Monday, September 14, 2020

The Funeral 'Bus' - Mysteries in the Cemetery

Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona) · 19 Jul 1898

We are not sure who this could be, but he certainly is very thorough to think of his own "funeral bus".  Can you solve our mystery?   


Friday, September 11, 2020

Old Jails - 1800s

1881 Reconstructed Globe Sheriff's Office
Pioneer Living History Museum

What were jails like in the old west?  During the times of territorial Phoenix, jails were built around the state in order to maintain law and order, and house those who had violated the law.  Some of them were built of brick or adobe, and contained an office for the sheriff and a jail cell.  Some were just a jail cell, consisting of a barred door, and no windows.  In the most crudest form, prisoners were tied to a tree or put in a pit.  Check out the Sheriff's Office featured at Pioneer Living History Museum for a walk back in time.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Noah Broadway - Arizona Lawman

PCA Archives - Noah Broadway

Noah Broadway is believed to have been the son of William M.  Broadway and Mary “Polly” Key.  On the federal census of 1850, Broadway was living with his brother John in Kemper County, Mississippi, and his age was given as 19, making him born around 1831.   

No photo of Broadway has ever been found, nor evidence of him marrying or serving during the Civil War.  He seems to have been a somewhat solitary man. 

Broadway is known to have been farming in the Salt River Valley by 1868.  He and seven other men formed the Prescott Ditch company on 26 Sep 1870, and dug the Prescott (later Broadway) Ditch to irrigate his crops. 

The Maricopa Crossing was on Broadway’s ranch.  It was a nice crossing with a firm gravel bottom, and the stages usually crossed the Salt River there.  The road which ran through Broadway’s ranch is known today as Broadway Road. 

Broadway never sought public office but was nominated for sheriff by Dr. W. W. Jones and elected on the 14th ballot in late 1884.  Although he was considered to be of good and honest character, some didn’t support him as he had publicly expressed a desire to ‘string up’ men who were selling whiskey to Indians.   

Broadway was the first sheriff to have his office in the new, two-story brick courthouse between First and Second Avenues facing Washington, the previous office being in an adobe structure.  The county jail was not very secure and security was lax; eight prisoners almost escaped one day when someone failed to lock up. 

As sheriff, Broadway regularly conveyed prisoners to Yuma.   Another of Broadway’s duties was conveying insane people to the hospital in Stockton, California.  On 9 March 1885, the county approved the issuance of bonds to build an insane asylum in Phoenix.   

Broadway’s term as sheriff was plagued by a rash of armed robberies.   Men dressed as Indians held up stagecoaches carrying Wells Fargo boxes north of Phoenix.  Detective work led to the arrest of one John Pennington and two cohorts.  The massacre of the Martin family in 1886, supposedly by the Valenzuela gang led by S. P. Stanton, also occurred during Broadway’s  watch.  

By 1902 Broadway’s health was declining and his ranch was much neglected.  When he died, his lawyer sold the ranch and liquidated his assets, which amounted $12737.  Since Broadway had no other heirs, this sum was divided among his surviving sisters. - adapted story from Donna Carr

Friday, September 4, 2020

Old West Jail Food - 1800s

Old West jail food was far from a delicacy.  In some cases it wasn't even nutritious.  Food was often rationed, and consisted of beans, hardtack, and coffee.  Depending on the jail, dried fruit or vegetables may have been served.  If you are willing to try a jail food recipe, here is a basic recipe for hardtack.  Try it with some beans and coffee and see what you think.....


2 cups stone ground flour
1 cup water

Combine the flour and water. Knead until smooth. Sprinkle some flour on a smooth surface and roll the dough flat until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut biscuits out with a can or free form them, making them about 3-4 inches in diameter. Poke holes into each biscuit with a fork. Place on a floured cookie sheet or in cast iron skillet.  Bake at 400 F for 35-45 minutes.  They will be hard and dry when done.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Joseph Barnum - First Elected Sheriff of Maricopa Co.

