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John Clum? How So? Tombstone Tips Issue 35
February 06, 2020

Insider Info Newsletter

February 2020 - Issue #35


~ ~ John Clum

~ ~ January Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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New York State Town: Birthplace of Clum

#1 - John Philip Clum: Some Tombstone Firsts!

~ ~ Born in upstate NY Sept. 1, 1851. He eventually became a well-known resident of Tombstone.

~ ~ He was its 1st voted Mayor & the 1st Editor of the iconic Tombstone Epitaph.

~ ~ Also got involved in lots more in town. Let's see how John P. Clum got there - his story...

Epitaph Just Moved Out of a Tent
Expanding Newspaper to a 2-Story Building

#2 - Educated Upbringing Serves Him Well

~ ~ Childhood Prep School, then Military High Academy, then on to Rutgers University for religious studies. Inflammatory problems short-changed his intended graduation & outcome.

~ ~ Finally recovering, he joined the U.S. Army Signal Corp. & studied meteorology. Assigned then to open a Weather Observation station in Santa Fe NM. Thus his move West in Nov. 1871.

John Clum 1870 - Age 19, Just Before Moving West

~ ~ Clum continued his religious interest there, joining Santa Fe's Presbyterian congregation. His focus was: becoming involved. He served as a delegate to the church General Assembly.

~ ~ He stayed in New Mexico until he was recommended to an appointment as Apache Agent in Arizona. Assigned to San Carlos Reservation, arriving Aug. 8, 1874.

From the Arizona Weekly Citizen - Sat., July 4, 1874 - Pg. 2

#3 - At the Reservation/Agency

~ ~ John Clum used techniques not especially popular with the government. He learned Apache culture, trying to understand their motivations. So he organized an Apache Police Force to enforce reservation problem solving. He brought in self-government methods.

~ ~ The reservation location is along the Gila River. A good consistently free-flowing Chihuahuan Desert waterway in that area. Water availability was an approach for Apaches to reinvent themselves. He taught them agriculture & farming. He also employed building laborers & began children's schools.

John Clum, Front Right - With His Apache Police Force

~ ~ He received accolades from many for his Agent work. Most judged him as doing an excellent job. Especially as compared with his predecessor.

From the Daily New Mexican - Fri., May 14, 1875's Front Page

~ ~ John lived on the reservation, but still traveled around. While there he studied law. He met Mary Ware, whom he asked to marry. Late November 1876, he went to Delaware for his wedding to Mollie (nickname). They lived together at San Carlos.

~ ~ In the Spring of 1877, he had a contentious relationship with General Kautz. As U.S. Adjutant General of the Military Division of the Pacific & California, he made detrimental accusations toward Clum's San Carlos Apache policies. Disgruntled, John resigned by June. But their argumentation continued.

John Clum with Diablo & Eskiminzim - 1875 at San Carlos Agency

#4 - Law & Florence

~ ~ John & Mollie moved to Florence, Arizona. About 75 miles Northwest of Tucson. He continued law studies with Judge H.B. Summers, passed the bar, practiced in Pinal District Court.

~ ~ In 1878 they built a home there, 180 N. Granite St., still there today! John kept the offices of his newspaper there. Nov. 1877 he'd purchased the Arizona Citizen, moving it from Tucson. By Dec. he no longer practiced law, instead was solely a newspaper man.

John Clum House: c. 1878 - Florence Arizona

Photo Credit: Marine69-71, Own Work

~ ~ But he found it better to return the Citizen to Tucson. He did so, moving there in late 1878. He changed the format to a daily. But by early Feb. 1880, he sold the Arizona Citizen. Still involved, he helped get Tucson's Republican Party off the ground. Then started running for offices. In April he moved his wife & son Woodworth to Tombstone.

John & Mollie Clum

#5 - Plans for Tombstone Arizona

~ ~ John Clum intended to bring a newspaper to town. The 1st Weekly Tombstone Epitaph was issued May 1, 1880. The office was a canvas tent on Fremont, between 3rd & 4th. By July he added a Daily Epitaph. He'd just been appointed Postmaster.

~ ~ On Dec. 11 Mollie delivered a baby girl, Bessie. But it took a toll, post-birth complications left John a widower on Dec. 18. His parents, living in Washington D.C., took in the kids. Left John to devote himself to work.

From the Weekly Republican ("Phenix") - Fri., Dec. 24, 1880 - Pg 4

~ ~ January 1881 Tombstone's 1st election chose John P. Clum as Mayor. Soon a solid building (photo above) took the place of the Epitaph's canvas office.

~ ~ Continuing community involvement, Clum wasn't without controversy, including passing Ordinance 9. The Epitaph backed the Earps in the OK Corral Gunfight, but he suspended Virgil. John, + others, received life-threatening letters. Then on Dec. 14, 1881 Clum was on a Stagecoach when it was attacked.

~ ~ Clum was away back East for the children. His infant daughter died. But he lost his post office position in June 1882. He remarried while in D.C. in Feb. 1883. In Feb. 1885 again he's Postmaster, but resigned (under pressure?) that autumn. In Feb. 1886 the Anti-Chinese League targeted him for boycott. By March he's the City Recorder.

