Today in Arizona History
PHOENIX (AP) — Sunday, Aug. 12
On this date in 1878, Jack Swilling, one of the founders of the town of Phoenix, died.
On this date in 1883, the Florence to Globe stage and the Prescott to Ash Fork stage were both held up on the same night. The shotgun messenger on the Florence to Globe stage was killed.
On this date in 1886, fire destroyed a block of 14 business buildings in Phoenix, causing $100,000 in damage.
On this date in 1890, Professor Frank A. Gully was made the first faculty member of the University of Arizona by the Board of Regents.
On this date in 1919, 2,000 citizens of the Casa Grande Valley attended a mass meeting in Florence and pledged $50,000 to finance a campaign for the San Carlos Dam.
Monday, Aug. 13
On this date in 1816, William Oury, who arrived in Arizona in 1857 as the first agent for the Butterfield Overland Stage Line, was born.
On this date in 1875, the Prescott postmaster disappeared with all the post office funds. He was later captured in Nevada.
On this date in 1889, a tornado hit Fort Lowell.
On this date in 1915, a stock company was organized in Los Angeles to search for the fabled buried treasure of Tumacacori.
Tuesday, Aug 14
On this date in 1898, a violent storm swept through Gila Bend, demolishing the school, tearing the drug store off its foundation, wrecking the Southern Pacific roundhouse and overturning freight cars.
On this date in 1904, Tucson police began a series of raids designed to close down the city’s opium dens.
On this date in 1913, 10 men were killed at the Coronado Mine near Clifton when two loaded ore cars broke loose and rolled down the steep grade.
Wednesday, Aug. 15
On this date in 1888, three men were lynched at Holbrook during the aftermath of the Pleasant Valley War.
On this date in 1898, a locomotive boiler exploded in Prescott destroying the roundhouse and killing two men.
On this date in 1907, the entire Yuma contingent and a part of the Phoenix Guardsmen asked to be mustered out of the Territorial Militia because of the bad food at the annual encampment and because the officers were too harsh.
On this date in 1913, eight buildings were destroyed by fire at Ray and residents of the town pulled down several more buildings to prevent the entire town from burning.
On this date in 1917, the federal government ruled that men holding mining claims did not need to do their assessment work while in the military service.
On this day in 1995, Department of Public Safety officer Bob Martin was shot during a traffic stop about 2 miles (3 kilometers) south of Saguaro Lake. A 19-year-old Globe man was arrested the next day after a standoff in California and charged with killing a convenience store clerk. The Beeline highway has since been renamed after Martin and another law enforcement agent killed in the line of duty.
Thursday, Aug. 16
On this date in 1879, the stages between Maricopa and Phoenix were held up so frequently that acting Gov. John W. Gasper offered a bounty of $500 for every highwayman caught in the act.
On this date in 1881, Ethel Macia, Tombstone pioneer, was born.
On this date in 1901, lightning struck a tree in Coconino County, killing nearly 200 head of sheep under the tree.
On this date in 1936, the city of Tucson discovered that its new underpass on Stone Avenue became a lake after every heavy rain. The city council named it Lake Elmira after Elmira Doakes, a Safford school student who was the first to swim in it.
On this date in 1936, it was announced that a new patrol boat in the San Francisco harbor was being christened “Jeff D. Milton” in honor of Arizona’s veteran law enforcement officer.
Friday, Aug. 17
On this date in 1898, the Apache National Forest was established as Black Mesa National Forest. Its name was changed to Apache on July 1, 1908.
On this date in 1918, the University of Arizona campus was declared to be a military establishment and prostitution and gambling were outlawed within a 10-mile (16-kilometer) zone.
Saturday Aug. 18
On this date in 1868, Columbus and Marcy Adeline Gray, the first white settlers in what is now Phoenix, arrived in the Salt River Valley and pitched their tent on a little hill near the river.
On this date in 1921, a plague of rabid dogs in Tucson forced police officers to cruise the city and kill every dog running loose on the streets.