The Early Days:
A Sourcebook of Southwestern Region History — Book 1


When Mr. Fred Winn retired from his position as Supervisor of the Coronado National Forest he started to prepare some historical writings on the early days of the Forest Service. Unfortunately, he died before this work was completed. Many of his papers were lost. From those now stored in the Museum of the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson, the following miscellaneous papers are quoted as Mr. Winn prepared them.

Undated paper prepared by Fred Winn, entitled, "The Early Days at the Apache National Forest, which was previously known as The Black Mesa Forest Reserve."

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The Forest Reserve of that name [Black Mesa] was evidently derived from the mesa described by Will C. Barnes in his "Arizona Place Names," known as the rim of the basin, so-called by early settlers and others because it was very dark in color, extends east from Camp Verde to intersect the road from Holbrook to Fort Apache; a survey of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in 1879 established the Black Mesa as its northern boundary. This mesa is known also as 'The Rim, or "The Mogollon Rim."

There is a mountain range in western New Mexico known as Mogollon. Sitgreaves used it in his map of 1851. The legend in New Mexico is to the effect that a party of Jesuit priests enroute from Tucson to Santa Fe passed this mountain range and gave it the name after Don Juan Ignatio Flores de Mogollon, Captain General of New Mexico 1712 to 1750. In the Army map of 1883 the Mogollon mesa is indicated, but the black hills are placed west of the Verde River. On the early maps the Black Mesa extended from a point southeast of the San Francisco Mountains in an easterly direction to include all of what is now known as the White Mountains. To the north of this black mesa was the great Colorado Plateau.

The Black Mesa Forest Reserve had its birth on August 17, 1898. The Executive Proclamation of President McKinley withdrew 1,658,880 acres from settlement and entry, of which approximately 853,791 acres later fell within the Apache National Forest. On December 30, 1905 an area of 371,360 acres on the south was by Executive Proclamation withdrawn from settlement and entry and added to the Black Mesa Forest Reserve on June 30, 1906, increasing the total area to 2,030,240 acres, of which 1,207,151 were included in the soon-to-be-named Apache Forest. On January 1, 1907 the Black Mesa Forest Reserve was divided into the Black Mesa North (now the Sitgreaves National Forest) and the Black Mesa South (which is now the Apache National Forest.) On July 12, 1907 an addition of 94,560 acres was made along the north boundary of the Black Mesa, increasing its area to 1,301,711 acres. The Executive Order of July 1, 1908 changed the name from Black Mesa to Apache, without any change in area, and the Apache has retained its name ever since.

A controversial question arose over the next addition to the Apache National Forest and reached over into the famous Ballinger - Pinchot controversy of 1910, which in turn did much to wreck the Republican Party in the Presidential election of 1912. On March 2, 1909 President Theodore Roosevelt, by Proclamation, added 483,000 acres of the White Mountain Indian Reservation on the west to the Apache National Forest. Almost two years later, on February 17, 1912, President William H. Taft, by Proclamation, eliminated the Indian land, largely on the ground that the addition of Indian Reservation land to the National Forest was illegal. After the addition of March 2, 1909 had been restored to the Indian Reservation, boundary changes included only comparatively small acreages. In 1914 extensive areas on the northeast and southeast portions of the forest which amounted to 403,480 acres were recommended for elimination by Calkins and Pitchlynn of the District Office, but the residents and users of the area were so unanimously and emphatically opposed to these eliminations that the proposal was dropped. This opposition was an indication of how public opinion had changed within the 16 years between 1898 and 1914. No additional boundary changes occurred for almost a decade and a half, until July 23, 1925 when 1,009,553 acres of the former Datil National Forest in New Mexico were added to the Apache National Forest, while on the same date an area of 518,431 acres south of the rim of the Blue Range was taken from the Apache and added to the Crook National Forest in Arizona. The total acreage of the Apache National Forest in 1942 is 1,717,542 acres, of which 1,009,553 acres are in Catron County, New Mexico, and 518,431 acres in Apache and Greenlee Counties, Arizona.

As previously shown, the public domain in the West had been for generations considered a sort of "no man's land." Everyone used if for any purpose he or she saw fit. The Government in Washington made futile efforts to regulate the use and acquisition of its immense holdings west of the Mississippi, and Congress passed numerous laws with this end in view, but many of these Acts of Congress were to all intents and purposes ignored, and fraud in the administration of the public domain was rampant throughout the West. The General Land Office had administrative control of the public domain, and its special agents in the field attempted to see that the laws were enforced, but these men were comparatively few in number and had such immense area to cover that they were well-nigh helpless. An awakening public sentiment finally secured action from Congress to permit the Executive to set aside certain areas which were designated as timbered or forest reserves, and Presidents Harrison, Cleveland, and McKinley all made a start at setting aside some of these reserves. But it was not until President Theodore Roosevelt came into office in 1901 that the movement gained tremendous impetus.

In line with this policy, the Black Mesa Forest Reserve was created by President McKinley on August 17, 1898, along with the San Francisco Mountains Forest Reserve. Previously, the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve had been set aside by President Cleveland on February 20, 1892. These three Forest Reserves included a good portion of the timbered area in northern Arizona. The Black Mesa Forest Reserve and the San Francisco Mountains Forest Reserve were from their inception administered as separate units. This history deals with the Black Mesa Reserve as distinct from the San Francisco Mountain Reserve (which later became the Coconino National Forest) although the administration of both reserves in the early days was closely inter-related. From available information the headquarters and office on the Black Mesa Forest Reserve was set up early in 1899 in Show Low, Arizona, then for a brief period it was located in Flagstaff, Arizona, until the division of the Black Mesa into north and south in January 1907, the office and headquarters of Black Mesa South was at Clifton, Arizona, until July 1, 1908, on which date the Apache National Forest came into being, and Springerville, Arizona, became the headquarters of the Forest and has remained so ever since. The first ranger districts were not well defined, and as for ranger headquarters, they were usually where the ranger kept his hat and horse. Some were in tents, others in abandoned cabins, some in the settlements, some in one room shacks, and others at ranches or in mining camps. It was not until 1907 - 1909 that the Forest Service began to erect ranger stations to house its forest rangers and to divide the forests into clearly defined ranger districts.

The Forest Reserves were first administered by the Commissioners of the General Land Office under the direct supervision of the Secretary of the Interior. A forest superintendent reported directly to the Commissioner of the General Land Office or, at times, directly to the Secretary of the Interior.

The first map of the Black Mesa Forest Reserve was completed sometime in March 1904 by Lieutenant - Ranger W. H. Reed, stationed at Show Low. Forest Supervisor Breen advised Ranger Reed that the map was all right in every respect. It is much to be regretted that no trace of this map can now be located.

This is an incident recorded by J. L. Pritchard: On Christmas eve, 1911, a Mexican was shot and killed in Saffle's saloon. I was foreman of the coronor's jury. We reached a verdict that he came to his death at the hands of persons unknown. Later someone was arrested and tried in St. Johns. During the trial the Court ordered that the body be exhumed and an autopsy performed. Dr. Bouldins, associate from St. Johns, riding up on his motorcycle, was delayed by an accident and reached Springerville about dusk. We decided to eat first. By that time it was dark, but we wended our way to the cemetery. The grave had already been opened so we proceeded. When we got the body up we found the odor quite bad. Our helpers complained so the doctor gave each one long strips of cotton to place in his nostrils. We were a queer lot grouped around the corpse with the long strings of cotton hanging from their nostrils in the dim lights of the lanterns. We found the bullet in the man's head, a .32 Special. There was a certain .32 Special on a .45 frame with a pearl handle that figured in the trial. It was claimed that it was stolen from the owner's bunk on or before the day of the murder. As I recall, the accused man was not convicted.

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The Pioneer Ranger

He did his best, passed on and then
     His place was filled with other men;
But to success and ideals clear,
     He gave his share, this pioneer.

By John D. Guthrie.

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Any organization is made — or broken — by the character of its personnel. This was true of the Forest Service to a marked extent, hence no history of the Black Mesa, Apache Forest Reserve or National Forest, would be complete without a record of the men and women who, for a period of almost 45 years, have labored to make the organization a success and who, by these same efforts have been able to protect and develop the Nation's natural resources in order that they might be handed down intact to succeeding generations.

On the Black Mesa Forest Reserve it is known that a Special Agent Holsinger of the General Land Office was in and about Flagstaff in 1898 and 1899. It is probable but not certain that he had something to do with the assignment of the personnel and the fixing of the headquarters for the newly established Forest Reserves which had been placed under administration some time early in 1899. The Forest Superintendents. Forest Supervisors, and Forest Rangers in those days were frequently political appointees, adherents of the party in power and had at least some political influence or had friends who were politically influential.

