Tucson: The Old Pueblo
Got a Modern Makeover

The economy improved as Tucson entered the Twentieth Century, and despite the financial Panic of 1907, city leaders embarked upon a cleanup campaign that involved a new wave of building, further marginalizing minorities. Movement of the business district east on Congress led to removal in 1902 of The Wedge on west Congress, a narrow triangle of buildings formed as Maiden Lane angled toward Congress. Maiden Lane was the red-light district. Removal of the narrow street forced these unofficial small entrepreneurs to move to Gay Alley between Meyer and Convent, three blocks south of Congress. City ordinances in 1906 banned women and children from “wine rooms” in saloons and in 1907 forbid loitering of female singers in bars as a means of discouraging prostitution. In 1905, Tucson used regulation to shut down most gambling in town. A 1908 City ordinance closed all taverns at midnight, further discouraging gambling, which had already gone underground, where it survived for another forty years or more. The Territorial Legislature outlawed gambling in 1908 and then adopted prohibition of all alcohol in 1914, five years before the rest of the country.

Tucson had always been a multicultural community, with a majority of Spanish speakers until late in the 19th century. And while Hispanics at least enjoyed more opportunity and self-determination in Tucson than in just about any other Arizona town, darker-skin minorities were never allowed a level playing field when it came to getting an education, making a living or perpetuating traditional culture. Chinese first came to the Old Pueblo in the 1860s, joined by Asian railroad construction workers in the late 1870s. They managed to irrigate truck gardens on the west side of the Santa Cruz River, despite attempts to shut of their water supply. Fresh vegetables brought customers to their grocery stores in Hispanic neighborhoods. African-Americans came to Arizona in the 1880s as cowboys or with the military and many settled in Tucson neighborhoods on both the north and south sides.

Anglo community leaders would achieve some segregation of Hispanic students by building schools in Hispanic neighborhoods and through English language proficiency rules adopted midway through the twentieth century. Legislation in 1909 allowed communities to remove African-American pupils from classrooms. A state law passed in 1912 made African-American segregation mandatory. Tucson established a “colored school” in 1913, completing a building named Dunbar School in 1918. A segregated Junior High was added in 1948, but segregation ended in 1951 and the school was renamed John A. Spring Junior High School. In contrast, Jewish residents owned successful businesses and gained leadership positions in the community, though their achievement required assimilation. The first Jewish Mayor of Tucson, Charles Strauss (1840-1892), served 1883-1884. It was 1910 before the first synagogue in the southwest opened in Tucson, but it was called The Jewish Church and held services on Sunday.

Harry Herz of Phoenix published this view of Stone Ave looking south toward the intersection with Pennington about 1930. Tucson’s first two skyscrapers are prominent on Stone, both built in 1929 during a booming economy that would soon crash. At left (northeast corner of Stone & Pennington) is the façade of the 11-story Pioneer Hotel, while down the street at the intersection with Congress is 10-story Consolidated National Bank. The new bank replaced a building dating to 1900 shown in the view of Congress in “Tucson-Part One” posted on this blog. The Pioneer Hotel suffered a disastrous fire in 1970, described in the October 30, 2009 post on this blog called “Arizona Apocalypto.” On the southeast corner of Stone & Pennington is the Roy Place designed Montgomery Ward (later Walgreens) building, constructed in 1928 and recently restored to its former appearance as shown here. Steinfeld’s department store is on the southwest corner, with Steinfeld’s grocery on the northwest corner. Tucson Gas, Electric Light & Power Company (now TEP) occupied the Henry O. Jaastad designed building at right until 1967. Mule-drawn streetcars, in operation since 1897, were replaced by electric models in 1906. Buses replaced streetcars in 1930, then, antique streetcars returned to Fourth Ave. in 1993.

Lacking a large agricultural or industrial base, Tucson made the most of its government offices, University and scientific institutions. The University of Arizona, created in 1885, grew slowly. Classes didn’t begin until October 1891, and then for only 23 students. But its School of Mines and School of Agriculture would contribute greatly over the years. A number of important scientific institutions made their homes around Tucson. The Carnegie Institution’s Desert Botanical Laboratory located behind Sentinel Peak on Tumamoc Hill in 1903. The same year, the US Forest Service opened the Santa Rita Experimental Range in partnership with the U. of A. on four sections of land in the desert southeast of town. The US Coast and Geodetic Survey established a Magnetic Observatory (at Udall Park) in 1909. Steward Observatory for astronomers was dedicated at U. of A. 23 April 1923 through the efforts of Dr. A. E. Douglass (1867-1962), who also established a groundbreaking tree-ring laboratory in 1936. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum opened in 1952 in the saguaro forest west of Tucson.

Here again is the same block on West Congress Street depicted in 1905 and 1906 in Part One of the Tucson history on this blog, only this time looking east. The artificially colored photo is cropped from a postcard published in 1942 by Curt Teich company. The intersection in the foreground is with Church Street. Martin Drug (at right) shares the building with the White House Dept. Store. Fox Theatre was added to the block in 1929-1930, closed in 1974, but restored 2000-2005. The old Ivancovich building farther east on Congress still has its onion dome, but the grocery has closed. Consolidated National Bank is the tall building on the SE corner of Stone. Way down the street, to the east in the sunrise glow (or artist’s imagination), is the neon sign on top of Hotel Congress (1919).

Tucson’s desert climate cured many tuberculosis patients who could choose from a number of local sanitariums, including St. Mary’s, Whitwell Hospital (1906, now Castle Apts.) and Desert Sanitarium (1907,now Tucson Medical Center). The SP railroad offered employees a tuberculosis hospital in Tucson from 1931-1974. By 1935 there were at least twenty hospitals, clinics and sanitariums in Tucson. Business leaders also promoted the climate and cowboy culture to vacationers. The Tucson Sunshine Climate Club was established in 1922 to promote tourism. The Arizona Polo Association sponsored its first annual Fiesta de los Vaqueros parade and rodeo February 21, 1925. During the next decade the area around Tucson could offer more guest ranches than anywhere else in the state.

Tucson was a welcome stop for many transcontinental travelers. A railroad line from Tucson to Nogales was added in 1909 and the El Paso & Southwestern Railway provided competition for the Southern Pacific “Sunset Route” by connecting Tucson with Texas in 1912. A cross country highway routed through Tucson went by a number of names: The Old Spanish Trail, Bankhead Highway, Dixie Overland Highway and Lee Highway, until it was finally designated US Highway 80 in 1926. The first airplane arrived in Tucson by rail 17 February 1910, to be assembled and thrill crowds at the Elysian Grove Amusement Park. City government opened the first municipal airport in the nation 20 November 1919. A larger facility was soon needed and Davis-Monthan Field was dedicated November 1, 1925, and then dedicated again 23 September 1927 when Charles Lindberg flew in for the day. Standard Airlines began scheduled service in 1928 and its successor, American Airlines, would follow the “The Sunshine Airway” in 1930. Early on, Davis-Monthan became a combination civil and military airport and by 1941 civil aviation had to go looking for a new location. In 1940, Gilpin Air Lines built an airport on the northwest side, which lasted until 1978 as Freeway Airport. With excellent flying weather in winter, Tucson became an important World War Two aviation training area when Ryan Field was added in 1942 along with a number of auxiliary fields. The nonprofit Tucson Airport Authority, created in 1948, opened a new commercial facility where it remains today.

Emilio Carillo (1841-1908) operated the large Rancho Buena Vista from 1868-1908 near Tanque Verde, a “green pool” fed by an artesian spring near the base of the Rincon Mountains. Carillo later renamed the ranch La Cebadilla after the wild barley along Tanque Verde Creek. Jim Converse acquired the property, changing the name to Tanque Verde Ranch, and continued cattle operations while also providing a dude ranch experience for guests from 1928 until 1955. In 1957 Brownie Cote (1900-1991) from Minnesota bought the ranch at auction and expanded the recreational opportunities as shown on this postcard from around 1959. Cote had already opened Desert Willow Ranch in 1944 but he let it go in 1968. The 23 acres became a substance abuse facility 1983-1995 and then burned in 2005. Tanque Verde Ranch is still operated as a resort by the Cote family.

US Highway 80 was advertised as “The Broadway of America,” where the motorist could cruise “All-year-high-gear” without the snow, steep grades and tight curves found on Route 66. Long distance automobile vacations grew steadily in popularity beginning in the 1920s when tourists pitched a tent in an Auto Camp. Auto Courts and Motor Hotels became a cheaper alternative to downtown multi-story hotels in the 1930s and they seemed to be everywhere in Arizona. Travel trailers became popular at the same time and were essential during the post-World War Two housing shortage. B & B Trailer Court, pictured here about 1947, was located at the south entrance to Tucson, near Ajo Way. The view is toward the northeast, with the El Conquistador Hotel (1928) on Broadway, visible about three miles away in the distance. Western Ways of Tucson issued the postcard.

Bokes Downtown, shown here about 1948, was located a few blocks northeast of the railroad depot. Bokes larger Northside Drive-In served their famous root beer and Bokes Twinburger at 2408 N. Stone, just north of Grant Road. The billboard is crowing about the “marvelous motorless” Servel gas refrigerator, very handy on remote ranches beyond electric lines. Bokes was one of a number of locally owned fast food joints that flourished before the national franchises took over in the 1960s and 70s.

Speedway Boulevard on the north side of town about 1954 illustrates the kind of strip development that led Jack Kerouac in 1957 to describe Tucson as “very Californian.” The strait and wide thoroughfare, probably named after the East River Speedway in Manhattan, hosted the city’s first auto race in 1911. Motorists used to enter Tucson from the north on the Casa Grande Highway (State 84) or Oracle Road (US 80/89), both of which converged at a traffic circle at Blacklidge Drive. Oracle became lined with more than a hundred motels by the 1950s. At Drachman Street, and another traffic circle, thru traffic went east four blocks to Stone, which sent cars and trucks through the downtown. Oracle Road between the two traffic circles had become Arizona’s first divided highway in 1937. By the time this color slide was made, Speedway, four blocks south of Drachman, had become an alternate business district, lined with strip malls, gasoline stations (Blakely’s discount gas at left) and cafes. But plans for a freeway to bypass all the business districts were underway by 1948. Clearing land for freeway construction to follow the Santa Cruz River began as early as 1951 and four lanes of controlled access highway were in use by 1957. As a marketing move, in 1962 Casa Grande Highway and the divided portion of Oracle were renamed Miracle Mile, probably after the street in west Los Angeles. But rezoning to allow commercial development along the freeway went ahead despite the opposition of business owners on Miracle Mile and Speedway and in the old downtown.

Dobson Motel, built for Elmer and Angeline Dobson in 1942 at 2425 North Oracle Road, was sold in 1947 and renamed the DeAnza in 1951. Sold again in 1957, it became Tucson Holiday Motel. This view of the motel and pool appears to date to 1957 or 1958. Eldridge and Claire Rigg bought an interest in the Holiday in 1961, but business would soon decline due to the freeway bypass. By 1974 the motel had been sold three more times, becoming the No-Tel in 1975. Motel chains and hotel resorts have pretty much replaced mom and pop motor courts. And Miracle Mile is now named North Oracle Road once again.

The US economy in the fifties was great! Tucson experienced a building boom from 1955 to 1958, and then a short recession followed by another building boom 1962-1969. Catalina High School (1955-1956) and Rincon High (1957) were built, along with a number of modern style storefronts and high-rise buildings along Stone Ave. In 1956 and 1957 Jacome’s and J. C. Penney got new stores adjoining each other, in the shadow of new buildings for Pima Savings, Southern Arizona Bank & Trust and Arizona Land Title. Steinfeld’s façade was remodeled in 1957 while Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph completed a million dollar addition in 1958.

Tucson International Airport opened at its present location in 1948. This view from the 1960s, looks southeast with Los Reales Road heading across the desert to meet Highway 80. Tucson Boulevard, at left, is the airport entrance. The terminal is at right with the Tucson Airport Authority RONtel, “remain over night” motel, to the left of the control tower. The 119-foot control tower opened in October 1958 and the new terminal building in 1963. American Airlines was the original carrier. Arizona Airways was flying to Tucson by 1947. Frontier Airlines added service from Tucson in 1950 and TWA came in 1956, Continental in 1961. When Aeronaves de Mexico inaugurated service in 1961, the airport became Tucson International.

El Con Shopping Center opened in 1960, next to the El Conquistador Hotel (at left), which was demolished in 1967. The profit motive, land values, zoning and changes in employment have driven American cities to evolve. Tucson subdivisions sprawled east over the plain and stores followed. Levy’s department store, formerly on Stone just north of Congress, was the original anchor at El Con. Steinfeld’s, which used to be next to Levy’s on Stone, moved to El Con in 1967. J. C. Penney left the downtown for El Con in 1971. Following the nationwide trend, it became an enclosed mall shortly after. But shopping environments changed again as “big box” discount chains replaced anchor department stores in malls and the older enclosed part of El Con is now largely vacant. The divided street at lower right is East Broadway.

This is the site of the Spanish presidio almost two hundred years later. In 1929, a new court house with an orange tile roof and greenish dome replaced the 1883 Victorian structure built where the southeast corner of the presidio wall once kept out Apache raiders. La Plaza de las Armas has become a small park on the west side of the building. West of the park is City Hall (1917). Across the street from the courthouse to the north, where the Territorial government met in 1874 in an adobe called Governor’s Corner, an 11-story office tower for Phoenix Title & Trust rose in 1962 (now the Transamerica Building). The intersection at bottom is Church and Alameda, with Pennington running across the postcard from middle left to the curve at upper right and Congress in upper left under the title. The southeast corner of the presidio wall was located at the corner of the courthouse addition (1955) on Pennington Street. The block with the parking garage (lower left) was cleared to build Joel D. Valdez Main Library (1990). Petley Studios of Phoenix issued this postcard about 1964.

Naurice Koonce helped Ray Manley take this aerial photo in 1958, looking toward the Santa Catalina Mountains with the red tile roofs of the University of Arizona at upper right. Green grass of Tucson High School’s campus is below the university. The first new high-rise building since the twin towers of 1929 is at left, above the courthouse. The Arizona Land Title Building (now County/City Public Works Center), completed at nine floors in 1957, was the tallest of several mid-century modern structures built downtown beginning in the economic boom year of 1955. The bottom third of the photo is filled with the Barrio Historico (aka Barrio Libre) neighborhood, from left to right, the intersection of Main and Broadway (above lower left corner), then Meyer Street, a half circle of grass that is left of La Placita, Greyhound depot where San Agustín Church used to be, and Marist College (1915) at right.

Urban renewal began sweeping the nation in the 1960s, promising a better life through wholesale destruction of historic downtowns. Minimalist mid-century modern cityscapes designed to appeal to upwardly mobile corporate professionals would “abate” slums and revitalize urban economies. Stores downtown were struggling to compete with new shopping centers and malls in outlying subdivisions. Hotels couldn’t outdraw chain motels along the freeway. And nowhere in Arizona did this urban design movement have such impact as it did in Tucson. March 1, 1966, local voters approved the first major urban renewal scheme in Arizona, Pueblo Center Redevelopment Project. Bulldozers attacked the old barrio in 1967, demolishing 319 homes, from which more than a thousand lower-income, mostly Hispanic residents had been forcibly evicted. Destruction of historic properties, which had really begun in the 1950s in the commercial district, would continue Protests against abatement of Barrio Libre were ineffective until a freeway extension through the area proposed in 1971 was stopped.

Fred Wehrman took this photo of downtown looking northeast late in 1970 or early 1971. Compare it with the 1958 view above. The north half of the barrio has been cleared, along with west Congress Street. Tucson Community Center (foreground) will open soon. The intersection of Simpson and Main is in lower right corner. Main Street has morphed into Granada Avenue running north in curves to meet Alameda at far left edge of photo. Following Alameda east toward the railroad (which runs across top), the high-rise buildings are Tucson City Hall (1966) on south side of street, followed on the north side of the street by Phoenix Title (1962), Arizona Land Title (1957) and Mountain States Telephone (now Alameda Plaza City Courts building). In front of Alameda Plaza, on Stone, (left to right) are the 1929 Pioneer Hotel, Tucson Federal Savings Tower (1965), the tallest building in Tucson at the time, and 1929 Valley Bank (Congress & Stone). The Community Center buildings completed by 1971 are (left to right) the Music Hall, Leo Rich Theater and Tucson Convention Center Arena. Left of Community Center is the Southern Pacific railroad hospital (1930). On the north side of Congress, where it begins joining Broadway, are the first two buildings of the county government complex, the Health and Welfare Building (1968) at left and Administration Building at right. The Superior Court building would be added in 1974. In the upper right corner is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Apartments (1969, rebuilt 2008 as One North Fifth), SP depot (1907), Hotel Congress (1919) and Rialto Theatre (1919).

Many Tucson residents liked the modern face of downtown created by urban renewal. Spectacular government buildings replaced worn-out, unsightly commercial storefronts and adobe cubicles devoid of character. Shining glass, tile and metal towers shouted out that Tucson is growing up and the sky is the limit. But streets became eerily calm and sidewalks almost empty as crowds went shopping and playing to the north and east. While more urban renewal remains on its wish list, in recent years, Tucson has also tried to interest tourists in its heritage by restoring and reconfiguring historic structures. “There is a sense of pride that only a knowledge of the past can bestow. This knowledge, of place and people, is an important part of both our individual and community identity. An appreciation of the contributions of those who came before gives us a sense of belonging and ownership.” (“Mexican Tucson: Remembering Barrio Libre” by Lydia Otero, pp. 4-5, The Arizona Report, Univ. of Ariz., Mexican American Studies & Research Center, Spring 2000)

Demion Clinco, et al., Historic Miracle Mile. . ., (2009)
Roy P. Drachman, Just Memories, (1979)
Juan Gomez-Novy & Stefanes Polyzoides, “A tale of two cities: the failed urban renewal of downtown Tucson in the twentieth century,” Journal of the Southwest, Spring-Summer 2003
Michelle B. Graye, Greetings from Tucson. A Postcard History of the Old Pueblo., (2004)
Michael F. Logan, Desert Cities: the environmental history of Phoenix and Tucson, (2006)
James H. McClintock, Arizona. . . Vol. 2, (1916)
Lydia R. Otero, La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwestern City, (2010)
C. L. Sonnichsen, Tucson, The Life and Times of an American City, (1982)
Tucson Chamber of Commerce, Rodeo, souvenir program 1961
Tucson Sunshine Climate Club, Tucson, [1958]

Posted in Tucson | 2 Comments

Tucson: Remote Outpost
of Western Civilization

To police Piman speakers after their rebellion and protect their villages in the northern Santa Cruz valley from Apache raids, in 1775 the Spanish government established a presidio near the village of Tucson, a few miles north of the village of Bac, and moved its garrison there from Tubac. Construction began on adobe walls 750 feet square enclosing 10 acres of military buildings and civilian homes, essentially a walled town on the east side of the river. An ancient indigenous village inhabited for perhaps 5,000 years was located on the west side of the Santa Cruz River at the foot of a hill. Padre Kino had visited it, probably by 1692, and named the place San Cosme del Tucson. His associate, Padre Agustín de Campos named another village on the east side of the river after himself, San Agustín del Oiaur, substituting the Piman word for fields, oidac. For more than 2,000 years the inhabitants along the Santa Cruz had diverted the clear, perennial stream to irrigate fields. The Spanish would name their walled community after the Piman name of the village across the river, commonly spelled “Tucson” in Spanish and meaning something like “at the base of a dark hill.” St. Augustine would be patron. Still later, Americans would call the hill Sentinel Peak, because it had been used as a lookout for approaching Apaches.

The presidio walls were finished by 1782 and a large adobe “convento” was completed around 1810 next to a mission chapel in the middle of productive fields on the west side of the river. The mission was called San Cosme del Tucson, the mission chapel Nuestro Senor de Esquipulo and the presidio was named San Agustín del Tucson. Most of the Europeans lived within the walls where there was another chapel dedicated to St. Augustine. The Santa Cruz provided harvests while the garrison provided protection. After fighting off fierce Apache attacks a period of peacefulness ensued from 1787 until the late 1820s. The population immediately around Tucson was about 1,000 during Spanish governance, more than half being Pima, Papago, Sobaipuris and Apache mansos (peaceful Apaches). With peace, the community could finally spread outside the presidio walls. Some called it San Agustín and the mission Tucson, but the latter name soon came to designate the whole community.

Tucson was the northern-most outpost of European civilization and the only permanent town between El Paso and San Diego. When Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, the population of the remote pueblo had shrunk to around 400. But the new government could afford little funding for its isolated outpost. As a result, Tucson failed to grow, while the American union was expanding westward at a rapid rate. Texas declared itself independent of Mexico in 1836 and war broke out between Mexico and the US in 1846. That year the Mormon Battalion, US Army volunteers, marched into Tucson and raised the stars and stripes. US Dragoons stopped by in 1848, the year a peace treaty was signed. Following the war, the US gained the northern Mexican territories down to the Gila River, while Tucson remained in Mexico. But in 1853, the US paid $10 million for the Gadsden Purchase, adding Tucson and the surrounding silver mining region to the Territory of New Mexico.

