WILLCOX Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees


Lupe Salazar was born January 4, 1884 in the lower Aravaipa Canyon, near what was known as the Turnbull place. His father was a true pioneer of the Canyon, and cowboyed for leading ranchers of the time. Lupe attended schools in that area, one of them being in an adobe building located on the old Bruce Bryce land. He started in the cattle business in a humble way, but through diligence and hard work, expanded his holdings. He remained active as a rancher until suffering a stroke.

Lupe's parents were Epigmenio and Crespina Salazar. His father, who was known as "Paisano," was born at Contention (on the San Pedro about 10 miles northwest of Tombstone) before the Gadsden Purchase of 1854. The Salazar family optioned to return to what was left of the state of Sonora after Santa Ana sold the area south of the Gila River to the U.S. They settled in Oposura, a small town that had been founded in 1644. In 1869 Lupe Salazar's father returned on his own to what had become the southern part of Arizona Territory, where he settled down in the Aravaipa Valley country.

Lupe Salazar's youth was spent working for some of the earliest cattlemen and gentlemen who came into that difficult country in the 1880's and 1890's.

Mr. Salazar was probably the only substantial range cowman in Arizona who got started in the business with a Jersey bull. In 1917 he was working for William Wootan who had what is today the McNair ranch. One of Wootan's milk cows died, leaving a doggie bull calf, so he gave it to his young cowboy. A year or so later Lupe's father gave him two heifers for taking care of Paisano's F Slash S cattle. Lupe was in business. In 1920 he bought 10 Hereford heifers and their Wrench 3 brand from Drew Wilson, Lupe's boss at the time. Lupe's cattle open-ranged in the Aravaipa, - Klondyke country. His headquarters was the homestead he had taken out at the head of the canyon. This was one of Geronimo's favorite camping sites and was the scene of an Apache massacre. Lupe got all the details from John Nosey, an old Apache Scout who died several years ago. He was over 100 years old. Nosey would ride over from the San Carlos Reservation for lengthy visits with the Salazars.

Subsequently, over the years, Lupe Salazar bought other parcels of land and range rights (several of them with histories just as interesting as his homestead place) from Carl Bleak, Virgil Mercer, John Ditmer, Abe White, and Jared Bleak, to build up a splendid, but perpendicular ranch entity. He still had the Wrench 3 brand and the old Wootan 6 X, as well as his father's old E Slash S, which is over 75 years old.

Lupe Salazar is proud of a strain of Opata blood in his veins, and well he might be. Under Spanish rule the Opatas became famous as soldiers, "mas valientes," and "mejores soldados," according to old military reports. They fought on the side of the insurgents during the revolt from Spain under Colonel don Jose Hermosillo and later with equal valor against the French.

In 1912 Lupe married Teresa Morgan, a local Aravaipa girl, and they had 7 children. The 3 sons are partners with their father - Bill, Tex, and Adolfo. The daughters are Lola Acevedo and Christine Pacheco, both of Safford, Clara Caballero of Sierra Vista, and Kate Osborn of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Mrs. Salazar died in 1951. Lupe died in 1976 at 82 years of age.