Murderous Weaver, Arizona

Weaver 11-30-1898 (2)

On November 30, 1898, the Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner reported on the murder and robbery of William Segna, an Austrian saloonkeeper in Weaver, a mining town by then notorious for crime and murders. Approximately $440 of gold and cash were stolen, which translates to over $11,000 in today’s dollars. This particular murder caused several newspapers, even the Arizona Republican in Phoenix, to call for the town’s dissolution!

Weaver Arizona Republican 12-1898 (2)

Other papers carrying the story noted a list of murders that took place in the town’s bloody history: “The murders of the Martin family, Stanton, Gribble, Verdier, and many others, the numerous stage hold ups, robbery and a general chapter of criminal lawlessness, has given Weaver a stain that time cannot wipe away.”

weaver proclamation

 

Five months later, no one had been arrested for the murder. Territorial Governor Nathan Oakes Murphy offered a $300 reward (roughly $8000 in today’s dollars) for the arrest of the perpetrator(s), which was published in the April 19, 1899 Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner.

 

 

 

 

Weaver- Lucero image

 

Vicento Lucero would stand trial in Prescott for Segna’s murder in June of 1899, and was sentenced to natural life in Yuma Territorial Prison and later transferred to Florence. Petitions for his pardon began circulating in Maricopa and Yavapai counties in 1911 and he would eventually be pardoned in 1915.  He possibly shows up in the 1930 census, living in Congress, having outlasted prison and Weaver.

 

weaver parole

 

Despite the demands to close up Weaver, a post office would still be established in 1899, but that lasted only 11 months until moving south to Octave. The town was originally known as Weaverville, but was later shortened. It was named for scout Pauline Weaver, and was east of Stanton and north of Octave, around Rich Hill. The ghost town of Weaver is located about 18 miles north of Wickenburg, Arizona. Weaver was deserted by 1900, and is one of several Arizona ghost towns.  A few crumbling buildings remain unwiped by time today.

For more information Weaver and the surrounding towns, we have several books in our Arizona Collection.

weaver-books.jpg

References:

Anderson, P. (2013) Cemeteries of Yavapai County. Charleston, South Carolina : Arcadia.

The Weaver Murder. (1898, November 30). Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner. Retrieved from the Arizona Memory Project:  http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/sn85032938/id/3337

To Wipe out Weaver. (1898, December 2). The Arizona Republican. Retrieved from the Arizona Memory Project:   http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/sn84020558/id/60569

Moving for Parole of Vicente Lucero. (1911, July 20). Arizona Republican. Retrieved from the Arizona Memory Project:   http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/sn84020558/id/15572/rec/1

Ter-Nedden, D. (n.a.). Weaver, Arizona Ghost Town [Website] . Retrieved from: http://www.ghosttowngallery.com/htme/weaver.htm

Proclamation of Reward. (1899, April 19). Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner. Retrieved from the Arizona Memory Project:   http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/sn85032938/id/3438/rec/11

Seeking a Pardon for Vicente Lucero. (1911, May 28) The Arizona Republican. Retrieved from the Arizona Memory Project:   http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/sn84020558/id/14754

 

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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

Digitizing history: The Apache Sentinel

In 2017, the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records and University of Arizona Libraries received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize 100,000 pages of historic Arizona newspapers as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

The newspapers digitized through this grant will be available to the public on the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website as well as the Arizona Memory Project website.

A particular focus of this grant stated that newspapers would be selected to include communities under-represented in previous grant cycles, such as Spanish language and Mexican American newspapers, Native American community newspapers, African American community newspapers, and more.

One notable newspaper is The Apache Sentinel which began publication at Fort Huachuca in July of 1943. At one point during the war effort approximately 25,000 people were living at the fort, making it the third largest city in Arizona at the time. A primary demographic was African American soldiers.  According to the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, 14,000 black soldiers and WACs lived at Fort Huachuca, and the Apache Sentinel was the newspaper that chronicled the social activities and training of those who lived at the fort.

Apache_Sentinel-1

The Apache Sentinel is an important historical record for researchers and genealogists alike, with compelling photojournalism and biographical information.

Here you can see an issue of The Apache Sentinel from August 6, 1943 featuring articles by Thelma Thurston Gorham and photographs of WAACS dressed up for events, African American nurses, The Service Command’s Band, Hollywood celebrities visiting, soldier training in an office with WAACS and artist Anna Russel who contributes cartoons to the issue.

The State of Arizona Research Library is excited to digitize (and preserve) this important piece of Arizona cultural heritage. As part of these efforts, we are producing a short documentary about the history of the Apache Sentinel newspaper and its role at Fort Huachuca.

Fort Huachuca housed the 92nd Division of the Army – an all-black division of men. It also housed two companies of WAACs, the 32nd and 33rd, becoming the first WAAC companies assigned to an army training post. (The acronym WAACs was used until September of 1943 when the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps became the Women’s Army Corps.)

Apache_Sentinel-6

African American soldiers and WACs at Fort Huachuca lived under segregated conditions. In fact, at Fort Huachuca two officers clubs were built – Lakeside for white officers and Mountain View for black officers. When the Army built the Mountain View Officers Club it was supposed to be temporary, but more than 70 years later the building still stands, albeit in need of preservation.

In March of 2018, came the announcement that state officials, historic preservationists, and community members had received a $500,000 grant to continue their efforts to restore the Mountain View Officers Club building, saving it from demolition.

Army garrison spokeswoman Tonja Linton said only two black officers clubs from World War II remain standing in the U.S.  – Mountain View and one in Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

This announcement adds further excitement and interest to the story of Fort Huachuca, which swelled to a population of over 25,000 at war time, and thereby introduced thousands of soldiers to the Arizona desert.  It is a great example of how a single historic newspaper contributed to the cultural identity of Arizona.

This the 4th NDNP grant received by the State of Arizona Library, Archives and Public Records.

For more information, contact:

Alison Sweet, NDNP Project Coordinator
State of Arizona Research Library
602-926-3856
asweet@azlibrary.gov

Sativa Peterson, News Content Program Manager
State of Arizona Research Library
602-926-3662
speterson@azlibrary.gov

The Apache Sentinel, Vol. 1 No. 4, August 6, 1943.

 

New Hampshire State Library: 300 Years!

One of our fellow state libraries, New Hampshire, is turning 300 this year! The New Hampshire State Library began with two books and a proclamation by the New Hampshire General Assembly.

To learn more: http://nhpr.org/post/nh-state-library-first-nation-celebrates-300-years#stream/0

To learn about the history of the Arizona State Library: http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/ref/collection/ann/id/62

 

Arizona General Election Canvass

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan issued the official canvass of results for the 2016 General Election.

Secretary Reagan reported 2.6 million Arizonans voted in the general election, making it the highest number of ballots cast in state history.  While there were a historic number of votes, turnout was about average at 74% ranking 6th highest in Arizona history.

1.       1980       –    80.1%        Reagan – Carter
2.       2008       –    77.7%        Obama – McCain
3.       1992       –    77.2%        Clinton – Bush
4.       2004       –    77.1%        Bush – Kerry
5.       2012       –    74.4%        Obama – Romney
6.       2016       –    74.2%        Trump – Clinton

Demographically, women made up 55% of Arizona’s electorate while 18-24 year olds made up 6%.  The average age of the Arizona voter is 55.

For more, visit: https://www.azsos.gov/about-office/media-center/press-releases/1150

To see past election canvasses, check out the Arizona State Government Publications Collection on the Arizona Memory Project:

http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/ref/collection/statepubs/id/13234