When John Ross Browne (1821-1875) visited Tucson in 1864, he ridiculed the “city of mud-boxes, dingy and dilapidated, cracked and baked into a composite of dust and filth; littered about with broken corrals, sheds, bake-ovens, carcasses of dead animals, and broken pottery; barren of verdure, parched, naked, and grimly desolate in the glare of a southern sun.” (A Tour Through Arizona, p.131) Browne was an artist and travel writer. His sketches were copied by wood engravers to illustrate articles in Harper’s Monthly and then a book issued in 1869. His bird’s-eye-view of the city of mud, shown here, includes the verdant fields on the west side of the river. The presidio walls are already mostly gone and the US flag dominates Plaza de las Armas. The arch to the right of the plaza may represent the beginnings of San Agustín Church. Construction of the church had begun just before Browne’s visit.

Following Congressional ratification of the Gadsden Treaty, US troops took possession of Tucson in 1856. A few American entrepreneurs were already resident there, but that year Solomon Warner (1811-1899) opened the first store supplied from California instead of Mexico. Mail coaches connected Tucson with California and the county seat in Mesilla, New Mexico in 1857. But mining and commerce were still hindered by Apache raids and the great distances to supply points. The 400 odd residents of Tucson, virtually the only town in the western half of New Mexico Territory, were unhappy with their representation at the territorial capital so far away in Santa Fe.

A campaign to split the Territory began in earnest but encountered roadblocks in Washington. When southern states seceded from the union, precipitating the Civil War, federal troops abandoned western New Mexico leaving it for the Apaches. Powers in Tucson had already declared in April 1860 the southern half of New Mexico Territory the provisional Territory of Arizona. August 1, 1861, Confederate troops took possession of the Territory of Arizona and President Jefferson Davis issued a proclamation 14 February 1862 admitting Arizona into the Confederacy. But Confederate troops had to leave Tucson as federal troops returned in the spring. Congress finally acted 24 February 1863 to create the Territory of Arizona, but the line dividing New Mexico would run north and south, with the new territorial capital at Prescott, firmly in control of northerners. Tucson would be stigmatized as a hotbed of southern sympathizers. When Tucson gained the capital of the territory in 1867, it would lose it again in ten years and Phoenix would become a compromise location. Tucson was given the Territorial land grant university instead of the capital, much to its chagrin.

When California photographer Carleton Watkins lugged a bulky view camera up Sentinel Peak in 1880 Tucson had grown since J. Ross Browne’s visit, but still presented a modest appearance from a distance. The Santa Cruz River is running at the lowest point, across the middle of the photo, with the tree lined acequia (irrigation ditch) closer to town. The flow downstream is right to left, though the camera tilt suggests otherwise. The Convento ruin is in the middle of the fields in the foreground, just off Mission Road. A mission chapel and convent had been constructed 1800-1810. The mission was abandoned in the 1840s. The chapel collapsed sometime after 1862 but the ruins of the two-story convent survived into the twentieth century. What little remained of the eroded adobe walls were ground up to make bricks and then the foundations were bulldozed in the 1950s to become a landfill. A recent effort to develop the site failed to pinpoint the exact location of the convent, but plans still call for a reconstruction.

This photo published in 1903 shows the Santa Cruz River in flood. It used to run year-round before most of the flow was diverted long ago and the water table sank rather recently. But periodically it would become a raging torrent. Destructive floods came in 1891, 1905, 1915, 1945, 1965, 1976, 1983 and every year 1990-1994. Fortunately, the city core was built on high enough ground to avoid major inundation. However, despite the optimistic 1903 caption, there was never enough water at Tucson for agriculture on a scale comparable with the Salt River Valley. Since 1940, groundwater withdrawal has exceeded recharge. The Central Arizona Project canal brought Colorado River water to Tucson in 1992 but hasn’t been able to keep up with urban demand. (Photo from Sunset magazine, April 1903)

After the war, J. Ross Browne not only criticized Tucson urban design, but also its social structure. He saw lawlessness as an impediment to the progress of capital. In truth, the smuggling of goods into and out of Sonora without paying customs duties provided many jobs in Arizona. And the established of a Barrio Libre neighborhood as a sort of free-trade zone beyond strict law enforcement stimulated local commerce. Tucson experienced a boom beginning in 1866 as several new Anglo mercantile businesses opened. Anglo transplants quickly gained control of the business community, which had been dominated by small Hispanic businesses.

Community leaders began building American social structures. The first public school for boys opened in January 1868, with college-educated saloon owner Augustus Brichta (1821-1910) as teacher. It closed after six months due to lack of funding then reopened 4 March 1872 with Swiss immigrant John Spring (1845-1924) as teacher. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet trekked across the desert from San Diego in 1870 and opened Sisters Convent and Academy for Females. Josephine Brawley Hughes (1839-1926) opened a public school for girls February 8, 1873.

Tucson was always a city of three plazas. The cramped confines of the presidio nevertheless allowed a Plaza Militar and Plaza del las Armas for military drills, while San Agustín chapel faced La Plaza de Iglesia. After the village expanded and the walls began coming down, La Plaza Militar and La Plaza de las Armas were retained, while San Augustín Church faced La Plaza de la Mesilla. Anglos built the first protestant church and then a courthouse in La Plaza de las Armas and it soon became Court Square (now Presidio Park). La Plaza Militar became filled with homes but the US Army created another Military Plaza on the east side of town. La Plaza de la Mesilla, also known as Placita de San Augustine, survived as Church Plaza until the church was torn down in 1936 and the space became a parking lot, except for a small La Placita patch of grass that has survived.

This photo of Congress Street in 1887 by Campbell Studio, looking west toward the tree-lined acequia, shows a narrow but busy business artery with a group of O’odham women carrying their distinctive burden baskets. Anglo businessmen chose Congress and Stone as principle commercial streets and adopted a policy of widening Congress that encouraged demolition of adobes and replacement with brick buildings set further back. W. E. Rowland, watchmaker and jeweler is at lower left corner of the photo, followed westward by a barbershop, the US Bakery, and Palace Cigar Store advertised above the Congress Hall Saloon. The Saloon gave its name to the street, which had been called in Spanish Calle de la India Alegria (Happy Indian Street). This is the short block between Meyer and Church Plaza, with the intersection of Congress and Meyer in the middle of the scene. Pima County Sheriff Eugene Shaw resigned in 1887 due to ill health and died the same year. His brother was appointed to the office and then elected sheriff in 1888. Douglas Snyder, despite his banner across Congress, was apparently an unsuccessful candidate. (Arizona Historical Society photo 2911)

Meyer Street is pictured about 1905, lined by the type of Sonoran architecture that Anglos found unappealing. There are no setbacks between building facades and sidewalks and between sidewalks and narrow streets. Canales drain each flat dirt roof onto the sidewalk. There are cool, inner-court living spaces instead of showy front yards. Porches are out of sight, surrounding the inner court instead of facing the street. Design is defensive, instead of demonstrative. Anglos went to work to change the appearance of Tucson, at first adopting Victorian architectural styles popular in eastern states. Mission revival and California bungalow styles then became fashionable for a time. Tourism seemed to demand old west buildings by the 1920s, then mid-century modern styles were adopted to show how Tucson had progressed beyond its past. The Sonoran style has recently regained respect. This view of South Meyer Street appears to be looking north toward the intersection with Cushing Street (where the red roofs are). At that time Cushing did not extend across Meyer to meet Main Street. In addition, there was a slight bend to the east in Meyer one block north of Cushing. R. Rasmessen issued the postcard about 1907 or 1908. Many early Tucson scenes like this one were published by Rudolph Rasmessen (1875-1941) of Bauman & Rasmessen curio store on Congress Street.

This view of Hotel Hall at 33 W. Broadway was issued by Detroit Publishing Company in 1906. By then, 20 years of city water supply had allowed planting of trees and some adobe buildings had been fitted with pitched roofs and porches. Anna B. Hall purchased and renovated the building for Hotel Hall in 1894. Mrs. C. C. Hawley acquired the hotel some time before 1912. The view is to the west and Stone Avenue crosses in the foreground. Grace Episcopal Church (1893) is just out of view at left (you can see its shadow). The church moved in 1914 and the building was torn down in 1955. The white adobe building down the street with a purple “X” marking it is Sisters Convent and Academy, opened in 1870 by Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, with the trees of Church Plaza beyond. The street ends at the Palace Hotel on Meyer, demolished in1923. The only building on this block to survive is the Charles O. Brown house, across the street from Hotel Hall and believed to have been built in the 1840s. Brown (1829-1908) was owner of the Congress Hall Saloon.

Despite a nation-wide recession, Tucson formed a village government and held its first municipal election in 1873. As the largest town in Arizona it was the supply center for all of southern and eastern Arizona, noted Richard J. Hinton in 1877, with eight or nine merchants pulling in $1.2 million in business on average each year. (Handbook to Arizona, p.271) In 1877, Tucson incorporated as a city. The first two banks opened in 1879. Banking had previously been offered by mercantile establishments. March 10, 1880, Southern Pacific Railroad tracks were built into Tucson from the west coast, continuing to El Paso the following year.

The coming of the railroad changed Tucson dramatically. Shipping costs fell, travelers came in large numbers and Anglos increased their control over government and the economy. They wanted the Old Pueblo to appear a modern city of prosperity and rule of law. “The future building material for Tucson will be brick and stone. The adobe must go, likewise the mud roof. They belong in the past and with the past they must remain.” (Arizona Daily Star, 20 Aug. 1892, quoted in p. 2, Archaeology In Tucson newsletter of Center for Desert Archaeology, Summer, 1996) Land sales boomed, part of the motivation for changing the appearance of the town, but then collapsed. Still, the makeover of the “ancient and honorable pueblo” would continue for another hundred years.

Under Spanish domination, Tucson had developed along the royal road, El Camino Real, running north and south through the Santa Cruz valley. It was really the only regular “street” in town until after 1866. Even when Anglo businessmen first came, their commercial buildings were along this road, renamed Main Street. After the railroad arrived Anglo businessmen developed Congress, and Stone, probably the widest street in town, and set about widening west Congress. It’s surprising to consider how much Tucson changed during a slow economy, even as the population dropped by almost one-third between 1880 and 1890.

Tucson Bishop Salpointe established St. Mary’s Hospital, dedicated 24 April 1880, and asked the Sisters of St. Joseph to staff it. Two years later he sold the hospital to the sisters for $20,000. The seven Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, members of a society extended from France to Carondelet, Missouri in 1836, journeyed from St. Louis to San Francisco to San Diego and then across the deserts in a wagon to a grand welcome in Tucson May 26, 1870. A two-story convent and chapel building (at left) was added to the hospital (in center) in 1893. The circular tuberculosis Sanitorium (right) was added in 1900. This view of the grounds probably dates to 1908, after electricity and a central heating plant had been installed. The location is on the west side of the river, with Tumamoc Hill behind at left. For decades the Southern Pacific Railroad contracted with St. Mary’s until it built its own hospital in 1930. The sisters added St. Joseph’s Hospital on the east side of town in 1961 and the round Sanitorium shown here was demolished in 1965.

The Sisters of St. Joseph cared for orphans at their old convent across the street from St. Mary’s Hospital. Then, their La Comisaria School, a parochial school for girls housed in a former military commissary, became an orphan asylum, probably in 1905 when St. Joseph’s Orphans Home was established. The California mission style building shown on this postcard was likely constructed in 1922. It was demolished January 31, 1958. In addition to the first girl’s school next to San Agustín Church (in the Hotel Hall picture above), the sisters also established an Indian school at San Xavier in 1873 and a secondary school, St. Joseph’s Academy, in 1885.

Tucson merchant Albert Steinfeld (1854-1935) purchased this building on the corner of Main and Franklin for use as his home in 1908 (the same year this postcard was mailed). The Henry Trost (1860-1933) design had been built in 1899 for the Owls Club, where Steinfeld was a member. The building is still there. The California mission style surpassed Victorian designs in popularity during the opening decades of the twentieth century, especially for public buildings, and many fine examples have survived across Tucson.

By 1902, the appearance of Tucson had been transformed by renaming and realigning streets and adding a European business district and Victorian style neighborhoods surrounding the old Mexican pueblo on the north and east. Connell’s 1901 city directory explained the contrast. “Many of the streets are narrow and tortuous, being walled in by square adobe houses, while others are wide and beautiful, and bordered on both sides by costly dwellings.
“For many years Tucson was a dull, dead Mexican town, but today it is growing and advancing with wonderful strides.”

Congress Street is shown here about 1905, looking east toward the intersection with Stone Avenue. On the southeast corner of the intersection is Consolidated National Bank (1900) with Corinthian columns framing the corner entrance. The building on the other side of the street, in the middle of the block, with a Moorish onion dome on top, is J. Ivancovich & Co, grocery. John Ivancovich (1865-1944) ran the business until 1929. The building on the right with the “Photo Studio” sign is the Jacobs Block.  The photo studio was owned by Henry Buehman (1851-1912). The red brick building at far right houses George Martin Drug Store.

This detail from a postcard based on a 1906 photo shows the center of the Anglo business district, looking southeast, viewed from the Court House (1883) cupola. The street shown above is in the middle of this birds-eye-view. Windsor Hotel & bar (bottom right corner) is on the northwest corner of Congress & Church Streets. On the southeast corner is the red brick Martin Drug Store, with the blue, sloped roof of Grace Episcopal Church on Stone Avenue and the blue flat roof of Hotel Hall just visible behind. In the distance at top left is the white Santa Rita Hotel (1904), followed left to right by red Safford School (1884) and Carnegie Library (1901), with St. Joseph’s Academy (1886) in upper right corner. Martin Drug is now the site of Norwest Tower (1986), renamed in 2000 UniSource Energy Tower. Safford School is still there, but in a mission style building built in 1918. St. Joseph’s Academy building, a former Catholic secondary school, was purchased in 2004 by an investment firm and remodeled to become Academy Lofts apartments (460 S. 6th Ave.).

Forced to reoccupy Tucson after abandoning it, Union troops set up camp in the desert just southeast of downtown 20 May 1862, calling the place Camp Tucson. They went into town on Camp Street, later renamed Broadway. The camp was abandoned 15 September 1864 and then reoccupied as Camp Lowell 29 August 1866. The occupied area expanded to 367 acres. When Camp Lowell moved seven miles northeast of town on Rillito Creek 31 March 1873, the old campsite was abandoned but came to be called Military Plaza. In December 1899 city government seized the area to sell it to developers. The City won a long court battle with businessmen led by druggist George Martin, Sr. (1832-1907) and grocer Gustav A. Hoff (1852-1930) who wanted the Plaza to remain public, a city park. But only two of the six blocks, as shown in this postcard from about 1910, were retained by the City. When Carnegie Library (red dome behind flagpole) was completed in 1901 the Plaza was renamed Washington Park, then Armory Park after a National Guard Armory was built there in 1914 (located on the grassy area at lower right). This view is from the top of old Safford School, looking northwest. In the distance behind the library (left to right) can be seen St. Augustine Cathedral (1896), the white Old Pueblo Club (1907), the Court House cupola and the white Santa Rita Hotel. A 1941 fire destroyed the library rotunda in back but the rest of the building survived and is now the Tucson Children’s Museum. The brown building with black roof on the north side of the square (at right) is the Willard Hotel, a 1902-1904 remodel of the Casey Hotel. After serving as the Pueblo Hotel 1944-1984 and then sitting vacant for many years it was restored 1991-1993 and now houses law offices. The armory was demolished in 1960, replaced by the present Armory Park Center.


G. W. Barter, Directory of the City of Tucson. . ., (1881)
Charles T. Connell, City of Tucson General and Business Directory 1901
Bernice Cosulich, Tucson, (1953)
Jane Eppinga, Tucson, (2000)
Rochester Ford, Tucson, Arizona, [1902]
A. M. Gustafson, John Spring’s Arizona, (1966)
Allan B. Jaynes, Tucson, Arizona’s Metropolis, [1906]
Alex Jay Kimmelman, “Strictly White and Always Sober. Tucson’s Pioneer Hotels: A Photo Essay.” Journal of Arizona History, Spring 1994, pp. 63-80
T. R. Sorin, Handbook of Tucson and Surroundings, (1880)
Southwestern Mission Research Center, Tucson. A Short History., (1986)
Ike Speelman, Historic Photos of Tucson, (2007)
University of Arizona, Barrio Historico Tucson, [1972]
Anne I Woosley & Arizona Historical Society, Early Tucson, (2008)

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St. Johns: Town of Friendly
Neighbors Had Unfriendly Start

“Just outside the town a sign reads, ‘Town of Friendly Neighbors,’” wrote Esther F. Davis in 1989, “and indeed the community appears to be a peaceful hamlet. This is ironic, considering the town’s early history which began with misunderstandings, bloodshed and unrelenting harshness of nature.” Two of the founders of St. Johns, embroiled in bitter rivalry, became convicted felons, sent off to prison. But both were soon pardoned of their crimes and finally embraced as Arizona pioneers who made valuable contributions to their community and the state.

A former Goldwater Brothers employee at La Paz in 1862, Solomon Barth (1842-1928) started a store near Prescott and then in 1864 a freight business from Albuquerque to Prescott. His wagons crossed the Little Colorado River at the Rock Crossing about 12 miles upstream of the confluence with the Zuni River. Named for a nearby sandstone promontory, the Rock Crossing was on the Indian trail from Zuni to Mesa Redondo. When Camp Apache was established in 1870, the road from that fort to Fort Wingate crossed the river at the same place. The following year Barth settled a number of his freight drivers and their families near McIntosh Spring, five miles upstream of Rock Crossing and about three miles east of the river. It was a wet period in Arizona and the plan was to cut naturally growing hay in the Little Colorado River valley and ship it to both forts for sale to the government.

Jose Saavedra (1851-1931), from Cubero, New Mexico, the same town that had been home to most of Barth’s drivers, arrived in 1872 and laid out a farm on the west side of the river about five miles upstream of Rock Crossing. Within two years he and his father had built a bridge across the river at Rock Crossing and an irrigation ditch to his fields. At that time, Barth’s drivers moved from MacIntosh Spring, west to the river, where they established a town on the east bank. They knew the location as El Vadito (“little ford”) or El Coloradito, a crossing of the Little Colorado on the road from the Plains of San Augustine and Salt Lake, New Mexico to Camp Apache.

This is a photo of a brand new toll bridge at St. Johns, looking to date from the 1890s. It’s not the bridge at Rock Crossing, more likely at the east end of Apodaca Street. By the time Barth arrived, and obtained a franchise in 1879 from the territorial government to build a toll bridge at El Vado, Saavedra’s 1874 bridge at Rock Crossing was already in use. But there was another road from New Mexico that passed by McIntosh Spring and crossed the Little Colorado at the present site of Commercial Street in St. Johns. The bridge in this picture was probably built to replace an earlier bridge that crossed at Commercial Street. Then this bridge must have been lost in the flood of 1905 or 1915. Concrete piers that once supported a twentieth century bridge can still be seen at Apodaca Street. But today, the river is again crossed at Commercial Street.

In 1875, a few more families arrived, including Maria San Juan Baca (1842-1913). By 1877, Solomon, his wife Refugio (ca1856-1921), and his brothers Morris (1850-1885) and Nathan (1852-1935) had also become residents. The little town on the east bank of the Little Colorado had grown to 100 families. It was decided to name the place San Juan, after Mrs. Baca. That way the community on a river would have John the Baptist as patron and would celebrate St. John’s feast day, the most popular holiday in Sonora, Mexico and among several Christianized Indian tribes. Moreover, the Catholic Bishop in Tucson was John Baptist Salpointe (1825-1898) and the Archbishop of Santa Fe was John Baptist Lamy (1814-1888). However, several accounts of the Hispanic town in 1877 by English speakers Anglicized the name to “Saint Johns, or “St. Johns.”

These two maps surveyed 11 years apart show that St. Johns shifted from the east side to the west side of the Little Colorado River. The map on the left, from 1875, extends about 2.2 miles top to bottom, while the map on the right, from 1886, is about 16 miles high. I have added labels in red. The square mile in the middle of the 1875 map is Section 27, Township 13 North, Range 28 East from the Gila and Salt River Meridian (640 acres). The house on the hill west of San Juan may be Jose Saavedra’s house built in 1875, first on the site of present day St. Johns. And that is probably his ditch and field on the upper section line. Two more fields are shown at lower right. Little Reservoir would be built in the arroyo several years later. Another shallow reservoir nearby was called the “Pathery,” an Anglo corruption of Padreria, meaning “of the Padres.” These two reservoirs are shown on the 1886 map. The Wood Road is today’s Salt Lake, New Mexico Road. The surveyor labeled the land around St. Johns as “bottom land.” The map on the left is a detail from the US Surveyor General map surveyed in March 1875 and now held by the Bureau of Land Management. The map on the right is a detail from the USGS 1:250,000 topographic quad surveyed in 1886 and issued in 1892.