~ ~ Later that year, he's in San Bernardino California. He's done with Tombstone life!

#6 - Moving On: Max Activity!

~ ~ Clum stays in San Bernardino awhile, working Real Estate & at a newspaper. But about 1890 went East for a Postal Service Federal position. Nov. 1897 he's appointed "Chief Clerk" of a division just under the Chief Inspector. In early 1893 he also began lecture touring, using stereoptic videos.

~ ~ April 1898 he's sent to Skagway Alaska to establish the postal service there. He traveled throughout Alaska gold-rush towns.

John P. Clum: On The Mule - 1898

~ ~ In 1900 he's in Nome. Met up with friend Wyatt Earp there. Controversy met him again in June 1903. With gold mining interests, conflicts with his position arose.

L to R: B.W. Kilburn, N.H. Littleton, P.O. Inspector James Davis,
John Clum - c.1900

Photo Attribution: flic.krp2hfqHJL

~ ~ Even so by early 1906 he's in Fairbanks as postmaster, & he's named as candidate for Alaska district governorship. Didn't happen. His friends called for him as nominee for territory Congressional Delegate. This happened!

Williams News (AZ) - Sat., Oct. 5, 1907 - Pg. 2

~ ~ In 1909 John leaves Alaska. Next he's Postal Inspector in Denver. April 1911 he retires from Federal Service. Returning to lecture touring, with a California home base. Bisbee & Tombstone are May 1912 stops. That autumn his wife dies. There remained reports of him involved with newspapers still, as he continued his tours. Clum also authored pieces for journals.

~ ~ Sentimental about Tombstone, John P. Clum was 1st to donate to Boothill's restoration. Summer 1929 Clum was on the Advisory Committee for the 1st Helldorado Celebration. He returned for it as Mayor. In 1930 he joined the Arizona Pioneer's Historical Society.

~ ~ His last earth day was May 2, 1932 - dying at home at age 80. Didn't even cover ALL his roles & involvements here. He certainly led quite a life!

Pomona Progress Bulletin - Tue., May 3, 1932 - Pg 8

~ ~ Historical places & events create curiosity for facts about people who roamed the Tombstone area & the Old West. What's the true story? And what happened to them - do we even know? Can we discover the authentic history?

~ ~ And we enjoy sharing what we find with you.

We hope we'll see you in town sometime, seeing areas where they spent time - back in the 1800s.

Let us know if you'll be going to an upcoming event! Tell us how you liked any of them, or what you visited here! Just reply to this newsletter for easy input! (Let us know if we can use your comments - & how to credit you.)



~ ~ 1ST - Nothing Much

~ ~ January is the getting a rest month in Tombstone! Recovery on New Year's Day. Football play-offs during the month. Planning for the upcoming year.

~ ~ But no specific big-time events. They are coming soon, though!

You Know We Can Help With Parking When You Get to Town?
Click Photo to See!


~ ~ New Places to Stay

~ ~ Tombstone Miners Cabins are brand new, located on Allen St., a very short walk into town. Looks like a comfy stay. We'll be looking to check it out, for sure! Opening Feb. 14th.

~ ~ Up on the hill above town. Called Mountain View Efficiency. Reviewing it soon!

~ ~ Do you have a self-contained RV. Like to find those el-cheapo places for a short self-contained stay? Find it now, in town, & get info on our RV Stay Page.

RV - Self-contained Area & More

~ ~ Saloon Mini-Renos!

~ ~ First there's these cool old 1800s miner type lanterns adorning the bar at Wyatt's Oriental Saloon. Really loved them. Wouldn't you like some for your home!?

Miner's Lanterns on the Bar at the Oriental

~ ~ Then there are new barstools along the front, by the pool table at the Crystal Palace. Very nice! Used to be when you came in & the front door end of the bar was jammed, people would pull up a stool from the window area. Or even sit there, by the little counter. So uncomfortable, though!

~ ~ Have to mention, regretfully on a sad note, in the photo below, "Dancin'" Bobby is no longer with us. Lost his life this past year. He's on the left.

Old Barstool to Left of Pool Table

~ ~ Now there are these new cushy barstools. Pull one up & have a seat at the bar, if it's crowded. Much more comfortable!

Nice New Crystal Palace Barstools

~ ~ The Vintage Tombstone Stage - What's Happening?

~ ~ So sad that one of the mules pulling the stage passed away. The stage has been just sitting therefore, feeling the sadness. An official from Benson Arizona came by recently, inquiring about getting the stagecoach for use in Benson's Butterfield Days!

The Old Stage: One of its Last Trips?

2020 Tombstone Arizona Calendar
Have a Wall Calendar Yet?

~ ~ Still Time - Bargains to be Had!
~ ~ ~ See all the details: Tombstone Calendar

~ ~ ~ Or just go right to the Secure Order Page! Watch for Coupon Codes! When you Browse Tombstone Calendars>


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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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