Flagstaff History


1894: The town of Flagstaff needs a volunteer fire department and needs it very badly. Those who took preliminary steps toward that end some time ago should not let the matter rest there. If the fire of last night, in which human life was sacrificed, had occurred in a more thickly populated district there is no telling where the work of destruction would have ended. Most of our buildings are constructed from flammable pine so there is a constant menace from fire scourge. Flagstaff has surely suffered enough from enough disastrous fires.

A reliable source tells us that the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad is contemplating putting two 8-foot draft freight boats on the Colorado River to ply between Needles and Eldorado Canyon. Here-to-for freight has been hauled from Kingman to the Canyon when the river was at too low of a stage to admit passage of the boats of the Colorado Navigation Company over the rapids below Cottonwood Island.

Several fowl murders have been committed in anticipation of Thanksgiving.

The railroad to Jerome is now running trains regularly. The old freight wagons are no longer making the journey.

G.S. Gosney has shipped a carload of wood to Los Angeles.

For the best 25-cent meal in town - go to Mrs. Henry Heller’s at the Carrol House.

J.H. Brannen purchased on Tuesday a pair of well-matched black horses.

The young men of Flagstaff will give a dance at Babbitt’s Hall on Friday night Nov. 30.

Babbitt Bros. will have their stock of Christmas goods opened about the Dec. 10. Wait for them.

J.A. Lamport left Thursday for Williams to join the surveying party now making the preliminary survey of the road from Williams to the Grand Canyon.

The Postal Telegraph Company has opened offices at Holbrook, Williams and Kingman. Offices will be opened at this place, Winslow and Ash Fork on Dec. 1.

C.H. Schulz has filed his bond as one of the supervisors–elect with Recorder Bush. He is the first of the newly elected county officials to file an official bond.

J.H. Brannen has sold his driving horse to Frank M. Murphy of Prescott. Mr. Murphy is now the owner of the most stylish as well as the best driving horse in Prescott .

Flagstaffians are laying in their wood against the winter. William Watson delivered 30 cords last week.

The Post Office, after having been moved from one place to another, is now back in its old quarters in Cook & Lee’s old stand.

Leave your order for your Thanksgiving turkey with Coffin Bros.

Turkey Shooting Wednesday at the race track.

This fine fall weather beats the memory of the oldest inhabitants.

A.B. Crawford has moved into the Cook & Lee Stand and will, in a few days, display a fine stock of jewelry and watches.

Arthur Wells, an official of the the Santa Fe is here in the special car “Bay State.” He arrived Tuesday and is the guest of D.M. Riordan.

Milt Burch, on Tuesday afternoon while roping an unruly steer, had his right hand caught in the lariat and several of his fingers were badly hurt.


1919: The total vote on the question of bonding Coconino County for Federal Aid road building was 317. Of this number, 280 votes were in favor and 37 votes were against.

Although handicapped by the short list of crops grown by dry farming as against those grown by irrigation, the farmers of Coconino County have reason to be congratulated for the results obtained by their exhibits at State Fair at Phoenix. They won Third Prize, with First being Yavapai and the Second Yuma. Frank Pendley of Sedona with peaches that had been in cold storage for six weeks won the sweepstakes against the rest of the state. His premium was about $13 and his premiums on his potatoes about $20.

George Nestler, an old-time mining man, who had been working for the last two months for L.E. Johnson at Mountain View Ranch, was driving one of Johnson’s teams with a load of potatoes down Chicken Ranch Hill on Tuesday when the team got away from him. He was thrown off and suffered a fracture of the upper part of the large bone in his leg, the break being so close to the hip joint that owing to his advanced age will probably make a cripple for the rest of his life. He is being cared for at the County Hospital.

Instead of collecting $500 in insurance as he expected to, on Tuesday E.J. Boyer janitor of the Commercial Hotel, the First National Bank and the Confection Den, was arrested. His home had burned about 4 a.m. Monday morning. The house located on West Benton Avenue near Kendrick Street, belonged to M. T. Piper.

According to Boyer’s story, he had built a fire in his stove, then came uptown to do his janitoring and that some excelsior in back of the stove had ignited, starting the blaze. Boyer went to Attorney Gerald T. Wall to collect his insurance. He filed a list of things he claimed the fire destroyed. Chief of Police Neil investigated. He found that a couple of trunks full of stuff were taken by his wife when she went to Lake Arthur, New Mexico. There he found that most of the household goods were found to be stored next to Alex Johnston’s tailor shop. A trunk full of clothing that Boyer said was burned turned out to be the trunk that was saved from the fire and when opened contained nothing but papers. Four valuable Navajo rugs listed as burned were located elsewhere as was a sewing machine, two guns and a book. All that was left in the house seems to have been a bed and a can of lard.

