Research tip: Societies and Organizations

Societies and organizations can provide a clue to city life for both sociological and biographical researchers. Membership in the Elks, Masons, International Order of Odd Fellows, Woodmen of the World and similar societies can help genealogists make sense of their ancestors’ after-hours activities.

In this case, the Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner published a report of a Chautauqua group meeting in Prescott.  Chautauqua meetings were part of a national system of adult education featuring lectures, musical performers, and religious preachers. It had both local chapters and a tent-show circuit. Prescott’s appears to be a local, or “daughter,”  chapter.

Chautauquans 7-25-1888
Arizona Weekly Journal Miner : July 25, 1885

 

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The death of Johnny Ringo

2018-07-13 Johnny RingoGunfighter Johnny Ringo died 136 years ago today, and legends still circulate on whether anyone was his “huckleberry,” as the fictional Doc Holiday states in 1993’s Tombstone. According to the Weekly Tombstone Epitaph, John Yost found Ringo’s body near the mouth of Morse Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains.

“Many friends will mourn him, and many others will take secret delight in learning of his death,” the story closes. Historians and writers have speculated on whoever would take secret delight ever since, but the Cochise County Coroner ruled it suicide. Ringo is buried not far from where his body was discovered, currently on private property.

Ringo 7-13-1882 picture
Tombstone Weekly Epitaph