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the name of Prescott adopted by resolution in honor of the historian. R. W. Groom and Van C. Smith laid out the town, Groom being something of a civil engineer. In the absence of other instruments they used a frying pan. Van C. Smith, Judge Hezekiah Brooks and R. W. Groom were the commissioners for the sale of town lots. The historian, Joseph Fish, in his manuscript, says the first house erected within what was afterwards the townsite was “Old Fort Misery.” By July 4th, 1864, two hundred and thirty-two lots had been sold in Prescott at public sale, and over $12,000 was realized from such sale. R. C. McCormick paid the highest price for
any individual lot, $245.00, upon which was erected the printing office of the Arizona Miner.
One of the first men to locate in Prescott was Joseph Ehle. His family consisted of his wife, one son and five daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Ehle were married in 1841 in Iowa, from whence they emigrated to Oregon, thence to Denver, and on July 28th, 1864, they arrived in Prescott, where they located permanently. Mrs Margaret Ehle was born in Ohio on October 14th, 1817, and died in Prescott on November 4th, 1905. She was survived by her husband, who died a few years afterward at the advanced age of 99 years. Mr. Ehle drove in several hundred head of cattle, which the Indians confiscated. Accounts of his death and funeral are as follows: “DIES JUST SHORT OF THE CENTURY
MARK. Joseph Ehle was Oldest Mason in World in
Point of Age and Membership. “Telegrams from Los Angeles yesterday brought the sad news of the death of Joseph Ehle, the pioneer of all pioneer residents of Arizona, who passed away from old age on Tuesday.
“Had he lived until next March, he would have reached the goal of one hundred years. Of remarkable vitality, this aged man attracted the admiration and the attention of the many, so well was it known throughout the nation that his long race on earth had been attended with a distinction few if any had ever attained, in fraternal circles. He was reputed to be the oldest living Mason in the world, in point of membership as well as age. It is stated by authoritative sources that he had been a Mason since 1838, joining a lodge in the state of Iowa, seventy-four years ago.
“Aside from this feature of his citizenship, the deceased was a man of that sterling integrity and patriotic zeal that brought to his side friends by the score, and to his memory the tribute of his upright dealings with his fellow-men will be a beautiful chapter to close his earthly career. About three years ago his health began to decline, and he was taken by his daughter to a lower elevation on the coast. One faculty after another failed, when the wonderful machinery of a once vigorous frame gave way, and the inevitable followed.
“The deceased arrived in Prescott early in 1864, with his late wife and several children, many of whom survive, among them being his son, John Ehle, who still makes Prescott his home. From the beginning he identified himself with building up the country and to his credit he erected the first substantial home in the then wilderness, and which until a few years ago was situated on the southwest corner of Good
win and Marina streets. This landmark has been supplanted by a modern row of brick flats. The old Èhle home, erected over forty years ago on North Montezuma Street, still remains as a symbol of his industry of other days, and which he occupied up to the last moment when he left the city a few years ago.
“The remains will be brought to Prescott today for burial beside those of his wife, who passed away nearly ten years ago. The deceased was a native of New York State." (“Prescott Journal-Miner,” Thursday, November 28, 1912.)
“FUNERAL OF JOSEPH EHLE. “On Sunday last the solemn rites of the Masonic order were pronounced over the remains of Joseph Ehle, who was one of the oldest of Prescott's citizens and the oldest resident in the county in point of years. He died when but a few months short of the century mark. The funeral services were most impressive, there being in attendance many of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of the county, the pallbearers being Masons, some of whom had been associates of the deceased for a half century. During his residence here, deceased has seen Prescott grow from a hamlet of log houses to the thriving little city it now is, and in his long years of residence had become endeared to all because of his integrity and unfailing friendli
His remains now lie in Masonic cemetery, beside the body of his beloved wife, who, at the advanced age of 88 years, was laid to rest in 1905.
“Joseph Ehle was born in Mohawk County, New York, in March, 1813, and when still a boy went to Canada, where he learned the trade of millwright. In 1834 he returned to the United States, and made his home in Iowa, where he was married to Miss Margaret Williams. About the year 1837 he was admitted as a member of a Masonic Lodge, and for the remainder of his long life was a faithful member of the order. In 1851 he went to California, leaving his wife with relatives, and later went to Oregon, where he erected a sawmill and remained for three years. In 1860, with his wife, he went to Colorado, where they remained until 1864. In that year he headed a party bound for Prescott, coming by way of the Santa Fe trail. In 1865 Mr. Ehle erected the first gristmill in Arizona, having previously built a log residence of five rooms, at what is now the corner of Goodwin and Marina streets, Prescott. In 1865 he established the government road station at Skull Valley, but in the following year returned to Prescott.
“Of the children born there were the following: John H. Ehle, Mary J. Dickson, Amy S. Sanders, Olive B. Crouch, Sarah F. Baker, and Margaret V. Foster. There were also twentyfour grandchildren and nineteen great grandchildren.
"The pall-bearers were E. W. Wells, J. C. Stephens, Fred G. Brecht, N. L. Griffin, C. A. Peter, Sr., and Wm. N. Kelly.”—(“Prescott Courier," Saturday, December 7, 1912.)
In October, 1863, the Lount party came in from San Francisco, numbering thirteen per
The following month a party composed of twenty-four men arrived from Santa Fe, and