SALT RIVER HIGHWAY 60 ARIZONA
Nov. 30, 1941
Hope you enjoyed your stay at Henrys. Nice and warm here. I cannot ride my cowpony as I am laid up with neuritis. Not so good. Best Regards Irven” I am not sure of the actual signature, so this is a guess.
Our friend with a cowpony is writing to a Mrs. Nellie Dunham in Dalton, Massachusetts. I found, in the newspapers of the time a Mrs. Nellie Dunham, in a town near Dalton, mentioned on the society page, as having visited her relative, Henry. I love finding things like this because it makes these people feel very, very real to me. That and the postcard beg the question, who is Irven? Perhaps her brother? I suspect enough Ancestry.com sleuthing would answer that question.
I am struck by the difference in penmanship between the signature and everything else written on the post card. This is a leap, but I suspect someone wrote the card and our sender signed it. This would not have been unusual in this time and place.
This leads me to the story behind an address, simply listed as The Corral. The fact that this location noted as “The Corral” is intriguing. I spent some time looking for anything in Globe around this time listed as “The Corral” and found nothing. Because it is the return address, it must have been the main corral at the time. Perhaps, there were municipal corrals? Not privately owned? And here, I could wander down a garden path, if this were today, The Corral, would be the swankiest, most important corral in town. Perhaps horse massages and colorful horseshoes? Maybe at that time, it was just the biggest, baddest corral in Globe?
Back to real life. Our writer has a cowpony, his address is The Corral – I am guessing he was an actual, bona fide cowboy, riding the range. I checked on neuritis and at that time, a company called RU-EX was selling a sure fire compound to mix with lemon juice that would cure neuritis, as well as a host of other frontier ailments. Then, I found a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission ordering the company to stop selling their formula. Investigating this, I found the main ingredients to be sugar, aspirin and Vitamin B1. Perhaps this really did relieve the pain of neuritis and if this cowboy had access to it, the aspirin may have helped.
As I read the postcard, it reminded me of a vintage book I picked up about the Southwest. Entitled Boulevarded Old Trails in the Great Southwest, this book is about one man’s recollections of and journey through the Southwest, after having been a miner and a cowboy. This author drove the new roads through the southwest after he stopped mining and cow poking.
The author, Frank Trego writes, “I saw Globe…for the first time in 1898; coming in on the first train to enter the town. This train was made up of a few freight cars and an old paint-coach fitted with benches for seats and crowded with Mexicans, cowboys, miners, Chinamen, gamblers and all of the heterogeneous specimens of humanity which went to make up a frontier mining town. Outside, the tops of the freight cars were crowded with Apache Indians of both sexes and all ages, with their equipment of blankets, saddles, provisions, etc.”
Our postcard is the bridge to Globe, Arizona, crossing the Salt River, one of the places that the Lost Dutchman is said to have found gold. I’ve walked to the base of this bridge along the cliffs and I think about all these people who came before.
I will close with my fascination with the time and place. These people knew there was something different about Arizona. Here was a town, that was changing with speed. I think even today, the growth these people witnessed would astonish us.
I hope that our writer overcame his neuritis and was able to ride again and I hope that Nellie Dunham was able to visit Arizona.
Off to our next adventure in Arizona.