Friday, July 16, 2010

Tombstone: Conrad Meyer Zulick

Conrad Meyer Zulick was born on June 3, 1839 in Easton, Pennsylvania. He became a lawyer and after serving in the Civil War, moved to New Jersey and became active in Democratic politics. Zulick also developed business interests in Arizona and northern Mexico and he moved to Tombstone towards the end of 1884.

The ASJ episode The Strange Fate of Conrad Meyer Zulick highlights an important incident in Zulick’s life. It is true that in 1885, Zulick was being held prisoner by Mexican copper miners in the state of Sonora because of a financial dispute the workers had with the mine company that employed them. It is also true that M.T. “Doc” Donovan, a former Indian scout, organized a rescue of Zulick, which occurred early in the morning. And it is true that once freed, Donovan and Zulick made their way back to the United States in a wagon, with Zulick hiding under a tarpaulin. It is not true, however, that Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry were recruited by Donovan to assist in the rescue mission.

When he crossed the border back into the United States, Zulick was told that he’d been appointed Governor of the Territory of Arizona by President Grover Cleveland. Zulick was Arizona’s seventh governor and its first from the Democratic Party. His arrival in Tombstone was greeted warmly and he took the oath of office in the lobby of the Occidental Hotel, part of which is currently a bookstore and saddlery (see photo above).

When it was built in 1883, the Occidental Hotel was two stories high, but the top floor no longer exists (see two photos of exterior at right and below; note date on facade that predates the actual hotel). In 1885, when Zulick became Governor, the Occidental Hotel occupied much of the block between Fourth and Allen Streets.

Conrad Meyer Zulick remained in Arizona for several years after his term of office ended in 1889. He moved back East after he retired and died on March 2, 1926.