The next set of canyon names I’ll be exploring are those north of the Sonoita crossroads heading towards Tucson. Roskruge’s 1893 map of Pima County lists only Smith and Gardiner Cañons. The 1905 USGS Patagonia Quadrangle adds Fish and Enzenberg Canyons to the list. This article tells the story of the Enzenberg family who mined in the Greaterville area and ranched in the canyon that bears their name just north of Greaterville.

Max Enzenberg’s musical score, published in 1918.  Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Maximilian (Max) Enzenberg was born in German in 1844. He emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1860s. In 1864 he enlisted in the 7th New York Infantry Regiment which fought for the Union in the Civil War and received a disability discharge in 1865. The 7th was comprised of mostly German immigrants and was also known as the Steuben Regiment or Guard. 

Max arrived in Arizona “from Santa Fe. N. M. in 1875, driving through in a buggy, and was never molested by Indians during the trip, although members of the preceding and following overland parties had been murdered.” [The Border Vidette, 8/7/1915]. He began mining in the Greaterville area.

In 1887 Max, age 47, married 25-year-old Margery Fleming, a native of Ontario, Canada. The first of their four children, Carl, was born in Greaterville in 1890. Daughter Winifred was born in 1894, followed by son Orion, born in 1897, and daughter Brunhilde, born in 1899. 

In 1895 Max visited Tucson to purchase another windmill for his placer mining operation. “Quite a settlement is springing up in the neighborhood of his home and he is of the belief that a town of fair proportions will be built. A colony of twenty-six people went in there about a week ago and more are announced to follow. They will engage in placer working. Mr. Enzenberg has a store there and is doing quite well.” [Arizona Weekly Citizen, 4/6/1895].

By 1906 Max had sold his placer claims and moved to Tucson where he purchased the “Garstang homestead north of the University.” [Arizona Daily Star, 5/3/1906]. He remained involved in mining as a partner in the newly established Empire Valley Mining Company. That same year he lost a court case involving title to 600 acres of placer mining land, and in 1907 lost in another lawsuit which resulted in a Sheriff’s sale of some of his property to satisfy the legal judgement. 

In April 1917 Max was admitted to the Sawtelle Old Soldiers Home in Los Angeles. By 1919 Margery and all their children except Orion moved to Santa Monica to be near Max. While at Sawtelle Max began to write and publish patriotic musical scores. 

Max died in 1926, age 82, and is buried at the Veteran’s Cemetery in West Los Angeles. Margery continued to live in California until her death in 1947, age 85. She is buried with Max.

At age six the oldest son, Carl, accidentally shot a playmate, who fortunately survived. [Bisbee Daily Review, 7/18/1906]. Carl was exempted from serving in WWI for his responsibilities to dependent family members. In California he worked as a teamster and a sanitation worker. In the late 1920s he married a widow, Myrtle Benton Valenzuela, who had three sons. Carl and Myrtle had two children, Maxine and Carl. By 1940 the couple was divorced, and Carl returned to live in Tucson for a while. Myrtle and the children lived with Margery in California. Carl eventually returned to California where he died in 1969, age 78.

Winnifred Enzenberg married Elmer Robert Smith in 1916 and they had five children: Verna, Eleanor, Barbara, Robert and Russell. Verna was born in Arizona, the rest in California. Elmer and Winnifred both died in Los Angeles, he in 1949 and she in 1970. 

Brunhilde Enzenberg was married three times to William Dunham, Albert Davis, and Harry Taylor. She had no children. She returned to Tucson from California around 1930 where she died in 1949. 

Orion Enzenberg was working for Charles Everhart in Elgin when he registered for the WWI draft. He served in the Army for a few months in 1918. He married Oscea Greenlee in 1919; they had no children. He was a Southern Pacific Railroad fireman, operated a dairy farm in Tucson, and in 1926 purchased and operated a ranch, which included an apple orchard, about four miles north of Sonoita. [Tucson Citizen, 2/2/1984]. Orion died in 1984, age 87, and Oscea died in 1989, age 96. Both are buried in the Black Oak Cemetery in Canelo.