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ghost town, v17, Dos Cabezas, AZ (1879), USA

ghost town, v17, Dos Cabezas, AZ (1879), USA

Doz Cabezas, AZ, (est. 1879, pop. <25), elevation 5,082 ft. (1,549 m)

"The Dos Cabezasite is the only person on the globe who can sit serenely down and smile, and smile again, amid conditions and adversities which would madden a lowly follower of the lamb. When Gabriel blows his horn he will find some of these genial old fellows sitting on a rock telling each other of the promising future of the camp, or how rich the Juniper mine is." —“Tombstone Epitaph,” 28 Apr 1887

Dos Cabezas, AZ is a "living" Sonoran Desert ghost town with few remaining residents • located in the Sulphur Springs Valley [photo] of Cochise County • lies beside the Dos Cabezas ("Two Heads") mountain range, named for its twin bald summits

• an historically significant spring with potable water, once known as Dos Cabezas Spring, stands about a half mi. southwest of the town by the old Southern Emigrant Trail, a principal artery of the westward movement • the trail descends to the valley from Apache Spring through Apache Pass

• on 4 Sep 1851, John Russell Bartlett & his Boundary Survey Commission were heading west through what was, for over 300 yrs., Spanish/Mexican territory • most of the land had been ceded to the U.S. in 1848, ending the controversial Mexican-American War, but much of southernmost Arizona & New Mexico remained under the Mexican flag • Bartlett’s mission was to work with a Mexican survey team to formally define the post-war US-Mexico border

• the survey was a prelude to the 1853-54 Gadsden Purchase which, for $10MM, acquired 29,670 sq. mi. of Mexican territory south of the Gila River, Cochise County included • the deal was signed by President Franklin Pierce, a northern, anti-abolitionist ("doughface") Democrat • it was intended to facilitate development of a road, canal and/or New Orleans-LA railroad, & to open the southwest to Southern expansion, seemingly ignoring the fact that an economy based on slave-produced cotton was unlikely to flourish in the desert — “Cochise and his Times

• with potable water a precious commodity for both 2- & 4- legged desert travelers, Apache Spring – like many watering holes – became the site of a stagecoach stop c. 1857 • was operated by the San Antonio-San Diego "San-San" Mail Line, commonly known as "Jackass Mail"Chiricahua Apache attacks made Apache Pass the most perilous stop on the line’s Birch Route [map], named for company owner James Birch (1827-1857) —“The West is Linked

• the 1,476 mi. daylight-only journey — with daily stops for 2 meals (45 min. each) & team switches (5-10 min.) — typically took less than 30 days & could be as few as 22 • a one-way ticket cost $150, meals & 30 lb. baggage allowance included —“Deconstructing the Jackass Mail Route

• the Jackass line had a fleet of celerity (mud) wagons, vehicles suited for travel in intense heat over rugged terrain • it also operated fifty 2,500 lb. Concord stagecoaches [photo] manufactured by the Abbot Downing Co. in Concord, NH

"To feel oneself bouncing—now on the hard seat, now against the roof, and now against the side of the wagon—was no joke. Strung beneath the passenger compartment, wide leather straps called ‘thorough braces’ cradled the coach, causing it to swing front to back. Motion sickness was a common complaint, and ginger root was the favored curative." —Historynet

• each stage could accommodate 9-12 passengers on three benches inside & up to 10 more on the roof • the coaches were drawn by four- & six-mule teams • the company maintained 200 head of mules in its western corrals

“The coach was fitted with three seats, and these were occupied by nine passengers. As occupants of the front and middle seats faced each other, it was necessary for these six people to interlock their knees; and there being room inside for only ten of the twelve legs, each side of the coach was graced by a foot, now dangling near the wheel, now trying in vain to find a place of support…" —”The History of Stagecoaches in Tucson, Arizona”, Bob Ring

Tips For Stagecoach Travelers, “Cowboy Chronicles”

The Passenger Experience, “Desert USA”

