Biography of Charles Trumbull Hayden

Charles Trumbull Hayden, whose name is linked with the early history of Arizona, was born in Windsor, Connecticut, April 4th, 1825. When eighteen years old he taught school in New Jersey, and afterwards near New Albany, Indiana, and in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1848 he loaded a wagon with merchandise, and left Independence, Missouri, for Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he marketed his goods and returned in the fall. He continued in business at Independence for some time, but when the gold excitement began in 1849, he outfitted a train of ox teams, and started over the Santa Fe Trail. He arrived in Santa Fe late in 1849, and met some parties from California, who bought his outfit, consisting of fourteen wagons loaded with supplies, each drawn by six yoke of oxen. He then returned to Missouri to purchase another stock of goods and establish himself in business in Santa Fe. He was a passenger upon the first Overland Stage to Tucson in 1858, to which place he moved his stock of goods from Santa Fe and established himself in business there. He engaged in contracting with the Government for the furnishing of supplies to the soldiers and did a large freighting business to the mines, hauling supplies in, and ore out. He had many freight teams and brought his merchandise in these early days from Port Ysabel on the Gulf of California. After the close of the Civil War, supplies were brought up the Gulf of California from California. Mr. Hayden was appointed the first Probate Judge at Tucson under the laws of New Mexico, and bore his part in the early settlement of that part of Arizona by the Americans.

About the year 1870 he came to what is now Tempe. The river was up so high that he could not ford it, and, going to the top of the butte, it occurred to him that it would be a good irrigating country. He returned to Tucson and, soon afterwards, heard that Jack Swilling and his associates were taking out the Tempe Canal. He came over to see them and established the first ferry across the river and the first store in what is now Tempe, but then called Hayden’s Ferry. He supplied the canal builders with merchandise and took an interest in the canal, through which he obtained water power for his mill, which began to produce flour in the year 1874. His business was extensive; he owned the mill, the mercantile business, the blacksmith shop, the carpenter shop, and practically the whole town, besides which he established other stores, two on the Gila Reservation, and one on the Salt River. He was a partner with a man by the name of Brooks at Prescott, and acquired some ranch property there under the Homestead and Timber Claim Law, and pastured cattle and other stock upon it.

In October, 1876, he was married at Nevada City, California, to Miss Sally Calvert Davis, a native of: Arkansas. They came to Arizona on the railroad as far as Colton, from which place they took the stage to Ehrenberg, and from thence by his own conveyance to Tempe, which was his home up to the time of his death in February, 1900. By this marriage he had four children, Carl Hayden, who was the first representative in Congress from the State of Arizona, and three daughters, one of whom died in infancy, and two of whom are now living. His wife died in Tempe in 1907.

During the Civil War Mr. Hayden was the only representative of the Federal Government around Tucson for a year or two, the soldiers having been withdrawn from New Mexico. He frequently organized the whites to resist the Apache raids.

Charles Trumbull Hayden was a typical pioneer, fearless, independent, energetic, and generous to a fault, which made him, to a great extent, the prey of designing men.


Farish, Thomas Edwin. History Of Arizona, Volume 2. Printed and Published by Direction of the Second Legislature of the State of Arizona, A. D. 1915.

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