PCA Archive

Joseph Thomas Barnum was born in 1832 in New York state, the son of Truman Barnum and Harriet Rich.  Although he is said to have been a cousin of P.T. Barnum, the famous showman (Phineas was the son of Philo, while Joseph Thomas was the son of Truman), so far no proof has been found that Philo and Truman were brothers.  By 1835, the Barnums were in Chicago, where Joseph Thomas's brother William E. was born.

No records of any Civil War service have been found.   

The Barnums came to Arizona in 1864 and settled first in Prescott, where Joseph Thomas met and married Jeanette Jane “Jenettie” Osborn, daughter of John P. Osborn and Perlina Swetnam, on May 10, 1865.  He was 33, almost 17 years older than his teenage bride.

When Barnum, who usually went by his middle name of Thomas, moved his family to the Salt River Valley in 1868, his wife was one of only four Anglo women in the rough settlement.  Barnum was quick to see the Valley's potential and went into partnership with J. W. Swilling in digging irrigation ditches.    

Barnum was a personal friend of John T. Alsap; in fact, the two families were sharing a household in 1870.  Barnum was one of the signers of the original Salt River Valley Town Association pact on October 20, 1870 and is believed to have helped William Augustus Hancock lay out the original Phoenix town site, moving it from its location about four miles east of what is now downtown Phoenix. 

When Maricopa County was created in 1871 from Yavapai County, it became necessary to elect county officials for the first time.  After one candidate for sheriff, a man named Chenoweth, shot and killed another candidate, J. Favorite, in a gunfight, Barnum became the front runner for the office.  He was elected and served from May until August, 1871. 

Besides enforcing the law, Barnum's duties included developing a tax roll and collecting taxes for the new county.  He also had to take convicted felons to the state prison in Yuma and transport the insane to the nearest mental hospital which was in California.  Being out of town so often made it difficult for Barnum to attend to the running of his ranch, so he resigned as sheriff in August of 1871.  The federal census of 1880 lists his occupation as ‘saloonkeeper’. - by Donna Carr

Monday, August 31, 2020

Lawman of Territorial Phoenix


Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA 

This week, we will be honoring our past Phoenix lawmen that are buried at the PMMP.  The old west during this time period was a rough place, and lawmen were often searching for outlaws and trying to maintain order.  In some cases, they wore many hats, such as tax collectors, and executioner.  Follow us as we honor the Phoenix lawmen buried at the PMMP in Phoenix.  

Friday, August 28, 2020

Civil War Recruitment


Library of Congress

Both the Union and Confederate armies used creative ways in which to entice volunteers to join their ranks.  Some recruits were offered bounties, and shortened time.  Others were offered free school and land.  They often used funny or enticing slogans in poster form.  Take a look at some of the creative posters from many branches of service involved in the Civil War....

Civil War Recruitment Posters

Monday, August 24, 2020

Benedict Mosier - Soldier and Farmer

PCA Archives

Benedict F. Mosier was born 8 Dec 1833 in Alsace Loraine, France, possibly in is father’s hometown of Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin.  He was the second son of Christian Mosier and Ann Wenger.  

Shortly after Benedict’s birth, the Mosiers sailed from France, arriving in New York City on June 7th, 1834.  From there, they traveled to Holmes County, Ohio, where several more children were born.  According to family lore, they may have been Mennonites; Strasbourg was a center for Protestant sects not particularly welcome in Roman Catholic France. 

The Mosiers were in Iowa by 1858, when Benedict wed Mary Ann List. Soon thereafter, the young couple moved to Tyler Township, Hickory County, Missouri.  There, they had ten children born between 1860 and 1875, six of whom survived to adulthood. The Mosiers were farmers and, apparently, successful ones. 

In the summer of 1861, Mosier enlisted in Company C, 8th Missouri State Militia Cavalry,vii serving in Captain William C. Human’s company.  The mission of the regiment was to prevent Confederate forces from establishing a foothold in southwestern Missouri.  The soldiers went on numerous scouting patrols and engaged in a few skirmishes.  Since Mosier’s duties kept him fairly close to home, he was able to make periodic visits to his family. 

As the Mosier sons grew up, they began to migrate west.  Benedict and Mary Ann accompanied them to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1884.  Their son Sydney died on 30 May 1886 and was buried in City Loosley Cemetery.