Fortunately, there was no wind at the time of the fire and the fire department was on the job and kept the flames from spreading although the house itself burned entirely. The water tank on the stove exploded and splinters flew everywhere as it came through the outside walls. No one was hurt.


1969: Early Saturday morning, a 73-car train wreak took place near Parks on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. Two westbound trains collided spilling freight cars and merchandise across the countryside. Two members of the crew of the second train miraculously escaped injury, but had to break out of the shattered cab of the diesel engine in which they were riding.

Railroad spokesmen said that a total of 53 “piggyback” freight cars, most of them carrying two vans of merchandise had been spilled, along with six box cars of potash. Railroad security men are now on the scene loading the wrecked cars and the merchandise that was spilled across the countryside.

The site proved to be a major Sunday attraction for Flagstaff residents who traveled out to see it in great numbers.

Service on the road was restored Sunday morning after about 33 hours loss of service across Northern Arizona. The plush passenger Super Chief and the El Capitan were rerouted over the Union Pacific tracks and the San Francisco Chief was rerouted through Phoenix on the tracks of the Southern Pacific. East bound travelers from Flagstaff were taken by bus to Phoenix and put aboard the San Francisco Chief.

The subject of the alignment of Butler Avenue from Interstate 40 to Enterprise Road remains on the agenda of the City Council, along with the realignment of Butler. The problems are involved with a proposal map that is to be presented by land developer Lonnie C. Wilkerson.

Complete service check only $9.95. Also discounts on many parts -- See Bill Gossett - Flagstaff Dodge. 1200 Switzer Canyon.

The National Park Service has authorized experimental test sections of a protective breakwater which is now in place at Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell. If successful against damaging storms and wave action additional sections will be installed.

J.D. Pilar, manager of the Circle K Market, 200 W. Columbus Ave. was seriously injured when his car left I-17 and turned over early Sunday morning in his attempt to evade an oncoming car traveling the wrong direction near the airport interchange. He is in fair condition with head and internal injuries at the Flagstaff Hospital.

Flagstaff police are investigating two weekend burglaries, one of which involved the theft of more than $600 in sound equipment from Ronald Sandlin, Space 8, 2307 North Rose. Someone entered his trailer by cutting a large hole in the door and made off with a tape recorder, amplifier, tapes and speakers sometime prior to Sunday afternoon.

In the second case, police officers reported that they had found a broken window with a clear set of footprints in ground below, at the Afton House Restaurant, 350 E. Santa Fe Ave. The manager has not been located, so there is no report of damage or theft.


1994: Sled Run plans are frozen. The proposed snow play area is now on the back burner. On New Year’s Day 1982, emergency paramedic crews treated five people who were injured on the City’s Cedar Hill Sled Run. Not long after this, city officials shut the hill down to sledding. Recent attempts to resurrect the old sled run and create a snow play area have run into a dry patch. Before anything can happen two ingredients are needed, a site and funding approval by the City Council. There are a number of blocks to resolve before an in-town sledding area can be approved and created.

A federal agency has given Stone Forest Industries an expensive reminder of its Flagstaff operation. The company has agreed to pay $98,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency. Gary Hess, an attorney for the EPA in San Francisco said Stone Container Corp. was penalized for exceeding permitted daily discharge limits for oil, grease, acidity and suspended solids in waste water from its 66-acre property in Flagstaff.

The waste water violations which flowed into the city’s waste stream were considered severe enough to warrant enforcement based on risk to the environment. The violations occurred about 1 and a half years prior to the sawmills closure in 1993. The company has been trying to sell its property for the past year.

Attention Sunnyside Homeowners. You may be eligible for free grants for normal repair of your home. Apply now. We have already helped dozens of Sunnyside homeowners with new windows, doors, floors, paint, plumbing and electrical work. Applications available at Killip School Center. Project Intervention Housing Rehabilitation.

Shop Wednesday and beat the rush. There are new stores at The Mall, including Software Etc. and several other new stores around town. Check Flagstaff, including the new Target on South Milton, before you head to the Valley.

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All events were taken from issues of the Arizona Daily Sun and its predecessors. The Coconino Weekly Sun and the Coconino Sun.


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