How Tombstone, Arizona Was Named

Ed Schieffelin - how Tombstone, Arizona was named.On April 1, 1877, a young prospector named Ed Schieffelin arrived at Fort Yachuca in southern Arizona. He told the soldiers he was going into Apache country and trying his hand at prospecting. They told him that the only thing he would find there would be his tombstone. That is how Tombstone, Arizona was named.
 
By October he had run out of supplies and money. Not willing to give up, he kept looking, and was finally rewarded with the discovery of a silver vein 7 inches wide by 50 feet long. Ed Schieffelin named his mine the “Lucky Cuss.” Remembering the remarks of the soldiers that all he would find would be his tombstone, Ed, along with his brother Al, founded the Tombstone Mining District.    
 
As soon as the word got out of a silver strike, prospectors came from everywhere. Next came the gamblers and ladies of the evening. Within 3 years the town comprised of almost 500 buildings, with more than 100 of them selling liquor, and half of these places were “houses of ill fame.”  
 
Tombstone did have two newspapers and a hall built to attract legitimate theatrical endeavors. There were also churches and schools that incidentally, were supported by a tax on the gambling halls and houses of ill repute.
 
Nine years after that first discovery of silver, water flooded the mines, and the population of Tombstone dwindled down to a few hardy souls. But, during that short period, the people who came through Tombstone read like a who’s who of the Old West. This was not only because of the attraction of silver, but the rest of the west was settling down, and this desert town in the Arizona Territory was the last hurrah for wild men looking for excitement.  

County Seat War

In October of 1887 a vote was held in Gray County, Kansas to determine the county seat. The winner was Cimarron. But the citizens of Ingalls weren’t happy with the outcome. And they took their case to the courts. For over a year the courts did nothing, which lead to the County Seat War.
           
County Seat WarFinally Asa Soule, from Ingalls, decided to take the situation into his own hands. He figured that as the crown or miter was the authority of a king, the records of a county were the authority of a county seat. So, on January 11, 1889 he deputized a group of men to steal the county records. These lawmen weren’t novices. They included Bill Tilghman, Neal Brown and two of Bat Masterson’s brothers, Jim and Tom.
               
Early Sunday morning the group rode quietly into Cimarron. Neal Brown and the two Mastersons started carrying out the records as the others stood guard. Then an alarm was sounded, and guns started firing. The three record carriers were caught inside the courthouse. The rest got away with the records. More than two hundred men started shooting at the courthouse. In the process, one citizen was killed.
 
For more than 24 hours the men were trapped inside. Then mysteriously a truce was called and the three men were allowed to leave town unscathed. What happened? Well, Bat Masterson heard about his brothers’ plight, and he telegraphed Cimarron stating, if either of his brothers were hurt he would “hire a train and come in with enough men to blow Cimarron off the face of Kansas.”
 
Oh yes, four years later another election was held and Cimarron again won.       
   
County Seat War

Doniphan’s Thousand

Doniphan's ThousandAs a young man Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan had no plans on being a military man. Born in Kentucky, Alexander went to college to be a lawyer, later practicing in Missouri. A far cry from what would become Doniphan’s Thousand.
           
But, the courtroom wasn’t enough excitement for Alexander. When the war with Mexico broke out in 1846 the 1st Missouri Mounted Volunteers were formed, and Alexander was voted their colonel. Now, the Missouri Mounted didn’t comprise of professional military men. They were a rag-tag group of men who looked more like tramps than spit and polish soldiers of the regular military. And Alexander wasn’t a strict disciplinarian as an officer. But “Doniphan’s Thousand” as they were known were impressive in battle.
               
In December of 1846 Alexander and 500 of his men assisted General Wool in his invasion of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. On their way to Chihuahua, Alexander and his men ran into a force of 1,200 Mexican soldiers just outside of El Paso, Texas. Although outnumbered more than 2 to 1, they took on the Mexican forces, and on December 27 occupied El Paso.
 
Continuing on to Chihuahua, Alexander discovered that General Wool had retreated back. Rather than turning back also, Alexander summoned the other half of his “Thousand” and proceeded to attack Chihuahua unassisted. This time he was completely outnumbered 4 to 1. But, once again they quickly overcame their opponent. Within six months Alexander and his men reached the Gulf Coast. At the coast they were picked up by boat, and transported to New Orleans, where they returned to Missouri and their normal occupations.
 
Within a few months U. S. troops occupied Mexico City, and the war was over. Although the professional military got the credit for the victory, were it not for rag-tag volunteers like Doniphan’s Thousand, it surely wouldn’t have happened when it did.

Crazy Horse’s Final Battle

Crazy Horse's Final BattleIt was the end of June of 1876. Crazy Horse, along with Sitting Bull, had just completed the greatest victory of the Indians over the U. S. military with the defeat of George Custer at Little Big Horn. The American people demanded revenge. These were the events that lead to Crazy Horse’s Final Battle.
           
So, General Nelson Miles mounted a winter campaign. It was thought that by keeping the Indians on the run throughout the winter would be devastating to them. General Miles convinced a number of Indians to return to their reservations. Meanwhile, Sitting Bull took his people into Canada.
               
Crazy Horse along with his over 1,000 Sioux and Cheyenne also refused to surrender. But he stayed in Montana. Being constantly pushed, Crazy Horse and his people were suffering from starvation and sickness.
 
Then on January 8, 1877, in the last battle Crazy Horse was ever to be engaged, General Miles came across his camp on the Tongue River. Miles opened up with howitzers, forcing the Indians to retreat to the hills in a snowstorm. With ammunition gone for their rifles, they were using only bows and arrows to defend themselves.
 
Using the blinding snowstorm as shelter, Crazy Horse’s people were able to escape. With their shelters, food and winter clothes left behind, they spent a miserable winter.
 
Although Crazy Horse wasn’t ever defeated in battle, he realized that General Miles would eventually hunt his people down and destroy them. So, in May of 1877, less than a year from his great victory at Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse along with his rag-tag group of 217 men and 672 women surrendered to the military.
In September 1877, four months after surrendering to U.S. troops under General George Crook, Crazy Horse was fatally wounded by a bayonet-wielding military guard while allegedly resisting imprisonment at Camp Robinson in present-day Nebraska.

Chuckwagon: Apple Water

Apple WaterApple Water:

Roast two tart apples until they are soft; 
put them in a pitcher, 
pour upon them a pint of cold water, 
and let it stand in a cool place an hour.

It is used in fevers and eruptive diseases, 
and does not require sweetening.

From An 1888 Cookbook

*Courtesy of Chronicle of the Old West newspaper, for more click HERE.

 Page 6 of 97  « First  ... « 4  5  6  7  8 » ...  Last »