Lafayette Philander Nash made his mark in the Rim Country as a prospector, community leader, postmaster, merchant and miner, but tracing the odyssey of his life proved to be a very confusing search.
When Clyde Moose became superintendent of the Payson Ranger District in 1937, life there was still primitive. For example, there had been no telephone connection to the “outside world” until just before Ranger Moose arrived.
Clyde P. Moose came to Payson in March 1937 to assume the position of District Forest Ranger and though his stay was only three years, he and his wife Ruby endeared themselves to the ranchers and townsfolk.
There were two McDonald families who made their mark during the early settlement of Payson.
Belle Lovelady had served as the first telephone operator in Payson for a few years when Walter’s lung problems recurred. She had the switchboard moved from the Forest Service headquarters to their home on Frontier Street so she could stay close to him.
Belle Lovelady and her husband Walter were living at his ranch on Webber Creek after he returned from serving in World War I.
Belle Lovelady is best known in the Rim Country as the first telephone operator for the Payson area.
Julian Journigan and his cousin Charley See were partners beginning in 1921 operating the government mail between Payson and Globe. They had graduated from a horse-drawn mail wagon to a Cadillac touring car that would carry five passengers and their luggage as well as the mail.
Julian Journigan would be best remembered for driving a Cadillac on his mail route between Payson and Globe, and for his kindness to ranchers along the route.
The Indian Hill community grew as more Tonto Apaches settled there, returning from the San Carlos Reservation.
The old army scout Henry Irving had retired and after living for some years with relatives at San Carlos and Camp Verde he settled with his wife and other relatives on Indian Hill in the center of Payson. 
Henry Irving is a figurehead in the history of the Tonto Apache Tribe at Payson, and his fascinating story bridges the years from the tribe’s confinement at San Carlos in the 1870s to the time they received their own reservation in the 1970s.
John Francis Holder’s home state was Mississippi, where, at the age of 29, he was a widower with five children.
If the sons of Peter and Sallie Haught had stayed in Texas, their descendants would have been millionaires.
David Douglas Gowan was born in Scotland in 1843 and raised by his fisherman family to be a man of the sea.
Arizona’s Mogollon Rim country was destined for international fame when it was discovered by author Zane Grey in 1918.
Those who lived in the Rim Country before State Route 87 became a divided highway will remember coming down Slate Creek Hill and driving through the main street of a ghost town called Goswick’s Camp.
Chapter 24: Mount Ord
The lofty Mazatzal Mountains presented the formidable barrier to the Tonto Basin, and had to be breached if the army and pioneers were ever to settle the Rim Country.
Chapter 22: Mazatzal Mountains
The Mazatzal Mountain range forms a boundary between Gila County and Maricopa County; it rises on the southwestern edge of Tonto Basin and descends into the Sonoran Desert at the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Chapter 21: Mazatzal City
If you have made a practice of exploring new places in the Rim Country, you have undoubtedly been taken by surprise to come upon some hidden pocket of beauty you never saw before.
Chapter 20: Jake’s Corner
The place known today as Jake’s Corner is 25 miles north of Roosevelt Lake and three miles east of State Route 87 on Route 188.
Chapter 19: Horton Creek and Indian Gardens
You would not expect to find a place in the Rim Country named after a politician — that is until you come upon Horton Creek. William B. Horton was one of the leaders in public education for Territorial Arizona, and as superintendent of public instruction from 1883 to 1897, he and his successor Robert Long, were instrumental in bringing the unorganized schools of the Territory into a unified system.
Chapter 18: Happy Jack, Clint's Well and Long Valley
Map-makers and map-readers have puzzled for years over the fact that the Happy Jack post office is in Long Valley and the Long Valley Ranger Station is at Happy Jack. As we might expect, “herein lies a tale.”
Chapter 17: Grand Prize Mine
Webber Creek is best known today for the Geronimo Boy Scout Camp that occupies its headwaters under the Rim, and for the Geronimo Estates, a residential subdivision just downstream from the Boy Scout Camp.
