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Thread: Arizona pioneer Lady of the month, Miss March, Annie Neil.

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    Vulture's Avatar
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    Default Arizona pioneer Lady of the month, Miss March, Annie Neil.

    Annie Magdalene Box Neal was an impressive figure. She was over six feet of pure woman, straight as a saguaro, with milk chocolate skin and deep brown eyes that would nail you to the spot.

    Annie’s father was the son of a white English physician, Willy Box. Her mother, from New Orleans. She was black & claimed to be descended from a Cherokee Princess. Annie’s mother had survived the trail of tears. In 1879 the Box family found themselves headed for the Arizona territory.

    Tucson was not an impressive sight in 79’.

    William “Curly” Neal was born poor in 1849. in the Cherokee nation. His father black, his mother Cherokee. Living off the reservation he was shinning boots in the train station when he met a young William Cody. Curly was 19, the future Buffalo Bill was 21. “Follow me” said Cody, and Curly did. They were fellow explorers, scouts and friends for life. Through all kinds of adventures and misadventures. Curly found himself in Tucson after a hitch in the Army. It was here he became an entrepreneur, and a very good one. Working his way up from cook, to laborer, to building contractor, to freighter & extreme mail man. He took on the daunting task of mail delivery from Tucson to Oracle to the American Flag. Buffalo Bill would one day be the owner of the American Flag mine.

    There were not many black people in the Arizona territory so it was natural that Curly & Annie would meet socially. They soon married.

    The wilderness of the Santa Catalina Mts was an unlikely place for a luxury hotel, especially in the untamed Arizona Territory days. To the Mountain View Hotel came foreign princesses and princes, diplomats, rich Americans, writers, show business celeb’s, prospectors and all manner of folks.

    Curly’s freighting business was doing so well he & Annie began to consider the next step for their business venture. In 1898 they opened a surprisingly luxurious hotel far from any civilization, in Oracle, Arizona. It was an amazing 2 story complex offering horseback riding, croquet, shooting, a wine cellar, nightly music, carriages, bicycles, picnics & even a 9 hole golf course, with greens made of lubricating oils & sand, (? !). It worked.

    Annie was locally famous for her hospitality her great cooking, & Curly was, well just, notorious! They were amazing & people loved them!

    At age 63 Buffalo Bill was deep in debt. His Wild West show was no longer his own & he was looking for a new venture. He bought the American Flag mine, not far from Oracle. Reunited with his old friend, planted his wife at the Mountain View Hotel & proceeded to live at the mine & go broke. He didn’t work the mine so much as just cat around there away from his wife. He lost a lot of money there.

    It’s a beautiful area & rich with Arizona history going way back. Annie & Curly Neal brought quality accommodations & fine dinning to a part of Arizona when it certainly wasn’t expected.

    An amazing part of Arizona history. I wish the pictures were better.

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    Last edited by Vulture; 03-03-2010 at 10:21 PM.
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    Great post, thanks much.........Speedy

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    Good story and pics.

    I also noticed

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulture View Post
    Tucson was not an impressive sight in 79.
    Some things never change...

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    Well gee, Joe, who in their right mind would want to live in a town that the first four letters spell out a medicated pad?





    Did i just say that out loud?

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    Darin, I'm wondering how you even thought of that...

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    Quote Originally Posted by campp View Post
    Darin, I'm wondering how you even thought of that...
    Just plain warped.

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    My warp drive is broken...that was pure impulse!!!

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    Ouch! Gee guy's, kinda' tough on the Ol' Pueblo.

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    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

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    "American Flag, Pinal Co., small mining camp in Catalina Mountains, south of Oracle. American Flag mine at this point was located by Isaac Lorraine, of Martinigue, in late 1870s. PO 1880-90." from Adobe Walls.

    Nice post, Vulture.

    NJ
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

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