Colin Campbell, Part I

As I was reading the minutes of the Executive Board meeting for the Arizona Wool Growers Association for 1927, the death of Colin Campbell was referenced in glowing terms. He was a director of the board and his death resulted in a vacancy.  Reviewing these documents help understand problems associated with the sheep industry in Arizona and the records give some details of members albeit through their deaths. It was not unusual to find a nice biographical sketch written by them or at least what had been stated in the obituary of a local newspaper.

The minutes for their October 15, 1927, special meeting read: “The Arizona Woolgrowers Association has sustained a great loss in the death of the Chairman of our Board of Directors, Colin Campbell, which occurred on October 2nd, 1927. He was also member for Arizona on the Executive Committee of the National Woolgrowers Association.” The special meeting was called to replace him on the board of directors. While not germane, H. C. Caveness, general manager of the Grand Canyon Sheep Company, was nominated to fill the vacancy.

The Wool Growers continued their accolades:

“It is superfluous to state that the name of Colin Campbell was known in every wool growing (sic) section of the country. His name was heard around the campfires of the herders, at the meetings of woolgrowers, at the National Ram sale, and at all places where wool and sheep were discussed.

With a matured judgement on all things connected with sheep raising and the marketing of wool, with a keen understanding of its problems, with wide reading and a retentive memory, his opinions were eagerly sought and the course of action taken by him was generally followed.

He was a pioneer of pioneers in all matters relating to grazing and the preservation of our ranges, in the improvement of breeds and the production of high grade rams.

The esteem in which he was held was shown at his funeral in Flagstaff on October 4, 1927. All classes of the community were present and in fact it was a gathering of the people of Northern Arizona who met to give testimony to his wonderful acquaintance and his sterling worth.

The following editorial from the Prescott Journal Miner, October 4, 1927, is quoted, as representing the feeling of this Board of Directors: 

            ‘Not only Yavapai county but the whole state will feel the loss of Colin Campbell, whom death claimed at Ash Fork, Sunday. Of all the livestock men of this southwest, he was the peer, a pioneer who dared in a country not yet settled, down to the present state of things.

            Mr. Campbell was of a family who carved empires out of the wilderness, a sturdy stock that populated the far portions of the earth at times when life was not so easy as it is now. He was a brother of the redoubtable industrialist and political leader, Hon. Hugh Campbell, who for years led the sheep men of Arizona as President of their association and one of their outstanding members. Of no less worth has been the contribution of Colin Campbell to the work of making productive a land scarcely attractive to the farmer, the town builder or the miner.

            We know of no man who could gather so many friends about him. He was one of Arizona’s finest.’”

Colin Campbell distinguished himself in the sheep industry in the short time he lived in the state (1890?-1927). Next blog will look at his life in more detail.

Flag Wool and Fiber Festival

The vendors and their products. What gorgeous yarns and fibers.

Felting. This is the festival’s logo.
The maker of the logo for the festival. She had a class on felting.

The brilliant colors of the yarns. It was hard to choose my colors for my skirt.

This is Hummingbird yarn! The colors would make a great cross stitch picture of a hummingbird! Can’t wait to try.

Other products sold at the festival include:

Love these purses and so did the attendees.

And that will finish the Flagstaff Wool and Fiber Festival for 2022. It is always held the first weekend after Memorial Day so plan on attending next year. I met some great people and got to see old friends.

Flagstaff Wool & Fiber Festival

Just the animals from this past weekends festival.

Would they hurry and shear us! It’s hot today. Temperatures were actually very delightful for someone who lives in the Phoenix area.

One of the fun things about the festival is all the animals.

Being lazy!
Really didn’t want his picture taken!
A little unfriendly and uncooperative!
Llamas already been sheared.
Sheep Shearer
A service provided for those with small herds.
Take the picture. I’m tired of staring this pose!.

Tomorrow will be the vendors, their beautiful colors, and some demonstrations.

The Rest of 1869.

Finishing out the year 1869 as one story had been written about (See April 29, How to Raise a Shepherd Dog) a few more pieces of information have been found about a few of the men engaged in sheep raising with Arizona.

