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Henry Wickenburg
History of Arizona, Thomas Edwin Farish, Vol. 2 1915, pg. 211

Henry Wickenburg was a native of Germany, born in that empire
in 1819. In 1847 he came to New York. He went to San Francisco
in 1853 and came to Arizona in 1862, remaining at Fort Yuma for
a time then traveling up the river to La Paz. At La Paz he Statue in front of town hall
learned that a party of explorers had left there a few days
before to go through the country to Tucson. Henry took their
trail and overtook them at what is now known as Peeples' Valley,
having traveled nearly two hundred miles alone through the
Apache country. After leaving Peeples' Valley the party
traveled east to what is now Walnut Grove then on to Turkey
Creek and Black Canyon. Near turkey Creek one of the party
found some white quartz which had coarse gold in it. His
name was Goss. He said nothing of his find to the balance
of the party, but the next year he came back and in company
with Timothy Lambertson worked some on the mine and packed
the ore to Walnut Grove. From Black Canyon the exploring
company made their way to Tucson. There Henry went to work
driving a team for the United States Government.

We next find him on a piece of land in Peeples' Valley in 1863
where he learned through King S. Woolsey of the finding of rich
ore in the Harquahala Mountains. Henry got Van Bibber, a man
named Green and some others and started for the place Woolsey
had described. They went down to the Hassayampa River and
there made a start for the long stretch across the desert
for the place indicated by Woolsey. They were not sure of
any water after leaving the river until they reached the pass
in the Harquahala where the gold was said to be, which meant
a trip of fifty miles and back with what water the could
carry with them. Following the low foothills, the party
came in sight of the great white cropping of the Vulture
Wickenburg wished to stop and examine it but the
other members of the party refused. After the party
returned from their hunt, Wickenburg went back to the
big white cropping and discovered the Vulture Mine.
When Van Bibber learned of the great strike made by
Wickenburg, he at once claimed an interest, which, of
course, Henry refused. Then commenced a long struggle
in the courts, Coles Bashford handling the Wickenburg
side of the case, which was finally settled in Tucson.
Wickenburg remained at the mine where he lived until the
spring or summer of 1884 when he managed to get a ton of
Vulture ore packed to a camp he had established at the
present town of Wickenburg, a very poor excuse for an
arrastra being built there by July 4 of that year. At
that time, C.B. Genung came to Wickenburg's camp with
another man, having been driven in from a prospecting
trip by Apaches. Genung having had experience in
working ore by the arrastra process, undertook to show
Wickenburg what he could about the method and remodeled
the arrastra and assisted in the grinding of the ore that
was on the ground. From this ore they took seventeen
ounces of gold.

During the years 1865 and 1866 there were four mills built
within one mile of the present town of Wickenburg--one five
stamp mill by Charley Tyson, another one of equal size by
Jack Swilling, and two others, one a ten stamp mill and the
other a twenty stamp mill.

James Cusenberry built the twenty stamp mill and also added
the twenty new stamps then turned the management over to a
man named Sexton who stole everything he could during the
four years that he kept it running and was over $100,000
in debt to Arizona when he had to close it down.

The ten stamp mill owned by William Smith, Fritz Brill and
others was moved from Wickenburg to a point about thirteen
miles lower down the Hassayampa in order to get wood. The
mill was run until 1878 or 1879 when Smith and Company sold
out the claims to James Seymour of New York. Seymour employed
James Cusenberry to superintend the working of the properties.

Henry Wickenburg, after parting with all his interest in the
mine, settled at the town which bore his name, having a ranch
there up to the time of his death in May 1905. He was a fine
character, honest, straight-forward and industrious, a typical
Westerner, quiet, unobtrusive, bold and fearless. He was
not possessed of much property at the time of his death.

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Vulture Peak


Hassayamapa River


Vulture Mine

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