Throughout 1918 the Santa Cruz Patagonian featured a column about mining on the front page of each issue. In the February issue of the PRT, I wrote about the 3R Mine and its principal owner, R.R. Richardson. His partner when the mine was sold in 1912 was Arthur Crepin who became a Patagonia resident in 1900. The full text of most of the articles quoted below can be found in the Library of Congress database “Chronicling America.” Images of the Santa Cruz Patagonian are available on The Patagonia Museum website: www.thepatagoniamuseum.org.
Born in Montana in 1869, Arthur E. Crepin moved to Tucson with his family about 1880. After attending college at Kansas University, he became a customs inspector in Nogales. [The Border Vidette, 8/1/1891]. In 1896 he married Ada Corbett, who died a year later. Arthur’s first known involvement with R.R. Richardson was in 1897 when he became manager of the Rollin Trading Company’s branch store in Harshaw. [The Oasis, 2/13/1897]. Arthur was involved in a variety of mining ventures prior to this time in the Oracle area and the desert near San Diego, CA. He was in fact reported dead in 1896 before returning with ore samples from the Salton Sea area of California. [The Herald, 4/12/1896].
In 1899 he married Mamie Watts, of Tucson, and the newlyweds moved to Patagonia. Mamie was postmistress of Patagonia from 1900 to 1907. “Patagonia can boast of one of the neatest and best equipped post offices with Mrs. Arthur Crepin as postmistress.” [Arizona Republican, 8/3/1900]. In addition to the mining partnership, Arthur managed Richardson’s Patagonia Commercial Company for a time. The Crepin home was one of the most hospitable in Patagonia. Newspapers regularly announced the comings and goings of visitors from Tucson and other parts.
Mamie and Arthur had three daughters, Jean, Doris and Mingon. In 1911 Jean and Mignon were diagnosed with infantile paralysis, but fortunately recovered under the care of their uncle, Henry E. Crepin, a respected Tucson physician. [The Border Vidette, 6/3/1911]. The Crepins eventually owned a home in Tucson so that the girls could attend school—all three eventually attended, and Jean and Doris graduated from, the University of Arizona.
Arthur worked and partnered with Richardson until about 1920 when he operated a trading post at Indian Oasis [Sells]. Many prominent Tucsonans visited the post for hunting and camping trips and barbeques. By 1930 Arthur, Mamie, and Jean were living in Los Angeles where Arthur was an apartment manager. Doris moved to California in 1927 when she married artist Elwin Suman. Mingon married Robert Gilbert in 1925 and was living on a farm in Porterville, CA in 1930. Arthur died in 1947 in Los Angeles, and Mamie died in 1952.
Correction: Two sources consulted when researching Frank Powers [see Glimpses Into Our Past in 12/2018 PRT] described Powers as “illiterate.” The Arizona Historical Society (AHS) Library has a set of four diaries kept by Powers between 1883 and 1891 concerning life in Idaho, 1883-1888, a trip south from Idaho to Chihuahua, Mexico in 1888, and prospecting in Harshaw, including mentions of the Santa Cruz River and Mowry Mines, 1889-1891. After consulting these diaries it is clear that he was not illiterate. Though the diaries were given to AHS in 1932 by Power’s daughter, they were not processed until 1998, several years after the sources consulted were published.