PIPE SPRINGS

Daughters of Utah pioneers Lesson for October 2007 Pages 68 - 72 "Settlement of Northern Arizona by Utah Pioneers - Majave and Coconino Counties. Compiled by Anne Miller Eckman

Since prehistoric times, the waters of Pipe Spring have formed a welcome oasis in the semi-arid northern Arizona countryside. Artifacts from prehistoric Basketmaker and Pueblo Indians have been found nearby. Later, Paiutes moved into the area. Water collected by the sandstone to the north flows south along the Sevier fault line and surfaces at Pipe Spring and at neighboring Moccasin Springs.

The first group of pioneers from Utah to find and use the spring were missionaries en route to the Hopi settlements.

On October 30, 1858, Jacob Hamblin discovered the spring when he noticed a subtle shade of green in the desert sand and camped there with his group of missionaries. William Hamblin, Jacob̓s brother, was a skilled rifleman, and some of his companions decided to play a trick on him. They challenged him to put a bullet through a silk handkerchief that they hung by one corner from a limb of a tree. Hamblin accepted the challenge and blasted away. The target was examined, but there was not a single hole. The force of the bullets had caused the lightweight silk to flutter out of the way.

A little piqued, William was determined to demonstrate his skill as a marksman. He asked Dudley Leavitt to donate his pipe as a target, stepped off fifty paces, set the pipe down, returned to his original position, and fired. According to one version, he shot out the bottom of the pipe bowl without touching the sides. In this humorous way, Pipe Spring got its name.

The first settlers at Pipe Spring were Dr. James M. Whitmore, his eight-year-old son, and his brother-in-law, Robert Mclntire. In 1863 the three built a dugout shelter, erected corrals, planted an orchard and vineyard near the spring, and dubbed the enterprise "Whitmore’s Ranch." Soon other Utah ranchers, drawn by the high desert grasses and water sources on the Arizona Strip, arrived. Pioneers from Utah soon controlled access to most of the area̓s water.

In 1854 Navajo Indians began raiding Mormon livestock on the Strip, and by 1865 the raids had escalated. In December of 1865, the Navajos attacked the Mormon militia garrisoned at Kanab where a fort was being constructed. Rancher William Maxwell, a major in the militia, wrote from Short Creek to the command post at St. George requesting reinforcements.

On January 8, 1866, some Indians raided Whitmore’s Ranch and rode away with all of his sheep. Mclntire accompanied Whitmore on an expedition to recover the livestock. When the two men failed to return, Whitmore’s young son set out resolutely on foot through the deep snow to summon aid. After floundering through the drifts for a few miles, the lad met a scouting party who relayed the information to the militia. On January 20 the militiamen uncovered the arrow-riddled bodies under a foot of snow. Shortly thereafter, they came upon a band of Paiutes, who, unfortunately for them, were wearing clothing taken from Whitmore and McIntire. The evidence was judged to be sufficient, and the Paiutes were summarily executed.

In 1868 militia colonel J. D. L. Pearce, in accordance with orders from his superiors at St. George, moved his small command to Pipe Spring. It was strategically located about halfway between St. George and the Crossing of the Fathers. Although the LDS militiamen built a small stone cabin as a stronghold against Navajo raids, the attacks continued. By November of 1869, the Navajos had driven off an estimated 500 head of cattle, 500 horses and mules, and about 2,000 sheep. The federal government then allowed the Navajos to return to their homeland, and peace returned to the Arizona Strip.

On the afternoon of September 12, 1870, Francis. M. Bishop was on his way from St. George to Kanab with supplies for John Wesley Powell’s party. Along the way he met Brigham Young and his men who were locating possible sites for militia posts. Bishop and Young pulled into Pipe Spring where they found Major Powell, attended by his guide, Jacob Hamblin. Three of the West̓s most famous pioneers had come face to face at Pipe Spring. President Young, impressed with the fine spring and the prime grazing lands, ordered Anson Perry Winsor. that a stone fort be built immediately for the convenience and safety of future residents. Young and Anson Winsor (who was a member of Young̓s party) stepped off the tentative outlines for a combined fort and ranching establishment. The structure was to include two rows of two-story houses placed to enclose the waters of the spring.