"The company recommended that each passenger:… should provide himself with a Sharp’s rifle, (not carbine,) with accoutrements and one hundred cartridges, a navy sized Colts revolver and two pounds of balls, a belt and holster, knife and sheath…" —“San Diego Herald” 21 Nov 1857

• the line’s stations were built 10-40 mi. apart • some provided rudimentary sleeping accommodations; all had water for passengers, drivers ("whips") & their teams • equipped with corrals, the depots served as relay stations where drivers & draft animals were changed • "swing stations" provided no meals, but larger "home stations," often operated by families, were "meal stops":

"…tough beef or pork fried in a grime-blackened skillet, coarse bread, mesquite beans, a mysterious concoction known as ‘slumgullion,’ lethally black coffee, and a ‘nasty compound of dried apples’ that masqueraded under the name of apple pie." —True West

• in Sept 1857 Jackass founder James Birch, sailing to California via Panama, was lost at sea along with 419 other passengers & 30K lbs. of gold, in the S.S. Central America disaster • that same month, the Butterfield-Overland Mail line [photos] began St. Louis to San Francisco service, gradually displacing the Jackass line & absorbing many of its stations

• by 1858 a new, fortified stone depot, Ewell’s Stage Station [photo] , rose 4 mi. south of Dos Cabezas Spring • it’s unclear which stage line erected the building, but around the time of its completion Jackass Mail quit the route, Butterfield-Overland later decided to bypass "Ewell’s" & by 1861 it lay in ruins, destroyed by Apaches

• the Ewell name lived on at a tiny, hardscrabble settlement called Ewell Springs & at Dos Cabezas Spring, renamed Ewell’s Spring when the original station was built • by 1879 the National Mail & Transportation Co. had established a new Ewell’s Station

• Virginia-born Richard Stoddert "Baldy" Ewell (1817-1872) was a Captain in the First U. S. Dragoons, stationed in the Southwest in the 1850s • he resigned from the U.S. Army in 1861 to join the Confederacy • served in the Civil War as senior commander under Stonewall Jackson & Robert E. Lee • it has been argued that his decisions at the Battle of Gettysburg may have decided the outcome of that engagement

• during Ewell’s service in the West, Gila Apache raids along the Southern Emigrant Route prompted a military response • he advocated unrestrained combat: "How the Devil can a soldier stop in the midst of battle and summon a jury of matrons to decide whether a redskin pouring bullets into the soldier is a woman or not." • the 1857 Bonneville Expedition, in which Ewell commanded about 300 men, engaged against Apaches at the Gila River

"…the June 27 fight… was short and sweet …Ewell walking away with the lion’s share of the honors… Scarcely an Apache escaped. Nearly 40 warriors were killed or wounded and 45 women and children taken captive. … Ewell was freely acknowledged as the hero of the day; his unhesitating leap to action crushed the western Apaches and forced them to sue for peace." —“Robert E. Lee’s Hesitant Commander”, Paul D. Casdorph

• From Lt. John Van Deusen Du Bois’s account of the engagement: "An Indian was wounded and his wife carried him in her arms to the chaparral and was covering him with brush when the troops came upon them and killed them both… One fine looking Indian brave was captured and by Col. Bonneville’s desire, or express command, was taken out with his hands tied and shot like a dog by a Pueblo Indian—not 30 yards from camp… May God grant that Indian fighting may never make me a brute or harden me so that I can act the coward in this way…" —“Journal of Arizona History”, Vo. 43, No. 2, Arizona Historical Society

• c. 1850, gold veins & a few gold nuggets were discovered around Ewell’s Station • in the 1860s wildcatters found gold on both sides of the Dos Cabezas range • by 1862 claims were staked & worked near the mountains & in the Apache Pass area —“Index of Mining Properties

• in 1866 Congress passed a mining act that proclaimed "mineral lands of the public domain… free and open to exploration and occupation" • in 1872 additional stimulus was provided to "promote mineral exploration and development… in the western United States" —“Congressional Research Service

• in 1878 John Casey (c. 1834-1904), an immigrant from Ireland, staked the first important claim in the Dos Cabezas area • the Juniper, locally known as the "Casey Gold," was located just ~2 miles NE of Ewell’s Spring • John & his brother Dan moved into a cabin at the site • by the end of the year a dozen employees were working the mine

