"Old Tucson; a hop, skip and jump history from 1539 Indian settlement to new and greater Tucson"
by Estelle M. Buehman
IMMEDIATE TUCSON ITS MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT AND GROWTH SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES.
Because of its antiquity Tucson has had in earlier years many points of interest, some of which continue unto the present day. Besides the old San Xavier Mission already mentioned, there are the ruined walls on top of Tumamoc Hill, just west of town.
By whom or by what race the fortifications were built is not known, but the lines of defense are still plainly visible. Many large boulders with eastern face are covered with hieroglyphics of a lost race, whose meaning still remains unsolved.
For many miles north of the Pueblo, in the Santa Cruz valley, lie scattered evidences of dead cities, with a mile square of buried foundations There is also the abandoned government post, old Fort Lowell, which was built and occupied by the military force whose near presence on the Military Plaza in the vil- lage was not deemed of longer necessity, though for reason of liable attacks, from Indians to the number of many thousands on reservations still in the terri- tory, it was not safe to dispense with their presence, within immediate call.
Levin's Park is also worthy of some description, having been for many years a very popular resort in Tucson. Here the San Augustine fiestas were held, celebration of both American and Mexican independence, and was the scene of many a revelry. It was the constant care and pride of Alexander Levin, who set out the rows of trees, and watched their growth from slender saplings to trees of great height ana size.
The entire area of the park, about seven acres, was shaded by their foliage. Benches and tables were provided for the guests, and refreshments furnished from a restaurant on the grounds. A high fence made it safe from improper intrusion, and a gatekeeper held the premises in charge. A skating rink, shooting gallery, bowling alley and dancing pavilion were prominent attractions. Music was discoursed every evening by a first-class string band, and concerts every Sunday afternoon were much frequented. Its pleasant shade and cool breezes were blessings in this village on the Santa Cruz, and a visit to Tucson was not considered complete without taking in the old mission, Levin's Park and Fort Lowell, which as long as invested by the military, divided honors with the park as a resort for the social set of early timers.
The first public school in Tucson was taught in the winter of 1868-1869, by Mr. Augustus Brichta, who quite recently died. He came from Prescott, where he was assistant clerk of the legislature, and in the absence of the chief clerk, says that he con- vened the first assemblage of that body after its removal to Tucson. After the opening of the Legis- lature he resigned his clerkship and taught school for four months in an adobe building formerly occu- pied by the government, on the little street leading to Levin's Garden or Park. Mr. Brichtafound it difficult to obtain suitable books, notwithstanding the Spanish-speaking boys learned rapidly to speak English, and became quite proficient in the three R's.
The next public school was taught by John Spring, on Meyer Street, in the vicinity of the old Palace Hotel. Mr. Spring enrolled one hundred and thirty- eight boys, the majority of whom were Spanish.
In 1870 St. Joseph's Convent Academy started up with the arrival in Tucson of seven sisters, and this institution, keeping pace with the general growth of the city in forty-one years, will bear favorable comparison today with any similar school on the Pacific Coast. All honor to those self-denying women, who, casting aside the pleasures of the outer world, are devoting their lives to the educational and moral ad- vancement of those committed to their care.
In the summer of 1872, Mrs. L. C. Hughes opened a school for girls, in a house in Levin's Park. This school was well attended and proved very beneficial.
In 1873, Miss Harriet Bolton, afterward the wife of Gen, John Wasson, and Miss Maria Wakefield, who became the wife of our esteemed townsman, E. N. Fish, took charge of the school, and were excellent teachers.
In the fall of 1874, Prof. W . B. Horton, afterward Superintendent of Public Instruction, became princi- pal, with two assistants, Ignacio Bonillas and Miss Packard. Later the lamented Willis B. Horton also conducted a post tradership on San Carlos Reserva- tion, and was brutally shot in front of his own store by an Apache. However, swift vengeance overtook his slayer, for the Indian scouts immediately gave chase, and shot the Apache, who died about the same time as the man he murdered. Although suffering cruelly Mr. Horton said to his associates with-in call, "I can't pull through boys until I have bid you all good-bye."
Mr. Horton was a personal friend of the writer's family, and their eldest son, Willis, was named for him. Demonstrating with him for accepting so dangerous a position, he answered, That it was the safest place from Indians in the territory."
Succeeding teachers in early times were Miss Nesmith and Mrs. Aquerre, whom we all knew and loved; Miss Nora Smith and Miss Sallie W ood. By 1882 there were enrolled three hundred and fifty pupils, with seven instructors, viz.: Professor Hall, Miss E. J. Monk, now Mrs. Guild, who still teaches, Mrs. Martha White, Miss L. A. Royce, Miss Lizzie Borton, Miss Sallie Wood. Instructor in music, Miss Jessie Medbury, and teacher of Spanish, Chas. H. Tully.
In 1881-1882 the first kindergarten in Tucson was established by Miss Estelle Morehouse, who taught the little ones in the then unoccupied Presbyterian Church on Court Plaza, which is now the Congrega- tional house of worship.
Thus we see that, even in that early time before streets were graded or lighted; when sidewalks went up hill and down, nor even thought of being curbed, but furnished sleeping quarters for the Mexican population in hot weather, pedestrians being obliged to walk out into the street to avoid walking over somebody's boy or girl; when we had to buy water by the bucketful, as we now buy milk by the pint or quart, the water being brought from springs just north of Carrillo's Gardens there was a strong feeling in favor of educational measures. That idea seems to lie at the foundation of American life and institu- tions. Educate the rising generation, then we have men of nerve, character, ability and standing to handle the stirring questions of government, prob- lems of ways and means, and all the perplexing and knotty questions of daily life and toil. Educate and train our girls to think high, aim at lofty ideals, and fit themselves to be good home keepers, domestic wives and helpmeets, and careful, intelligent mothers of those intrusted to their care.
It has been said, and truthfully, that the western pioneer builds, first a school house, and then a church, and our little village was no exception. St. Augustine Church, first established near the old cemetery on Alameda Street, and known as the Church of the Presidio, was afterwards relocated in a small chapel near the corner of Congress Street and Church Square. In 1866 the foundation of the structure, now known as San Augustine Hotel, was laid and completed for worship under Bishop Salpointe in 1869.
The old Presbyterian Church, located on Meyer Street and Court Plaza, was begun in 1878 and completed in 1879, Messrs. Fred Austin, W. W. Williams and W. C. Davis being trustees. Rev. Mr. Anderson was the first pastor. The organization had previous- ly met for worship in the City Hall.
The First Baptist Church of Tucson was organized at the residence of Mr. E. S. Dodge, April 7th,1881, with six members, besides the pastor, who was Rev. Uriah Gregory. Charles D. Poston and Benjamin Goodrich were members of the board of trustees. In May a lot was purchased for the church and par. nonage, consisting of one hundred feet on Stone Avenue and sixty-six feet on 8th,now called Council Street. On May 15th,recognition services were held in the Presbyterian Church. Rev. J. W . Osborn of Nebraska preached before the council at 11 a. m., and Dr. O. C. Wheeler, Moderator, made the evening address, and three new members were added by letter. The new chapel was dedicated in January, 1882.
The First Congregational Church of Tucson was formally organized on November 20th, 1881. The services of recognition, by courtesy of the M . E. Church, were held in their house of worship, under the direction of Revs. L. H. Cobb, D. D., of New York,andJ.H.Warren,D.D.,ofSanFrancisco. There were nine original constituent members. The Rev. L. B. Tenny,of New Hampshire, was acting pastor for the summer of 1882,but in December of the same year, the Rev. C. B. Sumner, of Massa- chusetts, became regular pastor. Arrangements were at once made, and money pledged for the pur- chase of the church on Meyer Street and Court Plaza, formerly built by the Presbyterian Society, that church having dissolved its organization, though in later years it reorganized and is at the present time one of the most prosperous churches in modern Tucson.
The Congregational Church was for a number of years a Home Missionary Church, as indeed were all the others in those pioneer daysthat society aiding the church to the extent of $3,000 on its purchase price of $5,000. All of Tucson's churches are, at the present time, self supporting.
