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http://epicofbisbee.com Histories of One of the Southwest's Most Exciting Cities Tue, 26 Dec 2017 18:02:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Central School vital to Bisbee, in the past and now http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/12/central-school-vital-bisbee-past-now/ http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/12/central-school-vital-bisbee-past-now/#respond Tue, 26 Dec 2017 17:36:59 +0000 http://epicofbisbee.com/?p=574 A part of Bisbee’s Backstory Central School, opened in 1905, was the first school in the district paid for by the public. Before that, dating back to 1883, the school buildings were built by the local mining companies, but by … Continue reading

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Central School

Central School, bottom center with bell tower, back when it was an operating elementary school.

A part of Bisbee’s Backstory

Central School, opened in 1905, was the first school in the district paid for by the public. Before that, dating back to 1883, the school buildings were built by the local mining companies, but by the opening of the 20th century, the firms were of the belief that the community could be self-supporting in terms of infrastructure.

Bisbee had become an incorporated city in 1902, with no small amount of prodding by the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Co., and residents had to start getting used to taxes, license fees, bonds and the like. It wasn’t always easy, despite the fact that local miners were among the best-paid blue-collar workers in the nation. After all, the vice economy was running strong as well, and workers with families weren’t in the majority.

But for Central School, a bond issue was set out to build a K-12 facility at the site of the existing cobbled-together facility. The day of the election, the kids were given the day off, and they canvassed the town, encouraging citizens to vote.

The city was growing, the number of families was growing and so was the school-age population. Within a decade, Bisbee decided it needed its own high school (10th-12th grades at that time), and by 1914, Central had become an elementary school, which it remained until the 1960s, when it closed. It was used for a while by a very successful organization that took care of the needs of the community’s developmentally disabled, than later was purchased from the school district by an artist cooperative.

Today, the building is still on the forefront of making history, serving many of the city’s artists as a place for studios and events. Central School Project is making its way in the city, keeping the building up to par and offering locals and visitors alike a great place to enjoy the arts.

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Copper Queen Hotel marked change in Bisbee http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/12/copper-queen-hotel-marked-change-bisbee/ http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/12/copper-queen-hotel-marked-change-bisbee/#comments Tue, 26 Dec 2017 02:44:02 +0000 http://epicofbisbee.com/?p=565 A part of Bisbee’s Backstory The Copper Queen Hotel, build by the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Co., opened in 1902, the same year that Bisbee became an incorporated city. While these were important milestones in the city’s history, they are … Continue reading

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Copper Queen HotelA part of Bisbee’s Backstory

The Copper Queen Hotel, build by the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Co., opened in 1902, the same year that Bisbee became an incorporated city.

While these were important milestones in the city’s history, they are also symptoms of tremendous growth in the community. A second company, Calumet & Arizona Mining Co., had started up in the area, and it and the Copper Queen were building smelters at Douglas.

These smelters would require thousands of workers, yet despite the outflow of employment (for the Copper Queen, at least), this would mean great growth for Bisbee. It was at this time the city came close to being the largest community in Arizona and became, for the first time, the wealthiest.

With the coming of city government, which was enacted in no small part because of discussion about cleanup and infrastructure, and with the moving of the existing smelter and its sulfur gases, Bisbee became a much cleaner town. That, perhaps, encouraged the Phelps, Dodge interest of New York, which controlled the Copper Queen, to want to put in a new, luxurious facility for visiting dignitaries.

Now that Bisbee didn’t already have great eateries, but the one in the new hotel, often compared with Delmonico’s in New York, which was America’s first fine dining restaurant, was certainly appropriate for a new and improved Bisbee.

Today the Copper Queen Hotel has just gotten a totally remodeled dining facility (December 2017), and is looking to put profits from that into another remodeling of the entire hotel. It’s a great place to begin writing the backstory for Bisbee’s history, and its future.

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What is Bisbee’s history canon? http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/12/bisbees-history-canon/ http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/12/bisbees-history-canon/#comments Tue, 26 Dec 2017 01:52:07 +0000 http://epicofbisbee.com/?p=557 What does “Bisbee’s history canon” mean? Just as with all other topics that have a “canon,” so does Bisbee history. And there are differing opinions as to what constitutes the canon. A “canon” is the works that constitute what is … Continue reading

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Judy Perry mural indicating one of the sets of stairs on the Bisbee 1000.

