As I researched the first part of August 1921 a few items of interest on the livestock industry were reported in the northern Arizona newspapers. The biggest story was the rains. It is reminiscence of this August, 100 years later. We sure have been blessed across the state with rains this monsoon season and we still have over six weeks to it officially ends, September 30th. So, let’s see what was happening 100 years ago August.
August continued to be wet across the state. In the Flagstaff area it was reported that the Spring Valley stock tanks had been filled almost everywhere. With the precipitation the grass was doing well and the range stock, especially the cattle, were putting on weight. No one was complaining about the thundering rains that returned during the middle of the month. It was reported that the sheep range north of Winona where Jack LeBarron run his sheep brought so much rain that his water tanks filled in ten minutes. That must have been quite a storm. He was so happy that it was said he had joined the stockmen’s glee club as he said the rains will provide water for a year! The Holbrook News had also reported that northern stockmen had great cause for rejoicing with the amount of rain that had fallen. The country has some much grass that the Coconino Sun reported that it needed a haircut! Must have been good grazing for both sheep and cattle. It went on stating, “Dry Lake, one of the last of the watering places to get the benefit of the summer rains, got its full measure on Saturday.”
In the Williams News, Friday, August 5, 1921, they reported “Williams and vicinity have been visited by additional heavy rains this week. In many localities dams have been filled and everywhere range is good and crops are much improved. A heavy rain fell at Williams Sunday morning. Gutters were filled to overflowing and the fields received a thorough (sic) drenching. The Santa Fe dam received an inflow from this rain which raised its water level fully five feet. A similarly heavy rainfall was reported for the same morning from Red Lake, Main and parts of Garland Prairie. It was first hoped this same storm would add materially to the supply of water in the city reservoir, but investigation proved that neither the city nor the Saginaw dams were (sic) materially affected by the storm. Another heavy rain fell today but at the time of going to press it had not been learned what effect it had upon any of the reservoirs. Indications point to a continuance of the rainy season.
The Holbrook News reported rain was falling across the state. Tombstone had received an inch (time frame unclear), Miami had received over 5 inches for the month of July and Bisbee had received just under 8.5 inches for the month of July. What is interesting is Bisbee in 1920 only received a total of 9 inches for the year! It would be interesting to see what the totals were for 1921 in Bisbee.
The rainy weather must have lifted the spirits of some of the sheepmen as two of them were visiting family or were enjoying time trying their hand at fishing. Harlow Yaeger decided that it was a good time to try salmon egg bait on those fish in Oak Creek. Zeke Newman with his family was a visitor of his sister, Mrs. Frank Leslie in Flagstaff. Newman’s sheep outfit is in Navajo County.
There was some shipping of lambs out of Flagstaff the first part of August too. Shipping three carloads and two carloads, respectfully, Jack LeBarron and Harry Gray shipped to California and got $5 a head. Looking at markets in Denver, the price was low.
A story that needs to be reprinted in its entirety is:
Old Tom Goes Gunnin’ after Young Tom. Father attempts to correct Son via the Gun Route.
According to information received by the News, Thomas Ortega, sheep man and resident of Holbrook, sought to correct his boy, Tom, by means of hot lead applied vigorously about the person. Rather primitive but thought to be effective.
The shooting took place Monday morning and resulted in a running affair, with young Tom executing a strategic retreat, closely pursued by the father, who fired as he advanced. The pursuit and retreat carried the pair across the Santa Fe tracks in the neighborhood of the ice plant and resulted in old Tom failing to make a thorough correction of the boy, due to the fleetness of young Tom.
Some say that young Tom rounded Woodruff Butte shortly before noon.
No arrests have been made.
A strange story to appear on the front page of the Holbrook News August 5, 1921!
And lastly, in Washington, a new Federal grazing law was being proposed by Chairman Sinnot of the House Public Lands Committee. The committee would like to see a “division of the western public lands into tracts to be leased for grazing upon a rental basis of one cent per acre where the annual rainfall is more than 10 inches and one-half cent per acre where the annual rainfall is less than 10 inches.” This would have benefitted many stockmen in Arizona.
More to come on August 1921!