Another Great Read of the Old West

by Betty Barr

by Betty Barr

 After reading Arizona in the ‘50s by Capt. James H. Tevis, I wanted to take a month off, put my hiking gear in the Explorer and find as many places mentioned in the book as I could. Apache Pass, Fort Bowie, the Butterfield stage stop and much more are all within a few hundred miles of here.

Tevis was a young adventurer who made his way to Arizona Territory in 1857, traveled with Kit Carson’s brother, Mose, fought the Indians with the soldiers from Ft. Buchanan and survived capture and torture by the mighty warrior, Cochise.

Tevis’ travels took him across Southern Arizona from the missions at Tubac to the Butterfield stage stop in Apache Pass and on to Pinos Altos and Mesilla in New Mexico Territory. He was appointed as the first Arizona Ranger (known as Arizona Scouts) by the Provisional Governor of Arizona, and charged with the duty of raising a company of Rangers to protect the settlers from Apache raids.

All of this took place some 150 years ago when there were no more than 400 people living in Tucson and only 4,187 residents in the territory, according to the Arizona Territory census of 1864.

Arizona in the ‘50s was first published in 1953, but has been out of print for more than 50 years. It was written in 1880 by Capt. Tevis but not published then because the Pennington daughter who was captured by the Apaches married a Tucson judge and was so traumatized by the ordeal that the judge extracted a promise from Tevis that he wouldn’t publish the story during her lifetime. She outlived him. Tevis’ daughters finally got it ready for publication in ’52, many years after his death.

The revised edition co-edited by Betty Barr and Dr. William J. Kelly is now available. Maps, period photos, endnotes, and an index, as well as new information, were added to the original.

It took Sonoita resident and author Barr and Dr. Kelly 10 years off and on to finish the revised edition, working from original hand-written notes.

If you love the history of southeast Arizona this is a must have book.

Review written by Robert E. Kimball


Betty has also authored
two other fine books, Hidden Treasures Of Santa Cruze County
and More Hidden Treasures Of Santa Cruze County.
Both books are fine reading of an era gone by that without authors like
Betty Barr, would be completely lost from our history.

**Snakey Joe Post, Guardian Of The Treasure Learn More at my blog

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4 Responses to “Another Great Read of the Old West”

  1. Thomas Newmeyer Says:

    I have enjoyed all of Bett Barr’s books.This one by far is her best.She must have put an awful lot of time and effort into this one.Hopefully she will continue writing more about Arizona and it’s colorful past.She sure has a lot of talent.Would like to meet her someday.

  2. Barbara & Bill Belton Says:

    We have both loved Betty Barr’s books. Betty is a good friend, but even if she wasn’t, we would have read and enjoyed her books. She makes Southern Arizona history come to life.

  3. Nadene & Ford Hicks Says:

    Betty Barr is such a great writer. She has taken the diary of Capt. Tevis & put together a very interesting book. The adventures of Capt Tevis, as told by Betty & Dr. Kelly, should be made into a movie!!

  4. Carolyn Wemlinger Says:

    As a new “transplant” to Arizona, I have found Betty’s books a wonderful way to begin to really learn about this great area and how it developed. Not only is the history presented, it is done so in a way that paints pictures of the past and the people who settled here. Both those who have lived here for a while and those who are new will enjoy every moment of the tales and stories Betty weaves based upon real people and their lives. I can hardly wait until her next book is released.

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