Judy Perry mural indicating one of the sets of stairs on the Bisbee 1000.

What does “Bisbee’s history canon” mean? Just as with all other topics that have a “canon,” so does Bisbee history. And there are differing opinions as to what constitutes the canon.

A “canon” is the works that constitute what is important to a topic. The Protestant Biblical canon, for example, includes the Old and New Testaments, while the Catholic canon adds to that the books of the apocrypha. Many today argue that the Western canon of great literature, generally taught in colleges, omits many writings of people of color and women.

BIsbee’s history canon includes a number of stories that define the town, and it is those which are told time and again, while others seldom get aired. The Bisbee Massacre, this discovery of ore here by Jack Dunn, the great fire of 1908, the Bisbee Deportation of July 12, and a handful of others constitute the canon. Thousands of other stories are not included, each for one or more of many reasons.

Is Bisbee’s history canon, which came into existence decades ago, appropriate for today? That is a very good question. The decision on what is and isn’t included is a result of opinion and inertia.

I have just gotten started on a book to be called “Bisbee’s Backstory.” [Click here to see what it’s about.] I needed to make a list of 50 stories that would be appropriate topics for the book, so in a few minutes, I quickly noted down off the top of my head more than 80 items along the tour route from which to choose, ranging from the reason for Galena to the nation’s second-oldest cable system. I then went through the list to determine which ones are part of Bisbee’s “canon.” There were 21, in my opinion, from the Massacre to the streetcar system to the Copper Queen Hotel.

That’s only about a quarter of the story subjects I jotted down are part of Bisbee’s historic canon; it doesn’t mean that the other stories are not of great value in delivering the story of our community. Take, for example, the YWCA and Grace Dodge. Fabulous story. One any town could be proud to be a part of. Or the Pythian Castle.

Bigger canon needed

It has long been my opinion that Bisbee’s canon needs to be enlarged. Greatly. Even the canon itself needs to be fleshed out with greater life and detail. As I write “Bisbee’s Backstory,” that will be kept in mind. On this blog over the next month or two, you’ll be seeing brief articles about what certain stories are important to Bisbee’s story. As I’m writing a section for the book, I’ll include a post (to a great extent for local consumption) on why particular tales are important to remembering our overall past.

The first, which is being published today, is about the Copper Queen Hotel. It just happens to be the starting point of all Lavender Jeep Tours, and if you read the post on Bisbee’s backstory, you’ll see why that fits into the overall scheme.

But I’d like your opinions about the important tales of our history. Which ones do you believe aren’t getting enough play, and why. Just leave a comment here or under any of the individual blog posts.

 

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What is Bisbee’s Backstory? http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/12/what-is-bisbees-backstory/ http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/12/what-is-bisbees-backstory/#comments Tue, 26 Dec 2017 00:51:50 +0000 http://epicofbisbee.com/?p=549 “Backstory” perhaps is not the best word, but it’s the closest I could find for what I wanted to convey. As 2018 opens, I’m getting ready for the next season of visitors, mostly from the snow belt, who have come … Continue reading

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“Backstory” perhaps is not the best word, but it’s the closest I could find for what I wanted to convey.Cemetery and Denn headframe

As 2018 opens, I’m getting ready for the next season of visitors, mostly from the snow belt, who have come to Arizona and are now exploring the state, including Bisbee. A great portion of these folks are boomers, and thus they are heritage tourists, who appreciate history. My believe, as you probably can surmise, is that Bisbee offers up history in quantities available to no other community in Arizona.

I will spend quite a bit of time between now and April showing off Bisbee as a guide for Lavender Jeep Tours. A typical tour through the Historic District takes about 90 minutes, giving me, speaking at the rate of about 100 words per minute, an absolute maximum of 9,000 words to introduce these heritage-hungry folks to our town. It’s realistically more like 4,000 words.

That means they’re seeing Bisbee, which is a great experience, with captions spoken to them. But what, while they’re looking at the vast panorama visible from the end of High Road, they want to know more? They see, for example, the “terraces” of our open-pit mines. But what if they want to know more? What if they want the “backstory?”

They’ve heard a few sentences, but now, as Paul Harvey would have said, they want “the rest of the story.”

