Watson Lake (Prescott) by Michael Wilson
Learn about the pleasant town of Young, nestled in the northeastern portion of the Tonto National Forest, halfway between the Mogollon Rim and Roosevelt Lake.
Having a tiff with a relative or neighbor can be frustrating, but those fights likely pale in comparison to the infamous family feud between the Grahams and Tewksburys of Young in the heart of Pleasant Valley. The livestock ranchers started off as friends and business partners, but a simple dispute turned into a 10-year-long war (1882–1892) between the two families. After several dozen people were killed over the years, the dispute finally ended when the only remaining member of the Graham family, Tom Graham, Jr., was killed by a gunshot by Ed Tewkbury, the last of his clan. News of this long-lasting feud even reached legislators in Washington, D.C., who considered it proof Arizona wasn’t civilized enough yet to become part of the Union and some historians believe it may have been responsible for delaying Arizona’s statehood by a couple of decades.
Times have changed since then, and the locals are pleasant, friendly, and wave hello to anyone who is familiar or not. The town’s past is not forgotten though. Visit the 3rd weekend of July to witness reenactments of the Pleasant Valley War as well as team roping competitions, and a parade take place each year during Pleasant Valley Days. Take time to venture out into the Young’s beautiful surroundings, too, where there is ample outdoor recreation such as fishing, hiking, and hunting.
Even with its small-town charm and roots steeped in history, Young has transitioned to modern times well. The town has embraced social media and you can find local happenings on Facebook for what they call “…a regular dose of small town, country living…country humor, local photography and history…”Visit City Site
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