This photo of the San Juan Day parade is dated 1904 and is possibly one of only a handful of views of the Hispanic community of San Juan on the east side of the river. I think the view is looking east with the river behind the photographer. But it’s hard to place the location today. The holiday was popular because it coincided with the summer solstice just before summer rains began, marking an important agricultural season in the southwest. The Monarch Saloon was owned by Walter Darling in the 1880s and J. R. Armijo (1843-1921) by the 1890s. Armijo was a sheep and cattle rancher who served as a Republican county supervisor three times and county recorder once. He later moved to Oak Creek Canyon.

Cruz Rubi (1817-1919) built Rubi Ditch on the east side of the river and a diversion dam called Rubi Dam to feed his ditch. At least two other ditches, the Barth Ditch and Clement Ditch, irrigated meager crops by 1880. Also by then, commercial and residential buildings had been added on the west side of the river. Several Hispanic families accumulated wealth by herding sheep and a few owned businesses. They clashed with Texas cattle outfits, which had moved into northern Arizona after the railroad came in 1881. Over-grazing combined with a fall in wool prices ended the dominance of sheep in Apache County by 1888.

Ammon Tenney (1844-1925) arrived in 1878, to locate sites for Mormon immigrants from Utah and thereby extend the Little Colorado settlements into the White Mountains. A few Mormon families settled near the Rock Crossing, calling their place The Meadows. November 16, 1879, Barth sold Tenney land and water rights on the west side of the river, including a bridge. The price was not cheap, 750 head of average American cattle, but Barth knew Tenney had deep pockets. The LDS church owned 220 head already close by, while William J. Flake (1839-1932) offered to loan another 100 head to make the 320-head down payment. The Mormons believed they had just purchased all the land and water rights on the west side of the river from Rock Crossing to San Juan. They thought Barth and the Hispanics would leave the area. Barth believed that Mormon families would work for him and purchase goods from his store. Both would quickly be disappointed.

Barth sold land occupied by 17 Hispanic families and only “owned” through squatters rights. It had not yet been legally homesteaded. Barth controlled the economy of San Juan, though other non-Hispanic businessmen were arriving every day. In those days, income came in only a few times a year so families likely ran up a tab at Barth’s store. That way he may have had an informal lien on their property, and thus be able to sell it out from under them. In any case, Saavedra lost his home and farm and moved south about 12 miles to El Tule. Several other Hispanic families left the area after losing their land in the sale. Mormon families began building log cabins and leveling fields a little over a mile northwest of San Juan, naming their community Salem. They established a Salem Justice Precinct and applied for a post office. At first the “Mexican” families were friendly, but they soon realized how much they had to lose.

Salem was located in swampy bottomland, an area the Mormons called Egypt. In October 1880, Salt Lake City church leader Erastus Snow (1818-1888) recommended moving Salem to higher ground bordering San Juan on the west and north. A church leader from Snowflake, Jesse N. Smith (1834-1906), and newly arrived settler David King Udall (1851-1938) located a public square two blocks west of Barth’s home and began surveying lots, alarming the Hispanics. It was obvious that the Mormons aimed to take control, even creating a new town center and realigning roads on the west side of the river where Barth and some Hispanics already lived. November 18, Mormon leaders obtained a Quit Claim Deed in an attempt to further clarify what they had purchased. Now it was 1,200 acres and about 60% of the water rights in exchange for 770 cows and $2,000 in other property. Udall helped herd the final payment of cattle all the way from Pipe Spring in February 1881. But land ownership would remain a problem, until in 1888 St. Johns organized under federal and territorial townsite statutes.

A. F. Banta (1843-1924), who had once driven freight wagons for Sol Barth, combined his influence with Barth’s at the capitol in Prescott to split the vast Yavapai County in two in 1879, creating Apache County out of the eastern part. This cut stone courthouse was built in 1884. A jail with a metal roof was added on the east side in 1885. In 1891, Apache County was split in two to create Navajo County from the western half. In 1917, county officials had the existing courthouse built on the hill where the white schoolhouse was located and the old courthouse building became an elementary school.

For the next thirty years a battle for economic and political control of the community and Apache County would rage. Four factions developed, the Mormons, the Barth family, the Hispanic community and a group of anti-Mormon Anglos who would be called the St. Johns Ring and who introduced considerable wealth and power into the community. And there would always be dissent within each faction, with crossing of political and family lines. To this political hostility the 1880s added economic hardship from drought. Barth tried to keep tight control of county government and ran successfully for the territorial legislature in 1880 while Bishop Udall called for more colonists to increase his base. However, as historian Charles S. Peterson notes (pp.34-35), “a rapid growth of population notwithstanding, the plan to make St. Johns a tight Mormon community failed. Moreover, the seeds of discord sown in this bid for monopoly cankered the course of the little town’s history throughout the remainder of the century.” At first, Barth may have led the St. Johns Ring, but before long the political machine would turn on both he and Udall.

But first, social and economic tension fueled by drunkenness led to bloodshed. June 24, 1882, the Greer boys, a semi-Mormon gang of under-employed cowboys originally from Texas, showed up in St. Johns on San Juan’s Day. A gunfight broke out between the Greers hold up in a house on Commercial Street and Hispanics shooting from the upper windows of the Barth home. A couple men on both sides were wounded and one of the Greer gang killed. Then Ammon’s father, Nathan Tenney (1817-1882) walked down the street and into the house where he convinced the Greers to come out with Apache County Sheriff E. S. Stover (1839-1920s). But as the group emerged, a bullet from the Barth home instantly killed Tenney. Violence flared again when Sol Barth and A. F. Banta went at each other’s throats in a drunken brawl in 1884. Sol’s brother shot Banta in the throat, blasting away the tip of Sol’s thumb in the process and others had to grab Banta to keep him from returning fire. Banta survived. The argument passed and he and Sol continued as political allies.

The Edmunds-Tucker Act, passed in 1882, made polygamy a federal offense. This gave the St. Johns Ring a way to rid the town of Mormons by using criminal prosecution against polygamy, practiced by only a small minority in the church. Polygamy trials would also gain votes for Republicans who would take political control away from the Barths and the Mormons, both staunch Democrats. Single-issue campaigning worked to throw elections in those days just as it does now. The plan seemed to succeed at first, then, quickly backfired.

Stover was elected to the territorial legislature in 1884 where he pushed through a law that would bar Mormons from voting based on their immoral conduct. Previously, the Ring simply stuffed county ballot boxes. The same year, a St. Johns resident was indicted for polygamy, then, both of his defense witnesses charged with perjury. One of the witnesses, D. K. Udall was convicted of perjury and sent to federal prison at Detroit in 1885 along with three other St. Johns polygamists. Two more plea-bargained for shorter sentences at the Yuma territorial prison. A sixth skipped bail. Meanwhile, Democratic US President Grover Cleveland had been elected in November 1884, ending a succession of six Republican administrations. Cleveland pardoned Udall before the end of 1885 and the main street in St. Johns became Cleveland Street. And the Bishop’s next son was named Grover Cleveland Udall (1887-1950).

The winds of change blew a gale through the dusty town. Two St. Johns newspapers had been rabidly anti Mormon while Mormons printed a third. But in April 1886 the new editor of the St. Johns Herald pledged fairness and good journalism. The Apache County elections of 1886 and 1888 pitted the Republican “Citizens Ticket,” led by a group of cattlemen, Sheriff Commodore Perry Owens (1852-1919), Robert E. Morrison (1856-1927) and E. S. Stover, against “Equal Rights” Democrats led by the Barth’s, most Hispanic families, and former Sheriff Lorenzo Hubbell (1853-1930). The Democrats won every office but one. Over the next ten years, most of the St. Johns Ring left town. St. Johns has been controlled by conservative Democrats ever since.

Beginning in June 1884, Sol Barth was arrested several times for business fraud, forgery and tampering with county records. He was finally convicted of forgery in 1887 and sentenced to 10 years in Yuma prison. The Arizona Supreme Court upheld the conviction and Barth reported to prison as probably its wealthiest resident. Refugio Barth went to Prescott to see the Democratic Governor appointed by President Cleveland who eventually issued a pardon in 1889. Then Barth was elected to the upper house of the legislature in 1897.

This view of St. Johns in 1890 is from the southeast slope of what would become Airport Hill looking southeast toward the Great White Schoolhouse on the Hill. The two-story building at left-center is the brick tithing office (1885), where secondary school classes were being held on the second floor. By 1890, population had declined to 482 from 546 ten years before. Drought and excessive alkalinity in the soil had driven many families away. Others left to escape the politics. Photographer Welcome Chapman (1849-1900) was a stonemason who worked on Salado Dam and was known for his engraved tombstones. He also had a camera with which he took many commercially sold photos.

Not legible in this view of dusty Commercial Street about 1900 is a white sign on the right marking the Post Office. The record of how St. Johns got its Post Office has been purposefully confused. Mormon colonizer Sextus E. Johnson (1829-1916) was appointed Postmaster of Salem April 5, 1880 but was “refused his keys” by anti-Mormon political boss E. S. Stover. Stover got the Salem Post Office discontinued June 8 and then reestablished July 26 as “Saint Johns” with himself as Postmaster. In the process, San Juan became Saint Johns, an equivalent used on the earliest maps, and all record of Salem was expunged. There is also an account of refusal by bureaucrats in Washington DC to approve a post office application in 1877 for “San Juan” because all the names on the application were “Mexican.” The picture shows the principle business district, still in the hands of non-Mormons. The leaning telephone pole marks the river, with some of the buildings of old San Juan beyond. Telephones came to St. Johns in 1898 and then again in 1907. The men at right are standing in the road from Springerville, opposite Barth’s home (at left). By 1900, there was a single block of Mormon businesses behind the photographer. Today, all these buildings are gone, but this point on Commercial Street still marks the division between the Anglo and Hispanic neighborhoods.

Even during the relatively wet years of the 1870s, St. Johns crops required irrigation. But the Little Colorado River was given to erratic flows, almost drying up then raging with floodwaters. At least six dams at St. Johns washed out, each time bringing the community to its knees. A small storage reservoir built in the early 1880s adjacent to the town on the north held about 60 surface acres. Little Reservoir (1885), of about 125 surface acres about a mile south of town, was fed by a canal from brush diversions like Rubi Dam. In the summer of 1916, Henry C. Overson (1868-1947) built the first concrete weir on the river to send water into Little Reservoir. The first Salado Dam (a.k.a. Slough) six miles south of St. Johns formed a lake with 2-3 miles of shoreline. It washed out in 1886, ironically a year of severe drought, and was rebuilt by 1887. The harvest of 1887 was thereby the first adequate harvest. The record is incomplete, but there is also a report of a dam at Salado nearing completion in 1894. In 1897 Salado Dam was reported to be 900 feet long, creating a 600-acre lake.

Still, water was inadequate and saline. Drinking water had to be transported from McIntosh Spring and sold by the bucket. After five years, most of the Mormons were starving. They had insisted on raising cattle instead of animals more suited to the high desert, like sheep. And instead of drought-resistant corn, they preferred irrigated wheat. But mineral springs at Salado were ruining crops at St. Johns. After struggling for twenty years, in February 1900 Mormon families in St. Johns were told by church authorities in Salt Lake City that they were released from their “call” and free to leave. Others had already been released years earlier to escape criminal prosecution and starvation.

By 1903 a larger reservoir 40 feet deep and five or six miles around at Salado had been created by constructing a rock and dirt dam only 150 feet long and 150 feet thick. But the long dry spell ended and more than a decade of deep snows in the mountains and heavy winter and spring runoff began. New Salado Dam was overtopped and destroyed May 2, 1905. The population of St. Johns had already peaked in 1885, continuing to decline until 1910. That year, a land development company in Denver started work on Lyman Dam upstream from Salado, with a long canal bringing better quality water to St. Johns. The LDS church contributed $5,000 toward the work. But a few years after it was finished the earthen dam broke April 14, 1915 drowning six children and two adults, and taking out every bridge and dam downstream to Joseph City. It was a devastating loss of life, property and invested money. When local residents failed to raise enough money, Lyman dam was finally rebuilt 1919-1921 by the Arizona State Loan Board. But the cost was more than three times the amount required to build the first Lyman Dam. Water users had difficulty repaying the loan, but after the state legislature cancelled half the debt the remainder was repaid by 1941.

When the new courthouse was dedicated April 2, 1918, the old building became District 1 elementary school shown here. The building on the right was the town’s second jail, built in 1885. The school burned in the early 1930s and was rebuilt as Coronado School. It was demolished after a new building was constructed in 1987 on the playground. It had remained a segregated school for Hispanic children until the 1954 US Supreme Court decision forced integration. One source gives 1956 as the year of a petition to finally integrate St. Johns schools. Henry and Margaret Overson had a photography studio in St. Johns. Margaret (1878-1968) was usually the photographer while Henry ran the Little Reservoir irrigation system. She continued taking photos for more than 50 years.

LDS parents didn’t like their children attending the public White Schoolhouse on the Hill along with Hispanic students. As a result, some LDS kids attended class in the log cabin Assembly Hall (1881) until a brick elementary school could be finished in 1912. School District No. 1 was divided in 1910 to create District 11 for Mormon kids. With integration, the school districts consolidated in 1957. Mormons established the first secondary school, St. Johns Stake Academy 14 January 1889, using rooms in the brick tithing office building. Work began on this two-story brick Academy building with the cornerstone 1 May 1892 but it would take years to complete. Classes had to be suspended due to lack of funding in the spring of 1892, not to resume until the new building was almost finished. It was dedicated 16 December 1900. In 1921, church authorities in Salt Lake City ordered all the private academies closed and LDS students to attend public schools. After the public high school building was built next door, the Academy building was used for church services. It’s still there, incorporated into the structure of the downtown chapel.

Sometime between 1874 and 1879, Sol Barth had this large home constructed on the main east-west wagon road where the road from Round Valley dead-ended on the west side of the river. After his children grew up Barth turned the house into the Scott Hotel and then the Barth Hotel. This photo from 1914 commemorates a trip by Gustav Becker of Springerville to promote the National Old Trails Road. It was a main cross-country highway from Holbrook to Concho, St. Johns, Springerville and into New Mexico until the 1930s. Gustav is at the wheel of the first car on the left, while brother Julius is driving the next auto. Standing in the middle are Clara, Refugio, and Jake Barth with Sol in the dark hat. Barth Hotel closed in the 1930s and was demolished in 1984.

According to records of the Diocese of Gallup, the “Saint Johns (San Juan) – Saint Johns the Baptist Parish” was established in 1877. The Rev. Pedro Maria Badilla (1827-1901) arrived in St. Johns to lead the parish 2 August 1880 and found a church was already under construction. The building, shown here about 1920, was dedicated as San Juan Bautista church in 1881. It was replaced with a new building just to the left constructed in 1941 and dedicated 21 June 1942. Franciscan sisters came in July 1957.

Barth Hotel Cottages was built in the 1920s on the southeast corner of Commercial Street and the highway to Springerville, across the street from the Barth Hotel. Within a few years of adopting a numbered federal highway system in 1926, traffic on the National Old Trails Road subsided. St. Johns became an isolated rural hamlet as motorists took Route 66 into New Mexico. Population stagnated at around 1,300 from 1920 until 1975.

Judge Levi S. Udall (D.K.’s son) described his hometown to a gathering at the Arizona Museum in Phoenix in April 1946 as having progressed beyond its earlier history of lawlessness. He said the Superior Court had not had “a jury term of court since February, 1943 (more than three years ago). Furthermore, our jail is empty more than half of the time and juvenile delinquency is at low ebb. I feel that these facts speak well for the attitude of the Apache County citizenry on law observance.” Actually, it said more about policing, since many infractions were handled informally in those days and a number of young men were off at war. A few years before, Levi’s sons stole a car for a joy ride but were punished without jail time or a criminal conviction. In addition, the poor economy and loss of travelers to Route 66 kept the population from growing and crime low. Southern Apache County has always had more cows than people.

D. K. Udall had a large home he called The Elms built in 1912 across Cleveland Street from the Stake Academy and later High School building. After the elder Udall’s death, son Grover and wife Dora (1886-1976) moved into the house. When Grover died in 1950, Dora opened The Elms Dining Room in the home and had construction begin on ten motel units in the back yard. The Elm motel opened in 1952. The Udall family produced a number of noted educators, lawyers and politicians. One of DK’s sons became mayor of Phoenix, another served in the state legislature, while two more sat on the state supreme court. Grandson Stewart Udall (1920-2010) was a member of Congress 1955-1961 and Secretary of the Interior 1961-1969, and grandson Morris “Mo” Udall (1922-1998) served in Congress 1961-1991 and ran for president in 1976. In fact, over the years, St. Johns probably produced more public figures than any other town of comparable size in the state.

In 1937, a large chapel with a steeple (at right) was added to the east side of the old Academy building (at left). This postcard view shows the combination Stake Center and Ward Chapel in the 1940s. St. Johns High School is just out of view at left. A new Stake Center was built across town and dedicated July 24, 1983, but this building is still the downtown chapel.

When the LDS opted for public schools instead of private academies this cut stone High School was completed in 1926. It was replaced by a new campus on the west side of town in 1981 and is now used for county offices.

With poor soil, harsh weather and isolation, making a living in St. Johns was always hard. Throughout its history, a large number of residents of the county seat required welfare benefits. In 1880, residents of Sunset (near Winslow) donated barley for families at The Meadows, described by D. K. Udall as “destitute saints.” Drought led to abandonment of The Meadows soon after. In September 1885 the LDS Church in Utah sent two railroad boxcars of food to keep the brethren in St. Johns fed. Then the church gave $2,500 in cash to buy wheeled scrapers for building Salado Dam. In the twentieth century federal government welfare carried families through economic recessions. Here, government commodities are unloaded for distribution behind St. Johns High School. Farm Security Administration photographer Russell Lee made the color slide, now in the Library of Congress, in October 1940. He found families in nearby Concho doing a little better.

Commercial Street, a three block long business district ended up in the middle of blocks surveyed by Mormons in 1880 because Barth’s home and a few other buildings had already been built on what was then the main wagon road from Socorro to Ft. Apache. But that fortuitously placed businesses on higher ground and gave convenient access to rear loading docks without the need for alleys. The early business district was compact, providing everything within walking distance. This view from about 1949 is looking west from the same point shown in the ca1900 photo above. The Barth home is at right, with Barth Mercantile, the Maytag dealer, just beyond. Across the street, where the telephone lines run, is Cowley Brothers Supply on the former site of A & B Schuster store (1891-1915). A hospital opened in St. Johns in 1949 but closed in 1962 when paying the bills became too difficult. Though the town was set apart in 1888 to establish land ownership, town government was not incorporated until 1946.

Commercial Street, seen here about 1953, was the largest commercial district in the entire White Mountain area. E. T. “Ernie” and Josephine Wilbur opened Wilbur Food Market shortly after coming to St. Johns in 1932. The location shown here was occupied beginning in 1936. The stone Whiting Block and all the other buildings on the block were rebuilt after a 1942 fire. The Whitings also operated the Ford dealership, while the first service station in town (1922) was across the street at Patterson Motors Chevy dealership. Whiting Brothers, Arthur, Eddie, Ernest and Ralph, managed a family empire that grew to at least 14 sawmills, four auto dealerships, 44 service stations and more than a dozen motels across the southwest.

This view of Commercial Street about 1967 looks east from a point about 100 feet east of the photo directly above. Whiting Ford is at left with Patterson Chevrolet at right. The Arcadia Theater and a couple other buildings have been combined to house Triple S Market. When power plant workers came in the 1970s, many businesses left Commercial Street for new locations on west Cleveland Street. Today, the business district is a two-mile-long strip development designed for reliance on automobiles. Norm Mead (1923-2008) of Mesa published the postcard.

In late 1974, Salt River Project selected a site for an electric generating station less than 10 miles north of St. Johns. The following year, construction brought an influx of 2,800 Bechtel workers into the community of 1,500 people. The economy of St. Johns was transformed. Though government employment in the southern county remained at around 60% of the workforce, high-paid power plant jobs boosted average family income, eclipsing those who remained in poverty. Once construction workers left, the population of St. Johns settled at a few hundred more than 3,000. But now there were once again three demographic groups. The Hispanic and Mormon pioneers had been joined by a third group of non-Hispanic, non-Mormon residents.

A few years ago St. Johns again quaked with political scandal and violence. Two judges were removed from the bench for ethics violations that would not have been noted even in the back pages of the newspaper in the 1880s. Then, the Apache County Sheriff was accused of theft and removed from office. Finally, St. Johns headlines flashed around the world after a father and his friend were ambushed and shot to death in their own home by the eight-year-old son. That shock was followed by arrest of a teenage serial killer.

