Desertion—A Leading Cause of Divorce in Early Arizona

By Mary Melcher Many folks journeyed to Arizona during the territorial period, some without their legal spouses.  Available records reveal that desertion was a leading cause of divorce in the 19th century. In the book Women in Waiting in the … Continue reading

The Challenge of Developing the Prescott Free Academy

By Ray Carlson The Prescott Free Academy was built in 1876 to make the town “the educational . . . centre of the Territory.”  The building was not only “the handsomest structure in the Territory” but also the “strongest brick … Continue reading

Unending Growth for the Prescott Schools, 1871 to 1877

By Ray Carlson The Prescott School District was created in 1871 with the Trustees responsible for providing the school house and teacher.  Their work never let up.  Over the next six years, they built a new school twice, made building … Continue reading

The First Train to Prescott

By Andrew P. Odell In 1882 the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad finally met a long-sought goal when it built track across northern Arizona. But to the dismay of Prescott residents it went through Ash Fork, somewhat to the north of … Continue reading

How Tuscon Missed Becoming Arizona Territory’s First Territorial Capital

By Al Bates During the lengthy debates in the US Congress about splitting a new territory to be named Arizona from New Mexico Territory, the popular assumption was that the new territory’s capital would be located at Tucson—and that stipulation … Continue reading

Honky-Tonks, Brothels and Mining Camps: Entertainment in Old Arizona

By Dr. Jay Cravath The venues for culture during the immigrant influx into Arizona Territory concentrated around mining towns, where striking it rich meant gaining disposable income.  Nouveau riche miners wanted to show their taste for the good life.  Gambling … Continue reading

Oil Boom in Chino Valley

By Erik Berg Many people know about the rich gold discoveries that brought waves of early prospectors to Yavapai County, but few realize that the area was also the scene of a brief but intensive oil boom during the First … Continue reading

Remembering Baseball in Territorial Arizona

By John Darrin Tenney Baseball, the national pastime, has a long history dating back to the 1840s. The game evolved from older bat-and-ball games from England such as cricket and Colonial America era games like one-o-cat, two-o-cat. When most of … Continue reading

Marketing Indian Art

By Dr. Sandra Lynch and Dave Lewis “For centuries, art and handcrafts have played an important role in the religious and social lives of Indigenous peoples. . .  Throughout our Native American history it has been no different.  The images … Continue reading

Annie Neal: Black Cherokee Entrepreneur

By Dr. Barbara Marriott The music floated in on a soft summer breeze.  The two schoolteachers rocking on the porch of their Oracle home caught the refrain and smiled at each other.  “That Annie sure knows how to throw a … Continue reading