Forest Superintendent W. H. Buntain had an office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1899, and had general supervision over the forest reserves in Arizona and New Mexico. It is not known where Mr. Buntain hailed from or what he did previous to being appointed Forest Superintendent. The chances are he was a lawyer and the certainty is that his appointment was a political one. Show Low, Arizona, judging from records, was selected as the first headquarters of the Black Mesa Forest Reserve in 1899. Show Low got its name from a game of Seven-Up, in which C. E. Cooley was a participant. Cooley had settled in the valley of Silver Creek and was selling the products from his farm to the Army at Fort Apache. He had previously been a scout with General Crook. Later he sold his farm to some of the early Mormon settlers, chief among them being Flake, who likewise between 1878 - 1884 bought a part of the settlement in Concho, large tracts in Springerville and Nutrioso.

The first Forest Supervisor of the Black Mesa with an office in Show Low was M. H. Rowe, a lawyer from Vermont. He had been a member of the Vermont legislature. Just what effect the assignment of this Vermont lawyer had upon the hostile sheep- and cattlemen, the homesteaders and settlers, and the pioneer community in general is not recorded, but from available correspondence, Mr. Rowe had his hands full. He did his best, but he could not talk the Arizona language. Supervisor Rowe lasted through most of the years 1898 — 1899, and until April 30, 1900, when he apparently was let out with no explanation. Former Forest Ranger Joe Pearce in his narrative says that Rowe was followed by a Mr. Baker who had previously been chief clerk in the Office of the Treasurer of the United States. It is thought that Pearce is in error as to the name, because there is a copy of a letter extant, February 4, 1901, from Forest Supervisor Langenberg at Silver City, New Mexico, addressed to Supervisor W. H. Bowen, Show Low, Arizona. Mr. Bowen died in February 1901 and he must have been followed by a Frank Hanna, for Forest Supervisor McClure at Silver City, New Mexico, wrote under date of April 7, 1901 to Supervisor Frank Hanna, Show Low. Arizona. Just how long Hanna lasted is not known, but he could not have served very long for the Black Mesa Forest Reserve was under Supervisor Fred S. Breen of Flagstaff, Arizona, shortly after May 1901, and the office at Show Low was abandoned and transferred to Flagstaff. Mr. Breen was a newspaperman, came from Manteno, Illinois, and made his first appearance at Flagstaff on September 5, 1898 in connection with some mining property in the boom camp of Jerome, Arizona. It was not long before he was appointed Forest Supervisor of the San Francisco Mountains Forest Reserve, and shortly thereafter of the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve, Southern Division, when, as mentioned in the Coconino Sun of July 1, 1899, "W. P. Hermann, Supervisor of the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve, was fatally burned on Monday night in his room in the Hicks Lodging House, and died from his injuries Tuesday night. Mr. Hermann was a brother of ginger Hermann, Commissioner of the General Land Office."

It was then that Breen took over the Black Mesa Forest Reserve and administered all three Reserves until January 1, 1907, when the Black Mesa was divided into the Black Mesa South and Black Mesa North. When this division occurred the Black Mesa South (later the Apache) was administered from Clifton, Arizona, and Drayton C. Martin, who had previously served as a Forest Ranger was appointed Forest Supervisor. The Executive Order of July 1, 1908 changed the name to Apache, and Mr. Martin moved his office from Clifton to Springerville and served as Supervisor until November 1908 when John D. Guthrie became Acting Supervisor. Meanwhile. Breen remained in charge of the Black Mesa North until his resignation from the Forest Service on March 15, 1908 and shortly thereafter on July 1, 1908, the Black Mesa North became the Sitgreaves National Forest with headquarters in Snowflake, Arizona, with T. S. Woolsey as Acting Supervisor; this was an ad interim assignment, for Ranger Alexander J. Mackay became the first Forest Supervisor of the Sitgreaves.

The Forest Officers in the early days of The Land Office regime were a motley collection of humanity. Politics played a part in their appointments, but this applied as a rule to the "higher-ups." It stood to reason that the Forest Reserves could not be administered in the field without the presence of at least some men who had an intimate knowledge of the country and were able to take care of themselves and their horses, could stand severe physical hardships, live under any conditions, prepare their own food, talk the language of the natives, and engage in combat when the occasion arose. In fact, these were the men "with the bark on," as Teddy Roosevelt was wont to describe them. Another class consisted of adventurous young men from other parts of the country who had come to the West in order to grow up with it and because they had an inherent liking for the wide open spaces. Still another consisted of health-seekers who had been appointed through the efforts of some obliging politician in order to permit them to regain their health by living outdoors and at the same time working at Uncle Sam's expense on the "Forest Reserves in the West."

Hence it was, the Black Mesa Forest Reserve had among its rangers its full quota of cowboys, prospectors. barkeepers, professional gamblers, farmers, lumbermen, sheep herders, gunmen, ex-soldiers, and what-not; leavened with a sprinkling of University graduates, clerks, clergymen, newspapermen, carpenters, and "lungers." Taken together, most of these men served faithfully and well, under terrific handicap, as the rangers as a class received only $60, $75, and $90 per month, out of which they were required to house and subsist themselves and to own and maintain from 2 to 6 horses and pack animals. They had to deal with a generally hostile population which was constantly antagonized by the wholly unfamiliar red tape of a Government bureau located 3,000 or more miles away on the banks of the Potomac. Communications were slow because of the comparatively few roads and trails, lack of post offices, and an almost entire absence of telephones.

The Supervisors had continual difficulty in securing qualified Rangers as indicated by this letter. Supervisor Bowen writes the Commissioner: "I do not wish to interfere with your appointment of Forest Rangers. I would like if possible to have a man, William Adams, as a ranger. I ask this as a favor as he can converse with Mexican sheepherders. I have met with 15 or 20 Mexicans and they cannot understand me, nor I them."

On or about July 1, 1899, Supervisor Rowe assigned Roy N. Colbath as Forest Ranger on the Black Mesa to be stationed at Luna, just across the New Mexico line. Writing to Ranger Joe Pearce at Nutrioso, Arizona, on August 11, 1899, Rowe asked, "Can you give me any information in regard Forest Ranger Colbath? I have not had a line from him and do not know where he is." And again in a letter to Pearce of August 20, 1899, "What to do about supplies I do not know, I made a requisition for supplies to the Forest Superintendent. He jumped on me and said he had sent blanks to you. Not one of the Rangers got them."

The Rangers were required to submit monthly reports of their activities, and Washington demanded that these reports be forwarded promptly at the close of each month from men who were scattered from one end of the mountains to the other, and who were not long on letter-writing or keeping up forms. Rowe wrote to Pearce on August 25, 1899, "you are asked by the Forest Superintendent to give an explanation of your report July 31. The Superintendent writes me that your report reads, 'Made report. Shod a horse. Time consumed, 10 hours,' and that, "it would not be allowed for the day unless an explanation was made."

Ranger Colbath shortly asked Pearce to exchange with him at Nutrioso because his wife was sick, but no doubt the Luna-Blue region was getting too hot for him. Among his difficulties with the Forest Rangers, Rowe, on August 29. writes to the Honorable Commissioner: "But on the whole the Rangers have not been long enough on duty to develop what is in them. Most of the time of some has been taken up in learning of the territory, not having been familiar with the different canyons and mountain peaks they would rightly fear losing their way."

Figure 9. Supervisors meeting. September 1 - 7, 1906. Men present: (1) L. C. Miller [Washington D.C.], (2) John Kerr, (3) T. F. Meagher, (4) F. S. Breen, (5) F. C. W. Pooler, (6) R. C. McClure, (7) W. H. Reed, (8) L. F. Kneipp, (9) T. C. McGlone, (10) J. H. Allison, (11) H. A. E. Marshall, (12) James D. Adams, (13) A. J. Norton, (14) E. J. Morrisey, (15) A. J. Mackay.

Apparently there was an effort by the Nutrioso people to get rid of Ranger Pearce, for Rowe wrote to him on March 23, 1900, "Becker told me that he stopped a man from writing to the Department about you. Joe. the Forest Superintendent says I am to move you and Hanson."

A short time after writing this letter, Supervisor Rowe was himself moved out of the picture entirely.

