Desert Messenger

September 21, 2011

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Page 6 desert messenger celebrates the arizona's centennial with voices from the past in Quartzsite, AZ Excerpts from "In the Shadow of Saguaros" by Rosalee Oldham Wheeler Bud and Billie Shoop came to Quartzsite from the White Mountains area in Apache County back when land was dirt cheap in Quartzsite. From the estate of William and Anna Field, they bought 160 acres and built a small house with a big corral out back. They also bought several head of cattle from Hugh and Ethel Wright along with their Grazing Permit for the Trigo Mountain Range, out from the Cibola Road turnoff, north of Stone Cabin. The Wright's had bought the out- fit from George Hagley when he gave up being a cattleman to become a politician. Like Hagley and the Wright's before him, Bud experienced some of the same challenges of being a desert range cattleman. The first few years were fairly good but the next seven brought drought and "dried up everything to a crisp" before the rains finally came again. Hagley told Bud how he remembered grass that grew up to a horse's belly out on that range. Everyone liked the good-natured Shoop. His Stetson was well-worn, yet his po- lite manner came through as he removed his hat by the rolled brim while making a slight bow and expressing a "Howdy" that exposed a big gold-toothed grin. Before the drought ended, Billie went to work at Stone Cabin as a cook for Lynn Morton and his wife. Whether traveling north or south on Highway 95, everyone stopped at Stone Cabin for cold drinks and one of Billie's great hamburgers. My husband Charles Oldham was a Yuma County Deputy and in the summer be- fore air conditioning it was a hot trip. With or without prisoners Charles al- ways stopped for cold drinks. After a few years of good rains Bud had built up his herd to where he needed help. Bud hired a cowboy who stayed at the cabin and windmill along Mo- have Wash to run Bud's outfit of nearly 100 cows and three Hereford bulls. One day Bud called the Yuma County Sheriff's Office and reported that the cowboy was missing with his saddle and gear in the cabin. Charles, along with two deputies from Yuma met Bud at the cabin and started their search. Bud was on horseback with the others walking in different directions. Com- ing back to the cabin alone, Charles came upon a trail of clothing. First, not far apart, he saw a pair of shoes. One sock, and then the other. Then a shirt, a pair of Levi's, a hat and then under- wear. Finally he saw the cowboy, ly- ing partially under a greasewood bush. Charles said later that a person dying of thirst does not behave rationally, and maybe that's why he removed his shoes and socks first, the very things he would need most in the desert. There's an old saying that misfortune come in threes. Lynn Morton's wife left Stone Cabin with another man, leaving Billie to do the cooking, serving, and washing all the dishes. Morton needed Billie more than ever, and not just to help him run Stone Cabin. Billie even- tually left Bud and married Morton. Another seven-year drought came, Save 64% Family Value Combo Plus 3 Free Gifts the on 45069TLE 2 (5 oz.) Filet Mignons 2 (5 oz.) Top Sirloins 4 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers 4 (3 oz.) Gourmet Franks 4 (4 oz. approx.) Boneless Chicken Breasts 4 Stuffed Baked Potatoes Reg. $13900 | Now Only $4999 to every shipping address. 6 FREE Omaha Steaks Burgers, a FREE 6-piece Cutlery Set, and a FREE Cutting Board. $Save8901 Limit of 2 packages. Free Gifts included per shipment. Off er expires 11/15/11. Standard shipping and handling will be applied per address. To order: or call 1-888-525-7494 ©2011 OCG, Inc. 13302 by Day, Week, or Month Completely Furnished $350-$450/month Cactus Patch RV Park 150 E. Cowell, Quartzsite Call Frank at 928-927-6717 for more information forcing Bud to sell off most of his cat- tle. In 1955 he decided to become a land developer and subdivide his 160 acres in Quartzsite into one-acre lots. He laid out streets, leaving the naming of the primary streets to the buyers. Since most buyers were from Wash- October 5, 2011 ington, Oregon, and Idaho the street names came from their home states. Milton and Verna Johnson, retired from the shipyards in Bremerton, Washington, were the first to pur- chase land in Bud's new venture. Ray Weatherly offered to buy 80 acres from Bud for $10 an acre. Bud thought the land Ray wanted wasn't worth much because the Tyson Wash ran through most of it. Ray kept 15 acres to build his house and then sold the rest to Keith and Fern McCauley for $100 an acre. Everyone in town was puzzled as to why the McCauley's would buy land in the Tyson Wash. McCauley built his home on high ground with a swimming pool for their four children and then proceeded to sell sand and gravel to the Arizona Highway Department, making many times over what he had paid for the 65 acres. More "snowbirds" were flocking to Quartzsite needing sand and gravel for foundations and such, while Mother Nature kept sending McCau- ley a fresh supply of sand every time it rained and the Tyson Wash ran. Bud sold all the one-acre lots so he tore down the corral and sold that land too. When his "cow pony" died Bud told me he was selling off the rest of his cattle and was hanging up his spurs. He had come to Quartzsite because it was a nice, quiet little town but he ended up inviting many new folks to share his love of the desert by turning his 160 acres into a playground for re- tirees. Ever wonder why Quartzsite has a Washington Boulevard? Well, it was the first street named in Bud's land sale. He didn't loose complete control of his enterprise though. He retained the right to name the cross streets. When someone put up Idaho Street he took the sign down and put up his own, Sunset Trail. And so it is today. T RAILERs

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