• the news that Casey had struck pay dirt & word that a Southern Pacific RR station would soon be built at Willcox – just 14 mi. away – lured scores of prospectors, e.g., Simon Hansen (1852-1929), a recent immigrant from Denmark who filed 27 claims • with the arrival of the new settlers, a small school was erected • on 20 Oct, 1878, the Dos Cabezas Mining District was officially designated

• in 1879 the “Arizona Miner” reported rich silver & gold deposits & claimed a population at Ewell Springs of 2,000 • other accounts, however, suggest that prior to 1920 the local population probably never exceeded 300 —“The Persistence of Mining Settlements in the Arizona Landscape”, Jonathan Lay Harris, 1971

• amid the rapid growth of 1879, the Ewell Springs settlement gave way to Dos Cabezas, a town with its own post office located a bit uphill from Ewell • John Casey is generally considered its founder • Mississippi-born James Monroe Riggs (1835-1912), once a Lt. Col. in the Confederate Army, became Dos Cabezas’ 1st postmaster & opened a store he named Traveler’s Rest

• by 1880 the nascent town had ~30 adobe houses & 15 families • sixty-five voters were registered in 1882, the year the town’s newspaper, the “Dos Cabezas Gold Note”, launched, then promptly closed • in 1884, 42 students enrolled in the town’s school

• at its height, Dos Cabezas had ~50 buildings, 3 stores, 3 saloons, 2 dairies, carpenter shops, telegraphic facilities, a mercantile, barber shop, butcher, brewery, brickyard, hotel, dancehall, boarding house, blacksmith shop, 3 livery stables, 3 stamp mills for gold ore & about 300 residents though actually, the area’s population was at least 1,500 counting prospectors, miners & other mining co. employees living in the nearby mountains & valleys —Books in Northport

• Dos Cabezas ("Two Heads") was often spelled & pronounced "Dos Cabezos" with an "o" replacing the 2nd "a" in "Cabezas" • the postmaster settled on both spellings, as seen in the town’s postmarks • the English translation of Dos Cabezos is "Two Peaks," arguably a more accurate — if less poetic — description of the twin summits than the original • given that the erroneous version was only name registered at U.S. Post Office Department in Washington DC, the interchangeable spellings persisted well into the 20th c.

• in 1880 the railroad arrived in Arizona, a station was established at Willcox & a cranky Scotland-born miner, John Dare Emersley (1826-1899), arrived at Dos Cabezas to prospect for mineral deposits • J.D. was a grad of the U. of Edinburgh, a writer well-versed in science & a botanical collector with a drought-tolerant grass, muhlenbergia emersleyi (bull grass), named for him • was a correspondent for the Engineering & Mining Journal • several other magazines including Scientific American also published him

• according to a miner who knew him, Emersley was apparently a greedy – and unusually tall – claim jumper: "Every old settler in the Globe District remembers Emersley, a seven foot Scotchman who had more claims located than he could work, and jumped more than he could hold." -“Arizona Silver Belt” (Globe, AT), 06 Jan 1883

• the "Scotchman" soon found a gold deposit & staked about 20 claims • he built a cabin nearby at an elevation of ~6,000 ft., & lived a reclusive life • entered into a pact with God, vowing not to develop any of his claims unless he received a sign from above • nevertheless, the work legally required to retain title to his claims produced several tunnels, one, the Roberts, 160′ long • the sign from God never materialized and while awaiting it, Emersley died of scurvy

• shortly thereafter “Starved Amid His Riches”, the story of J.D. Emersley, a religious recluse who lived & died on a "mountain of copper," appeared in newspapers throughout the country • Emersley willed his claims to the Lord to be used for the good of all mankind • though this final wish was never fulfilled, the "mountain of copper" story brought yet another wave of prospectors to the Mining District & sparked a local copper boom