Some of the Forest Rangers patrolled an immense area. Ranger Penrod, for example, was ordered to patrol from Show Low to Nutrioso. Travel was mostly on horseback, with a pack animal or two, and sometimes in buggy, buckboard, or wagon. Joseph H. Pearce informed the writer that his patrol district extended from the San Francisco Mountains east to the New Mexico line.

Next to take over the Black Mesa Forest Reserve was Fred S. Breen, with his office in Flagstaff. Fred Breen was an outstanding character who earned a niche in the history of both the Forest Service and the State of Arizona, but his principal activities were with the Coconino National Forest and will be reviewed in the history of that Forest. Breen early ran into difficulties with the Commissioners of the General Land Office, and the Superintendent of Forests in Santa Fe. He, together with other Forest Supervisors, was held responsible of the work on the Forest Reserves but had little authority in selecting the Rangers who were supposed to perform the work in the field. Politics was the stumbling block very frequently plus remote control on the part of the Washington Bureau. Washington had but a faint conception of what it was all about in the far-off and generally isolated Forest Reserves in the West and was continually interfering in their administration. This was centralization to the Nth degree. The Forest Superintendents had little opportunity to exercise a free hand, and served as sort of go-between between the field men, the forest users, and the Washington Bureau. Mention has been made of the protests in the selection of his Rangers by the mild-mannered Rowe. But Breen was not a man to take this situation lying down. Some of the Forest Rangers which Breen inherited from the previous administration were undoubtedly of the health-seeker class, and Breen had protested their continued assignment, for Commissioner Binger Hermann, on June 19, 1901, wrote to Breen, saying: "In your letter of April 16, 1901 as to the efficiency, physically or otherwise, of your Rangers you reported that Harry C. Cannon is a young man who states that he is here for his health, is delicate in appearance, and a native of New York; has had no experience in range or riding; lung trouble, Richard G. Kirchner is a native of Michigan, is here for his health; has lived 8 or 10 months in New Mexico; deficient in other qualifications." "William A. Phelps is in exceedingly bad health from lung trouble; is a native of New York; is intelligent enough but utterly incapacitated for the work by his health. William R. Weeks has lived in New Mexico about a year. Is in exceedingly bad health; lung trouble; utterly incapacitated for the work by lung trouble."

In a letter to the Commissioner of April 26. 1902, Breen took exception to the appointment of George J. Robinson as a Ranger of Class 2 at $75 per month: "— at the expense of some men. I feel that they should come ahead of a new man who has not shown superior qualifications before, while on as a Ranger." Again, on April 30, 1902, the exasperated Supervisor Breen writes to the Commissioner of the General Land Office. "In view of the seeming reluctance of the Department to accept my recommendations as to employment. I suggest a man be sent to look into the character and ability of applicants."

It would seem that all these protests must have led to some action by the powers in Washington, for Breen advised the Commissioners that he had received, "a number of examination papers and am in doubt as to just what method the Department desires they should be handled in under new rules governing the appointment of Rangers."

Nothing apparently came of this proposal and it was not until the Forest Service was organized in the Department of Agriculture in 1905 that examinations for Rangers under Civil Service became an established fact.

Early in his administration Supervisor Breen drew up what he termed "General Instructions to Rangers." It is of interest in that it indicates what was expected of the Forest Rangers and indicates the character of their duties, and is of sufficient interest to be quoted in full:

1. Rangers are employed for the purpose of protecting Government land and timber. Railroad and homestead sections do not come under their jurisdiction.

2. A Ranger's whole time is to be devoted to the interests of the Government and to no other private business.

3. Rangers are expected to remain strictly upon their own districts unless otherwise ordered by the Supervisor or, in case of fire, on an adjoining district.

4. Rangers are expected to go to a fire at once wherever one is discovered within a reasonable distance of his district.

5. Conditions found should be made note of, as well as the work performed on his district, in the field book provided for that purpose, each day. Such daily reports should show where he went and the purpose of his visit, the distance traveled, and the time consumed each day, or if employed in burning firebreaks, piling brush, building trails, or other similar work state the amount of work done in a comprehensive manner, that the amount may be known.

6. His monthly reports should be full so that he may be given proper credit for the work performed, a record of the distance traveled. and the general usefulness of the Ranger is kept. The Department is informed by your report as to the value of your services.

7. Rangers will report all abandoned homesteads, squatters, and illegal fences found on their respective Districts, giving name, section, township, and range upon which they are located, together with all other information obtainable, including the date of location or settlement. Separate reports of special character should be made immediately on finding them on their Districts. These special reports should be made to the Forest Supervisor upon any subject on which they are not fully advised.

8. Settlers and others are allowed the free use of timber and wood by making proper application for the free use of timber or wood upon the proper blank furnished for that purpose. Timber or wood secured by such application must be for their own private uses and not for sale or disposal at a profit, and must be cut under the supervision of a Ranger designated by the Supervisor for the purpose. Special reports upon these applications for free use of timber must be made by Rangers under instructions in printed rules and regulations furnished them.

9. Set up all corner posts. Reblaze all surveyed lines whenever necessary. Reblaze trails for convenience in going from one part of District to another quickly.

10. Post fire warnings along all roads trails, and at springs or other camping places frequented by campers. Nail them up securely and plentifully all over your District. Warn all persons of the penalty of leaving camp fires unextinguished.

11. Inform yourself as to what sheep- and cattle men graze their stock upon your District, the number he actually owns, and whether or not he confines himself to the range described in his permit.

12. Report all fires no matter how small that you extinguish, giving location of same, and whether caused by locomotive, sheepherder, camper, cattleman, or others. Use due diligence in ascertaining who the guilty ones are, and report all facts in the case, so that he may he punished for his neglect.

Printed blank fire reports are furnished you as a sample, covering all classes of fires and the information concerning each, upon which you are required to report. Keep this and make reports on blank paper covering all points requested in the case.

In case of fire assuming too great proportions to be handled by a ranger, you will communicate with the Supervisor immediately in the quickest manner possible, giving him the locality, extent of fire, and such other information necessary for him to act intelligently upon. Only in exceptional cases of great emergency are rangers to hire help in putting out fires, and then only when they cannot reach the Supervisor for instructions. Rangers are not to guarantee the pay of persons found fighting fire or any other persons who are helping to save their own private property. The Supervisor will pass upon all claims of this kind and decide whether or not they are entitled to compensation.

13. Quarterly reports must be made on the first day of January, April, July, and October, covering the preceding three months, giving number of old trails cleared out; number miles new trails cleared out or reblazed; number miles new trails cut; number feet wide and length of permanent fire breaks built; number bridges built, if any.

14. Monthly fire reports should be made out on separate sheets, giving cause of fires, location, extent, etc. Quarterly trail reports should be made out and accompany monthly reports for months March, June, September, and December, as well as quarterly free use of timber report, showing who cut timber under free use permit on your district, the block number, amount timber taken, whether tops and lops were piled properly, when timber was marked, when inspected by Ranger, and any additional information concerning the cutting. The cutting under each permit should be so reported upon at the end of the quarter. If you have had no fires, have built no trails or have not had charge of free use of timber cutting, you should so report.

15. All reports that do not conform to these rules will be returned for correction. Time improperly accounted for will be docked from salary, as no salary will be paid until reports are examined. False reports of service will be sufficient for discharge of such Rangers.

16. Ascertain whether cattle, horse, and sheepmen have permits or have made proper application for same, to graze their stock upon the Reserve. If not, notify them to do so at once or stock must be removed from Reserve.

17. If storms are reported as reasons for not working on any given day during the month, give nature or severity of storms. If ill and unable to work more than two days during the month, a doctor's certificate will be required accompanying monthly report.

18. Rangers are expected to pile and burn brush in most dangerous places along roads and trails where fires are most liable to get started, to burn fireguards when possible without danger of fire spreading, to note the forest growth, the effect of sheep grazing, and to thoroughly acquaint themselves with the district assigned them and the settlers located thereon. Merely riding over your district does not constitute the duties of a Ranger, but he should be on the look-out for all things affecting the Reserve, find the most exposed places and remove the debris to protect the forest from fires, and be constantly on the alert to prevent trespasses and depredations.

19. Study the instructions until you know them, for you are expected to comply with them and it should not be necessary for the Supervisor to be continually returning your reports for correction.

20. Special instructions will be issued to rangers from time to time as the necessity of his particular district may require.

