Cedar City, Utah
The presence of prehistoric people in the Cedar City area is revealed by rock art found in Parowan Gap to the north and Fremont sites dated to A.D. 1000 and 1300. Ancestors of the present-day Southern Paiute people met the Dominguez-Escalante expedition in this area in 1776. Fifty years later, in 1826, mountain man and fur trader Jedediah Smith traveled through the area exploring a route from Utah to California.
Cedar City was originally settled in late 1851 by Mormon pioneers originating from Parowan,Utah who were sent to build an iron works. The site, known as “Fort Cedar” or “Cedar City”, was equidistant from vast iron deposits 10 miles west and coal resources 10 miles east up Cedar Canyon, but was named after the abundant local trees (which are actually Junipers instead of Cedar). Two companies of men led by Henry Lunt reached the fort site in a blizzard on November 11, 1851, making that date the official founding. In 1855, a new site, closer to the iron works and out of the flood plain of Coal Creek, was established at the suggestion of Brigham Young. A furnace operated from September 1852 for three years, producing about 25 tons of pig iron, using iron ore deposits located in the Iron Mountain District.
Cedar City was incorporated on February 18, 1868.
Cerbat is a ghost town just west of the Cerbat Mountains in Mohave County, Arizona. Mining in the area began in the late 1860s and a camp was established soon after. Cerbat was built in a canyon 38 miles from Hardyville, Arizona. The town was prosperous and contained several mining and public buildings along with cabins for over 100 settlers, as well as a school, a doctor’s office and a lawyer’s office. In the 1870s the town was connected by dirt road to Fort Rock, Camp Hualapai and Prescott, Arizona. Cerbat was the third seat of Mohave County until 1877 when Mineral Park took the title.
As of 2010, a cemetery and a few wooden buildings and stone foundations, including a large mill and the post office, remain. The post office was completed on December 23, 1872 and was closed on June 15, 1912.
From June 25, 1890 to October 24, 1902 the town was known as Campbell.
Wickenburg is the oldest town north of Tucson and the 5th oldest in the state (established in 1863). In its heyday, Wickenburg was the third largest town in Arizona. In 1866 it missed becoming the territorial capital by two votes.
There is a 200 year old mesquite tree, located at the corner of US-60 (Wickenburg Way) and Tegner Street, served as the town jail from 1863 to 1890 with outlaws chained to the tree. The tree is also an Arizona Centennial Witness Tree (a tree that witnessed Arizona Statehood on February 12, 1912), as well as being considered one of Arizona’s “Magnificent 7” Heritage Trees.
The Hassayampa River flows through Wickenburg. The name “Hassayampa” comes from a Yavapai Indian word, hayesamo, meaning “following the water as far as it goes.” Apache Indians referred to it as the “upside down river” because it flows underground most of the way. It comes above ground amid the towering cottonwoods at the Hassayampa River Preserve, as well as other places throughout town.
Mormon Honeymoon Trail
For the Mormon colonizers of Arizona in the 19th century, the closest temple in which a marriage could be made eternal, or “sealed,” was in St. George, Utah. Mormon couples from central and eastern Arizona made a long journey by wagon or buckboard or on horseback through rugged and inhospitable territory to St. George. The route became known as the “Mormon Wagon Road.”
Travelers making this long trek used a trail system that crossed a rocky, sandy, arid region. Lee’s Ferry on the main trail became the most feasible place to cross the Colorado River, the most challenging obstacle. South of the river, the main road headed almost due south, much of it alongside the Little Colorado River, to Sunset Crossing, where Winslow is today. From here, branches led to Mormon colonies in the Tonto Basin and the upper Little Colorado River Valley. An important part of this trail system also continued from Show Low southward to the Upper Gila River Valley. The distances of the various branches combined amounted to more than 450 miles.