Late in life, Mary Ann developed heart problems.  While driving home on December 14, 1897, she apparently suffered a stroke.  A neighbor moving cattle noticed that the horse and buggy had stopped in the road and came to her aid, but attempts to revive Mary Ann failed.  She too was buried in City Loosley Cemetery. 

Benedict Mosier joined the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and, in 1904, applied for a pension based on his Civil War service.  After his wife’s death, he went to live with one of his children in Mendocino, California.  Plagued with eczema in his final years, he ultimately sold his property in Mendocino and returned to Phoenix, where he died on 4 October 1908.  He was buried in the family plot in City Loosley.  - by Donna Carr


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

John Porter - Lieutenant

John Singleton Porter was born 23 January 1873 in Blount County, Tennessee to Robert and Maggie Porter.  He had at least two brothers, Samuel and Robert S. Porter, and a sister Jennie. 

On 25 September 1888, he was appointed to the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, at the age of 15, the minimum age allowed.  He graduated in 1892, after which he embarked on the last requirement, a two-year cruise.  He served aboard the USS Baltimore and the USS San Francisco.  He returned to Annapolis in April of 1894 to take his final exams.  Following a two-month leave, he was commissioned an ensign on 1 July 1894 and was appointed assistant engineer. 

He was assigned to take additional instruction in marine engineering in Paris, France, on 3 October 1894.  While there, he contracted a respiratory ailment, probably tuberculosis.  Upon his return to the United States in June 1896, he took sick leave and travelled first to Denver in the hope that a warmer climate would aid his recovery.  

 Porter went back east for the funerals of his parents in 1896-1897, which only aggravated his condition. He was in the last stages of consumption when he came to Phoenix in December 1897.  After seeking care from army surgeon Dr. Alex S. Porter, his health improved marginally, but he suffered a relapse and died suddenly on 11 February 1898 at Sisters Hospital. - Donna Carr

Friday, August 7, 2020

The Contents of Lincoln's Pockets after his Assassination

Contents of Lincoln's Pockets

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

The Library of Congress has a wonderful resource page of pictures and articles from the Civil War.  

Click the link below to see.

One of them includes an article of the contents of Lincoln's pockets when he was assassinated.  The contents are both typical and mysterious.......

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

James Braswell - Civil War Soldier

Confederate Prisoners
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Washington, D.C., USA   //

James Belton Braswell is believed to have been born 7 September 1835 in South Carolina. He received training as a brickmason and later worked as a building contractor.

During the Civil War, James enlisted initially as a private in Company B, 26th Alabama Infantry (O’Neal’s Regiment), but in August 1862, he and his brother W. D. deserted. They were captured by the Union Army at Camp Davies, Mississippi, on 28 December 1863. Five months later, on 31 May 1864, they took a loyalty oath and enlisted in the U. S. Army. Braswell’s own account was much more colorful.

After a year or two of soldiering, he and a comrade named R. A. Crowley were fighting in Georgia when they deserted for the first time. They were soon captured by their Confederate fellows. The South, being by then desperate for soldiers, did not execute the pair, but confined them to the guardhouse. Braswell and Crowley escaped a second time by knocking a guard down. Recaptured and confined yet again, they made a third attempt to escape, but were foiled. Despairing of keeping the slippery pair in uniform, the commanding officer ordered them to be shot the next morning at sunrise.

As the condemned men sat in the guardhouse that night, Braswell persuaded Crowley to make one last break for it, saying “Let us try one more run. The chances are that we won’t make it wand will most likely get killed, but what of that? We’ll only shorten our years by five hours.”

The pair surprised and killed a guard, fleeing into the night. Before morning they reached a dense swamp and made their way to Sherman’s lines, where they surrendered.

James Braswell married his first wife, Mary Jane DuBose in Indiana in 1863. After the war, Braswell’s skills as a brickmason were undoubtedly in demand as new settlements sprang up out West. By 1870, the Braswells were living in Elk City, Kansas, and were the parents of three children, Sophronia Belle, George Belton, and James Elliot.

