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FLAGSTAFF HISTORY

Flagstaff History:

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100 years ago

1922: An unknown young former soldier, gone insane as a result of being gassed and receiving other injuries in France, has been wandering around in the wilds northeast of Flagstaff since last Monday or else is dead. Sheriff Billy Campbell has been out trying to find him for two days or more. The man worked on the McClure ranch at Doney Park for a few days. Then he went to the Cloud ranch. Mr. Cloud brought him to town to see a doctor, but the man refused to see one. He went back and the next day left on his horse, saying he was going back to his home in Utah. A few hours later the horse, with blood on the saddle horn, showed up riderless at the Simpson ranch in Dead Man’s Flat. Rancher Osborne phoned to the sheriff. The latter is now trailing someone who recently walked from near Dead Man’s Flat toward the little Colorado River bridge. It is believed the horse got away from the man and that he then may have started out on foot for Utah.

While museums all over the world are being enriched by tons of marvelous and Interesting relics of the ancient peoples who lived in the country around Flagstaff, the most ancient and most interesting relics to be found anywhere in America and in many respects more unique than can be gathered in any other place in the world, why don't we people of Flagstaff get busy and have a Museum of our own? Shall we let all of these antiquities go elsewhere? Others realize their immense scientific, intrinsic, and sentimental value. Are we of all the people in America the only ones who do not care for them? Time was when nearly every resident of Flagstaff had a collection of the curious with which all this country was so lavishly sprinkled. Mummies, ancient pottery, weapons, Indian jewelry, garments, household implements, hieroglyphics and many other things. Old timers here who could have filled a wagon with splendid curios in a day at any one of the numerous ruins scattered all over this section, regarded them very lightly. The writer knows one Flagstaff man who had thousands of dollars’ worth of ancient pottery, some of the pieces magnificent specimens. Practically all of them are smashed now and even the fragments are gone. Smithsonian Institute every year sends experts into this country to search for these reminders of an ancient people. Until now the finding of an unbroken Indian relic is a rare event, especially as the more extensive ruins are under government protection. What a fine thing it would be to have that big clubhouse, with a Museum of our own antiquities, perhaps also containing the city library. Flagstaff would have something to be proud of, something she will ultimately keenly regret not having unless our public-spirited people get busy.

75 years ago

1947: A possibility exists that at least a part of Mormon Lake, now dry, may be developed into a permanent body of water. The proposal was studied Thursday afternoon by a group of state and county officials. The lake, which in the past has covered an area of about 4500 acres is 30 miles SE of Flagstaff and has for years been one of the state’s outstanding resort and recreation areas. For the first time in years, it became completely dry this summer, and experts believe that it is nearly impossible for it ever to fill up to its previous level. It has been proposed to build a dike across the lakebed from East to West, establishing a lake area at the South end of approximately 1000 acres. The dike would be 12,000 feet in length and 13 1/2 feet high. Estimated cost is $90,000. The water would be held at a maximum depth of nine and a half feet at the dike, leaving better than four feet at the top to protect the water from action by the wind. It is possible that funds for the dike may be secured under the Pittman- Robinson act from the federal government.

50 years ago

1972: Flagstaff police are investigating reports that a city woman was kidnapped late Sunday, held for about 2 hours in the Mountaineer area, and then released unarmed when her alleged kidnapper’s companions failed to arrive on the scene. Patrolman John Roberts said he first learned of the incident early today when he saw the reported victim and her husband speeding along E highway 66. The woman told him, Roberts said, that a man had forced her into her car in the parking lot of Denny's restaurant on the eastern side of the city and had taken her to the Mountaineer area. They waited there for some time, and around 1:00 AM the kidnapper reportedly told his victim she could go home. She told officers she thought he was waiting for someone who did not arrive.

Drummer Buddy Rich, one of the greats of the swing era and the Buddy Rich big band will appear in concert at Northern Arizona University September 24. The 90-minute concert will be in the Lumberjack gym and will be preceded by a 25-minute concert by NAU’s own experimental jazz ensemble. Festivities will start at 8:00 PM. Admission for NAU students will be free on presentation of ID cards. Public admission will be $2.

25 years ago

1997: Jonny Sangster and five other men did the only thing they could when a teenager armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle took them hostage. They listened as he anguished over his troubled life. Their sympathetic ears on that early April morning may have saved their lives. That may also be the reason that their captor, 19-year-old Robert Kyle Partridge is still alive despite what his attorney called a “suicide mission.” Partridge was sentenced Wednesday to 5 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated assault for the April 17 incident at the Flagstaff Athletic Club East. He had originally faced 6 counts each of kidnapping and aggravated assault, and one count each of burglary and drug possession. Partridge was depressed because of personal problems with his mother. He was also despondent about being dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Marines.

Andy Keksis bought his 1959 Corvette back in 1960 when it had 10,000 miles on it. Since then, he's raced it, driven it to work and taken it on trips. The roman red Corvette with white covers on the side will be one of about 50 corvettes on display in Flagstaff September 26th through the 28th during Mountain Madness ‘97, hosted by the Flagstaff Corvette Club at Woodlands Plaza Hotel. During the weekend’s activities, participants will rack up points through a concourse, rally and auto cross. The auto cross is a skilled driving event and will take place at the Flagstaff airport.

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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