The drawing of Arizona’s counties

The drawing of Arizona’s counties

By Tom Prezelski Geographers will tell you that a straight line on a map is the legacy of a political decision made by people far away who were unaware of the conditions on the ground. County boundaries in Arizona are a particular demonstration of this rule. In the earliest days of the territory, much of Arizona […]

Why prohibition didn’t work in Pima County

Why prohibition didn’t work in Pima County

By Tom Prezelski Pima County residents often take pride in being just a little politically out of step with the rest of Arizona. When our friends in other parts of the country point at one headline or another and laugh or gasp in astonishment, we can just shrug and say, “Don’t look at me, I’m from […]

Bipartisan effort led to the birth of Catalina State Park

Bipartisan effort led to the birth of Catalina State Park

By Tom Prezelski This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Arizona State Parks System. In 1957, after decades of abortive starts in the face of ambivalence from the State’s political leadership and resistance from cattlemen, a coalition of conservationists, sportsmen, and business leaders pushed a reluctant legislature to pass a bill creating the State […]

Roskruge put Pima County on the map–literally

Roskruge put Pima County on the map–literally

By Tom Prezelski Anyone who has worked in, with, or around county government has probably noticed a particularly elegant old map of Pima County dating from 1893 that hangs in many offices. Originally over two feet wide and nearly five feet long, it is the first official map of the county as a whole. It […]

Emil Franzi: ‘Californio Lancers: The 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry in the Far West 1863-1866’ book review

Emil Franzi: ‘Californio Lancers: The 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry in the Far West 1863-1866’ book review

By Emil Franzi TOM PREZELSKI. Californio Lancers: The 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry in the Far West 1863-1866. University of Oklahoma Press. Cloth, $32.95, oupress.com The story of the Hispanic volunteers first conscripted into being Americans. A whole lot of folks from Texas to California found themselves in the USA without having to immigrate after […]