• in 1899 a new town, Laub City, was being laid off at the mouth of Mascot Canyon, 2 mi. above Dos Cabezas • John A. Rockfellow (1858-1947) [photo], author of "The Log of an Arizona Trailblazer," performed the survey • Rockefeller’s sister was Tucson architect Anne Graham Rockfellow (1866-1954), an MIT grad & designer of the landmark El Conquistador Hotel [photo]

• the townsite was near the Emersley claims, which had been acquired by Dos Cabezas Consolidated Mines • America’s coast-to-coast electrification required countless miles of copper power lines, thus "copper camps" like Laub City proliferated & prospered • the town grew & by 1900 warranted its own post office

• Laub City was named for (and possibly by) Henry Laub (1858-1926), a Los Angeles investor born in Kentucky to German-Jewish immigrants • made his first fortune as a liquor merchandiser • later invested in mining, oil & Southeast Arizona real estate

"There is every reason to believe that Dos Cabezas will be one of the greatest mining districts of Arizona" —Henry Laub, 1902

• a worldwide surge in mining caused copper prices to fall as supply outstripped demand • several mining concerns colluded to restrict production in a failed attempt to stabilize the market • Consolidated Mines’ financing subsequently dried up & by 1903 Laub City was a ghost town • Dos Cabezas also suffered from the mine closings but managed to hang on as some mines continued to operate

• in 1905 a Wales-born mining engineer, Capt. Benjamin W. Tibbey (1848-1935), arrived in town with a "Mr. Page" • Ben Tibbey’s mining career began as a child in a Welch mine • Page was actually T.N. McCauley, a Chicagoan with a checkered career in investment & finance • the two surveyed the mining district • McCauley apparently remained, later claiming he had resided in Emersly’s abandoned shack for 2 yrs. • he also quietly filed & acquired claims covering 600 acres

• in June, 1907 McCauley, organized the Mascot Copper Company with a capitalization of $10MM & began large scale development • euphoric reports of massive ore deposits appeared in the local press, e.g., "Many Thousands of Tons of Ore in Sight— Property Bids Fair to Become Arizona’s Greatest Copper Producer"

• in 1909 Mascot acquired control of Dos Cabezas Consolidated Mines Co., the original Emersley claims that Laub’s group had purchased • McCauley launched a campaign to sell Mascot stock at $3/share, later $4 & finally $5 • his extravagant promotions included investor & press junkets to the mine in private railroad cars, wining & dining at the property’s Hospitality House & a lavish stockholders’ banquet at the Fairmont Hotel In San Francisco, with the company logo, a swastika, prominently on display [photo]

"The management of the Mascot has to its credit a remarkable series of sensational ore discoveries and few, if any other copper mining companies can match their enviable record in point of actual tonnage when at the same stage of development." —Bisbee Daily Review, 10 Mar 1910

• though stock analysts familiar with McCauley’s history as a con artist cautioned their clients, by August, 1910 reports had sales at $300,000 • shareholders owned 25% of the company, the remainder was retained by the promoters

• while actual mining & ore shipments were limited, the company announced that a store, a boarding house, sleeping quarters for employees, & a new office building had been completed • in 1912, as Mascot continued its costly build out & occasionally shipped ore, Arizona Territory gained statehood

• in 1914, the company launched the Mascot Townsite & Realty Co. to sell lots in a new town they were developing in Mascot Canyon:

"UNUSUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR PERSONAL PROFIT By the Purchase of a Lot In the MASCOT TOWNSITE This new town should have a population of 5000 within a few years." – May 1915

• by 1915 the town of Mascot had been established • homes accessed by winding paths rose one above another on terraces • residents pitched in to build a community hall in a single day • a band called the "Merry Miners" was organized to play at Saturday-night dances

"King Copper, the magic community builder, has once more raised his burnished scepter—and once more a tiny mining camp, a mere speck of Arizona landscape, has received the industrial stimulus which should shortly transform it into a factor to be reckoned with among the bustling little cities of the southwest… The tiny mining camp of the past was Dos Cabezas. The coming city is Mascot. —El Paso Herald, 25 Jun 1915