Chapter 16: Gordon Canyon
Gordon Canyon is a place quite “off the beaten track” yet it contains some of the Rim Country’s dramatic pioneer stories, stories of hardship, glory and love.
Chapter 15: Four Peaks
Anyone who has lived in Arizona for some time becomes familiar with its mountain peaks, each with its story and tradition.
Chapter 14 – Fossil Creek
Fossil Creek has produced much lore from prehistoric until modern times.
Chapter 13: Forest Lakes
Many people had never heard of Forest Lakes, Arizona, before the Rodeo-Chediski Fire hit the national news.
Chapter 12 – Doll Baby Ranch
Driving west around Payson’s Green Valley lakes and past the golf course on Country Club Drive, the pavement ends and the name of the road becomes the Doll Baby Ranch Road.
Chapter 10: Crook Military Road
A bold move had to be taken by the United States Army in 1871 to curb Apache raids on white settlements and ranches.
Chapter 9 — Chevelon Creek
Among the most remote and beautiful creeks in Arizona is Chevelon Creek and it contains an abundance of challenges and history.
Chapter 8 – Chediski is more than a fire
Arizona residents will long remember the Rodeo-Chediski Fire of June 2002.
Chapter 7 – The Secrets of Butterfly Springs
Tucked obscurely away inside the Payson town limits is an ancient Native American campground.
Chapter 6 – Bray Creek Ranch
Bray Creek is a little mountain brook nestled in the arms of Arizona’s great escarpment, the Mogollon Rim.
Chapter 5 - The Blue Ridge (Cragin) Reservoir
It was spring, 1963, and we were hiking up the canyon along the east Verde River from our cabin, which is at the end of the private land.
Chapter 4 – The Black Mesa (aka Mogollon Rim)
Long, long ago, before white, Spanish or Mexican explorers came this way, Native people were impressed by the jagged 2,000-foot-high escarpment that runs for 200 miles across central Arizona to New Mexico.
Chapter 3 – Baker Butte
The highest point on the Mogollon Rim is a conical hill named Baker Butte.
Chapter 2 — The Apache Trail
It is always fun to take visitors on tours of the Rim Country, pointing out the sights and telling the stories.
Chapter 1 – Places have names
Driving south out of Payson on Highway 87 my imagination goes into overdrive. Each place we pass brings to mind stories of people and events: Ox Bow Hill, the Sam Haught and Chilson ranches, Rye Creek, Deer Creek, Mazatzal Mountains, Sunflower.
Chapter 22: ANCIENT BONES
For some weeks we have been investigating the violence that plagued the Rim Country during the closing years of the 19th and early years of the 20th centuries. In this concluding chapter we take a flight of imagination back over the centuries to seek answers for several discoveries of ancient bones in the Payson area.
Chapter 21: Death on Deer Creek
The time was December 1925 and Jesse Chilson at the Bar-T-Bar Ranch on Deer Creek was wondering why the old prospector had not made his usual trip to the ranch for mail.
Chapter 20: The disappearing miner
Newly elected Justice of the Peace Cal Greer found a gunnysack filled with bones on a shelf in the Payson jailhouse. They posed a mystery that sent the JP searching for answers, and what he discovered put some pieces of the puzzle together. The mystery was clarified later by the research of Lois Prante Stevens, a niece of the dead man.
Chapter 19: Shootout On Main Street, Part 2
In part one of the Jack Lane story (The Rim Review May 2), newcomer cowboy Jack Lane spent his first weekend in Payson getting drunk and then racing his horse up and down Main Street, shooting his gun in the air. Finally stopping in front of the 16-to-1 Saloon, next door to JP Colonel Randall’s office, he and the judge had an argument about his behavior. As Lane waved his pistol in the air, threatening the judge, Bill Colcord arrived on the scene with his own pistol drawn. When Lane swung suddenly and pointed his pistol at him, Colcord shot Lane. Witnesses heard up to four shots, but it could not be determined at the time if some of them were from Lane shooting at Colcord.
