Slike strani
PDF
ePub

1016; the streets all run with the cardinal points of the compass, and are named after persons either identified with the former or present history of this part of the Territory, such as Montezuma, Cortez, Marina, Alarcon, Coronado, Whipple, Aubrey, Leroux, Walker, Lount, and a number of others.

“Messrs. James A. Halstead of Fort Yuma, William F. Scol, of Tucson, and Charles M. Dorman, were appointed appraisers, who, dividing the lots into three grades or classes, valued them at $7.50, $10 and $15 respectively.

The lots were sold at public auction to the highest bidders, the pilgrims, who were now increasing in numbers, paying liberal prices, and investing fully to the extent of their means. The terms of sale were one-third of the selling price to be paid down, which was held by the Commissioners to cover costs of survey, etc., and the remaining two-thirds to be paid when the proceedings of the citizens of the town were legalized by the Government.

“The first sale of lots took place on the 4th day of June, 1864. Seventy-three lots were sold for a total amount of $3,927.50, while their appraised value was $910.

“About the corner lot upon which now stands the large brick house occupied by J. Goldwater & Bro., will always linger a certain interest as being the first lot sold in the town, which was knocked down for the full sum of $175. The sale of lots continued from time to time until nearly, if not quite all, were disposed of, at healthy prices.

“The population of the town increased somewhat rapidly, considering the circumstances of the surrounding dangers and difficulties incident to a camp in a hostile Indian country.

“The people were of a free, reckless and jovial disposition, and to-day I know of not an incident more enjoyable than that of witnessing the meeting of two or more of the old pioneers and hearing them relate of the good old times of the Puritan days of Prescott.

“The future certainty of the town now being a settled fact, attention was turned to the building of houses and making other improvements and preparations for the accommodation of the fast growing business, of a promising place with mining and agricultural surroundings.

The first house on the townsite reaching completion was the office of the 'Arizona Miner,' which was finally torn away and its place occupied in the building of the brick store house now owned by T. H. Loisilon, the first brick building in the town. The building erected for the ‘Miner' office was made of boards sawed by hand in what was termed a saw pit. From this office the first number of the Arizona Miner' issued in Prescott, was sent forth on the 22nd day of June, 1864, by Tisdale A. Hand, the publisher, who, some time afterwards died of consumption. The Miner' was issued semi-monthly, and was, in size a little larger than a sheet of foolscap paper.

Among the first houses built in the town and now standing, was the little log house, sailing under the classical name of the ‘Bear Pen,' on Granite Street, in early days of mining speculation, the California Street of Prescott. "The Bear Pen is an object of interest, not only on account of its claim of prehistoric tendency, but

chiefly, you may say, as being the headquarters in early times of the aristocratic and inflated monopolists known as the 'desulphurizers' and 'concentrators,' and where they, by their midnight orgies, affected to a considerable extent, the money, mining, and 'grub' market on the following day. The trade of the organization was the talking of the buying and selling mines, negotiating loans, and concocting designs on square meals. They also dealt largely in slander and wildcat feet, and were rather successful in the brokerage business, that is, they were as methodical in closing up a boarding-house as they were systematical in breaking a healthy mining capitalist who wasn't a good judge of rock.

“The means of communication with the west and east were by the Pioneer Pony Express, via La Paz to California, established July 28th, 1864, by Robertson and Parish, and Duke & Co.'s Pony Express, running via Mohave to California, established July 30th, 1864. These expresses were of a semi-monthly occurrence, while Fort Whipple had a military express running semi-occasionally to the East, via Fort Wingate, New Mexico, the advantages of which were kindly extended to the civilians. Notwithstanding the riders of these mails were usually accompanied with escorts of soldiers, they were frequently attacked by Indians, often killed and the mails captured, plundered and destroyed.

“The first hotel and restaurant in the town was called the Juniper House, with Mr. Geo. W. Barnard as proprietor, who, on the 4th day of July, 1864, opened out for the season with a grand flourish on a goodly supply of fresh veni

son, red peppers and frijoles. Not only in commemoration of the day of copious patriotism, but as well to celebrate with honor and solemnity the opening day of a popular business, the following was the bill of fare on that day:

"" "BREAKFAST.
" Fried Venison and Chili;
“ 'Bread and Coffee With Milk.'

“ 'DINNER.
" "Roast Venison and Chili;

Chili Baked Beans;
“ "Chili on Tortillas;
"" "Tea and Coffee

" "with Milk.'

"6"SUPPER. “Chili, from 4 o'clock on.' “Being the chief manipulator of the culinary department, the proprietor entrusted the collection of ‘pay for meals' to his assistants, whose faithful attention to business soon closed the hotel doors for repairs.

“The first store was opened by Manuel Yesera, in the south end of town, at the stand so long and happily known as Fort Misery.

“The first well regulated saloon was opened by Tom Hodges, on Cortez Street, who sold drinks and segars, and took ‘Burros' in payment, much after the manner as was done with Davy Crockett's coon skin.

“The first Sunday School was organized on the 7th day of August, 1864, in a log cabin where now stands the White House, by Rev. H. W. Reed, postmaster and pastor. Church service

had, prior to this date, been regularly held every Sabbath at the same place. Here the old, tried, and fossilized veterans, who inclined to feelings of piety, were wont to assemble for encouragement in hearing the good word spoken, and it was truly a charming and pleasant sight to see, here at a place in the far-off wilderness, girls with their bright cheery faces and new gowns, and boys with greased hair and new buckskin foxed trousers, answer to the ring of the triangle hung to a pole at the church door.

Parson Reed quit the settlement some time in 1864, leaving us without church service except as an occasional lay brother might be moved in that behalf, until the field was occupied by Post chaplains and other reverend gentlemen, resulting in the present perfect and happy system of religious teachings.

“The first day-school was opened in the fall of 1864, by Mr. Alex. Malron, but it failed to assume the form and character of a school until taken hold of by Mrs. L. A. Stevens in 1865, under whose skillful management and the industry of her successors, it was developed into an institution of no little celebrity.

Dr. James Garvin was the first Alcalde or Justice of the Peace, and the first court was convened in the month of July, 1864, for the purpose of trying who hadn't the right to a bronco mule. Several days were spent in sly maneuvering and juggling in the manipulating of witnesses and jurymen, with a view of getting a fair trial. When the issues were made up and the trial bad, it resulted, as is not infrequently the case, in the attorneys getting away with the bronco, leaving the clients, court and officers, to

« PrejšnjaNaprej »