Payson's Year-Long 125th Anniversary Begins With Logo Contest


The sponsors of Payson's 125th anniversary celebration are looking for a logo.

Artists of all ages are invited to get out their pens, brushes and paints and create a logo that depicts the spirit of Payson's history since 1881.


Cowboys on Payson's Main Street circa 1900. This photo was taken where Bootleg Alley Art and Antiques is now located, across the street from the Pieper Mansion.

The winner's logo will be used in all publications, press releases and banners related to the celebration.

A few ideas

Rim Country Museum at Green Valley Park is filled with displays of the early days of Payson, and its docents are available to answer questions from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Monday, for artists who wish to research their entries.

Cattlemen and miners were the earliest pioneers who came to the Rim Country.

In the late 1870s, cattlemen George Cline, William O. St. John, O.C. Felton and Joe Gibson brought cattle to the area where grass was plentiful.

"Marysville, a mining camp three miles southwest of what is now Payson had nearly 100 souls in 1882," according to Ira Murphy's book, "A Brief History of Payson, Arizona."

Prior to 1910, the best roads to Payson were described as "good cow trails."

The advent of automobiles brought travelers, complete with spare tires for the winding trip up the dirt road.

Those who remember the journey still marvel at the Beeline Highway that was completed in 1959 and made Payson a two-hour drive from the Valley.

The early schoolhouses were the center of the community. During the day, they provided a place to learn reading, writing and arithmetic, but on the weekends they became a place where musicians came to fiddle and residents came to dance.

Payson's first schoolhouse, built in 1901 with 10,471 bed feet of lumber furnished by Ben McDonald, was built where the Presbyterian church now stands on Main Street.

Logo contest divisions, rules

  • Adults, 18 years old or older (out of high school)
  • High school students
  • Middle school students
  • Elementary students 1 (grades 4 and 5)
  • Elementary students 2 (grades K through 3)

Art instructors and teachers are welcome to use the contest as a class project or assist pupils individually if they would like to enter.

Finished artwork should be submitted by Wednesday, Jan. 31, to the Rim Country Museum.

Questions about the logo contest may be directed to Diana Sexton at (928) 474-9110.

Logo submissions will be judged by an outside committee appointed by the 125th Anniversary Committee. Winners will be notified in February.

A limited edition commemorative award will be given to winners in each category and the overall winner.

Submissions will be retained by the Northern Gila County Historical Society for a silent auction on Oct. 6.

Proceeds go toward the acquisition, preservation and restoration of historical sites and buildings in Payson. Activities for the 125th Anniversary of Payson will include a mystery dinner on Friday as a fund-raiser for Northern Gila County Historical Society's Cowboy Hall of Fame.

The Margarita and Moonshine Garden at the historic Oxbow Saloon will also be open that evening.

On Oct. 6, the year of anniversary activities will culminate with a weekend of events, including the Timeline Parade, fun for the whole family at the Western Heritage Festival with storytellers and historical reenactments, food, a quilt exhibition and dancing to pioneer bands.

"We are looking for corporate and individual sponsors for the celebration," said committee member, Judy Baker.

Questions about sponsorship may be directed to Ginger Edwards at gingersch2000@ Reference Payson's 125th in the subject line.

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