Barnes, Will C. Arizona
Place Names University of Arizona Press. 1997.
"The town of Oatman has enough residents to establish a post office in 1904. The name proposed for it was Fremont. Its official name was Vivian, because it was adjacent to the Vivian Mine (about one-quarter mile away0. The mine was discovered in 1902 by a half-breed Mohave Indian, Ben Taddock, who while riding along the trail saw free gold glittering and immediately located his claim. Taddock sold it in 1903 to Judge E.M. Ross and Col. Thomas Eqing, who in 1905 sold it to the Vivian Mining Company. Between 1904 and 1907 the mine yielded over $3,000,000. The location then briefly fell upon hard times, to be relieved by the discovery of the extremely rich Tom Reed Mine in 1910 by Ely Hilty, Joe Anderson, adn Daniel Tooker, who called their claim Oatman. By 1916 the area that had been the Tom Reed-Gold Road District was being called the Oatman district. At that time Oatman camp extended from the Tom Reed buildings in Section 14 (location of first post office) southerly through portions of sections 22 and 23 to the "Lexington town site in Section 27.' The name of the post office was changed to Oatman in 1909. Although legend says that Oatman was named for the massacre of the Oatman family, it seems more likely it was named for her son John Oatman, a wealthy one-half Mohave Indian miner. Olive Oatman was rescued at Ollie Oatman Spring, one-half mile north of the present town of Oatman. PO Est as Vivian March 1, 1904, James H. Knight PM, name changed to Oatman June 24, 1909."
"In 1851 the Oatman family was en route with an emigrant train. Some left the group at Tucson and others paused at Pima Villages to rest. As Oatman was nearing the end of his resources, Royse Oatman, his wife, and seven children seperated from the train. Without incident they reached what is now Oatman Flat and pitched camp for the night. There some Indians, friendly at first, slaughtered all except a son, Mary Ann and Olive, who were taken captive and later sold as slaves to Mohave Indians. The Indians threw Lorenzo Oatman, twelve years old, over the edge of the flat into a small ravine. Oatman Mountain overlooks it. Another name for the flat is Oatman Grove.
Lorenzo was not dead. Slowly and painfully he made his way to safety. The bodies of the Oatman family were found where they were massacred. They are buried in a common grave below the flat near where Lorenzo had been thrown. Believing his sisters were alive, the boy refused to abandon the search. Mary Ann died in captivity and Olive was finally rescued in 1856.
In 1862 Capt. Joseph Walker's expedition made its way across this same area from Sacaton Stage Station, just east of the Oatman grave. The station was owned by William Fourr, who built his home here in 1862, hence its name Fourr's Stage Station (in addition to its being called Sacaton Stage Station). Several Fourr children are buried near the remains of the old stage station. Fourr left when railroad trains began running nearby in 1879. In 1886 Thomas O. Jordon (b. 1938, Alabama, d. 1914) homesteaded at Fourr's old place. He had arrivedin Arizona in 1885."
Barnes, Will C.; Granger, Byrd (ed.) Arizona's names : X marks the place Falconer Pub. Co. : distributed by Treasure Chest Publications, c1983. P. 443-444
Desert USA- Oatman, Arizona
The Arizonan.com Oatman, Arizona
Arizona Ghosttowns, Oatman, Arizona
Books/Manuscripts found in the ASU Library Catalog
Oatman--gold mining center / by Roman Malach.
mine history : Telluride Mine in Oatman / by Roman Malach.
Items on the Arizona and Southwest Index
Biography of Olive Oatman.
CB BIO OAT,OLI
Oatman, Arizona: Newsclippings, 1948-1976
CE EPH DTO-OATMAN.3
The Oatman Of Today, 1916
FE EPH MCMO-1
Last Updated: July 19, 2002
If you would like to know more about the author of this site, Jeffrey Scott, feel free to visit his homepage.
In addition, if you have any questions about this site or Arizona History, feel free to e-mail Jeffrey