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.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
1895: CAMP VERDE; Open For Settlement, February 6.
"Assistant Commissioner of the Interior Bowers, in a letter to Gov. Hughes, says that among the military reservations in Arizona thrown open for settlement that of Camp Verde is mentioned as ready for entry, and also that of the Whipple timber reserve. This will be good news to those on the Verde who have been waiting for over two years to avail themselves of the privileges and benefits such an order carries with it, and now that official recognition is at last to be given included in the act of 1894 will now be speedily taken up by those interested, in view of the decision just made by this interior department officer." (Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; February 6, 1895; page 2, column 3.)
"THE VERDE BOOMERS! Very Animated Scenes To-day in the Land Office. Life on the Verde Attending the Opening of Land to Settlers."
"The article in this paper on Friday, mentioning the final act in throwing open the much talked of abandoned Verde military reservation, received its finishing touches to-day in official life as far as the Prescott land office goes. An army of men who follow ranching for a living, a strong contingent of those who intend to work the hoe for all it is worth, and last of all, some who never believe in letting a snap escape their vigilant eyes, filed into the land office to-day one by one and likewise filed on the heretofore barren plat that has been an eye sore for a generation to the productive area of this section. The occasion was not an Oklahoma boom for the reason that there was not enough free land around to make the scene really a magnificent one in the number of locators, but in sentiment, it equalled the above nevertheless."
"The land effected by a recent decision of the Interior Department, consist of about 10,000 acres of land known as the Verde military reservation, on which no cultivation whatever has been had, and since the establishment of Camp Verde, in the 1860s up to the present time, it has never known what it was to have even water turned on it. It is rich land and only lacking the assistance of human aid to make it 'blossom,' etc."
"Availing themselves of the opportunity to locate on the above tract, the following persons appeared at the door of the land office at nine o'clock this morning for that purpose. There were some of these, however, who camped all night in the corridor with their blankets, while others were on hand long before the official opening hour. One enthusiastic resident of Prescott, it is said, even adopted the skylight route so as to not be outdone by his rural brothers in the country: Frank M. Hunt, Ed. Mahurin, Thos. Kyle, J. L. Wingfield, Fred Stevens, C. D. Wingfield, Chas. Ryall, Fred Platten, W. F. Hutchinson, W. A. Jones, C. D. Jones, C. B. Coulson, J. D. Loper, F. W. Mason, W. M. Munds, L. Bristow, I. G. Hannah, B. Maxwell, B. H. Smith, Ben. M. Belcher, Arthur Corinder, Joseph Dougherty, R. J. Hartman."
"The above gentlemen filed on 160 acres each. All through the day others were coming in also, but from the books of the plat, they could only be accommodated by locating the atmosphere above this choice area and wait for the chances of something giving way under them."
"On the Verde last Saturday horsemen could be seen franticaly galloping there in all directions, and so suddenly was the news heralded that a stampede to this area occurred in consequence. At night every locator had his signal fire burning high and bright, warning any squatter that here he must not enter. The scene is said to have been a truly magnificent one for this day, and as lurid forms could be seen moving around in the gloaming, the event had that old time picture circled around it known only to Apache days."
"The land office here has been a dry and unprofitable institution of late, but to-day's transactions have been such that gives to it truly a verification of the old time saying, 'doing a land office business.' This is the first instance of a genuine rush in the land office here and though somewhat sudden, Receiver Marks and Register Ross welcomed it and handled the affairs of each locator in an admirable manner."
"Messrs Belcher, Corinder, and Smith, who were fortunate in secuing some choice land on the Verde reservation opening, to-day shipped a big stock of plows, hoes and other farming implements to the Verde. They have also formed a joint stock company, and secued a good working force in tilling the soil. Geo. Mahan agreeing to do the work of 'shuffling' hay, Jerome Hoover to 'split alfalfa,' Alex. Cordiner to 'keep' cases on the irrigation question, while Ben Goldwater will oversee all the work and break broncos in his leisure hours."
"R. M. Rogers, one of Verde's prominent citizens, was among those who was in town yesterday on land office business."
"Charley Coulson, who teaches school for a living on the Verde, was a visitor to town yesterday and caught onto the land question by locating a desirable tract."
(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; February 6, 1895; page 3.)
"W. S. Head, the 'Boss' of the Verde, is up from that thrifty section. The throwing open of the Camp Verde military reservation, after a lapse of so many years makes Mr. Head as well as other old time residents of that section feel correspondly jubilant and at the same time greatful that the section affected is to be relieved of the desolation it has so long undergone."