Museum Offers ‘Clips' Of Payson's Past

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Half a century ago life seemed much less complicated here in the Rim country. At least in retrospect, when today we feel anxious over terrorism, drought, loss of water, the demise of cattle ranching, shrinking government budgets and the like.

I came across a collection in the Rim Country Museum library of "Clips from the past" local historian Jayne Peace put together in 1986. The "clips" were from papers published years earlier.

What things were on the minds of folks hereabout 50 or more years ago?

At that time, the Roundup was a small, pamphlet-sized paper printed twice

monthly by Bert Slater on his hand-operated press. He also wrote the copy.

All of this was before there were ANY paved roads into Payson.

Here is what the Payson Roundup reported:

September 1948

  • Once again Payson went over the top as a real western Rodeo town. Old-timers state that on Saturday, Aug. 21 there were more people in Payson than at any other time in history. Every business place was filled to overflowing, the eating houses and bars were all doing a record-breaking business. All four dance things were really doing. (sic) Saturday nite (the big nite) the hall was crowded with dancers (and) about all any couple could do was just hang on to each other and sort of wiggle and bump into other couples. It was one of the biggest dances Payson has ever had. Music was furnished by Carl Soberly and his boys with Rose Childers at the piano. Everybody had a wonderful time.
  • Clarence Conway of Tonto Basin caught two more lions during the fore part of August. One of these was an old tom measuring 8 feet 7 inches long; the other was a big she. These lions had been killing cattle in the Greenback Valley. Clarence has killed six lions this year.
  • Lee Jones lost his pants! While camping up at Clover Springs with Uncle Lewie the night of the 23rd, somebody swiped Lee's britches and the early mornings are really crimpy up there. Poor Lee!

December 1949

  • Richard Taylor and family have moved to the Cable Ranch. Lois and Fern Taylor are home for the Christmas vacation from Tempe where they attended State College.
  • Mrs. Ola Smith of Indian Hill is the mother of a nine-pound baby boy. The birth took place last week at the home of the Cabecerias. Ola named the baby Ivan.
  • It was a big time in Payson the evening of Dec. 17. Yes, it really was a big time for about 150 dance-loving Paysonites. Ogden Holder has put on a dance floor in the old Pioneer Bar and the opening was a wedding dance in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Dan Haught. Music was furnished by, well, most of Payson's talent and it was the kind of music that keeps a dance floor crowded all of the time. Then when Wes Powers tucked his old fiddle under his chin and started pulling the old grey (sic) mare's tail across Tabby's entrails, things really did get going. A little later Rose Childers showed up and the way she tickled the ivory on that old piano made Wes nearly yank his arm off to keep up.

March 1950

  • The Pioneer, oldest saloon in Payson, is now under the management of Walter R. Holder and Sammie D. Garrells. The new managers took charge March 1.
  • Duke and Birdie Hale, Forest and Dollie Hale, and Riley Neal all of Gisela, were visiting in Payson last week.

June 1950

  • Sheriff Howard Childers will now be able to handle all Big, Bad Men (and Wild women) who get out of line in the future. Howard has taken a course of training from the F.B.I. boys.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bill Taylor and Billy of Kingman, Fritz and Cleo Taylor and Donna of Rimrock, Richard and Valda Taylor and Patty and Johnny of East Verde, Ed Taylor and Miss Doris Fridley of Chandler were all guests of the R. T. Taylors on Father's Day.

January 1952

  • Mr. and Mrs. Walter Sanders have rented the Malt Shop. They took over management last week.
  • Well, it's goodbye to the "penny postcard." It now takes TWO cents to get Uncle Sam to deliver a postcard.
  • Ray Hunt has taken over management of the 76 Ranch.
  • Andrew M. Ogilvie died at the hospital in Globe Jan. 22 after a short illness. Funeral service was held in Payson and the remains were taken to Pine for internment. Andrew was born in Scotland in 1887 and came to Arizona in 1898. He is survived by two daughters, Anna Mae Deming of Payson, and Mrs. Harold Gred of Chandler, two sons, William of Winslow and Andrew of Colorado Springs, and one brother, John, of Prescott.

April 1952

  • The Easter Sunrise Service which will be held April 13, at the rodeo grounds this year, is expected to surpass in attendance the one held last year south of town. Rev. Verl C. Walker will conduct the devotional service. There will be a potluck breakfast, everyone bring whatever they want to, also bring your own frying pan, plate, cup and tools. The C(hamber) of C(ommerce) will furnish coffee and hot Dutch-oven biscuits. There will be fires on which to do your cooking. Everyone should be there by sunrise which is about 6:10.

June 1952

  • Miss Dixie L. Sanders and Mr. Lee P. Jones, both of Payson, were married June 14 at 8 p.m. in the Elk Hall. Rev. Verl Walker performed the ceremony. Mildred Green was bridesmaid. Best man was Mr. Larry Hatfield. Mr. Walter Sanders, father of the bride, gave the bride away. The bride was beautiful as she marched down the aisle in her lovely white gown and bridal veil, leaning on her father's arm and proceeded (sic) by her bridesmaid. The wedding was among the largest ever held in Payson. Over 200 guests attended. Many fine gifts were presented. After friends' congratulations and showers of rice, the floor was cleared for the big wedding dance.

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