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The last of the mainland states to be admitted to the Union, Arizona became the 48th state on February 14, 1912.

Historian Greg Scott, editor of Cowboy Poetry, Classic Poems & Prose by Badger Clark, suggested a feature about the Arizona Centennial and provided suggestions and the heart of the feature, his essay below, "Centennial Sentiments."

Charles Badger Clark's (1883-1957), poem "Arizony's Probation," is featured in the essay. Clark spent four years on an Arizona ranch, just as he was beginning his writing career.

"Centennial Sentiments" was written for and presented at the 20th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering, February, 2012. The gathering was an official Centennial event. Their poster was designed by Larry Scott:

Find the essay below, along with some Arizona poems by early Arizona "cowboy poets" and additional links.

We'll be adding information to this feature throughout 2012.

You are welcome to suggest additional information for consideration for inclusion in this feature. Email us.





"Centennial Sentiments" by Greg Scott
(includes Badger Clark's "Arizony's Probation"
About Greg Scott


Arizona poems and songs by early "cowboy poets"
"Arizona" by Sharlot Hall 
"Arizona August" by Gail I. Gardner 
"Arizona" by Henry Herbert Knibbs 
"Back to Arizona" by E. A. Brininstool
"The Arizona Boys and Girls" anonymous, from Jack Thorp's Songs of the Cowboys

Arizona State Anthem "Arizona March Song" by Margaret Rowe Clifford


Centennial Links and More

Centennial Sentiments
by Greg Scott


Arizony’s Probation 

Though the Utah man wears a dozen yokes,
And Nevada stacks her chips;
They belong to the forty six grown up folks
 And nobody minds their slips;
But young Arizony must do right
And her people must be good.
So she’ll walk in robes of shining white,
And she jines the sisterhood.

Famed cowboy poet, and at the time, Cochise County resident, Charles Badger Clark, wrote a humorous piece for the March 1910 Tombstone Prospector. The U.S. House had recently passed an Enabling Act which allowed Arizona Territory to write a Constitution for eventual Statehood. The Senate agreed in June of 1910 and one of the last obstacles for Arizona joining the “Sisterhood of States” was removed.

 So its long farewell to Old Nick’s spell,
To the guns and the doubled fist,
And the men can’t score on the wheel no more,
And the ladies can’t play whist
Quit your shooting scraps and you can’t shoot craps,
Nor indulge any wreckless traits
For a wisdom tooth ends our careless youth
And we’re going to jine the States

Arizona detractors in Washington, D.C. often claimed that the territory, “not ready” or “lawless” or its citizens “not intelligent enough” in their refusals to consider petitions for statehood. Indeed, the national media covered every misstep, like the Earp brothers’ street fight in Tombstone, in lurid detail. Military campaigns against the Apaches or the law enforcement activities of the Arizona Rangers reinforced the “lawless’ nature of the territory in their reporting.  

At the roundup camp when the stars peep our
And the coyote tunes his harp;
You will find nice cowboys grouped about
Playing marbles on a tarp.
And with lemonade their souls they steep
Till the campfire light grow dim
While the cook reads “Pilgrim’s Progress” deep
And the range boss hums a hymn.
Oh, its adieu to our language grim
And the ways of Grizzly Pete;
All our wild oats crop must be sody pop
And the cueb cigareet.
It is sure a crime, in our sun kissed clime
For the boys to get on skates;
And the long horn kin must shed their sin
Yes we’re going to jine the States

Early in the 20th Century Territorial communities and the legislature began to pass ordinances and laws aimed at diminishing gambling and alcohol consumption. Bisbee, for instance, outlawed all alcohol in 1910. Tucson placed high license fees on saloons and gambling houses.  Arizona’s first constitution did not include a prohibition provision but a temperance amendment was passed in 1914 and Arizona officially remained ‘dry’ until 1932! 

In the gloomy mines and the roaring mills
Where the air was once so blue,
They have changed their ways and assumed the frills
Of the W.C.T.U.
And the fireman sweats but he plans to flee
From the blistery fires to come
And the miner just says, “Oh, dear me,”
If the hard steel whacks his thumb
Oh, it’s fond goodbye to our old friend,
Hi, Lo, Jack, and the family tree,
And the miner packs just a bunch of tracts
Where his Climax used to be.
Once Bill and Sam didn’t care a…dam
But our wise men legislates
That we’ve got to be from our sins set free
If we’re going to jine the States.

Citizens of Arizona Territory, like Clark, who were interested in the issue, discovered that an individual Senator could delay or refuse to allow a vote to be taken on a Statehood bill or anything else. The Chair of the Senate Committee on Territories repeatedly refused a hearing or vote on Arizona Statehood, even after approval in the House.  Arizona’s Constitution, considered very progressive for the time, included such Direct Democracy provisions as Initiative, Recall, and Referendum.  An eight hour workday and end to child labor was found in the document. Women’s suffrage, segregation of schools and prohibition were not included but were soon added by amendment.  The Women’s Christian Temperance Union, founded in 1873, was active throughout the country. Clark’s mother was a member.The WCTU worked tirelessly for prohibition and on many “moral” issues like gambling.  Hi, Lo, Jack a popular card game in Tombstone and throughout the west was among the targets of the WCTU.