William S. Abruzzi, Dam that river!, (1993)
Apache County Centennial Committee, Lest Ye Forget, (1980)
Esther F. Davis, “St. Johns,” (1989) unpublished manuscript.
Joseph Fish, “History of Eastern Arizona Stake of Zion: Early Settlement of Apache County,” [1912] unpublished manuscript held by ASU Library.
N. H. Greenwood, “Sol Barth: A Jewish settler on the Arizona frontier,” Journal of Arizona History, Winter 1973, pp.363-378
Charles S. Peterson, Take Up Your Mission, (1973)
Wilford J. Shumway, St. Johns Arizona Stake Centennial, (1987)
St. Johns Arizona Stake, Solomon Barth 1842-1928, [2004]
Cameron Udall, St. Johns, (2008)
David King Udall, Arizona Pioneer Mormon, (1959)
C. LeRoy & Mabel R. Wilhelm, A History of the St. Johns Arizona Stake, (1982)
Charles B. Wolf, Sol Barth of St. Johns, (2002)

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Part Four:
Arizona Indians Live In Two Cultures

Warfare, disease, loss of natural resources and even psychological and emotional stress over 360 years killed many of Arizona’s native people. Then, Indian population decline reversed sometime between 1900 and 1910. For the past hundred years, Native American families in Arizona have survived ups and downs to win little victories in Congress, the courts, the twisting halls of government and even society at large. While their path is still rocky and unsure, many Arizona Indians now have an opportunity to enjoy the best of two cultures.

The Hopi and Tewa Villages (Hopitu-Shinumu)

The Hopi and Tewa people live in 12 villages, eleven of which are situated on three mesas in northern Arizona, surrounded by the Navajo reservation. Waalpi (or Walpi, according to older orthography), Sitsomovi (or Sichomovi) and Hano (or Tewa, or Tano) are located on First Mesa with the town of Polacca nearby. To the west, Second Mesa is the site of Musungnuvi (or Mishongnovi), Supawlavi (or Sipaulovi) and Songoopavi (or Shungopavi). Farther west on Third Mesa are the pueblos of Kykotsmovi, Oraibi, Hotevilla and Bacavi. And finally, farthest to the west there is the isolated village of Moenkopi, adjacent to the Navajo town of Tuba City. Prior to contact with Europeans Hopi families lived in only seven villages. In response to the pueblo rebellion of 1680, villages were moved to the tops of mesas for defense. A vast area surrounding the mesas came to be called the Province of Tusayan. The word was reported by Coronado as Tuçano, which he understood as the name of a Hopi village, but it may be a Navajo word for the Hopi Buttes, located south of the mesas. Historically, the Hopi were often called Moqui, or Moki, by Anglos, a term of derision of obscure origin. They call themselves in their Uto-Aztecan language Hopitu-Shinumu, “peaceful people.”

The village of Walpi, “place of the gap,” was constructed in 1700 on top of First Mesa. Women belonging to matrilineal clans built and owned the apartments and maintained the matrilocal family while men tended fields and hunted away from home. Rooms of local sandstone and adobe were originally entered through the roof. Roof beams and ladders required transport of pine and juniper poles from far away.

The Hopi Reservation was created by President Chester A. Arthur 16 December 1882, covering nearly 2.5 million acres of the Province of Tusayan, including three communities of Navajo families. The Executive Order created a 3,860 square mile rectangle centered on the Hopi mesas “set apart for the use and occupancy of the Moqui and such other Indians as the Secretary of Interior may see fit to settle thereon.” Those “other Indians” were the Navajos, who had been forced westward from their 16th century homeland around Governador Canyon on the border between what later became New Mexico and Colorado. The Secretary of Interior never settled Navajos on the Hopi reservation but neither were they hindered from further encroachment. Attempts to take away acreage from the Hopis in the 1880s through allotment failed. But the creation of grazing districts June 2, 1937 on the Navajo and Hopi reservations to facilitate stock reduction in order to prevent soil erosion left the Hopis with exclusive use of only grazing District Six, about 1,000 square miles. This allowed Navajo livestock to roam all but 631,194 acres of the Hopi reservation. By then the Hopi reservation was totally surrounded by the Navajo Reservation, which had been increased 14 times since it was created in 1868.

The Hopi tribal council began a lawsuit in 1958 to restore land, including large areas long occupied by Navajos. The court ruled in 1962 that Hopi reservation acreage outside grazing District Six should be a Navajo-Hopi ”joint use area.” This effectively reduced the Hopi reservation to the boundaries of a single grazing district. In 1966, the Hopi tribal council entered into a contract with BVD for a garment factory to employ Hopis at Winslow. A Hopi industrial park was created at Winslow on land the tribe claimed by aboriginal use. The tribal council signed a contract in 1969 with Peabody Coal Company to mine Black Mesa to fuel power plants. June 29, 1970, the Indian Claims Commission ordered compensation for loss of Hopi aboriginal land, effectively extinguishing future claims. In 1974, Congress abolished the joint use area and apportioned the land between Hopi and Navajo families. Relocation of 100 Hopis and 10,000 Navajos began in 1986. But a number of Navajo families refused to leave the Big Mountain area. They were offered 75-year leases by the Hopi tribe in 1992, but a small number refused to sign.

The dispute over land use intensified a preexisting conflict between Hopi progressives who supported democratic government including many elements of the European lifestyle and traditionalists who wished to maintain the Hopi Way. Divisions also deepened between the Hopis and Navajos and between competing elements in Anglo society. Was the 1882 reservation intended for the Hopi or both the Hopi and the Navajo? Was a so-called “land dispute” manufactured by non-Indian interests like the several religious, environmental and Indian advocacy groups that have been involved? Have coal-mining interests played a role? Has publicity been slanted against the Hopi and in favor of Navajos? In any case, this conflict means that when it is said that “the Hopi” did this or that, it can only mean certain factions of the people.

The Hopi have traditionally been a peaceful and reclusive people, who resisted assimilation by Europeans. From their first meeting with the Spanish to today, one faction remains determined to continue its own way of life. First contact with members of the Coronado expedition in 1540 quickly turned violent. Spanish missionaries and military returned several times and finally established Mission San Berardo de Aquatubi (Awatobi) in 1629. A second church, San Bartolomé was also constructed. When the New Mexico pueblos rebelled against the Spanish in 1680, 1693 and 1696, Hopis destroyed the missions. The Tewa people fled New Mexico during the rebellion of 1696 and found peace living with the Hopi. In 1700, Hopis tried to eradicate Christianity by destroying the village of Awatobi and killing all the converts there. Religious conflict would eventually subside but then reappear 200 years later.

Traditional Hopis practice an initiatory, secret wisdom type of religion. Celebratory ceremonies maintain The Hopi Way of living in balance with the world and natural human development. Most ceremonies are necessary to bring life-giving rain to the arid land and grow corn, the staple crop. Kivas are a connection with the underworld from which the people originally emerged. Some believe the Sipapu mud volcano and spring in the Little Colorado Canyon is the real emergence portal. Katsinas (or Kachinas), represented by dolls and ceremonial costumes, are guardian angels and emissaries from the spirit world. “Freedom of religion, as provided for in the Bill of Rights, rarely, until recent times, was even considered as applying to religions of the Indians of the United States,” observed Harry C. James (page 185). In 1921, the BIA adopted a “Religious Crimes Code” to incarcerate participants in native dances and ceremonies. In New Mexico, the government attempted to destroy pueblo religions 1922-1923 in order to take land for Anglos.

Soon after the Hopi reservation was created government agents initiated forced removal of children to boarding schools, and land surveys to facilitate allotment. Indigenous men who tried to oppose these policies were repeatedly jailed. Nineteen Hopi prisoners were sent to Alcatraz Island in 1895 for interfering in US government policy but released within a year. Anglos even had a serious objection to the male Hopi hairstyle, moderately long in back with straight bangs in front, and many were forced to endure butch haircuts.

Hopi men were expert at dry farming, nourishing plants only with runoff from rains concentrated in a wash. But, as shown here by the noted photographer Edward S. Curtis around 1903, they could use irrigation to increase production near springs.

Hopi families raised corn, beans, squash, cotton and tobacco in flood plains. They readily added Spanish crops like wheat, chilies, melons and peaches and adopted the use of steel hoes and plows to replace digging sticks. They had already domesticated turkeys, but recognized the advantage of raising horses, burros and sheep. Women gathered wild foods and men hunted game. Men wove clothing and blankets while women fashioned pottery. All Arizona Indians obtained special products through an extensive trade network.

Apache, Comanche, Ute and Mexican raiders were a historical threat to the Hopi villages. Navajo raids intensified 1823-1845. American trappers, explorers and immigrants seemed especially vicious. In 1833, the Walker party killed many Indians for no identifiable reason. Hopi men would engage in warfare if needed. But villages graciously accepted refugees and tried to resolve internal strife short of violence. Smallpox ravaged the Hopi population in 1780, 1840, 1853 and 1877-1898. Drought decimated crops in 1862 bringing famine in 1863-1864. Old Oraibi, once the largest village, is considered the oldest town in the US, dating back to at least AD1150. It was practically abandoned in 1906, however, when conflict between kinship clans stimulated by Christian conversions drove residents to found New Oraibi and four other new villages.

Tribal government was organized under a constitution 14 December 1936. But the concept of hierarchical central government on the European model sparked controversy between traditional and progressive blocks within the villages. Tribal government was soon disbanded but then reorganized in 1951. The form of Hopi tribal government is currently the subject of intense debate between those who believe each of the 12 villages have aboriginal sovereign government powers with final say by the Kikmongwi composed of religious elders, and those who favor the democratic tribal council established under US law.

Congress declared war on Mexico May 12, 1846 and by August General Stephen W. Kearny’s army took control of New Mexico. Kearny’s troops then followed the Gila River into California, encountering the Pima Indians in what would later become Arizona. Several members of the column recorded favorable impressions of the Pimas, including Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Emory. November 11, 1846, Emory found himself “in the midst of a large nation of what are termed wild Indians, surpassing many of the Christian nations in agriculture, little behind them in the arts, and immeasurably before them in honesty and virtue.” The illustration showing Pimas visiting Emory’s camp is from his Notes of a Military Reconnoissance. . ., (1848)

The O’odham People (Aatam)
The O’odham people spoke several mutually intelligible Piman dialects. They also shared common religious rituals to bring rain and celebrate harvests and lived in families related by five patrilineal clans.

O’odham bands are now divided into four federally recognized tribes, the Ak-Chin, Gila River, Salt River and Tohono O’odham communities. Another band, the Hia Ced O’odham (see below), is not federally recognized. There are also at least nine O’odham communities in Mexico. The O’odham identified themselves with their land. The Hia Ced O’odham were the “sand dune people” living in the western Sonoran desert, the Akimel O’odham were the “river dwelling people” living along the Gila while the Tohono O’odham were the “desert people,” living in the deserts and mountains south of the Gila. The Sobaipuris, considered extinct, (see below) were a closely related tribe of Piman speakers. The Piman speaking Yaqui people were more distantly related. The O’odham people were differentiated by the Spanish according to lifestyle, living in rancherías, pueblos or wandering bands. The Hia Ced were a nomadic “no village” people, while the Tohono, “two-villagers,” lived in summer and winter rancherías. Akimel, “one-villagers,” stayed put.

The region of northern Mexico inhabited by Piman speakers, north of the Altar and San Ignacio Rivers, was called Pimería Alta by the Spanish, and northern Pimería Alta was referred to as the Papaguería. In the seventeenth century the Spanish called the Piman speakers living far to the south of what would later become Arizona the Pimas and Sobas. In the region that would become Sonora and southern Arizona, Piman speakers were Sobaipuris and Papabotas or Papagos.

The Spanish regarded all these people as extremely savage, fit only for forced labor at missions, mines and ranches. Those who refused to comply or rebelled were treated harshly, as was the European custom at the time. The Spanish killed all the men at the Pima ranchería of Mututicachi in 1689. In 1694, Spanish soldiers executed three Sobaipuri men accused of stealing horses. When Indians at Tubutama killed their overseers, the Spanish called together a large group of Indians and demanded to know who was guilty. As soon as the first suspect was fingered a Spanish officer beheaded him with a sword on the spot. Everyone scattered amidst mass killing followed by a full-scale war. Piman speakers would rebel against the Spanish again in 1751. The Spanish managed to get along best with the Sobaipuris and had little contact with Piman speakers on the Gila River.

The Pima-Maricopa Communities

Ak-Chin Indian Community
President Taft created a 47,600-acre Maricopa Indian Reservation by Executive Order May 28, 1912. In 1913, Taft rescinded his previous Executive Order and reduced the reservation to 22,000 acres. Gathering fruits while planting crops in flood plains, the O’odham called their practice of agriculture ak’ chin.

Gila River Indian Community
The Gila River Reserve was the first reservation created in Arizona, by Act of Congress 28 February 1859. It was altered by executive orders on August 31, 1876, January 10 and June 14, 1879, May 5,1882, and November 15, 1883. President Grant’s order in 1876 added nearly 16 square miles. June 14, 1879, President Hayes’ revoked his order greatly expanding the reservation on January 10 and created a noncontiguous addition along the Salt River. President Chester A. Arthur added to the Gila River reservation in 1882 and greatly expanded it in 1883. The first government Indian school in Arizona opened on this reservation at Sacaton in 1871. It was destroyed by fire in 1888.

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
President Rutherford B. Hayes’ Executive Order of June 14, 1879 created a “reservation for the Pima and Maricopa Indians,” on the northwest bank of the Salt River east of Phoenix and adjacent to the Fort McDowell Military Reserve. He also ordered payment for improvements the Pimas and Maricopas had made on the other side of the river.

Pima and Papago families lived mostly outdoors under a shade (ramada, arbor or bower) supported on posts (at right). They sheltered from inclement weather in a round house (center), called a “ki,” framed with cottonwood, willow, mesquite or saguaro ribs, covered with brush or arrowweed, plastered on top and at the base of walls with mud. A single large structure (at left) in each village served as a meetinghouse for the men, and sometimes the women also. Not shown are outdoor kitchen windbreaks and grain storage bins on raised platforms. The women are using the characteristic backpack “burden baskets” for transport of gathered foods and even water jugs (ollas). Upon a death in the family the home and possessions of the deceased were burned. O’odham villages had no commercial district. The economy was based on communal sharing, gifting and barter. The woodcut is from a sketch by J. Ross Browne. It first appeared in Harper’s Monthly in 1864 and then in his book, Adventures in the Apache Country. . . in 1869. This copy of the engraving is from the New York Public Library, colorized for this blog.

The Akimel O’odham (Pima, Gileños, Gila Pimas)

Americans distinguished between the “Pimas” living along the Gila and “Papagos” living to the south. And the Pimas generally made a good impression on Americans from the start. Living in 30 permanent villages, they had continued the system of irrigated agriculture developed by their possible ancestors, the Hohokam. Skilled use of fluctuating river flows produced large surplus harvests, making them Arizona’s most successful agricultural entrepreneurs. Thus they could become known as friendly to travelers in the desert, providing ample provisions for exploring parties, the Overland Mail stage line and wagon trains bound for California. Pima farmers sold at least 100,000 pounds of wheat in 1858, more than 400,000 pounds in 1860 and one million pounds of flour to Confederate and Union troops in 1862.

Families enjoyed a healthy diet of corn, squash, pumpkins, mesquite bean flour, desert greens, roots, seeds, nuts, fruit, cactus fruits, berries and game meat. By the nineteenth century they had added beef, wheat and melons. After word of Pima provisioning skills reached Washington DC a grateful Congress appropriated $10,000 for farm tools in 1858, though some of the help was late in arriving. A reservation was set aside the following year, though it encompassed only part of the area under cultivation.

When the military left Arizona in 1861, Pimas were the only armed force against Apaches in the region. In 1865 and 1866, Pima and Maricopa soldiers served in the first Arizona Volunteer Infantry. They continued to serve in the Arizona Battalion until 1873. Soon, however, Pima farmers were facing Anglo agricultural competition. Settlers began diverting water from the Gila at Florence in the 1860s and Solomonville in the Safford Valley in 1873. When the Florence Canal opened in 1887, there was hardly a drop left for the Pima, dooming them to generations of poverty. By 1895 a food shortage forced them to take government rations. Between 1903 and 1910, the government put in 15 wells on the Pima reservation. Then allotment began in 1914.

San Carlos Dam was built 1928-1929 on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in an attempt to restore irrigation flows to Pima farms. But the government wanted impoverished farmers to pay for the project through irrigation fees. Pima farm family income declined in the 1940s. The Gila River Indian Community adopted an agricultural development master plan in 1985. A 1992 agreement provided Central Arizona Project water. The Gila River Water Settlement Act of 2004 now sends valley cities to buy water from the Pimas, Maricopas and Ak Chin. (“Tribes gain water voice in state future,” Shaun McKinnon, Ariz. Republic, 3/24/02)

The Maricopa (Pipatsje, Pee-Posh, Pipaash, Opa, Cocomaricopa)

The Maricopas are probably a mixture of up to five tribes that used to live separate lives little more than 150 years ago. They all left the vicinity of the Colorado River and settled around the junction of the Gila and Salt. Now about 400 Maricopas live on the Salt River and Gila River reservations. Through indifference Anglos thought the Maricopas had disappeared while in fact they had maintained their identity while living peacefully among the Pimas.

Piman speaking families harvested saguaro fruit in early summer, an acceptable but less luscious alternative to pithaya fruit from the organ pipe cactus found farther south and west. Long poles called kuibits are used to knock down the saguaro fruit, which grows only at the tops of limbs. Children gather dried fruit that has already fallen. Eaten fresh or preserved by drying, it was an important food source through the summer months. A weak alcoholic drink was made from the juice. The photo is by Western Ways of Tucson and was probably taken in the 1960s.

After Piman speakers initially opposed Spanish subjugation, Padre Eusebio Kino, Jesuit priest and cartographer, began missionary work in Mexico in 1687. Working his way northward, he encountered Piman speakers at a village he would name San Cayetano de Tumacacori in January 1691. He found more than 40 indigenous homes there and three ramadas built for his use in anticipation of his arrival. The illustration is a detail from a real photo postcard published in the 1940s by Burton Frasher of Pomona, California. Frasher photographed the diorama in the Visitor Center at Tumacacori National Historical Park 40 miles south of Tucson. However, the modern mission sites are not the same locations used by Kino, but later constructions at new locations.

The Tohono O’odham Nation (Papabotas, Papago)

Tohono O’odham Reservation (Sells Papago Reservation)
The nearly 2.8 million-acre reservation is about the size of Connecticut, making it one of the largest Indian reservations in the US. But its creation involved a complicated political process. Republican President Taft turned 5 isolated Papago villages into small reservations in 1911 and 1912. Then, a coalition of ranchers, the Pima Farm Improvement Association, the state land commissioner and Tucson Chamber of Commerce convinced Taft to take away reservation land. President Wilson created a 3.1 million acre Papago Villages Reservation by Executive Order January 14, 1916. But the coalition convinced the Democratic president to remove a 475,000-acre jagged strip across the middle of Papago land February 1, 1917, splitting the reservation in two. Not until 1931, after persistent lobbying, did Congress return the strip to the Papagos. Congress again added to the reservation in 1937 and 1940. The Secretary of the Interior closed the reservation to mining in 1932, though grandfathered claims remained. The reservation was reopened to mineral entry in 1934 and then permanently withdrawn from future claims in 1955. A tribal council was created in 1937 and a constitution ratified 12 December 1936 was replaced by another adopted 18 January 1986. At that time tribal government replaced the name “Papago” with Tohono O’odham Nation.

San Xavier Reservation
The first Papago Indian Reserve was created by Executive Order of President Grant July 1,1874 and an Act of Congress August 5,1882, withdrawing from Anglo settlement 43 square miles surrounding San Xavier mission. Between 1890 and 1917, about 41,566 acres were allotted to 291 Indians, with 14 acres reserved for a school site. The remaining 27,566 acres escaped allotment.

San Lucy District (Gila Bend Reservation)
December 12, 1882, President Arthur set aside by Executive Order 35 square miles on the Gila River near Gila Bend. President Taft removed 18 sections of land from the reservation 18 June 1909, leaving an area that today covers only 473 acres. The Tohono O’odham tribal government in Sells administers the reservation as the San Lucy District.

Florence Village District
A 25.8-acre cotton farm at Eloy is the Tohono O’odham Florence Village District. It was created by Act of Congress 10 September 1978.

The Desert O’odham were given the name Papabotas or Papago (“bean eaters”) by the Spanish because of their skill in raising tepary beans and other varieties. Their ranchería life was located near the mouth of an arroyo from spring until fall harvest where summer rains brought flash floods to water fields. In winter, families located at mountain springs where deer hunting was good. Meanwhile they gathered seasonal desert plants throughout the year. Following contact with the Spanish, the Tohono O’odham readily added herding of cattle on horseback to their rancherías. And wheat became a staple along side corn, while melons supplemented squash.

Making Christians and loyal subjects out of Piman speakers required replacing their ranchería lifestyle with a sedentary farming lifestyle. Spanish padres and government agents adopted a policy of reduccíon or congregacíon, resettlement of Piman speakers around missions (cabeceras) or itinerant missions (visitas) so they could be preached to and put to work to pay for their religious benefits and pay taxes.  “The padre would make us work hard’, recalled one of the last Sobaipuris shortly before he died. “We did not like that. He would not allow us to call the medicine man when we were sick. We did not like that. The boys had to come to the padre’s house every day to learn Spanish.”

