Buckey was charismatic but Brodie was the Rough Riders’ glue

Buckey was charismatic, but Brodie was the Rough Riders’ glue

By Jay Eby

Alexander Oswald Brodie III, like most Prescottonians of his day, and most of us, was not a native of Arizona. But he was "a thorough Westerner" Arizonan.

He was born November 13, 1849, in the family mansion near Edwards, New York to Joseph and Margaret (Brown) making him the heir of a long line of royal Scots.

Alex attended St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York and graduated from West Point in 1870. Commissioned Second Lieutenant First US Cavalry, June 15, 1870, he was assigned at Ft. Apache, Arizona Territory. While there he campaigned with General George Crook and then transferred to Walla Walla, Washington in April 1873 where he fought against the Nez Perce. As was usual for young officers of his time who bounced from post to post he was assigned briefly at Benicia Barracks, California, and then on to duty at Fort Colville, Washington.

Promoted to First Lieutenant of Cavalry on May 25, 1876, he married Kate Reynolds of Walla Walla but lost her in childbirth and their daughter a few months later. He resigned his commission on September 30, 1877 and returned to New York to attend his dying mother.

In August of 1883 he reenlisted at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, and was again assigned to Arizona Territory. He again resigned his commission in February 1884. The story told by Tom Rynning is that he was involved in an altercation with another officer, brought up on charges but resigned his commission, as a true gentleman would, to protect the name of the young lady involved.

He came to Prescott and was chief engineer on the Walnut Grove dam on the Hassayampa River. Although the dam burst on February 22, 1891, with the loss of seventy lives, Brodie had argued for stronger construction and acquired no blame for the incident.

Territorial Governor John N. Irwin appointed him the first commander of the Arizona National Guard. Brodie served in this capacity until May of 1892.

Alex married 28 year old Mary Louise Hanlon on December 15, 1892. Their first son, Alexander Oswald Brodie IV, died in 1896 and their second son, Alexander "Sandy" Oswald Brodie V was born in 1898.

Through the fall of 1897 and spring of 1898 Brodie was involved with Prescott’s mayor William Owen "Buckey" O’Neill in recruiting the Arizona squadron of the Rough Riders. On March 3, 1898 Brodie telegraphed President McKinley and Governor McCord asking that he be allowed to raise a regiment of volunteers, preferably cavalry. April 25, 1898, he was appointed Major of Volunteers and only upon his insistence did McCord appoint Buckey O’Neill as captain of ‘A’ Troop.

Together they recruited most of one thousand men as light cavalry. But they were allowed only 210 select individuals to join Teddy Roosevelt to train in San Antonio for the war in Cuba. If Buckey O’Neill was the charisma that brought the Arizona Rough Riders together then Alex Brodie was the glue that held them together.

He along with Tom Rynning, George Wilcox, Will Davidson, Elmer Hawiey and Will Greenwood, all with prior military experience, helped Colonel Leonard Wood train the Rough Riders at San Antonio.

Major Brodie was at the head of his Arizona troopers in the first battle of the Santiago campaign at Las Guasimas. A Mauser bullet shattered his right wrist and only after a great loss of blood did he walk back to the dressing station. Evacuated from Cuba, he was hospitalized at Fort Wadsworth, New York. On August 11, he rejoined the regiment and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Roosevelt wrote of him that he was "a thorough Westerner without sinking the West Pointer – a soldier by taste as well as training, whose men worshipped him and would follow him anywhere…"

President Roosevelt appointed Brodie Arizona Territorial Governor July 1, 1902. At the ceremony in his office at the new capital an other Prescottonian, retiring Governor Nathan Oaks Murphy said, "Governor Brodie,…I am proud to congratulate the people of Arizona for having as their governor a man whose honesty and integrity will never be questioned."

On February 14, 1905, Brodie retired as governor of Arizona Territory and reentered the regular United States Army with the rank of major. With assignments in Washington D.C. and the Philippines, Brodie was assigned as adjutant general of the Department of the Dakotas in 1907 and in 1911 for the Department of California.

