In 1898 he patented land, bought and leased from the government, approximately 52,000 acres 60 miles west of Congress Junction with a water supply from the Bill Williams Fork River and established the Santa Maria and Alamo Ranches. He lost water rights to his ranch in 1915 and much of the land became worthless for ranching. The area is now Alamo State Park.
Tappan's wife, Laura Gordon Fulton (1849-1933), was from a prominent Baltimore, Maryland family. At the age of 37, she was "allowed" by her family to travel West to teach kindergarten. In 1886 she established the first kindergarten in the West at Flagstaff.
The Tappan's only child, Edith, was born in Flagstaff in 1891. Left a widow with three children at the age of 24, she moved to Phoenix and ran a successful citrus-cotton ranch. She died in Phoenix in 1943.
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Northern Arizona University
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