Mr. & Mrs. Henry E. Cordes Collection
- Eight original black-and-white photographs, four copy black-and-white photographs
with negatives, one copy negative, and eight picture postcards
- Views include:
- Cordes, Arizona buildings, Cordes family, Mayer, Arizona
- Biographic Note:
- Born in Germany in June 2, 1850, John Henry Cordes emigrated to New York
in 1869. While working there, he met Elise Schimpf. Schimpf, who was born
on March 8, 1853, had also come to New York from Germany, at the age of 18.
A romance blossomed between the two, but in 1875, Cordes decided to head west
to seek his fortune. Years later, he sent for Elise (who went by the nickname
Lizzie.). They were married in a Phoenix area church on October 30, 1880.
They lived in Gillett for the next three years, where their first child, Charles
Henry, was born. On January 25, 1883, John Henry bought Antelope Station,
southeast of Prescott, for $769.43. He applied for a post office in 1886,
using the name Antelope. The request was denied as the name was thought to
be too similar to Antelope Valley, so John Henry reapplied using his surname,
and the station became known as Cordes. While living and working there, John
Henry and Lizzie had six more children: Henry George (who died at age 3),
Lucy Johanna, William Harrison, Frederick James, Grace Sophia, and Mynne Anne.
- Cordes was located on the only road running from Phoenix to Flagstaff, and
featured the post office, a general store, bank, bar, lodging, restaurant,
and a shearing and dipping station for the fall and spring sheep drives between
Flagstaff and New River. John Henry also built a school, in 1905, for his
children when the school at Big Bug closed.
- In 1908, John Henry sold the station to Charles Henry and moved to Prescott
with Lizzie, Grace, and Mynne. Three years later, the family relocated to
Tempe, so the girls could attend Tempe Normal School. Lucy and Mynne, like
their older brother Charles, both attended Los Angeles Business School. Grace
became a teacher, and Mynne worked in government service. William and Fred
worked at the sheep station, then became partners in a cattle ranch at Turkey
Creek. John Henry died on March 19, 1919, a victim of the influenza epidemic,
at the Turkey Creek ranch. Lizzie died in Mayer on August 19, 1929.
- The same year that Charles Henry purchased the station from his father,
he married Mary Elizabeth Chastain. The couple had six children, and operated
the station until 1938, when they sold it to their son, Henry. In 1948, rumors
spread that the proposed Black Canyon highway would bypass Cordes. Henry acquired
land near the freeway site, and in 1956, he built at bar and restaurant at
what would become known as Cordes Junction. In 1961, he constructed a Chevron
station and restaurant which he sold in the 1980s.
- For related information, see the Cordes Manuscript Collection (#110), and
Bechtel, Robert B. and Mynne Cordes Jarman, Cordes and Cordes Junction,
Journal of Arizona History 26(4), p. 429-450.
Special Collections and Archives Department
Northern Arizona University
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