Saturday, October 21, 2017


Tom Mix, a cowboy movie star in the early third of the 20th Century, has quite a history with the area where I live in Arizona.

But let me tell you a little of Mr. Mix's history.

He was born in Pennsylvania, enlisted in the army during the Spanish-American War but never went overseas and was declared AWOL after failing to return from a furlough, during which he married his first of five wives.

He went to Oklahoma and kicked around as a bartender and other odd jobs before finding employment with a huge ranch that had its own touring Wild West show.

Mix performed as a horseman and expert shot and won rodeo competitions in (surprise!) Prescott, Arizona, just beyond Glassford Hill from where I live.

Mix launched his movie career in 1909 and appeared in nearly 300 movies in his lifetime, all except nine silent films.

In his off-screen appearances, Mix was a dapper dresser, usually seen wearing a huge white ten gallon hat.

Mix bought a ranch in Prescott and competed frequently in what is known locally as "the world's oldest rodeo", winning a bull riding competition when he was 40 years old.

A number of his films were shot in the Prescott area.

It is said that along with the ladies, Tom Mix was fond of drink and that may have led to his demise.

After spending time visiting a friend in Tucson, Mix was speeding north toward Phoenix in his 1937 Cord automobile.

He was unable to stop when he encountered a barricade where a bridge had been washed out by a flash flood and when his car flipped over, a suitcase full of money and jewelry struck and killed him.

There's a plaque and monument at the site.

He was 60 years old.

The area where his ranch was is now part of a planned community where the BRD's Beau Jack lived for many years.

(Much of the history in this post is courtesy of Wikipedia.)