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William Hudson KIRKLAND

Male 1832 - 1910  (77 years)


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  • Name William Hudson KIRKLAND 
    Born 12 Jul 1832  Petersburg, Dinwiddie County [now Independent City], VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 20 Jan 1910  Winkelman, Gila County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Tempe Double Butte Cemetery, Tempe, Maricopa County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • (1) Source: "Bacon-Lyddall," a Public Member Tree on Ancestry.com.

      (2) William H. Kirkland, Unsung Arizona Pioneer and Founding Father of Tempe <http://tempehistoricalsociety.org/page14a.html>:

      William Kirkland was instrumental in the establishment of Arizona. He was one of the earliest pioneers to enter Arizona after the Gadsden Purchase. He established or named Arizona cities, built the first graded roads, was an early government leader, built one of the first irrigation canals, helped establish schools, survived encounters with hostile Indians, and engaged in farming, cattle ranching, mining, lumbering, and freighting. Yet, little has been published about him. Bancroft, in his histories of the western states does not mention him. Other historians such as Wyllys, Lockwood or Farish devote only a few sentences to his accomplishments.

      William Hudson Kirkland was born in 1832 to Hugh Allen and Polly Hudson Kirkland in Petersburg, Virginia. The family moved several times during William's childhood, finally settling in Camden, Missouri. During this time William, in spite of often changing schools, obtained a good education.

      William left home at the age of 17, prompted by his mother's death and his father remarriage. Lured by tales of the gold rush, he went to Independence, Missouri, the departure point for the California trail. After several months, he found employment in a wagon train heading west, reaching California in September, 1850. He mined and worked several jobs, making a good living until 1855 when he decided to return to "the states." Steamship rates to the east had been steadily rising during the early 1850's, so William decided to go east overland along the Gila trail. He and six companions entered Arizona in the New Mexico Territory on December 28, 1855.

      Kirkland and his companions left Yuma and traveled for 14 days to Tucson, "expecting to meet Apaches every minute after passing Picacho Mountain. . . ." They "found the Presidio (fort), garrisoned with two companies of cavalry troops, with paymaster Pesqueira getting ready to pay off, preparatory to taking up line of march and turn over the Gadsden Purchase to the United States."

      There were already several Anglo-Americans living in Tucson, such as Pete Kitchen, John "Pie" Allen and Paddy Burke. They watched as Kirkland and two others fashioned a flagpole made of mesquite sticks and raised an American flag for the first time over the American territory of Tucson as the Mexican troops marched out.

      By 1857, Kirkland had moved south of Tucson to Canoa, near Tubac where he was the first Anglo-American to bring cattle into Arizona, although this herd was later stolen. While living there, he often visited Tucson, where he met and married Missouri Ann Bacon in 1860. Their first child, Elizabeth Jane, born on Feb. 28, 1861, was the first Anglo-American child born in Arizona.

      Kirkland noted the need in rapidly growing Tucson for wood. The nearby Santa Rita mountains had a ready supply, but there was no access. Kirkland remedied that lack by grading a road into the Ponderosa forest where he began a prosperous sawing operation. Once returning from a sale of lumber he was surrounded by a band of Apaches led by Cochise. The Indians were hungry and they made Kirkland cook them a meal. Kirkland commented later, "I didn't know I could cook but I found out I could cook pretty well." After being fed they let him go. What apparently saved William was that he did not try to run or escape.

      In 1861 the Civil War resulted in the U.S. Army troops leaving Arizona. The Apaches, led by Cochise, went on a rampage and Arizona became uninhabitable. Kirkland was forced to move to Tucson with his wife and daughter, but he soon left and moved to California where his son George was born.

      In 1863 he returned to Arizona, following the Walker party into the Bradshaw Mountains. While searching for the Walker party he found a beautiful small valley watered by a small stream. He purchased the land from Pauline Weaver and built a granite block house on the land. While living there, Kirkland mined, running five arrastras, farmed, ranched and freighted. He blazed the first road up Antelope Hill next to the Yarnell grade. He remained there through 1870 when he moved to the new city of Phoenix. That valley is still known as Kirkland Valley.

