Flagstaff History


1894: Prof. Percival Lowell has made some startling astronomical discoveries since the establishment of the Observatory on The Heights overlooking Flagstaff. Students of the heavens are now looking forward with eagerness for a more detailed report of his works last summer in the observation of Mars during which he and his assistants confined themselves entirely during its whole period of opposition.

The moon lost her accustomed pallor for a brief period Sunday night in order to fill an engagement in the eclipsing business. The walking up to the Lowell Observatory is not very good at present, but about 15 people climbed the hill and through the courtesy of Mr. Douglas, viewed the eclipse through the big telescope.

The most observable feature of this eclipse from an astronomical point of view was the variety of colors that overspread the face of the lunar body during the evening. The predominate color being red. The tints were due at the beginning to the atmospheric condition in our longitude and at the close to some longitudes over Europe and Asia.

The SUN is pleased to state that sufficient money has been raised by subscription in Flagstaff to make the preliminary survey of the Durango, Flagstaff & San Diego Railroad from the points of departure on mineral belt in Jerome through the Verde Valley. The original intention was to commence the survey from this end of the line, but the snow on the plateau renders this purpose difficult just now, whereas the conditions in the Valley are different and favorable so that the survey can be commenced at the south end as well. It can, in fact, be completed through Jack’s Canyon or Beaver Creek Canyon up to the rim of the plateau. By the time that is done, the snow will have melted so the work can go on uninterrupted.

The council did quite a sensible thing last week in passing an ordinance requiring the consent of a majority of the property owners in a block before the opening of a saloon. This will put an end to the number of the dives which open every spring in all parts of the town, making our nights hideous with their ribaldry.

H. E. Howle, the Postal Union Telegraph lineman, has been singularly unfortunate lately. He had scarcely recovered from an aggravated spring cold when he sprained is ankle trying to ford a Flagstaff street upon a floating sidewalk. He was then unable to return to his room at the Hoxworth residence and secured comfortable quarters at Hawk’s Hotel. His sprain was succeeded by a severe attack of inflammatory rheumatism. The patient is still on his back. Dr. Cornish hopes to again place him on the streets of town before long.

Dr. Roane Thorpe, D.D.S. Dentist –All work guaranteed for a period of years. Gold Fillings... $2.00 - $5.00 – Silver Fillings, $1.50 - $2.50 – Cement Fillings $1, - $2.00, - Rubber Plates … $8.00 - $12.00, -- Logan Crowns. $6.00 – Extracting $0.50, Teeth Cleaned $1.00 - $1.50 . Difficult cases especially solicited. Office one door north of Carroll’s Restraurant.

The hens are beginning to lay their Easter Eggs.

The Home Restaurant has been reopened, with W. C. Gay as proprietor. The best 25 cent meal in town.

Rancher Will Watson came to town Monday. He reports that the snow still lays heavy in the surrounding country.

Train Dispatcher James Corbett has been transferred to Albuquerque. He and his wife were on the eastbound train Saturday night en route to their new home.

Many anxious inquiries have been made as to the probable fate of the new Flagstaff Fire Department equipment. It has been en route for several weeks. Our town clerk has communicated telegraphically, with various people along the line, but they all profess ignorance as to its present where abouts. The whole equipment is supposed to have been sidetracked and lost in the shuffle of some little town like Chicago, but is expected to lope along in time for the next disastrous conflagration.

Miss Delia Blackburn of San Bernadine, California will arrive in Flagstaff about April 12 with the latest spring styles of millinery and the ladies are invited to an inspection of her goods. Her reputation in the line of millinery has been established by former visits and needs no further introduction.


1919: Election Day is on Thursday, March 20. There will be only one polling place, the City Hall. The poll will open at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

Councilman C. W. Heiser suffered an exceedingly painful and serious injury while at work at his home on Monday morning. He was loading hay at the stable and while standing in the wagon pulling a bale toward him, the hook slipped. Heiser then fell backward out of the wagon, alighting on his head. His head was bent under him, throwing his chin against his chest and it was this, it was thought later, that caused the fracture of his chest bone from which he suffered. He was unconscious for a few minutes and was picked up by a man helping him. Mrs. Heiser was downtown and she and Dr. Tom Manning were immediately sent for, Dr. Manning getting there first. In the afternoon Mr. Heiser showed remarkable improvement and while in great pain, his condition is regarded favorable considering the nature of the injury.

