In an earlier post I shared some information on W. N. Amos and George Amos, sheep raisers of Northern Arizona in the late 1890s. Since then, more information has either been given to me or I have found in a variety of sources. The Amos Family, Milton and his wife Allie, came to Arizona from Oregon. Milton was born in either Kentucky or Tennessee,1827. His wife, born Alphidus Fanny, was born in Missouri, 1842. I find references for both in the U.S. Census data. At the time the family moved to Arizona, Milton was in his late 50s and Allie was in her 40s assuming an arrival date in Arizona in the mid 1880s. When the family arrived from Oregon, their children William (Will), Josephine, George, Abraham Lincoln (Abe), Charles D (Dick), Della and Len may have accompanied them. What information that we do have comes again from the 1880 and 1890 census. The first three children were born in Missouri, Abe and Dick were born in California. The last two children were born in Oregon. The family obviously did some moving around before finally settling in Arizona. Using just the date of birth of the children, the family did not remain in California very long as Dick was born there in 1876, five years after George’s birth in Missouri, and Della was born in Oregon in 1879. Why the moves has not been determined either. Looking at the location of births in California and then researching local newspapers may help shed light on what was happening with the family or economically that may have had them moving from Missouri to California, then Oregon. According to one source, all but one child came with them to Arizona. Josie, who had married in 1884 also died that same year and she may have died in childbirth, however that is speculation on the part of this author. More research will need to be done to prove that statement.
As to the actual date of arrival of the family into Arizona there is also debate. In Gene Luptak’s book From Top of the Pines Life in Pinetop and the White Mountains he states that Abe’s parents arrived in Arizona with three brothers-Len, Will and C.D. (Dick). He further states that it was the late 1880s or early 1890s. The St. Johns Herald, his brother Will was in the area at least as early as 1884 because he is mentioned in the February 12, 1885, newspaper being delinquent in paying his poll tax. Will would have been 21 years of age in 1884 and thus of the age to be able to vote. Again, speculation on the part of this author, but was his delinquency in not paying because he had returned to Oregon in 1884 upon the death of his sister and to help his parents and his other siblings move to Arizona? Was he the first to scout out the area in Arizona that they would settle in? Some more research will be needed to answer the question. The father Milton was listed in the 1880 census as being a farmer so Will may have been looking for good farmland. Again, all of this is speculation.
While I do not like that an exact date can not be determined for the family’s arrival into Arizona, we do have other information we can use to tell their story. More searching in the newspapers in St. Johns and surrounding communities will need to be undertaken to write a more accurate accounting of the family, however and that will take some time. Old newspapers are hard to read even when they have been digitized. But we will leave it here for today with that according to the family Milton died in April of 1887 shortly after their arrival.