Ash Fork, Arizona

Recently I came across this article on my hometown situated on the Santa Fe Railroad line Old National Trail and the soon-to-be storied Route 66.

“Taming Ash Fork, Arizona”

June 1, 1912   Tucson Arizona Daily Star

“Ash Fork is today as innocent as a newborn babe; she is as pure and white, morally, as the drifted snows that rim the San Francisco’s.

“Sixteen women of easy virtue, two of their consorts and the justice of the peace of that precinct were rounded up and taken to Prescott yesterday by Sheriff Keeler of Yavapai County and a force of deputies.

“So wicked had the junction town become that the Yavapai authorities decided that it must be cleaned out. They did not think that the Ash Fork dives, right along by the Santa Fe tracks, gave the travelers a true idea of Arizona.

“It is well known that nothing in New York, Chicago or anywhere else in the East is worse than the sporting district of Ash Fork was before Sheriff Keeler and his officers made their raid.

“Yesterday, Keeler and his party stepped off a train when it arrived at Ash Fork and swooped down on the dens of vice for which Ash Fork has become notorious.

“The maquereau fled like quail. Several caught a passing main line train and escaped the officers, but Keeler got two of them and also took 16 women into custody.

“Before leaving town, Keeler arrested the justice of the peace on a charge of leasing buildings for immoral purposes. The justice, it is said, owns several of the buildings occupied by the women.”

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