Monday, July 28, 2008

Former Mayors of Yuma, Arizona

From: "Marilyn Young"

During my tenure as mayor of Yuma I became interested in my past counterparts. I am now doing research on all of them, but five of them are a special challenge. Of these five we do not have a photograph – two of the five worked for the railroad.

Andrew J Finlay worked for the Central Pacific and then the Southern Pacific in California and Yuma and Tucson, Arizona. He was active during the years ca. 1870-1890.

R J Duncan (first name Ransom) I believed worked for just the Southern Pacific during the same time span, although he was in railroading most if not all of his adult life.

Would there be anyway you could help me in this quest? Or, give me guidance as to were I might find a photo and/or information on these gents. ...

—Marilyn Young
Yuma AZ


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


You probably have reviewed the Yuma and Prescott newspapers for this period. They show mayor Finlay (mayor 1873-4?, county treasurer, on Penitentiary board) was agent for the Colorado Steam Navigation Co, which was acquired by the SP. The papers show he was primarily stationed in Arizona. Unfortunately, many of the 1870-80s photographs of stations and workers lack individual identifications. So, those beautiful photographs of the Colorado River steamboats with the bridge in the background fail to identify the men and women in the images (maybe one of them is your mayor and their agent Finlay, but unidentified).

Have you tried the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott? They do have awonderful collection of Arizona images for that period. Obviously, the Arizona Historical Society is worth looking into, if you haven't already(but I'd guess you have since Yuma has a branch AHS museum).

Much the same could be said for R. J. Duncan. It appears he started with the Signal Corps, military telegraph, and then moved to be station agent. The last note has him as agent in Fairbank, the jump-off spot for Tombstone. Maybe he can be identified in the photo of the Fairbank depot.

You can quickly check these references in the digitized historicalnewspaper files of the "Genealogy Bank."

Good luck


Bob Spude – Historian – Cultural Resources Management – National Park Service – Intermountain Region – 505.988.6770 Voice – 505.988.6876 Fax

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

7/30/2008 10:36 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Marilyn Young"

Thank you, I'm off and running!

—Marilyn Young

The ability to speak several languages is an asset, but to be able to hold your tongue in one language is priceless.

7/30/2008 11:47 AM  
Blogger BrontëSaurus said...

Hello Marilyn,
I am wondering if you have any literature or information on C. W. McGraw, for whom the elementary school is named. I called the district and they recommended me to you. I am a distant relative of Mr. McGraw, and a school teacher in Oregon, and I would love to learn more about his contributions to Arizona education.

6/30/2010 11:53 AM  

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