June 6, 1902

F. S. Breen
Forest Supervisor

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In 1903 the Rangers were instructed to secure uniforms, some with chevrons on the sleeve. It was probable that this order was not accepted then with any degree of enthusiasm, for they were well aware that the people with whom they had to deal were not the type who would be awed by a uniformed official representing the Federal Government. The Rangers accordingly ordered their uniforms and then conveniently hid them away and went on about their work in the garb that was current in the neighborhood. There is no record of just what type of uniform was required, but on the adjoining Gila River Forest Reserve in New Mexico, a double-breasted cadet-gray uniform with a one-inch green stripe on the trousers, was standard, and as little used as on the Black Mesa. The time for the universal wearing of uniforms on the part of forest officers was to come many years later.

Among the rangers on the Black Mesa Forest Reserve was Guilford B. Chapin, stationed on the Blue River, who had been appointed in 1900 Ranger Chapin had been a Roughrider under Col. Theodore Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War. When he entered the Forest Reserve service he was considerably older than the average man in the service, but no less active, and in the course of his years in the service he became a well known character, and tales about him were legion. Inspector E. T. Allen in 1902 spoke very highly of his work on the Blue. Chapin was stationed at Nutrioso when the Forest Service took over, and because of advancing years was transferred about 1914 to the Frijole Canyon National Monument on the Santa Fe National Forest. His death occurred several years later in the Old Soldiers' Home in California.

John C. Hall. who served as Ranger at Heber, Show Low, and Greer in the Black Mesa days, was of a pioneer Mormon family. Hall Creek, near Greer, took its name from the family homestead in that vicinity. Mr. Hall, after his resignation, became one of the prominent stockmen in the Springerville area, and grazed both sheep and cattle on the Apache Forest and on the adjoining Indian Reservation. He is still living in Eager, Arizona.

Jos. H. Pearce is another former Ranger of the Black Mesa living in Eager. Mr. Pearce had a colorful career and his very interesting narrative of the early days of the Black Mesa Forest Reserve is appended to this history. (Note: The Pearce narrative was not located) It is interesting to note that Supervisor Breen addressed at least three of the Rangers as "Lieutenant," — W. H. Reed, Patrick Fenton, and B. H. Crow.

The Commissioner, being a thrifty soul, suggested to Breen that he assign some Ranger as clerk. Wrote Breen, "The average Forest Ranger was not selected for his usefulness as a clerk or for office work . . . I now have the work of ten men to do." The first clerical appointment was apparently Joseph S. Amundsen, on or about April 1902.

Forest Superintendent Buntain in Santa Fe had been superseded by I. B. Hanna of Illinois a short time before Breen took over as Forest Supervisor, and Binger Hermann of Oregon was Commissioner of the GLO and remained until February 1, 1903, being followed by W. A. Richards. When Breen inherited the Black Mesa Forest Reserve along with the other two Reserves, the Government had granted him no office and he was provided with space in the room of the Clerk of the District Court in Flagstaff. "But," wrote Breen to Hanna in Santa Fe, he had "no office fixtures, no clerk, no typewriter, and no place for filing." The clerk was supplied a little later by the appointment of Amundsen, but the rest followed very slowly. They seemed to have the idea in Washington that the Forest Reserves in the West needed little in the way of an office, while at the same time a settler who might need five cords of wood for the winter was, before he could obtain it, loaded with red tape stretching form his homestead to Washington and back again.

It is not disclosed where Breen installed his office after leaving the County Court House, but Forest Supervisor Pooler on the Coconino Forest in March 1908 superseded Breen and wrote in his diary of March 31, 1908. "Breen took all his furniture, leaving us short."

Peeler moved the office to the Sanders Building April 21, 1908, for he wrote, "Bought stove and made arrangements to move into new office." But this referred to the Coconino, for an office had been set up in Springerville for the Apache National Forest.

To return to the clerks, a certain Mr. Doyle was appointed to Amundsen's place in 1903, and he in turn gave way to G.B. Hoopengarner in 1904. Hoopengarner was designated as "Ranger-clerk", and then he made way for E. A. "Skeeter" Brown.

One of Breen's most efficient rangers in 1902 was Lt. Chas. E. Baker. It is not known just why he was a Lieutenant, but he may have been a Roughrider. At various times Baker was stationed at Pine, Show Low, and Nutrioso, and was given the title of "Head Ranger." His duty, it seems, was to give some supervision to rangers of Classes 2 and 3, and help them over some of the hurdles. Baker was recommended by Breen in 1902 to assume charge as Acting Forest Supervisor on the newly created Santa Rita and Santa Catalina Forest Reserves in southern Arizona, but for some reason he remained for only a short period and then with his horses rode overland to Pine, Arizona, and in March 1903 resumed his duties on the Black Mesa at Nutrioso or Show Low, and we find Breen writing to him as follows: "On the 20th, you report hunting for bear, which is no part of the duties of a ranger, and time thus employed cannot be allowed."

In the winter of 1906 - 07 Supervisor Breen spent several months on detail in Washington, and T. S. Woolsey Jr, was Acting Forest Supervisor at Flagstaff, of the Black Mesa. Of Mr. Woolsey, volumes can be written, but he had no very close contact with the Black Mesa. When the Black Mesa South was organized, Drayton C. Martin, who had served as a ranger at Pine, Arizona, was, on January 1, 1907, appointed Forest Supervisor. He was accordingly the first Forest Supervisor on what became the Apache National Forest on July 1, 1908. The office of the Black Mesa South was at Clifton in Graham County, and Mr. Martin remained there until the office was removed to Springerville about July 1, 1908, where he continued as Forest Supervisor until November 15, 1908, on which date John D. Guthrie assumed charge as Acting Supervisor. On this date Mr. Martin resumed his duties as Forest Ranger with his station at the Water Canyon ranger station. Mr. Martin, after long and faithful service dating from the early and difficult days on the Black Mesa Forest Reserve, resigned on November 15, 1910, and for 30 years thereafter operated a farm near Eager, Arizona. At the present time (1942) he is residing in Springerville.

No history of the Black Mesa Forest Reserve would be complete without at least brief mention of W. H. B. Kent. Mr. Kent and his career provided history in itself, and someday will be written, but not briefly. In any event, Kent was known from the Rio Grande to the Columbia, and from the forests of Upper New York State to the Douglas fir region of Washington and Oregon.

* * * * * * * * * *

From the 1907 Use Book: "The position of Forest Assistant requires technical qualifications of high order and is secured only through an examination which no man may expect to pass unless he has been thoroughly trained in forestry and lumbering.

"The Forest Assistant is placed directly under the Supervisor, who directs his work and to whom he submits his reports. The Supervisor is held responsible for the proper assignment of the Forest Assistant and the utilization of his technical training and experience."

* * * * * * * * * *

Kent, "Head Ranger," blew into Flagstaff, Arizona, in November 1902, and then journeyed by rail and horse — mostly horse — to the wilds of the Blue River on the Black Mesa Reserve to reinforce the redoubtable Ranger. Major G. B. Chapin, in an examination of the area from which Ira Harper had for years been cutting timber in trespass for the Arizona Copper Company. Kent's own version is quoted below:

In the fall of 1901, G. P. and five of his men transferred to the Land Office. Professor Roth was made head of the Division (Forest Reserves); E. T. Allen and Tommy Tompkins were made Inspectors, and Smith Riley and I were called "Head Rangers." Riley and I were really what was later called, "Technical Assistants." Spent the winter of 1901 in the Black Hills, South Dakota. In the spring we were sent to the Wichita in Oklahoma. The Supervisor there was charging for grazing permits and putting the money in his own pockets. I was there for six weeks and then Ranger Whitney from the Black Hills came down as Supervisor and I went to Flagstaff some time in June. Expected to go down the Blue at once but got word to go to Cody, Wyoming, for a summer-long trip in the Yellowstone and Jackson Hole country. Got back to Flagstaff in November 1902 and went down to join Chapin on the Blue. I spent the winter there on the Harper cutting and making up a timber trespass case against the Arizona Copper Company.

We were not popular in the Washington Office. It usually took 3 to 6 months to get an expense account through then. In the spring of 1903 we were fired from the Land Office (Binger Hermann), and very much delighted to be back in the Bureau of Forestry. That spring I went on boundary work in Oregon and Washington, and stayed on that work until 1907.

In a recent letter he wrote, "While I was there that winter I worked up the Arizona Copper Company trespass case down at the south and west of the River. They had stripped it. The case was tried in Federal Court in Tombstone in June 1904. I was the key witness and the Judge named Knave (a Hell of a good name for him!) called me a hypocritical scientist (whatever that is). We sued for something around $100,000 and the Judge gave us $1,500 — stumpage value instead of the manufactured value that we were suing for."

