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Arizona was populated with Hopi pueblo dwellers and fierce Canadian Navajo and Apaches.   The latter were warriors, defenders of their territory, ready to declare their space with either parlays or arrows, whichever was necessary.  Since Arizona was owned by first Spain and then Mexico until the Mexican-American War concluded in 1848, carving out ranchs and building homes had been  minimal.  Following the war, 4 million people from all directions began drifting in setting up homesteads.  President James Knox Polk had added 1.2 million square miles to the continental U.S. which made it possible to finally build railroads connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.  Land was cheap and available for the healthy, strong and adventurous.

Boxed in by the invasion, Apaches and Navajo fought to keep what had been theirs for about the last 300 years.  Tough people were needed to clear the way for the more subdued ranchers and farmers who headed West.  These men came from all walks of life but they shared some general characteristics: they were risk takers, sure shots, self-confident and a little eccentric. 

The West drew these colorful characters to it like iron filings to a magnet. 

 

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Map of Arizona

 

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Map of the reservations and Four Corners 

 

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