White Mountain Historical Society
On site buildings
Arizona Weekly Star (11/15/1887)
Within the last two or three months, several men of money and means, principally
stockmen, have passed through this section with a view of settling down on a good range, but,
notwithstanding they have been perfectly well pleased with this country, around the neighborhood of
Springerville, and even were anxious to settle, they could not do so on account of those desperadoes. How
long this state of things is to be permitted "rests" with the Governor and the civil authorities in Prescott.
Round Valley was a sea of gramma grass on which stolen horses and cattle could fatten
after their brands had been “doctored”. The White Mountains contained countless hiding places. A. F.
Banta, an early day legislator, once said “I am no angel and have seen most of the tough town’s of the
West, but Springerville is the worst of them all.” After seeing “Apache Free Silver” Banta became a
searcher of treasure. His political activities and other things he did were to finance his never-ending
quest. One of Banta’s best friends even married an Apache maiden in the hopes of locating this “hill for
silver.” This same search was made in many other parts of this county, both on the Navajo and Apache
In the 1880’s scarlet fever broke out in Nutrioso and wiped out all of the small children. There is a row of
unmarked graves which is a reminder of this deadly tragedy.
At the same time there was a fort in Lower
Nutrioso and one on Lookout Hill by Upper Nutrioso. In the late 80’s and early 90’s Nutrioso boasted a
brick kiln, a saw mill and a tannery.
In 1869 Dionicio, Elalio, and Juan Baca along with Gabriel Silva came to Round
Valley with Tony Long, Marion Clark, and Johnny McCullough with supplies from Pueblo, CO, for what
is now Fort Apache.
Telephone Line Connected
St. Johns Herald - May 2, 1907
It is a matter of interest and gratification to the people of Apache County that the Arizona Electric Telephone Co. has completed its line between Holbrook and Eagarville - distance of 140 miles, connecting the intermediate points of Springerville, St. Johns, Concho, and several in Navajo. This line was projected about one year ago and was completed last Sunday, April 28. It has been a long felt need among the businessmen and others and now that the line is in operation and giving satisfactory service it is up to the public to supply business. Those connected with the enterprise, and especially the manager F.W. Nelson, deserve great credit in pushing it to a successful termination.
* The first telephone in Springerville was installed at Becker's store. The sherriff had an office there and holding cells.