Historian of Arizona
Lincoln Republican, 9 June 1910 Sharlot M. Hall, who was the first white child born in Lincoln county, was born on Prosser creek, near the J.R. Hill farm. She was the subject of the following sketch published in the June issue of Human Life.
Sharlot M. Hall, recently appointed historian of Arizona by the governor of that territory, is the first woman to attain the distinction of a salaried territorial office. Miss Hall is well known as a writer and lecturer on ethnological subjects and her subjects and her writings in “Out West” dealing with the various phases of the Indian question have been widely read. She is a native of Kansas, having been born in a thinly settled district at a time when the country was full of Indian tribes – Sioux, Cheyenne, Kiowas and Comanches who took to the war path on any provocation, either real or fancied. Raids on the homes of the settlers in the part of the state where Miss Hall lived were frequent, and often a watch was kept by the pioneers day and night for weeks at a time, when a sudden descent of the savages was to be feared.
[At least one word is impossible to read] born, brought up, and educated among Indians,” says Miss Hall, speaking of her early life. “Tent poles were still standing in the wild plum thickets where I played in childhood, and tales of Indian massacres were familiar from my babyhood. I have lived with Indians for months at a stretch, gone fearlessly among them in times of peace and war, and have never been molested in any way even by the most vindictive of tribal chiefs against the whites.”
With such a beginning, it is not strange that the study of the different tribes of Indians should have grown to form an important part of Miss Hall’s life work. When preparing to write a series of articles on their original, tribal divergencies, and present conditions, she moved about the camps wherever she happened to be, as one of their own women, joining in the pottery making, basket weaving and daily house hold tasks, catching fish in the river, sleeping between blankets and treated in all respects as one of themselves. Observing, deftly questioning, comparing and gathering data, she procured in the course of years an abundant supply of material with which to begin work. Every early white settler of the different regions was visited, and from them she secured many personal remembrances of the first Indian wars, and a large collection of photographs of immense ethnological value.
Reminiscences such as those of Miss Hall possess not only historical importance but a vital “story” interest. Her experiences in “No Man’s Land,” a strip of ground on the borders of the Indian territory, the stamping ground of cattle thieves and outlaws, would form a volume in themselves. This was the most exciting period of her life, and though she relishes the experience in the light of the past she would not care to repeat it, even were it possible.
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