The first garage in Cottonwood was built by Charles D. Willard on the west side of what became Main Street. P. V. D. Neff and P. E. Green opened the Cottonwood Garage during the last part of 1916. C. H. Shannon and Paul Wilkinson were the new owners operating the Cottonwood Garage by January of 1918.
Donald Willard wrote: "One summer, about 1915, I was in Cottonwood on my summer vacation. I went with my uncle, Charles D. Willard, in his wagon to the new town of Clarkdale to haul a load of lumber to be used in building the first garage in the area. It was to be operated by a mechanic, who claimed to be quite experienced in the new profession." (An Old-timer's Scrapbook; by Don Willard; 1984; page 52.)
Philip van Devanter Neff:
"PHILIP NEFF WEDS MISS INGLEDEW: Philip V. Neff and Miss Gwen Ingledew were quietly married in Prescott Wednesday. Miss Ingledew has been a teacher in the Clarkdale schools and Mr. Neff is a valued employee of the United Verde Copper Co. ... After the wedding ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Neff left on a two weeks' trip to the Grand Canyon, where they will spend a brief honeymoon. Upon their return they will reside near Clarkdale." (Jerome News; Friday, June 16, 1916; page 8, column 4.) A quiet wedding took place yesterday at the home of Mrs. Stephen G. Emerson, when Miss Gwendolyn Ingledew, of Leadville, Colo., was married to Philip van Devanter Neff, of Clarkdale, Ariz. The ceremony was performed by Rev. H. H. Shires. ... The young couple will make their home at Clarkdale where Mr. Neff is connected with the United Verde Copper Co. The only out of town guest was the groom's mother, Dr. Mary Lawson Neff, of Phoenix." (Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; June 21, 1916; from Friday's Daily.)
"NEFF HAS AGENCY FOR MAXWELL CARS: Selling Popular Priced Auto in Cottonwood, Clarkdale, and Jerome."
"P. V. D. Neff, who with P. E. Green, recently opened the Cottonwood Garage, at Cottonwood, has secured the agency for the popular Maxwell car. His territory includes Cottonwood, Jerome and Clarkdale."
"With Mrs. Neff, Neff went to Phoenix last Friday, and he brought his demonstrating Maxwell back with him. They made the trip down by way of Black canyon but found the road in poor condition, owing to recent rains, so returned by way of Wickenburg and Skull valley."
"To say that Neff is 'plumb tickled' at his success in landing the Maxwell agency for this district is putting it mildly. He is convinced that there is no better car than the Maxwell at its pice. Already he had received a large number of applications from customers who want machines out of his first carload shipment."
(Jerome News; September 1, 1916; page 6, column 4.) The 1916 newspaper advertisements list the Maxwell motor car for $595, with P. V. D. Neff as the dealer in Cottonwood, Arizona.
"MAXWELLS DELIVERED: P. V. D. Neff, of Cottonwood, agent for the Maxwell car in the district, has delivered two machines in the last few days. One went to C. A. Crawley and the other to B. E. Sutter, both of Clarkdale." (Jerome News; November 10, 1916; page 4, column 7.)
"COTTONWOOD GARAGE MAKING THINGS FLY"
"That they have the fastest growing garage business in Arizona is the claim of P. V. D. Neff and P. E. Green, proprietors of the Cottonwood Garage."
"Neff and Green went into business only three or four months ago. They thought that Green could do all the repair work, leaving Neff to travel around and sell Maxwell cars, but they were mistaken. The partners are now working from twelve to fourteen hours a day and have one man hired. Now they are talking of hiring another man in order to let Neff get out in the field."
"The Cottonwood Garage is now one of the best equipped establishments of its kind in northern Arizona. That its work is satisfactory is attested by the rapidly growing patronage."
(The Jerome News; March 16, 1917; page 5.)
"COTTONWOOD HAVING INFLUX: What heretofore was only a country post office at a bend in the road and some neat ranch houses, two of them brick, with orchards and shade trees, is now a town with two garages finished and open, almost a dozen stores and other places of business, two pool halls, barber shops, restaurants and all of the accompaniments of a modern city in the stages of a boom. Many of the new residents have makeshift homes in the form of tents and tent-houses." (The Jerome Sun; March 22, 1917; page 3, column 3.)
"BUSY TIMES AT COTTONWOOD: Mr. Neff, who owns the Cottonwood Garage, has been doing such a good business that he will enlarge his garage and put in a cement floor. Work will be begun the first of next week on the addition, which will extend out to the street line." (The Jerome Sun; May 11, 1917; page 3, column 1.)
