The Young, Arizona Territory Founding

This area is very close to the Fort Apache reservation and was therefore a nice target when Apaches decided to raid off the reservation. In 1881 following the battle of Cibeque, Nan-tio-tish and a dozen or so raided into the Pleasant Valley area stealling horses and shooting those that were available... Messrs George L. Turner, Jr.(27) and Henry F. Moody(23) had just arrived at the Middleton Ranch to warn them of the Apaches raiding out when Nan-tio-tish and his band appeared. Turner and Moody were killed and one family member was wounded. Almost a year later Nan-tio-tish attacked the Middleton Ranch on his second raid but was fought off by the Middletons and the Globe Irregular Rangers... the Apaches did make off with all the horses, however, and they all had to walk back to Globe... 65 miles of so!

In 1887 six riders rode up to that same Middleton Ranch and Two were killed outright, two were wounded and two got away without a scratch! The Graham/Tewksbury feud continued until 1892 and counted at least 21 documented dead, making it the largest confirmed death toll from any U.S. feud. That includes the Hatfields and McCoys in Kentucky and West Virginia and the Johnson County war in Wyoming.


This area has a very bloody history...


Naegelin Rim or as Don Dedera said:

Dutch bachelors Louis and William Naegelin put their name on a rim-like mountain which would never be famous - yet taller than the highest elevations of thirty-six of America’s eventual fifty states. Lost in Tonto Country, Naegelin Rim, at 7,117 feet above sea level, would qualify as a national park if it had occurred in New York.

Both William and his older brother Louis Ludwig Naegelin were born in Missouri, but their parents were born in Germany. Louis was a bachelor but William married and had five children.

From Brevet Colonel Andrew Wallace Evans report of August 8, 1882.

"On the 15th, from a high hill overlooking the country up which the trail led, our Scouts described troops or a column in the Northwest moving northeast; conjectured to be Colonel Mason. From their position, and the direction of their march, they must necessarily get on the trail ahead of us, if, as proved to be the case, its work to the West for Northwest. Approaching our campground that evening on Tonto Creek, or its northeast branch, a trail of the hostiles (men on foot) was observed to leave the main trail and go down the creek toward Sixby's Ranch, five miles below. As it was at least three days previous, and whatever was done there was done, I did not think it necessary to send to ascertain."

Somewhere on the far ridge was Major Evans and the Fort Apache Battallion when Captain Chaffee and his "I" Troop from Fort McDowell, passed this area headed to the Sixby Ranch, and could be seen by Evans Battallion. The years of 1881 and 1882 saw Apache raids by Nan-tio-tish and an ever larger group of followers. Good things for them came to an end at the Battle of Big Dry Wash on July 17, 1882 near what today is known as the Blue Ridge Reservoir.

About "Arizona's Dark and Bloody Ground" by Earle R. Forrest.

Preface to the second edition said the first edition was published in 1936. Second may hve been in 1950, or at least was re-copyrighted then and again in 1984 by the University of Arizona Press.

Paraphrasing Earle Forrester page 369: Ola moved with her family from Missouri to Texas to Arizona, finally settling at the Graham ranch in the spring of 1889. When a post office (the only one in Pleasant valey) was established at the ranch in 1890 and named Young, Miss Ola was appointed postmistress, a position she held until she retired in 1939, after serving in that capacity longer that any other person in the United States; she was so beloved that the people of Pleasant Valley gave her a great "thank You" celebration, and presented her with a medal.

Continuing Earle Forrester page 370: When the mother died Miss Ola homesteaded the old Graham Ranch. Miss Ola Young is a real "cowman" of sixty years standing, and what she does not know about the business, well - "just isn't worth knowin'." The ranch contains one thousand acres of patented land and a large range on the National Forest; and since she retired as postmistress she and Miss Betty have devoted their entire time to their cattle - "cattle queens" of old Pleasant Valley of sanguinary memory.

Gates of Cemetery
Responsive image
Billy's grave
Responsive image

Young Cemetery Gates

The first body laid to rest here was William Graham, Younger half brother to John and Tom.

Don Dedera said... "Ohio-born, just past his majority, half-brother to Tom and John, Billy at age twelve had run away with them in 1878 to Alaska, Oregon and California. The favored baby in his brothers' eyes but no longer a child, Billy, with nine formative years on the frontier, qualified as a capable stock handler and man at arms. Nonetheless, he was no match for the talented and calculating executioner awaiting him."

It get tricky as to who actually shot Billy, was it Edwin Tewksbury or was it James D. Houck? Some say Tewksbury did it... some say Houck claimed it so it didn't look so bad for Edwin...

Houck went into a lot of detail about how it happened and how it was a fair fight and so on to the point I think he really did it, from cover in an ambush with a big rifle, likely a Winchester model 1886 in .45-90 caliber, that caused Billy's guts to fall out during the very painful ride back home...

Tie Your Mule Here
Responsive image

The Post says "Tie your Mule Here"

They liked the looks of this old hitching post and used it as a headstone. I guess any old marker will do if you have a good imagination.

The Young Cemetery is near like a history lesson, though lopsided to the Graham side of the Graham/Tewksbury feud since no Tewksbury's are buried there.

William Orvil Gruwell?
Responsive image

Some of the "old Timers" get a very modest headstone.

William Orvil Gruwell
William Orvil Gruwell, 70, of Young, Gila County, Arizona, died 1906. Born in March 1836, in Illinois. William Orvil is survived by four children, George L. of California, Frank E. of California, Kellie M. of Arizona, and Mattie M. of Arizona.

