Today in Arizona History
PHOENIX (AP) — Sunday, Oct. 14
On this date in 1908, a fire destroyed part of Bisbee’s business district and left 500 people homeless. Damage was estimated at $500,000. The blaze originated in the Grand Hotel at about 6:30 p.m. and was finally brought under control with dynamite at 9 p.m.
On this date in 1909, President William Howard Taft visited the Grand Canyon.
On this date in 1934, residents of Paradise Valley burned effigies of Governor B. B. Moeur, Congresswoman Isabella Greenway and Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes in protest of the revocation of a $4,000,000 allotment which had been promised for the construction of a dam on the Verde River.
Monday, Oct. 15
On this date in 1870, citizens of Phoenix held a meeting and selected an official town site. The first town lots were sold on the following Dec. 23.
On this date in 1873, John L. Blythe built and launched the first large ferry at Lee’s Crossing on the Colorado River.
On this date in 1930, the first airmail arrived in Tucson at 11 a.m. aboard a tri-motored Fokker.
On this date in 1956, construction began on the Glen Canyon Dam, a structure 573 feet (175 meters) above the bed of the Colorado River, 1500 feet long at the crest and containing a lake of over 28 million acre-feet of water which would extend 186 miles (299 kilometers) behind the dam.
Tuesday, Oct. 16
On this date in 1907, lands were set aside for the Kaibab-Paiute Reservation.
On this date in 1929, the old wooden “pest house” at Ajo was burned to the ground to allow construction of a new and modern isolation hospital on the same land.
On this date in 1929, astounded Tucson residents, including three border patrol men, observed “icebergs” floating in the Santa Cruz River near San Xavier Mission. The phenomenon was explained by the driver of an ice wagon who said he forgot to put up his tailgate while his horse team forded the river. As he pulled up the wagon on the opposite bank, the ice slid off.
On this date in 1929, an 8-foot (2.4-meter) wall of water roared down an arroyo near Fort Thomas, flooding several homes.
On this date in 1934, lawmen tracked down five men who escaped from the Holbrook jail after stealing all the guns in the sheriff’s office. The five were taken in a gun battle in the Tonto Valley.
Wednesday, Oct. 17
On this date in 1916, efforts of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce to abolish the Papago Reservation failed.
On this date in 1919, the funeral was held for Jim Sheridan, Tucson pioneer and one of the original locators of the Twin Buttes Mine.
On this date in 1922, the Fort Apache Military Reservation, which had been under War Department jurisdiction since 1877, was declared useless for military purposes and placed under control of the Interior Department.
On this date in 1926, it was announced that Joseph Ferrin, Tucson pioneer, had died.
On this date in 1929, an announcement was made of the completion of the U.S. Magnetic Observatory in Tucson. It was the first fully equipped facility for measuring atmospheric electricity in the U.S., and the third in the world.
On this date in 1933, the trial date was set for a man charged with inventing a fabulous mine near Greaterville and setting it amid sparkling lakes, cold trout streams, then promoting it by mail to unsuspecting easterners.
Thursday, Oct. 18
On this date in 1866, the Calabasas Post Office was established.
On this date in 1893, hundreds of unemployed men from California moved east along the railroad tracks. Tucson police patrolled the tracks, giving each man a loaf of bread and ordering him to move on.
On this date in 1904, the Salt River rose in the flood over the uncompleted Roosevelt Dam, submerging the working equipment.
Friday, Oct. 19
On this date in 1846, the Mormon Battalion, under the command of Philip St. George Cooke, set out from Santa Fe to open the first wagon road across Arizona.
On this date in 1859, Selim Franklin, who was instrumental in the introduction and passage of the bill providing for the University of Arizona, was born.
On this date in 1917, Pima County became the first county in the nation to oversubscribe its Liberty Bond allotment.
On this date in 1922, the first highway bridge over Lynx Creek in Prescott was opened.
Saturday, Oct. 20
On this date in 1870, the town site of Phoenix was laid out.
On this date in 1893, the federal government gave the Territorial Penitentiary in Yuma 2,000 acres (809 hectares) of land on which convicts were to work farms.
On this date in 1931, the bodies of two slain women were found in a trunk in Phoenix and one of Arizona’s most famous murder cases was opened with news of the search for Mrs. Winnie Ruth Judd.