Frank Stilwell’s Saloon Charleston True West MagazineWhat was the name of Frank Stilwell’s saloon in Charleston?

Bill Brooks
Beverly Hills, Florida

Frank Stilwell’s place was simply known as “Stilwell’s,” says Roy Young, an author-historian who is related to the Stilwell family.

The saloon was part of an enterprise that included a livery, stage line (Charleston to Patagonia), boarding rooms and other businesses. Charles “Ham” Light was his partner in the liquor business.   

Stilwell came to Charleston, Arizona Territory, prior to the November 1879 killing of John Van Houten. He sold his saloon to James Murphy and Jacob Wise Stwart on April 15, 1881, because he was moving to Bisbee. Cochise County Sheriff John Behan had hired Stilwell as his deputy sheriff that month.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or email him at

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