That’s what “Bisbee’s Backstory” is all about. You just saw the image. You just heard a few words about that image. But you realize you remember only a few of those words, though much of the scenery has been burned into your vision.

What if . . . you could pick up a book that is a series of images that you just saw, but with a few hundred words related to each that tell you more and that bring back to mind what you may have heard during the tour? It’s laid out in the order of the tour and gives you the opportunity to discuss with your travel partner what you saw in Bisbee and what you learned.

(Somewhere I have to add “more or less,” because each tour guide makes the trip his or her experience and also tries to cover areas and topics most desired by the visitors. So there’s no way to create a one-on-one parallel, but there will be much overlap.)

The book “Bisbee’s Backstory” will cover about 50 vignettes of Bisbee, with more information (trying not to duplicate what you heard on the tour) in a way that will make the tour more permanent in the memory of the visitor and more likely to bring them back next year to see and do more. And link them to even more-details information about Bisbee.

If your Jeep Tour could be compared to a movie, then this book is the “backstory” of the tour, the movie, explaining more of why it was included and how it came to be.

Blog posts that will be appearing over the next few months, as the book is being written, won’t be the text of the book, but an explanation of why these vignettes are important in Bisbee’s history, important in the Bisbee’s backstory. These posts will contain color photos, as you would expect on the web, while the same photos will appear in the book as black and white.

So while you’re awaiting the book, enjoy this blog posts, and feel free to comment. Obviously there isn’t space or time to include everything. For more on that subject, read the post of “Bisbee’s history canon,” and leave me a comment on that, too.

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Civil War service record was important in 1870s http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/12/civil-war-credentials-were-important-in-1870s/ http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/12/civil-war-credentials-were-important-in-1870s/#respond Sat, 09 Dec 2017 00:55:24 +0000 http://epicofbisbee.com/?p=528 When James Duncan made his first venture into Mule Gulch in 1879, which he documented in 1911, he met only a handful of prospectors who lived there at the time. It is interesting to note that he identified them by their … Continue reading

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Unknown Civil War soldiers buried in BisbeeWhen James Duncan made his first venture into Mule Gulch in 1879, which he documented in 1911, he met only a handful of prospectors who lived there at the time. It is interesting to note that he identified them by their Civil War service, by the units in which they served in the Union Army during that recent conflict.

This was a time only 14 years after that war ended. The excitement of the conflict was responsible for so many me going west, into the last frontier, and undoubtedly, it was a bond — a shared past — that brought many of them together, and elicited many a tale around the evening campfire.

The first cabin he encountered in Bisbee, or Mule Gulch at the time, Duncan said, was “occupied by two Union soldier who had served in the Civil War — Marcus A. Herring served in the California column and George Eddleman served in a Pennsylvania regiment.” Service in the California column may have brought Herring to the area that would become Cochise County in another couple of years. Part of that unit entered the area of Apache Pass to the north and established Fort Bowie, though one could only speculate on whether Herring was in that particular action.

Duncan noted that Herring was 60 years old at the time of their meeting, which would have made him 46 at the end of the War Between the States. He was a Union soldier despite his nickname, by which he was generally called: “Kentuck.”

Another man Duncan mentions is Charley Vincent, who served in an Ohio regiment during the war. Duncan wrote that “as I had seen four years’ service in the 46th Pennsylvania Volunteer infantry, we were right at home.”

It is possible that one of these men might have died in Bisbee, been buried in his uniform in the cemetery that was moved in 1916, with the area becoming City Park. There are four gravestones at Evergreen over bodies that came from the old graveyard which says simply “Unknown U.S. Soldier.” That may have been all that was known of the men, but Duncan might have argued that their Civil War service was their finest contribution.

You can read more of Duncan’s first excursion into Mule Gulch in a Bisbee Tale titled “The Story of Bisbee Before It Was Called Bisbee.”

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Treating water for the steam shovels http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/06/treating-water-for-the-steam-shovels/ http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/06/treating-water-for-the-steam-shovels/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 23:33:18 +0000 http://epicofbisbee.com/?p=516 To assure quality, Phelps Dodge Corp. was buying treated water for its steam shovels and steam engines being used at the Sacramento open-pit mine from the Junction mine of the Calumet & Arizona Mining Co. The Bisbee Daily Review reported … Continue reading

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To assure quality, Phelps Dodge Corp. was buying treated water for its steam shovels and steam engines being used at the Sacramento open-pit mine from the Junction mine of the Calumet & Arizona Mining Co.

