Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
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Volume 7082

By Kathy Klump
From a PowerPoint Presentation Created by Randy Duerinck
Adapted For ERBzine Web Display by Bill Hillman

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24. George King was the postmaster and the post office
was in this two-story building which burned in the 1970s.

25. McCourt and Geddes built their new store in 1899
and named it the “Dewey Block” after Admiral Dewey from the War of 1898.
It burned down the same time as the two-story building.

26. The Elite Saloon was opened by deputy sheriff, John Crowley in 1883.
Many years later, it was used as the movie theater.
Crowley also managed Nichols Lumber Company and sold Diamond Stocks.
The Tucson Citizen reported the Mr. Crowley came to town
wearing only seven of his diamonds, the rest he left at home.
A couple of weeks later, his home was burglarized.

27. William Francis Nichols (brother of E. A.)
was owner of Nichols Lumber Company.
He served as Justice of the Peace from 1881 to 1899.
He was a member of the Territorial Legislature, Auditor
for Arizona Territory and acting Governor.

28. Nichols Lumber Company was on the corner
of Stewart Street across from the Commercial store.

29. This house was originally built by Delos Smith as
officers quarters for military men
arriving by train on their way to Fort Grant.
Joseph Schwertner and his family lived in it
from 1897 to the 1980s when it was given to the historical society.

30. Joseph Schwertner purchased the Fashion Saloon,
tore it down and rebuilt it in 1900.
He named it the Schley Saloon after Commodore Schley of the war of 1898.
That building is now the Rex Allen museum.

31. Delos Smith built his home on Stewart Street which was later owned by Pablo Soto.
Delos Smith left Willcox to be the Mexican Consul at Nogales.

32. Pablo Soto

33.  Mariano Soto were from an early Spanish family that went to California with De Anza,
became wealthy fruit farmers and came early to Willcox
as partners in a store called Fall & Soto Brothers.
Mariano is in his Masonic Lodge uniform.

34. The stage waits for passengers in front of Soto Brothers store.
In 1900 the Soto Brothers sold $150,000 out of their Willcox store
and $100,000 out of their store in Pearce.
They also had cattle and mines.

35. Henry Morgan became partners
with Mr. Norton in the Norton Morgan Commercial Company.
Until the store closed a couple of years ago,
it was the oldest store in Arizona still in its original building.
Henry was the first Mayor of Willcox after the town incorporated in 1915.

36. Cadwell and Swatling Lighting Pumping and Ice Company
was further down Railroad Ave.
They had a soda bottling works and bottled 1000 bottles of beer a day.
They could produce 5000 pounds of ice in 24 hours.

37. Street scene showing the windmill, the King 2-story building,
the Dewey Block, the Schley Saloon, Soto Brothers
and the Norton Morgan Commercial.

38. Across the railroad track to the east was the first church,
the Methodist church built in 1886.

39. The Catholic church soon followed about 1887.

40. Judge Edward R. Monk and his brother Dr. J. A. Munk
started the Monk ranch in 1881.
His attorney’s office was behind the depot across from the newspaper office
and Mrs. Jones fine ladies dressmaker.
He was probate judge in Tombstone in the 1880s.

41. The letterhead from the Southwestern Stockman
our newspaper from 1885 to 1894.

42. It was a newspaper geared for the cattlemen
and contained at least one page of advertisements of brands.
It was open range so you would advertise so cowboys
would know who owned which cattle at roundup time.

43. A typical scene of a cowboy working cattle.

44. Cattle were usually rounded up in spring and fall and herded into town
to be loaded on the trains for shipment.
Willcox shipped more cattle from the open range than anywhere in the country
and was called the Cattle Capital of the Nation.
A typical amount would be 25,000 head shipped from here from January to June.

45. The first school house.
In 1893, the principal left town in a hurry
after being hanged in effigy from the telegraph pole.
He had seduced and fathered a child with a 15-year-old student,
the daughter of Mr. King the postmaster.
The law found him in Texas and on the way back,
they heard that there were 50 men waiting in Willcox
at the depot to hang him as soon as he arrived.
So, they took him off the train about a mile from town
and walked him in to the Willcox Hotel.
It took six men to guard his room that night.
They had his hearing early the next day
and by the time the angry crowd arrived,
the deputy already had him on the way to jail in Tombstone.

46. Willcox was a pretty rough place.
At one time there were nine saloons on Railroad Avenue.
Shootings were a common occurrence.
In 1895, Grant Wheeler and Joe George robbed the train on the dry lake.
They used bags of Mexican silver dollars from the first safe
to weight down the Wells Fargo safe.
When they blew that safe, over 18,000 coins went through the roof,
all over the lakebed, imbedding in the railroad car and telegraph poles.
Later, Grant Wheeler shot himself to avoid capture.

47. In 1897, Burt Alvord was hired as constable to clean up the town.
His father was a judge in Tombstone.
 Everyone was pleased with his work until he and his deputy
Bill Downing and their gang robbed the train at Cochise in 1899.
They got away with it the first time as they were the posse and couldn’t find any tracks.
They robbed the train at Fairbank about six months later.
One of the gang named Three-Fingered Jack was shot and couldn’t ride.
The others left him to die, so he told who his partners were.
The Sheriff came to Willcox and our constable was arrested as the mastermind.
After Bill Downing served his time, he came back to Willcox,
owned the Free and Easy Saloon in the red light district, where the churches are now.
In 1892 there were 43 girls in the red light district.
Bill beat up one of the women,
and Arizona Ranger Billy Speed came to arrest Bill Downing.
People in the saloon told Bill not to take his gun
as he would be shot for going for his gun.
When they met on the street, Billy Speed still shot Bill Downing
for “going for his gun” even though he was not armed.
The Arizona Range News reported,
“I hear Billy Speed killed Bill Downing on Tuesday.
What was the complaint?”  “No complaint – everybody’s satisfied.”


ERBzine 7081
By Kathy Klump
ERBzine 7082
By Kathy Klump
ERBzine 7083
By Kathy Klump
ERBzine 7084
A Biography
Featured in the Full 20-Page Coverage of the
2019 Edgar Rice Burroughs Convention in Willcox

ERBzine 7059
Willcox: Intro/Contents
ERBzine 7060
2. Goodie Bag
ERBzine 7061
3. Journey and Arrival
ERBzine 7062
4. Exploring Willcox
ERBzine 7063
5. Huckster Room 
ERBzine 7064
6. Presentations
ERBzine 7065
7. Exploring Willcox II
ERBzine 7066
8. Fort Grant I
ERBzine 7067
9. Fort Grant II
ERBzine 7068
10. Fort Grant III
ERBzine 7069
11. Wind Up
ERBzine 7070: 
12. Rex Allen Museum
ERBzine 7071_7071a
13. Marty Robbins Museum
ERBzine 7072: 
14. Chiricahua Museum
ERBzine 7073
15. Billy the Kid
ERBzine 7081
16. Willcox History I
ERBzine 7082
17. Willcox History II
ERBzine 7083
18. Willcox History III
ERBzine 7084
19. Meet Kathy Klump
ERBzine 3469
20. ERB at Fort Grant
ERBzine Arizona
ERB in Wild West

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