Congregacíon brought together previously dispersed families, leading to multi-lingualism, religious syncretism, the loss of many ethnic foods and loss of band identity in the case of the Sobapuris. It also brought families under economic and social control and introduced a measure of psychological stress unknown on the rancherías. With the division of the southwest between the United States and Mexico, citizenship rights became another source of stress upon families.

Just as the Sobaipuris had done for the Spanish, the Papagos worked with the American military to repulse Apache attacks. By 1865 the Papagos were maintaining a standing army of 150 mounted warriors who played a role in more than one massacre of Apaches.

Like the Pimas, the Papagos became skilled at growing surplus crops of wheat. Irrigated acreage around San Xavier increased from 400 acres in 1890 to 1,000 acres by 1900. Thereafter, use of groundwater increased as Anglo settlers diverted the Santa Cruz River. Irrigated acreage reached a maximum of 1,781 acres in 1926. The lack of reservation status for most of their land led to hostility with Anglo settlers, especially over the use of scarce water sources. Indian farming declined with the falling water table in the 1940s and had practically ended by the late 1970s. The Southern Arizona Water Rights Settlement enacted by Congress in 1982 granted Central Arizona Project water to two districts of the Tohono O’odham Nation, but implementation remained stalled in the courts until 2006.

Presbyterian proselytizing began in 1870. Prebyterians established Tucson Indian Training School in 1888 as a government subsidized “contract school” paid $31.25 per pupil per quarter. Relocated to south Tucson in 1907, it closed in 1960. The Catholic church maintained a school at San Xavier. In addition, a number of Tohono students attended the Pima school at Sacaton, where a Catholic mission had been established in 1900. Presbyterians opened a church and school at San Miguel after 1912, adding churches at Topawa and Choulic by 1920.

“Nominally Christian, predominately Catholic, Papago people still practice elements of an older faith along with Church rituals; indeed, many of the rituals they perform are a creative synthesis of Native and Christian materials.” (p. 353, Arnold Krupat, Native American autobiography: an anthology, 1994) By the 1890s, Catholic devotion came to center on Saint Francis Xavier, patron of indigenous people, as a source of spiritual power. Nor did Papagos neglect the other Francis, the saint from Assisi, founder of the Franciscans. Franciscan padres administered San Xavier mission until 1843 and then returned in 1911. Father Emil Oblasser (1885-1967) was assigned to the O’odham people in 1910 and became very influential over the following 40 years, serving at San Xavier, Topawa and St. Johns at Komatke. He chose not to challenge the medicine men and developed a strong relationship with traditional community leaders, working to establish and protect the Sells Papago Reservation. By 1950 there were 54 Catholic churches on the reservation.

At Sacaton beginning in 1911, Presbyterian missionary Dirk Lay (1886-1944) led progressive elements among the Pima and Papago to favor tribal government and free enterprise over the traditional lifestyle. Two opposing camps developed. One was represented by the Good Government League, reportedly established in 1908, and supportive of BIA-led modernization. The other was represented by the League of Papago Chiefs, established in 1925, which wanted no BIA interference.

The US government didn’t like Papago seasonal migration any more than the Spanish. But attempts to confine them to reservations at San Xavier and Gila Bend failed. A reservation covering much of Pima County was necessary. At first, the creation of an international border between the US and Mexico right through the heart of Tohono O’odham territory had little impact. Until recently, the United States allowed free movement across the unfenced border, preferring to concentrate on collection of customs fees for commercial products at ports of entry. But now, O’odham families have been cleaved in two and cattle ranches split asunder while strict enforcement of immigration and drug laws has escalated the value of circumvention to the point that indigenous families living on the border are endangered.

Before 1960 there were no documented cases of diabetes among the O’odham people but they rather quickly attained the highest rate of adult-onset diabetes in the world. Recently a return to traditional ways, most importantly the historical diet reliant on cucurbitamixta squash, Indian corn, tepary beans, cholla cactus buds, prickly pear and saguaro fruit and pithaya fruit from the organ pipe saguaro seems effective against disease.

Around the turn of the 20th century O’odham families added adobe homes to their traditional huts and shelters but there were few windows and little furniture. These Tohono women and children are probably enjoying the morning sun near Tucson before beginning a day of work. Entrances to homes were preferably on the east side, where there was usually a covered porch shaded from the afternoon sun. There was also another common type of home, of post and beam construction with walls of closely-placed small limbs plastered with mud. Carrying water from the community well in ollas was a frequent chore. Selling wood and hay off the reservation earned some extra cash. Despite continued cattle ranching, wage work off the reservations soon accounted for a third of income available to Tohono O’odham families. The illustration is a detail from a postcard purchased in 1907.

Hia Ced O’odham (Hia C-ed O’odham, Areneños, Sand Papagos, Sand Pimas)

The “sand dune people” were a Piman speaking tribe living in the Sonoran desert dunes from the Gulf of California across what is now the Sierra El Pinacate Protected Zone in Mexico and the Goldwater gunnery range in Arizona. They were largely nomadic, with reliance upon hunting and gathering for sustenance. They gathered at least five-dozen wild plants and hunted three-dozen types of animals. But they also showed expertise with a fast-maturing species of drought-resistant corn. Without federal tribal recognition, the Hia Ced are now represented by the Hia Ced O’odham Alliance at Sells and also maintain an office on land purchased for them and held in trust by the Tohono O’odham Nation at Why, southeast of Ajo. The Drachman Institute of Tucson is preparing a community plan for development at Why.

The Sobaipuris (Soba Jipuri, Soba y Puri, Soba y Jipuri)

The Sobaipuris were the Piman speaking people who originally inhabited the San Pedro and Santa Cruz valleys. They were probably the dominant population at the villages of Tucson and Bac (Wa:k) when the Spanish arrived. Like the Akimel, they preferred riverside settlements. Suffering Apache raids in the 18th century, Sobaipuris abandoned the San Pedro in 1762, with the encouragement of Spanish authorities. A concentration policy adopted by the Spanish missions tried to relocate the Tohono O’odham to the Santa Cruz Valley where they came in close contact with the Sobaipuris. Through intermarriage, Sobaipuri identity was soon weakened. Then the US government continued a policy of concentrating indigenous people on reservations and insisting various bands form a unified tribal government. Thus the BIA created a Papago tribe, giving the impression that Quahatikas and Sobaipuris had become extinct. The last two Sobaipuris reportedly died in 1931 at San Xavier, but some families still claim Sobaipuri ancestry.

The Quahatika (aka Kohatk)

This little known Piman speaking band is thought to be a sub-tribe of the Tohono O’odham. Most of what is known is based on a single description by Edward S. Curtis published in 1908. The band was reported to live at the village of Quijotoa, considerably south of the Gila and now located on the Tohono O’odham reservation. The Quahatika have been credited with bringing cattle to the Pimas from the Mexicans about 1820.

The Yaqui people are famous for their Easter (Pascua) ceremonies during February, March and April. Upon contact with Europeans, the Yaqui developed a syncretic but independent form of Catholicism. Easter ceremonies act out a battle between good and evil in the person of Fariseo (Pharisees) and Chapayekas who attack the church defended by Matachinas armed with flowers. In the end, good triumphs and an effigy of Judas along with the evil-soaked masks of the Chapayekas are burned, as shown here. The photo is by Western Ways of Tucson.

The Yaquis (Yoemem, Hiaki)

Paqua Yaqui Tribe
Congress gave 202 acres of federal land to the nonprofit Pascua Yaqui Association in 1964 for Yaquis who had been living at Pascua Village near Tucson since 1921 (another source says 1903). The City of Tucson annexed Pascua Village in 1952. Many relocated to New Pascua, on the reservation located 15 miles southwest of Tucson adjacent to the north border of the San Xavier Tohono O’odham reservation. The Pascua Yaqui Tribe gained federal recognition 18 September 1978 and adopted a constitution in 1988. The reservation now covers 1,194 acres.

Guadalupe is not a reservation but a town on I-10 between Phoenix and Tempe. Sympathetic Anglos, including Catholic and Presbyterian missionaries, acquired the town site in 1914 for Yaquis who had settled there after fleeing Mexico. The one square mile was incorporated in 1975 and is now completely surrounded by other valley cities. It has a mixed population of Yaqui, Hispanic and Anglo families.

Living in Sonora, Mexico just below Guaymas, Yaqui families came under attack 1877-1910 as they resisted assimilation efforts by the dominant culture. Persecuted by succeeding Mexican governments, some Yaquis allied with Pancho Villa and ended up in a battle with the US cavalry at Arivaca in 1918. Others had already fled to the United States as political refugees, creating segregated villages. Initially there were seven villages in Arizona, Water Users Village or Penjamo at Scottsdale, Guadalupe at Tempe, Pascua and Barrio Libre at Tucson, Campo Burro at Marana, Bacatete at Eloy and Sibakobi south of Somerton in the Yuma valley. About 10,000 Yaquis were still in Mexico in the 1940s. There are now more than 11,000 enrolled members of the tribe in the US. While most became US citizens, they were not wards of the federal government and not entitled to BIA services until a reservation was created south of Tucson.

Zuni Pueblo
Zuni Pueblo is not located in Arizona, but about 12 miles across the border in New Mexico. However, the Zuni people (A:shiwi) have traveled to religious sites in Arizona for many centuries before there was a border. By Act of Congress in 1984, the Zunis were able to establish a non-residential reservation to protect sacred sites in Arizona, 15 miles northwest of St. Johns, Apache County. They gained water rights along the Little Colorado River in 2004 and are restoring wetlands on the reservation near St. Johns.

A number of developments during the last half of the 20th century have had a lasting impact on the lives of Native Americans. While tribal governments took steps to increase income from art, industrial ventures, tourism and finally Indian gaming, most native families were still left behind in poverty relative to Anglo communities. At the same time, federal government policy moved in the direction of termination of its responsibilities on reservations. Moving in the same direction, tribal governments sought to increase their sovereign powers. At the same time, state and local governments increasingly provided reservations with the same services provided non-Indians, such as public schools. Continuing a trend of the past hundred years, younger Indians left the reservation for better job prospects in cities. This has tended to decrease the number of speakers of native languages. But tribal nationalism along with cross-tribe one-Indian identity found expression in the American Indian Movement and expanded college Indian studies programs. While interest in native foods, religion and languages increased, many Native Americans had little choice but to take a path of integration and acculturation while maintaining a multicultural identity. Others developed a hybrid culture of the best of both worlds. The idea that all Americans might learn valuable ideas and habits from indigenous cultures is now finally a possibility.

Arizona Academy (U. of A.), The Arizona Indian People and Their Relationship to the State’s Total Structure, (1971)
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, “seeds of change: the legacy of Father Kino,” sonorensis, Winter 2007, includes return to traditional diet.
Tom Bahti, Southwestern Indian Ceremonials, (1982)
Tom Bahti, Southwestern Indian Tribes, (1968)
Bertha Pauline Dutton, American Indians of the Southwest, (1983)
Fortier & Schaefer, “Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGR), West Cultural Affiliation Study,” (2010), internet Scribd document only
Robert H. Jackson, Indian Population Decline, (1994)
Harry C. James, Pages From Hopi History, (1974)
Bernice Johnston, Speaking of Indians, (1970)
Stuart Levine & Nancy O. Lurie, The American Indian Today, (1968)
Papago Tribe vs. US, Before the Indian Claims Commission, September 10, 1968 (19 Ind. Cl. Comm. 394)
David Rich Lewis, Neither wolf nor dog: American Indians, environment, and agrarian change, (1994)
“Papago well of sacrifice,” Desert Magazine, July 1953
Louis Seig, “Development of the Hopi Reservation,” unpublished paper (1976) in ERIC database.
Robert K. Thomas, “The Role of the Church in Indian Adjustment,” pp. 20-28, Kansas Journal of Sociology (III:I) Winter 1967
Jack O. Waddell & O. Michael Watson, The American Indian in Urban Society, (1971)
George Yamada, “The Predatory White Man,” The Crisis, Jan. 1952, pp. 25-30, 63-65, explains in the NAACP magazine irreconcilable conflict between US Indian Bureau and Hopi traditionalists.

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Part Three:
Arizona’s Indians Regained Lost Homelands

Federal policy toward American Indians changed over the years as political leadership in Washington DC changed. At first a policy of Indian removal forcibly relocated native residents farther west to provide free land for white settlers. When genocide proved impractical, tribes were confined to reservations with as little acreage as possible even if that meant providing welfare commodities for Indian families. Finally, in order to take back even these reserves, the government adopted a policy of assimilation and termination. Indians would be converted into economically self-reliant Christians who complied with societal norms, and reservation segregation would be abolished.

An Act of Congress March 3, 1871 ended treaty making with tribal chiefs. Indians would no longer be treated as foreigners. Since citizenship in this country had been traditionally tied to ownership of real property, Congress passed the General Allotment Act February 8, 1887 (Dawes Act) to parcel out reservation land to individual families, converting it to deeded, taxable acreage. By 1920, Indians across the country had lost two-thirds of their land at tax sales or to repay debt. Some of what remained had been divided among heirs until it had been reduced to useless fragments. To end allotment, Congress went back to creating reservations (1907), bestowed citizenship on all Indians (1924) and provided for tribal governments (1934).

Then the termination policy came with the Eisenhower administration, giving states the option to extend criminal justice jurisdictions over reservations (1953), giving tribes the option to permit the sale of alcohol on reservations (1953) and transferring Indian health care from the BIA to the US Public Health Service (1955). Arizona chose not to take on the cost of policing reservations. Some tribes outside Arizona were talked into giving away their reservations. Then, beginning in the 1970s, a number of reservations lost through allotment were restored, new tribes were recognized, reservation boundaries expanded, and water rights restored. The Indian Gaming industry was created to provide revenue that would in theory replace welfare. And freshly trained Indian lawyers turned to the pre-Eisenhower Indian Claims Commission Act of 1946 for restoration of aboriginal lands or compensation.

The Pai tribes

The Pai (“we people”) in Arizona includes three tribes, Havasupai, Hualapai and Yavapai, sharing a similar culture and speaking mutually intelligible dialects of the Yuman family of languages. Yavapai history was presented in Part Two of this series. Because the Yavapai were associated with the Tonto Apaches, the tribe ended up fragmented across three reservations, developing three different identities based on home territory. As a result, five Arizona Pai tribes are often distinguished, Havasupai, Hualapai, Ft. McDowell Yavapai, Prescott Yavapai and Yavapai-Apache. There is also a sixth Pai tribe, cut off from the others long ago by warfare with the Yuma-Mohave alliance and isolated by the international border between the US and Mexico. Those people are the Paipai.

Building across northern Arizona, Atlantic & Pacific railroad tracks reached Peach Springs in January 1883, the same month a reservation encompassing Peach Springs was created. Thirty years later, the transcontinental National Old Trails Highway, following the rail line, was routed through Peach Springs. In addition, a road from Peach Springs to Diamond Creek offered auto access to the Colorado River in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. There is little indication, however, that the railroad, the highway, or its successor, Route 66, benefited the Hualapai people to any great extent. The motels, cafés and filling stations at Peach Springs were owned by non-Indians. But the town became tribal headquarters, while the BIA agency was located on an island of reservation surrounding the school at Valentine. About half the now 2,100 enrolled members of the Hualapai Nation live at Peach Springs. This view shows a number of families or maybe a single extended family, gathering perhaps to honor the dead, but unlike today’s notion of an entertainment pow-wow. Note the gender and age divisions. The Albertype postcard from about 1916 was published by “A. E. Taylor, Indian Trader” at Peach Springs. For a view of the trading post in the 1920s see my “swastika” post of 9/30/2010.

The Hualapai Nation (Hwal’bay, Xawálapáiy’, Hawálapai, Walapai, Cohonino, Cerbat, Whala Pa’a)

Hualapai Indian Reservation
The military created a reservation for the Hualapai July 8, 1881 and then lobbied to have it made permanent. January 4, 1883, President Chester A. Arthur ordered the creation of the Hualapai Reserve, 1,142 square miles on the south bank of the Colorado River where it runs through the western portion of the Grand Canyon. President McKinley, December 22, 1898, ordered the creation of a Hualapai Indian School Reserve at Valentine, adding another quarter section of land to this reserve May 14, 1900. This enclave became the site of Truxton Canyon Training School (1901-1937), a government boarding school that expanded to enroll students from many tribes.

The Hualapai were only one band among a dozen Northeastern Pai bands, each composed of a number of extended families. Each band lived off the land within a defined territory and identified itself closely with that space. But English speakers saw only one tribe, to be identified by the name of only one band, “Hualapai,” or “The People of the Tall Pines.” They were skillful traders, ranging over a vast area of northwestern Arizona to gather materials to produce specialized products for tribes as far away as the California coast and the Rio Grande Valley.

Hualapai people were friendly to Europeans at first. But when miners came to their land, seizing water sources and killing Indians who got in their way, the Hualapai struck back. Following the Civil War, the US military launched a war on the Mohave and Hualapai. After battling from 1866 to 1869, most of the warriors surrendered and were rounded up at Camp Beale Springs north of Kingman. A few Hualapai fled to Havasu Canyon where they were accepted as guests by the Havasupai. Some estimates count a third of the Hualapai Nation killed during the three years of warfare. By 1874, the military felt it had most of the tribe in custody and relocated families to the Colorado River Indian Reservation, a land and climate foreign to them. The following year, Hualapai began walking away, returning to their homelands in what is now remembered as their Long Walk. Unfortunately, much of their homeland had been taken by Anglos. The US military decided a reservation east of the mining towns might keep the peace.

The Hualapai Nation adopted a constitution and bylaws in 1938, a corporate charter in 1943 and a new constitution in 1970. With more than 80% unemployment, the tribe established Hualapai River Runners in 1973, replacing contracts with non-Indian owned companies. Tribal government embarked in 1988 upon an ambitious tourism venture with the Grand Canyon West development, 70 miles north of Kingman, as the centerpiece. Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass “bridge” 4,000 feet above a side canyon of the Grand Canyon, was completed in March 2007. Like many other American Indians, the Hualapai have debated whether sacred ground should be opened for economic development, if tourism is better than mining and if Indian enterprises might just be attempts to copy European culture.

Looking down on the village of Supai around 1970, we see the homes of the Havasupai below the twin spires of Wigleeva Rocks (at left), which remind the people of their twin mythical heroes. The view is looking north toward the Grand Canyon with Havasu Creek in the trees, bending downstream to the left. Schoolhouse Canyon is entering Havasu Canyon at upper center. The photo was made in the early 1970s by K. C. DenDooven of K C Publications. Founded in Flagstaff in 1963, K C Publications is now located in Wickenburg.

Below Supai, breathtaking waterfalls fill limpid pools surrounded by lush greenery giving the impression of a virtual Eden. This is a picture postcard from before 1954 of Havasu Falls. The photo is by Ray Manley of Western Ways in Tucson, published by Bob Petley of Phoenix. Going downstream from Supai, Havasu Creek tumbled over five travertine terraces, Fiftyfoot Falls (aka Supai Falls), Navajo Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls. Flooding in 2008 altered the course of the streambed, creating two new waterfalls and leaving Navajo Falls dry. Before the reservation was expanded in 1975, the National Park Service maintained the trail into the canyon and controlled the campgrounds at the waterfalls.

The Havasupai Tribe (Havsuw ‘Baaja, Ahabasugapa, Havasooa Pa’a, Yavasupai, Suppai)

Havasupai Reservation
June 8, 1880, President Rutherford B. Hayes ordered the creation of a 38,000-acre “Suppai” reservation in Cataract Canyon, along Cataract Creek (now Havasu Creek), a tributary of the Colorado River in the western part of the Grand Canyon. Hayes replaced his order with a slightly corrected version November 23, 1880. After an army survey found Anglo-owned mines within reservation boundaries, President Chester A. Arthur reduced “Yavai Suppai Indian” land March 31, 1882 to only 518 acres in the canyon. Indigenous families lost control over hunting and gathering lands essential for their support. And when Grand Canyon Forest Reserve was created in 1893 and Grand Canyon National Monument was created in 1908, the Havasupai found their aboriginal lands above Havasu Canyon restricted and patrolled by Forest Rangers and Park Rangers. Population declined from about 300 Havasupai in the 18th century to a low of 166 in 1906. A tribal government was organized in 1939. In 1975, reservation boundaries were enlarged beyond the canyon to include 185,516 acres. Of the now 650 enrolled tribal members, about 450 live at Supai.

Rather than a separate Pai nation, many consider the Havasupai one of the Hualapai bands. The “people of the blue-green waters” enjoyed less contact with English speakers over the years than any other Arizona tribe. Still, Indian agents and missionaries rode into the canyon to live and worked to assimilate the natives. A stone schoolhouse was built in 1895 but destroyed in a massive 1910 flood. It was replaced, and a Christian church was also built. For many Havasupai, the sweat lodge experience still provides the most intimate connection to the spirit world. The Paiute ghost dance religious movement spread to Arizona by 1889 and proved attractive to the Havasupai. While the Hualapai became disillusioned with the movement in 1891, the Havasupai are reported to have continued the practice until 1901.