In 1871 the citizens of Tucson organized a village government, with Major S. R. De Long as mayor; councilmen,Samuel Hughes, W. W. Williams and W. S. Oury; treasurer, Hon. Hiram Stevens; recorder and assessor, W. J. Osborn. During that year inquiry was made by the council relative to a congressional donation in 1864 of land for a townsite, when it was learned that though such donation had been made, yet it had lapsed through failure of Tucson to make it available.
In 1872 the same gentlemen served in town offices, except that E. N. Fish was treasurer, and in this year the sum of $1,600 was paid the government for United States patent to two sections of land for the townsite of Tucson, and in August of the same year, the village authorities began to issue deeds to purchasers of lots, and to donate land for school and church purposes. In 1873 the same gentlemen vserved as town officers, and in 1874 the same, except R. N. Leatherwood took the place of C. T. Etchells. In 1875 the mayor was Estevan Ochoa; councilmen, P. Drachman, C. T. Etchells, Samuel Hughes and R. N. Leatherwood; treasurer, E. N. Fish; recorder, C. H. Meyer. In this year the salary of marshal was fixed at $20, but could be increased in special seasons. Artesian wells were also projected and contract awarded, but it was found that artesian water didn't materialize so readily. Also in this year the village purchased a wagon, harness and two good mules for town use, but later sold them as being too expensive to operate.
The old cemetery was abandoned this year as a place of burial, and ten lots were donated by the village for a new one, also lots for a Catholic ceme- tery. Village lots were offered free to all persons im- proving same to the extent of $100, and residing thereon for six months. Hospitalities of the village tendered to Gen. A. W. Kautz and staff this year.In 1876, mayor, J. B. Allen; councilmen, Samuel Hughes, R. N. Leatherwood, C. T. Etchells, P. Drach- man; traasurer, E. N. Fish; recorder, C. H. Meyer. This must have been a hard year for the Old Pueblo for a petition was presented to the council asking that an election should be held to get the sense of the community as to whether the village should disincorporate and merge again in the county organiza- tion. At such election the people decided in the negative. Board of Trade (note the improvement) was permitted to erect a powder magazine at a safe distance from town. The place selected was just off what is now North Main Street, but in later years it blew itself up and nothing was ever seen of the powder magazine again except a big hole in the ground.
Hospitalities of the village tendered to the Mexi- can general, Mariscal, and staff. The planting of trees along the streets was officially encouraged, but nothing accomplished in that line, for though Tucson had soil and sunshine, it takes both work and water to make things grow.
Gen. Phineas Banning conferred with the mayor and common council concerning the right-of-way and depot grounds for the Southern Pacific Railroad, which was in process of construction somewhere.
In 1877, J. B. Allen, mayor; councilmen, R. N. Leatherwood, Samuel Hughes, Isaac E. Brokaw and A. G. Buttner; treasurer, E. N. Fish; recorder, Joseph Neugass; with a Board of Health as well as a Board of Trade.
A new charter for incorporating as a city was drawn and granted by the Legislature, and with the council meeting of February 7th, 1877, Tucson ceased to be a village, and henceforth assumed the duties and responsibilities of municipal existence. At the first city election in 1878 Col. James H. Toole again became mayor; councilmen, R. N. Leatherwood, Paul Abadie, C. R. Drake and P. Drachman; treasurer, W. W. Williams; recorder and police justice, W. S. Edwards. Total debt of the city, January 8th, $1,188.
Municipal election of 1879mayor, Jas. H. Toole; councilmen, Chas. R. Drake, Alexander Levin, R. N. Leatherwood, P. Abadie; treasurer, W. W. Williams; recorder, W. J. Osborn. On May 6th Mayor Toole tendered his resignation, which was unanimously not accepted by the council.
By this time railroad matters had made commend- able progress, and at a special election held on June 21st, the citizens voted solidly that bonds to the amount of $10,000, should be issued by the city for the Southern Pacific depot and grounds, right-of-way, etc., and it was done as ordered. Rights and privileges for feast of San Augustine sold by the city for $600, but thereafter were not allowed within the city limits, but annually resort to San Xavier for their festival.
