During the first decade of Arizona’s territorial years, Maricopa Wells served not only as the hub for a network of wagon roads, but also as the central point for the military telegraph lines. In 1873, a military telegraph line connected Yuma to Maricopa Wells and ran north to Phoenix, Prescott and Tucson.

It was a historic moment for this sparsely-populated Arizona Territory when the telegraph lines connected its settlements with the outside world.

This instant communication over vast distances opened the lines of telecommunications and closed the distance between communities and states. It allowed and facilitated the coordination of military and law enforcement, aided the economy of the territory through faster and more efficient communications that was so vital to the smooth operation of growing businesses.

Telegraph services remained available for the railroad and local residents through the 1960s.

The photo shows the telegraph office at Maricopa Wells as seen in 1874. From left are Sergeant Gearhart, telegraph operator; James A. Moore, proprietor of Maricopa Wells; unidentified man behind telegraph pole; Bill Baxter, line rider; Chas N. Naylor, bookkeeper; and Milton Ward, stage driver.

This content was published in the June edition of InMaricopa magazine.