For the 1950 film, see. In the living room, a portrait of Tim's oldest daughter, Mary, hangs over the fireplace. Secretary of the Interior. [31], After a couple of years, Reavis and Willing formed a partnership aimed at promoting the claim. Following the outbreak of the American Civil War, Reavis enlisted in Hunter's Regiment of the Confederate Army, 8th Division of the Missouri State Guard. [263] Reavis died in Denver, Colorado, on November 20, 1914 and was buried in a pauper's grave. [225], Wednesday morning's session began with Reavis being questioned about his marriage contract to his wife, moved to details on his discovery of the "Inicial Monument", and was followed by questions about his financial transactions with the Southern Pacific Railroad and Silver King mine. He was even featured in an official tour book. He convinced the youngster she was descended from the Peralta family, educated, and then married her. [241], After adjourning for the weekend, the trial resumed on Monday June 17. Willing and his trip to Prescott to obtain the Peralta documents. [58][59] Philip's cedula was not acted upon until December 20, 1748 when Ferdinand VI promoted Don Miguel to captain of dragoons, bestowed upon him the title Baron of the Colorados, and issued another cedula instructing the Viceroy of New Spain to locate a suitable tract containing 300 square leagues of land. It extended from today’s Sun City across to Silver City, New Mexico. [186], Mathew Given Reynolds, a special attorney for the United States Court of Private Land Claims, was assigned to represent the government in Reavis' suit. The park is at 409 Riordan Road, about two blocks on the right. The baron proceeded to alter records from Mexico City to Spain. [2] During the course of the fraud, Reavis collected an estimated US$5.3 million in cash and promissory notes ($163 million in present-day terms[3]) through the sale of quitclaims and proposed investment plans.[4]. Reavis wanted more than a buck. There were documents with large leaden seals attached and signed by the king of Spain. Willing declined the offer and instead returned the next day with an expert in Spanish land titles, William W. [81], While the construction was beginning, Reavis began hiring rent collectors and agents. [23] He was short of funds at the time of his arrival and offered to sell a half interest in the claim to the local stable owner, James D. [144], Reaction to the new claim by Arizona residents was nearly unanimously negative, with some newspapers publishing open incitements to violence against Reavis. During this trip, Treadway died near Sacramento, California. The assisting archivist was surprised to see a document he had previously never seen in the bundle. While there he discovered the date on John Treadway's tombstone showed November 21, 1861, six months before Mrs. Reavis' birth. The scam relied on forgeries he left in church records from Mexico City to Madrid, inserting a fictitious family into ancient documents. Novelties and conveniences exist throughout the house. A search of the National Archives found no record of the Peralta grant but did produce copies of signatures and 18th-century documents for use in later comparisons. In Mexico, he resumed the role of a newspaper correspondent looking for items of interest to Los Angeles and San Francisco readers. [201] Despite being informed of the proceedings, no one representing Reavis attended the proceedings. He was tried and convicted but the world loves a con man who schemes big. No one person can claim this land. [181], By 1893, Reavis began to develop financial problems. “He told such a good lie that, I think, maybe he started to believe it, too," Trimble said. Many residents reasoned that if the mine and railroad, with their associated financial and legal resources, found Reavis' claim too strong to fight then they stood no chance against it. [36] Dissatisfied with the state of their marriage, she received a divorce on grounds of desertion in 1883. Within the new filings were the following additions to the Peralta family story: The second Baron of Arizona, Don Jesus Miguel, never took an interest in his Arizona property due to the threatening Apache presence. Always the Irish storyteller, Tim Riordan loved to entertain visitors and children alike with his tall tales, and he used the shoes to convince them that he actually knew Bunyan. The tale was dramatized by Hollywood, casting the villainous heartthrob Vincent Price as the suave baron. But one man got awfully close — by becoming the Baron of Arizona. James Addison Reavis was born in Missouri. [161] Groff's letter to Johnson was generally critical of the Surveyor General but could not disregard the report's findings. [122] Reavis also posted a US$10,000 deposit to assure an official survey of the grant. Pueblitos a Navajo Legacy. "And so, he could forge his commanding officer’s signature on leave papers. The scam was working so well he wanted even more money so he decided to sue the U.S. Government. [218] Tipton and Maller-Provest continued to examine other documents and depositions until later that afternoon. Winter hours (Nov-April) are 10:30 am - 5 pm. Even Reavis, who’d made a sucker of the government itself, seemed to escape the full force of justice. From here a tour through the Riordan Mansion takes visitors back to turn-of-the-century Arizona Territory and unexpected luxury and convenience in a home built when Flagstaff was a rough and rowdy lumber mill town. [256] On July 17, 1896, he was sentenced to two years and a fine of US$5,000. Download full quality poster of The Baron of Arizona. Multiple spelling errors and grammar issues were present in the Peralta documents, a situation highly atypical of documents from the Spanish Royal court. We'll be in touch if we look into your question. [28] Reavis used this time and association with Gitt to learn about Mexican and Spanish land documents. Arizona’s reputation for greed and violence certainly left its mark. "But he made his fatal mistake when he sued the government. No other documents in the bundle were folded and the document Reavis had found was not numbered as other pages in the bundle had been. Reavis nearly conned his way into about 12 million acres from where Sun City sits today all the way to Silver City, New Mexico. Johnson. The first came from George Willing Sr., father of Reavis' former business partner. [140] Maso left for San Francisco with the Baron, his mother, Doña Carmelita Maso, and his then pregnant wife. Reavis' second marriage was not publicly acknowledged until 1886. Information discovered about this cousin showed that he had traveled through Arizona during the time period in which Willing had purchased the rights to the Peralta grant and could potentially have posed as the second Baron during the transaction. It took several months of searching before Don Jesus Miguel's will leaving his estate to Sophia was located. In the kitchen, a six-door, self-draining icebox could be filled from the outside, making life easier for the cook. [235] This testimony was followed by Father O'Reilly, who identified Reavis as the person he had given possession of the record books for a period of between two weeks and a month. And his punishment: He served two years in prison and paid a $5,000 fine. Business leaders such as Charles Crocker and John W. Mackay in turn provided financial support. [204] Due to delays in obtaining cooperation from the Spanish government this process was not completed till March 3, 1895. Upon his return to Santa Fe in April 1894, Mallet-Prevost stated he was "entirely convinced of the spurious character of every paper there filed". [151] At the core of the system was a proposed 450 feet (140 m) masonry dam on the Salt River near its junction with Tonto Creek (near where Theodore Roosevelt Dam was later built) and a 250 feet (76 m) dam on the Gila River west of Florence. [213][214], Following this, Tipton went on to problems with other original papers that had been located during the search of the Guadalajara archives. The suit in turn prompted the U.S. government to perform a detailed investigation that fully exposed the forgeries Reavis had planted in a variety of locations. Travel, research, and legal expenses, combined with the maintenance expenses of his various households, had consumed most of his cash. Please call ahead; reservations are recommended. "He needs an heir. Robbins. At six-feet, three inches tall, Tim was a large, athletic, fun-loving man who was unusually progressive in his thinking.

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