• within 10 yrs. the town would boast ~100 buildings & a population of ~800 • its children were educated at Mascot School & a second school, with 4 teachers between them • many of the town’s boys "grew up panning gold to earn money" —Arizona Republic, 04 Mar 1971

• though most of the area’s Mexican residents lived in Dos Cabezas, a few, like Esperanza Montoya Padilla (1915-2003), resided in Mascot:

"I was born in Mascot, Arizona, on August 28, 1915… In the early days, when I was a young child, Mascot was very built up; it was blooming. It was also a beautiful place. There were a lot of Cottonwood and oak trees on the road going up towards the mine and streams coming down the mountain. The school was on that road along with a grocery store and even a pool hall. There was a confectionery in the pool hall where they sold goodies like ice cream and candy. There was a community center on the hill where they showed movies. I remember silent movies with Rudolph Valentino. Even the people from Dos Cabezas came up to Mascot for the movies.

At Christmas they put up a tree in the community center, and all the children in town would get their Christmas presents. There was a road coming up from Dos Cabezas to Mascot and all kinds of houses along that road all the way up to the mine. Our house was on that road. I remember a time when everything was caballos – horses pulling wagons. The cars came later of course. —Songs My Mother Sang to Me

• on January 27, 1915, a celebration in Willcox marked the beginning of construction of the Mascot & Western Railroad • a large crowd watched a jubilant T. N. McCauley turn the first shovelful of dirt • the final spike – a copper one – was driven 15 June, 1915 at The Mascot townsite, followed by a "monstrous barbecue" for 4,000 guests [photos] • activities included a tour of a mine and the company’s "2-mile" (10,6000′) aerial tramway [photo]

"I feel that only great and lasting good can come of this project. It not only means that the Mascot, in itself, is established but it means that many people, who have known Arizona only a place in the desert before, may take home with them the idea of permanency which we enjoy in this great commonwealth." — H.A. Morgan, Bisbee Daily Review, 27 Jun 1915

• in 1916 a drought ravaged the mining district — wells dried up, cattle died & many mines shut down • on 1 July 1917, American Smelting & Refining took out a 20 yr. lease on the Mascot property only to relinquish it less than a yr. later, presumably because the operation was losing money

• with Mascot Copper facing insolvency, McCauley reorganized it via merger • the "new" Central Copper Co. began operations 15 Feb 1919 • McCauley devised a multi-level marketing scheme where stockholders became stock salesmen • the price was set at $0.50/share, purchases limited to $100/person with $10/mo. financing available • the salesmen, using portable hand-cranked projectors, screened movies of the property at small gatherings of prospective buyers

• reportedly 70,000 stockholders invested & were stunned as the price dropped 50% when the stock hit the market • lawsuits were filed • in a display ad published in several newspapers, McCauley denied each charge against the company

• by Jan, 1924, McCauley reported $4,500,000 spent on new construction • by 1926 400 employees were on the payroll, but output of the mines proved marginal • in 1927 stockholders were informed that falling copper & silver prices dictated that ore extraction be reduced to the minimum necessary to cover operating expenses

• the following year the enterprise was taken over by Southwestern Securities Corporation, a holding company • by late 1929 the payroll was down to 26 employees • on February 29, 1932, Southwestern Securities purchased the Mascot Company at public auction for $100,000 • McCauley promptly moved to Tucson, was implicated in a bank scandal, fled to California then disappeared without a trace —“A history of Willcox, Arizona, and Environs”, Vernon Burdette Schultz

• with the failure of Central Copper [photo] & exodus of miners, Dos Cabezas began its final descent, although not devoid of diversions • in spite of frequent mine closings & the onset of the Great Depression, the town fielded a team in the Sulphur Springs Valley Baseball League, which also included a squad representing a C.C.C. camp • Willcox had 2 teams in the league, the Mexicans & the Americans

• among the dwindling Dos Cabezas population was Jack Howard, the man who "sharpened the first tools that opened up the first gold discoveries of Dos Cabezas district" & spent his last 30 yrs. with Mary Katherine Cummings, history’s "Big Nose Kate" [photo], memorialized in movies as Katie Elder —“Tombstone Daily Prospector

• John Jessie “Jack” Howard (1845-1930) was born in Nottingham, England • as one of the first miners in the Dos Cabezas mining district, he is memorialized by Howard Peak & Howard Canyon • lived in the hills near Dos Cabezas • remembered as a crusty churl who hid in a manhole behind his shack to fire at intruders as they rode into range • on the other hand, some of his fellow Dos Cabezans considered him friendly • divorced his wife Mary who, according to court records, "displayed a vile and disagreeable disposition coupled with frequent outbursts of the most violent temper until she made his life a burden he could stand no longer.”

