Fri, Feb. 28

1885-1888: Yavapai County Sheriff; W. J. Mulvenon.

"FORMER SHERIFF MULVENON IS DEAD: Was One of Arizona's Strong Men and Exemplary Citizens and Courageous Official."

"Universal were the expressions of sorrow and regret yesterday when it was learned that William J. Mulvenon had passed away at his home on South Cortez street, about 9:30 o'clock in the morning. His illness had not assumed that seiousness as to indicate that his life was ebbing away, and when the end came unexpectedly he passed away as if going into a deep sleep. His affliction was Bright's disease, and he had been in ill health for the past three years. Only recently, however, was he compelled to remain home, and less than three weeks ago he continued to mingle with friends on the street and transact business."

"'Billy' Mulvenon, as he was so familiarly known from one end to the other of Arizona, was a representative man in every respect. He mingled with the people freely and on many occasions offered his services for the public welfare in official channels."

"As a legislator for two terms from this county in recent years, his ability was recognized as that of the broadminded man of sincerity and honesty of purpose. He strived to obliterate sectional hatred in the old territory and his every act was towards promoting industrial interests, no matter what locality was to be affected. In one speech in the assembly he made this remark: 'We must bring capital into Arizona, and we must enact laws to encourage investment on a basis of liberality and sincerity of purpose; after we get a foothold we must still further encourage the advancement of Arizona.'"

"BEGINS POLITICAL CAREER: Arriving in Prescott in the spring of 1876, after traveling over the Santa Fe trail on horseback from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the deceased took up mining and located at the Peck camp in the Bradshaws. He made investments in that field, with varying success. His personality attracted attention and a few years later he was appointed a deputy sheriff, removing to Prescott. Serving four years under Sheriffs Walker and Hinkle, he was nominated by his party for this office, which he filled for four consecutive years, retiring on January 1, 1889."

"REMARKABLE RECORD: While sheriff of this county two notable criminal achievements are to the credit of 'Billy' Mulvenon. During his tenure of office the bloody Tonto Basin vendetta was raging, in which human lives were being wantonly sacrificed. Entering the field on horseback with a posse of five of his deputies, he brought that frightful era to a climax by using force and at the cost of a life. The remedy, however, ended further troubles and the country was relieved of a burden which throttled immigration and discredited investment by homesteaders."

"On another occasion the deceased effected the capture of the murderers of the Clevinger family in the Buckskin range of mountains near Utah, but only after months of shrewd and energetic research. The clue was vague, but the persistence of this officer triumphed, and this single act is to this day regarded as one of the finest pieces of criminal work ever performed in the Southwest. The chase ended in a remote corner of Idaho, and one of the murderers later was hung in this city, admitting his guilt."

"Throughout his career as sheriff, Mr. Mulvenon had a clean record in civil duties, and with his activity against the criminal element, his memory will be cherished as one who was without an equal as sheriff of this county."

"RAISED ON THE FRONTIER: The deceased was born at Belchertown, Mass., in October of 1850, and with his parents removed to Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1857. In 1868 he was a government contractor at Fort Harker, when that military post was on the outskirts of Indian depredations and a lawless element of white men. He was accordingly in his boyhood days surrounded with an environment of border life, but which all the more fitted him for later years of his life in building up society and upholding the law."

"He was a good man and one noted for his many unostentatious acts of generosity. He is survived by his wife, two sisters, Mrs. Eva Mohan, of Santa Barbara, Cal., and Mrs. Dora Ditchey, of Los Angeles, and two brothers, Charles and Austin Mulvenon, of this city. After the arrival today of the latter the funeral arrangements will be announced."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; June 2, 1915; page 4, columns 1-2.)

William J. Mulvenon worked as a miner and stable-keeper before becoming a sheriff's deputy. He was elected as Yavapai County Sheriff, serving from January 1, 1885, until December 31, 1888. "Billy" Mulvenon established the Prescott Crystal Ice Works and was a primary stockholder in the Arizona Brewing Company.

The Exchange Saloon was a wooden building located on the northeast corner of Gurley and Granite Streets in Prescott. It burned during the 1900 fire. William Mulvenon rebuilt on that site in 1901. The lower floor of the Mulvenon Building was divided by a staircase for 2 business locations prior to the 1990 remodeling. Various business occupied half of the lower floor, and the other half was occupied by the Gurley Street Bar. Alexander V. Mulvenon was the bartender and a resident of the building until he died in 1907. The upper floor was originally a hotel with 6 similar furnished rooms. For awhile the building was rumored to house a collection of women notoriously abandoned to lewdness. Later, these rooms were converted into small apartments. Since 1991, the Gurley Street Grill has occupied the remodeled building.

Children of Hugh and Ann (King) Mulvenon, both born in Ireland:

HUGHEY MULVENON was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, on April 25, 1862. He was a mechant and unmarried when he died at Castle Hot Springs on March 25, 1898. He was buried in Citizens Cemetery, then exhumed and his body was shipped to Leavenworth, Kansas.

ALEXANDER MULVENON was born in Leavnworth, Kansas, on February 5, 1870. Alex was listed in the 1900 Census with his brother, Auston V. Melvenon. Alex was unmaried and a bartender when he died in Prescott on November 21, 1907. His body was shipped to Leavenworth, Kansas, for burial.

WILLIAM J. MULVENON was born in Belchertown, Massachusetts, on October 25, 1851. He was married when he died in Prescott on May 26, 1915. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery (plot N/12/G). Austin B. Mulvenon was the informant on the Certificate of Death.

CHARLES A. MULVENON was born in Massachusetts on December 10, 1854. He married Ellen Howard and was a merchant when he died in Prescott on May 30, 1917. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery (plot N/12/K). The son of Charles Aloysius and Ellen (Howard) Mulvenon, James A. Mulvenon, was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, on December 11, 1889. He was a conductor for the Santa Fe Railroad. He married Dorothy Willson. He died in Los Angeles, California, on August 16, 1943, then was brought to Mountain Veiw Cemetery (plot N/12/I).

AUSTIN MULVENON was listed in the 1900 Census. In the 1920 Census, Auston (Austin) A. Mulvenon is 45, a moulder in a foundry, was living in Prescott with Edna Mulvenon, 29; Rosemary, 4; Auston (Austin) A., Jr., 2; and Alade, 1.

See: Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archive information.

Report a Typo Contact
Event Calendar
Event Calendar link
Submit Event