The Navajo County Sheriff’s Hashknife Posse was organized in 1955 as a search and rescue group. Later they started their annual Pony Express Ride carrying official U.S. Mail. They have held the longest continous contract with the U.S. Postal Service to carry the mail to Scottsdale. They celebrated their 54th ride in 2012. Pictured here are the original charter members of the posse.
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Flat tires were a common occurrence on the rural roads in early Navajo County travel.
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The old Navajo County road yard in the Taylor area was located on Maverick Lane just off of Highway 77. This has since been used as an exterior remodeling business and landscape supply yard.
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Frank J. Wattron was deputy under Sheriff Commodore Perry Owens in 1895 in Navajo County. The following year the former school teacher and editor was elected as sheriff. As sheriff he continued the crackdown on cattle rustlers, rowdy brawls and gunfights. Frank was famous for his quest for law and order.
One of the prisoners in his jail was George Smiley, a convicted murderer. Smiley was scheduled to be the first person executed in Navajo County on December 8, 1899. When Wattron issued an invitation on gilt-bordered paper to the hanging, he caused quite a stir worldwide. The invitation, seen by a reporter, made the hanging appear to be a social event. George Smiley got a 30 day reprieve until appropriate invitations could be resent.
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In 1923 M. W. Cady and James McNary purchased the old Pollock's Lumber mill in Cooley and that was when the town was again renamed McNary.
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This was a segregated town. Each section had its own church, school and cafes. Prior to the federal segregation laws being mandated, the high school was desegregated by James McNary. Sadly the movie theaters remained segregated until the town's demise.
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Arizona's largest general mercantile was located in the center of Arizona's White Mountains vacation land.
In 1936 or 1937 the original store burned to the ground and was immediately rebuilt. It was expanded to accommodate the growing community. The new, expanded store is what you see pictured here.
The store was closed in the middle of the 1970s and the building was torn down and land leveled. Around that same time the McNary sawmill moved to Eager and the McNary offices were closed.
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The first theater in McNary was The Rivoli. It was located in what most of the residents would remember as the bowling alley, which was near the old hotel and is across the street from the present Post Office. It was located there from 1935-1941. The Rivoli was operated by Bill Hatch and later by Art Hattie Cozier. Prior to 1935, both silent and sound movies were shown one night a week for the people of the area in the same building. This was done for several years before The Rivoli was established.
In 1940 the McNary Theatre was built. It was the first Quonset type building in the area and seated 100 people. The knotty pine interior was chosen from McNary's best. Most of the residents remember the concessions stand featuring "the best popcorn" in the world.
The McNary Theater remained in McNary until 1967. The theater was then moved to Pinetop and stands today as an antique shop. Every year at Christmas, the manager, Art Crozier, offered a free matinee for the children of the area and Santa delivered a treat sack of candy and fruit for each child. Treats were provided by the company and the union.
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McNary is seven miles southwest of Pinetop on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. At one time it was the largest town in the White Mountains. The town's original name was Cluff Cienega and a post office with that name was established.
Tom Pollock, the rich Flagstaff entrepreneur, and his partner William Cady built the town sawmill in 1917. During World War I lumber was a very lucrative business. The Pinetop-Lakeside area was already known as "Sawmill Valley." It was also Pollock and Cady that built the Apache Railroad from Holbrook to McNary. In 1919 Pollock changed the town's name to Cooley.
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McNary was once a fully functioning town. Here you can see the McNary Fire Department building. In 1979 a fire burned down the lumbar mill in McNary. The Apache Tribe refused to extend the lease to Southwest Forest Industries, causing the lumber operation to shut down forever. The workers moved away in search of jobs.
Today McNary is just a shadow of its former self. It has a small grocery store, a post office, a couple of churches, an elementary school, and the Head Start Center.
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This home of Dr. Arnold H. Dysterheft and his family was originally in McNary. It is still standing today, but was moved to the Snowflake/Concho area after the lumber mill shut down in 1979.
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David Russell was born in Arkansas in 1919. He came to McNary in 1936 at the age of 17. He arrived with his sister and brother- in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Harry Wilfong.
In 1948, David was encouraged by Southwest Forest Industries to become an Apache County Deputy Sheriff and go to the Police Academy. David became the first and last black Deputy Sheriff in Apache County. The company paid half of his deputy wages and St. Johns paid the other half. He worked for the county and company for almost 30 years.
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The Southwest Lumber Mills went through several name changes. It was originally Cady Lumber Company. In 1935 the company was renamed Southwest Lumber Mills. In 1960 the company changed names to Southwest Forest Industries. The company had several mill sites, including ones in Flagstaff and McNary.
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Pictured here are John Elam, Jack Fish, Charles Lindstrom, and Jim Hansen.
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James McNary stopped by on his way to work to admire a neighbor’s successful elk hunt. Hunting and fishing were not just pastimes, they were essential to feeding the family.
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A Snow bank near McNary in the late 1950’s. Most old timers seem to agree that the winters were colder and had more snow in the "olden days.”
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Holbrook’s neighbor, the Petrified Forest National Park, has drawn millions of vistors from around the globe.
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A photograph of Jasper Forest taken by Adam Clark Vroman in 1895 with some splendid samples of fossils of fallen trees.
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Tourists visiting Petrified Forest, prior to when it was named a National Monument. This was taken circa 1900; the land was declared a National Monument in 1906.
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Visitors stand atop the Agate Bridge at Petrified Forest National Park. This natural formation was created over centuries of water wearing away the sediment below this petrified log.
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Louise Scott poses with a petrified log. Photo taken by Dudley Scott in 1929.
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A young child admires the Painted Desert scenery.
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A gentleman poses on a petrified log early in the park's history.
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Fred, an employee of the Lore family, standing on the porch of the Stone Treehouse (original Painted Desert Inn building) in mid 1920's.
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Albert Einstein and his second wife, Elsa, visiting Rainbow Forest in 1931.
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A Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worker with a portion of a Neocalamite cast in the late 1930s.
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Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers converting the old Painted Desert Inn into its modern adobe look. March 10, 1938.
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The view from the rear door of the museum. Taken in 1932.
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Dedication of the Rio Puerco Bridge entrance, July 3, 1932. The Holbrook Chamber of Commerce served a barbecue lunch.
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Important visitors for the dedication of Mather Plaque, July 4, 1932.
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Tourists study the Blue Mesa badlands. Photographed by Josef Muench.
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This is the Painted Desert Inn in the 1930s. It is now a National Historic Building and has been restored by the National Park Service.
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Visitors climbing on Old Faithful. Photograph by Josef Muench sometime prior to 1946.
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A car traveling on Park Road, north of the railroad, heading toward Painted Desert.
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A busy summer day in 1960.
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A beautiful black on white pot, as found by District Ranger Clark MacLamore. July 1961.
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Finished in the early 1960s, this apartment's balcony was part of the Painted Desert Community Complex designed by Mid-century architect Richard Neutra. Today the complex houses the visitor center at the north end of Petrified Forest National Park. The complex is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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The winners of the Fire Prevention Week Poster Contest display their designs. Taken on October 16, 1967.
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A tourist studying a map inside the Painted Desert Visitor Center in the 1960's.
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.
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Staff perform fire extinguisher training in 1965.
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