Well, On Granny’s Trail just topped 16,000 views, so to celebrate this random achievement, I decided to share a fun podcast with you from Stuff You Missed in History Class that will help you learn a little more about the Western States. Stuff You Missed in History Class researched the true story and presented their findings in this podcast.
It’s called “The Peralta Grant and the Baron of Arizona,” and is quite entertaining. It’s about a determined would-be swindler and how he nearly acquired an enormous portion of Arizona for himself. Genealogists will be interested in his creative forgery and the prodigious amount of “proof” he produced to claim his grant.
And to think my ancestors might have ended up with this guy (James Addison Reaves, not Vincent Price) as their landlord!
You can also check out the link to the blog post about this podcast for a few more resources on the topic.
Enjoy the podcast, and thanks for following On Granny’s Trail!
U.S. Senate, editor, Senate Documents Vol. 8, 56th Congress 1st Session, 1899-1900 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government, n.d.), 8: Doc. 68, pp 19-23.
Schedule of improvements on land occupied by the Tanner and Foutz families in the Tuba City, Arizona area, 30 May 1899. This includes the property of Fred Tanner, John Tanner, Joseph Tanner, Emma Tanner, Seth Tanner, and Joseph Lehi Foutz. This information was recorded as part of “a Bill establishing the boundaries of an addition to the Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona, and making appropriation for purchasing the improvements of settlers within the addition.”
Here is a map of the boundaries of the Navajo Reservation in 1900, with the proposed enlargement reaching the Little Colorado River. Tuba City is just east of the Little Colorado.
Here is a list of the settlers there and the proposed financial settlement for the improvements to their land. They did not own the land because it had not been surveyed by the government yet, so technically they were squatters. A settler could only apply for a patent, or claim, if the land had first been surveyed. I can’t imagine why the surveyors had not yet made it out there to the desert, several days journey from civilization! Nevertheless, the settlers were fortunate the government was willing to pay them anything for their improvements because they could have come away empty-handed. With these funds they were able to move and re-establish themselves elsewhere. Joseph Tanner and Joseph Lehi Foutz went into New Mexico and settled in San Juan County.
This is more from the U.S. Serial Set, or Senate papers, regarding the enlargement of the Navajo Reservation in 1900, which included the Tuba City area. The settlers there, including the Tanners and Foutzes were paid for the improvements they had made.
This begins with a letter from Pres. William McKinley, transmitting reports he had received from the Secretary of the Interior, E.A. Hitchcock and Col. James McLaughlin, U.S. Indian Agent, to the Committee on Indian Affairs. Hitchcock is explaining the need to enlarge the Navajo Reservation for the sake of water and grasslands needed for Navajo herds and crops, and McLaughlin is reporting on his observations during a 22-day visit to the Tuba City area.
The document also includes a “schedule of improvements” for David Brinkerhoff’s property. Brinkerhoff was the Bishop of the local LDS ward/branch. Brinkerhoff had the largest property, and later in the week you will see the schedule of improvements for the Tanner and Foutz families posted. Their industry and perserverance is remarkable, considering the arid conditions and remote locality.
U.S. Senate, editor, Senate Documents Vol. 8, 56th Congress 1st Session, 1899-1900 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government, n.d.), 8: Doc. 68, pp. 1-4. This volume was found at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.
(The thumbnails below are the same as the larger photos beneath them. I couldn’t figure out how to remove them!)
This is another great link with information on the Grand Canyon, with details about Tanner Trail and Seth Tanner. “This site is part of a multi-media educational project,“Nature, Culture, and History at the Grand Canyon”.