The First Safford Administration: Arizona’s Time as a Benign Dictatorship

By Al Bates When Arizona’s third territorial governor, Anson P. K. Safford, arrived at the Territorial Capital of Tucson in July 1869 he was met both by an enthusiastic citizenry and by a legal firestorm that threatened extended chaos in … Continue reading

How Arizona Territory came to have its “Capital on Wheels”

By Al Bates The portability of Arizona Territory’s seat of government—Prescott to Tucson to Prescott to Phoenix—earned it the nickname of “Capital on Wheels.” It began when Governor Goodwin told the first legislature at Prescott in late 1864, that “permanent” … Continue reading

The First Arizona Territorial Legislature Completes a Productive Session

By Al Bates  This article ends the Days Past sesquicentennial series covering Arizona Territory’s earliest two years from a Prescott perspective. The first Arizona Territorial Legislature adjourned on November 10, 1864, leaving behind a solid record of accomplishment headed by … Continue reading

Yavapai Arizona, Mother of Counties

By Elisabeth Ruffner  Among the myriad counties created in the United States over the earliest years of this democratic republic, Yavapai County in the Arizona Territory was the largest ever devised.  Of the original 65,000 square miles designated when Arizona … Continue reading

William Jennings: Prescott’s First Effective Lawman – Part 2

© By Brad Courtney Part one of this article told of the rise of Prescott’s first effective lawman, night-watchman William Jennings.  His downfall would be more rapid than his ascension. All heroes have an Achilles’ heel, and Jennings was no … Continue reading

William Jennings: Prescott’s First Effective Lawman – Part 1

© By Brad Courtney Prescott has its share of legendary lawmen.  Its first lawman of note was most likely William Jennings, a transplanted Englishman who was not a marshal, sheriff, or chief of police, but a night-watchman.  A case can … Continue reading

Childbirth on the Arizona Frontier

By Dr. Mary Melcher During the 19th century, a woman’s death in childbirth occurred about 65 times more often than in the late twentieth century, according to historian Judith Leavitt.  In the rural West and Arizona Territory, giving birth was … Continue reading

The Mysterious Murder of Sammie Dean

By Jan MacKell Collins copyrighted 2014 By 1931, the boom-bust-boom town of Jerome had seen its fair share of shady ladies. These “enterprising” women rode the carnal rollercoaster of the city’s economy as miners came and went. There was plenty … Continue reading

Arizona Territory’s First Legislature Meets in a Rented Hall

This article is one of a series that will appear in this space during this year on historic events relating to the Arizona Territory’s Sesquicentennial and the founding and establishment of Prescott as the Territory’s first capital. By Al Bates … Continue reading

Murder in the Palace Saloon: The Death of Jennie Clark – Part 2

By Ken Edwards The tragic death of Jennie Clark in late August 1884 resulting from a brawl in the Palace Saloon brought an outcry for rapid justice.  The Daily Journal claimed that lynching the accused murderer, Fred Glover, was perhaps … Continue reading