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    Description

    Rare and Important August 21, 1882, Tombstone Petition Signed by Many of the Town's Leading Citizens. Addressed to "the honorable Mayor and common council of Tombstone," it seeks tax relief for Allen Street property owners, citing an already heavy tax burden. "Such an extra tax at the present time would be hard and un just [sic]." Docketed "Protest by the owners of property on Allen St."

    Some fifty signers on two sides, including, among other well-known citizens:

    1. Carl Gustavo "Gus" Bilicke, prominent businessman who built and operated the Cosmopolitan Hotel on Allen St. He died when the Lusitania sank in 1917 (CCS, pp. 26-27).
    2. Andrew Cadwell & James Olcott Stanford, along with Mr. Stanford's father, Fred, were owned a mercantile store on Fremont, and later Allen Street which later burned in the 1881 fire. Cadwell served two terms as a councilman and had a ranch near the Huachucas. Younger Stanford went on to be a prominent rancher, represented Cochise County in the Territorial House of Representatives, and was the assistant superintendent of the Yuma Territorial Prison in 1889 (CCS, p. 51, CCS Vol. 2, pp. 136-137).
    3. Thomas Andrew Atchison, a business owner at 212 Fourth Street, he sold stoves, and plumbing hardware. Councilman of the city's Third Ward, George Spangenberg smithed his earliest guns in Mr. Atchison's shop (CCS, p. 11).
    4. James Mortimer Vizina & Benjamin Cook, co-owners of the Vizina claim they moved to the Tombstone townsite in March of 1880 and built a "splendid building, neatly finished" by June. That structure housed a men's store, a dry goods store, a banking branch and the Oriental Saloon of M. E. Joyce (CCS p.73, CCS Vol. 2, p.168).
    5. Joseph Tasker & George Pridham, owners of a general grocery and produce market, Tasker was appointed by Governor Fremont to the first Cochise County Board of Supervisors. By 1885 the two had left Tombstone proper and were engaged in horse and stock business at Soldiers Hole Cattle Company. Over the next two decades, Mr. Pridham was often quoted in the Tombstone newspapers when he would come to town, delivering news of interest from Soldiers Hole, ranching business, and the surrounding areas. (CCS Vol. 2, pp. 72, 150)
    6. Sylvester Burt Comstock & Charles Brown, co-owners of the Grand Hotel on Allen Street. Comstock was an Earp acquaintance and the chairman of the Tombstone Democratic Party. Brown was a resident of both Old and New Tombstone, a surety on Virgil Earp's $5000 bond for police chief and posted bail for Wyatt Earp during the O.K. Corral investigation (CCS, pp. 42, 72).
    7. Joseph Leonard Mellgren, was a Tombstone merchant who was also proprietor of the Alhambra Saloon. A Swedish immigrant, he was naturalized in Pima County a year after this document was signed, and became city treasurer from 1886 to 1888 (CCS Vol. 2, p. 25).
    8. Herman Schmieding, owner of a watch repair and jewelry store on Allen above Fifth Street. Bailey and Chaput state that he moved to Tombstone in the mid-80s, but it is apparent from this document that he had already set up shop by 1882. (CCS, Vol. 2 p. 101)
    9. Godfrey Tribolet, a butcher by trade, he owned the Eagle Market Butcher Shop and later became part owner of the Red Jacket Mine (CCS Vol. 2, pp 155-156).
    10. Bernhardt (Ben) Wehrfritz, partnered with Godfrey, Siegfried and Charles Tribolet, they ran the Golden Eagle Brewery, Saloon and Lunch. The Crystal Palace Saloon was also located in the same building (CCS Vol. 2, p. 178).
    11. Siegfried Tribolet, a younger brother of Godfrey and Charles, left Swiss public schools and walked to Antwerp with five dollars to his name. From there he took a clipper ship to San Diego and made his fortune, first working mines, later a butcher shop near Prescott, AZ. In 1880 he bought the corner lot at Fifth and Allen and erected the building which would house the Crystal Palace Saloon. Following that, he looked over another brewery in nearby Bisbee and operated a mescal still, south of the international border, on John Slaughter's ranch (CCS Vol. 2, p.157).
    12. John P. Rafferty, an Irishman who spent seven years in Arizona in a saloon business at 521 Allen in Tombstone and "running a fine saloon" in Bisbee before passing away in 1887 (CCS Vol. 2, p. 75)
    13. William James Hutchison, with his wife Lottie, built Tombstone's infamous Bird Cage Theater known for its grand balls and masquerades (CCS, p. 194).
    14. Sumner Vickers, signing as attorney for his brother John Van Vickers and as agent for six other entities including Emile Peter Voisard and Charles R. Brown (CCS Vol. 2, pp 166, 167).

    Minor ink smudges, otherwise excellent condition. 7.75" x 24.5". References for biographical information are to Cochise County Stalwarts, by Lynn R. Bailey.


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