In Havasu Canyon there was plenty of water, protection from wind and a warmer climate at the reduced elevation. In their bucolic isolation, the Havasupai tended fields, venturing out of the canyon to find what they couldn’t grow. By the 1960s, Supai had a post office, general store and medical clinic. But everything still came by horse pack train down the trail or by helicopter. In 1971 the old diesel electric generator in the canyon was replaced by a transmission line and two larger generators up on the plateau. But there has been trouble even in paradise. A Japanese tourist was recently murdered on the trail to Supai. Then devastating floods in August 2008 and October 2010 closed the canyon to all visitors, cutting off the major source of income.

The Paipai (Akwa’ala, Pai Pai, Kumeyaay-Paipai)

The Paipai are one of more than a dozen tribes of the Kumeyaay-Diegueno Nation of southern California and Baja California Norte, Mexico. A small number of Paipai live in the community of Santa Catarina, Baja California Norte. They began visiting Arizona’s Verde Valley in 1999 to share traditional knowledge with their Yavapai cousins.

Students line up neatly at Fort Yuma Indian School around 1900. The institution has now been reorganized as San Pasqual Valley Unified School District, named after a noted Quechan chief. The small boys in front are clothed in the finest fashion available for young American boys of that era. The older boys in back are wearing military cadet style school uniforms. All of the girls are dressed conservatively, in rather long dresses for the time. Europeans were scandalized when they first encountered Yuma, Pima and Maricopa women who traditionally went around bare-chested. Ordinances were adopted requiring women to cover up when going to town. Fort Yuma, established in 1850, was abandoned by 1883, whereupon the school took over the former military buildings. Situated on a high bluff across the Colorado River from the town of Yuma, paradoxically, there was not enough water to grow shade trees and the school high on wind-swept Indian Hill was a rather dismal looking place until more water became available.

At the same location as above, only sixty years later, the Quechan Indian marching band poses in front of their San Pasqual school bus. Though the signs say Yuma, Arizona, the Fort Yuma site and San Pasqual School are on the California side of the river. Shade trees, palms and one of the old military buildings are visible in the background. The feathered war bonnet of the plains tribes became such an icon that Indians in Arizona who traditionally did not wear such headgear often put it on to look the part. Most didn’t mind. Despite strong tribal identities, pan-Indian traditions continue to strengthen solidarity across boundaries. Last year, the annual Quechan Indian Days celebration honored this marching band which used to travel all over the country. Now disbanded, it was created longer ago than anyone can remember. There are postcards dating back to the 1930s and a reference to a performance in 1914.

The Quechan (Yuma Indians)

Ft. Yuma-Quechan Tribe
In 1853, the Department of Interior established via administrative order a reservation for the Yuma tribe in the area surrounding Fort Yuma. President Chester A. Arthur issued an Executive Order July 6, 1883 creating an unnamed Indian reservation for the Yuma tribe in Arizona Territory. When word came back to Washington, that the Quechan didn’t live in Yuma, Arthur cancelled the reservation in Arizona January 9, 1884 and established a reservation in California, giving the abandoned military reserve to the Department of Interior, US Office of Indian Affairs, forerunner of the BIA. The tribe lost much of its reservation 1893-1910 through allotment. By 1910 tribal population had reached a low of 750 individuals remaining from the population estimate of up to 4,000 made by the Spanish when they first encountered the Quechan in the 16th century. In 1978, the federal government returned 25,000 acres to the Fort Yuma Reservation and by 2000 the population had reached 2,376. It is now the second largest reservation in California.

Spanish explorers Alarcón (1540), Onate (1603) and Kino (1698) first encountered the Yuman speaking tribes on the lower Colorado River. Father Garces helped establish two missions near Yuma crossing in 1780, San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuñer and Misión Puerto de Purisima Concepción. Both were located on the west side of the river. After soldiers and colonists joined the missionaries, the Quechan rebelled against Spanish control in 1781, killing Garces along with 105 Spanish soldiers and settlers, taking at least 75 women and children captive. Spanish soldiers returned and battled the Indians over the next two years, killing more than a fifth of the Quechans, but then they were left alone until Americans arrived in 1846 during the Mexican War. A rush of Forty-niners to the California gold placers brought many Americans to Yuma crossing where the Quechan operated a ferry across the river until the business was usurped by Anglos. Hostilities increased when Quechan warriors felt the need to punish whites for stealing crops. But in 1857, the Quechan suffered a major defeat in a battle against the Pima and Maricopa tribes, leaving them demoralized with little enthusiasm for further warfare.

The Quechan obtained about half their food supply by planting fields in the low areas along the river, taking advantage of annual floods that deposited rich silt. Despite their brief contact with the Spanish, they obtained wheat and melon seeds to add to their native corn, beans and squash, especially pumpkin squash. The other half of the food supply came from fishing, hunting small game and gathering wild foods, most importantly, mesquite beans.

They lived in large extended families with patriarchal clan kinship. Like all Yuman speakers they cremated their dead along with all the deceased’s possessions. Spiritual belief required that important actions be dream-directed, with individuals who could best channel power through dreams taking leadership positions. Brutal warfare with neighboring tribes was a source of power, to control trade and territory, take captives and build social and spiritual esteem. The Quechan often allied with the Mohave against the Cocopahs and Maricopas.

While the Quechan helped travelers cross the Colorado far to the south, Mohave families ran a ferry for travelers along the Beale road. This woodcut was copied from a similar drawing that appeared in Lieut. Whipple’s railroad survey published in 1856. A man in the foreground is swimming sheep across while beyond the rafters a line of Whipple’s supplies is loaded onto an army boat. The Mohave built efficient rafts for crossing the river.

The Mojave Tribe (Tzi-na-ma-a, Pipa Aha Macav, Aha-Macave, Mohave)

Fort Mojave Indian Tribe and Fort Mohave Indian Reservation
A presidential proclamation March 30, 1870 created the Fort Mojave Military Reserve and the Fort Mojave hay and wood reserve, the latter meant to supply the fort. (See: Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs. . .1892) Apparently, Mojave families being held at the fort would be assigned work gathering wood and cutting hay. The military reservations would become de facto Indian reservations. The fort was given to the office of Indian Affairs by the military in 1890. But it would be another executive order February 2, 1911 that would convert the former military land into the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation. The reservation spans three states, 23,669 acres in Mohave County, Arizona; 12,633 acres adjacent to Needles, California; and 5,582 acres in Clark County, Nevada. Beginning at Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona, reservation boundaries proceed south along the Colorado River, fragmenting into a checkerboard pattern of alternate sections of land ending at Topock Marsh. The other sections were originally part of the Atlantic & Pacific railroad land grant. The tribe spells Mojave with a “J” while the government now spells the name of the county and the reservation with an “H.” But the nineteenth century and 1911 documents used the “J” spelling.

Colorado River Indian Tribes and Colorado River Indian Reservation
The Colorado River Reserve, encompassing 376 square miles, was established by act of Congress March 3, 1865, for all tribes living along the river, the “Chemehuevi, Walapai, Kowia [Kawaiisu], Cocopah, Mojave, and Yuma tribes.” President Grant added more land to the Reserve November 22, 1873, November 16, 1874 and May 15, 1876. The expanded reservation began at the ruins of old La Paz, four miles north of Ehrenberg and ran north to Poston, then on both sides of the river to Monument Peak, in California north of Parker. Only a few Chemehuevi and Mojave were living in the area at that time. Placing the Mojave on separate reservations over three states would cause serious divisions within the tribe that persist to this day. The Colorado River Indian Tribes ratified a constitution July 17, 1937 and instituted a judicial system in 1940.

Suddenly, the War Relocation Authority decided to build Poston Relocation Camp in the middle of the reservation for Japanese-Americans who were American citizens but held as prisoners during World War Two. From 1942 until 1945 more than 30,000 Japanese Americans were held in Arizona at two concentration camps hastily built on Indian reservations. A third, virtually secret camp for “troublemakers,” was located at Leupp on the Navajo reservation. After the Japanese were released, renewed pressure came to bear upon Mojave and Chemehuevi residents of the reservation to give land to other Indians the government wished to relocate. Hopi families began arriving September 1, 1945 and Navajo families began coming in 1947, along with a few members of other tribes. Legal action by the Mohave and Chemehuevi ultimately halted immigration. But today, four tribes, Chemehuevi, Hopi, Mojave and Navajo, have a combined government on the reservation as the Colorado River Indian Tribes. They have senior water rights to nearly one-third of Arizona’s share of the Colorado River.

Because the Spanish had little sustained contact with the Mojave, history is vague until the American period. Despite the ferry service, relations with Americans deteriorated. Jedediah Smith reported being attacked by Mojaves in 1827 and an immigrant party on the Beale Road was attacked in 1858. The military established Fort Mojave the following year, three miles downstream from Hardyville crossing, but it had to be abandoned and burned when troops left to join the Civil War. The Fort was reestablished in 1863 then abandoned again in 1890. Like Ft. Yuma, the abandoned Ft. Mojave buildings were used by an Indian boarding school until 1930. But, unlike Ft. Yuma, only ruins remain today.

Like all Yuman speakers “The People by the River” (Pipa Aha Macav) trace their mythical origin to Spirit Mountain in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Mojaves painted their bodies and tattooed their chins, but wore little clothing. Like the Quechan, the Mojave adopted warfare as a social institution for complex reasons tied to their magico-religious beliefs. Motivation probably included the martial spirit, which marked European cultures too. Allied with the Quechan, the Mojave suffered a significant defeat in a battle near Maricopa Wells against the Pima and Maricopa in 1857. They sometimes fought against and at other times had close relations with neighboring Pai tribes. Some Yavapai were reported to be living at the Ft. Mohave reservation. And a small number of Mojave ended up at the San Carlos Reservation for a time. The Fort McDowell Yavapai reservation is home to a sizable population of Mojaves. Over the years, the Mojave have been fractured as a tribe.

The Sovereign Cocopah Nation (Xawil Kunyavaei, Kwapa, Kwikapa)

Cocopah Indian Reservation
Apparently, the plan in 1873 was to relocate the Cocopah to the newly created Colorado River Indian Reservation, since the tribe is mentioned by President Grant as one of those for which the reservation was created. However, the Cocopah remained on their homelands south of Yuma until irrigation projects made the area attractive for agricultural development. A small reservation consisting of two noncontiguous parcels 13 miles south of Yuma was established 27 September 1917 by Executive Order. These enclaves, known as the west and east reservations, totaled 1,772 acres. April 18, 1985, Congress added a third enclave on the north and increased all three parcels to a total of more than 6,500 acres. The tribe adopted a constitution and formed a tribal council in 1964. The Cocopah Nation obtained senior water rights from the 1963 Supreme Court Case that apportioned Colorado River water between Arizona and California. At least 2,400 acres are now under irrigation and leased to non-tribal farmers. There are more than 1,000 tribal members.

Spanish adventurers found the Cocopah living along the Colorado River south of the Gila and all the way down to the delta at the Gulf of California. But the Gadsden Purchase (1853) ran an international border right through the tribe so that by 1930 the Cocopah in Arizona had been cut off from their kin, the Cucapá in Mexico. Cocopah families resisted formal assimilation but learned to work in Anglo communities, notably as riverboat pilots in the 1800s. Judged one of the ten poorest tribes in the US in 1970, the Cocopah Nation benefited from the American Indian Self-Governance movement, adding income from a casino and several recreational enterprises to the agricultural economic base. As a result, like nearly every other Arizona tribe, the Cocopah gained improvements in housing, education and community services.

The Cocopah traditionally led a dream-directed life like other river Yumans, but their most prominent ritual involved a six-day mourning rite for the dead, who were cremated along with their possessions. One of the tribal facilities today is a Cry House for funeral and remembrance ceremonies.

A number of Yuman speaking tribes were disrupted and relocated following contact with the Spanish and continuing warfare with the Quechan-Mojave alliance. In Arizona, these included the Hualapai, Akwa’ala, Halchidoma, Halykwanis, Kaveltcadoms, Kohuana, and Maricopas. The only Yuman speakers remaining on the Colorado River in Arizona were the Mojave, Quechan and Cocopahs. Among the Pimas, only some of the Maricopa and Halchidhoma now recognize their ancestry. (More on the Pimas and Maricopas in Part Four)

The Halchidhoma/Xalchidom

Originally inhabiting the lower Colorado River below the Gila, the Halchidhoma moved up river in the 18th century along with the Kohuana and then up the Gila in the 1820s to avoid warfare with the Quechan alliance. Most merged with the Maricopa tribe, but some settled on the Salt River where the town of Lehi (now north Mesa) would later be located.

The Halykwanis (Halyikawamai, Quicama)

Traditional enemies of the Quechan, this tribe was found by the Spanish (1540-1771) living on the east bank of the Colorado, north of the Cocopahs. But by 1775 Father Garcés noted they had moved to the west bank next to the Kohuana. Sometime after the Spanish left, the Halykwanis disappeared, probably absorbed by another Yuman speaking tribe. The Halykwanis and Kohuana spoke a dialect close to the Cocopah.

The Kaveltcadoms (Kavelchadom)

Once living along the lower Colorado River, north of its delta, the Kaveltcadoms had joined the Maricopas by 1840. They spoke a river branch dialect of the Yuman language family, similar to the dialects spoken by the Mohave, Quechan, Maricopa and Halchidoma.

The Kohuana (aka Coana, Kahwan, Cutganas)

This Yuman speaking tribe was living on the east side of the Colorado River below the Gila when encountered by Garces. Warfare with the Yumas and Cocopahs kept this tribe on the move, into California and at one time close to the present site of Parker. Defeated by the Yumas in 1781, they moved up the Gila River to merge with the Maricopas. In 1851, John R. Bartlett’s Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo boundary survey reported ten living with the Maricopas.

The Maricopa (Pipaash, Pee Posh, Pipatsje, aka Coco-Maricopas)

Evidence suggests that the Maricopas separated from the Quechan to avoid further warfare and moved up the Gila River to join with the Pimas. During or after this migration, the Maricopas apparently absorbed a number of other Yuman speakers, the Halchidomas, Kavelchadoms and Kohuanas.

The Southern Paiute Nation (Nuwuvi, Numu, Nüwü, Pah-Utes)

Southern Paiutes, a branch off Paiutes living in California, Nevada and Utah, formed small bands spread out over a large area, gaining a primitive living in a harsh environment. A dozen or more Paiute clans bound families to the dominating Ute Nation. The Southern Paiute grew corn, beans and pumpkins near streams or by damming and irrigating but depended on flat bread made from grass seed as their staple. They also hunted, from deer and wild sheep down to lizards and chipmunks. Important nourishment came from a large number of wild plants, including cactus and agave. They even knew how to obtain sugar crystals from willows and reeds.

Southern Paiute families went about on foot, clothing themselves with rabbit furs and grasses. They fashioned fine baskets, but few pots, carrying water in woven jugs caulked with pine pitch and cooking on rocks. They believed that the life force is present not only in humans, animals and plants but also every geographic and geologic feature of the landscape, even the air. Deceased ancestors become a part of the earth and their burial ground is a sacred place. Pilgrimages to special places had great importance.

American Indians speaking the Numic language of the Uto-Aztecan family were living in what is now northern Arizona and southern Utah when Spanish explorers ventured that far north in 1776. The Dominguez and Escalante expedition forcibly detained some of the “Payuchis” women near the present location of Cedar City, Utah, frightening all the Indians and leading the conquistadors to judge them “very cowardly.” Spanish and Mexican settlers, with the help of Ute Indians, were soon kidnapping Southern Paiute women and children for lives of servitude. The tribe’s next frightening encounter came with Americans following the Spanish Trail after 1826, who found the natives “wretchedly impoverished, living like animals.”

Anglos settled on Paiute lands grazing cattle and horses that ate all the grains that provided Indians with bread. Whites freely hunted wild game, while punishing starving Paiutes, sometimes with death, for hunting cows and taking horses. Relations with Americans deteriorated quickly and the Paiutes obtained guns from Mormon settlers after they were attacked by a non-Mormon wagon train in 1854. But the Southern Paiute bands had no tradition of warfare. And measles, smallpox and venereal disease greatly reduced their numbers, weakening their ability to oppose the loss of their land. The Black Hawk War in Utah introduced a period of Paiute and Navajo raiding and warfare with Mormon settlers 1865-1870. In the 1890s, the Ghost Dance religious movement, started by a Paiute in Nevada, spread to Arizona but failed to slow Anglo hegemony as promised.

The Spanish and Americans encountered several bands of Southern Paiutes living in Arizona, the Kaibab, San Juan, Uinkarets and Shivwits living north of the Grand Canyon and the Chemehuevi living along the Colorado River after it runs out of the canyon. Several other bands, among the 16 to 19 bands of Southern Paiutes, lived mostly in areas of Nevada and Utah but ranged into Arizona. The Kaiparowits, Paroosits and Moapats are three bands that used to venture into Arizona. There may have also been a distinction among the Indians themselves between eastern and western bands, what they called the Yanawants and the Paranayi. State borders divided up many of the Southern Paiutes leading to population disruption. And then there are the natural borders. The massive chasm of the Grand Canyon completely cut off two areas of Arizona. One is called the Arizona Strip, all of northern Arizona north and west of the Colorado River, historically more a part of Utah than the Grand Canyon State. The other is the Virgin River valley around Littlefield, Arizona in the extreme northwest corner of the state, an area that still has no access from Arizona except by leaving the state.

The Chemehuevi (Nüwü, Tantáwats)

Colorado River Indian Tribes and Colorado River Indian Reservation
Chemehuevi Indian Reservation (California)
In Arizona, about 800 Chemehuevi now live with three other tribes on the Colorado River Reservation (described above for the Mohave). Beginning in 1853, European settlers began displacing Chemehuevi families, but they managed to collect in the Chemehuevi Valley in California by 1885 where the Chemehuevi Valley Indian Reservation was created by the Department of Interior February 2, 1907. However, neither Congress nor the President acted to give the reservation force of law. Still, reservation land was allotted to individual Chemehuevis. A 1911 census found 246 members of the tribe living from Blythe to Needles to Twenty Nine Palms. By 1935 plans were underway to flood much of the Chemehuevi Valley under Lake Havasu behind Parker Dam. The federal government persuaded many families to relocate to the Colorado River Reservation 30 miles south and their status as a federally recognized tribe was lost in 1940. A 1951 lawsuit eventually provided $900,000 compensation for land submerged under Lake Havasu. Maintaining “a persistent desire for recognition and self-determination” over the next thirty years, the Nuwu people regained their federal tribal status in 1970.

The Chemehuevi, the southern most sub-tribe of the Paiute people, migrated south and east to live along the Colorado River, taking over territory vacated by the Hualapai and Maricopa. There, they came in contact with the Mohave, sometimes fighting them and at other times allied with them against other tribes. Under Mohave influence their dialect and habits strayed from their Paiute cousins. There also may have been extended contact with the Halchidhoma. The Chemehuevi traveled widely. Their traditional economy depended on foraging over a wide area of the Mohave Desert, leading them to adopt a routine of “being out.” Like the other Paiute bands, Chemehuevi baskets became widely renown for their craftsmanship.

Photographer J. K. Hillers, who accompanied Powell on his run through the Grand Canyon and subsequent trips to the Arizona Strip, posed Kaibab Paiute men in stereotypical ways that he believed would appeal to buyers of stereoscopic cards. This is a detail from an 1873 card titled “Making Fire.” Paiutes killed three men from the Powell expedition of 1869 who left the river and tried to walk out of the Grand Canyon. John Wesley Powell came looking for his missing crewmen in 1870 with the Mormon Apostle to the Lamanites (Indians) Jacob Hamblin and found the Paiutes friendly. Powell returned to the Arizona Strip 1871-1873 for mapping and again visited the indigenous people.

Kaibab Paiute youth examine “The Necklace” in this 1873 stereo view by J. K. Hillers. Powell and Hillers obtained buckskin clothing, probably from northern Paiutes, and dressed up the Kaibab Paiutes, apparently to make them look more grand and cover them up to avoid offending Victorian tastes. As a result, only their homes and habits were authentically pictured in the series. But the photos are virtually the only ones taken during this era. They sold well and made a nice profit for Powell. The two males wear unauthentic feather headgear like that worn by Paiutes in Nevada, while the four girls are identified by their bare knees.

The Kaibab Paiute Tribe (Kaivavwits)

Kaibab Indian Reservation
Settlers from Utah established ranches at Short Creek, Pipe Spring, Moccasin and Kanab Creek in 1863, in the heart of the hunting, gathering, growing and religious lands of the Kaibab band of Southern Paiutes. Anglos expropriated water sources and set loose cattle to graze the “open range.” After the reservation was created, non-Indians retained their farms, communities and water rights. One-third of the water from Moccasin Spring was allocated for the Paiutes in 1888.