In the 1880s, Arizona historian Will Barnes lived on the Little Colorado River. He talked to the people going past his ranch, to and from St. George, Utah. In 1934, in an article he wrote for Arizona Highways Magazine, Barnes referred to the Mormon Wagon Road as the “Honeymoon Trail.” The name stuck, and everyone, including the Mormons, themselves, began to refer collectively to this network of trails as the “Honeymoon Trail.”
Around 7am on November 5th, 1871,seven passengers piled into a Concord Stagecoach in Wickenburg and set out for California. An hour later five of them and the driver lay dead in the desert. One victim had been scalped.
Obviously, a band of Indians had attacked the stage; one of the two survivors, an Army Paymaster named William Kruger, said as much.
In addition, the attack got a lot of attention in the Eastern press because of one of the victims, Frederick Wadsworth Loring, was a promising young writer from Boston. A Harvard graduate, Loring was 22 when he was killed, but he’d already had a novel and a book of poetry published. He was working as a correspondent for Appleton’s Journal at the time of the massacre.
The other survivor, Mollie Sheppard, seems to have believed that the attacks were Mexican bandits dressed as Indians to throw of investigators. Because a Mexican gang had been operating in the area, the story seemed plausible to many. And even if it wasn’t true, it provided a good excuse for townsfolk to run the Mexicans and their families out of the region.
When General Crook got wind of the attack, he dispatched an officer to investigate. The conclusion: A band of raiders from the temporary reservation at Date Creek had carried out the attack. The following March, in the wake of an attempt by some of the suspects to assassinate Crook, a cavalry unit tracked down and killed about 40 Indians. In November, Crook launched an extensive campaign against the Yavapais and Tonto Apaches, an operation that led to the forcible relocation of many of those people to the San Carlos Apache Reservation.
For many, that was the end of the Wickenburg massacre.
Others speculated that Kruger and Sheppard who said they escaped by running down a wash, committed the robbery, killing the others to make it look like an Indian attack. According to that theory, they buried the loot, inflicted relatively minor wounds upon themselves and hung around until they could be ” rescued ”.
There were reports that Kruger and Sheppard were seen together in San Francisco a couple months after the attack, in early 1872. Later Kruger said in a newspaper interview that Sheppard had dies from her wounds, but apparently there are no records to support his claim.
William Kruger registered in a Phoenix hotel in December 1872, believed to be on his way back to Wickenburg to retrieve the money, but was killed before he could recover the stash, struck down by a stray bullet during a gunfight by two other guest at the hotel.
The treasure, according to the versions of the story, remains buried somewhere in the desert west of Wickenburg.
In 1873, two Quaker reformers living in Indiana, shocked by allegations of sexual abuse of female prisoners at the state’s unisex institution, pushed the state to fund the Indiana Reformatory Institute for Women and Girls: the first totally separate women’s prison established in the United States. For years, Rhoda Coffin, who lobbied for the prison and then joined its first board of visitors, and Sarah Smith, the founding superintendent, enjoyed a historical reputation of benevolence. Coffin and Smith, the story went, started an institution that prioritized reform of inmates over punishment. If their approach was invasive and personally constrictive—the institution focused on reintegrating prisoners into Victorian gender roles, training them (as the prison’s 1876 annual report put it) to “occupy the position assigned to them by God, viz., wives, mothers, and educators of children”—at least this new kind of prison provided safe surroundings and was bent on giving troubled inmates a second chance at life.
Miles City, Montana
After the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, the U.S. Army created forts in eastern Montana, including one where the north-flowing Tongue River flowed into the east-flowing Yellowstone River. The first fort was known as the Tongue River Cantonment or the Tongue River Barracks and was founded on August 27, 1876. A second, permanent fort was constructed on higher ground two miles to the west of the mouth of the Tongue and this became Fort Keogh.
Fort Keogh (named after Captain Myles Keogh, one of the battle dead, whose horse, Comanche, was the lone survivor of Custer’s command) started as a few rough winter cabins, but grew into a moderate sized western fort, from which its commander, General Nelson A. Miles, effectively brought the remaining “uncontrolled” Native Americans into subjugation during the last decade of the 1800s.