In mid-February, Jim Baker had his sheep at Camp Willows but had not trekked them to the Prescott area due to bad weather conditions. By May he has his sheep in Chino Valley and was ready to start to New Mexico with Antonio V. Wanners to purchase sheep. Campbell and Buffum were reported to have sheared up to 1,600 pounds of fair quality wool. The newspaper stated that “We are glad that a commencement has been made in the business, and hope others will engage in it.” Mr. Campbell told the newspaper that sheep were doing extremely well in this country adding to the hopes of the men of the newspaper that others would soon engage in sheep raising.

The only other item for this year was for a proposal to be submitted for furnishing the military posts in the Territory with beef and mutton for the contract year, 1870.  The military stated that they would need approximately 3,000 cattle and 1,000 sheep.

We have three sheepmen who came early into Arizona and at least two, Campbell and Baker, were sheepmen into the early 1900s. It will be interesting to track them and their sheep through the rest of the 1800s. With more newspapers digitized, more early sheep history may come to light, and we may learn what happen to Buffum. But for now, this is the news for 1869.

Rovey’s Sheep

Donkeys on the Trail

It has been two years since the Auza’s have been able to trail their sheep for three weeks to the area near Williams. It has been extremely dry the past two years. It was always great fun to watch the herders move the sheep the day that they went through the underpass on State Route 260 near Cottonwood. My husband and I would travel from the Buckeye area the day before to catch the action of the herders, dogs, donkeys and sheep. The sheep once they had moved through the underpass on State Route 260 would head toward the river. Today I concentrate on the donkeys who carried the camp equipment, cooking utensils, personal items of the herders, and food for the herders as well as the guardian dogs.

It has been a long morning. Let me sleep!
Just chilling and grazing before the afternoon trek under the underpass.
One of the donkeys who wanted his picture taken!
Climbing the steep hill from the underpass.
On the north side of the road after the underpass.
Notice the donkeys go around the hill!

Early 1866/67 Journals in Arizona

Just a few tidbits of information today as there has not been a great deal about sheep found in the newspapers of the 1866 or 1867. From a journey taken in 1853 that was reported in the 1866 newspaper Arizona was depicted as an ideal sheep raising area.  The two-page newspaper story in the Arizona Miner, Fort Whipple, was taken from a San Francisco newspaper of a journey in 1853 by Mr. Aubry who across Arizona from New Mexico to California via the southern route of the Gila River with sheep and wagons. Aubry reported that “a large portion of the trail over which I passed-say some 250 miles west from the Rio Grande-is, for the most part, admirably adapted to farming and stock raising.” He was planning on doing another trip with sheep in 1854. Whether he undertook that trip, no information has been found at this time. While there was other information about Arizona, I only was interested in the sheep crossing our state. 

Again in 1867, a journey from San Francisco to Prescott was included in the Arizona Miner, Fort Whipple as it was taken from the Examiner, most likely San Francisco but not given the newspaper’s origin. The paragraph of interest stated, “It is quite out of the question to describe in a single letter, all the advantages that Central Arizona possesses, or to enumerate the inducements it offers to permanent settlers. As a stock-raising district, no part of the Pacific (sic) to the northward can even bear comparison. Numerous grasses, of the most luxuriant growth and nutritious description, cover the country to the very summit of the mountains. For sheep, no place in the world could surpass, if equal it. As to farming, if wild grain is any criterion, this is surely the place to cultivate; for I have seen hundreds of acres of wild rye and oats at a glance, that made me instinctively look for a farmhouse (sic). Better crops I never saw anywhere, and all to be had for the gathering from the bountiful hand of nature …. The last paragraph also states that with all the wild grapes growing here the author predicted that Arizona would become a great vine producer.” 

While the last part of the information is not germane, I thought it was interesting especially with Arizona having a wine producing area in the central part of the state as well as the southern.

The last piece of information to report about 1867 was what a person or family were allowed to retain in the case of a bankruptcy.  Quoting from the Arizona Miner, Fort Whipple, again, “keep Household furniture, and other necessary articles, in value not exceeding $500; and in addition for those having a wife and children, 1 cow, 10 sheep, 2 hogs, 25 bushels of charcoal, 2 tons stone coal, 200 pounds of fat, 5 bushels of potatoes, 200 pounds of wheat flour, 2 cords of wood, 2 tons of hay, 10 bushels of turnips, 10 bushels of corn, or meal made therefrom, 10 bushels of rye, or the flour made therefrom, 20 pounds of wool, 20 pounds of flax, 1 sewing machine, 1 (a blurred word) in church and the wearing apparel of the whole family. 