What Breen said about this case was reported to be plenty, but it is not of record.

Mention is made of numerous personnel difficulties which beset the Supervisor and various Rangers. In August 1903, C. S. Love of Nutrioso complained to Supervisor Breen that Ranger Molter and a man by the name of Maxwell killed a "critter" belonging to a Mrs. Pearson and brought it into camp under a load of wood. After an investigation there was found to be no truth to the report but, as Breen wrote to Molter, "There is always someone ready to report them (the Rangers) for everything." He advised Ranger Baker to look into charges against Chapin and Molter and told Baker that, "Both of these Rangers are in a hotbed of disturbances of a petty kind all the time owing to their doing their duty down there and making the illegal fellows come to terms."

Figure 10. Forest Assistant W. H. B. Kent in 1905 on the Huachuca Forest Reserve, Mr. Kent was Supervisor of the Garces National Forest in 1908 - 09, and the Gila National Forest in 1910. He was dismissed from the Forest Service in 1911.

Breen's official letters were frequently out of the ordinary. In writing to Assistant U. S. Attorney John H, Campbell at Tucson, Arizona, on August 28, 1903, he had this to say, "Am tickled to death to hear that Mr. Knave (the U. S. Attorney) is enjoying his vacation. I was under the impression from the lack of disturbance in the Territory that you also were on vacation. I had succeeded in stirring up enough disturbance to warrant my taking leave of absence. I would be very much pleased to donate you a large, juicy plug of tobacco if you could work up steam enough to inform me of the condition of all sheep trespass cases. I realize that every drop of sweat squeezed out of you is precious."

And to Hr. Fen F. Hilbreth, Registrar of the Land Office in Prescott, Breen wrote, on October 13, 1903: "I return you herewith a bunch of certified-to lost souls that I have been unable to locate in this part of the country. I think all of them have left this part of the country and have not been heard of, as near as I can find out, for the past 4 or 5 years. I hope my ironclad certifies will clinch the matter strong enough. Since I have been compelled to be a Land lawyer and special agent for the Department, I am wondering what kind of a job I'll be jobbed with next. The cases of Felix Fanchi and George S. Patton can be set for any date after the 15th of the month. They both want their hearings at Williams. Send me some blank requisitions for money if you have them or if you can make them, make them for about $50 a case for these two. I would like to know what in Sam Patch special agents are for if not to handle work of this kind. I am slightly fatigued with jumping from a timber expert job to law, and from law to an expert stockman, and then to an expert in mineral land. If I could only have a couple Indian Reservations, a railroad, the itch, and a Waterbury watch to take care of, I really think I would be properly supplied with a few small matters to interest me now and then."

That Supervisor Breen had a high opinion of the quality of Ranger Chapin's work on the Blue is clearly evident from a letter in which he stated that owing to Ranger D. B. Rudd's inability to report for duty in June would require Chapin to "wrestle with his trouble alone," and that if he had "another fellow down there like you, you would have that District cleared up so it would run itself." And of Rudd he said, "I don't know of a better one."

In this same letter he mentioned the squatter situation on the Blue. Breen said, "I am going to recommend criminal proceedings against everyone who fails to come to time and locate, and I would so inform them." Later, on July 8, 1904, Breen, writing to H. P. Watson special agent of the GLO, in response to a complaint about Chapin, said, "I am a good deal like Lincoln with Grant, when it was said Grant drank too much. If I knew what brand Chapin drinks, I would send it to some of the other Rangers."

In July 1904, because of the inability of Rangers Molter and Penrod to work together, he assigned Ranger Lewis to Greer, and sent Penrod to work under Ranger Schugmann at Pinedale. This ended the Molter - Penrod feud, but Breen at the same time informed Ranger W. H. Reed at Show Low that he desired to inform trouble-makers that he did not intend to make a practice of changing men around to promote harmony, but if petty jealousy and unharmonious conduct or inability to get along continued he intended to take more strenuous measures to eliminate the disturbing elements."

* * * * * * * * * *

In the Fred Winn papers, the following statement by W. H. B. Kent appears:

In March 1905 I made a boundary examination of the Huachucas. Clyde Leavitt was with me on part of the trip.

In Benson I hired a man with a team and buckboard, but only one saddle horse. After prospecting around, the City Marshal said he had Mexican in jail with a $12 fine against him, and the Mexican had a horse.

I went to see the Mexican, and then to see the horse. The horse may have weighed 700 pounds, but I doubt it. The man offered the horse for $12. I have always been glad I paid 30.

Although I had to shorten the stirrups to keep my feet off the ground, the pony very willingly carried me for six weeks in mud and rain and on slippery hills.

Forgotten where we left the San Pedro to pull up the long slope to the Huachucas. Scouted out the north boundary, moving camp westward as necessary. Saw A. Permalee often. Suppose he is dead now. Went on past Fort Huachuca and over a very bad road down into the draw were R. A. Rogers was homesteading. In that draw, what wasn't water was still damper mud. I floundered through the lane, hanging onto the wire. A man was waiting in front of an adobe building. That was the first time I saw Rogers.

From there south and around the south side of the Huachucas, then west by way of Lochiel, Washington, Mowry, and Patagonia, and then to Nogales, with many all-day rides along the hills.

I remember that in the hotel in Nogales. I threw a pair of ruined boots out of the back window into a refuse pile. A few minutes later a very polite colored man returned them to my room.

What became the Pajarita and Baboquivari Division of the Garces was examined by Leeburg the next summer. I turned down the Baboquivari, but was overruled.

From there I went up to Clifton, met Adam Slinger and his pack outfit. Went up the Blue, then across the Alma and up to Tularosa to pick up John Kerr. From there we scouted out the Datils, the Magdalenas, and the San Andrea.

The next time I saw the Huachucas country was in 1908, when I went down there to take charge of the Garces Forest. The rangers there then were Rodgers, Schofield, Abbott, Edwards, Noon and Krupp.

Soon it became obvious that there was no reason for a separate administration of the Garces and in 1909, I think, they consented to add the Garces to the Coronado.

I realized that if Nogales knew that a Government office was to be moved away from there, there would be a squawk, so said nothing about it. One morning we backed a freight wagon up to the back door of the Court House, loaded the office and started it for Tucson — and that was the end of that.

(Signed) W. H. B Kent.

* * * * * * * * * *

An article quoted verbatim from the Fred Winn papers:

How and Why I Went into the Forest Service
R. A. Rogers

(Part of this narrative is dictated, and part of it is quoted from Mr. Rogers' reminiscences.)

Mr. Rogers started work as a buyer for a mercantile business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was there for 20 years. He wanted an outdoor life, With his wife and two small daughters he landed in Tucson in February 1903, looking for a ranch in order to go into the cattle business.

After a year he bought a place as a squatter, and found himself in the Huachuca Forest Reserve. Says Mr. Rogers, "One day in March 1905 I saw a man wading across the canyon, hanging onto the fences and trees. He had a red bandana handkerchief tied over his head and across his forehead. He landed in front of me; introduced himself as W. H. B. Kent, examining the area to see if it should be included in the Forest Reserve."

Rogers rode to Tucson in July 1905 on horseback and took the examination for Forest Ranger. There were 23 in the class, and 4 passed, among them Rogers and Robert J. Selkirk, Col. McClure came from Silver City, New Mexico, to give the examination. McClure was Forest Supervisor of the Gila Forest Reserve. Part of the field test consisted of chopping down a tree. "My tree," said Rogers, "had just about lost its bark, and looked like a beaver had been there." He entered as a Forest Ranger on January 16, 1906, and reported to Thomas Meagher in Tucson. Says Rogers, "I received a badge about two inches square, heavy as boilerplate." He also received a marking hatchet, and a salary of $75 per month. He was told to report to Armour Scholfield at Rosemont. The ranger station at Rosemont was a two-room shack of rough boards stolen from a squatter down in the desert, for which the Government afterwards had to pay to keep Meagher out of trouble. Rogers says, "Armour Scholfield was a true pioneer in the Forest Service, capable, honest, and energetic." Supplies were secured 35 miles away by horseback each way. There was no stationery, no maps, no files. Timber cutting was going on at the Mowery Mines. Rogers scaled 3500 cords cut in trespass, and $875 was paid as innocent trespass. Rogers says, "I found an inspector there at Rosemont, first one of the species. He looked and acted like a college graduate without experience."

Rogers finally got the Mowery Company's Tucson attorney to send the check in. As the trespass was not on forest land, the check was held until after the Huachucas were proclaimed as a Forest Reserve, in November 1906. That year the Empire Cattle Company asked for a permit to graze 4500 head of cattle. It was allowed 2500 head, but never asked to remove any stock, Says Rogers, "We had something to learn about grazing."

