Fri, Feb. 28

1885: OUR CATTLE INTERESTS; September 5, 1885; Part 1.


"The growing wealth of the Verde Valley is well known throughout Northern Arizona, and the stock interests of that section are identical with Flagstaff. A correspondent writing in the New Mexico "Stock Grower," gives a detailed report of the stock enterprise of that locality from which we quote:"

"While the general conditions which prevail in Northern Arizona do not make it a particularly favorable section for cattle raising --- the country being very dry, though covered with a fine growth of grass --- there are exceptions, and principal among the exceptions is the section of country through which the Verde river runs, in Yavapai county. In comparing this section with the surrounding country it would seem that in its formation nature had exhausted itself of all the good qualities which it bestowed on the most favored lands created by its power, and the result was the creation of a paradise in a comparative desert."

"In this region there is an abundance of water, a fine soil on which can be grown almost any product, a range surrounding on which the pasturage cannot be excelled anywhere, and a climate for which the famous songs ... of praise given Italia's clear skies and Ceylon's soft, sweet-scented breezes, would be but faint praise."

"The settlement of this favored portion was until quite recently retarded by the Apaches, who had many strongholds in the mountains surrounding, but now all danger is past. ... The government still sustains a military post in the valley --- Camp Verde." ...

"Now the valley is filled with farms whose owner's stock completely monopolize the adjacent ranges. The settlers are a thrifty and prosperous lot of citizens, whose progressive ideas and methods are rapidly advancing the country to the prominent position it should occupy."

"The breeding powers of cows in this country is wonderful. From 100 cows a Mr. Wingfield branded ninety-five calves last year and one hundred this year. The showing made by the rest of the stockmen is nearly as good."

"A fence law prevails, so that agriculture and stock raising can be carried on together to good advantage."

"The cattle in this locality are all of good grade and sell at $23 to $25 all around. Last year W. S. Head sold to Hicks & Wingfield 280 head at $30.

"Three first class schools are supported by the settlers. The cheerful note of the six-shooter is never heard on the range, nor is the "weepin" seen."

"In addition to those in the valley engaged in stockraising there are settlers who attend exclusively to agriculture, and this year the valley produced 2,500 tons of alfalfa, which sold at $14 a ton; 100 tons of corn at $38; 250 tons of barley at $38; and 150 tons of potatoes at $60. Two thousand acres of land are irrigated from four ditches taken out of the Verde, which runs 1600 inches of water in ordinary seasons."

"Commencing about twenty-five miles north of the military post we find Munds & Willard, located at Cottonwood Springs and Spring Creek, with a mountain ranch, thirty miles northeast and about sixteen miles south of Flagstaff on the A. & P. They started in business seven years ago with about 150 head of cattle, and now have 2,500 head of improved stock with a band of forty mares. They have a fine range and the stock looks well."

"David Strahan, on the Upper Verde, runs 200 head of American cattle and has fifty acres of ground under cultivation, on which he raises alfalfa and small grains. He has a good muntain range for his stock, and his success is a notable instance of what pluck and a close attention to business will do. He started in four years ago with a broken down span of mules."

"Mr. Scott, just below Strahan, has 250 head of cattle and forty acres of ground on the Verde in a high state of cultivation. His cattle range is to the west and eight miles distant in the Black Hills, where he controls a fine range by the ownership of splendid springs."

"James Loy has hoed a hard row, but is now doing well. He has 300 head of fine cattle ranging west of the Verde at Jumping Springs, eight miles distant. He makes this showing in six years from a start of four horses."

"Dan Marr branded 600 head of calves this year and can round-up 800 head of better cattle than can be found in New Mexico, outside of the Shorthorn herds. His brother Joseph has about the same number. Their cattle range is on the Verde about 8 miles above the military post. They are old timers in the county and are progressive and highly respected citizens."

"W. F. Wilber started in seven years ago with 50 head and now has 1,200 head of cattle on his range above the post."

"Robert M. Rogers, who worked by the month until he got a small start, now has a good range with 250 head of cattle with some stock horses." [Robert M. "Mac" Rodgers was shot and killed on July 2, 1899: see: "1899 Atrocious Murders;" Verde Independent, 2012.]

(The Arizona Champion; September 5, 1885; page 1.)

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