Verde Heritage By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
1926 COTTONWOOD LABOR DAY CELEBRATION, September 7.
"The only Labor Day celebration in the Verde district this year will be held at Cottonwood, under the auspices of the Cottonwood post of the American Legion."
"A program has been arranged to cover the entire day and night. Preparations are being made for a crowd of from three to four thousand. The official celebration will open at 9 a.m." ...
An "interesting frature of the morning program will be a labor man's contest which will include rivet heating and throwing, drilling, welding, etc." ...
"Special arrangements for serving lunches at noon have been made and Cottonwood stakes its reputation on the fact that nobody will be allowed to get past the noon hour without having the necessities of the inner man properly attended to." ...
"COTTONWOOD TO ENTERTAIN ENTIRE VERDE DISTRICT ON TUESDAY, SEPT. 7, LABOR DAY."
"Tuesday is going to be the greatest holiday in the history of the Verde district and Cottonwood is going to be host to everybody from Camp Verde to Perkinsville and Puntenney --- and there's going to be something doing from morning to night."
"The celebration promises to be the best that was ever held in the district and the fun will start early and end late. Everybody is boosting the Cottonwood game and the results are due to be distinctly good. A splendid program of events has been arranged and visitors will find every minute of the day and evening fully occupied."
"Cottonwood Post No. 48 American Legion has charge of the celebration --- and it will do itself credit. That is beyond question."
"MORNING SPORTS: It is planned that the celebration shall begin early, the junior sports being scheduled to commence at 9 a.m. There will be a sack race, a greased pig race, boy's shoe race, burro race, greased pole climbing, 100-yard dash, egg race for girls, flat tire race, and many other events."
"IN THE AFTERNOON: There will be a great rodeo in the afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m. at the ball park. This promises to be the biggest attraction of the day, with outlaw horses, roping, bulldogging, trick riding and a staff of the best riders in the state."
"BOXING: The great boxing contest will begin at 3 o'clock in the afternoon in the new outdoor arena. There is going to be a real boxing bout and with many of the best known and most capable men of the state in the ring."
"Bill Sewell and Battling Butch, the former one of the hardest hitting heavyweights of the coast and the latter Arizona's most prominent battler, will go eight rounds. This promises to be the fastest battle ever put on in the district."
"Young Nino and Bobbie McIndo, the former of Los Angeles and the latter of Arizona, and both top-notchers, will put on eight rounds of the fastest featherweight boxing ever seen in the state. This bout would fill the house anywhere in the southwest." ...
"STUNT FLYING: Several airplanes will be on the grounds and will give exhibitions of stunt flying and daylight fireworks throughout the day. This promises to be one of the most attractive features of the entire program."
"WRESTLING: At 8 o'clock in the evening Ray Zimmer and George Harding will put on a great wrestling match, following two good preliminaries to be staged by Clarkdale Red vs. Willie Brown and Kid Guerra vs. Cyclone Martinez. Zimmer is the Pacific coast light-heavyweight champion and Harding is probably the best known mat artist in the state. This match will go for three falls and promises to be one of the best ever staged in the state."
"THE GRAND FINALE: It is almost unnecessary to say that the festivities will conclude with the grand Labor Day ball at Willard's hall to which everybody is most cordially invited."
"Labor Day passed off with a vim. The streets were thronged all day long and the gaity and festivities were in full swing from early morning until the heavy drenching rain that fell early in the evening. One event after another was staged as scheduled, and there was no drunkenness or disorder of any kind. Everyone from the town or outside proclaimed that they enjoyed themselves immensely."
"The American Legion deserves great credit for the orderly, efficient way in which they put over the celebration. They worked like Trojans day and night to make it a success, leaving nothing undone that would in any way mar the success of the occasion. Each and every one was a self appointed committee of one to be pleasant to the guests, and see that nothing was overlooked. The Legion boys thank all those who in any way contributed either financially or otherwise to their support in the celebration."
"It was the best staged, most orderly celebration ever put on in Cottonwood and the town of Cottonwood should extend a vote of commendation, punctuated by three rousing cheers, to the Legion for its part in the performance."
"AFTERNOON PROGRAM: The program in the afternoon opened with the rodeo. Due to the immense crowd and the impossibility of providing adequate protection, no cattle were turned loose upon the grounds. However, there was some very good horsemanship displayed. There was a large corral full of outlaw horses. One of them, a wiry black mustang, nearly got over the ten-foot fence when they were saddling him. A bad bay broke loose and knocked one man down before he was recaptured. No one was seriously injured, however, and the riders all managed to stay in their saddles --- for at least a minute."
"An interesting feature was the riding of a bucking motorcycle by Dewey Medearis. What made it buck and how he stayed with it are professional secrets known only to Dewey; but it did --- and he did."
"BOXING: The boxing matches were well attended and the crowd was not disappointed. The first event was a battle-royal by five Cottonwood boys. All in attendance agree that it was a great mix-up. All five boys stayed to the end, including a young 12-year-old, who was greatly outweighed by the other contestants."
"Battling Chango and Kid Rowalt gave a lively exhibition of the manly sport. They were evenly matched and fought hard and fast. Chango won a decision, although a close one."
"The third event was the slowest and at the same time the bloodiest. Chief John McGee got a bad cut over the eye early in the bout, which caused him considerable trouble. DeSpain took plenty of punishment, too, in exchange for what he got. The best that can be said of this bout is that it was a slugging match."
"In the fourth event, the crowd was not greatly pleased. It seemed apparent to everyone that Battling Butch could easily have knocked out Bill Sewell at any time, but they went eight rounds to a draw."
"Young Nino and Bobby McIndo were well matched and put on the best set-to of the day. Nino holds a knockout over McIndo, and McIndo holds a decision over Nino. They were both skillful and fast, and the crowd was well satisfied with their action. They went eight rounds to a draw and no one accused either of stalling. Both men are clever on their feet and handy with their mitts. If they ever fight again in the district it will be hard to get odds on either Bobby or Nino."
"On account of the rain, which came up early in the evening and continued practically all night, the wrestling match was postponed until Tuesday evening."
"The ball at Willard hall was well attended in spite of the rain, and completed a very enjoyable day."
"It is reported that there were several prohibition agents in town but the fact that they made no arrests shows that very little, if any liguor was being dispensed."
"HARDING PUTS ZIMMER OUT: On Tuesday evening the postponed wrestling match took place in the new outdoor arena. George Harding and Ray Zimmer weighed in at 175 pounds each. The match was scheduled for two out of three falls, no time limit. The first and only contest lasted 25 minutes, Harding throwing Zimmer so hard that he was out and unable to finish the contest."