Lastly, I also stopped by Rovey Dairy today to get lamb burger and sheep cheese. Here is just one of the pictures from my visit:

Lambs at Rovey Dairy in Glendale, Arizona.

Correction and A sheep Sighting

My last blog should have stated that the information came from 1869 and I would be putting the news happenings for 1870 next. However, today’s blog comes from the Arizona Miner, Prescott, for 1864 as some of them just became available. There was a total of three available for the year of which two had articles on the sheep industry and one of them was attempting to influence more people to become involved in raising sheep in Arizona!

In the article, titled “The Season” it sang praise for the livestock industry and especially for sheep within the state. The article stated, “The constant freshness of the grass is gratifying to the stock raiser. The country is beyond question the finest for pastoral purposes upon the continent. Immense herds of sheep and cattle may be kept in good condition the year round without expense save for herders.”

The other article in the November 23, 1864, the Arizona Miner reported on travelers to Arizona and the difficulty of navigating the roads because of the large amount of rainfall in the past week. Two of those traveling this road were Captain Hargrave and Lieutenant Taylor and they had lost part of their large drove of sheep to either the Navajos or Apaches. In this same article Mister Huning, who will have sheep or may have already acquired them, was mentioned bring a large shipment of supplies from Albuquerque.  It has been mentioned before in this blog that Huning had a store in Holbrook.

And that is 1864 sheep happenings. Really wowed you today, huh? As more newspapers are digitized for 1864, there may be more sheep sightings to write about in future blogs! So, stay tuned. 

And just a different kind of sheep!

The Rest of 1868 Sheep Sightings

After finding a little sheep history in The Weekly Arizonian, Tucson, for 1859, the next year to carry any news was found in 1868 in the Weekly Arizona Miner, Prescott.

Not all newspapers were digitized for that year so we can only report on what issues are available, of course. The August 15th edition has already been posted here on this blog about the Arizona being a good stock country and the second wettest state after Oregon. I don’t understand how we could have been the second wettest area, but I just report what was written! So, while that is hard to phantom, the newspaper carried an article from the Los Angeles Star stating that Arizona had great advantages as a sheep country. One of their reasons was stated that the territory had no “clover burr” which would get into the sheep’s wool and reduce its value. The Los Angeles Star continued, “The day will come yet we have no doubt, when all the vast plains between the Juniper Mountain and the Colorado will be covered with flocks and herds; when the sheep will be driven to the banks of the river and there shorn, and the fleece dispatched at once by steam to market. The opening of the navigation of the Colorado river is as essential to the prosperity of Arizona…” There is no need to continue the negative commentary regarding the Native American living in Arizona as it does not add to our story; just suffice it to say, the newspapers thought that the Native American was a detriment to raising livestock in Arizona.

Finishing out the year two editions of the Weekly Arizona Miner for December 19 and 26 reported Campbell & Buffam, who were merchants of Prescott, and Jas. Baker were driving a large herd of sheep from California and they and their sheep would arrive soon in the area. We were told nothing more and looking into the next years papers again that were available for 1869, we know that the sheep arrived as in July 1869 they were shearing and proud of the amount of wool their sheep had produced. We also find that Jas. Baker was off again to purchase more sheep but this time he was going to New Mexico to make his purchase.

Slim pickings for 1868 but as more digitized newspapers are made available more information on the early sheep industry may come to light.

It takes time to read all the newspapers across the Territory for each year and then assimilate that information. Of course, there were not many newspapers in the early years, so it goes a little quicker but as more towns set about having a newspaper, it will take a little longer to look through each of them. So, stay tuned for 1869.

How to Raise a Shepherd Dog.

In the Weekly Arizona Miner, Prescott, February 1869 comes the following story about raising sheep dogs. While the story was written about the practice taking place in Texas, I am sure that it could have taken place anywhere, but I will leave that to my sheep friends who can debate the article.

