Cowley County and Arizona.
[CALIFORNIA & ARIZONA CORRESPONDENT.]
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 4, 1873.
A literary and musical entertainment will be given a week from next Thursday and Friday in aid of the Congregational Church building fund under the directorship of Messrs. Ed. Johnson and T. A. Wilkinson.
Winfield Courier, March 27, 1874.
The cantata of Esther the beautiful Queen, which was rendered at the courthouse last Monday and Tuesday nights, was a splendid affair in every instance, and is universally pronounced to be the best home talent entertainment ever given in Winfield. The adaptability of each player to the particular part assigned them was a noticeable feature, and each performed their part so well that we dare not make “any invidious distinctions.”
We cannot however avoid mentioning those who took the more prominent parts. Mrs. M. A. Arnold as Queen, Rev. J. P. Parmelee as King, E. C. Manning as Haman, A. T. Stewart, Mordecai; Mrs. W. D. Roberts, Zeresh; Miss Kate Johnson and Miss Mary Braidwood as Maids of honor; Charles Black, Harbonah (the King’s Chamberlain); Ed. Johnson, Hegei; A. A. Jackson, Hatach; W. L. Mullen, High Priest. They could not be surpassed in any city in the land. Miss Helen Parmelee as organist deserves special mention, as very much depended on her, always prompt, making no mistakes. The chorus was good, and taken as a whole, we venture to say that Winfield will not soon witness the like, and few towns in this country with their home talent could produce so splendid a spectacle. Too much cannot be said in praise of Prof. A. D. Battey, who drilled the class, and superintended the performance to its close.
Winfield Courier, July 10, 1874.
MARRIED. JOHNSON - WARD. At the Baptist church in Winfield on the 4th inst., by the Rev. N. L. Rigby, Mr. Edmund T. Johnson to Miss Eugenie Ward.
Paper goofed! They show Melinda Hawkins rather than Eugenie Ward!
Winfield Courier, July 31, 1874.
The following is a list of the marriage licenses issued by the Probate Judge, for the month of July.
Edmund T. Johnson, to Melinda Hawkins [Eugenie Ward.]
[CALIFORNIA CORRESPONDENT: ED. T. JOHNSON.]
Winfield Courier, November 12, 1874.
SACRAMENTO, Cal., Oct. 31, 1874.
JAS. KELLY, Esq.: Dear Sir: You will perhaps be surprised to hear from me, but as I want to get the home news and know of no better medium than through the sheets of the COURIER, we want you to send it to us for three months.
I don’t like this country as well as Cowley County, to live in, but having a chance of going into something that has the prospect of paying well, we shall most likely stay through the winter.
Although this has the name of being a great wheat country, the yield wasn’t near as much per acre as it was in Cowley, and if the farmers would grow the white varieties of fall wheat, there is no place in America that would beat them in quantity or quality; in fact, for a farming country we have seen nothing like it since we left, and the farmers who stick to it will become wealthy, as the old pioneers are here.
The fruits and vegetables are in great abundance here, but they can be made just as much so there. All that is needed is time and energy.
The weather is delightful here. We had two or three day’s rain about a week ago, the first rain of the season, though earlier than usual. As it is about mail time I will have to close.
Respectfully yours, ED. T. JOHNSON.
Winfield Courier, April 8, 1875.
From the Sacramento, California, papers we see that our friend, Ed. Johnson, is the patentee of a Quartz mill, which is spoken highly of by the gold miners. Mr. Johnson has associated with a gentleman by the name of Cowles, under the firm name of Cowles & Johnson. We hope Ed. will yet make a fortune.
THE WINFIELD COURIER CENTENNIAL ISSUE.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 6, 1876.
CONGREGATIONAL. The Congregational denomination has one church organization. It is located in Winfield. Its organization was perfected in January, 1871, S. B. Johnson, Pastor. J. B. Fairbanks and A. Howland, Deacons. It became a chartered corporation June 13th, 1873: Directors A. Howland, J. B. Fairbanks, James A. Kirk, Ed T. Johnson, Ed W. Perkins. Rev. J. B. Parmelee became pastor in 1873. Mr. Parmelee moved to Indiana in the spring of 1875, since which time the church has been without a pastor.