The Moccasin Springs reservation was created by the Department of Interior 16 October 1907 for the Kaibab Paiute band, at which time families were issued cattle for their support. Additional cattle were given in 1916. The Kaibab Indian Reservation was established as a 12-mile by 18-mile rectangle by executive order 11 June 1913. President Wilson then issued another executive order 17 July 1917, removing from the reservation about 12 square miles surrounding the town of Fredonia. There is still an enclave of private land owned by non-Indians within the 120,413-acre reservation, 400 acres around the town of Moccasin. Moreover, in 1923, President Warren Harding designated 40 acres of reservation 12 miles west of Fredonia as Pipe Spring National Monument. This overlaid National Park Service administration on top of Bureau of Indian Affairs jurisdiction, to include an important water source. The Kaibab Paiute tribe has since reached agreement with the Park Service for water and business enterprise at Pipe Spring.

It wasn’t until 1951, that the Kaibab band adopted a constitution and tribal government, approved by the Secretary of Interior May 29, 1965. In 1956 the tribe argued before The Indian Claims Commission for restitution for the taking of aboriginal lands. A more than $1 million settlement was received in 1970 and a tribal administration building was dedicated in June of that year.

Kaiparowits Southern Paiute Band

Southern Paiute bands lived within territorial boundaries, ranging over a wide area to gather foods and find suitable land for small fields of crops. They migrated from plateau to valley with the weather. One band lived on the Kaiparowits and Aquarius Plateaus, on the north side of the Colorado River canyon (now Lake Powell) between the Henry Mountains and the Paria River. Lack of access to land and water for sustenance and exposure to European diseases caused the dissolution and relocation of the Kaiparowits band. A handful of Kaiparowits Paiutes were reportedly living near Escalante, Utah in the 1920s. A single individual still identifying with the band, named Tommy (or Timmican, after the famous Paiute chief), later moved to Richfield. (see: Loch Wade, “Do We Really Need Wilderness?” The Canyon Country Zephyr, April-May 2008.)

Moapa Paiutes (Moapats, Paranayi, Paranagat)

In the 1820s the Moapa band were growing corn, pumpkins and gourds along the Muddy River (in Arizona 1863-1866, now in Nevada). Mormons settled on the river in 1865, but had to abandon the area in 1871. The US Department of Interior established the Muddy Indian Reservation March 12, 1873, the first Paiute reservation in Nevada. The 3,000 acres were reduced to 1,000 acres in 1875. Mormon families who fled to Mexico to escape prosecution for polygamy returned to Muddy Valley in 1916 after the Mexican revolution.

Paroosit Band of Southern Paiutes (St. George band, Parrusits, Yanawant)

The Paroosits lived along the upper Virgin River (Par-roos river) from Pahvant Valley in Utah down to the Colorado River in Arizona and westward into Nevada at the mouth of the Virgin. With the Old Spanish Trail in their midst they suffered greatly from Mexican and American contact, finally scattering near Cedar City, Utah to find food. The last Paroosit reportedly died an old man in 1945 on the Santa Clara reservation.

San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe (Kwaiantikwokets)

This isolated southern Paiute band living east of the Colorado River ended up largely overlooked by the federal government because of its small population (62 individuals in 1873), and because it had affiliated with the Navajo. The tribe achieved federal recognition in 1990. It retains the largest proportion of speakers of the Paiute language of any Paiute tribe, about 10 percent. After living on the Navajo reservation for generations, the band (pop. now 300) signed a treaty with the Navajo Nation government May 20, 2000 to acquire rights to 5,100 acres of homeland near Hidden Springs, ten miles north of Tuba City, and 300 acres at Paiute Farms, south of Lake Powell near Navajo Mountain. Much of the Paiute Farms land had been lost under the waters of Lake Powell in the 1960s. The growth of tribal government led to factional disputes by 2007 and an FBI investigation of allegations of misuse of funds.

Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, Shivwits Band

Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah reservation, formerly the Santa Clara Indian Reservation
April 3, 1980, the federal government recognized the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, a composite of five Paiute bands terminated as recognized tribes by the federal government in 1954, the Cedar, Indian Peak, Kanosh, Koosharem and Shivwits bands. Some of these people had been building dams and irrigating fields along the Santa Clara River when a group of American trappers ran them off and burned all their homes and fields in 1826. The Americans’ motivation seemed to be disgust with the Indians’ “miserable” and “wretched” lifestyle.

The Shivwits band lived on the Shivwits Plateau, an extremely remote area of the Arizona Strip, across the Colorado River to the north from the Hualapai reservation. The southern fingers of the plateau are now a rarely visited part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Despite their isolation, Shivwits families suffered loss of their food supply upon the introduction of cattle ranching to the Strip by Mormons based in southern Utah. Heavy rains in 1882 and 1883 were followed by drought and periodic flooding through 1890. Drought killed half the cattle on the Arizona Strip that year. Concerned for their welfare and to stop them from eating his cattle, a prominent rancher made arrangements with the federal government to relocate the entire band of 194 individuals to the Santa Clara River in Utah where other bands of southern Paiutes had thinned out under economic pressures.

March 3, 1891, Congress authorized funding to acquire land and relocate the Shivwits band, the first action by the government on behalf of southern Paiutes anywhere in the US. The Secretary of Interior established the Santa Clara reservation November 1, 1903. Shebit Day School had opened in 1898 but closed in 1903. It relocated to Panguish as a boarding school the following year. An executive order of President Wilson 21 April 1916 defined reservation boundaries and increased total acreage to 26,800. Congress again enlarged the reservation in 1937. A tribal government was organized and a charter ratified August 30, 1941. Then federal policy turned to termination. Without fully explaining the consequences, the BIA convinced several Paiute bands to allow allotment of reservation land. September 1, 1954, Congress terminated the Shivwits, Kanosh, Koosharem and Indian Peak bands of Southern Paiutes living in Utah. Their water rights were transferred to Walker Bank & Trust Co. in Salt Lake City. Long after it had become clear that termination further impoverished Indian families, the four bands were restored to federal trust status in 1980 as the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah with their former reservation lands returned. A water rights settlement act passed in 2000 makes available 2,000 acre-feet annually from the water reclamation facility at St. George, Utah.

Uninkaret Band of Southern Paiutes

The Uninkarets lived on the Arizona strip around Mt. Trumbull. The Uinkaret Plateau lies between the Kaibab Plateau on the east and the Shivwits Plateau on the west. Three bands of Southern Paiutes identified with foraging lands on the three plateaus. But this harsh geography provided meager support. Though their fate is not clear, the Unikarets were reportedly “dispersed” in the late 19th century. A 1933 population count found 75 Kaibab Paiutes on the reservation at Moccasin, 50 Shivwits on the Santa Clara reservation and 50 Kumoits living around Cedar City. The Unikarets and several other bands were reported extinct.

Stephen Dow Beckham, The Status of Certain Lands Within or Adjacent to the Chemehuevi Valley Indian Reservation, California, (1980s?)
Robert C. Euler, The Paiute People, (1972)
John I. Griffin, Today With the Havasupai Indians, (1972)
William Logan Hebner, Southern Paiute: A Portrait, (2010)
Frederick W. Hodge, Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, (1907)
Stephen Hirst, I Am the Grand Canyon: The Story of the Havasupai People, (2006)
Ronald L. Holt, Beneath these red cliffs: an ethnohistory of the Utah Paiutes, (2006)
Karl Jacoby, Crimes Against Nature. . ., (2001) [Havasupai]
A.L. Kroeber & G.B. Kroeber, A Mohave War Reminiscence 1854-1880, (1973)
Barry M. Pritzker, A Native American Encyclopedia, (2000)
Pat Stein, School Days at Truxton Canyon, (2002)
Stoffle, er al., Piapaxa ‘Uipi (Big River Canyon) . . ., (1994)
Stoffle, et al., Yanawant Paiute Places and Landscapes in the Arizona Strip, two volumes, (2005)
Angus M. Woodbury, A History of Southern Utah and Its National Parks, (1950)
Natale Zappia, “The One Who Wheezes”: Salvador Palma, the Colorado River, and the Emerging World Economy, (ca. 2003)

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Part Two:
Arizona Indian Tribes Preserved Their Identities
The first Arizonans lived in the context of distinct tribal identities while intimately mingling across cultural and social lines. That approach to life is still very much evident in the behavior of American Indians today. There are 21 federally recognized Indian tribes in Arizona and a number of “absorbed” and unrecognized populations. Under the pressures of European expansion and preexisting indigenous rivalries, native peoples were forced over the years to relocate, join with neighbors or live on federally designated reservations. This led to much anguish, loss of life and the loss of many traditions.

It is useful, from an observational standpoint, to place tribal identity in the context of spoken languages. Most linguists see all native Arizona languages related to Athabascan, Hokan or Uto-Aztecan patterns. The first Europeans to arrive from Spain named at least 45 different tribes in the southwest, speaking almost as many languages. Fourteen languages were identified in the area that would become Arizona and New Mexico. Later, the Spanish would encounter nearly a dozen Athabascan speaking bands, each marked by subtle differences in dialect. The diverse Athabascan speaking peoples of eastern Arizona included the Navajo and the Apache, often grouped under the Na-dene language subfamily.

Within the Hokan language family were the Yuman speaking tribes, the Yuma, Cocopah, Maricopa and Mohave people, and the Yuman speaking “Pai” people, Havasupai, Walapai and Yavapai. These people inhabited central and western Arizona, many along the Colorado and Verde Rivers.

The Piman languages strongly resemble Uto-Aztecan tongues spoken from California to Colorado and all the way into Mexico and Central America. The Piman speaking tribes of southern Arizona include the Pima and Tohono O’odam people. Northwestern Arizona’s border encloses the southern edge of the Great Basin landscape, home to the Utes and Paiutes whose traditional languages are similar to the Shoshonean tongues, considered a branch of the Uto-Aztecan family of languages.

Also in Arizona are a number of pueblo communities and associated religious sites of the Hopi, Tewa and Zuni people, who, despite similarities in lifestyle and religion, speak distinct languages. The Hopi language seems derived from the Uto-Aztecan, while Tewa is classified Tanoan. The sounds and structure of Zuni speech suggest no linguistic kinship.

Navajo families were matriarchal with the strongest bond between sisters. The husband was expected to avoid his mother-in-law while providing for her family and his mother’s family. The Santa Fe Railway distributed this Kodachrome photo in the 1940s when horse-drawn wagons were still in widespread use on the reservation.

The Navajo Nation (Diné)
Although they speak an Athabascan dialect, Navajos do not consider themselves Apaches, and Apaches concur. Nevertheless, they were called Apache de Nabaju by residents of Jemez Pueblo, who passed the name along to the Spanish. Nabaju means “planted fields,” or “to take from fields” in the Tewa language. The Navajo had recently added small-scale farming to their hunter-gatherer economy. Immediately recognizing the value of sheep and horses introduced by the Spanish, the Navajo had to steal these animals from the Pueblos.

To curtail these raids, early in the 18th century the Spanish encouraged the Navajo to move westward to a region between Zuni Pueblo and the San Juan River and east of the Hopi mesas. By the beginning of the 19th century, Spanish and later Mexican groups were raiding the Navajo, taking child captives to be sold into slavery as domestic servants. In response, the Navajo increasingly adopted a warrior society led by a few respected chiefs. In 1837 Navajos sacked the Hopi village of Oraibi. The US Army came during the Mexican War in 1846 and attempted to end Navajo raiding by military force followed by treaty negotiations. Fort Defiance was established in the heart of Navajo territory in 1851 but had to be abandoned ten years later to fight the Civil War.

When the Territory of Arizona was established in 1863, the military returned to “destroy” the Navajo. The public plan was to kill all Navajo males capable of bearing arms, taking women and children captive. In reality, the military swept across the Navajo homeland destroying the agricultural base and taking prisoners with offers of food. In 1863, 301 Navajos were killed, in 1864 only 23. But around 8,000 prisoners of war were marched 350-450 miles to a bend on the Pecos River called Bosque Redondo near Fort Sumner in northeastern New Mexico. There, along with 400 Mescalero Apaches living as prisoners on the other side of the Pecos, the Navajo were forced to build a town, grow crops and supplement their food with supervised hunting.

Bosque Redondo was a failure. There was never enough food, even though the army purchased expensive provisions hauled from St. Louis. The surrounding area could not supply enough wood for winter. And New Mexico residents didn’t want these terrorists living in their backyard. After quarreling with the Navajo, the Mescalero walked out one night in 1865 and the army let them go. The same year, 2,321 Navajos died of smallpox. Five soldiers were killed in 1867. Accepting failure, the Bureau of Indian Affairs picked a head chief to go to Washington and he returned with a new treaty. In the summer of 1868, more than 7,300 Navajos walked back to their homeland in small groups where they rejoined a couple thousand of their brethren who had eluded capture. The Long Walk to Bosque Redondo and back would never be forgotten by the Diné.

The Navajo religion has no clearly defined supreme being, but the Yei (Holy Ones) can through precise ceremonials assist those in need and bring good things or misfortune. This painting by James Wayne Yazzi (Arizona Highways, August, 1968) illustrates the rare nine-day Nightway or Yeibichai ceremony performed to heal central nervous system illness, or as psychologists would say, “disorders.” Here, on the final night, invited guests surround six impersonators of the Yei in masks, led by Fringe Mouth the clown and Talking God the singer. On the left is the arbor from which the dancers emerged. On the right is a ceremonial Hogan for the patient and five curative sand paintings. If no mistakes are made in the ceremony, order will be restored and the patient will be in recovery. The object of life is to “walk in beauty,” to live in harmony with the world, steering clear of evil and thus enjoying a healthy life.

In order to survive in their beautiful but harsh and remote homeland, Navajos were dependent upon Anglo traders to take in what families produced in exchange for goods unobtainable on the reservation. This is the interior of Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado photographed in the early 1960s by Wayne Davis of St. Johns (Arizona Highways, September 1967). Juan Lorenzo Hubbell (1854-1930) opened the business in 1876, one of several in a string of Hubbell enterprises. After serving as Apache County Sheriff in St. Johns 1882-1886, Hubbell moved to Ganado where he encouraged production of Navajo blankets and rugs. Still in business, the trading post became in 1967 part of a National Historic Site administered by the US Park Service.

Upon return From Bosque Redondo raiding resumed, but farming, herding sheep and raising horses increased. Over the following years, the reservation established by treaty in the Four Corners region expanded many times. It soon became the largest reservation in the country with the most populous tribe in Arizona. After 1873, Navajo wool blankets were an important source of income, with silver jewelry and colorful paintings added by the end of the century. Beginning with a company of Navajo cavalry in 1872, a Navajo police force was organized. Missions and boarding schools came around 1900. But per-family income declined from 1900-1930. In 1917, the BIA began encouraging the formation of local government Chapters on the reservation. From 1925-29, interest groups representing Grand Canyon tourism got Congress to pay for a highway bridge across the Colorado River near Lee’s Ferry by charging it to money appropriated for the Navajos. Oil companies wanted a tribal wide authority to sign oil and gas leases on behalf of all Navajos. An advisory committee organized in 1923 soon became known as the Tribal Council, headquartered at Window Rock in 1936. The first election of Council Delegates was held in 1938. Navajos quickly learned to be clever politicians and skillful bureaucrats. By 1998, there were 110 local Chapters, 183 tribal government agencies, seven judicial district courts and several dozen powerful grazing committees.

But the Navajo Nation still struggles to provide for its people. The BIA instituted a mandatory livestock reduction program in 1934 that led to much grief and forced relocation from Hopi lands beginning in 1970 disturbed many families while adding New Lands to the reservation. The Council removed tribal Chairman Peter MacDonald from office in 1989 on corruption charges, sparking an attempted coup by supporters that resulted in two deaths. McDonald was sent to federal prison in 1990. Pardoned by the tribal Council in 1995, his sentence was commuted by President Clinton in 2001.

I believe this color picture appeared in the Santa Fe Railway promotional magazine for tourists around 1910. Labeled “Apache warrior on the Rio Navajo, Arizona,” it and another view of two Apache riders photographed at the same spot are exciting, if posed, glimpses of indigenous life. Also repeatedly issued as postcards by the Fred Harvey Company, the photos were surely not taken in Arizona. They undoubtedly show Jicarilla Apaches on their reservation in northern New Mexico, where the Navajo River runs out of Colorado and back to join the San Juan. Not far from the location pictured the railroad follows the river, named Rio Navajo and Rio Florida by the Spanish because Navajos lived there. It was not the Santa Fe Railway, however, but the rival Denver Rio Grande, which might explain why the photos would be wrongly identified. By 1968, the rails along the Navajo River lay abandoned but excursion trains continued to run along the line at either end, the Durango and Silverton in Colorado and the Cumbres and Toltec in New Mexico.

The Apache Tribes (Nde, Inde or Nide)
In order to understand historical Apache behavior it is important to note their social organization. Apaches lived in widely scattered but territorial family, joint family or local group communities. Groups formed loose confederations to create bands, with a single leader in an advisory rather than dictatorial capacity. Speaking Athabascan dialects intelligible across bands, each community retained its distinctive identity while freely mingling and intermarrying. Families were matrilineal and matrilocal, but marriages sometimes polygamous. The Western Apache also imposed a matrilineal clan system with kinship determined by 62 clans based on plant gathering areas. Clan relationships transcend bands. Daily life was controlled by a number of verbal and behavioral taboos. Apache religious beliefs, associated with monuments in the landscape, encouraged tapping into powerful metaphysical forces pervading the environment. Gifted individuals, medicine men or female herbalists, could access power for good or evil purposes. The “enemies-against power” that brought success in battle or raiding was considered the strongest.

The Apache were hunter-gatherers with limited agriculture, but had to adopt a raiding economy to survive. A distinction was made between raiding neighbors without aiming to kill, in order to obtain livestock or foodstuffs, and warfare where the object was to kill perpetrators to avenge the death of one of their own. Accordingly, the European death penalty for horse thieves and anti-government insurgents instigated a chain of Apache reprisals. A number of heinous murders of Apache leaders and whole families by American civilians using extremely deceptive tactics, spelled doom for any possibility of peaceful coexistence. A minority of Chiricahua Apaches, unable to find a place to settle down, ended up constantly on the run.

Two of the most difficult aspects of Apache life for Europeans to understand were the great freedom of volition on the part of individuals and the habit of living one day at a time. But those Europeans who understood Apache social structure were able to exploit rivalries and personal hatreds to divide the bands. In order to pacify Apaches, the Spanish offered food and alcohol to draw them in and then gave them farmland near Hispanic towns. These apaches mansos “tame” farmers became an important segment of early Tucson, a political constituency to use against untamed bands. Later, Apache scouts were very effectively deployed by the US Army to track and subdue “renegade” Chiricahua bands.

US Army scouts were more often Western Apaches, but sometimes Chiricahuas too. Scouts achieved pride and respect. General Crook recruited 75 Western Apache scouts in 1871. They were paid a salary but often accompanied the cavalry over long distances on foot. They could draw a uniform or wear their own clothing and collect the uniform allowance upon leaving the service. Like Anglo military personnel they were subject to harsh punishment. Three Apache scouts were hanged in 1882 following the Cibecue incident. Still, most seemed glad to serve. The White Mountain Apache William Alchesay was one of at least 11 Indian scouts to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in the 19th century. The last Apache scout detachment was disbanded in 1923 at Fort Huachuca. The last scout reportedly retired in 1947. This carte de visite by A. Miller, probably from the 1890s, is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

The many Apache sub-tribes and bands have been known by a confusing plethora of names, often erroneously bestowed by the Spanish or Anglos. The Lipan (Ndé), Jicarilla (Tinde) and Kiowa-Apache (Naisha) tribes remained on the plains of Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, while warfare with the Comanche drove other Apaches west of the Rio Grande beginning about 1700. The Mescalero Apaches settled in southern in New Mexico. Other tribes migrated to what would become Arizona, settling north and south of the Gila River and becoming known to the white man as Western Apaches, Gila Apaches and Chiricahuas. The Spanish identified the Western and Gila Apache subtribes, from north to south, as Tontos, Coyoteros and Pinaleños. Then to the southeast, the Spanish distinguished between Chiricahuas and Mimbreños living along the Mimbres River.

Americans identified four sub-tribes of Western Apaches living from the Mogollon Rim south to the Gila River, the Tonto, Cibecue, White Mountain (aka Coyotero), and San Carlos Apaches (aka Pinal or Pinaleño). South of the Gila and into New Mexico and Mexico lived four or five bands of Chiricahuas: the Bedonkohe of Geronimo, the Chieahen of Chiefs Cosito and Codahooyah, the Chihenne of Victorio (aka Warm Springs Apaches), the Chokonen (aka Copper Mine Apaches) of Cochise and his son Naiche, and the Nedni (Nednai or Ndendaande) of Chief Whoa in Mexico. But some of these terms were applied across bands. And many Chiricahua families had relatives in more than one band.