He asked for a transfer to the Huachuca Reserve. In December 1907 Selkirk was sent to take charge of the Reserve. About February 1, Jim West fall came to Rosemont in a deep snow storm to take over. Enroute, Rogers was told by a friend not to go as a Ranger to the Huachucas because a number of cattlemen and cowboys had told his friend that they would kill him. A local woman told Mrs. Rogers that they were going to kill him. Within one day of arrival at the Huachucas, he was ordered to Patagonia at once to relieve Selkirk, who was enroute to Tucson to take Meagher's place, who became peeved at something written him and pulled stakes for Oklahoma without notice. Rogers said he was Acting Supervisor over 400,000 acres he had never seen. He said he had a Use book which he did not understand. He got into a row with Washington about cordwood sales for the Mowery Mines, and resigned. He was ordered to Nogales in April 1907, via horseback route.

Coert Dubois showed up and showed Rogers how to make a Class C timber sale. Rogers said they rode from 25 to 40 miles per day, which made Dubois roar. "Why," said he, "Rangers from the North think nothing of riding 65 to 70 miles daily." Rogers told Dubois they must have been bee-stung. Rode with Dubois 23 miles the first day over to Patagonia: next day, about 25 miles to the Green Cattle Company roundup. Next night they were at a roundup wagon down in Mexico before sundown. Dubois dropped from his horse and laid down under a mesquite tree. The next day Rogers said, "We came to a squatter's little board house. Owner was absent. Dubois tacked a notice on the door that his place had been taken over by the Forest Service for a Ranger Station." Next day we rode with Mr. Moson to the A Ranch. Passed little house on which the notice had been posted the day before. Rogers got off his horse while the other two stayed in their saddles. Rogers went to the door and a man came to meet him. Rogers explained who we were. The man said, "Excuse me a minute," and came back with a .30-.30 Winchester. Said Rogers. "We rode about a half hour without a word being spoken, and then Dubois said. 'I wish Hall had been there; he would be running yet. He said to come to here and tell the inhabitants what to do.'"

Shortly afterwards Roscoe Willson came and assigned Rogers to Canelo as the first Ranger on the Huachuca District. Business began to pick up from that moment, for the Ranger was an institution, and the man to fight and curse — and was he cussed! They thought he was the cause of it all, and said so. Quite naturally, stockmen who used the range, grazed cattle, and fenced what and where they cared, did not like it. Some of them had come from Texas and New Mexico between sundown and sun-up. Horse thieves, cattle rustling, and tinhorn gambling. I left my six-shooter at home and went on with my work, as ignorant a man as ever wore a badge.

Conditions were in a turmoil in the spring of 1908. About that time I was ordered to go back to Nogales and relieve Roscoe G. Willson, who had been recalled to Washington. The first caller was Max Axford, general manager of the Green Cattle Company, who was looking for the Supervisor who was to come. Max did not sit down, and looked mad clear through. He said Willson had notified them that if they did not remove their cattle he would round them up and drive 4500 of them to the Baboquivari Mountains 75 miles or more across the desert. I told him I was the Supervisor for the time being, and if he would sit down we would go over the matter and that he would not be more fair than I would be.

His Company, or their cowboys, had torn out watering places, pried out water pipes, torn down windmills, etc. I told him there was not going to be any such thing as attempting to drive their cattle: that their status would be gone over later and a proper and fair settlement made. He agreed that the company men would repair all damaged water places and we would start over on a friendly basis. That night I had a telephone message from Will Barnes at Phoenix. I met him at Lully's restaurant in the evening and after eating we went to the office where we went over the Green Cattle Company's case, which was what he had come for. After we had finished he said, "I was sent here on this case and told to go to the range and make a personal investigation, but I am not going there. I shall report that we have a man on the ground capable of caring for the situation, and I shall leave for Washington at 6 tomorrow morning."

I was honored to have the friendship of Will Barnes the rest of my life. He visited us at the ranch every time he came to the Southwest. Mrs. Rogers enjoyed him as much as I did, and said he was the best helper, for a man, in the kitchen she had met. I fretted and fumed at the delay in someone to relieve me, caring for the work, and made frequent trips to my own District to care for matters there. Finally, W. H. B. Kent was sent to relieve me for the outdoors again.

The summer of 1908, A. O. Waha and a Mr. Powers, an engineer, came to my station. The Act of June 11 was the reason. I was appointed a land examiner and helped them make the first examination of a homestead under that Act. I really and finally had two assistants, Stanley Wilson and Bill Daugherty, as capable and worthy fellows as could be had until they were given more important places where brains and honesty were needed. They both hold important positions in the administration of the Forest Service. With Kent as Supervisor we began to make some progress in administration, but with it the antagonism increased. Three times petitions signed by the "gente" were sent Washington asking for my dismissal. In each case, after an inspection, I was congratulated by the Forester and given a raise in salary of $100; for doing my duty "under adverse conditions," was the Forester's comment.

We began to try to find out how many cattle were being grazed on the Forest which raised the antagonism to a high pitch. Kent had the Huachuca Reserve attached to the Tuscon office where Selkirk was the Supervisor, and went to New Mexico. Selkirk and Kerr came to my District to try to help. Kerr was the most untalkative man I ever had met. He had forgotten more about the cattle business than most stockmen had ever learned, and knew the grazing regulations absolutely. Kind, honest, and considerate, always, but I often thought when I heard him give a decision that he must sweat icicles.

Cattle rustling was not legalized then, though there was little said about it for everybody was doing it. Only when a friendless chap got caught was he taken to Court. Most cases were settled on the ground at the time, and many times one man was left on the ground when the case was closed. Cattle rustling was down to a fine art with some.

Following are copies of letters foumd in the Fred Winn papers:

Tucson, Arizona
July 29. 1905.

The Forester, Forest Service,
     Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir:

When it becomes generally known that a grazing fee will be charged on and after January 1, 1906, for stock ranging at large on the Reserve ranges, I fear that we will have some trouble in arriving at the number of stock owned by persons who graze their herds and flocks on the Reserve ranges the entire season. Those stockmen who bring their herds into the Reserve at the opening of the season will be required to submit their herd and bands to the inspection and count of the Ranger or Supervisor in the District in which the animals are to graze, and a close count will not be difficult. But in almost all Reserves there are a number of cattle and horses which graze without permit and by this class of stock I mean estrayed animals, stock belonging in a District distant from the Reserve. It is a common practice also for stockmen to give in a much smaller count to the County Assessor than he actually knows he owns, and we will have the same difficulty that the County Officer has in determining the actual number.

Looking forward to this difficulty I thought it advisable to consult your office in due time and get your plans as to how to determine the actual number of stock ranging at large on the Reserve ranges, where it is impossible to actually count the stock in a certain brand, shall I take the owner's count, or shall I make an estimate of the number from my knowledge of the stock business in this section of the range. In the case of the Vail and Gates Land and Cattle Company, holding a permit for 3100 head of cattle and horses in the Santa Rita Forest Reserve, they claim to have only 100 head of horses in the Reserve, while I believe they have double that amount. But there is no way of counting them, and I am compelled to take their number as given in their application for permit. To arrive at the nearest estimate of the number of cattle this Company has ranging on the Reserve ranges will not be a difficult thing to do. It would be necessary for a Forest Officer who was well up on the reading of stock brands to follow the calf roundup. By keeping count of the number of calves branded, the actual number of all cattle ranging in that District could be very closely estimated. There are a number of wild cattle in the mountains, some without brand or earmark, which the cattlemen would gladly drive off of the Reserve ranges if it were possible to do so, but it is almost impossible to get these cattle and the few that are gotten out of the mountains are usually killed and butchered and then packed out on pack burros.

Please advise me on this point that I may make all preparations for arriving at a more accurate count for the season of 1906.

Very truly yours.

(Signed) Thomas F. Meagher,
Forest Supervisor

Box 28, Ruby Star Route
Tucson, Arizona
July 17, 1939.

Mr. Frederick Winn, Supervisor
     Coronado National Forest,
     Tucson, Arizona

Dear, Mr. Winn:

In compliance with your request made recently I am submitting the following information concerning my service during the early days of the National Forest administration.

I was appointed a Forest Guard on the Tumacacori Division of the Garces National Forest on July 22, 1907. On September 5, 1908, I was appointed an Assistant Forest Ranger for the same District, serving until December 1912. Thus I was in the Forest Service approximately 5-1/2 years, and always stationed at Oro Blanco in the Tumacacori Division.