Colonel Brodie retired in 1913 to "Greenfield Hall" in Haddonfield, New Jersey. There he died on May 10, 1918 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The mansion is now the home of the Historical Society of Haddonfield. Upon his death the legislature of State of Arizona passed the following resolution: in part—-

WHEREAS, Alexander O. Brodie, a former Governor of the Territory of Arizona, is now no more,—-

WHEREAS, he had a heart that responded to every advance of sympathy and benevolence; a heart formed of the most ardent attachments; and was a loyal citizen, an affectionate husband, a kind parent, an honored soldier, and a valued friend;

THEREFOR, BE IT RESOLVED —That though the dust of Alexander O. Brodie now sleeps with that of his fathers, he still lives in the hearts of the people of Arizona who, with sincerity, deplore his death.

(Jay Eby is a retired forester and is a member of the Arizona Rough Riders)

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Sharlot Hall Museum Photograph Call Number:(po0122pa). Reuse only by permission.

In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon with his appointed Governor of Arizona, Alexander Brodie. Brodie’s real passion for life was found in the military so he barely served two years as chief of the Territory before resigning in order to accept a position with the War Department in Washington DC.

Arizona territorial justice was not swift sure and often unfair

Arizona territorial justice was not "swift, sure, and often unfair"

By Parker Anderson

For a number of decades scores of western movies, pulp magazine writers, and even some respected historians have expounded the idea of "frontier justice," intimating that law and order in the old Southwest was swift, sure and often unfair. We have been historically fed this so often that nearly everyone accepts it as fact.

I beg to differ. I don’t pretend to speak for other areas of the West, but pioneer Arizonans were a high-toned people who fashioned a set of high-toned laws to live by. Indictments for crimes were written in complicated legal jargon, appeal opportunities, pardons and paroles already existed in the territorial days of Arizona and, standards for court admissible evidence was fairly high. This is not to say there were no abuses, but they were not as common as folklore has made them out to be.

Between 1875 and Arizona statehood in 1912, hundred of murders were committed, yet there were only 49 legal hanging in the Territory during that period. Most murderers usually drew prison terms at Yuma Territorial Prison. In my research, I have encountered newspaper editorials from this period complaining about how easy murderers had it in Arizona. Of those 49 legal hangings, 10 were in Yavapai County. Six of these murders are buried in unmarked graves in Citizens Cemetery on Sheldon Street.

Lynch mob activity and mob rule were very common in much of America in the 19th century, but for some reason, less common in Arizona. "Judge Lynch" was active in the Territory in the 1870′s, but by the 1890s, had almost ceased to exist. Arizonans reached a point where they apparently felt they were above the crude actions of much of America, and they usually chose to let the law take its course.

There has long been a rumor in Arizona folklore that horse stealing was punishable by hanging. I have never seen evidence to support that, and if it ever was, the sentence was never imposed on anyone. On the other hand, train robbing was indeed legally punishable by death in Arizona, but again, the sentence was never imposed. A popular legend contends that outlaw Abe Thompson was hanged specifically for train robbery in the early 1900s, but to date I have located no documentation that he was ever hanged for anything, let alone train robbery. For the most part, only murderers were put to death legally in Arizona, and not many of them at that.

Yuma Territorial Prison is historically remembered as a hellhole, and perhaps it was; but convicts never seemed to stay there very long. Contrary to popular belief, pardons and paroles were fairly easy to obtain from the Territorial Governor in those days. Notorious criminals such as Phin Clanton, Pearl Hart, Abe Thompson and Louis C. Miller were all paroled before their sentences were up, and they were far from alone. The Yuma prison population had a fairly high turnover rate.

Legal technicalities that benefit criminals, believed by many to be a recent phenomenon, also existed in the 19th century. Most notable of these was the so-called Norton Act, passed by the Territorial Legislature in 1897 to redefine what constituted a homicide. It repealed the previous statutes on murder, and in doing so, rendered it impossible to prosecute any murderers who had committed their crimes prior to the passage of the Act, but had not yet been convicted. These killers could only be indicted for manslaughter. Outrage over this gaffe in the law was widespread, but upwards of 60 murderers benefited from the Norton Act, including Richard Cross and William Schultze of Yavapai County.

