LEGAL INFO: T16S, R23E
CLIMATE: Warm winter, hot summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime
| COMMENTS: About 4 miles
east of Dragoon.
REMAINS: Ruins of Fourrs Ranch
| William Fourr came to Arizona in 1865 and occupied the old abandoned Kenyon's and Stanwix Stage Stations that were previously used by Butterfield's Overland Mail Company. In 1869 he built a stage station 1/4 mile southwest of the old ruins of Butterfield's Oatman Flat Stage Station. Butterfield's Overland Mail Company had ceased its service in Arizona March 2, 1861, and stage lines did not return to the Southern Overland Trail until 1867.
In 1878 William Fourr and his family moved to the Western slope of the Dragoon Mountains in Cochise County where he "Found a place with lots of sycamore trees, which is a good sign of water, about five miles from where Dragoon station is now, on the west slope of the Dragoon Mountains." He started a cattle ranch here with about 400 head of cattle. The Cochise County records show that he recorded a homestead claim for 160 acres four miles south of Dragoon Pass, located on October 7, 1879, but he did not actually obtain a United States patent to the land until October 8, 1914.
Although it has been incorrectly identified in the past, Fourr's Fort was not a Butterfield Stage Station, as the next Butterfield Stage Station going west was the San Pedro River Stage Station just across the San Pedro River from present-day Benson. Fourr never worked for Butterfield, as he didn't arrive in Arizona until four years after the line ceased operations.
In Reminiscences of William Four he stated: "Whenever my wife would scent trouble and I was not at home she would take the children and hide in the canyon. She always took a pistol with her and she could shoot it too." They would use "Fourr's Fort" for protection.
Submitted by: Gerald T. Ahnert
For additional information see;
William Fourr, Hayden Arizona Pioneer Biographical Essays. Remininscences of William Fourr, Arizona Historical Review, Vol. VI, No. 4, October, 1935, published by University of Arizona, pp. 68-84.