"SELLS MAXWELL: Yesterday P. V. D. Neff of the Cottonwood Garage sold to J. S. Kite, a Maxwell touring car, to be shipped from the Prescott agency. This is the last Maxwell pleasure car that can be had in Yavapai for at least thirty days, as the Maxwell people will devote the facilities of their entire plant to the production of one-ton trucks." (Verde Copper News; Jerome; August 3, 1917; page 5.)
The list of men called for the draft on August 15, to appear in Prescott on August 21, 1917, included: #1257, Phillip V. D. Neff, Cottonwood.
"Dr. Mary L. Neff, of Phoenix, is in Cottonwood, visiting her son Phillip V. D. Neff, of the Cottonwood Garage, and will remain indefinitely. Dr. Neff is much interested in the work of the Red Cross." (Verde Copper News; Jerome; August 31, 1917; page 5.)
"The Cottonwood Progressive Association was the name adopted for the organization informally organized Thursday night of last week. After reading the minutes of the first meeting, the by-laws ordered to be framed were read, and after a general discussion were adopted. An executive board composed of P. V. D. Neff, George Reed and Chas. D. Willard, was elected by ballot and the president of the association [J. A. McGimsey] was made ex-officio chairman of the board." (Verde Copper News; Jerome September 11, 1917; page 5.)
"The Cottonwood Garage is building a commodious addition to the present quarters on Main street to make room for a rapidly increading business." (Verde Copper News; Jerome; September 22, 1917; page 5.)
"An addition has been added to the north side of the Cottonwood Garage, consisting of two rooms, which will be used for storage of supplies and repair work." (The Jerome News; September 27, 1917; page 5.)
"TWENTY-FOUR MORE MEN CERTIFIED: another list of 24 registrants certified for service under the selective draft law has been forwarded from the local board, at Prescott, to the district board, at Phoenix. ... A list of some fifty registrants granted exemption by the local board has been published. Among this list are the following young men from the Verde district: Cottonwood; Phillip V. D. Neff." (Verde Copper News; September 28, 1917; page 1.)
"'Time and tide wait for no man' in these days of progress and achievement, says the Cottonwood Garage. On account of the pressure of growing business they could not wait for 'juice' to be supplied by the power plant, so they have installed a gasoline engine and generator, and are now independent and furnish their own light and power." (Verde Copper News; September 28, 1917; page 5.)
"P. V. D. Neff received a telegram Saturday from his wife who is in Denver, informing him that he is the father of a bouncing baby boy. It was evident from the way he lavished cigars and soft drinks on his friends, after receiving the news, that he was by far the happiest citizen in Cottonwood." (Verde Copper News; October 8, 1917; page 5.)
"GARAGE CHANGES HANDS: The Cottonwood Garage, formerly owned by P. V. D. Neff, has changed hands, having been purchased by C. H. Shannon and Paul Wilkinson, recently from Bisbee, who have taken possession and are now in full charge. These gentlemen have been engaged in the automobile garage game since 1908, and claim to understand the business in all of its details." (Verde Copper News; January 15, 1918; page 5, column 5.)
"P. V. D. NEFF IS HERE: P. V. D. Neff, Cottonwood's first fire chief and one of the members of the first executive board of the Cottonwood Progressive Association and now residing in Prescott, was in Cottonwood Thursday renewing acquaintances and attending to some business matters here. He was accompanied by Mrs. Neff." (Verde Copper News; June 18, 1920; page 5, column 3.)
1920 CENSUS: Miller Valley Precinct; Phillip V. D. Neff, 27, owner, garage; Gwen I. Neff, 30; Robert Neff, 2.
"VISITS IN JEROME: P. D. Neff, well known garage man of this city, formerly engaged in the same business in Cottonwood, yesterday went over to Jerome for the purpose of transacting business in the copper city." (Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; March 30, 1921; page 6.)
"P. V. D. NEFF RETURNS TO MANAGE SHOP: P. V. D. Neff, formerly a resident of this city when he ran the Auto Specialty shop on south Montezuma Street, has returned to Prescott and will remain here as manager of the Electric Equipment company. Mr. Neff left Prescott 3 years ago and since that time has been manager of the Electric Equipment company's shop in Nogales. He was accompanied by J. E. Russell, also a former resident of this city, who will be his assistant." (Prescott Evening Courier; May 13, 1925; page 6, column 6.)