In 1880, a very important year for Tucson, R. N. Leatherwood, mayor; councilmen, M. G. Samaniego, C. T. Etchels, Alexander Levin and C. R. Drake; re- corder, C. H. Meyer; treasurer, P. R. Tully, surveyor, G. J. Roskruge.
On March 10th a celebration of the connection of the eastern and western lines of the Southern Pacific in Tucson took place with a banquet, and the grand- est display the little city had ever witnessed. More than a hundred citizens acted on committees; many eloquent speeches and addresses were made, and general good feeling prevailed. Many telegrams had been sent concerning the affair, and congratulations in reply were read, one of which was of special interest, purporting to have come from the Pope, who sent cordial congratulations, but inquired whether Tucson were not in the other world.
In this year railroad bonds 1, 2, 3 and 4, amounting to $2,000, were paid up, while in 1881 the balance of the bonds, amounting to $8,000, were cancelled by the city fathers, which speaks well for the little city. At this time the city property, consisting of forty-five blocks and parcels of unsold land, was valued at $25,000,and the authorities had in contemplation the building of a commodious City Hall, which should house the entire municipal government.
In 1884, the Arctic Ice Company, owned by ex- Surveyor General Royal A. Johnson & Co., bought out two local concerns, manufactured, and for many years supplied the city with this cooling necessity.
The Territorial University, established by an Act of the Thirteenth Legislative Assembly, of 1885, at Phoenix, completed and opened for students in October, 1891, belongs rather and fully to new and greater Tucson, yet its beginnings were in a period of great transition for the Old Pueblo. The bill was introduced into the council by Hon. C. C. Stephens, car- ried through the house by the able efforts of Hon. S. M. Franklin, of our city, and approved by Governor F. A. Tritle, March 12th of that same year. Third Street, now the handsome boulevard, electric line and driveway to the University, was then still in the brush, and was only thought of by the inhabitants of Buell's addition, in that vicinity, as the winding trail to the gruesome graveyard, northwest of town.
Students and their friends, first going out to the University, went by several cut-offs, across by the old depot, striking 9th Street at several different angles, and if by vehicle, were in danger of being found standing in the arroya, with the cart before the horse, by reason of the steep hills and deep gullies. Had automobiles been in fashion then, they would have jumped from one hill to another, or turned turtle at the bottom.
Tucson, in early days was honored with many dis- tinguished guests, United States senators, ambassa- dors to foreign countries, barons and baronesses, so-called, earthquakes and even presidents of the United States. In March, 1880, President Hayes arrived, and was entertained with much enthusiasm. The presidential party and invited guests dined at the resi- denceofMr.andMrs.W.W.Williams.Inlater years President Harrison also passed through Tucson, and held an informal reception for the business men of the city from the platform of his private Pullman.
Senator J. J. Ingalls, in one of his published letters concerning his visit to Tucson wrote: "I regret that I did not come earlier. It is said to be hotter than a crematory in summer, but the winter weather is cer- tainly incomparableif what I have experienced so farisa sample.Thedryness,thestillness,the brightness, the inexplicable charm of mountain, plain and sky; the hues of sunset and dawn, the splendor of the stars, the vague, blue mystery of the horizon; the odd, quaint town, with its queer people and their habits; its gambling dens open on the main streets, day and night; its cowboys and miners and tramps and toughs and gentlemen, all make a scene of inde- scribable interest and enchantment; Mexicans, Indi- ans, negroes, Chinamen and Americans, with half a dozen different languages and lingoes, make up the constantly changing population, that, for all its vices and immoralities, is as quiet and orderly as any Kansas hamlet."
Hon. Whitelaw Reid in the New York Tribune, says, concerning the air of Arizona: "The atmosphere is singularly clear, tonic and dry. I have never seen it clearer anywhere in the world. It seems to have about the same bracing and exhilarating qualities as the air of the great Sahara in Northern Africa, or of the desert about Mount Sinai in Arabia. It is much drier than any part of the valley of the Nile north of Cataract."