The Young Women
Responsive image

Ola, Betty, Kate and Myrna their Mom.

The four ladies of the Young family.

All three girls were cattlemen so to speak! The each had their own herds andand made good living raising cattle. Ola was appointed the postmistress in 1890 and they named the town after her! She was postmistress longer than anyone in the history of the post office... and still had time to raise cattle.

At Bull Sale
Responsive image

Ola, Betty, and Kate.

The ladies of the Young family.

Every Ranching area has a Bull Sale on occasion! Arizona Territory is no different, and here are those same sisters in the 1950s. The Bull Sale was much more like the fair, or a party or a picnic where some cattle were sold... it was a big event in ranch life!

Elizabeth
Responsive image

Elizabeth Young

Elizabeth 'Betty' Young, 85, of Young, Gila County, Arizona, died 1956. Born in July 1871, in Missouri, she was the daughter of the late Myrna Jane Gowen (Blankenship) formerly of Young, Gila County, Arizona Territory and the late Silas W. Young formerly of Globe, Gila County, Arizona. Elizabeth 'Betty' is survived by two sisters, Anna Viola 'Ola' of Missouri, and Katherine of Texas. Elizabeth 'Betty' was preceded in death by two siblings, William Jordan Sr. of Globe, Gila County, Arizona, and Elaine Viola of Young, Gila County, Arizona Territory.

Anna Viola
Responsive image

Anna Viola "Ola" Young

Anna Viola 'Ola' Young, 97, of Young, Gila County, Arizona, died 1966. Born in July 1869, in Missouri, she was the daughter of the late Myrna Jane Gowen (Blankenship) formerly of Young, Gila County, Arizona Territory and the late Silas W. Young formerly of Globe, Gila County, Arizona. Anna Viola 'Ola' is survived by one sister, Katherine of Texas. Anna Viola 'Ola' was preceded in death by three siblings, William Jordan Sr. of Globe, Gila County, Arizona, Elizabeth 'Betty' of Young, Gila County, Arizona, and Elaine Viola of Young, Gila County, Arizona Territory.

Bill
Responsive image

William Jordon Young, Sr.

William Jordan Young Sr., 72, of Globe, Gila County, Arizona, died 1939. Born in July 1867, in Missouri, he was the son of the late Myrna Jane Gowen (Blankenship) formerly of Young, Gila County, Arizona Territory and the late Silas W. Young formerly of Globe, Gila County, Arizona. In 1912 he was preceded in death by his wife of 15 years, Virginia A. (Hazelwood) Young, daughter of John Hazelwood and Sara Jane Hazelwood. William Jordan is survived by six children, William J. Jr. of Arizona Territory, Viola E., Charlie of Arizona Territory, Frank, Sara, and Lucille; three sisters, Anna Viola 'Ola' of Missouri, Elizabeth 'Betty' of Missouri, and Katherine of Texas; one granddaughter, Lucille of Young, Gila County, Arizona. William Jordan was preceded in death by one sister, Elaine Viola of Young, Gila County, Arizona Territory.

Ola and Betty
Responsive image

Ola and Betty are buried in the Young Cemetery

They were not buried here when they died, they were buried in Phoenix and had to be moved and someone decided they should be in Young... I understand that was not their original wish... so maybe they are turning over in their new graves... who knows.

Turn left just inside the gate and you will find Anna Viola and Elizabeth Young.

Their Mother Myrna and baby sister Elaine are buried in a plot near the old Graham Ranch a few hundred yards from the Young Cemetery.

Elaine & Myra
Responsive image
Graham Ranch Cemetery
Silas William Young
Responsive image

Silas W. Young

Father of the Young clan, Silas W. Young, was buried in the Globe Cemetery as was his son William Jordan Young.

Silas W. Young, 91, of Globe, Gila County, Arizona, died 1931. Born in May 1840, in Indiana. In 1905 he was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Myrna Jane Gowen (Blankenship) Young. Silas W. is survived by four children, William Jordan Sr. of Missouri, Anna Viola 'Ola' of Missouri, Elizabeth 'Betty' of Missouri, and Katherine of Texas; six grandchildren, William J. Jr. of Arizona Territory, Viola E., Charlie of Arizona Territory, Frank, Sara, and Lucille; one G granddaughter, Lucille of Young, Gila County, Arizona. Silas W. was preceded in death by one daughter, Elaine Viola of Young, Gila County, Arizona Territory.

Sixby Ranch
Responsive image

On a hillside near the old Sixby ranch is a cemetery

In 1882 two souls were laid to rest here by the US Cavalry

Charles Wesley Sixby

Charles Wesley Sixby, 45, of Tonto Creek, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, died Wednesday, July 12, 1882. Born circa 1837, in Canada, he was the son of Colonel Garrett Sixby and Lettie M. Brill. Charles Wesley is survived by five siblings, Major Horatio N., Garrett Oliver of Lyme, New Hampshire, Virtue Irene, Harriett Elizabeth, and Charlotte E. Newcomb and her husband Francis Newcomb. Charles Wesley was preceded in death by one brother, Edward Galer of California; two grandparents, Gerrit of New York, and Mary Miller of Canada.

Louis O. Houdon

Louis O. Houdon, 43, of East Fork Of The Tonto Creek, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, died Wednesday, July 12, 1882. Born in 1839, in Canada.

Jacob Russell Haigler, 69, of Near Haigler Creek, Gila County, Arizona Territory, died Friday, September 29, 1905.

Now three bodies lie on a hillside near the old ranch.