Here and there you see signs of the building program that only awaits the coming of good weather. Out on Coconino Avenue, at W. W. Thorners grocery store, he has already made good progress on an addition to his store that will be larger than his current store itself. A few weeks will see it finished and put him where he can take care of the business that outgrew his quarters.

The Army and Navy Club wishes to announce that the dance to be given under the auspices of St. Patrick’s Day will not start until 9:30. When first announced it was without knowing that the Knights of Columbus were in charge of a show at the Orpheum that Monday night. Zane Gray’s great story “The Border Legion” is being shown. Blanche Bates and Hobart Bosworth are starred in this thrilling melodrama of the lawless west. The Club is gratefully indebted to the Knights of Columbus for the use of their club rooms and therefore desires earnestly that everyone attend the K of C show before coming to the dance.

At Monday's town council meeting, Clerk Johnston stated that the Board of County Supervisors would improve the road from the city limits to the cemetery, if the town would improve South Beaver Street out as far as the town limits. The matter was referred to the Streets and Alleys Committee.

A general discussion of the existing relation between the Arizona Lumber & Timber Co. and the town in regard to the water supply took place.

Charles Lehr, who has been having a long siege with the flu, turned up among his friends around town Thursday, but his clothes are wrapped around some thirty pounds less of Lehr than they did when he went into the session with the flu bug.

Registration to vote for the coming bond election closed on Saturday at 5 p.m. and found the names of 297 qualified electors on the books. This number is 82 more than voted in the election in 1917 when the city voted bonds for purchase of the old sewer system and the extension of the new lines. Of those registered, 107 are women and 190 are men.

If the issue passes, it is planned to start actual work at the first possible minute after legal formalities are met.

Mr. R. N. Ames, division president of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks was in Flagstaff on Sunday to organize the local clerks and to induct them into the mysteries of that order. He secured 10 new members from among the local station force.


1944: Air WACS are needed to train men for combat duty. Crew by crew, squadron by the personnel of our Army Air Force is moving into combat. More and more pilots, bombardiers, gunners and ground technicians must be trained and equipped. Members of the Women’s Army Corp serving with the Army Air Force. Navigators are doing a part both at home and abroad. Air WACs work side by side with the men. Now you have the opportunity to select the Army Air Force if you are a citizen of the United States between 20 and 49 years of age and in good health.

Every nurse in the United States must register now. Contact your local chairman at once.

Street department trucks will canvass all sections of the city beginning Thursday morning collecting bundles of newspapers, magazines and cartons as a part of the nationwide salvage program.

Recent snows and rains will be extremely beneficial to Arizona’s wildlife. Good spring rains will encourage a greater quail hatch, the herds of deer, elk, antelope and flocks of wild turkeys. And it will encourage a greater spread over a wider area instead of just in a few choice locations.

The 1944 hunt for the state of Arizona herd of buffalo located in the House Rock Valley yielded a number of 50 head. This leaves a breeding herd. The hunters each took a front quarter, the head and hide of his kill.

Qualifying test for the Navy V-12 program will be given on March 15 at 9 a.m. in Room 3, Old Main building. Dr. Henry P. Smith, Associate Professor of Education and Technology at Arizona State Teachers College. All seniors in their final semester and high school graduates between the ages pf 17 and 21 inclusive are eligible to take the tests. Upon successful completion of the Navy V-12 program graduates will be commissioned in the U.S. Naval Reserve. This will provide these men of opportunities for training in fields of study for which the Navy has a vital need.

Wanted: Electric toaster and electric percolator – Call SUN Office.

Wanted: Cook – Housekeeper. Don’t apply if you are afraid of hard work or life in the country. Must be strong and healthy. Excellent wages for cook and manager. Ranch home with all conveniences - three miles from town. Must like the baby and be fond of dogs.


