Desert Messenger

December 15, 2010

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P��� 22 Voices from the Past Excerpts from “In the Shadow of Saguaros” By Rosalee Oldham Wheeler The Desert Messenger is proud to feature excerpts from Rosalee Wheeler’s “In the Shadow of Saguaros.” Volume I, circa 1540 to 1839, begins with the first recorded history in Southwestern Arizona; Coronado and the Conquistadors searching for the Seven Cities of Cibola. ���.D�����M��������.��� William G. “Bill” Keiser- a man of many talents (Previous story was: Windmills of the Desert.) man who smoked a big Havana cigar. It was almost always in his mouth, some- times lit, most times not. He had an easy smile and a whimsical grin that let you know he was about to tell another good story. Bill had an opinion on almost every- thing. His oil paintings as well as his pen and ink sketches recreated scenes from the Southwestern Arizona desert he loved. As you came into the foyer of his home there was a gallery of his art resting on a variety of easels and hung on the walls for his many visitors to ad- mire. People from all walks of life would come to learn about places of local inter- est and Bill never missed an opportunity to invite his visitors to “partner-up” in one of his many mining ventures. Senator Barry Goldwater was a fre- quent visitor and purchased several of Bill’s paintings. In 1961 our daughter Patty was visiting Senator Goldwater William G. “Bill” Keiser was a small Desert Beacon Hotel - Bill Keiser 2nd from left in his Washington DC office and was delighted to see a painting depicting Palo Verde’s in full bloom with the Kofa Mountains in the background. Senator Goldwater informed Patty that the art- ist, Bill Keiser, was from her hometown. She said it was a thrill to learn that the Senator truly loved the scenery that she had always just taken for granted. Back in 1896, at age 23, Bill had come west from Lykens, Pennsylvania. He first landed in San Diego where adven- ture and the lure of gold was a big draw. There, in several eastern newspapers, he read about a big gold mining opera- tion at the King of Arizona Mine. It was reported that there was enough gold at the KofA to keep the mine active for many years to come. So Bill headed out for the KofA where it was reported that he could earn three dollars a day. On the train to Yuma he met several interesting promoters who were dis- playing gold specimens that ranged from specks of dust to huge chunks of gold clinging to quartz. He listened to intriguing stories about lost gold mines as well as facts about active mines pro- ducing other precious metals. Bill kept notes on everything, especially when promoters mentioned the best areas for individuals to stake a claim; places like the Plomosa Placers, La Cholla District, and out at the Castle Dome Mountains as well as around the Mariquita, Gua- dalupe, Valenzuela, and Copper Bottom Mines. Bill checked out each and every prospect.  SEE BILL ON PAGE 23 Sandy’s Back at Cactus Curlers FULL SERVICE HAIR CARE Along with stylists Sandy, Sheryl, Judy and Debbie, we are pleased to have Beth Evans and Janna Richardson formerly of Desert Rose Salon at Cactus Curlers Salon. Jo is also back for nails and pedicures. Tanning Bed Packages Available! 735 W. Cowell, Quartzsite Open Mon.-Fri. Sat. by appt. 928-927-5400 AZ Scared Wood (It’s Petrified) 25,000 pounds of Arizona Rainbow Petrified Wood! Prices start @ 33¢/lb. 1240 W. Main • Quartzsite directly across from McDonald’s Open daily 9-6 D������� 15, 2010

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