Early Sheep Stories

Reviewing old newspapers of Tucson I found some little tidbits written about sheep.  It seems that Nov. 12, 1859 46,000 sheep passed through Tucson on their way to California.  Of course, these were most likely sold for meat but it could easily have been to start a flock in California.  My guess is that they were sold to the miners for food.

December 8, 1875, the Native Americans living near what is today Maricopa stampeded a flock of 5,000 sheep.  They killed 20 and after rounding up the flock that they had stampeded, the driver gave them 5 more for their services.  Well, that is one way to get the majority of your sheep returned.

March 8, 1887 the newspaper reported that sheepmen started their own private war against cattlemen in the Tonto Basin after 20,000 head of sheep were stampeded by cowboys.  It would have been nice to know who were the cowboys but this is about the time of the Pleasant Valley War between the Tewksburys and Grahams.

More tidbits will be added as I continue to read the old newspapers in the state.  They have some fascinating  bits of history and I get sidetracked in reading them.  For other stories, see my book Where Have All the Sheep Gone?  Sheep Herders and Ranchers in Arizona – A Disappearing Industry.

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