Friday, April 19, 2024

RonnieAdventure #0615 - Willcox, Arizona

On the way into Willcox, we stopped by the historic cemetery where Warren Earp is buried. Warren is the only Earp buried in Arizona and his grave site is well marked, but the rest of the cemetery is in really poor condition. 

Warren was Wyatt Earp's youngest brother and was with Wyatt when their brother Morgan was assassinated while playing pool in Tombstone. After Morgan was shot, Wyatt deputized Warren, so he could help hunt for the responsible Outlaws. A number of the Outlaws Gang were found dead, but it is not clear who killed them. 

It was reported that when the Earp brothers were boarding a train for California, the U.S. Marshall said "Wyatt, I want to see you." Wyatt just responded, "You might want to see me once too often," and then got on the train. The U.S. Marshall just walked away and no one was ever tried for the killings.  

 After a time in California, Warren moved back to Arizona. 

One night Warren encountered a drunken Johnny Boyett in a Willcox saloon and they began arguing. Johnny went home and got two .45 caliber Colt handguns and returned to the saloon. While standing in a street outside of the saloon he called for Warren to come out. Warren appeared at the door and Johnny fired two shots at him while he was in the doorway, both of which missed. Witnesses said that Warren calmly walked out into the street and Johnny fired two more shots, both of which missed again. Warren opened his coat and vest and then told Johnny that he did not have any guns with him. Warren kept advancing and at close range Johnny fired a 5th shot striking Warren in the chest, killing him almost immediately. Even though Warren did not have any guns with him, he had an open pocket knife. Johnny said he feared for his life and the killing was self-defense. Johnny was never prosecuted for the killing. 

Picture by Kolohe

Picture by Kolohe



Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe

Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe

Railroad Avenue is the main street through the historic district of Willcox (population 3,213), with businesses and parks on both sides of the street. 

Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe


Picture by Kolohe
Willcox Commercial opened as a general store in 1880 and is the store where Geronimo and Cochise's son Natchez came to purchase goods. This is the oldest continually operating store in Arizona. 





Located just down the street from the Willcox Commercial store is the Rex Allen Museum.

Rex Allen was born December 31, 1920, in Willcox and became known as "The Arizona Cowboy." Rex was an American film and television actor, singer, and songwriter. He was featured in 19 Western movies and was a narrator for many Disney nature and Western productions. In the 1950s, Rex Allen was one of the top-ten box office draws.

Adjacent to the museum is the Rex Allen Stage Live pavilion. 

Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe

Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe

Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe

Across the street from the Rex Allen Museum is Historic Railroad Park, which contains playground equipment, a statue of Rex Allen, and a nice veterans memorial. 


Picture by Kolohe

Picture by Kolohe

Willcox was founded in 1880 as a whistle-stop on the Southern Pacific Railroad because it was about halfway between El Paso, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. The railroad originally supported the cattle industry, but agriculture is now the main industry in the area. Willcox is the largest grape-growing region in Arizona and produces 74-percent of the grapes grown in the state.  






Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe
The Big Tex BBQ is located in a building that is attached to a railroad car, but the restaurant was not open when we stopped by for dinner. 

Picture by Kolohe


Located around town are painted miniature train locomotives with placards about historical events in Willcox. 


Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe
Picture by Kolohe
Just as we were leaving the historic area, a train came by as a final fitting tribute to our tour of Willcox.

Picture by Kolohe