In order to police the Apaches and open up land for white settlement, the US government adopted a policy of confining Indians to reservations. Three were created in Arizona for the various Apache bands.
San Carlos Apache Tribe (Dilzhe’e) on the San Carlos Reservation
White Mountain Apache Tribe (Ndee or Nnee) on the Fort Apache Reservation
Chiricahua (Chokonende) Indian Reservation
In the summer of 1871, the US Board of Indian Commissioners authorized the creation of small Indian reservations adjacent to the Camp Apache, Camp Grant and Camp Verde, military posts. Following the Camp Grant massacre, a four million acre White Mountain Indian Reservation was created by executive order of President Grant November 9, 1871 with the Indian agency office located near where the San Carlos River joins the Gila. Camp San Carlos was established there in 1873. From 1873 to 1877 large parts of the reservation were taken away so the land could be mined. December 14, 1872, President Grant created the Chiricahua Indian Reservation out of the southeastern corner of Arizona Territory, extending south from a point east of the Graham Mountains, to encompass the Chiricahua range and the Dragoon Mountains. This same Executive Order established the “San Carlos division of the White Mountain Indian Reservation.”

This gave too much land to the Indians, stifling economic development, argued the newspapers. And it didn’t stop Chiricahua raiding. In 1875, the federal government decided to forcibly relocate all Apache sub-tribes and bands to the San Carlos division, confining them to as small an area as possible. The Chiricahua Reservation was abolished by U.S. Grant October 30, 1876. More than two decades later, long after the concentration policy failed, Congress voted June 7, 1897 to split the White Mountain Reservation into the Fort Apache Indian Reservation north of the Salt and Black Rivers, and the San Carlos Reservation to the south. These days, the Fort Apache Reservation is more often referred to as the White Mountain Reservation.

The Chiricahua people were hit hard by the confinement at San Carlos. General Crook made promises he could not keep and intimidated them with severed heads of renegades on display and threats of prosecution in Indian courts for use of alcohol and polygamy. The Department of Interior, Indian bureau threatened prosecution in civilian courts for religious “devil dancing” and abusing wives. In May 1877, Apaches who tried to return to Warm Springs, New Mexico were forcibly taken to San Carlos. In 1881 several Chiricahua bands fled San Carlos, only to return three years later after they were hunted down by Crook’s troops in Mexico. Geronimo, Naiche, Nana, Mangas junior and Chihuahua led a group of 35 men, 8 teenage boys and 101 women and children to flee again in 1885. But at least three quarters of the Chiricahua stayed on the reservation. Toward the end of summer 1886, surrounded in Mexico, the last free Chiricahuas surrendered to Crook’s replacement, General Miles. They were sent east as prisoners of war for 27 years, at military bases first in Texas, then Florida, Alabama and finally Fort Sill, Oklahoma. General Miles also sent the peaceful Chiricahuas who had stayed at San Carlos, and even the Chiricahua scouts who had led the military to the renegades, into captivity along with the others. In 1913 and 1914 they were finally released, to live near Fort Sill, or on the Mescalero or San Carlos reservations, but not their homelands. The Chiricahua Diaspora persists to this day.

Charles W. Herbert of Western Ways Features took this photo of the White Mountain Apache harvest at Whiteriver around 1960. Hundreds of ears in the husk might be pit barbecued for large gatherings. Here, ears are being dried for winter storage. Both Apache and Navajo families depended on corn, beans and squash combined with meat and numerous wild plants. The Navajo landscape favored mutton, while the Apaches preferred beef. Deer, elk and smaller game animals were hunted. Apaches on the move would eat their horses if need be, but would never eat some animals, especially any that lived in water.

The Western Apaches who had learned to replace raiding with farming and ranching faired slightly better than the Chiricahuas. Tuberculosis wasted Indian populations on all the reservations 1916-1925. The death rate among Indians was 17 times higher than the rate for the country as a whole. Willing to seek work off the reservation, some families saw income slowly improve. In the 1940s and 1950s, both the White Mountain and San Carlos tribes profited from large herds of pure Hereford cattle. As cattle ranching waned, the White Mountain Apaches began building in 1954 a recreation industry on their reservation that became a model for other tribes. When SRP tried to stop them from damming its water to create Hawley Lake, the Apaches used armed guards to keep state officials from serving the injunction. Then they built 26 more recreational lakes, stores, campgrounds and a ski resort.

Tonto Apache Tribe (Dilzhe’eh or Dilzhe’e)
Tonto Apaches spoke a separate Athabascan dialect but were generally fluent in the speech of their neighbors. Four northern Tonto bands are recognized, the Mormon Lake, Fossil Creek, Bald Mountain and Oak Creek. Southern Tonto bands include the Mazatzal and six semi-bands. Because they lived in close proximity in harmony, the Yavapai and the Tonto Apache tribes were lumped together by the military at Camp Verde on the Rio Verde Reserve in 1871, then, four years later removed to the San Carlos Reservation between Globe and Safford. Returning to their aboriginal homeland near Payson a generation later, about a hundred Tonto Apaches struggled to gain title to land. A small Tonto Apache Reservation was established in 1972 and efforts have been made to expand it.

This is a detail from a stereoscopic card labeled “Apache squaws Verde Reservation,” by Dudley P. Flanders. The Los Angeles based photographer made his “Trip Though Arizona” from December 1873 to November 1874. He pictured the Verde Reserve during the spring of 1874. Both Tonto Apache and Yavapai women are likely present in this view. Some of the Yavapai women have multiple strings of beads around their necks, vertical lines on their faces and horizontal white stripes in their hair, distinguishing them from their Apache companions.

The Yavapai people
Three reservations in Arizona were created over the years for the displaced Yavapai people.
Fort McDowell Mohave-Apache Indian Community
The 26,400 acre reservation was created in 1886 at the former military post. Population is now around 1,000.
Yavapai-Apache Nation
Created in 1871 near Camp Verde, the reservation was taken away in 1875 and the residents forcibly removed to the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Re-established in 1909, additional land was added in 1915, 1917, 1967 and 1974, bringing total area to 644 acres for about 1,700 residents.
Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe
The 1,395-acre reservation was created in 1935 outside Prescott, but is now home to little more than 150 residents.

Warfare had long ago become a persistent cultural institution for the Yuman speaking peoples of Arizona, driving families into warring factions and splitting communities to scatter over a wider area. The Lower Yumans, the Cocopah, Halchidhoma (aka Xalchidom), Maricopa (aka Cocomaricopa), Mohave and Yuma tribes all probably lived along the Colorado River until the Maricopa people left to seek peace up the Gila River to the east. The Halchidhoma also went up the Gila to its junction with the Salt River in the 18th century. Also probably in search of peace, the Upper Yuman tribes or Pai (“we people”), the Havasupai (or Supai), Hualapai (aka Walapai) and Yavapai went into the mountains and canyons of central Arizona to live.

“The modern Yavapai-Apache Nation is the combination of two distinct Tribal People; the northeast Yavapai (also known sometimes as the Yavape’), some Wipukapaya and Kewevkapaya People and the Dilzhe’e Apache often referred to in books and movies as Tontos or Tonto Apache. Both of our ancestral tribes lived in the Verde Valley and the surrounding country for centuries. The Dilzhe’e lived mostly east of and the Yavapai mostly west of the Verde River, but they overlapped on both sides when they needed to. Along the River Yavapai and Apache families shared resources and even intermarried. A lot of the old timers who grew up in that way spoke both languages.” (Yavapai-Apache KIDSHISTORY-07.pdf)

Ignoring their Yuman-based speech, the Anglos who ruled Arizona, considered the Yavapai just another Apache band, calling them Mohave-Apaches, Yavapai-Apaches or Yuma-Apaches. This led to much suffering on the part of the Indians. As soon as General George Crook assumed command of the military department of Arizona he ordered a roundup of all Apaches in the vicinity who did not voluntarily report to the Camp Verde reservation by a February 1872 deadline. December 28, 1872, 120 US soldiers and 100 Pima scouts trapped a group of Kewevkapaya families who refused to surrender in Skeleton Cave in the Salt River Canyon, mercilessly slaughtering at least 75 men, women and children with gunfire and by rolling boulders down on them. Their mangled bodies were left in place to rot. About 35 wounded women and children were sent to Camp Verde. Then in 1875, the Camp Verde reservation was abolished and 1,500 Yavapais and Tonto Apaches were force-marched to San Carlos where they remained for the next 25 years. In the early 1920s, a few survivors went to Skeleton Cave and recovered bones for proper burial on the Fort McDowell reservation. In 1975, the tribe saved their reservation at Fort McDowell from inundation by stopping construction of Orme Dam.

(Most tribes publish newspapers. In addition, the internet is now one of the best places to hear from Native peoples and their governments and organizations. The forums at are particularly helpful. For Aravaipa Apache history see, For a portal to everything Navajo go to, gives the current viewpoint from the Chiricahua perspective.)
The Arizona Blue Book, Arizona Secretary of State (tribal listing)
Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs, Tribal Directory
Gordon C. Baldwin, The Apache Indians, (1978)
Keith H. Basso, ed., Western Apache Raiding and Warfare, (1971)
Kathy Block, “The Skeleton Cave Massacre” (2009)
Timothy Braatz, Surviving Conquest A History of the Yavapai Peoples, (2003)
Karl Jacoby & Patricia Nelson Limerick, Shadows at Dawn: A Apache Massacre and the Violence of History, (2009) about the Camp Grant Massacre.
Broderick H. Johnson, et al., Denetsosie, (1969) the Navajo Long Walk and after.
Sherry Robinson, Apache Voices, (2000)
James D. Shinkle, Fort Sumner and the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation, (1965)
Dale Slocum, Today With the White Mountain Apache, (1972)
Edward H. Spicer, Cycles of Conquest, (1962)
Eva Tulene Watt, Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You, (2004) White Mt. Apache family life 1860-1975.

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(background of 13th Century polychrome pottery patterns from Four Mile dig in east-central Arizona, drawn by Mac Schweitzer.)

Part One:
Arizona Indians Survived
the Loss of Their World
Arizona’s indigenous peoples left no written archive for historians. Most of what we know about the Native American experience has been documented by Anglos, making tribal history an exercise in western European thinking. Therefore, it is insightful to relate American Indian history from a postcolonial, multicultural perspective. In any case, the profound conflict between Native and European values made Indian life really difficult over the years. When Europeans arrived in the southwest, the people already living there would have been happy to share some tobacco over a campfire. Instead, they were surprised and dismayed to learn that these strangers shared nothing.

This encounter happened at the height of the Renaissance and Reformation in Europe. It was not an age of tolerance. And Spain in particular was still acting out the horrors of the Inquisition. European civilization was structured along class lines, with an aristocracy and monarchy that demanded complete fealty. Science and the Reformation challenged the Catholic Church. Merchants and new technologies offered an alternative to the accumulation of wealth via Feudalism. It was an age of conflict. And it had become accepted in the eastern hemisphere that the strong should dominate the weak.

Europeans enforced real property ownership on Indians who saw no property lines on the ground and had difficulty understanding the concept of possession of dirt by absentee owners. Conquistadors demanded obeisance by conquered tribes to a king Indians would never meet. Padres tolerated no unorthodox rituals or beliefs, destroyed idols and required families to perform forced labor that benefited the aristocracy and the religious order. Conscientious objectors were subjected to torture, hanging, garroting, beheading, dismemberment or amputation. It must have been obvious early on that Europeans considered Indians an inferior conquered population. And yet Indians were shy but proud, placing great importance on personal respect. The clashing of conflicting beliefs initiated several centuries of Indian rebellions and European punitive expeditions.

The Apache practice of killing whole families or taking women and children captive spread fear and inflamed Anglo resentment. With great difficulty, the US military disarmed and confined each renegade band, culminating in the surrender of Geronimo’s Chiricahuas in 1886. Just before the official surrender, Tombstone photographer C. S. Fly set up a series of poses like this one of Geronimo and his still armed families. Six months earlier in New Mexico, 11-year-old Santiago “Jimmy” McKinn rode off with the Indians as they killed his older brother. The two boys were away from home caring for horses and the Apaches needed more horses. After the surrender, Santiago, who already spoke English and Spanish, was returned to his father fluent in Apache. Geronimo and his men, women and children were sent east for 27 years of confinement. Santiago grew up to become a blacksmith in Silver City, New Mexico. Later he moved with his wife and children to Phoenix where he died in the 1950s. The boy with bow and arrow has been identified as Garditha, a 10-year-old orphan who became the uncle of the influential Fort Sill leader Robert Gooday. There is an accompanying photo showing Garditha and the other boys brandishing rifles along side the men. It is believed he died during confinement in Florida or Alabama. The man in white shirt, sitting at right may be the 20-year-old Zhonne, brother-in-law of the leader Natchez (Naiche). In several of the photos he is holding his baby. Zhonne was sent to Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania for rehabilitation where he is later pictured with short hair in a stylish suit. As Calvin Zhonne, he was eventually reunited with his wife and children and they went in 1913, the year imprisonment of the Chiricahuas ended, to live on the Mescalero reservation in New Mexico.

The practice of pagan rituals was proof to the white man of the need for change in Indian behavior. Fervent and persistent missionary efforts were introduced on every reservation to persuade natives to turn away from the devil. It was an exercise in liberal idealism, a belief in repentance and rehabilitation. As late as the 1950s, when Mike Roberts issued this postcard, many were still calling this ceremony the “Apache devil dance.” The White Mountain Apaches call the men Gann dancers or crown dancers. Representing the life within the living mountains, the Gann appear at many ceremonies. They are seen here as part of the Sunrise Ceremony, a puberty rite for girls. While many Apaches have become devoted Christians and church members, traditional practices continue.

Adventurers from the United States eventually took possession of the southwest by military force and imposed their own liberal democratic ideals. The land, its animals, minerals, plants and people, was an economic resource that must be used to further the progress of civilization. Native peoples became wards of the state, confined to government reserves for their salvation and education. A debate ensued, between those who advocated extirpation and those who argued for assimilation. Democracy demanded that any resolution of that debate remain tentative. Those who rejected liberal ideals supported violent solutions like the infamous Bascom Affair and the Camp Grant Massacre.

San Carlos Indian Agent John P. Clum summed up the military war against the Apaches from 1862 to 1871 as more than $38 million spent to kill less than 100 Indians, including old men, women and children, at the cost of the lives of more than 1,000 Anglo soldiers and civilians. (p. 67, Baldwin, The Apache Indians, 1978) Then in 1871, about 125 Aravaipa Apaches, mostly women and children, were massacred by Tucson vigilantes while living under the supervision of the military at Camp Grant. It has been estimated that several hundred Yavapai Indians, mistaken for Apaches, were killed between 1864 and 1876, including at least 75 slaughtered at Skeleton Cave in 1872. Unfortunately, the expense and killing would continue until at least 1886. And the economy of Arizona Territory suffered. Finally, with the appointment of General Crook to deal with the Apache problem, the great Arizona copper magnate James Douglas noted that resolution was finally at hand. “The true remedy lies in supplying the Indian with the means of supporting himself and training him to live side by side in healthy rivalry with the white man, not in fostering race distinction by isolating the Indian on his reservation and excluding the white man from mines that the Indian cannot work and pastures that he cannot occupy.” (pp. 78-79, H. H. Langton, James Douglas A Memoir, 1940)

In a harsh environment, hunter-gatherer tribes had to be constantly on the move, often taking from others what they needed to survive. For many years after they were confined on reservations, learning to farm for a living, they were dependent upon food bank handouts from the federal government. This detail from a stereoscopic card by Rothrock of Phoenix shows “count” and “ration day” on the San Carlos Apache Reservation about 1878. The people would be counted to ensure none had left the reservation and then issued European foodstuffs. In recent years there has been a drive to reintroduce traditional foods in the Native American diet in order to treat obesity and diabetes.

At the end of the Indian wars, the prevailing idea, irrespective of the facts, was that Native Americans were a dying race, with their only hope that of integration into American society. Government Indian boarding schools were instituted toward this end, and Phoenix had one of the biggest. This is a view of a Phoenix dormitory in the 1890s. Some old postcards call this the “Boys Hall,” while others label the same view “Girls Dormitory.” Phoenix Indian School was established in 1891 and closed in 1990. Historical archaeologist Owen Lindauer has commented, “Many students were forcibly separated from their parents, and the rapid personal transformation demanded of pupils was facilitated through a draconian and abrupt detachment from tribal cultural patterns.” (“Archaeology of the Phoenix Indian School,” March 27, 1998, Archaeological Institute of America)

Phoenix Indian School was big on band, sports and military classes. This is a group of officers with their Anglo commander about 1912. Many Native Americans seemed to welcome military life and became heroic soldiers and marines. A group of Geronimo’s warriors were recruited for Company I, 12th Infantry, US Army. Previously, Apache and Yavapai army scouts were General Crook’s secret weapon against Geronimo. Actually, rather than secret they became storied, remaining a part of the Army Signal Corps into the 1920s. And then the use of code talkers during World War II has recently become equally legendary.

This is a classroom in a Hualapai school near Kingman around 1900. They look glum, but even Anglo children knew it would be rude to smile for the camera in those days. And their rather rude classroom was probably no worse than many Arizona rural school buildings at the time. Those are maps of the continents decorating the walls above the hat pegs. (click on photo to see full size) In 1900, many Anglo kids couldn’t afford shoes either. This is likely a day school instead of a boarding school. Still, most Indian schools failed to produce fully integrated citizens. In the words of former Commissioner of Indian Affairs Francis Leupp, writing in 1910, the Indians did not fail in their quest for an education but the schools failed the Indians. (p. 129, Dejong, Promises of the Past, 1993) Well educated Natives Americans would continue to have difficulty competing in the job market, excelling at liberal politics or finding happiness at home in a country where half of all marriages fail.

In the end, European civilization came to dominate the western hemisphere. Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs & Steel, 1997) has shown how chance circumstances of geography denied Native Americans the usefulness of steel tools, animals capable of domestication and warriors with the force of gunpowder. Indigenous Americans were certainly intelligent and clever enough and their ideals were no more debilitating than the Machiavellianism and chivalry of the old world. As soon as they got their hands on horses, sheep and cattle, knives, guns and badges, Native Americans quickly demonstrated their skill with these implements.

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 (Snyder Act) granted full US citizenship to Indians. That didn’t mean they could vote. Voting rights have never been accorded all citizens in the US. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 established a framework for tribal government on reservations. Native Americans would now be able to elect tribal leaders. The service of ethnic minorities in World War II opened the door to participation in civil society following the war. When Native Americans were refused voter registration in Arizona because they were “wards of the government” they went to court and won a judgment in their favor July 15, 1948 in the Arizona Supreme Court. County election officials then turned to literacy tests to disqualify Indian voters. Local governments found ways around the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed discriminatory practices. When the first Navajo was elected to the Apache County Board of Supervisors in 1972, the Anglo supervisors refused to certify his election. Again, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of Indian electoral rights. (109 Ariz. 510, 1973) But disqualification of ballots, voters and candidates on technicalities continues.

The Quechan or Yuma people operated a ferry service across the Colorado River at Fort Yuma for forty-niners going to California. Anglo entrepreneurs then started a competing ferry. When the Quechan tried to block access the Anglos got the military to intervene. Belligerent Indians ran the troops out of the fort for a year, but soldiers returned and put the Quechan out of business for good. As Yuma’s commercial district grew, its indigenous residents were criticized for indolence and alcoholism. In this view from about 1910 with the Southern Pacific railroad depot and hotel behind the trees, a few industrious women offer train passengers their crafts. The train is just out of view at left.  The little house with lots of windows is a produce exhibit.  This was when the SP main line crossed the river near the old quartermaster depot and went down the middle of Madison Avenue. The bridge, depot and tracks were removed from 1927-1966. Recently this whole area of Yuma was bulldozed for development, leaving it completely unrecognizable as a historic district.

Many of Arizona’s natives produced works of art with great value. Navajo blankets, Pima baskets and Hopi pottery were admired around the world after display at a number of international expositions. This unnamed Hopi woman appears to be making everyday utilitarian vessels rather than the highly polished and finely painted pueblo ware produced during the same time period. Her clay has been ground on a stone and mixed in a bowl and the pot is fashioned from coils. The picture is a colorized black & white photo copyright 1899 by Detroit Photographic Company, which issued it as a postcard.

After a couple bloody rebellions, most of the Tohono O’odam people eventually embraced the Catholic church and labored from 1783 until 1797 building this still astonishingly beautiful work of colonial architecture, Mission San Xavier del Bac, south of Tucson. The architecture has been attributed to Ignacio Gaona but there is no documentation. Padre Kino, who first visited the area in 1692, established the mission in 1700 at a site two miles from the present church. Following the creation of the Mexican republic, the friars left in 1828, not to return until 1911. During that time, faithful Tohono O’odam caretakers preserved the building. This postcard view shows the church after repairs were completed in 1906 following an 1887 earthquake. (Celestine Chinn, Mission San Xavier del Bac, 1951)
Judith Harlan, American Indians Today, (1987)
Robert H. Jackson, Indian Population Decline, (1994)
Levin & Lurie, eds., The American Indian Today, (1970)
Richard C. McCormick, Arizona: Its Resources and Prospects, (1865)
Edward H. Spicer, Cycles of Conquest, (1962)

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