Graham County A.T.: Show & Tell

This page will contain scanned images of documents, mining stock certificates, photographs, rare books, and ephemera from our collection related to the history of Graham County, Arizona Territory. There is no denying the history of Cochise County is legendary with many colorful characters, but so is the history of Graham County. Many of Graham County's outlaws came from New Mexico. Others were either going to or fleeing from the Tombstone troubles of the early 1880s. In several instances, when it got "too hot" for some of the trouble makers in Cochise County, they would migrate to Graham County for awhile. Perhaps you'll recognize some of their names on this page! It is our purpose to share as much of our collection as possible with those that are truly interested.

You will notice the items on display will have a red logo on them. We do this to stop unauthorized copying of the items.

Our goal is to promote and educate people on the magnificent history of the American West. Step back in history and enjoy these rare and scarce images and items from historic Graham County, A.T.!

This original photograph, from the family, shows a part the mining town of Clifton, A.T. in 1908. On its reverse is simply written The Mexican Settlement. It is believed this photograph was taken by J.H. Nephew. He was the brother of Rufus Nephew better known as Climax Jim, the Arizona Territory's famous or infamous, depending on your outlook, cattle rustler, escape artist and practical joker. © Kevin Mulkins, 2013

This is the first original photograph, of several, showing the devastating Clifton, A.T. flood in June of 1903. The photographs were taken by professional photographer J.H. (John) Nephew brother to the famous/infamous Rufus Nephew better known in the Arizona Territory as Climax Jim. The flood nearly wiped out Clifton but it rebuilt and prospered. © Kevin Mulkins, 2013

This is another original photograph of the devastating Clifton, A.T. flood, taken on June 9, 1903. The photo was taken by professional photographer J. H. (John) Nephew brother to Rufus Nephew aka Climax Jim. © Kevin Mulkins, 2013

Pictured is an interesting original photograph, from his family and believed to be from 1903, of Rufus Nephew better known as Climax Jim. The street and tennis court in the photo still exist in Clifton, Arizona. Climax Jim's extraordinary life is well documented in the book Climax Jim: The Tumultuous Tale of Arizona's Rustling Cowboy by Karen Holliday Tanner and John D. Tanner, Jr. The book is available in softcover and the limited hard cover edition of only 50 copies. © Kevin Mulkins, 2013

An interesting Graham County, A.T. document here from 1887. More importantly the document concerns a future Graham County Sheriff who wished to change his name from A.G. Hill to George A. Olney. A.G. Hill was the brother of Texas cowboy/ "cattle handler" Joe Hill. It will be remembered A.G. Hill/George Olney rode in the John Behan posse in pursuit of the Earps and Holliday as they departed Arizona in 1882. © Kevin Mulkins, 2012

This real picture postcard shows the devastating Chase Creek Fire that took place in Clifton, Graham County, Arizona on April 7, 1913. The post card was sent by a friend and is addressed to Rufus Nephew aka Climax Jim after he had left Arizona and was living in California. © Kevin Mulkins, 2012

This is the original photograph taken by professional photographer John Nephew, brother to Rufus Nephew aka Climax Jim, of the incredible flooding that struck Clifton, A.T. in 1903. © Kevin Mulkins, 2012

Pictured is a circa 1903 original business card belonging to Rufus Nephew aka Climax Jim. Which "business" he was in, at the time, is debatable. The card comes from his family. © Kevin Mulkins, 2012

This original photograph, circa 1903, is of one of my favorite Graham County, A.T. characters. His birth name was Rufus Nephew but he was known as "Climax Jim" because of his love for the chewing tobacco named Climax. His story is wonderfully told in the book titled Climax Jim, The Tumultous Tale of Arizona's Rustling Cowboy by Karen Holliday Tanner and John D. Tanner. Climax Jim's legendary story is exciting, humorous, and ultimately a tragedy. He spent much time in and around Clifton, A.T. and eventually moved to California, went straight, and started a business. Read the book, I heartily recommend it! © Kevin Mulkins, 2012

This stock certificate, one of two known to exist, represents one of the most scandalous mining frauds in Arizona history! The fraud took place in Graham County and, some say, totaled into the millions of dollars. Eastern investors were "wined and dined" and convinced to come to Graham County, Arizona to see the productive mines. The whole mining operation and workers seen by the potential investors were a set up to entice the investors into buying stock which was sold back east. Valuable ore was "seeded" and given to the investors at the mining site as momentos. The unbelievable Spenazuma fraud has been well chronicled in articles and books. © Kevin Mulkins, 2012

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