The Bisbee Daily Review reported Feb. 2, 1919 that a Reisert water treating [that’s what they called it] plant had been started up for softening — or removing minerals such as calcium — from the mine water.Patent application for water treating

Once treated, the water was sufficiently softened for use in the boilers on equipment that would be removing ore and waste from Bisbee’s first open-pit mine.

The water was treated with barium carbonate and lime, which precipitated the soluble sulfates which were the scale-forming constituents of the water as it was removed from the mine.

The water-treatment device had been patented by Hans Reisert in 1909. The German inventor said in his patent application that within the device the ferruginous matter and similar material was removed by oxidation by bringing the air under pressure into contact with the water “in a finely divided state.” The device also regulated the pressure and the water level.

Click here to read the entire patent application.

Buying another shovel

The Review reported Oct. 30, 1919 that J.J. Curtain, who was the steam shovel foreman at Sacramento Hill, had returned from Milwaukee, where he had gone to purchase a steam shovel for the mining work. He had been gone for about a month.

The shovel acquired was a Bucyrus 88C, the newspaper reported, “with reinforced I-beams and frames, costing about $34,000.

Steam shovel falls in

This steam shovel at the Sac pit fell into the old underground workings.

The magazine Steam Shovel and Dredge, in 1920, showed a photo of one of the 88Cs that had broken through some old underground workings. “Although no one was injured, the incident managed to stir things considerably. After a considerable lot of ‘strength and awkwardness’ combined, the shovel was lifted from the cave by means of a cable fastened to the top of a frame equalizer.”

A correspondent for the magazine said the prospects in Bisbee “are decidedly encouraging in their brightness for a long time ahead.” Another 88C had been added to the Copper Queen fleet, bringing the total to six shovels in all on the project.

In the same issue of the publication, a blurb reports the “Brother” T.A. Melville is in Bisbee, which he said is “about as attractive a place in which to live as one could with.” He reported that about 11 crews were on the job at the Sacramento pit, with more shovels to be added later, “88C being used exclusively.” (The magazine was published for the International Brotherhood of Steam Shovel and Dredge Men.

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Train robbery and Bisbee massacre http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/06/train-robbery-and-bisbee-massacre/ http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/06/train-robbery-and-bisbee-massacre/#respond Sun, 04 Jun 2017 18:21:48 +0000 http://epicofbisbee.com/?p=513 Working on some details for an article on the Bisbee “massacre” back in 1883, using a newspaper I hadn’t accessed before, the Weekly Phoenix Herald, and came across a blurb in the issue of Dec. 13, which had picked up … Continue reading

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1883 train robbery blurb

So little time, so many good stories to follow!

Working on some details for an article on the Bisbee “massacre” back in 1883, using a newspaper I hadn’t accessed before, the Weekly Phoenix Herald, and came across a blurb in the issue of Dec. 13, which had picked up an article from the Tombstone News of Dec. 6, before the Bisbee event.

At that time, Cochise County law enforcers were interested in finding the robbers of a train in the northeastern part of the county. For a while after the massacre, there was a lot of talk about the train robbers and the town invaders being the same folks, but soon that line of discussion disappeared. One of the fun things about research.

The Dec. 6 article said that “Bob Hatch’s party (he was a deputy sheriff at the time) returned last night from a 10 day’s unsuccessful hunt for the train robbers.

“They scouted through the San Simon Valley into Skeleton Canyon, on the Sonora line [that’s a site with lots of history], but found no trace of the robbers.

“The recent rains have destroyed the trail of the band that went that way.”

 

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Fire alarm draws crowds http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/05/fire-alarm-draws-crowds/ http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/05/fire-alarm-draws-crowds/#respond Sun, 21 May 2017 22:23:12 +0000 http://epicofbisbee.com/?p=504 Nothing like a fire to draw crowds! Just when you think people would be staying far away, and just when the men fighting the fire need room to work, that’s when the crowds show up. That’s something I saw was … Continue reading

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Nothing like a fire to draw crowds!

Just when you think people would be staying far away, and just when the men fighting the fire need room to work, that’s when the crowds show up.

