Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Arizona's Official Anthem, 1901

On March 16, 1901, by way of Act No. 49, the Arizona Territorial legislature adopted an official anthem of the Territory of Arizona. Here, faithfully transcribed in all its sun-kissed glory, are the lyrics.


O, Arizona, Sun-kissed Land; 
Thy day of birth is near at hand;
Upon they mountains' rugged crest,
They native sons still call thee blest;
Within thy valleys' broad domain,
In love, thy foster children reign;
Fair Land of gold and sunny peace,
Of flower and vine and rich increase,
Of cloud-kissed hills and wooded wold,
Of countless mines and wealth untold.


Hail: all hail to Arizona:
Sound her praise from sea to sea:
Land of sun and summer showers,
Land of grain and gold and flowers,
In Columbia's diadem
Of jewels rare thou'lt be the gem,
Hail to Arizona, the Sun-kissed Land.

Primeval stands thy forest grand,
The ancient Zuni's fatherland,
The plain and lofty mountain round,
Were many moons his hunting ground,
Unbosomed in thy sun's bright ray
His olden ruins slow decay;
Where once the tribes of Ishamel's band
Marauding wandered o'er the land,
The mighty "Phoenix" rose to fame
From the ashes of destruction's flame.

Hoary with age, thou still art young,
Land of renown with praise unsung;
Nature with a master hand
Hath carved thy wondrous Canyon Grand;
Magician-like her wand she plied,
And lo: thy Forest Petrified;
From craggy peak of Castle Dome,
From Copper Queen to rich Jerome,
She pours her lavish treasure forth
In molten streams of priceless worth.

Not all thy riches, glorious Land,
Are due alone to Nature's hand,
For man with unremitting toil
Brings forth a bounty from the soil;
From vine-clad hills and limpid streams,
From fruitful vales where plenty teems,
O'er verdant fields he points with pride,
Where flocks and herd are scattered wide,
To schools where art and skill combine,
To homes in love and truth enshrined.

Proud Land, thy rock-ribbed hills record
The history of a mighty horde;
The onward tread of centuries old
Hath left its imprint strong and bold
On the hearts and lives of thy brave sons,
In the winsome grace of thy fairer ones;
Thy Rider's Rough, a valiant band,
With loyal hearts forever stand
To guard the flag that floats above
Thy homes where reign content and love.

(End anthem.)

The statue passing the adoption of the above anthem also mandated that trustees of the school districts were to furnish copies to all schools to allow Arizona's students to learn and perform the song "as part of the musical exercises of their schools."  

The "day of birth" mentioned in the first stanza refers, of course, to the optimism towards approaching statehood. Due to the "Indian troubles," statehood wasn't granted until several years later in 1912. 

Note that the final verse pays homage to the Rough Riders, of which Buckey O'Neill was a member. In the same legislative session, it was also enacted that the Roosevelt Rough Riders Association would be permitted to commemorate the Arizona contingent of the First United States Volunteer Cavalry - better known as the Rough Riders - with a medallion, inscribed with the names of all the Rough Riders who perished in the Spanish-American War, in the rotunda of the Territorial capitol building. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

A Whistle-Post on the Railway: Arntz, Arizona

Follow the railroad tracks best of Holbrook, and just a few miles outside of town you'll pass a bare patch of land where a railroad station once stood. You'll know you're there because the Arntz Road crosses the tracks there from the north before veering sharply east. The station took its name from Werner Peter Arntz, the railroad roadmaster for the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. Arntz may never have even lived in the settlement that took his name. In June, 1921, Arntz succeeded H. C. Storey as the train master on the Phoenix - Ash Fork Line of the railroad upon Storey's death, and resided in Prescott. There he stayed until he received a promotion in November, 1922, when Arntz returned to California to work at the Terminal Division in San Francisco.

Born in January, 1873, in Wisconsin, Arntz was the son of a French-born father and a German-born mother. In 1895, he married Hannah; census records show their children included Jeraldine and Julian. A lifelong railroad employee, Arntz was Chief Clerk at the AT & SF RR by 1915, when he lived in San Francisco at 3727 25th Street.

Arntz moved around as necessary for his railroad job. Just prior to moving to Arizona, he was Chief Clerk at Fresno. Arizona, at the time, was considerably less lively than his California residences. Perhaps the highlight of Arntz's Arizona career was traveling with the popular Sells-Floto Circus when it traveled by rail across the southwest. In September, 1922, Arntz was responsible for ensuring the bigtop and its entourage were safely moved. He joined them from Prescott to Ash Fork, where he left them to make their own way on the train to Winslow for their next show.

In April of that year, the papers were proud to announce the arrival of "high officials" of the AT & SF RR. Traveling in a special five-car train to tour the Santa Fe lines, the lofty executives were joined in Prescott by Arntz himself. His Arizona career, though brief, had its challenges: railroad labor unrest divided communities, and as workers pitted themselves against the railroads, Arntz found that he and his employee could find nowhere to eat in Parker (Arizona) in August, 1922. Four restaurants they tried to eat at closed their doors to the railroad men, hanging signs up saying, "We are not feeding scabs."

As for the tiny way station called Arntz, it remained humble. Its biggest news was excitedly reported by the Holbrook (Arizona) News on November 24, 1922. Calling it "a whistling post" seven miles east of Holbrook, the paper announced that Section Foreman William Melton and a section hand named Liberado Flores were arrested for having "materials and machinery" for the "manufacturing of the product so obnoxious to Mr. Volstead." Volstead, students of American history will know, was Mr. Andrew Volstead, whose name was given to the act establishing prohibition - the 18th Amendment. Melton and Flores were bootleggers, although the newspaper delicately avoided giving them such a scandalous name. The newspaper was more concerned with the fact a place called Arntz even existed: "So it is that Arentz breaks into fame, and we must confess that up to this time we ourselves had been entirely ignorant of its existence."

As for Werner P. Arntz, he and Hannah continued to move around in California after the Prescott office he'd held was abolished November 15, 1922. They lived, in 1932, once again in San Francisco; by 1939, in San Jose; ever moving along the tracks as needed by the railroad. His name remains in Arizona, though, a pin-prick on a wind-blown lot with just a tree-break still remaining along the tracks outside of Holbrook.