[ARIZONA CORRESPONDENT: ED. T. JOHNSON.]
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 22, 1880. Editorial.
Most of our readers will be interested in the letter on the first page of this paper from Mr. Ed. T. Johnson, in Arizona, giving a vivid pen picture of life and mining in that state. Mr. Johnson is a son of Mrs. S. B. Johnson, and the late Rev. Johnson, formerly pastor of the Congregational church of Winfield, a brother of Warner and Will. Johnson and of Mrs. McCommon and Mrs. Peabody. Ed. married Miss Eugenia Ward, a niece of Mrs. S. B. Bruner of this place, and owner of the Matthewson farm east of town. She is with her husband in the wilds of Arizona. We are glad that civilization is approaching them, and hope their venture will realize them untold sums of gold and silver.
BEDROCK, Yavapai Co., A. T., January 3rd, 1880.
ED. COURIER: Having had letters of inquiry about this far-off territory, and thinking that more of your many readers might, perhaps, like to hear something of the country, I take this means of answering their several inquiries.
We are here situated in what will ere long be as good a mining section as is found any-where, but as in California, Nevada, Colorado, and elsewhere, it requires time and capital to develop the mines.
There are gold mines within half a mile of our cabin, that have kept their owners in plenty for years, by simply packing a few loads of quartz on two burros, from the ledge, which is several hundred feet up the side of the mountain, down to the arastra, the most primitive way of pulverizing quartz, and taking out by this crude process $500 a month, when they work steadily, which they seldom do. When questioned by me as to why they didn’t keep the old horses going, they replied that they took out enough gold to keep them in grub and clothes, and that was all that they wanted. They were slowly developing their mines, and after awhile somebody would come along and give them a good price for them; and I suppose their logic was good for they are now in Prescott to receive $35,000 from a Chicago company for some of them, and say they have others just as good left.
A Mexican arastra is a circular bed of rock with an upright shaft in the center, to which arms are attached and to which heavy rocks are tied; to the upper arm an old horse is hitched, and dragging the rocks tied to the lower arms over the rock bed pulverizes the quartz, which is broken up into pieces about the size of Walnuts. Quicksilver is put in the cracks of the bed, and water thrown in to form a pulp, which causes the fine gold to sink and coming in contact with the quicksilver, is held there.
There are several silver mines that will work from $200 to $300 per ton. It seems almost incredible that such riches should be lying dormant, but considering the inaccessibility of the country a few months since, it is not to be wondered at. The murdering Apaches, too, a few years ago, made mining a very risky business, as several graves not far off conclusively show; but that is over now, and Mr. Indian is about as scarce here as with you in Winfield; and if the Santa Fe road runs through as the talk now is, the country will develop amazingly, and who knows but some time in the future, when Arizona’s stores of gold, silver, copper, lead, etc., are opened out and her population more dense than it is at present, that Cowley will not contribute of her surplus wheat, corn, etc., in exchange.
This is not an agricultural country, nor will it ever be, though there is considerable good farming land, but farmers are never sure of a crop except by irrigating, and even that is uncertain as the streams often give out just when the water is most needed. There has already fallen more rain this winter than for any winter for several years, and the mountains are covered with a foot or two of snow; so there are hopes of better times for both farmers and miners another season.
It is a good deal harder pioneering here than it was in Cowley, for there a person could drive with a team nearly anywhere. Here, no roads; nothing but mountain trails that even a burro is squeamish about traveling over. My “pard” and I have managed to build a comfort-able cabin of three rooms over two miles from the end of the wagon road, and had to pack everything on our shoulders; building materials, eatables, cooking utensils, etc. Your readers may judge this hunting for gold and silver is not all pleasure. Still there is a fascinating excitement about it, unexplainable to those who have never engaged in it. Even the little ones soon learn it. Yesterday my little daughter (4 years old), picked up an old tin can and went down to the creek, saying she was going to “wash out some gold.” Having seen me pan out some, she thought that she must.
We have a placer or gravel claim at which we are about ready to commence work. We have had to pack our lumber for sluices over two miles, but hope to get paid for it before long.