1969: The late winter storm that buffeted the northland Sunday and Monday brought the snow level to 30 inches, complicating life for motorists. Then more snow fell Thursday, bringing the level to 37 inches. Northlanders are digging themselves out. Roads and highways are again open this weekend.

The Arizona Snow Bowl Manager Al Gruesome reports conditions are “super excellent” with 18 inches of fresh powder on a 60-inch packed base. He also said the road is plowed and chains are definitely required.

NAU student sophomore Michael Hale was found after two days of searching to be safe in an abandoned ranch house 43 miles south of Flagstaff. He had become separated from his hunting companions in his excitement of following what he believed to be large bobcat tracks. Then it began to snow, he lost his bearing and “just kept on walking” until he came upon the cabin. It was a happy ending to a massive search by snowmobile, plane and helicopter with more than 100 Sedona and Flagstaff residents alerted by the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, including personnel from the Arizona Highway Patrol and the U.S. Forest Service.

The gasoline in the city’s sewer lines has now dissipated to a point it is below the danger level. Fire Chief Don Vorhies says there is still a lot of gasoline in the ground around the service station at 18 South Sitgreaves. Holes have been dug in the area around the underground tank from which the gasoline has been lost and pumps have been in operation removing as much as possible of the large amount of water and gasoline mixture in the ground. The area is roped off and the danger of fire and explosion in the immediate area remains high. Investigation has revealed that the tanks had “settled some,” which caused line breakage and a stuck “ON” pump switch.

The proposed city parking lot took a step forward as the Flagstaff City Council voted to pay the Flagstaff Boys Club $22,750 for its property on North Leroux. They also agreed to lease to the Boys Club approximately five acres of land on the west side of Isabel Street adjacent to Coconino High School for $1 a year with an option to buy at fair market value. This location has been selected by the Boys Club as a location for its new club building.

Second-half taxes are due and payable by May 1, 1969 at the Office of the Coconino County Treasurer in the County Courthouse, Flagstaff. Rose Stacy, Coconino County Treasurer.

It’s here – would you believe – 1,400,000 feet of steel pipe, stacked neatly in rail yards in Flagstaff, Williams, Seligman, Kingman and Ash Fork. It’s all a part of the 272.73-mile coal slurry pipeline to be constructed across northern Arizona. Some phases of the work are already underway.

The pipeline will extend from Black Mesa near Kayenta to Bullhead City on the Colorado River. Contract for the work has been awarded to R. H. Fulton Company of Lubbock, Texas with their field office at industrial park in Flagstaff. Currently the rail cars are being unloaded and the pipe stored. Later, it will be trucked to locations as needed. A total of 528,000 feet are to be stored here in Flagstaff. The pipe has been shipped here from Kaiser Steel Mills in Napa, California.

Construction on the pipeline right-of-way is expected to begin next week. The Alex Robertson Company has the contract for building the coal processing mill at Black Mesa and four pumping stations at Black Mesa, Cameron, Williams and Seligman.


1994: The Arizona State Department of Health has installed an air pollution sampling device on top of the fire station. Recordings of dust and other pollutants are taken along with the effect of acid and hydrocarbons on rubber. It also tests the effects of impurities in the air like steel, zinc, copper and nylon. So far, the recordings here show a percentage of sand although our air is relatively free of man-made pollutants.

Now that the city has approved an $8 million north downtown facelift, the traffic snarls begin. Up to 1/3 of north downtown cross street could be closed at any time between this spring and November 1995, said Jeff Aronson, Executive Director of the Main Street Flagstaff Foundation.

The Main Street Foundation is a public-private organization that aims to restore the downtown area’s appearance. Its work includes restoring old store fronts and signs, as well as blending newer buildings with older designs. It is funded by membership fees, the Greater Flagstaff Economic Council grants and fund-raising activities.

Voters did not pack the polls in Tuesday’s election. Only 5,849 of the 28,717 on the rolls voted. All the same, the only issue on the ballot passed and the city is saved from cuts with the passage of the renewed 1 percent sales tax.

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