Early Sheep Raisers in 1897

It has been a few weeks since I have posted information that was found in the Argus, Holbrook, June 19, 1897, newspaper. The book that I am collecting the stories of the nominees for Arizona Farming and Ranching Hall of Fame Volume III, 2018-2022 is about completed. Once it is off to the publishers, I will be able to concentrate once again on the Arizona sheep industry. Of course, there are a few nominees being honored that were sheep raisers here in Arizona – Anthony “Tony” and Marianne Etchart Manterola, Frank Auza, the Pouquette Family (Joseph, Pierre and Albert) and the father/daughter team of Gunnar Thude and Elma Thude Sanudo. More will be posted about those that have not already been written about here after the book is published and distributed at the Arizona Farming and Ranching Hall of Fame dinner, March 5, 2022. But back to 1897….

We have six sheep raisers that were given a nice little write-up in the Argus. All but one I have included the picture that accompanied the story. There were pictures for all the men but one had a streak across and was not able to be copied. In most cases, the story about each has been left to be the exact wording from the newspaper as I personally found their stories interesting. Where a place is named that is not common to most people, I have given a general location for them.

Hon. James D. Houck is a native of Meggs county, Ohio. (Meigs County is southeast of Columbus, Ohio along the Ohio River with West Virginia). During the rebellion he enlisted in the Thirty-first Wisconsin regiment, belonging to Company “H”, where he saw considerable hard service, being with Sherman on his march to Atlanta and the sea. Shortly after the war he came West and roamed over Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico prospecting. He came to Arizona in 1872 and in 1874 he carried the first mail between Sunset Pass and Fort Wingate,(Sunset Pass is on Route 87 south of Holbrook and Fort Wingate is near Gallup, New Mexico) and in 1875 and 1976 he carried the mail from Beaverhead to Rock Station (have not been able to identify these two locations, but most likely Beaverhead is the formation near Oak Creek). In the fall of 1876, he built a ranch and trading post at what is known as Houck’s Tank (probably Houck, Arizona today), where he remained trading with the Indians until 1883, when he removed to Holbrook and went into the sheep and cattle business. Mr. Houck has now disposed of his cattle interests and confined himself entirely to sheep raising. He is a successful businessman and by through honesty and fair dealing has made hosts of friends in this section. He is a man of determination and nerve and served as deputy sheriff of Apache county under C. P. Owens and rendered valuable assistance in suppressing the lawlessness which existed in those turbulent days. Mr. Houck also served as member of the Thirteenth Legislature of Arizona. During his long career in this section, in public as well as private affairs, he has exhibited a sterling integrity, and has always been an honest and upright citizen, and has won the confidence and respect of all who know him.

Robert Scott was born in the state of Oregon, and came to Arizona in 1887, settling on the Show Low. He became interested in sheep and horses and has enjoyed an unusual degree of prosperity. He owns several fine bands of sheep, and splendid horses. He also owns several ranches near Show Low and in connection with his other business farms on an extensive scale. He is a thorough businessman, square and upright in his dealings with his fellowmen, firm, trusty and reliable; he enjoys an enviable reputation among his acquaintance. He has never held any public office. Though often urged to become a candidate he has steadfastly refused preferring to devote all his time and attention to his extensive business interests.

George Scott came to Arizona after the arrival of his brothers, Robert and James Scott. Like his brothers he engaged in sheep raising and is now the owner of quite a large herd. He is a pleasant, affable gentleman, and is well thought of among his friends and acquaintances. Mr. Scott in connection with his sheep interests owns several ranches around Pinetop, located among the beautiful pines on the crest of the Mogollon’s. He is a single man and would be a prize for any marriageable young lady to capture.

W. N. Amos of Pinetop is a native of the state of Oregon, and came to Arizona in 1883, where he embarked in the business of sheep raising. He is a young man of only 33 but possessing good judgment and rare business faculties he has been eminently successful, and the firm of Amos Brothers is now one of the prominent sheep raisers in this section. In addition to their sheep interests, they own several ranches around Pinetop. W. N. Amos is a man of family and has an estimable wife and two interesting children. He is now erecting a beautiful resident among the fragrant pines on the banks of the Show Low about four miles from Pinetop. Mr. Amos is a member of the Masonic order, an exemplary citizen, and has the confidence and esteem of everyone who has had contact with him.

George Amos like his brother W. N. was born in Oregon and came to Arizona about four years after his brother, 1887. He went into partnership with his brother W. N. and through their united energies they have accumulated a goodly portion of this world’s goods. George is a single man only about 27 years old, and lives with his brother, having, so far not entered the matrimonial state. He has the reputation among his acquaintances of being the best-informed man about sheep raising, and wool growing in this part of the country, and his keen faculties of observation, strict attention to business has contributed largely to their success. He is a quiet, sober, industrious fellow, has but little to say, yet it is the lot of only few men to have more friends, and to be more universally respected in the community in which they live than George Amos.

R. C. Kinder was born in Illinois in 1857. He went to California while a youth and remained until he was 19 years old when he decided to make Arizona the base of his future operations. He landed in this territory in 1879 and engaged in the cattle business. He finally disposed of his cattle interests and has for several years devoted his attention to sheep raising. He was married eleven years ago to an estimable lady in Texas and resides with his family at Holbrook. Mr. Kinder, besides his sheep interests, owns considerable property in the county, and valuable property at Fort Worth, Texas. He is a member of the Masonic order and has twice held the position of Worshipful Master of his lodge.

And that is just a few of the early sheep raisers of Arizona in 1897. Next blog will be on the health of the sheep industry in 1897.

2 thoughts on “Early Sheep Raisers in 1897

  1. Thank you for helping to keep the memory alive for these early Arizona pioneers. As you know, the two Amos brothers mentioned were my great uncles. In addition to W.N. (William Nathanial) and George, their younger brothers Abraham, Charles and Leonard also took part in the family sheep business in those early days. I would like to point out that the article in the Holbrook Argus mistakenly said that W.N. and George were born in Oregon. They were actually born in Missouri, but did live in Oregon before coming to Arizona Territory in the late 1800s. It is unfortunate that the photo of W.N. Amos in the Holbrook Argus was not usable. I have several pictures of him if ever needed.


  2. Lonnie,
    I will correct the story to say born in Missouri. I believe you told me that before and I did not verify with your emails you sent. My apologizes! May I have a good picture of both men and any other family men involved in the sheep industry? I will just do a little story on Sunday if the Amos brothers to correct my error. I am working on another book and have some great stories from others via this website that I am collecting. So any other information you have I would appreciate.


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