The climate here is very healthy and invigorating. Excellent drinking water, and any amount of timber; the hills are all covered with good pine timber, oak, walnut, juniper, alder, and ash: the latter all rather diminutive. Flour is $6.50 per sack of 98 lbs., butter 50 to 60 cents per lb., Bacon 25 cents, eggs, $1.25 per dozen, when they are to be had, potatoes 4 to 5 cents per lb., and green apples 25 cents per lb. So we don’t have many green apple pies.
We are located on Big Bug Creek, 14 miles by mountain trail from Prescott, but over 30 miles by wagon road. Ladies are a scarce commodity: my wife and a lady four miles down the creek, being the only ladies in this section. Two or three companies are going to extensive operations in the spring, when population will come in, but it is a barbarous country, and as soon as we can sell out some mines for a good round figure, we want to go back to Winfield, and have some happy times with the old friends, “as in bright days of yore.” E. T. JOHNSON.
[ARIZONA CORRESPONDENT: ED. T. JOHNSON.]
Winfield Courier, January 22, 1880.
Mr. Ed. T. Johnson, now in Arizona, is a son of Mrs. S. D. Johnson, and the late Rev. Johnson, formerly pastor of the Congregational church of Winfield. He is a brother of Warner and Will. Johnson, and of Mrs. McCommon and Mrs. Peabody. Ed. married Miss Eugenia Ward, a niece of Mrs. S. B. Bruner of Winfield, and owner of the Matthewson farm east of town. Eugenia Johnson is with her husband in the wilds of Arizona. We are glad that civilization is approaching them, and hope their venture will realize them untold sums of gold and silver.
[ARIZONA CORRESPONDENT: ED. T. JOHNSON.]
Winfield Courier, March 4, 1880.
BEDROCK, Yavapai to., A. T., Feb. 10th, 1880.
ED. COURIER: The following questions have been asked me to be answered in your valuable paper, and I cheerfully comply, as I don’t think I can “blow” this Territory enough, by my letters, to depopulate Cowley very perceptibly.
1. What is the distance from Santa Fe to Prescott, and what route is best for emigrants?
About 450 miles, but it is off the road. Albuquerque is about 75 miles nearer, and the railroad is completed to that place. Passengers go through from the railroad in four days by daily stage, and I should think that would be the best way. There is another wagon road down the Rio Grande, that comes in by Tucson in the southern part of the Territory.
2. Are there any settlements on this route, and can supplies for man and beast be obtained?
There are stage stations all along the route, and accommodations for travelers. Good grass all the way.
3. Are there any freighters, or goods to freight, over this route?
4. Can emigrants reach your place on this route with the two-horse Kansas wagon?
Yes, if in good trim.
5. Are mules or horses best for emigrants?
Some claim mules are the best, and others say horses.
6. Could an outfit of two or three two-horse wagons and teams be sold at reasonable rates, and could employment be obtained for them in freighting in the mines or elsewhere?
They might, or might not; very uncertain at present.
7. Are there any valuable lands subject to preemption or homestead law?
Yes, but not in this part of the Territory, as what little agricultural land there is, is mostly occupied.
8. Is there employment for new-comers and their families?
Not much at present, but will be very soon.
9. Are there any placer mines which can be successfully worked?
10. Can industrious men obtain work in the quartz mines for a part of the yield?
Such cases might occur but not very often.
11. Is it now believed that the railroad will pass through Prescott and how soon?
Yes; inside of twelve months.
I would advise any of your readers, who think of coming out here, not to start without enough to keep them supplied with the necessaries of life, for a considerable time, for provisions are high and employment is scarce. It will be different after awhile when the boom reaches here that has already struck Colorado, and it is bound to come, for we have just as good mines if not better. Companies are forming in many of the cities of the east to operate here, and I predict that in a few years Arizona will head the list as a bullion-producing state.
Since writing my last we have had one of the heaviest snow storms I ever saw; more than four feet on the level, but it is mostly gone from the south hill sides. The oldest settlers say it has been, by far, the coldest and stormiest winter they ever knew in Arizona. It is threat-ening another snow storm as I write this. It will be a great benefit to the whole Territory the coming season. We have had cold, frosty nights for some time but we don’t feel the cold, as the days are warm, and at night we pile the logs on the fire-place and burn about a quarter-cord of wood each day. The weather has been such that we have not been able to do much but keep up the supply of wood.
