Monday, May 1, 2017

Did You Know.....Part 2 of Weird Facts in Arizona History

Hi everybody and welcome to Part 2 of Weird Happenings in Arizona History.

The Biggest Leg in Mexico
At six feet two and 200 pounds, red-headed camp follower Sarah Bowman was nicknamed the “Great Western,” after the largest steamship afloat in the 1830s. During the Mexican War, when told U.S. Army regulations required that a woman couldn’t travel with the troops unless she was married to one, she rode a donkey down the line shouting, “Who wants a wife with $15,000 and the biggest leg in Mexico?” Four husbands later, she died in Yuma of a spider bite in 1866; in 1890, her very large bones were removed to the Presidio of San Francisco in California.

Show Low vs. a Straight Flush
In 1875, two ranchers, Corydon Cooley and Marion Clark, decided the valley they lived in wasn’t big enough for the both of them. To see who would stay and who would leave, they played Seven Up, a popular game with the cowboys in which the lowest card won. After the last hand was dealt, Clark said, “If you can show low, you win.” Cooley turned over the deuce of clubs and replied, “Show low it is.” Most residents of Show Low are glad he didn’t call for a straight flush.

Curly’s Bill
Legendary outlaw Curly Bill Brocius had a perverse sense of humor. Around 1880, he broke into a dance on the San Pedro and at gunpoint forced everyone to strip naked and dance for his amusement. In Galeyville, he once went into a restaurant, ordered a meal, then placed a six-shooter on each side of his plate and ordered everyone to wait until he was through before they could leave. When he finished, Brocius laid his head down upon his arms and fell asleep. Everyone was afraid to move. Some time later, Bill awoke, paid for everyone’s meal and left.

Pushing Buttons
After his final surrender in 1886, the Apache leader Geronimo became quite in demand at expositions, parades and fairs. He quickly caught on to the marketing potential and was soon charging for autographs, signed photos, even selling his head gear and the buttons off his clothing as souvenirs. The budding capitalist was so successful, by the time he died, in 1909, he had amassed $10,000 in his bank account. Imagine what Geronimo could have done on Wall Street today.

Mountain Do
In 1890, Walt Rigney ran a saloon on the Mogollon Rim. His hair stuck out like a pine bough, so the soldiers who frequented the saloon called him Ol’ Pinetop. When the Apache Wars came to a close, people began building cabins around Ol’ Pinetop’s saloon and eventually a town was born. The citizens named the town Pinetop, not because it was located amidst the largest stand of Ponderosa Pine in the world, but for a tall, bushy-headed bartender.

Pretty W E I R D!   
 I hope you enjoyed these strange facts in Arizona. 

My story, Chase's Story, Book 10 of Grandma's Wedding Quilts, takes place in Arizona but there are twelve stories in the Grandma's Wedding Quilts Series and we have a big SECRET!  It has to do with Mother's Day and it has to do with a HUGE Sale.  

Stop by Sweet Americana  Book Club at and join us.  More info will be coming!  May 10 - May 16!  Get ready!  It's going to be BIG!


  1. What a great post! My husband loved it too, especially the parts about the origin of town names. He has done highway work all over Arizona, and says there are very few places in Arizona he hasn't been. He got a kick out of learning how Show Low and Pinetop got their names.

    1. Thanks Robyn. I thought it was pretty interesting!!

  2. Penny, this was such an enjoyable read. Thank you for finding these stories and sharing them. Loved it! Doris