One of the earliest newspapers in Arizona, The Weekly Arizona Miner, Prescott, had an interesting article claiming Arizona as good stock country. Here is the article in its entirety.
“It may not be generally known that Arizona is one of the best grazing countries in the world, but it is a fact. Over a year ago, Mr. Herbert Bowers called our attention to a matter that should be made known. He said, that for a sheep county, this Territory was superior to any section of the continent, from the fact, that in the whole Territory, there is not to be found a “burr” of any description, consequently, the wool which can be produced here would surpass that of all other countries. Then, again, our climate, (or rather climates,) is so mild, that shearing could be done at almost any season of the year, without fear of (as is the case in other countries) whole flocks being chilled to death by cold blasts. Nothing but fear of Indian depredations has kept people from bringing flocks of sheep here, and we would be departing from the truth were we to say that no such fear need deter people from doing so any longer, although, were sheep and other stock brought here and properly guarded, they would be as safe here as in California. So long as depredatory bands of hostile savages roam over the Territory, so long will our people suffer loss of property by them, and we are not idiots enough to expect perfect immunity from these raiders until enough population comes to, and settle in, the Territory to overcome and quiet the scamps. The military serve a very good purpose, but they are too few in numbers to hunt down and capture all the two-legged coyotes in the Territory. When the railroad is built, when our mines become developed, and protection for life and property is guaranteed, people who now look upon Arizona as a hot, dry, useless country, will see their mistake. In fact, no country in the world possesses more advantages than does Arizona, and instead of it being a “dry” country, it is, next to Oregon, the wettest country on the Pacific Coast.”
The article was from August 15, 1868! I left the article as written by the newspaper and its opinion on the Native American problem as they saw them at the time. As to whether Arizona was the second wettest “country” after in the 1860s still needs to be researched.
As I am presently researching the Weekly Arizonian, Tubac, in 1859, I hope to find some story or stories about the sheep industry which would be the earliest in the territory. So stay tuned.