That’s something I saw was a universal problem as I was putting together Bisbee Burns: The City’s Most Destructive Fires and the Creation of a Fire Department.

Back in 1908, the Bisbee Fire Department discovered that it wasn’t wise to use the fire bell to summon firemen, because a crowd would gather around the station so quickly that the engine would have to move slowly or risk running own bystanders. Instead, it used the whistle, which was also used for other purposes, such as requesting more hose, so it was more generally ignored by the public.

Fires and fire engines draw crowds

Whenever they come out, fire engines and the fires they attend will draw crowds. This photo if from New Orleans (Canal Street) in 1900 and shows an early steam-powered fire engine. The crowd just naturally congregated.

During the fire on Chihuahua Hill in 1907, there was so much excitement among the residents, the newspaper reported, that several time officers had to draw their sidearms and order people back to give the firemen the opportunity to work.

Three decades later, during the fire which destroyed the Phelps Dodge Mercantile store, it was the fire itself that encouraged the hordes of onlookers to move back. Walls crumbled, plate glass windows shattered and ammunition started to crackle, enough clues, perhaps, for even the densest gawkers.

The story of Bisbee’s major fires provides a fascinating look at the community in its heyday, at a time when it was still booming and just learning how to take care of itself.

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Lots of mining companies in early Bisbee http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/05/lots-of-mining-companies-in-early-bisbee/ http://epicofbisbee.com/2017/05/lots-of-mining-companies-in-early-bisbee/#respond Sun, 21 May 2017 16:40:19 +0000 http://epicofbisbee.com/?p=497 When we think of the mining companies of Bisbee, three come to mind: the big one, sequentially known as Copper Queen Consolidated, Phelps Dodge and Freeport-McMoRan; Calumet & Arizona; and Shattuck-Denn. Phelps Dodge/Freeport eventually would consolidate all of the land … Continue reading

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When we think of the mining companies of Bisbee, three come to mind: the big one, sequentially known as Copper Queen Consolidated, Phelps Dodge and Freeport-McMoRan; Calumet & Arizona; and Shattuck-Denn. Phelps Dodge/Freeport eventually would consolidate all of the land holdings in the district.

In the early years, however, there were many more operations, some of which would be merged into one of the big three or others which were not successful ventures, or perhaps were stock scams.

In 1904, the Bisbee Daily Review ran this list of companies which were “actively engaged in development work in the district.” That meant they were sinking money into the ground.

Copper Queen
Calumet & Arizona
Junction
Calumet & Pittsburg
Lake Superior & Pittsburg
Pittsburg & Duluth
Calumet & Cochise
Wolverine & Cochise
Red Jacket & Bisbee
Bisbee West
Higgins
Quincy & Arizona
Portage Lake & Bisbee
Bisbee Queen
Pittsburg & Hecla
Huachuca Consolidated
Houghton Development Co.
Bisbee Consolidated (see bottom of this page)
Copper Glance
Marquette &Arizona
East Side Mining Co.
Crescent
Modern Mining Co.
Bisbee & Arizona
Princeton
Mitchell Development Co.
Gold Nuggett Mining Co.
Mountain View Co.
Arizona & West Lake

Many of these were part of the Bonanza Circle mines, which had overlapping ownership and soon would be merged into the Calumet & Arizona.

If you want to know more about any of these companies, take a look at The Copper Handbook. Below is an example of a (partial) listing.

Listing from The Copper Handbook

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Bisbee’s share of population, based on Democrats http://epicofbisbee.com/2015/06/bisbees-share-of-population-based-on-democrats/ http://epicofbisbee.com/2015/06/bisbees-share-of-population-based-on-democrats/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:58:15 +0000 http://epicofbisbee.com/?p=479 There used to be a saying around Cochise County that if you wanted to vote in the primary election, you’d better be a Democrat. That inertia is probably why I’m still a registered Democrat. Today, if you register Independent, you … Continue reading

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There used to be a saying around Cochise County that if you wanted to vote in the primary election, you’d better be a Democrat. That inertia is probably why I’m still a registered Democrat. Today, if you register Independent, you can choose your primary ballot, which I think is totally wrong.

But back to the point of this article. Way back when, Cochise County was strongly Democrat, and Bisbee certainly was, though that didn’t mean the D letter after a candidate’s name would guarantee him an election. Voters looked at the man, and many Republicans were elected to office.