Around 1884, the Braswells moved to Arizona, accompanied by James’s old friend Crowley. Their last five children: Claude, John Wesley, Maude Pauline, Audrey and Joseph Franklin, were born in Phoenix. Although Braswell claimed to have been the father of 24 children, only 14 have been documented.

Although Braswell had been an industrious and skillful workman for most of his life, he took up drinking during his last years. When he expired on 13 January 1898, bottles of laudanum and paregoric were found in his pockets. Thinking that he might have committed suicide, Justice Johnstone ordered an inquest. The cause of death was cleared up when Mrs. Braswell testified that he habitually carried them to relieve a persistent ear ache.

James Braswell is buried in Porter Cemetery.  Come visit us, and learn more about this soldier at the PMMP! - adapted by a story from Sue Wilcox

Friday, July 24, 2020

James Broomell - Soldier for a Cause

James Broomell - Porter Cemetery - PCA Files
James Henry Broomell was born August 2, 1837. The location of his birth was probably Upper Oxford Township in Chester County, PA. 

On the 1840 Census, James Broomell was listed as 12 years old along with his grandmother Lydia Broomell, father John Broomell, and mother Sarah Broomell, along with the following siblings: George, Latitia, Elizabeth, Seneca, and Samuel. 

At some point in 1860, he became a school teacher, and then later became soldier.  The 124th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was organized to meet the threat of the Confederate invasion of Maryland in August 1862. The length of service for the volunteers was to be 9 months. James Henry Broomell enlisted on August 6, 1862, at Oxford, PA. He was assigned the rank of Corporal in Company C and was mustered in on August 11, 1862. 

Corp. Broomell’s Regiment was ordered to Washington D.C. on August 12 and they went into camp at Fort Albany, two miles south-east of the Capital. The 124th was next ordered to Rockville, MD, on September 7. It was ordered to march to meet the enemy the afternoon of the 9th. Then, on September 17, it was in the thick of the fight in the infamous Miller’s corn field during the Battle of Antietam. This battle was the “bloodiest” day of fighting in the entire Civil War; in fact the “bloodiest” day in United States history. The 124th lost 50 men in killed and wounded that day. Total casualties were some 23,000 soldiers.

By December 10, the 124th Pennsylvania was camped in the neighborhood of Harper’s Ferry. It was ordered forward by a forced march in bad weather to participate in the looming battle at Fredericksburg, VA. By the time it arrived, the fighting was over.  

The next major assignment of Corp. Broomell’s Regiment was the Chancellorsville campaign. It formed a line of battle on the afternoon of April 30, 1863. The fight with the Confederate army began the next morning. The Union troops were gradually forced into a strictly defensive situation and all hostile action ceased by May 6. The 9-month term of service for this Regiment ended on May 9 and it was returned to Harrisburg, PA, where Broomell was mustered out on May 17.

One month later, the governor of Pennsylvania was informed that Confederate General Robert E. Lee was again intent on invading the North. Governor Curtin issued a proclamation on June
12 asking for men to volunteer into “emergency” militia regiments. President Lincoln also called for 100,000 men from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and West Virginia to serve for 6 months or as long as necessary during the emergency. Broomell again answered the call to serve and enrolled June 15, 1863, at Oxford, PA. He was mustered in on June 19 at Harrisburg as a Private in Company A of the 29th Pennsylvania Militia Infantry and immediately promoted to Sergeant. 

This regiment was organized by June 23 and immediately put to work building fortifications around Harrisburg. It experienced some combat when a mounted Confederate force raided some nearby Pennsylvania towns and threatened Harrisburg. Private Broomell’s regiment did not engage in fighting in the Gettysburg area. The main purpose of these “emergency” militia regiments was to guard railroads, bridges and fords over major rivers and to protect Federal property in Pennsylvania. Private Broomell was mustered out of service on August 1, 1863, at Harrisburg, PA. His soldiering days were over.

For more information on the life of James Broomell, and to see him in Porter Cemetery, come to the Pioneer Military and Memorial Park when it opens! - adapted from a story by Jan Huber