Title to the land and spring was secured from Elizabeth Whitmore, widow of James M. Whitmore, the first settler of the area. (See Note 1) In October of 1870, Joseph W Young, president of the St. George Stake, arrived at Pipe Spring to supervise construction of the fort. Stonemasons Elisha and Elijah Avarett worked for some time on the fort and outbuildings. The rock was taken from the slope at the foot of a cliff just west of the buildings. To break the boulders into manageable size, the Avaretts used a technique as old as the pyramids in Egypt. They drilled holes along the natural fracture lines in the stone, drove in wooden pegs, poured on water, and let the swelling pegs split the boulders apart. Next, the blocks were loaded onto a "lizard," a kind of travois made of a forked juniper trunk and dragged to the construction site by whatever work animal was available.

Brigham Young appointed Anson Perry Winsor (the bishop of Grafton) and his family to settle at Pipe Spring at a salary of $1,200 per year. Winsor and his wife, Emmeline Bigelow Winsor, had immigrated to Utah from New York in 1852 with their three sons and five daughters. He married a second wife, Mary Nelson, on February 2, 1857. They had two sons and one daughter. Mary died in Rockville, Utah, in 1870, leaving three children under the age of six.

Winsor and his wife Emmeline worked to make the small settlement at Pipe Spring a successful venture. The fort buildings, much more imposing than anything else for miles around, came to be known as "Winsor Castle." Winsor purchased stock and enlarged his herds with tithing contributions from the communities in Utah. The Winsor Castle Stock Growing Company was organized at St. George on January 3, 1873. The total subscription was $17,350, of which $10,000 was provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Anson Perry Winsor and Six months before the company’s forma- Emmeline Bigelow Winsor. tion, there were between three and four hundred cattle on the range. They were primarily milk cows; about one hundred of them were milked daily. Within a short time the combination of Anson Winsor’s industry, the nutritious grass, and the termination of Navajo raiding caused these numbers to increase. A cheese factory was installed in the fort, and it produced between sixty and seventy pounds daily. Butter was often churned by children who sat in rocking chairs pushing the plunger up and down. During the 1870s, beef, butter, and cheese were given to workers on the St. Temple.

Following the completion of the temple in 1877, the fort became popular as a rest stop for couples from settlements in Arizona who were on their way to attend temple sessions. It was a refreshing place to stop for a good meal and perhaps attend a dance.

On December 15, 1871, a telegraph station—the first one in the Arizona Territory—was set up at Winsor Castle. The Deseret Telegraph was owned by the LDS Church and ran south from Salt Lake City, through St. George, Rockville, and Pipe Spring, ending at Kanab. Thus the eighty-mile distance from Pipe Spring to St. George could be bridged in minutes instead of days.

Eliza Luella Stewart was the first telegraph operator at Pipe Spring. She was the teenage daughter of local rancher Levi Stewart and his wife, Margery Wilderson Stewart. She taught herself Morse Code in order to relay messages. Later, she married David King Udall, an English-born LDS convert, and with him answered a call to settle at St. Johns. She became the matriarch of the extensive Udall family in Arizona, including Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, Supreme Court Justice Levi Udall, Eliza Luella Stewart and Congressman Morris K. Udall.

In 1879 the Winsor Castle Stock Growing Company was absorbed by the Canaan Cooperative Stock Growing Company of St. George. The animals listed by Charles Pulsipher, who replaced Winsor as superintendent, were 2,269 cattle and 162 horses with a total value of $20,124.

B. F. Saunders purchased Pipe Spring and its buildings in 1885. Seven years later, Saunders was bought out by David Bullock and Lehi Jones. The property was held by a series of private owners until it became a national monument by proclamation of President Warren G.

 

Harding in 1923. The spring dried up in 1999, but the Park Service diverted water from nearby Tunnel Spring to the site. Today, visitors can enjoy the restored fort and artifacts commemorating pioneer ranch life as well as displays depicting the lives of local Native Americans.

note 1  Elizabeth Whitmore, widow of James M. Whitmore moved to the Jacob Hamblin Home in Santa Clara with her son.  They later sold the home to the Baumanns. The Baumanns Granddaughter Joesphone Baumann married a Knight and they lived their until in the 1940's.