A Look at Arizona's Past provided by an Arizona Land Surveying Company

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This weeks Look at Arizona's Past...

Chapter 119 - From #18 ; PRESCOTT - Modern Prescott is a long cry from the town of the pioneer days, of the log cabin and the flimsy shack when court was held at Fort Misery and fried venison was served with chile at the Juniper House. It is also a long cry from Mrs. Stephen's one-room school of sixty-five to the grammar and high school that now adorn Gurley Street and give prestige to the city.

However disastrous it may have been to individuals, perhaps the greatest good fortune that ever visited Prescott was the fire of July 14, 1900, that practically demolished the business section of the town surrounding the courthouse plaza, for from its ashes were built the modern business blocks that set the metropolitan stamp on the new city. The fire happened before the end of the gambling days, and while the ruins still smoked, the saloons of Whisky Row moved to the plaza, where a barber shop had been installed in the band stand, and here they established their faro layouts and roulette wheels under the blue sky. The loss occasioned by the fire ran above a million dollars.

The Prescott of today is in many respects a model little city. Its new courthouse, built of native granite, is handsome in design and splendidly constructed. Its banks have heavy deposit lists and occupy handsome buildings. Its business houses are second to none in the state, and the residence Chapter of the city is in every way worthy of the business center. Prescott is situated in a beautiful basin in the mountains, through which runs Granite Creek. On three sides mountain peaks, covered with pine, juniper and oak, rise high against the sky. The altitude of the town, about a mile above sea level, gives a climate that is never hot in summer, and at the same time has a winter just cold enough to be bracing. -- In the Journal Miner, Prescott has a progressive, well-edited daily.

BISBEE - In Bisbee people live, move and have their being in terms of copper, which is as it should be, for Bisbee is the home of the Copper Queen, the Calumet and Arizona, and other copper mines that have helped to make the name of Arizona known throughout the world. -- Aside from the buildings themselves most cities have only two dimensions, length and breadth. Bisbee adds a third, up and down. It is situated in a steep canyon which, before the white man came, was covered with oaks and vines. Then Jack Dunn discovered a copper mine, and as a shaft can not be easily moved, even to make a convenient site for a town, in 1880 the oak trees and the vines were pulled down, brick and mortar took their places, and Tombstone Canyon, in the Mule Pass Mountains, became Bisbee.

Yet, after all, we doubt if the citizens of the town would have its natural conditions different. It makes for picturesqueness, those terraces up the steep slopes, and if one upon looking from his door yard can see nicely over the roof of his nearest neighbor, certainly there is nothing commonplace about it. At the bottom of the canyon is Main Street, the one continuous thoroughfare of the town, which, following the contour of the canyon, is almost as crooked as a snake with the colic. No one should object to that, however, for we all know that a curved line is more beautiful than a straight one. -- One must not hastily conclude that because Bisbee is a mining camp that there is any atmosphere of instability about the town. Copper mines grow richer as they go down, and Bisbee people say that the town will be there till the Copper Queen and the C. & A. strike China.

And speaking of China, one of the unique traditions of Bisbee is that no member of the celestial kingdom may remain in town over night. Many of the early miners had lived in Nevada and California mining districts, where there had been antiChinese feeling, and they brought their prejudices with them. The rule is still supposed to prevail. -- The year 1908 was an unfortunate one for the town. In the summer a tremendous flood carried thousands of tons of earth from the western hillside, spilling it into the buildings at the bottom of the canyon. In the fall a half million dollar fire destroyed a Chapter of the business district, but as was the case with Prescott, the new buildings were better than the old. In fact, during the last dozen years all of the leading cities of the state have acquired the kind of business houses that in the East one would scarcely find in cities of under fifty thousand inhabitants. Bisbee's standard in public buildings and business houses is high. It has a department store that is perhaps the finest establishment of its kind in the state. There are also the usual good schools and well-built churches. The Catholics are now erecting a church building that will cost in the neighborhood of $75,000. And while we are talking in figures we might add that Bisbee put $90,000 into its high school. Lowell, Warren and Don Luis are the principal suburbs of Bisbee. At Lowell is the "Junction" shaft of the "C. & A." Also located here are a bank and theater and several club houses. -- Warren is the residential town of the district, and boasts of land that is either level or having a slope that may be termed "gentle" with residences surrounded by lawns, shrubbery and flowers. Just below Warren is the Country Club, the center of the social life of the district. Here are found golf links, tennis courts and a rifle range. -- Bisbee has three daily newspapers, the Review, the Ore and the Square Dealer.

About The Historical Texts

Following is the list of uncopyrighted publications used for the History of Arizona and the Southwest. All can be easily found on-line in PDF format. Sorted by publication date they are:

  1. The Memoir of the Proposed Territory of Arizona - 1857 | By Sylvester Mowry
  2. Arizona and Sonora - 1863 | By Sylvester Mowry
  3. The Territory of Arizona_1874 | By Arizona Legislative Assembly
  4. Resources of Arizona - 1881 | By Arizona Legislative Assembly
  5. The History of Arizona and New Mexico, Volume 17 - 1889 - (Arizona Portion) | By Hubert Howe Bancroft
  6. Titan of Chasms the Grand Canyon - 1906 | By C.A. Higgins, J.W. Powell, Chas.F.Lumins
  7. Reminiscences of a Soldiers Wife - 1907 - (Arizona Portion) | By Ellen McGowan Biddle
  8. The First Through the Grand Canyon - 1915 | By Major John Wesley Powell
  9. The History of Arizona, Volume 1 - 1915 (starting Chapter VII) | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  10. The History of Arizona, Volume 2 - 1915 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  11. The History of Arizona, Volume 3 - 1916 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  12. The History of Arizona, Volume 4 - 1916 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  13. The History of Arizona, Volume 5 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  14. The History of Arizona, Volume 6 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  15. The History of Arizona, Volume 7 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  16. The History Of Arizona, Volume 8 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  17. Arizona the Wonderland - 1917 | By George Wharton James
  18. The Story of Arizona - 1919 | By Will H. Robinson

The majority of the publications listed here were written with the intent to be historically accurate. This is not an attempt to make a point of historical fact by providing this information. It is intended to simply share what is documented about the American Southwest, primarily on the Arizona Territorial area.

There are no living people to speak for the time period related here. We must use recorded information to look into that era. The point-of-view of today is different from those living then. The intent here is not to provide an opinion. If one spends time reading the material listed, it will be enlightening as to life in the untamed Territory of Arizona as it was in the minds of the people of at that era.

Regarding the stories of the all of people in the Territory of Arizona it can bring out all emotions. From sympathy to anger and sadness to admiration, you will feel something. It is difficult to imagine what it would be like to be living here, or traveling through, at different times in the past. It is hopeful that all will find a least find some amusement looking through the window of the past provided here.

A little about the Arizona Land Surveyors of yester-year

It was a rough life for the Land Surveyor of yester-year. The Survey party that was sent out then consisted of a large crew. Usually between 5-7 men. There was a head Land Surveyor along with a couple of Land Surveyor trainees which pulled the chain. The chain was an actual 66 foot long chain, with 100 links, used to measure distance. It looks similar to what holding the flags at the base of the page. There were laborers to help clear trees and brush out of the way. Given the crude equipment of the time, it is amazing how accurate some of the old Land Surveyor's measurements were.

Land Surveying in Arizona Started in 1866. From a report in 1867 by Joseph S. Wilson, Commissioner of the General Land Office : "A contract was entered into with Deputy Surveyor William H. Pierce on the 15th day of December, 1866, for the survey in Arizona of 96 miles of the Gila and Salt River Meridian; 36 miles of the base line and standard and exterior township boundary lines, to amount in the aggregate to a sum not exceeding $7,500. Mr. Pierce completed the survey of the meridian from the initial corner north 24 miles, the base line from the same corner east 36 miles, and the first standard parallel north along the south boundary of township 5 north, east 42 miles, and west 42 miles, when the military protection which had been furnished him was withdrawn, and he was compelled to quit the field, the Indians infesting the country, rendering it unsafe and impracticable to continue the work without military escort. At his request, and by your order, Mr. Pierce has been released from further obligation to prosecute the work under his contract."

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Our Weekly Look into the Past of Arizona...

Chapter 119 - From #18 ; PRESCOTT - Modern Prescott is a long cry from the town of the pioneer days, of the log cabin and the flimsy shack when court was held at Fort Misery and fried venison was served with .........Continue to complete Chapter

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