Early 1885 St. Johns

My last post was about the Amos family coming to Arizona sometime in the mid 1880s. So far in researching the early newspapers the family name has not reappeared. Newspapers aren’t always available, but the search is still on for the Amos family.

In looking in the St. Johns Herald, a few other facts have been found about sheep raising in the first few months of 1885. The newspaper stated that the wool supply was to be unusually large for the spring. The lambing season was about over but had been most successful. The wool raisers would be starting to shear soon. No other details were given in the April 30th newspaper. There was a notice that A. A. Ward had 450 sheep of his sheep stolen and had recovered only 320. Details were not given on who had stolen the sheep and how Ward retrieved the majority of them.

Another interesting piece of information concerned Don Antonio Gonzales, townsman of St. Johns, who had been “entirely happy in the increase of fully one hundred percent of his fluffy family this season.” He was the heir of not less than $50,000 all in wool and mutton. It is my belief from reading the full article that the mutton referred to was actually live animals as it mentioned he had been to see his lambs. The newspaper reported that he was now requiring everyone to address him as Mr. Gonzales! That $50,000 in today’s money would be $1,437,123.71! This researcher will keep an eye out for Mr. Gonzales and see how he does with all that wool and mutton. One other item caught my attention. There was an advertisement for goods that Antonio Gonzales sold. Mr. Gonzales now had another occupation!

And that is just a few tidbits of the sheep industry around St. Johns in 1885.

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