Monday, June 5, 2017

Saints and Scoundrels of old Arizona



Bear Howard 
1817 – 1910

It is hard to find anyone Who came to the Arizona Territory who is more colorful or more of a character the Bear Howard.  

His arrival in Arizona was not so much of his own desire or planned far in advance.  It stood to reason if you were running from the law, the Arizona Territory was always a good option.  After killing a Mexican sheepherder over a grazing dispute, Bear found himself in jail.  His daughter, Martha, got him out of jail by baking a file into a birthday cake.  (That really happened!!!)  Bear, along with his entire family, headed to Arizona. He built a cabin in the 1880s using sandstone rock in Oak Creek Canyon, where the West Fork hiking trail is today.

West Fork hiking trail at Oak Creek Canyon
He got his name from the large number of bears he had killed.  This was one of his primary means of livelihood.  Whether feeding hungry miners in California or hungry lumber men in Arizona, Bear Howard found that bear meat was tasty and one bear would go a long way. 

He was a big man.  At 6’6”, he towered over most men.  He was strong and powerfully built.  Story is he had a hot temper and a personality that was larger than life.



Bear had been a widower for many years when he tried marriage again.  He married Elizabeth Ragsdale James.  The marriage lasted only three months.  She was tired of the smelly hound dogs lying around the house.  Bear chose the dogs.

Bear was in remarkably good health and lived to be 93.  He spent the last years of his life living with his daughter Martha and her husband in Yeager County near Prescott.

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Thanks for stopping by to read about Bear Howard - I live in Arizona and I love writing about its history.  

Here's a bit of exciting news.  Some of the authors connected with Sweet Americana Sweethearts have a new series coming out June 20......Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs.  I'm so excited to reveal my cover for the first time! The books will be up for pre-order for 99 cents and then go for $1.99 when they go live!  Here is my cover for The Sheriff and the Miner's Daughter.  What do you think?  Get yours for 99 cents while you can!  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071WJC4QK







3 comments:

  1. Great info about Bear. His second wife isn't the only woman I know who left her husband because of his dogs. It's too bad they couldn't figure this out before they married.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great info about Bear. His second wife isn't the only woman I know who left her husband because of his dogs. It's too bad they couldn't figure this out before they married.

    ReplyDelete