      In August, 1870, the citizens of the Salt River Valley met to decide where to establish a town site. An election was held and the site chosen was on James McKinnie's property near what is today 24th Street and Washington. However, this site proved unsatisfactory to the majority of citizens, and among charges of fraud, a new site was chosen that centered on today's Washington Street and Central Avenue and the town named Phoenix. On December 23rd and 24th the first lots were auctioned at the new town site. The most expensive sold for $140. Shortly after, in February the Prescott Miner reported, "Mr. Kirkland, one of Arizona's pioneers . . . has purchased a lot and will commence building during the coming week." Kirkland built the second house in Phoenix, and on August 15, 1871, his daughter Mary Ellen was the first child born in Phoenix.

      In December 1870, as Phoenix was being established to the west, Charles T. Hayden and claimed part of section 15 south of the Salt River and formed the Hayden Milling and Farming Ditch company. In that same month, Jack Swilling and others formed the Hardy Canal company to irrigate other lands south of the Salt River. Also,at the same time, William Kirkland claimed the eastern half of section 15 and also part of section 22 directly to the south. Kirkland and James McKinney [McKinnie] began construction of the Kirkland-McKinney Ditch to bring water to their land. The actual construction was done by Hispanic settlers who came from southern Arizona or northern Sonora.

      The three canal companies combined their efforts. The Hardy Canal Company was reorganized as the Tempe Canal Company and established a canal head about five miles upstream. The Kirkland-McKinney ditch became a private branch with the Hayden flour mill being supplied by an extension of the Kirkland-McKinney Ditch. Hayden established a ferry, flour mill and a store on his land and the area was known as Hayden's ferry until Darell Duppa suggested naming it Tempe.

      The workers who built the canals were mainly Hispanic and they, "not satisfied with Hayden's Ferry, have laid out a new town . . . named San Pablo" west of Tempe on 80 acres of land that Kirkland donated. This site was south of the Tempe Butte and was bordered by present day College Avenue and University Drive. Proceeds from the sale of lots were donated for the construction of a Catholic church. Although the first Mass was held in San Pablo on April 12. 1872, the church was not built until 1882.

      The early Hispanic canal workers gained rights to Kirkland-McKinney water, but few established farms, such as Pedro Eredia and Manuel Soltelo. Most worked at occupations as carpenter, blacksmith, mason, laborer, etc. As the area grew, San Pablo was incorporated into Tempe where the Hispanic residents constituted a large minority.

      In addition to farming, Kirkland became active in civic affairs in the Salt River Valley. He was appointed to the first school board in Phoenix in June 1871. When Maricopa County was formed on February 14, 1871 from parts of Yavapai and Pima County, Kirkland was one of the three members of the County Board of Supervisors.

      The Kirkland family left the house William had built in Phoenix and lived on their property by Tempe, where he farmed for two years. In October, 1873, the family moved again, this time to Silver City, New Mexico where they ran a hotel. Here daughter Sara Ann was born on May 9, 1874. In 1876, they moved again, this time to Safford, Arizona.

      In Safford, in addition to farming, Kirkland was appointed Justice of the Peace. He continued his interest in education by helping to establish the first school and serving on its board of trustees. He obtained the contract to carry the mail, and while delivering the mail to the area of the Solomon hotel, gave the town the name Solomonville. It was in Safford that his sons Hugh and Frank were born.

      The family moved again, this time to the Willcox area where William freighted between Willcox and Globe and also served as a deputy sheriff.

      In 1881, the Apaches left the San Carlos Reservation and began raiding again. Kirkland and his wagon train were warned in advance and were able to avoid the fate of the Samaniego Wagon train which was wiped out by the Apaches. In 1882 the Apache chief Juh began raiding in southern Arizona on his way to Mexico. He attacked the Kirkland homestead at Point of the Mountain, north of Willcox. Kirkland and his family were safe in town, but the caretaker was killed by the raiders and the house and its contents ransacked.

      In 1889, Kirkland moved again, this time to Congress, Arizona where he began a small dairy operation. He was elected Justice of the Peace, served as constable was also appointed Road Overseer for district 44 of Yavapai County.

