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Babbitt History
 
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The Babbitt family business acumen acquired in their grocery and meat market operation in Cincinnati Ohio, served them well in many business operations. However, their primary motivation for heading West was the cattle ranching industry. The first conversation by David and William Babbitt, after arriving in Flagstaff, was with Dr. P.J. Brannen. As result of the conversation, they gained information regarding cattle for sale east of Flagstaff near Canyon Diablo. Immediately, negotiations took place and on April 13, 1886, a draft for 100 dollars, as a down payment, was written to Drury Warren. A total of $17,640 was to be paid for the herd, which consisted of approximately 1,200 head of cattle. Thrilled with the prospect of being cattle ranchers, a brand in recognition of their hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio, was designed ( ) , later changed to ( co ) , and a wire was sent to the remaining brothers telling them to pack their bags and come to their new home. Shortly after acquiring the herd, it became the intention of the brothers to obtain land on which they could permanently graze the livestock. On January 4, 1887, they made the necessary arrangements for property on the San Francisco Peaks known as Jack Smith Spring. However, the cattle refused to stay in the higher elevations, retreating to the lower valleys. The brothers realized the need for other land at a lower altitude. In May of their first year in the north country, they negotiated for some of the richest land known as Clark Valley, south of Flagstaff. Billy Babbitt took out homestead papers on adjacent acreage, and that land became known as Babbitt Park. By 1887, the Babbitts ranching business was well on the way and David Babbitt, being newly wed to Emma Verkamp, realized the potential for a mercantile business in town, and focused his efforts in that direction, leaving the ranching operation to Billy and C.J.

Billy and C.J. learned that ranching was not just a business, but lifestyle. the two brothers found that a blanket and dried pine needles made the most comfortable sleeping accommodations.

Annual Colt Sale

In 1889, the two brothers had the opportunity to purchase the famed A-1 ranch, doubling the ranch operation. The Babbitt headquarters moved to Fort Rickerson, now known as Fort Valley. This acquisition was surely a boost for their cattle operation. The author Earle Forrest, hailed the Babbitt Ranch in Frontier Times as The greatest cattle ranch in the southwest. In addition to the CO Bar, at one time or another they were involved in many other ranches, either as owners or partners, including the famous Hash Knife outfit. Some of the ranches were in California.

By the mid 1890s, the Babbitts were recognized as successful opportunist in all of their western undertakings. However, the hardest of times were to befall them shortly. Top

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Babbitt Colt Sale
Babbitt Colt Sale

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