During the early 1900s Rufus Nephew aka “Climax Jim,” was one of the most notorious horse thieves in Arizona. Lawmen caught him one day and hauled him into the Springerville jail. Realizing Rufus needed a bath they gave him soap, a bristle brush and pointed him to a horse trough to bathe. Just as he was getting into the water Rufus saw a fine looking horse tied to a hitching post. Now he was a fine judge of good horse flesh and without taking time to get dressed he ran to the horse, jumped on and rode down Springerville’s main street in his birthday suit towards the mountains south of town. The town of Eagar lies between Springerville and the mountains so he had no choice but to ride bare naked down their main street too.
Everyone knows the story of Lady Godiva riding a horse in the nude down the street in Coventry but Arizona can top that one. Rufus Nephew made a buck naked ride the main streets of two towns.