      After retiring and doing some traveling, William and his wife Missouri Ann were visiting his sons in Winkleman when he was suddenly stricken with pneumonia. He took to bed, and within 24 hours on January 20, 1910 he died. His wife, Missouri Ann died five years later on July 12, 1915.

      William Kirkland was an extraordinary individual. He was instrumental in establishing five Arizona cities. He held government offices in four communities. His daughter, Elizabeth was the first Anglo-American child in born Arizona and his daughter, Ella was the first born in Phoenix. He built roads, logged, ranched, mined, farmed, and freighted where others feared to tread.

      (3) In 1832, when William Hudson KIRKLAND was born, Petersburg, VA was part of Dinwiddie County. Thereafter, in 1850, Petersburg became an independent city.

      (4) A household headed by W. H. KIRKLAND is listed in the 1860 census of the Lower Santa Cruz Settlement, Arizona County, NM.

      W. H. is listed in the 1860 census as a trader who was then 28 years of age; therefore, according to the 1860 census, he was born in about 1832. According to the 1860 census, he was born in VA.

      Listed with W. H. is his wife, M. A., who was then 24 years of age; therefore, according to the 1860 census, she was born in about 1836. According to the 1860 census, she was born in MO.

      Also listed with W. H. is an apparently unrelated laborer.

      (5) Arizona Census, 1831-80 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999:

      Name: William Hudson Kirkland
      State: AZ
      County: Arizona County
      Township: 3rd Judicial Dist
      Year: 1864
      Page: 111
      Database: AZ 1864 Territorial Census Index

      (6) Arizona Census, 1831-80 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999:

      Name: William Kirkland
      State: AZ
      County: Pima County
      Township: Tuscon [sic]
      Year: 1866
      Page: 046
      Database: AZ 1866 Territorial Census Index

      (7) A household headed by Wm. KIRKLAND is listed in the 1870 census of Skull Valley, Yavapai County, AZ.

      Wm. is listed in the 1870 census as a farmer who was then 36 years of age; therefore, according to the 1870 census, he was born in about 1834. According to the 1870 census, he was born in MO.

      Also listed with Wm. is an apparently unrelated miner.

      (8) A household headed by W. H. KIRKLAND is listed in the 1880 census of Stafford, Pima County, AZ.

      W. H. is listed in the 1880 census as a person who was then 47 years of age; therefore, according to the 1880 census, he was born in about 1833. According to the 1880 census, he was born in VA, and both of his parents were born in VA.

      Listed with W. H. is his wife, Serena[?], who was then 43 years of age; therefore, according to the 1880 census, she was born in about 1837. According to the 1880 census, she was born in MO, and both of her parents were born in MO.

      Also listed with W. H. is his daughter, Elizabeth, who was then 19 years of age; therefore, according to the 1880 census, she was born in about 1861. According to the 1880 census, she was born in AZ, her father was born in VA, and her mother was born in MO.

      Also listed with W. H. is his son, George, who was then 17 years of age; therefore, according to the 1880 census, he was born in about 1863. According to the 1880 census, he was born in CA, his father was born in VA, and his mother was born in MO.

      Also listed with W. H. is his daughter, Emilia, who was then 11 years of age; therefore, according to the 1880 census, she was born in about 1869. According to the 1880 census, she was born in CA, her father was born in VA, and her mother was born in MO.

      Also listed with W. H. is his daughter, Mary, who was then 9 years of age; therefore, according to the 1880 census, she was born in about 1871. According to the 1880 census, she was born in CA, her father was born in VA, and her mother was born in MO.

      Also listed with W. H. is his daughter, Alena, who was then 6 years of age; therefore, according to the 1880 census, she was born in about 1874. According to the 1880 census, she was born in CA, her father was born in VA, and her mother was born in MO.

      Also listed with W. H. is his son, Hugh, who was then 3 years of age; therefore, according to the 1880 census, he was born in about 1877. According to the 1880 census, he was born in CA, his father was born in VA, and his mother was born in MO.

