March 3, 2015

Meet the Father of Prescott's Current Identity


On January 31st, 1940, the current identity of Prescott, Arizona was born. The drive to move Prescott from an old mining town and former capitol to a tourist-based city would begin.

At a meeting held at the local superior court, Paul B. Murphy, secretary of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, outlined a plan to city leaders that would eventually mold Prescott into the beloved town we know today.



As the Prescott Evening Courier reported the following day, Murphy described "Prescott as one of the 'choice spots in the west' and maintaining that this city could become an important 'magnet city' for tourism, Murphy suggested that Prescott should sponsor an advertising program that would 'tell the world about it.'

"The natural setting of a colorful, health-giving tourist center is already here and all that will be necessary to develop the town will be to increase activities during the summer and tell people about it," the Courier reported.

One man's account of the trials and tribulations of simply traveling to Prescott, Arizona in 1871.


Murphy suggested that these activities be centered around the Frontier Days rodeo as well as the now politically incorrect (and defunct) "Smoki (pronounced: smoke-eye) Snake Dance" (where white citizens would dress up like native americans and choreograph unhistoric dances and ceremonies.)

Perhaps equally important was Murphy's suggestion that the Prescott Chamber of Commerce become a permanent, dues-paying membership to promote the town and increase events to draw tourists year round.

The ideas were accepted favorably and with enthusiasm.  Indeed, that has been the plan ever since!  Now, nearly every summer weekend has an event downtown as well as the inclusion of holiday events and promoting Prescott as "Arizona's Christmas City."  All of these things had their birth that faithful day in 1940.

It could well be said that a Phoenix resident, Paul B. Murphy, is the father of modern Prescott.



Story of gun control in the 1930's in Prescott, Arizona. Children were misusing them!




Tourist Tips:

To find out what will be happening in Prescott during your visit CLICK HERE for Things to do in Prescott (Includes hotel, restaurant and much more information!)

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ALSO BY Drew Desmond: