Flagstaff History: Hopi invested heavily in business within city

February 18, 2024

100 years ago

1924: The Rev. Fr. Cyp. Vabre was found dead at the parish house this morning. Death evidently was from heart failure and had come instantaneously and painlessly. Flagstaff is in mourning. Everywhere one looks this morning, people are talking sadly of the loss of this wonderful, good man — this friend of all people, this kind, great-hearted shepherd whose love and sympathy was not reserved for his own flock, but was given freely and richly to people of all classes, all denominations. The Sun had gone to press this morning when the news came. It is impossible in the few minutes available before the edition must be printed to give all the particulars and as much as desired of the life of this good man and his career since he came to Flagstaff. He was found by Balzar Hoch, who became alarmed when Vabre did not appear for early mass and went to the parish house to find him.

Damming Schultz Canyon to provide storage of water adequate for Flagstaff’s growing use of water is impractical, unsafe and of no advantage from an economy standpoint was announced on Tuesday to city council by Chester Smith, manager of the Los Angeles office of Burns & McDonnell, Flagstaff’s consulting water engineers, and by George Davenport, assistant engineer of the Santa Fe railway company in charge of water operations. Flagstaff will have to resort to the building of a reservoir to add to water conservation. Both engineers say the soil is volcanic ash. It has no binding qualities. A 90-foot dam would back up water sufficient to exert a terrific pressure that neither the soil beneath nor at the ends of the dam would resist.

75 years ago

1949: A meeting is being held in Phoenix this afternoon to discuss ways and means of “speeding the dissemination of accurate news on weather and road conditions in northern Arizona,” according to a news release of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. What’s the real problem? Actually, the problem is not a lack of reliable, speedy reporting, but a failure on the part of the various agencies to pass the facts along to the traveling public. Weather reports go from northern Arizona points to Phoenix news outlets via the big news agencies. The highway department and the highway patrol report road conditions by telephone and radio. Their reports are absolutely reliable. Where, then, do the false reports, given wide circulation in Phoenix, originate? With those agencies or concerns that seek to damage northern Arizona in every way possible, the old, old story we have had so much of for so many years. We all know that deliberately misleading weather and road reports have been sent out of Phoenix, Springerville and other points “warning” travelers that northern routes are “closed.” The Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is to be commended for calling today’s meeting, certainly a step in the right direction, and the outcome of this confab will be watched, at least in the north, with great interest.

50 years ago

1974: A vacation trip to Mexico ended in near tragedy early today when two Flagstaff couples were injured in the crash of their light airplane at Municipal Airport. (James) Jamison, the pilot and plane owner, suffered severe cuts and head injuries. His wife was being observed at the hospital for back injuries. (Ernest) Phillips suffered back injuries and his wife also had an injured back. The airplane, a single-engine Beechcraft, apparently fell shortly after takeoff on the eastern side of the airport’s north-south runway. Mrs. Philips told the Daily Sun the takeoff was “smooth as glass,” but the four people knew something was wrong almost as soon as the airplane was in the air. “The engine didn’t stop or stall or anything. It kept right on going even after we bounced for the first time.” Wes Burke, of Tempe, was the only witness to the crash, which took place shortly before 7:30 a.m. Burke told investigators the airplane was about 200 to 300 feet above the runway when it suddenly began veering off to the left and fell to earth. Police unites, fire department trucks and equipment and ambulances all rushed to the scene.

25 years ago

1999: The Hopi Tribe, whose villages feature some of the starkest living conditions in Arizona, is the new owner of an upscale shopping center in Flagstaff. Last July, the tribe spent $3.5 million from its general fund to buy the Continental Shopping Center in east Flagstaff — which is home to a deli meat market, a posh restaurant and 19 other businesses. The money did not come from the $50.2 million the Hopis received in settling a land dispute with the Navajo Nation. Of that amount, the Hopis have spent $23.5 million on 170,000 acres of private ranch land in northern Arizona. The tribe has the option to buy up to 500,000 acres of land in northern Arizona with the settlement money and convert it to trust status as long as it’s at least 5 miles outside of any incorporated community. Trust status means the land becomes part of the reservation, removing it from state and local jurisdiction and tax rolls. The Continental Shopping Center purchase, which cannot be converted to trust status and is therefore taxable, is the tribe’s first foray into the Flagstaff business scene, something that the tribe believes can boost a tribal economy that’s currently dependent almost exclusively on coal mining royalties.

One of the first black-owned businesses in Flagstaff is closing its doors after about 30 years of serving drinks and providing a place for people to get together. “It’s been a meeting spot for black people in town,” said Sallie Chatman, owner of El Rancho Grande, a South San Francisco Street bar. “When black people weren’t allowed to go into any of the bars uptown, they could always come to El Rancho Grande and be with their own people.” The bar is closing because of declining business and because Chatman is ready for retirement.

Source: https://azdailysun.com/news/local/flagstaff-history-hopi-invested-heavily-in-business-within-city/article_b21dd3d6-caed-11ee-a03d-176067c71210.html