During my service there was considerable mining in the Tumacacori area, and the timber sales to the mining companies practically paid the maintenance of this Forest Division.

I served under the following Supervisors: Roscoe G. Willson, Nogales, on the Garces National Forest; W. H. B. Kent, Nogales, on the Garces National Forest: R. J. Selkirk, Tucson, on the Coronado National Forest.

I can recall that most people objected to the establishment of the Forest Reserve, because there was not enough timber of commercial value to warrant protection by the Government. Some ranchers, when told that they would have to pay a grazing fee, remarked that it was all they could do to pay property taxes and said that the new fee would be unreasonable.

When I entered the Forest Service the Tumacacori Division had no roads and all travel was with pack mules and horses. I had a very good outfit and within a short time after the report of a fire I could start with my mules packed with food for three men for several days. I had to get help from neighbors and always seemed to have good luck putting out grass fires. In those days the mountains were full of cattle, and the cattle trails were good firebreaks. I recall particularly W. H. B. Kent, one of my Supervisors. He always preferred to hold his meetings with the Rangers in the mountains, by some spring of cool water. Then he would go over Forest problems, and the meeting was always a success. Kent was very adept at writing poetry and would read it to us rangers. It was all Latin to me, but possibly today the Rangers in the Service could interpret it, for in the last 30 years they have had a chance to educate themselves.

At one time the Baboquivari Mountains were a part of the Forest Reserve. A Ranger by the name of Krupp was stationed there. His camp was located in a deep canyon with a very poor view of the surrounding hills. A grass fire started on one of the higher mountains and burned for two days before Krupp discovered it when he was riding to Arivaca, some 15 miles away, to get tobacco. At another time I went with Supervisor Willson to the Baboquivaris to survey some lines. I took care of the cooking of the bacon and beans and Willson, the bread. One batch of bread turned out very unsatisfactory. Willson then threw the bread to a dog from a nearby Indian village. Much to the surprise of us both, the dog refused the biscuits, which added greatly to the humiliation of Willson.

One other incident comes to my mind: On the Mexican Border below Ruby is located a mine. At the time that I was serving as a Ranger, the Mexicans claimed that the mine was on the Mexican side of the boundary, and the Americans claimed it was on the U.S. side. One day a couple of us Rangers rode down to the mine, equipped as usual with pistols and saddle rifles. This gave the Mexicans a terrible scare, since they thought that we were American officers who had come to run then off the property. But the amusing part of it all was, we Rangers were not informed of the trouble between the whites and Mexicans, before we went down to the mine, and we did not realize the part we were playing, for after a couple of days we learned that the Mexicans had pulled out and left the mine to the Americans, - all because of our appearance at the mine fully armed.

Arthur H. Noon

The following article was found in the Fred Winn Papers:

From the U. S. Forest Service Daily Bulletin of October 8. 1935.

Title: S. Sales. San Francisco Mountains Forest Reserve - 1907.

One of the earliest large offerings of timber for sale in this Region was that for 90 million feet of pondorosa pine, then called Western yellow pine, on the San Francisco Mountains Forest Reserve, now the Coconino National Forest. The initial advertisement of the timber appeared February 21, 1907, under a Washington dateline, and bids were to be received up to and including March 21, 1907. The minimum stunpage rate named in the advertisement was $3.50 per M feet BM. The timber was located north of the Santa Fe Railroad, and east and northeast of Eldon Mountain. The unit was purchased by the Greenlaw Lumber Company, and the timber mill at a plant built by them at a town called Cliffs. The sale file contains much that is of interest, showing the many problems confronting the personnel in connection with initiating the large sale without the benefit of past experimental knowledge of how stands of pondorosa pine should be cut. A letter dated November 21, 1906, signed by Gifford Pinchot and addressed to T. S. Woolsey outlines the policy which should be followed. In the light of present knowledge regarding this species, secured from many years of experimental work, experience gained in handling stands of pine in the Southwest, and observations on the result of this and other early cutting, has brought out the soundness of this early statement. The policy outlined in the original letter nay be summed up as follows:

The aim of the marking is to leave enough trees standing to fully seed the ground after logging, to form the basis for a second cut, and to afford some protection to soil against drying of the sun. The marker was cautioned to picture how the Forest would look after the timber was cut, and to keep in mind the effect of cutting on reproduction. The nature timber was to be removed, unless needed for seed, and the young fast-growing, healthy trees were to be reserved for more profitable later cut. Three conditions were pictured as influencing the number and size of seed trees needed, viz, (1) good reproduction, but no blackjack, 2 to 4 yellow pine per acre to be left as safety trees in case of fire. This is the first reference to the need for leaving safety trees to reseed the area in case fire destroyed the existing reproduction. (2) Good reproduction. Good, healthy stand below 20" in diameter were to be removed. (3) Poor reproduction, few blackjacks. 2 to 4 large yellow pines to be left per acre.

In determining the seed supply, the problem was realistically approached by a study of the average number of cones per tree of seed bearing size, number of seeds per cone, number of seeds per pound, number of pounds needed to reseed the area. The rules provided also for improvement cutting aimed at removing diseased, defective, and deformed individuals in the younger, but merchantable-sized stands. As a protection from fire, brush was to be piled and burned.

* * * * * * * * * *

The following write—up is taken verbatim from an annual grazing report on the Coconino National Forest, dated November 11, 1910: Permit allotments.

Permit allotments have been made in accordance with the instructions in the Use Book, and special instructions, given in various letters. Unless permittees had prior rights in the use of the range, they were required to own land and water and reside upon the land, with water sufficient for their stock, before their permits were approved. In the southeast corner of the Forest, where the range is not fully stocked, and in one or two other Districts where there was no danger of overgrazing, special permits were issued for the year allowing a limited number of stock on the range without these grazing rights. Such permittees, however, were notified that the permit in each case was only for the year and could be revoked any year by this Office. The rules for new beginners have been more favorably taken up and are now much better understood than formerly. I believe that the instructions covering applications of new beginners should be more taken up as they are not as clear as they might be in certain details. It seems advisable to require residence end cultivation of the land, together with water development, at least one year before the season for which permit is applied, as otherwise at best we have to go entirely in the approval of such permits on the showing made by the applicant the year he applies for the permit, and I feel that from the way they are working out, residence and cultivation, together with water development, should precede by at least one year the application of a new beginner. The reason for this is that the present method is not definite enough for the guidance of the Supervisor, and also because it allows a new beginner to start in without making really any improvements and without outlay of money in any way equivalent, even on a pro-rata basis, to the improvements and outlay made by the bulk of the present permittees.

I wish also to call your attention to the recommendations made by the advisory board of the Arizona Woolgrowers Association in their letter to me under date of October 31, a copy of which is attached, which reads as follows:

"The Advisory Board are also of the opinion and so recommend, that when a pernittee sells out his stock and range rights on the Forest, whether it be in sheep, cattle, or horses, and applies for a new permit as a beginner, he should not be considered eligible, but this does not apply to any person who may buy out the stock, ranch, range rights, and business of a person holding a permit on the Forest."

We have had several cases in the last year or two where a party has sold out his stock, ranch, range rights entirely to other parties and then has either purchased or homesteaded under the Act of June 11 a new piece of land, developed water and applied for a permit as a new beginner. This invariably results in an addition of stock on the range, even if the 20% cut is made as required in the Use Book in certain cases. It would appear only just since a man selling ranches and property to another cannot protect the purchaser unless he has held a permit for three years, that a nan who sells out entirely and wishes to start anew should not be granted additional privileges as a new beginner until three years after he sells out, as almost invariably the selling out and applying for a new permit is simply a speculative proposition and does not seen just.

After a careful consideration of the maximum and protective limits, and a conference with the advisory board of the Arizona Woolgrowers Association, and their request, it does not seem advisable to change the present protective and maximum limits this year. The 5-year permits have, as you know, a protective limit of 4,000 sheep and 600 head of cattle, while the protective limit for all other stock is 2,000 head of sheep and 300 head of cattle. In view of this fact it seems advisable not to change the protective limit again until the present 5-year permits run out and all stock can be put on the same basis. The maximum limit of 6,000 head of sheep and 1,500 head of cattle should be retained as at present.

