Robert (5 Dec. 1882)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
Surnames: Schofield, Whitcomb
----Sources: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 5 Dec. 1882
BIG BUG, ARIZONA TER. - Nov. 22, 1882
Editors Times: Thinking perhaps you would expect to here from me as I promised to write, I will attempt to fulfill my promise.
We had a very pleasant journey through Kansas, New Mexico and Southern Arizona. According to our orders we left the Southern Pacific R. R. at Maricopa, which is a small town, but there is a large amount of Freight handled here from Phoenix Prescott and other points. Here we took stage for Phoenix, a flourishing town, perhaps the largest in Arizona. It location is on a desert, but the country around is made productive by irrigation. Wheat, barley, and most kinds of fruit and vegetables are raided here in abundance. The streets, too, are watered by running brooks. Here we took stage for Big Bug. Had an all night ride, and on our arrival we soon found Col. E. K. Whitcomb’s ranch. The Colonel was at home and made us more than welcome to his cabin, small and rough as it was. We found it tolerably well supplied with flour, bacon, tea and sugar, besides mining tools, g?an? powder, revolvers, &c.. The Colonel seemed quite at home and all went to show he was o stranger to a frontier life. The ranch we admired much. Its location is in the midst of a rich mining and stock raising country. Here we rested a few days viewing the country and adorning the cabin with some new furniture such as benches, &c.
Now we cross a range of mountains and arrived at Prescott, the capital of Arizona. It is a nice city where much business is transacted; a military post within one mile of it, gives it much life and animation. Form here we visited the famous Hassayampa creek; here are many rich mines and here will most likely be one of the many great mining camps of Arizona. Whitcomb has many mines both here and at Big Bug. From here he took us to Thumb Bute Mountain, to the famous Rock Island and other mines of his in that vicinity. Now we returned to Prescott, then back over high mountains to the ranch again, which begins to seem quite like home. The country is very rough and mountainous, with some creeks and valleys, but as a rule water is some what scarce in many places. It is very healthy, and I rather like it. The society is very good if a man behaves well. We have a saw mill within about three miles, a store and post office within two miles, and all the neighbors we really stand in need of, and not very many at that.
The weather here is like September with you. The days are lovely, while the nights, in this latitude, are always cool and comfortable; further south, on the desert lands, it is so warm they mostly sleep in the open air, and often build their houses with double roofs, the rays of the sun are so hot.
I see the finest grass fee beef; it costs nothing to raise cattle here, except just the looking after them, branding them, &c. they are never fed a lick of anything. Horses, sheep, goats, &c., all do equally well.
As far away as I am, I often meet some odd acquaintances, whom I am always glad to see.
We are not just down from one of the highest ranges of mountains in the Territory, Mount Union, where we have been doing assessment work on one of the Colonel’s mines. This is one of the famous gold mines of Arizona; and here, too, we had a nice time camping out. The nights were cool at this altitude, but our rousing camp fire, with plenty of good blankets over us, besides a good supply of balsam boughs for feathers, made us very comfortable. The moon and stars shone brightly over our heads. It reminded us of old driving days on Black River; yes, and while we lay here viewing nature in its beauty and grandeur, memory carried us back to our childhood, and we here live our lives over and over again.
I cannot tell when I will be back, but in the by and by.
I feel twenty-five years younger than when I came here.
Look out for my next.
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