Quoting from the newspaper –  “In the course of some conversation in relation to dogs, Governor Anderson of Ohio, related a Texas practice in training dogs with sheep. A pup is taken from its mother before its eyes are opened and put with an ewe to suckle. After a few times the ewe becomes reconciled to the pup, which follows her like a lamb, grows up among and remains with the flock and no wolf, man, or stranger dog can come near the sheep, and the dog will bring the sheep to the fold regularly at half-past seven o’clock in the evening, if you habitually feed him at that hour.”

Just a fun little story to end the week.

The Weekly Arizonian 1859

The earliest Arizonan newspaper with any information on the sheep industry comes from The Weekly Arizonian, Tucson. It is also the earliest newspaper for Arizona or the earliest digitized! The year – 1859.  There was only a hand full of entries reporting sheep happenings. 

One sheep man is named, Elias C. Brevoort, Esq.  He had purchased “the well-known Reventone Ranch on the Santa Cruz River.” He planned to build a large dwelling house with large corrals, outbuildings and a store. The newspaper said, “This is undoubtedly the best stock raising ranch in the territory.” It went on to state that he planned on stocking the ranch with one thousand head of cattle, besides sheep and hogs. We can surmise one piece of information from this little article and that is the Reventone Ranch had been a ranch for some years.  Previously it had livestock from the statement – “the best stock raising ranch in the territory.” What we don’t know is who were the previous owners, how large the ranch was/is, and what livestock they raised.

Brevoort’s name appears in an article stating he came commanding a detachment of soldiers at Ft. Buchanan in 1856.  I have not proved or disproved that this is the same man but seems likely given the name. If he had been the officer who brought troops to Ft. Buchanan that maybe how he secured the contract to supply meat to the military men stationed there as this article was found three months later: “Good Beef – The officers and soldiers at Fort Buchanan have ere this been treated to some eatable beef. Last week Mr. Geo. D. Mercer who has charge of the “Reventone ranche”, drove to the fort a lot of fine, fat young beeves, the first supplied under Mr. Brevoort’s contract – The digestive organs of the troops were no doubt somewhat astonished at first!” 

We also can locate him in the area in the 1860 federal census showing he lived along the “lower Santa Cruz, Arizona and New Mexico Territory.”

His name only appears in two more newspapers stating that the federal government was annexing his property for his misdeeds during the Civil War. These two articles appeared in 1870 and then there is no other information found so far in later newspapers. I am researching more on the Reventone Ranch from an early travel account in 1864 but have not received the book yet. More details will be forthcoming if there is anything of interest to report.

Another entry stated that in a battle between bands of Navajos and Apache, the Navajos lost four thousand sheep. That would have been a lot of sheep at this time.

My last blog stated that the Weekly Arizona Miner, Prescott reported in 1868 that Arizona was the second wettest state besides Oregon in the West. We were not a state in 1868 but a territory, and in 1859 Arizona and New Mexico were one territory but I digress. Ten years prior, in 1859, there was a little different feeling about the rainfall for Arizona. I quote the article from The Weekly Arizonian, Tucson, in its entirety. “Arizona is a fine country for stock-raising, where ever permanent water can be secured – were it not for Indian depredations and Mexican thieving, the raising of cattle, sheep, and mules, would be a lucrative business, and when those evils are abated the immense pastures of this Territory will be covered with stock for the streams that do not furnish sufficient water for irrigating purposes will water thousands of cattle, and the hills which cannot be cultivated bear grass in abundance.” 

A noted difference between the two newspapers was that while both newspapers agreed that the Native American people were a problem, The Weekly Arizonian, Tucson, also cited the Mexicans as a problem. Was the Mexican problem resolved in that 10 years? Or weren’t they a problem in the Prescott area?

The last article about sheep for 1859 stated that 46,000 had passed near Tucson as they were being moved from Texas to California.  That was a huge flock of sheep! So little information for someone who wants to know more. The researcher in me wants to know:  who owned them, were they owned by one person, two or more; how many men were needed to move that many sheep, how long had it taken them to get from where ever in Texas to Tucson, where was this location in Texas, where were they going in California, had there been problems with the Apache as they crossed, and more questions continually pop into my head. But sadly, there was no other mention of these sheep in the other editions of that year’s newspapers.

And that is the sheep happenings for the year 1859.