Distribution of Democrats in Cochise CountyIn May, 1904, Arizona was gearing up for sending representatives to the presidential conventions. Citizens of territories could not vote in federal elections, but they could participate in the conventions, and the Bisbee Daily Review, a Democrat newspaper (in that day, it actually mattered; in fact, Bisbee’s first newspaper, in 1888, was named the Democrat), was whipping up the politically interested.

The Cochise County Central Committee had met in Bisbee on April 23 and had called for a county convention to be held in Tombstone on May 14 to elect 30 delegates to represent the county at the territorial convention in Tucson May 23.

Apportionment of delegates

The Bisbee meeting apportioned delegates to Tombstone based on the population of Democrats in each community. A total of 105 delegates would attend, with 40 of them coming from Bisbee, which was both the largest population center and the largest party stronghold. Douglas, which was an up-and-coming smelter and railroad town at the time (both major Bisbee mining companies had built their facilities by that time), was second, with 15 delegates.

Tombstone, the county seat, added 10 and Bisbee’s borderlands suburbs, Naco and Osborne, also had a total of 10. As can be seen, the greater Bisbee area had almost half of the votes.

The Review included a series of editorials in its May 1 edition to discuss the upcoming meeting, including a warning to stay focused on “the common enemy,” the Republicans, who were very likely to be manifested in the ever-popular visage of Teddy Roosevelt.

“The tendency manifested by some newspapers claiming to be Democratic to give themselves over to criticism of Democrats rather than devote their attention to the common enemy of Democracy,” the Review said, “is to be deprecated no matter in which direction they tend.

Teddy Roosevelt

The fight is against Teddy.

“The only certain result of such a policy is to make for strife which will injure the chances of the party in the coming election.”

The editorial mentioned specifically the candidacy of Judge Alton B. Parker, hinting that he was their candidate out of the large field of contestants.

“All Democrats and lovers of honest government have a common enemy in the Republican party,” the Review said. While differences of opinion among party members are natural, “there is no excuse for their expression in terms that only make for party strife,” it added. “These should be reserved for the real enemy.”

Selecting Bisbee’s 40 delegates

Another editorial that day talked about the upcoming meeting in Bisbee to select the community’s 40 delegates. It was to be a “mass meeting” of party members, to be held at Tammany Hall (a meeting place on Brewery Gulch, named after the corrupt New York organization, presumably tongue in cheek) in the evening.

“It is also a pleasure to note that as far as can be ascertained, by interviews and otherwise, there has not only been no mention of sending an instructed delegation to the national convention at St. Louis, but a strong sentiment in favor of the national delegates going with free hands, uninstructed as to any candidate whose name may be mentioned at that convention . . . .”

(There would be some brouhaha a decade or so later when a Bisbee delegate didn’t follow “orders” to vote a certain way at the convention. But that’s another story and was after statehood was achieved.)

While there might have been a number of planks of interest to Bisbee, and Arizona, voters, the first was statehood. “I will be remembered that Arizona will have not only favors, but demands, to make of the national convention,” the Review said.

“Her fight for statehood must be waged there, and being in an absoletely free and independent position, untrammeled by instructions of any kind, Arizona’s opportunities will be better, brighter and have more hopes of successful pleading than were she represented by delegates fettered with instructions.”

Bisbee Democrats were harmonious, the paper said, encouraging them to turn out in “full force.”

Bisbee meeting is packed

If you were a Democrat who was not present at the local convention the night before, the Review reported on page 1 on May 4, “you must feel lonesome. Everybody was there, and it was the regular old fashioned kind of a Democratic meeting with planty of red fire, and everbody enthusiastic and ready and willing to debate and contend for that which they deemed was in the best interests of the party.”

There were even a few Republicans present, the Democratic newspaper said.Democrats meet in Bisbee

“From the turn loose the pace was fast and hot enough to suit the most fastidious. The hall was crowded, packed, jammed, and there was danger of the floor giving way.”

A group favoring a delegation instructed to vote for William Randolph Hearst, presented a list of 40 names, but after debate, only 11 of those men were chosen for the Tombstone meeting, and they would have the right to promote an instructed delegation. The other 29 from Bisbee would favor an uninstructed delegation.

The Bisbee delegation would not be bound by the “unit rule,” with each man “free to act as he thinks for the best interests of his party.”

