other cases the cleansing and disintegrating effects of fire secured the necessary separation of the spirit from the body.

With these mortuary evidences also are found domestic implements, stone clubs, arrow points and, particularly valuable, prayer sticks and religious implements that clearly show the archaeologist a connection with the pueblo-dwelling peoples who still live, under similar communal conditions, to the northward.

Northward Trend of the Ancient People

That these ancient peoples went north there can be no doubt. North of the valley, nearly fifty miles, on the Verde, is a great stone ruin and beyond it are cavate dwellings of remarkable sort. In Tonto Creek Valley, a dozen miles north of the Roosevelt dam, is an immense ruin built of gypsum blocks. To the eastward, Casa Grande, most famed of all Arizona prehistoric remains, still stands, iron-roofed by a careful government, probably of a later time of abandonment, but still a ruin when first seen by Father Eusebio Kino in 1694. All the way up the Gila, and with a notable southern stem through the Mimbres Valley, are found these same evidences of ancient occupation. Chichilticalli, "the Red House," mentioned by Marco de Niza and by Coronado's historians in 1539-40, lay somewhere near where another group of Mormons again reclaimed the desert soil by irrigation in the upper Gila Valley. Ruins extended from Pueblo Viejo ("Old Town"), above Solomonville, down to San Carlos.

Into the valleys of the Salt and of the Gila, from the north come many waterways. In none of these tributary valleys can there be failure to find evidences of the northward march of the Indians who lived in houses. In this intermediate region, the houses usually, for protection, were placed in the cliffs. Particularly notable are the cave dwellings of the upper Verde and in Tonto Basin, near Roosevelt, and in the Sierra Anchas and near Flagstaff.



Again there was debouchment upon a river valley, that of the Little Colorado. Possibly some of the tribes worked eastward into the valley of the Rio Grande. Another section, and for this there is no less evidence than that of Frank Hamilton Cushing, formed at least a part of the forefathers of the Zuni. Swinging to the northwest, the Water House and other clans formed the southern branch of the three from which the Moqui, or Hopi, people are descended. This last is history. The early Mormons remarked upon the pueblo ruins that lay near their first Little Colorado towns, above St. Joseph. These ruins are known to the Hopi as "Homolobi," and much is the information concerning them to be had from the historians of the present hilltop tribes.

Reports of similarity have been so many, there can be no surprise that the earlier settlers from Utah wrote home joyously, telling that proofs had been found of the northern migration so definitely outlined in their ecclesiastical writings, according to the Book of Mormon.

The Great Reavis Land Grant Fraud

For about ten years from 1885 all the lands of the Salt and Gila valleys of Arizona lay under a serious cloud of title. There had been elimination of the Texas-Pacific landgrant, which unsuccessfully had been claimed by the Southern Pacific. Then came the Reavis grant, one of the most monumental of attempted swindles ever known. James Addison Reavis, a newspaper solicitor, claimed a tract 78 miles wide from a point at the junction of the Gila and Salt Rivers, eastward to beyond Silver City, N.M., on the basis of an alleged grant, of date December 20, 1748, by Fernando VI, King of Spain, to Senor Don Miguel de Peralta y Cordoba, who then was made Baron of the Colorados and granted 300 square leagues in the northern portion of the viceroyalty of New Spain. The grant was said to have been appropriated in 1757. Reavis had first claimed by virtue of a deed from one Willing, of date 1867, but there was switching later, Reavis thereafter claiming as agent for his wife, said to have been the last of the Peralta line, but in reality a half-breed Indian woman, found on an Indian reservation in northern California, and one who had no Mexican history whatever. Reavis renamed himself "Peralta-Reavis," and for a while had headquarters for his "barony" at Arizola, a short distance east of Casa Grande, where he maintained his family in state, with his children in royal purple velvet, with monogrammed coronets upon their Russian caps. He arrogated to himself ownership of all the water and the mines and sold quit-claim deeds to the land's owners. It is said that the Southern Pacific bought its right of way from him and that the Silver King and other mines similarly contributed to his exchequer. He claimed Phoenix, Mesa, Florence, Globe, Silver King, Safford and Silver City.

He planned a storage basin on Salt River and another above Florence on the Gila, and advertised that he intended to reclaim 6,000,000 acres on the Casa Grande and Maricopa plains, "thereafter returning to the Gila any surplus water." Just how accurate his figures were may be judged by the fact that government engineers have found that the waters of the Gila, above Florence, are sufficient for the irrigation of not more than 90,000 acres. He viewed things on a big scale, however. At Tonto Basin he was to build a dam 450 feet high and the water was to be taken from the river channel by means of a 44,000-foot tunnel.

Whenever one of his prospective customers failed to contribute, he often deeded the land to a third party. Some of these deeds are to be seen on the records of Maricopa County. His case had been so well prepared that many were deceived, even the lawyers who served him as counsel, including Robert G. Ingersoll. Naturally something approximating a panic for a while was known by the farmers of the valleys affected.

Meanwhile, very largely from moneys obtained as above noted, Reavis was spending royally at many points. At Madrid, Spain, he had a gorgeous establishment, whereat he even entertained the American Legation. At many points in Mexico, he scattered coin lavishly and accumulated cords of alleged original records and he even found paintings of his wife's alleged ancestors. The grant was taken into politics and was an issue in the congressional campaign of 1887.

About 1898 there was establishment of the United States Court of Private Land Claims, especially for adjudication of many such claims in the Southwest. Reavis' elaborately prepared case tumbled almost from the day it was brought into court. Government agents found bribery, corruption and fraud all along his trail. He had interpolated pages in old record books and had even changed and rewritten royal documents, including one on which the grant was based. Some of his "ancient" documents were found to have been executed on very modern milled paper. On one of them appeared the water mark of a Wisconsin paper mill. Others had type that had been invented only a few years before. The claim was unanimously rejected by the land court and on the same day Reavis was arrested on five indictments for conspiracy. He was convicted in January, 1895, and sentenced to six years in the penitentiary. After serving his sentence, he made a brief confession, telling that he had been "playing a game which to win meant greater wealth than that of Gould or Vanderbilt." The district covered by his claim today has property valued at at least one billion dollars.

When Mesa first was settled, every alternate section was called "railroad land." claimed by the Southern Pacific, under virtue of the old Tom Scott-Texas & Pacific land grant. Early in the eighties, this claim vanished, it being decided that the Southern Pacific had no right to the grant.

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