"…witnesses testified about Mary’s barrage of insults that included publicly calling Howard a white-livered son of a b—. She kept a filthy house, never washed dishes or clothing and even threatened to burn down his house and poison his stock." —“He Lived with Big Nose Kate”, True West

• Mary Katherine "Big Nose Kate" Horony (1850-1940) was born in Pest, Hungary, 2nd oldest daughter of Hungarian physician Miklós Horony • emigrated to the U.S. with her family in 1860 • placed in a foster home after her parents died • stowed away on a steamboat to St. Louis, where she became a prostitute • in 1874 was fined for working as a "sporting woman" (prostitute) in a "sporting house" (brothel) in Dodge City, KS, run by Nellie "Bessie" Ketchum, wife of James Earp [video (8:59)]

• moved to Fort Griffin, TX in 1876 • met dentist John "Doc" Holliday, who allegedly said he considered Kate his intellectual equal • Kate introduced Holliday to Wyatt Earp • Doc opened a dental practice but spent most of his time gambling & drinking

• the couple fought regularly, sometimes violently • according to Kate they married in Valdosta, Georgia • moved on to AZ Territory where Kate worked as a prostitute at The Palace Saloon in Prescott • they parted ways but she rejoined Holliday in Tombstone [photos] • claimed to have witnessed the 26 Oct 1881 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral from her window at C.S. Fly’s Boarding House

• 19 years later Kate, nearly 50 [photo] & divorced from an abusive husband, was long past her romance with Doc & too old for prostitution • in June 1900, while employed at the Rath Hotel [photo] in Cochise, AT, she answered a want ad for a housekeeper at $20/mo. plus room & board • the ad had been placed by Jack Howard • Kate lived with him as his employee ("servant" according to the 1900 census) until 1930

• on 3 January, Kate walked 3 mi. to the home of Dos Cabezas Postmaster Edwin White.

“Jack died last night, and I stayed up with him all night.”

• Howard was buried in an unmarked grave in Dos Cabezas Cemetery • after living alone for 2 yrs. Kate sold the homestead for $535.30 • In 1931 she wrote Arizona Gov. George W.P. Hunt, requesting admission to the Arizona Pioneers Home at Prescott • although foreign born thus not eligible for admission, she claimed Davenport, Iowa as her birthplace & was accepted • she died 5 days shy of her 90th birthday • was buried under the name "Mary K. Cummings" in the Home’s Cemetery—“Big Nose Kate, Independent Woman of the Wild West” —Kyla Cathey

• the Mascot Mine closed in 1930

• the Mascot & WesternRailroad discontinued operations in 1931 — the tracks were taken up four years later

• 1940s Dos Cabezas photos

• in 1949, the U.S. Postal Dept. corrected its spelling of the town’s post office from Dos Cabezos to Dos Cabezas

• mid-20th c. Dos Cabezas family [photos]

• the Dos Cabezas’s post office was discontinued in 1960

• in 1964 the town’s population was down to 12

• McCauley’s Mascot Hospitality House was repurposed as part of the Dos Cabezas Spirit & Nature Retreat Bed & Breakfast [photo]

• today, Dos Cabezas is considered a ghost town, its cemetery the town’s main attraction

Posted by lumierefl on 2019-11-21 19:05:36

Tagged: , dos cabezas , cochise county , arizona , az , united states , usa , north america , west , southwest , sonora desert , ghost town , architecture , building , residential , house , home , shop , store , souvenir , tourist , tourism , 20th century

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