A reason to drink?

December 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This front page item from the “Prescott Journal-Miner” of Arizona, October 29, 1929, is self-explanatory. Perhaps some can commiserate.  There’s a New Year’s resolution here somewhere…

Tombstone was about to fade away…

August 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Having offered several Tombstone newspapers from its brief heyday in the late 19th century, I thought you would find this article from the “Prescott Journal-Miner” of Arizona, July 8, 1930, interesting.  Having visited Tombstone about 3 years ago I can assure all that it does survive, albeit primarily as a partially reconstructed tourist attraction. It’s a fun town to visit if ever in Southern Arizona:

Celebrating 150 years since Arizona’s first newspaper…

November 2, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

The history of Arizona, an Indian word meaning “place of small springs”, goes back some 10,000 years B.C. with the arrival of the first Native Americans, while its history as recorded by Europeans dates to 1539 when the first white an, Marcus de Niza, a Franciscan friar arrived.  It was organized as a territory in 1863 and admitted as a state in 1912, the last of the 49 contiguous states to join the Union.

Arizona’s first newspaper was the “Arizonian”, started at Tubac in March, 1859. Tubac lies about midway between Tucson and the Mexican border. For the following we credit Megan Thomas and the Chronkite News Service:

“For visitors at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, (volunteer James) Pagels rolls ink and presses paper to metal to demonstrate a Washington Hand Press that was used to print the state’s first newspaper, “The Weekly Arizonian”. It still provides visitors with replicas of the paper.

“It’s living history,” Pagels said.

Arizona State Parks is preparing to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the press in Arizona. Brought by ox cart from the Mexican port of Guaymas for William Wrightson of the Santa Rita Mining Co., the press turned out the first copy of the Arizonian on March 3, 1859, promoting the mining company and its agenda.

The “Arizonian” published out of Tubac for several months before moving to Tucson. According to an account by the late Douglas C. McMurtrie, a historian of printing in the U.S., the newspaper apparently ceased publication in the summer of 1860, resumed briefly in 1861 and resumed once again in 1867 – both times under different ownership – before finally folding for good in 1871. The press wound up in Tombstone, printing the Nugget newspaper for a time, and, according to McMurtrie, passed to the Arizona Historical Society in 1913.

Back home in Tubac and on permanent loan to Arizona State Parks, the press is a point of pride, said Joe Martinez, manager of the park.

“I think it’s amazing that the press came here in 1859 can still function today and we can show it to people and give them copies of the first edition,” Martinez said.

That edition describes attacks by Native Americans and crimes including horse thefts. It notes that stagecoaches were charging 40 cents to $1 per pound for extra baggage on runs between El Paso and San Diego. A section is devoted to the obituary of James Gadsden, who brokered the purchase from Mexico of nearly 30,000 square miles that are now part of southern Arizona and New Mexico.”