      Also listed with W. H. is his son, William, who was then 3 months old; therefore, according to the 1880 census, he was born in about 1880. According to the 1880 census, he was born in CA, his father was born in VA, and his mother was born in MO.

      Also listed with W. H. is an apparently unrelated boarder.

      (9) A household headed by a Mr. KIRKLAND is listed in the 1900 census of Peeples Valley Precinct, Yavapai County, AZ. [His first name has been written over and obliterated by other writing.]

      Mr. KIRKLAND is listed in the 1900 census as a teamster who was born in July 1832 and was then 68 years of age. According to the 1900 census, he was born in VA, his father was born in VA, and his mother was born in MA. The number of years which he had then been married was apparently written as 26, but has been scratched out.

      Listed with Mr. KIRKLAND is his wife, M. A.[?], who was born in October 1834 and was then 65 years of age. [Her middle initial, which is listed as W. in the index to the 1900 census, has been written over and partially obliterated by other writing.] According to the 1900 census, she was born in MO, and both of her parents were born in VA. The number of years which she had then been married was apparently written as 26, but has been scratched out. According to the 1900 census, she had theretofore given birth to 8 children, 7 of whom were then living.

      Also listed with Mr. KIRKLAND is his daughter, Anna M., who was born in May 1875 and was then 25 years of age. According to the 1880 census, she was born in NM, her father was born in VA, and her mother was born in MO.

      Also listed with Mr. KIRKLAND is his son, Hugh, a cowboy who was born in May 1877 and was then 23 years of age. According to the 1880 census, he was born in AZ, his father was born in VA, and his mother was born in MO.

      Also listed with Mr. KIRKLAND is his son, Frank, a teamster who was born in March 1881 and was then 19 years of age. According to the 1880 census, he was born in AZ, his father was born in VA, and his mother was born in MO.

      (10) www.findagrave.com:

      William Hudson Kirkland
      Birth: Jul. 12, 1832, Petersburg, Petersburg City, Virginia, USA
      Death: Jan. 20, 1910, Winkelman, Gila County, Arizona, USA

      Family links: Children: George W Kirkland (1862 - 1931), Hugh Allen Kirkland (1877 - 1951)

      Spouse: Missouri Ann (Bacon) Kirkland (1834 - 1915)

      Note: Same stone as Missouri Ann Kirkland.

      Burial: Tempe Double Butte Cemetery, Tempe, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
      Plot: Section C, Lot 18, Space 4

      Created by: Don Griffith
      Record added: Aug 08, 2009
      Find A Grave Memorial# 40427819
    Person ID I26722  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2018 

    Father Hugh Allen KIRKLAND,   b. 1806, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Sarah HUDSON,   b. 1810, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F11611  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Missouri Ann BACON,   b. 15 Oct 1834, St. Louis, MO Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Jul 1915, Phoenix, Maricopa County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married 26 May 1860  Tucson, Pima County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Alma KIRKLAND,   b. 1873, Los Angeles County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     2. Mary Ellen KIRKLAND,   b. 15 Aug 1871, Phoenix, Maricopa County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Oct 1960  (Age 89 years)  [natural]
     3. Frank J. KIRKLAND,   b. 28 Mar 1880, Safford, Graham County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Nov 1971, Phoenix, Maricopa County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years)  [natural]
     4. Hugh Allen KIRKLAND,   b. 4 May 1877, Safford, Graham County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Dec 1951, Phoenix, Maricopa County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)  [natural]
     5. George William KIRKLAND,   b. 13 Dec 1862, Wilmington, Los Angeles County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Nov 1931, Tempe, Maricopa County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)  [natural]
     6. Elizabeth Jane KIRKLAND,   b. 28 Feb 1861, Tucson, Pima County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 May 1937, Phoenix, Maricopa County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)  [natural]
     7. Premila Virginia KIRKLAND,   b. 9 Jun 1869, Los Angeles County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Dec 1954, Prescott, Yavapai County, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)  [natural]
     8. Sara Anne KIRKLAND,   b. 1865, AZ Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2018 11:25:31 
    Family ID F11610  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart