Items 1 to 10 of 1056 total

Compiled from Days Past articles by Barbara Patton and research and writings by Sue Kissel, Brenda Taylor and Nancy Kirkpatrick Wright.

Kate Thomson Cory was born in Waukeegan, Illinois on February 8th, 1861, to James and Eliza Cory. She was raised with a sense of justice and respect for all; her father was an abolitionist, Underground Railroad supporter and friend of Abraham Lincoln. In the late 1870s, the family moved to New York City, and, encouraged by her mother, Kate studied art at the distinguished Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art where she had success as a landscape artist.
 

In 1905, Kate met Louis Akin who had been in Arizona painting portraits of Hopi people and village scenes. His descriptions of the vivid colors and majestic panoramas of the Southwest piqued Kate’s interest, as did the idea of joining his proposed artist colony on Hopi lands.
 

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By Al Bates

First published March 2, 2013
Re-edited April 2, 2019

In the last article we traced Arizona’s early days as a neglected part of New Mexico Territory and how the Gadsden Purchase started the concept of a political subdivision by that name.  Today we look at the shaping of Arizona (literally) by the United States Congress and how its first government was formed.

The debate over splitting Arizona from New Mexico Territory included 18 Congressional bills that produced a variety of proposed shapes.  Some proposals split Arizona from New Mexico Territory along a horizontal line while others called for a vertical split.  It was not until February 20, 1863, that the Senate finally agreed to a bill that had passed in the House over nine months earlier.  President Lincoln signed the statute four days later.  The next step was to appoint officers for the new territory, which is where Charles Debrile Poston, the self-designated “Father of Arizona,” comes in.
 

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By Tom Collins

Men worshiped them. Women envied them. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, beautiful actresses dominated the professional theatre, and the best of them earned huge salaries and became icons of feminine allure.  In the western states and territories, pioneers packed the theaters to get a glimpse of the legendary beauties whose personal lives were sometimes as sensational as the plays they starred in. Two of the many great dames who visited the Arizona Territory were Belle Archer and Olga Nethersole, both of whom represented the new liberated woman of the Gilded Age.

 

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By Al Bates

Originally published Feb. 23, 2013

Edited March 29, 2019

 

Arizona’s path to statehood began 156 years ago when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Organic Act separating it from New Mexico Territory and establishing it as a U.S. territory in its own right.  However, this was not the first recognized Arizona Territory, for a previous version existed briefly as part of the Confederate States of America.  And before that, early residents attempted to establish a “provisional” Arizona Territory.
 

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By Al Bates

First published Jan 31, 2015 and re-edited in 2019.
 

In January 1737, Captain Juan Bautista de Anza reported from his outpost in Sonora to his superiors in central Mexico about vast deposits of silver near the “Arizona rancheria” owned by his deputy mayor, Bernardo de Urrea. That discovery, known as the Planchas de Plata, had two results.  First was a struggle over ownership of the silver.  Second was the adoption of the rancheria’s name to identify the surrounding area.

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By Dave Lewis

Lieutenant Joseph Ives and his men were awestruck when they entered the bottom of the Grand Canyon at Diamond Creek in March 1858. 

 

Geologist Newberry studied the rock layers; cartographer Egloffstein and artist Möllhausen sketched; Ives used the language of architecture to describe “. . . stately facades, august cathedrals, amphitheaters, rotundas, castellated walls, and rows of time-stained ruins, surmounted by every form of tower, minaret, dome and spire . . .”    He wrote evocatively of the sublime views and beautiful colors of the canyon. 

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By Dave Lewis

In January 1858, Lieutenant Joseph Ives set out from Yuma in the steamship Explorer to determine how far boats could go upriver on the mighty Colorado.  While still within sight of amused spectators at Fort Yuma, his pilot ran the boat aground.  This would happen many more times, usually to the delight of Indians gathered on the riverbank who knew the river and could predict the groundings. 

 

Further detracting from the expedition’s glory, Yuma-based riverman George Alonzo Johnson beat Ives to the punch by running one of his boats upriver into Black Canyon several weeks before Ives. Johnson had offered Ives his services and the use of one of his boats.  Ives rejected the offer; in a fit of competitive spirit, Johnson decided to do it first.

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By Keith Warren Lloyd

On Sunday, September 29, 1918, twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr. from Phoenix, Arizona, took off from a tiny airstrip just outside the ruined city of Verdun, France. Flying in the open cockpit of a camouflaged Spad XIII, a 235-horsepower French-built biplane with American markings and armed with a pair of Vickers machine guns, the tall, blond pilot had to bank sharply to avoid the enemy gunners lying in wait just over the crest of a nearby ridge.

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By Dave Lewis

1857:  The land that would become Arizona was still part of New Mexico Territory, but the name “Arizona” was gaining popularity among citizens around Tucson. Tucson, Tubac, and Yuma were the only non-native settlements in Arizona and knowledge of the region was growing slowly.  Spaniards had been here since the 1500s.  Mountain men and prospectors had crossed Arizona; Army expeditions had traversed Arizona along the Gila River and along the Mormon Trail south of the Gila.  Lorenzo Sitgreaves, Amiel Whipple, and Edward Beale had surveyed possible wagon and railroad routes.  There was even regular river boat activity on the lower Colorado, between Yuma to the Sea of Cortez. 

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By Barbara Patton

By mid-August of 1857, Lieutenant Edward Beale’s surveying party left Albuquerque, heading into Indian country.  Traveling ten to twenty miles a day, they arrived at Fort Defiance (just over the border in present-day Arizona) on August 25.  From there they closely followed the Whipple expedition's route toward the San Francisco Peaks, and on September 9, Beale recorded, “a plain of vast extent. The viewing of the rich green grass, the distant mountains and our moving camp wagons, sheep, horses and camels made a beautiful picture.”

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