The Review also reported that similar meetings in Douglas, Naco and Tombstone, representing a significant majority of the county, also refused to send instructed delegations, which meant that the county delegation would go to Tucson favoring the same.

The issue is statehood

Editorializing in the front-page article, the Review said that “the national convention must declare in no uncertain terms in favor of the admission of Arizona to single statehood and the duty of the Arizona delegation to the convention must be to secure the adoption of this declaration.”

Bisbee's delegates to TombstoneOn May 14, the day of the Tombstone county convention, the Review was predicting who would be the three men from the county who would be chosen to got to the state meeting in Tucson.

Bisbee, with the support of Naco, would be presenting the name of Bisbee Mayor J.S. Taylor, with Douglas offering up William Neville, a former member of congress “and said to be a very able man,” while Willcox and the east end of the county would ask for the naming of Capt. James H. Tevis, “the original Hearst boomer in the territory.”

Showing what controlling the vote will do, “on the first ballot, the Review predicted that Taylor will be declared the choice. He will have the support of the 40 votes from his home precinct, and added to this there will be 10 votes from Naco, which action was decided upon at a caucus of the delegates from that precinct” held the day before.

Reporting the results of the Tombstone meeting the following day, the Review was correct in its estimation that Taylor would win, but its long-held idea that delegates should be without instruction went down, with a strong sentiment for Hearst.

It’s Hearst that delegates want

In the colorful writing common to the times, the Review said: “Democratic thunder rolled and echoed around the Tombstone Hills today, and the earth seemed to tremble in the might wave of enthusiastic democracy that swept everything before it in the convention.”

The only contest at the meeting was whether it would be Taylor or Neville who would represent the county at the national convention in St. Louis, with Taylor winning out and the Douglas delegation moving “that the vote be unanimous, and gracefully bowed to the will of the majority amid the cheers of the other delegates assembled.”

The Tombstone meeting was run by B.A. Packard, cattleman and county chairman. A total of 96 delegates of a possible 105 were present.

William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst

The delegates “resolved” that their support was for Hearst for his “ever-faithful services . . . in exposing the invasion of equal rights by forces of monopoly and demanding the enforcement of existing laws in the interest of people.”

Because of the resolution, Taylor “promised to do all in his power at St. Louis to secure the nomination” of Hearst.

At the state convention, which also went for Hearst, Taylor was chosen as a delegate to St. Louis (apparently certain counties got their man before the convention), along with John Lawler of Prescott, Isaac Barth of St. Johns, W.F. Timmons of Yuma, William Gillespie of Solomonville and, from Phoenix, 26-year-old Carl Hayden, who after statehood would represent Arizona in Washington from 1912 until 1969, first in the House, then the Senate.

The field of Democratic presidential contenders in 1904 looks like the Republican field today, with 13 men getting votes during the balloting, including Nelson A. Miles, who had ended the Apache wars in Arizona had been considered a great hero around the state a generation earlier.

But it’s Parker in St. Louis

Hearst never stood a chance. Alton B. Parker, a jurist from New York who was popular with Democrats and Republicans alike, swept the first ballot, gaining 658 votes to the 200 that Hearst received. (Miles got 3 votes.) The vice presidential balloting was equally decisive, with Henry G. Davis getting 654 votes. At age 80, the former West Virginia senator was the oldest man ever nominated for the office.

1904 Democratic presidential ticketAs incumbent, Republican Theodore Roosevelt had no opposition in the primary, and in November, easily dominated the race, winning in every state in the North and the West, losing in the South, winning the popular vote marging by 18.8 percentage points.

The popular vote was 7.6 million for Roosevelt, 5.1 million for Parker and coming in third was perennial Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs, with 0.4 million votes.

The Democratic Review certainly wasn’t pleased with the November results. “It was awful,” read the headline the day after the election.

“The more one sees of the national election returns the more he realizes that this country has gone, bag and baggage, into the Republican party. The victory of Roosevelt was the most sweeping of any in the history of the country.”

The local paper also nodded to Debs. “The Socialists made a substantial gain their total vote,” but not enough to change any election.

For the newspaper, the eight months of campaigning, and losing, was enough. “Now that the election is a thing of the past, let us turn our attention more to industrial pursuits and drop the tiresome song of the campaign.”

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