Glendale Stock Farm, a friendly Mexican sheepherder and the senseless killing of sheepherders

Cecil H. Miller, E.M. Thomas and his son, J.H. Thomas

In continuing my reading of the Arizona National Livestock Show Ranch Histories Volume I little tidbits of information come to life on who had sheep in the early part of the 1900s. In 1926 Cecil married into a family, the Miller’s, who along with the Babbitts had formed the Glendale Stock Farm, a diversified farm operation with both sheep and cattle. This remained a sheep and cattle operation until 1936.  Whatever happened to the sheep of the Glendale Stock Farm will need further research.

E. M. Thomas came to Taylor, Arizona in 1881 with his wife and two sons. In 1890 he moved to a ranch that was northwest of Pinedale and began to raise sheep. He sold all the sheep in 1901 and went into the cattle business. His son, J.H. Thomas, remembers a time in 1907 when sheep were near where he was working cattle as the cattlemen did not carry canteens and only got water in the morning before leaving for the range, when they returned at lunch and dinner. The Mexican sheep herder had a canteen and he asked to drink some of his water which the Mexican shared. Later, J.H. married and moved to his own ranch west of Pinedale. He did odd jobs of which one was dipping sheep for $2.00 a day.

A story about sheep in Graham County in 1889 comes from newspaper articles in the Saint Johns Herald.  The story was called the Bonita Tragedy because of the senseless killing of sheep herders by cowboys of the Chiricahua Cattle Company.  There is uncertainty as to the owner of the sheep as three different articles state two different owners – Sol Luna or Don Pedro Montana.  This is just another example of the dislike that the cowboys had for sheep and those who worked the sheep for a living.

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