This is not to say there were no abuses or injustices in old Arizona. There certainly were; there were laws against such things as using obscene language in public-usually punishable by a hefty fine. There were also Federal laws against selling whiskey to Indians based on the observation that alcohol made Indians violent.

A scan of Territorial court records also shows that a disproportionate number of Mexicans were accused of various crimes, too many to be completely believable. Some of them were probably guilty, while others undoubtedly had the misfortune to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since Arizona had a low population of African-Americans, it was Mexicans who took the wrath of racial injustice in the 19th century.

In the Arizona Territory, accused criminals were first given a preliminary examination before a Justice of the Peace, who decided whether there was sufficient evidence to hold the defendant until the Grand Jury convened-not a current practice. If the J.P. decided in the affirmative, the accused would be jailed by the county until the empanelling of a Grand Jury-this took place 4 times a year-which would decide of all criminals arrested during the previous months would be formally indicted or not. If indicted, the accused went to trial. The County Superior Courts were not in session year round; they convened approximately four times a year, with the same judges circuit riding to hold court in different counties at different times.

Arizona Territorial law was a sophisticated system for its era, far different from the image of "frontier justice" that folklore has promoted for generations. A serious study of the statutes of the era and the cases is long overdue; such a study is sorely needed to correct the fallacy of Arizona folklore on this topic.

On Friday April 26 at 4 pm in the Yavapai County Courthouse the Blue Rose Theater will present this year’s Law Day historic trial. The public is invited, but it is recommended that you come early, as there are a limited number of seats.

(Parker Anderson is active with the Blue Rose Theater)

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Sharlot Hall Museum Photograph Call Number:(pb026a6p27). Reuse only by permission.

The old Yavapai County Courthouse Courtroom was the scene of many trials in 19th century Prescott. Many people hope and believe that Arizona territorial law was no more disciplined than a bar room brawl. However, Arizona justice was mostly fair and careful.

Prescott To Tucson And Back By Automobile In 1904 Took 12 Days

By Ken Edwards

(This is the second of a two-part history of early automobiles in Yavapai County)

By April 1904, just a year after the first cars arrived in Yavapai County, many of the wealthier residents had made purchases of these new vehicles.

On Friday, April 22 of that year, four cars set out from Prescott on a journey to Tucson, which they expected to reach in three days. An automobile tournament was to be held there the following week. "Admiral" Hedrick D. (Hed) Aitken, a prominent Prescott businessman, accompanied by his wife, was the commander of the Yavapai Automobile Squadron. Hed had arrived in Prescott in 1886 at the age of 25 and soon went to work for Levi Bashford in his store on Gurley Street. He stayed with the Bashford-Burmister mercantile company until has retirement in 1933, having risen to the rank of first vice president. His younger brother, Jack, claimed to have bought the sixth car ever sold in Phoenix. Jack was also an avid bicyclist and had, in 1893, ridden a bicycle from Prescott to Phoenix over the Old Black Canyon road in 14 hours. This was an impressive average speed of about 7.5 miles per hour. As will be seen, this was a good deal faster than the trip could be made by automobile. His return trip was navigated in 17 hours.

Other members of the Automobile Squadron were Mr. and Mrs. Olaf A. Hesla and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Foster, also of Prescott. Hesla was a watchmaker and jeweler at Cook Jewelry store on Gurley, which he later bought out and renamed Hesla Jewelry. Little is known of Foster except that he was employed at Sam’l Hill Hardware Co. on Montezuma St. The fourth car was that of mayor Walter Miller, owner of Yavapai County’s first automobile, and his passenger Alex Lyons, both of Jerome. The Aitkens’ car was a Cadillac and the other three were Oldsmobiles.

The Squadron planned to reach Wickenburg the first night, but only got as far as Kirkland. A gentleman who arrived in Prescott from Kirkland the next day reported that he had overheard some conversation at the dinner table in which one of the ladies was complaining that they must have had to walk at least five miles. Apparently the cars were a bit overloaded and tended to high-center on the rugged stage road they had taken from Prescott to Kirkland by way of Skull Valley, a distance of twenty-six miles. Whatever repairs were needed were made, and the party was on its way again the next morning, traveling by way of Yarnell and Stanton to Wickenburg.