To give you an idea how simple little accidents are often the means of finding rich mines, I will give you an illustration.
A few days since we had to go to the camp above us to sharpen some mining tools, and coming back we kept up the hill, above the trail, to avoid the deep snow, picked up a piece of float (quartz detached or broken from the ledge) from a spot of ground where there was no snow, brought it home, and examining it, found several specks of gold; went back the next day and found plenty more, by picking and shoveling. We think we have what will prove to be one of the richest gold mines in the country.
There seems to be more luck or chance in finding mines than anything else, for there were several old prospectors hunting for mines all last summer, who almost every day went within a very few feet of where we found the rock full of gold.
I would not be understood as holding out inducements that your readers would be equally fortunate, should they come out here, but there are undoubtedly hundreds and hundreds of mines, good mines, to be found all over the mining districts of Arizona, and one person is just as apt to stumble upon them as another, after he becomes a little familiar with the different characters of quartz.
We have a good saw-mill two miles below us, with a five-stamp quartz mill attached, and expect two ten-stamp mills to go up in the spring, when I think the mines of Big Bug mining district will be heard from. We believe we have bright prospects, and live with great expectations. More anon. E. T. J.
Brothers of Ed. T. Johnson: W. H. Johnson and A. E. Johnson...
Winfield Courier, December 23, 1880.
W. H. and A. E. Johnson called on us Monday to consult on the route to Prescott, Arizona, which place they propose to visit soon and go into the quartz mining business. Their brother, E. T. Johnson, has been very successful in mining operations near that place.
[COWLEY COUNTY DISTRICT COURT.]
Winfield Courier, November 3, 1881.
CIVIL DOCKET. FIFTH DAY. Eugenie Johnson vs. Enoch Gilbert et al.
Winfield Courier, November 17, 1881.
Mrs. Eugenie Johnson arrived Monday from Arizona. She is a niece of Mrs. Todd and wife of Ed. Johnson, and formerly was well known in Winfield society, where she will be welcomed again with open arms. She has been among the Arizona silver and gold mines for the last few years where her husband has met with great success.
[ARIZONA CORRESPONDENT: ED. T. JOHNSON.]
Winfield Courier, December 29, 1881.
Some time has elapsed since your Arizona correspondent has sent any items. So, as mining operations are somewhat suspended, owing to the heavy snowfall, a little time devoted to jotting down a few may perhaps be appreciated by your readers who take an interest in this Territory or its people.
Imagine a person in poor health taking a stage ride over two hundred miles, the stage, a buckboard, with no cover, and rock road, liable to be caught in a drenching rain, or snow, at any time, and half the time not able to get anything to eat. One of your townsmen was out here this past summer and went through all this and more.
The A. & P. is within a hundred and fifty miles of Prescott, and early next summer it will be but a short stage ride to be in the midst of a mining country that cannot be surpassed anywhere in the richness of its mines and facilities, for working timber and water being abundant all through this section.
A few mining experts have found their way here this past summer, who have been all through the other mining States and Territories, and they all say it is ahead of anything they have seen, if only the mines were opened out and worked as they ought to be; but until we get capital to do this, for us things must necessarily move slowly.
To show what a mine will do when it can be worked, I will give a short account of what one has done. The Tuscumbia Mine of Turkey Creek District, this county, is the subject. Mr. Holland of your town and the writer one morning about the end of last May each mounted a mustang and started from here for the Tuscumbia, about twelve miles, arrived in the after-noon after looking at two mines we have, about two miles on this side, and supposed to be on the same lead.
To show what a mine will do when it can be worked, I will give a short account of what one has done. The Tuscumbia Mine of Turkey Creek District, this county, is the subject. Mr. Holland of your town and the writer one morning about the end of last May each mounted a mustang and started from here for the Tuscumbia, about twelve miles. We arrived in the afternoon after looking at two mines we have, about two miles on this side, and supposed to be on the same lead.