Protection: There has been more or less loss from stock eating poisonous plants, but as far as I can ascertain, this loss has been smaller than usual and is not so extensive as to necessitate scientific investigations, as the total loss for the past year is approximately 12 head of cattle and horses, and 10 head of sheep. The hunter has been working on this Forest constantly for the past year with excellent results. The results have made a showing in that the number of stock killed by wolves and mountain lions has been materially reduced and, as far as is know, practically none have been killed this year on the D-K range. It seems advisable after this year to retain the services of a hunter only from November 1 to May 31, which will cover the entire period when the fur is good and when serious damage could be done to stock. The bulk of the more dangerous predatory animals have been cleared out, and the problem of getting the remainder of them is one that will have to be taken up when conditions are more favorable, as they will be within the time specified.

On several small areas throughout the Forest the prairie dogs are still numerous and do more or less damage to the forage crop. But in the main the damage done by then has not been serious. The work of exterminating prairie dogs should be continued next year as heretofore. The forage crop, both in quality and quantity, is so largely dependent upon the distribution of the rainfall that I doubt if it can be much improved by the Forest Service. However, experiments are being carried on to determine which of the best forage grasses in common use in other parts of the country can be successfully introduced here with a view to seeding up overgrazed portions of the range which are now, or may be overgrazed in the future. The data obtained up to the present time, however, has not been satisfactory enough to warrant an extensive experiment along this line. I believe the present experiment should be continued so that in case of necessity the data will be available for this work.

Stock Grazing without permit. On account of the number of small and large cattle outfits and sheep outfits using this Forest, the number of stock required to run such outfits is large. The rangers report that there are 190 individuals and outfits who have stock running on the Forest without permits. The stock not under permit are made up as follows: cattle - 29; horses, mules, and burros - 1,603; goats - 52; giving a grand total of 1,684. Only a small portion of this stock belongs to parties not holding grazing permits.

Livestock Associations. The cattlemen on this Forest have not formed any association, and for that reason all matters pertaining to cattle allotments have been handled by the Forest Supervisor without consultation with the people outside the Forest Service except where the regular range users were consulted as to their views in regard to additional stock being placed on the range. The sheepmen, on the other hand, are very well organized, and their advisory board is consulted in matters relating to general policy of sheep grazing the Forest. A great deal of good has come from the conferences that have been held, as both the advisory board and the Forest Supervisor's office have received many new ideas and a better understanding of conditions from the conferences. Matters of individual allotments and disputes have not been taken up with the advisory board on this Forest, but the question of new owners and protective and maximum limits have been covered by conferences. All controversies and disputes which have occurred on what is now the Coconino Forest have been made a subject of personal investigation by this office, and adjustments have been made to meet the actual needs in each case, and to the satisfaction of the various stockmen concerned, as far as it was possible to make matters satisfactory with the present allotments already established. It has been the custom to have both parties concerned present during the field investigations covering the whole territory in dispute and adjacent range, and to determine in their presence just what should be done, both parties in the controversy being consulted freely as to their views. In the future, on account of the fully stocked condition of the Forest, I believe that the advisory board of the Arizona Woolgrowers Association should be consulted, not only with regard to general policy questions, such as have been taken up with regard to new owners and protective limits, etc., but they should also be consulted and the Supervisor's office backed by them in the settling of range disputes when it is possible to take the matter up with them, as it sometimes happens that adjustments of disputes made by the Supervisor have not proven satisfactory to the individual owners, and have caused further disputes which have had to be adjusted by members of the District and Washington Offices, whereas I believe that if the advisory board were consulted in the matter and had concurred in the Supervisor's decision, no appeal would have been made from the Supervisor's decision, and that the advisory board and the Supervisor could adjust matters to the satisfaction of all concerned without requiring appeals beyond the Supervisor's office.

Recommendations: The total number of stock now under permit on the present Coconino National Forest is approximately 33,200 head of cattle and horses, 49 hogs, and 89,550 sheep. On account of the Forest having been divided, it is not possible to determine the proportion of the grazing allotment which was available for this Forest. It was, in all probability, slightly in excess of the amount stated above. For the next grazing year I recommend that this office be authorized to grant permits for 91,000 head of sheep and goats, 34,500 head of cattle and horses, and 100 hogs. This apparent increase is merely to allow for possible increases on account of new beginners and parties now below the protective limit. The distribution of stock on the various districts should be about the present percentage with a slight change in the location of stock, previously spoken of in the Lake Mary cattle district.

This report is signed by Willard M. Drake. Acting Forest Supervisor.

* * * * * * * * * *

Fred S. Breen, first Supervisor of the San Francisco Mountains Forest Reserve, and later the first Supervisor of the Coconino National Forest, was a man of strong convictions and well able to express them. The following letter was obtained from the Editor of the Coconino Sun through the efforts of the Coconino Forest Supervisor, Raymond Housley.

Flagstaff, Arizona
March 7, 1908

The Forester,
     Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir:

I am in receipt of your telegram of today, accepting my resignation, to take effect March 15th next.

I had intended to send in my resignation on receipt of my salary check for January, providing that I received no increase, but at the suggestion of Mr. Bronson gave it to him to file with my grievances.

You see, since my salary is less now than it was about ten years ago, after two "promotions" in the Forest Service. I rather felt that someone was afflicted with the ingrowing salary habit, and it wouldn't be long before my creditors would notice my financial lassitude.

I had received a number of letters approving my work, or at least I took it that way, and I understand my inspectors give me a fairly good recommend, and recommend for, promotion, so I do not fully understand just where my promotion caught the locomotor ataxia.

I guess I must have misunderstood, but I thought there was a good possibility of an increase up to $2,800 a year if one could deliver the goods — folks in the Service indicated that I could. I thought I had a bright future before me. but that durned bright future has certainly side-stepped me along the route somewhere, and must be loafing behind.

I was not promoted in 1905, when the transfer was made from the Land Office. I didn't think much about it at the time one way or the other, but when I did get promoted in 1906, I was glad I wasn't "promoted" in 1905. I was getting $2,371 until my promotion came along in 1906, which gave me $2,200. I know it was a promotion, for my commission from the Secretary of the Interior said so right square in the middle of it.

In 1907 I was raised to $2,300; so I am still shy some of the good old salary that I started with away back in September 1898, with only the San Francisco Mts. National Forest to handle. The fellows on the Black Mesa and Grand Canyon Forests were getting the same amount that I got, but when they fell by the wayside I fell heir to their territory and their troubles, but none of the pesos they were getting.

I fully acknowledge your right to assay the intellects of us woodchucks, and raise, drop or fire; and it is up to me to raise, fall or git, as the case may be. As I didn't get the first (raise), but the second (fall). I thought I had better take the third myself.

One can get a heap more money out of a little old band of sheep, or something of that kind, even if his intellect does not average over 30%, with a whole lot less trouble, and retain some friends; but with this job, the general public just naturally gets cross if you try to enforce the rules, and if you don't enforce the rules then you get cross; so the Supervisor gets the double cross whatever happens, and has no pension at the end of the game, to sorts ease down his old age when the pace is too fast.

While I think a good deal of forestry, I realize that a man can't live in this country and lay up anything, unless he gets a good salary; consequently believe I should go out and make money while I can.

It takes a considerable brain fag and wrangling to gather up the $115,581.34 from timber sales, stockmen and settlers, as well as the fag entailed by judiciously expending $23,459.37 in doing the work. I haven't counted, of course, the different amounts connected with the work on the Black Mesa ($.) and Grand Canyon ($.) forests. I am under the impression that amounts given for the San Fracisco Mountains Forest for last year are the largest receipts for any forest, by long odds. I am glad of it, even if it don't count.

I want to thank the different Chiefs for their many kindnesses to me, for I know a feller gets sorter peevish at times when his troubles come in bunches.

I feel mightily relieved at the prospect of seeing some other feller being accused of prejudice, ignorance, partiality, graft, ulterior motives, laziness, salary grabbing and other such innocent pastimes.

Ten years is a long time to wrangle over the same ground and troubles, then to look ahead to a heap more of it in larger varieties and quantities, which will assay a heap stronger strain both mentally and financially, and it certainly aggravates one's desire to sorter seggregate.

I am glad there will be a bright young man here March 15, to separate me and my troubles and let me wander away to new fields, where the bleat of the sheep, the height of a stump, the brand of a cow nor even a special privilege can hop up and fill me with fright or woe.

While according to my idea I have not been treated right, I am not carrying away in my bosom any sassy or lacerated feelings, for I hav'n't time to use them; and, further, I will be in easy reach in case any of the old grazing scraps come up at any time.

Very truly yours.

/s/ Fred S. Breen
Ex-Forest Supervisor

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Last Updated: 15-Feb-2011