Despite some further difficulties along the way, the vehicles made better time the ensuing days, and the three Oldsmobiles made it to Tucson in six days, twice as long as expected. The Aitkens’ vehicle, however "got sand in the high speed clutches" between Wickenburg and Hot Springs Junction where, Mr. Miller said, the sand was close to 400 feet deep. The Cadillac then had to travel the rest of the distance to Phoenix in low gear. This couple left their car in Phoenix for repairs and took the train the rest of the way to Tucson.

The squadron was entertained royally in Phoenix before departing that city. When they were about sixteen miles from Tucson, local automobilists came out to escort them the rest of the way into town. By the time they reached the city, there were fourteen automobiles in line, which made a magnificent showing.

Dr. Yount of Prescott was in Tucson when they arrived, attending a Territorial Medical Association meeting. He reported that the automobilists were a dusty, weary looking company of people when they arrived.

In Tucson, the adventurers were (again) royally entertained, and were given tours of the city. After a day’s rest, they headed back to Prescott, making the comparatively uneventful return trip in another six days. The total distance traveled on the round trip was 585 miles. For the twelve travel days, this was and average of less than 50 miles per day.

Upon arriving back in town, the Journal-Miner reported that "They were all as happy and in as good spirits on their return as though there had been nothing to mar the pleasure of the trip. All the unpleasant features of the trip had been "cut out" of their memory and they can only think of the good things which happened to them while away, and they report having had a most delightful time, despite any little mishaps which occurred to their machines, as these are liable to happen, and in fact do happen to the best regulated automobiles." It was suggested by the newspaper that the difficulties they had had along the way might have been attributable to the fact that they left Prescott on a Friday.

Despite the trials and tribulations of the long trip to Tucson, the participants were undaunted. Their adventure only whetted their appetites for more excursions, and they were soon talking of making a trip to the Grand Canyon.

(Ken Edwards is a volunteer tour guide at the Sharlot Hall Museum)

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Sharlot Hall Museum Photograph Call Number:(t117). Reuse only by permission.

Mr. Hed Aitken (a.k.a. "The Admiral") prepares to lead the 1904 Prescott Automobile Squadron. Here they are lined up on Mt. Vernon Street for a photo opportunity prior to the start of their caravan to Tucson. Automobiles first came to Prescott in 1899 as a circus attraction.

The Horseless Carriage comes to Yavapai County

By Ken Edwards

(This is the first of a two-part history of early automobiles in Yavapai County)

The Main Circus came to Prescott in November of 1899, arriving by train. Among the attractions was a new-fangled contraption from the east called an automobile. This particular vehicle was powered by an electric storage battery and, the Weekly Journal-Miner reported, "runs perfectly noiseless."

William R. Fitzgerald, who would later become Prescott’s police chief, was a young boy in those days. Years later, he recalled the arrival of a one cylinder automobile that accompanied the circus about that time. He said the school bell rang in vain that day, because every child in town followed the horseless carriage around (and gawked at the elephants). The vehicle was called an Olds horseless carriage. It had high wheels and was unable to back from the curb with its small engine. Several men had to push it along Whiskey Row to get it started.

It was not until more than three years later that the first automobile was purchased by a Yavapai County resident. This vehicle, too, came by train and was delivered at Jerome Junction (now Chino Valley). The purchaser was Walter C. Miller, mayor of Jerome. Miller was manager of the T. F. Miller Company, the largest mercantile store in Jerome. He was also the grandson of William A. Clark, the multi-millionaire owner of the United Verde mine.

He took delivery of his automobile, another Olds, in late February of 1903. With Dr. Lee. A. Hawkins, Jerome’s first dentist, Miller drove the new vehicle to Prescott, where it created quite a sensation. The Arizona Journal-Miner of February 27, 1903, described the auto as "a little beauty, just large enough for two, with pneumatic tires which make it glide along as smooth as a midsummer dream, with just now and then a mosquito to break the monotony. All you have to do is fill the gas tank, give the crank a few turns, there are a few quick short puffs and you are off."

Miller and Hawkins had one or two slight "accidents" on the way from Prescott to Jerome, but the trip was otherwise uneventful. The first accident occurred in Prescott as they started for home. Hawkins suggested they start out "cowboy style", whereupon the mayor gave it full power. Apparently the five horsepower machine performed an acceptable imitation of a bucking bronco before being brought under control. No details are known about the second accident, except that it occurred near the Nevins ranch and caused an overnight delay.