We found the mill had just arrived, and the wagons had just been unloaded. Several men were busy at work putting up the building. The mill, which is only a four stamp battery, was completed; and the stamps were put to pounding on the fifteenth of July. I heard the owners say in the fore part of October that they had paid up everything, over thirty thousand dollars, from the returns from the ore worked from their mine. The mill is kept constantly at work and the mine is turning out better rock all the time as development goes on.
There are hundreds of mines just as good that will turn out just as well in the near future; in the meantime, the old pioneers are plodding along keeping up assessments on their locations, living on bacon and beans without society or amusement of any kind, waiting for that time when capital will come in.
Alas, it will be too late for many of them to long enjoy it, for several who came here fifteen and twenty years ago, whose hair long since was whitened by the frost of age, will have to succumb to old times scythe and be cut down to a little claim of 2 x 6 before they see any of the ease and comfort they have so often pictured in their mind’s eye, while working hard with pick and shovel or hammering away on a drill. Some newcomers will step into the place of these old-timers and reap the benefits of their discoveries, another application of the old truth, “To him that hath shall be given, and from him that hath not shall be taken away, even what he hath.”
The ranchers have been blessed with good crops and high prices this season. Wheat, barley, and corn are each five cents per pound, potatoes also the same price, and hard to get even at these figures. This is owing to the large force of men employed by the railroad contractors in grading the road north and northeast of Prescott, the merchants of which place have been greatly benefitted thereby. Of course, this won’t last: only while the road is building. When the railroad is through and supplies can reach us from the Western States, prices will have to come down.
This communication will probably fill the space that can be made for it in your columns, so will defer to another issue for more from this section. ARIZONA. December 18, 1881.
Winfield Courier, April 6, 1882.
BIRTH. Born on Sunday, March 26, 1882, to Mrs. Ed. T. Johnson, a son, weight ten pounds. This news will be received with pleasure by a gentleman down in Arizona, who has the honor of being the young miner’s papa.
A. E. Johnson, brother of Ed. T. Johnson, dies...
[ALFRED ELLIOTT JOHNSON.]
Winfield Courier, February 22, 1883.
Obituary. DIED. E. A. Johnson died Thursday morning, the 16th inst., at his home near Seeley. The funeral was held on Saturday following from the residence of the family.
[Note: Courier, as noted above, said “E. A. Johnson. WRONG!]
ALFRED ELLIOTT JOHNSON.
Alfred Elliott Johnson was born at Manchester, England, in 1853. His parents crossed the ocean to Canada in 1854, afterward coming to Winfield, Kansas, in 1870. He was a son of the late Rev. S. B. Johnson, who organized and was pastor of the First Congregational church of this place. The hardships and exposure incident to the settlement of a new country, undermined a naturally delicate constitution, and a paralytic stroke two years ago laid him aside from engaging in active employment. On the 10th inst., he was taken with a violent hemorrhage, and a second attack a few days later prostrated him and he sank till the morning of the 16th when he passed away from this life. He was much loved by those who knew him, for his loving and unselfish disposition. The funeral services were held at his late residence near Seeley, on Saturday, conducted by Rev. J. E. Platter. Owing to the distance and impassable state of the roads, only those necessary accompanied his remains to the cemetery at Winfield, where he was laid to rest beside the ashes of his parents. He was the first to be taken from an unbroken family of ten children now scattered in England, Canada, Kansas, Arizona, and Oregon.
W. H. H. Johnson, brother of A. E. & Ed. T. Johnson, estate administrator...
Winfield Courier, April 26, 1883.
Recap Administrator’s Notice in the matter of the Estate of Alfred Elliott Johnson, Deceased. William H. H. Johnson, Administrator, April 7, 1883.
Winfield Courier, September 11, 1884.
RECAP. Final Settlement, Probate Court, Estate of Alfred E. Johnson, William H. Johnson, Administrator, to be held first Monday in October, 1884.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 3, 1885.
Recap. Notice of Final Settlement. Estate of Alfred Elliott Johnson, deceased. Date: October 5, 1885. William H. Johnson, Administrator. Jno. D. Pryor, Attorney.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 10, 1885.
Recap. Estate of Alfred Elliott Johnson, deceased. William H. Johnson, Administrator. Jno. D. Pryor, Attorney. Final report and settlement by administrator to be made October 5, 1885.
[Note: Further information on Ed. T. Johnson was not found.]