Some of the Wobblies rode to Warren

I had always been under the impression that the men being deported in the Summer of ’17 were forced to march from their picket posts or residences to the Warren Ball Park, mostly because that’s what the photos show. But in reading the testimony in the 1920 trial of Harry Wootton for the kidnapping of Fred W. Brown, prosecution witness Thomas Green says that “. . . they loaded us on a street car, and from the street car they takes us down to the Warren park, and at the depot there they stopped.”

A “Blues” baseball team here in 1910

The Bisbee Blue baseball team, which inhabited Warren Ball Park last summer, but which won’t be back this year, had a predecessor, it appears.

Warren Blues baseball teamBack in 1910, there was a kids team known as the Warren Blues. The Bisbee Daily Review reported on a “spirited game” at Warren between the Medigovich White Sox, of Bisbee, and the Warren Blues. Remember that at the time, Bisbee and Warren were separate communities. Couldn’t find any other mention of the team in the paper.

“The indigo hue of the Warren team was deepened by the final score, which read 42 to 28 in favor of the Bisbee lads.” Sounds more like a basketball or football score, but since the story was dated June 28, we’ll have to assume it was baseball. Certainly a batter’s game. Continue reading

Chase scenes not necessarily like in the movies

When you think “western,” you think of a posse riding hard cross country to catch the bad guy.

But you certainly don’t think of a deputy sheriff in a buggy in hot pursuit.

Such was the case back in March of 1901, however, when a subcontractor for the railroad being built along the border near Bisbee ran off with a load of supplies.

Studebaker wagonThe firm of Robinson & Toohey was contracted by Arizona & Southeastern Rail Road and then successor El Paso & Southwestern to build the line. In turn, it hired subcontractors for the various stretches of the road, and furnished them will all their supplies, including “all kinds of merchandise, plows, scrapers, etc.,” the Cochise Review reported.

One of the subs was C.C. Harwell, who had a “large” contract and required supplies and material valued at about $1,500. The sub loaded his supplies at the contractor’s commissary and started for the section of ground on which he would be working, somewhere between Don Luis and the New Mexico line. Continue reading

Old newspapers offered readers humor, too

Encountered this humorous article in an issue of the Cochise Review of Bisbee, on Feb. 23, 1901, and the only way to tell it is to do so in its entirety. So here goes:

One On Uncle Billy.Texas flag art

Uncle Billy Plaster, like most people who have arrived at a mature age, has a hobby on which he is more or less “touchy.” Uncle Billy’s pet hobby is Texas, which he considers about the best place on earth, and hopes that when he dies his soul may be assigned to the precincts of the storied Alamo.

Some months ago Uncle Billy was foreman of the grand jury at Tombstone when the case of a young man who had robbed the lodging house of Mary Tack [in Bisbee] of a number of blankets came before the inquisitorial body. Mary was a witness before the jury and after answering several questions volunteered the statement that she did not wish to prosecute the boy, as “he was from Texas and could not help stealing.”

This was a stunner for Uncle Billy, and if Mary had known it, a critical moment for her. After Uncle Billy had recovered from his astonishment at the, to him, almost blasphemous sentiment, he roared out, “Turn the son of a gun loose.”

Naco brick helped build Bisbee’s boom

As well as being a port of entry for the mine at Cananea, Naco had a reputation for making brick. “Without any other natural advantages,” the Cochise Review said in its June 5, 1900 edition, “Naco is destined to become a town of prominence through the excellent quality of the brick that is manufactured in the Line City.”

Bisbee's brick made in Naco

In another article in the same issue, the Review said that E.G. Norton, who had suffered the loss of his cottage to fire two days earlier, would be rebuilding from Naco brick.

“Such a building would be expensive should the material have to be shipped over rail,” the article said, but “Mr. Norton says a fine quality of brick is being manufactured at Naco and he can build with this material equally as cheap as with lumber and that henceforth the Norton buildings will be of modern architecture and not subject to the fury of the flame as heretofore.” Continue reading


Why do I use so many quotes in articles?

In writing about an era ±100 years in the past, it shows the flavor of ideas and language of the times. In so many ways, the newspapers of that bygone time, and the people they wrote about, were much more colorful and less, shall we say, politically correct, than today. Through direct quotes, that can best be shown, rather than told.

‘The border is secure,’ 1877 style

While doing research on Lt. Tony Rucker, whose U.S. Cavalry troop out of Ft. Bowie was responsible for the discovery of mineralization in the Mule Pass Mountains (Bisbee), I came across this interesting article about how little the local populace believed what the federal government had to say.

The article was in the Arizona Weekly Miner out of Prescott, but was reprinted from the Citizen in Tucson, and was datelined Jan. 16, 1877. It reported that Lieut. J.A. Rucker had returned to Camp Bowie, where his Sixth Cavalry unit was stationed, and had reported killing 10 Chiricahua Apaches “on the Chiricahua” instead of 8, as previously reported. Continue reading

What’s wrong with this 1887 map?

This map of Arizona is from an 1886 atlas that was revised in 1887. It was published by George V. Jones & Co., a map company of which I have never heard. The map says it was engraved for People’s Publishing Co. in Chicago. I’ve cropped it to show just Cochise County.

It has some interesting mistakes that I spotted. Perhaps you can find more. (Continued below map.)

1887 Cochise County mapFirst, relating to Bisbee, it places the 10-year-old camp in the Dragoon Mountains instead of the Mule, or Mule Pass, Mountains. Continue reading

Boom at Cananea coincided with Bisbee’s

As the 20th century began, Bisbee was booming, as were the new communities of Douglas and Naco (both sides of the border.) Bisbee’s growth, to a great extent, came from the startup of mining interests affiliated with the “Bonanza Circle,” all of which later would be amalgamated into Calumet and Arizona Mining Co.

Douglas was created to accommodate the C&A smelter, and before long, the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Co. decided to move its facility there from Bisbee. Those two acts not only created Douglas, but also allowed for more growth at Bisbee because larger smelting capacity meant more demand for mining.

Cananea smelter

Cananea smelter


At the same time, however, a mining boom was taking place south of the border. “Colonel” William C. Greene’s Cananea Consolidated Copper Co. was abuilding at a similar pace as Bisbee and Douglas, which also providing for the development of the two Nacos. Continue reading