September 10, 2017

1911: Buffalo Bill Cody Comes to Prescott to Invest & Reminisce


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries William "Buffalo Bill" Cody was a superstar recognized by nearly everyone. So when the people of Prescott noticed him walking their streets, they were both surprised and excited.

However, Buffalo Bill did not come with his "Wild West Show." Instead he came with his mining engineer and they meant business.

"Prescott had the honor (November 30th) of entertaining...one of the most famous of western pioneers, in Col. WF Cody, familiarly known throughout the nation as Buffalo Bill," the newspaper reported.

"Although he has been many years on the frontier and is probably better known than any other pathfinder and Indian fighter, this was his first visit to Prescott."

Buffalo Bill thoroughly enjoyed the area and his visit. He was thrilled "in great measure (to find) many old timers...whom he knew in the days of long ago." Indeed he spent the lion's share of his visit to this city at the Pioneers' Home which opened only 10 months earlier.

"When he entered the Pioneers' Home and was greeted by Mr. Chapman, one of his scouts in field operations against the Sioux Indians on the plains of the north, there was an immediate revival of these strenuous days fraught with bitter experiences."

"He was very favorably impressed with the Home, which he stated was 'swarming' with pioneers he knew either personally or by reputation and he strongly commended the establishing of the institution."

The early history of the unique Arizona Pioneers Home in Prescott including why and how it was built. 

Buffalo Bill related that: "He is now identified with mining pursuits and devotes all of his time to that industry, being a principal owner in the Cody-Dyer Mining and Milling Company, which is successfully operating 48 miles from Tucson." 

In fact, Cody's firm had already purchased the Cash mine "stating that...development has been started with a small force of men. The transaction was closed under a contract some months ago with the owners who reside in Maine." 

"Previous to the closing of the deal several mining engineers had made a thorough inspection of the property, includ(ing) Capt. LW Goetchell, Col. Cody's general manager. It is reported that if results are favorable on the Cash after the drift work is complete, it is quite probable that other deals in that mine will be concluded." 

Now Cody wanted to inspect the old Senator Mine with his mine engineer. "From his brief examination of the country to the south, he anticipates a heavy producing field to follow deep development. He left for the south in the evening and was accorded a splendid farewell by scores of old and new friends. On the road to the Hassayampa he was met by many acquaintances."

After visiting the workings on the Senator Mine, Buffalo Bill "formed a favorable opinion of the possibilities of this property. He...directed that drifting be started from the Senator tunnel for a distance of 250 feet which will be the means of getting under the old workings of the Cash (mine) as well as serving to unwater (sic) the old levels."

The Indian War raid by Apache-Mojave Indians that gave Burnt Ranch in Prescott, AZ its name.


Although Buffalo Bill's visit was short, he can be placed on the long list of those who visited Prescott and loved it. Before leaving, he told the newspaper that his first visit to Prescott was "one of the happiest experiences in many years in his travels over the country."






SOURCES:
 Weekly Journal-Miner; 12/6/11 Pg. 3, Col. 5.
 Weekly Journal-Miner; 12/13/1911; Pg. 2, Col. 2.