Reavis planned, and barely failed of success, in perpetrating one of the most gigantic frauds against the United States government that was ever con- ceived. The government paid over $100,000 in de- fense. Reavis was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government, his scheme was exploded, and his sentence was two years in the penitentiary of New Mexico. His object was to establish right to a vast grant of land, through inheritance of his orphan girl-wife, from an extinct family of Spanish nobility. They came to Tucson to have certain documents photographed, and to prove title, and probably to see the landwhich was situated on the Gila river consisting of 12,500,000 acres, computed at $100,- 000,000. Its western border rested upon the eastern line of the Pima reservation. When coming to Tucson they would send word ahead to reserve the entire upper part of old San Xavier Hotel for the use of themselves and retinue. Though Reavis was a villain, and his wife no better, yet it is the lot of the historian to chronicle the bad as well as the good.
On May 3rd, 1887, the year following the close of our Indian troubles, Tucson experienced her first and last earthquake of any moment, for Arizona has not been within the memory of men living, or of any known history, one of seismic misfortunes. That at some remote period it was the very center and outcome as now presented of great internal convulsions, the whole aspect of the country demon- strates, but it would seem on this one occasion that Tucson, as usual, trying to be a little ahead of her neighbors, sprung a surprise even on her own residents; for though the vibration lasted only three seconds, yet during that time houses rocked, walls even that of the Congregational Churchwere cracked, and many thought the end of the world had come. Hanging lamps swung violently, boxes were jarred off of shelves in closets, and dishes from shelves in stores. People who got out of doors, and looked around them saw the track of the quake as it went over the Catalina Mountains, leaving a cloud of dust that many imagined was steam from boiling volcanoes. No one was hurt, and very little damage rendered, but it opened the hearts of our citizens to the sufferings of afflicted San Francisco when news flashed around the world of her terrible misfortune by earthquake in 1906, for they made a donation of $5,024, and Governor Pardee of California wrote an appreciative letter of thanks to Mr. L. M. Jacobs, through whose hands the gift passed.
From 1875 to 1895, various and numerous franchises were granted for artesian water, plain water, gas and gas lighting, electric lights, street railways, street grades, and improved sidewalks. Also for naming streets in extended districts, numbering houses, and telephone service. Even in 1905 a franchise to build, maintain, and operate street railways, on cer- tain streets, was granted to three different parties- all necessary and well meant improvements, showing how the best and highest were reached out for, some of which were accomplished, yet some expiring by limitation, crowned with disappointment many efforts. Y et like the ever rising tide, each effort ap proached more nearly to success, for from the Tucson Post of M arch, 1906, edited by M r. Herbert Brown, we extract the following: "The noisy clanging wagon, distributing steel rails along Stone Avenue, caused many smiles of intense satisfaction on the faces of our citizens, for they feel it to be an- other step in the evolution of our city." And surely it was a prophecy of things to come, sewerage being extended the same year.
The Tucson Citizen of same date announces, "That women will be allowed to vote at school elections, provided they are parents, or guardians, of a child of school age, residing in the district, or if they have paid a territorial or county school tax." This is evidence of two noble traits among our men: one, that they recognize the mental status of women; and the other, that they place a premium on motherhood.
During these years P. R. Tully served a term as mayor, and a water franchise was granted R. N.Leatherwood, who sold his right to Parker & Watts, Jos. R. W atts, manager, and they erected water works, piping filtered water first from the Santa Cruz above townthen digging wells in the bed of the river, thus supplying the city with as good, cold water as could be found anywhere, and as the city grew, more wells were dug. Also Chas. M. Strauss served as mayor, and with his councilmen, whose names cannot be learned, created valuable regula- tions and ordinances relating to Fire Department and Police Force, and the division of the city into Wards Nos. 1 and 2.
W. E. Stevens and F. Maish also served as mayors, the latter of whom inaugurated the curfew relating to children being on the street after 8 p. m. and granting franchise to the Western Union Telegraph Company, and enacting ordinance looking to the employment of vagrants for street work.
In 1893-1894 W. I. Perry was mayor; T. A. Judd, recorder. Mr. Perry's administration was characterized by great economy, for when it closed the city was out of debt and there was money in the treas- ury. Thus the city government ran along, picking up lines here and there, yet still with most of the streets ungraded, which, with lack of capital, was probably responsible for failure of street car franchises, and the sidewalks were neither graded nor curbed.
From 1895 to 1899 Henry Buehman, mayor; Chas. T. Connell, recorder, we find the following ordinance enacted, and carried out in spirit and letter, by his very capable corps of councilmen, consisting of Frank Russell, Chas. F. Schumacher, General Wilson, L. D. Chilson, Chas. Burkhalter, Messrs. Whalley and Miltenburg: "Be it enacted by the mayor and common council, that the street commission are hereby authorized and empowered to establish the width, fix the grade, and prescribe the width of the sidewalks, of the whole, or any portion of the streets, and alleys, and to order the whole, or any portion, to be graded, paved, graveled or macadamized, in such manner, and with such materials as the public good and con- venience may require." Also the fighting of fowls and animals was prohibited and Congress Street extended to the westward. Likewise, ordinances passed relating to the widening of Congress Street by the removal of the wedge, the purchase by the city of water works and sewerage mains, the latter of which was ably carried out in the succeeding administra- tion, under Mr. Gust. A. Hoff, whose councilmen warmly seconded his efforts in that and other meas- ures for the public welfare. The removal of the "wedge" was a big consideration, and though auspici- ously for the city, was finally accomplished, yet required the earnest and energetic work of several ad- ministrations, among whom were C. F. Schumacher and Gen. L. H. Manning, all of which is in the mem- ory of present city residents.
But we can hardly close this little history of the Pueblo without a sympathetic glaIice at the old mule car street railway system, with its plodding motive powernot at all responsible for its grizzled appear- ance, yet was a big step in transportation facilities for the social set of Tucson, though seldom that it could be caught for the return trip, as darkness often settled before it made an appearance.
The University boys from town, though able to reach the scene of their daily toil on foot in advance of the car, yet, unless too late to make the cadet drill at 8 a. in., generally preferred to "take the car," in order to chat with the U. of A. girls, going out at an early hour for the class in domestic science. When, by reason of the jeers cast at themfor even mules are not so unfeeling as one might thinkthey lost their equanimity, and ran the car off the track, the fun loving, yet good hearted boys would jump off, and putting their shoulder to the wheels, lift the car, girls and all, back onto the track, then cheer the mules on, as sort of an apology, and to make up for lost time.
This street railway system was one, also, of ac- commodation, for the patronage being slow, to match the mules, if the conductor saw across the plaza, a Prospective passenger frantically waving her hands, the kind hearted man would wait a full ten minutes, and perhaps lose several passengers from other di- rections, who being in a hurry, couldn't await the starting up of the car, and proceeded on their ways by biped trail. Sometimes in coming from the Uni- versity on foot, and trying to cut off space, one would lose his way, and find himself standing in the arroya, under the Stone Avenue bridge; but why mock at the mules, even though they were the city's joke, and the humiliation of the burros, standing on the street corners, already ashamed of their old fathers and mothers?
Now that we have installed the modern electric trolley line, which goes whizzing by, making one almost imagine himself in New York or San Francisco, we should not forget the humble way by which we climbed to the present accomplishment.
Now that our citizens are preparing the way for great railroad enterprises which will materially increase our population, it seems that the next improve- ments from a monetary standpoint would be invest- ment of capital, in the hands of big companies or moneyed syndicates capable of handling large pro- jects, like raising artesian water, or water that does not necessarily lie so deep, yet is below the surface, awaiting only the action of vast machinery to make it the principal factor in the development of Ari- zona's abundant resources. There is no doubt but that mighty subterranean rivers, that once blessed this land in upper flow, still exist, sunken in beds of sand, like the Santa Cruz, or stratified rock, like the huge bulk more than a thousand feet below the surface at Tombstone, in Cochise County, that seems to have quenched a mighty mining enterprise.Canalsor water tunnels, costing perhaps millions of dollars, tapping the sur- face and rocky caverns, possibly a hundred miles away, might lead that water to the irrigation of millions of acres, in its onward sweep to the sea.
Then similar companies to build fine roads, and trolley lines to the top of our loftiest mountains, there to erect summer hotels and also to build and own hotels in the city, so that whatever the change of season or temperature, the same builders would always be sure of patronage to cover their heavy investments.
" 'Tis silent effort moves the world, Not noise, nor show, nor strife."
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