The 1887 Hawks-Berry Murders & The Flagstaff Tourism Industry!

The 1887 Hawks-Berry Murders & The Flagstaff Tourism Industry!


On a cold January night in 1887 a tragedy
occurred that would ultimately lead the development of a brand new industry in Flagstaff. One man lost two sons, another lost a brother,
and the ripple effects of these two tragedies would ultimately lead to the development of
the tourism industry in our community. But how? If you’re curious about how this story unfolds
then stick around. Hey everyone and welcome to EnjoyFlagstaff
the place for tips on how to live, visit, learn, and explore in Flagstaff and Northern
Arizona. My name is Melissa and as a Flagstaff local
its my passion to learn everything I can about my community. So if you like videos on the history of Flagstaff,
the natural history of the area, or videos on things to do in Flagstaff then we’ve got
you covered. So if you’d like to subscribe to our channel
go ahead and hit the big red button below as well as the bell next to it so that you’re
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we do have a new line of Flagstaff inspired clothing that you can check out on our website. We’ll provide the link in the description
below and also it’s at EnjoyFlagstaff.com/shop. Our story of tragedy and triumph starts way
back in about 1882 in the railroad camp that would eventually be Flagstaff. A man by the name of J.F. or Dad Hawks and
his family arrived and he opened the very first restaurant. As with the other settlers of the time, Hawks
dabbled in a number of service industries over the years and the building that his final
restaurant was housed in was built in 1897 and is still located at 14 N San Francisco
St. Dad Hawks had 6 kids and two of his sons were
named George and WIlliam. On the fateful night of January 18th, 1887
the brothers decided to hit the town for a few drinks. They went to John Berry’s San Juan Saloon
and George proceeded to get himself into trouble with another patron. His brother WIlliam furnished him with a gun,
but instead of shooting his opponent George opted to hit him over the head and attempt
to run. George was stopped before he could reach the
door and as John Berry attempted to take the gun away from the youth, the saloon owner
was fatally shot in the belly. The brothers were taken to the jail, which
was located in what is now the empty parking lot at 16 N Leroux, and put under the watch
of the towns deputy’s. Now, Dad Hawks was a well known and well respected
member of the Flagstaff at the time, but so was John Berry and his death hit the community
pretty hard. And as has happened many times in the past,
the death of a friend riled up the town’s residents and a mob headed for the jail to
demand justice. The lynch mob told the deputy’s to hand
over the boys or be shot, and as the deputy’s turned a blind eye the boys lives were taken
in their cells. The next ripple of change that resulted from
this tragedy, starts in Colorado. John Berry’s brother Pete was informed of
the fatal accident, and he came to Flagstaff for two reasons. First, to handle the matters of his brothers
estate and second, to exact revenge. Of course, the latter was not possible as
the boys had already been killed. Pete decided to stay in Flagstaff to take
care of his brothers family and run the saloon. His fate, however, was not to be restricted
to just serving whiskey. While in Colorado, he had spent some time
learning about mining operations and the possibility of opportunity in the Grand Canyon beckoned
to him. Over the years he found success in mining
and he is remembered for a number of contributions he made to the development of the Grand Canyon
including his help with the construction of the Bright Angel Trail. At one point, he staked a claim on a plot
of land on the rim of the Grand Canyon and when the mining opportunities at this site
didn’t pan out he decided to build a hotel. He called it the Grandview Hotel and it became
the destination of the Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach. From 1892 until 1901, the Stagecoach transported
curious travellers from Flagstaff to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in a mere five hours
and the Grandview hotel became the terminus of the line in 1897. Pete also operated a number of tour and outfitter
operations out of the hotel. The hotel and stagecoach were the premiere
method for visiting the canyon until the turn of the century when they became outdated by
the arrival of the Grand Canyon Railway in 1901 and the fabulous El Tovar Hotel in 1905. However, the arrival of a new era of tourism
did not deter Pete Berry and he continued to work hard in the industry for a couple
of decades. Due to his hard work, foresight, and persistence,
he is considered by many to be the father of Flagstaff’s tourism industry. Both Pete and his wife Martha are buried in
the Pioneer Cemetery at Grand Canyon. So the accidental death of a saloon owner
and brother and the vigilante deaths of a couple of unfortunate young men, led a man
down a path that ended in the development of not only tourism in Flagstaff but in the
Grand Canyon as well. I hope that this has been a great episode
of Enjoy Flagstaff or you. If you have a topic you’d like us to cover
in a future video please tell us in the comments below and also don’t forget to like and share
our videos as well as hit the subscribe button so that you can be notified when we have new
videos released. Until next time, keep exploring my friends. We’ll see you later.

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