Lil' 'bout my great grand-dad
Insomnia tonight, so I thought I would share some of my stories about Arizona and me.From 1998 to 2003, we lived at the Ten-X Ranch just south of the Grand Canyon. I worked at a couple of air tour companies, I got to fly over the canyon multiple times. The owner pulled the cows off the ranch. We were still living there, and everyone needed a job, so my husband and boys went to wrangling dudes and packing mules in the canyon. I got sick of their stories, I went and talked the legendary Ron Clayton in to hiring me. He did, against his better judgement. I was never a great hand horse back, and had never ridden a mule, but we will talk about those adventures later.
I knew that my great grandfather, William Ashurst, died in the canyon in 1901, but never really knew the full story. He died in a rock slide, while working his asbestos claim in Cremation Canyon, close to what is now Phantom Ranch. He was found by his friend, John Hance, one of the canyon’s more colorful characters. It was ascertained he was pinned under a rock for three days before he died.
Hance buried him there, but decided to dig him up in 1908. He dropped a gunny sack of bones on my Great Uncle Henry’s desk at his law office in Williams, and said, ‘Here’s your dad’. Uncle Henry would later go on to represent Arizona in the Senate for six terms.
He was then buried at the Bright Angel trail head. The trail was reworked around 1930 by the WPA, and he was once more dug up and placed in, what is hopefully his final resting place, at the Pioneer cemetery in the Park. Stop by and say hi if you get up that way.
Uncle Henry wrote in his diary that his father was a wanderer and never a settler. I guess so, because he even wandered around for a while after he died.
More Grand Canyon stories later. Be blessed.…Trailer Park Jean