A few weeks later, the Jerome Mining News reported that the town had its second automobile (the owner was not named), and quipped that for practical use in the area the cars "oughtobemules."

In late April 1903, an automobile party arrived in Prescott. The party consisted of F. B. Close and wife and J. B. Seager, of Tucson, and Walter Miller of Jerome. The two cars from Tucson had a "terrible experience" navigating the rugged old Black Canyon stage road. One of the vehicles became disabled and had to be hauled into Mayer on a freight wagon, no doubt drawn by mules. Replacement parts were ordered by telegraph, and it was some time before it became operational again. The autos were of the Oldsmobile make, which was considered to be the best on the market for rough and trying service. It was reported that the autos attracted a great deal of attention in "this little mountain city (Prescott) where automobiles are as scarce as honest politicians." (Haven’t we heard a few variations on that line?)

Mr. Close was apparently an automobile dealer in Tucson, as he had landed orders from two Prescott businessmen for vehicles before he left town. The purchasers were O. A. Hesla and Frank Foster.

The editor of the Journal-Miner reported that Mr. Close had been good enough to give him a ride in his auto. "The trip extended beyond Whipple and you "auto" have seen the auto skim along over the smooth road. The machine is capable of making thirty five miles per hour and as the road north of town is nice and smooth, Mr. Close let the thing out, just to give the scribe a sensation of high life for a few, brief moments."

One Prescott newspaper reported that Mayor Miller of Jerome had made a present of an automobile to Mayor Burke of Prescott. The Jerome newspaper made the necessary correction: the word "ride" had been omitted in the item.

On May 1, 1903, Dr. Hawkins took delivery of his own new automobile, a Franklin, in Jerome. A few days later, he was said to be enjoying himself by studying the workings of the vehicle. Apparently not all went well at first. It was three weeks later that the newspaper reported that Dr. Hawkins and his auto were on friendly terms again.

It was not long before speed records were being established on the trip from Prescott to Jerome. On June 1, 1903, Walter Miller and E.F. Tarr made the trip in five and a half hours, at an average speed of 11 miles per hour. The route usually followed in those days was by way of the community of Cherry Creek and the Verde Valley; hence the roughly (term used advisedly) sixty miles traveled.

In the 1903-1904 edition of the Prescott City Directory, Sam’l Hill hardware was listed under "Automobile Dealers" as agent for Olds and Thomas cars. No other dealer or agent was listed, nor has any record of an earlier dealership been found. It was apparently several years before a dealership was anything more than a place where orders were taken for vehicles. On January 1, 1910, Sam’l Hill Hardware suggested that folks read the Ford ad in the Saturday Evening Post and then stop in to see the Ford cars. At the same time, Prescott Garage, agents, advertised the Locomobile, Arizona Special, with 14-inch clearance and 60 actual horsepower. "No hill too steep – No sand too deep."

In May of 1903, Hill Hardware sold a ten horse-power automobile to one Ira S. Pulliam who intended to put it into passenger or hack service in Prescott. It had a four-passenger capacity besides the "cheffeur" [sic]. Pulliam sold his blacksmith shop to be able to devote his full attention to the bus line as soon as the car arrived. His devotion apparently was not enough. By July 2, Pulliam had sold his automobile to Rudolph Baehr, a house painter and paper hanger, after the machine temporarily went out of commission due to an accident. Pulliam apparently decided not to mess around any more with automobiles. Six months later he moved to Douglas to once again open a horse shoeing and blacksmith shop.

Next week: A 1904 auto caravan from Prescott to Tucson.

(Ken Edwards is a tour guide at the Sharlot Hall Museum)

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Sharlot Hall Museum Photograph Call Number:(pb164f44aII18). Reuse only by permission.

Jerome dentist Dr. Lee Hawkins was one of Yavapai County’s early foremost auto enthusiast. In 1903 he rode in the very first automobile in the county owned by his friend and Jerome resident, Walter Miller. Here he is shown in his 1907 Ford with his son Myron probably touring .