Chapter 18: Shootout on Main Street
There is a myth about “the Wild West” that leads one to believe shootouts occurred frequently in the frontier towns. Considering today’s murders per capita, the streets in Southwestern towns at the turn of the century were safer. The shootings that did take place were long remembered and often glorified with retelling, like the one that occurred on Payson’s Main Street, Jan. 30, 1910. Many eyewitnesses recorded what they saw and provide us with what must be an accurate account.
Chapter 16: The Mysterious Demise of Al Sieber, Chief of Scouts
A red sandstone monument stands overlooking Roosevelt Lake beside State Highway 188. Traveling southeast in Tonto Basin, this can be seen just before reaching the bridge near Roosevelt Dam. Upon close examination the travelers can see the rough marker announces that near this spot the Army’s famous Chief of Scouts Al Sieber was crushed to death by an immense boulder.
Chapter 15: Sheep Camp Murders
The prolonged range war between sheep ranchers and cattle or goat ranchers raged in the Rim Country until after the turn of the 19th century. As many as 400,000 sheep were driven over the Heber-Reno sheep driveway twice a year. This was a traditional route that had been followed for decades. However, there were no boundaries marking the limits where the sheep were to be kept and flocks often strayed onto rangeland claimed by cattle ranchers. The sheep moved very slowly and consumed much valuable grass when they moved south in the fall and north in the spring.
Chapter 14: The Murder of Clint Wingfield
They called him “Black Jack” Ketchum, but the gambling done by Thomas Edward Ketchum was in robbing banks, holding up trains, and leaving a trail of cold blooded murders across Texas, New Mexico and eastern Arizona. It was July 2, 1899, about 8 o’clock in the evening that Ketchum rode up to the old sutler’s store in Camp Verde, and within minutes had shot and killed the owners, “Mack” Rogers and Clint Wingfield.
Chapter 13: The Self-Inflicted Killing of aTrapper
Wayside graves are always intriguing. When we stumble across them they raise so many questions. One can discover just such an interesting monument while driving slowly and watchfully along the Forest Road 300 on the Mogollon Rim. This famous scenic drive along the edge of the Rim follows somewhat faithfully the trail blazed by General George Crook in the early 1870s. His purpose was to connect Forts Verde and Apache and enable troop movement that could cut off the northern escape of renegade Indians. Driving from west to east, as one approaches a sign noting “Leonard Canyon” a gravesite can be seen on the right, just off the road. This spot also happens to be the place where, in the late summer of 1872, General Crook’s two crews met, blazing the trail from both ends. In those days it was called “Deadshot Canyon” after a renegade Apache with that name who had been apprehended here.
Chapter 12: The Dark Side of Tonto Basin
The good times of rodeos, dances and neighborly visits were interrupted for the residents of Tonto Basin in the spring of 1892 when a young mother was murdered by her husband, and her baby son was left parentless. The story has often been told, but with so many versions one has to carefully sift them to discern how events really unfolded. It begins with two families who emigrated from Missouri to Arizona’s Tonto Basin in the late 1880s. It is not known if they had known each other before coming west, but their lives were destined to become intertwined. John and Adis Narron brought their family to stake a claim near Grapevine, close to the junction of Tonto Creek and the Salt River. Their four children registered in the Catalpa School, Alice, 17, Annie, 16, William, 10, and Lillian, 9.i
Chapter 11: The Murder of Gila County’s First Sheriff
In 1885, ranchers in Texas were going broke because the bottom dropped out of the market for sheep, wool and cattle. Among those selling out was cattleman Jesse Ellison. He brought his remaining herd to Arizona in hopes of starting over, and with him was fellow rancher Glenn Reynolds, who had thrown his small herd of cattle in with the Ellisons’. Reynolds returned to Texas the next year for a second herd on behalf of his brothers. Upon reaching Holbrook, he was joined by his wife of 10 years, “Gustie,” and their four children, two sons and two daughters. The Ellison and Reynolds families established their ranching claims in the Rim Country. Just as the Reynolds family was settling down, the Pleasant Valley War broke out, and no one felt safe as sheep and cattle ranchers ambushed one another.