February 19, 2017
February 19, 1888. Yuma, Arizona Territory, 126 feet above seal level, commanded a 500-foot wide crossing of the Colorado River. The Southern Pacific Railroad gave fast access to the outside world, while monthly the steamers Gila and Mohave visited Needles and El Dorado Canyon. A business directory proclaimed that "as a home for consumptives [suffering from Tuberculosis], persons troubled with lung and other complaints, Yuma is destined to become the resort par excellence of the Pacific Coast." The writer exclaimed, "the climate is unsurpassed. Sun-baths can be obtained with ease [and] the nights are delicious." Prisoners at the territorial prison would have not used the same language. Across the river at the California fort, Sister Ambrosia ran the Indian Government School. However, as the nearest bank was in Tucson, Wells Fargo agent and notary public Frank Townsend handled Yuma's financial transactions at Main and Second. Townsend was also a mineral surveyor, and if that work became too dusty, George M. Thurlow's saloon was across the street.