 When our Arizony sashays forth
Dust white as her yucca bloom
And the fat old States to the East and North
Will remark as they make her room,
“It is plain to see by your sweet face dear
That you’re strange to the ways of sin,
Plumb stainless is a rare thing here,
And we need you bad. Come in.”
So it’s long farewell to merry…hell
Blue smoke and red, red paint,
And the first “troubled” that hints we’re had
Will be licked till he swears we ain’t.
Now the water cart and an icy heart
For the Old Boys tempting baits;
We’ll be calm and cold and let on we’re old
Now we’re going to jine the States.

 In his lifetime, Badger Clark would see ten territories become States beginning with his native South Dakota in 1889 when he was six years old. He was twenty-nine when Arizona became a State on February 14th, 1912. For people like Clark, adding new States, with new populations, and constitutions was an ongoing process. While in Arizona Territory he was able to vote for or against jointure combining Arizona and New Mexico into one big State, for Territorial representative and finally, for delegate to the Constitutional Convention. 

Some of us might remember the addition of Alaska and Hawaii to statehood in the 1950s. Few of us understood them, or how complex politics and arcane maneuvering which was an essential part of the addition of the 49th and 50th States.

Arizona and New Mexico had been one territory when added to the United States in 1848, President Lincoln divided the territory in 1863 into two nearly equal parts.  Both Arizona Territory and New Mexico Territory struggled for decades to be considered for Statehood.  Arizona and New Mexico enjoyed a booming mining, farming and ranching economy. Railroads criss-crossed each territory. Yet, hardball politics and race, religion and language were all used as impediments when congress was petitioned to consider statehood. Badge Clark’s poem sums it up pretty well when he wrote: “…we’ve got to be from our sins set free/If we’re are going to jine the States.”

Happy Birthday and Feliz Cumpleaños to Arizona and our sister State New Mexico. One hundred years and still going strong. 

© 2012, Greg Scott, All rights reserved
Presented at the 20th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering, February, 2012

This photo of Badger Clark is from Cowboy Poetry, Classic Poems & Prose by Badger Clark, used with permission .

 Find more about Badger Clark in our feature here.

  About Greg Scott
photo by Kevin Martini-Fuller

Greg Scott is a retired, third-generation Arizona educator. Great-grandson of a pioneer rancher-farmer, Scott's roots go back to Territorial days.  He is a graduate in History from the University of Arizona with advanced degrees from both Arizona and Northern Arizona University. 

Scott is a member of the Speakers' Bureau of the Arizona Humanities Council and a former Traditional Music Roster Artist for the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

He has traveled throughout the state, and seven other western states, presenting programs of Cowboy Poetry and Music at museums, historical societies, libraries, and cowboy poetry events.  Greg also writes regularly about Arizona cowboy music. He lives in an adobe home he designed and built himself on a small ranch in Elgin, Arizona.

See our feature here about Greg Scott's, Cowboy Poetry, Classic Poems & Prose by Badger Clark, and find links there to additional information he has shared at CowboyPoetry.com.

Arizona poems and songs by early "cowboy poets"



In his message of December, 1905, President Roosevelt advised that Arizona and New Mexico be admitted to the union as one state. In Arizona the opposition to this "joint-statehood" was bitter and determined.

No beggar she in the mighty hall where her bay-crowned sisters wait,
No empty-handed pleader for the right of a free-born state;
No child, with a child's insistence, demanding a gilded toy;
But a fair-browed, queenly woman, strong to create or destroy.
Wise for the need of the sons she has bred in the school where weaklings fail,
Where cunning is less than manhood, and deeds, not words, avail:
With the high, unswerving purpose that measures and overcomes;
 And the faith in the Farthest Vision that builded her hard-won homes.

Link her, in her clean-proved fitness, in her right to stand alone,

Secure for whatever future in the strength that her past has won,

Link her, in her morning beauty, with another, however fair?
And open your jealous portal and bid her enter there
With shackles on wrist and ankle, and dust on her stately head,
And her proud eyes dim with weeping? No! Bar your doors instead
And seal them fast forever! but let her go her way

Uncrowned if you will, but unshackled, to wait for a larger day.

Ay! Let her go bare-handed; bound with no grudging gift;
Back to her own free spaces where her rock- ribbed mountains lift
Their walls like a sheltering fortress
back to her house and blood;
And we of her blood will go our way and reckon your judgment good.
We will wait outside your sullen door till the stars you wear grow dim
As the pale dawn-stars that swim and fade o'er our mighty Canon's rim.
We will lift no hand for the bays ye wear, nor covet your robes of state

But ah! By the skies above us all, we will shame ye while we wait!

We will make ye the mould of an empire here in the land ye scorn;
While ye drowse and dream in your well-housed ease that States at your nod are born.
Ye have blotted your own beginnings, and taught your sons to forget
That ye did not spring fat-fed and old from the powers that bear and beget;
But the while ye follow your smooth-made roads to a fireside safe of fears,
Shall come a voice from a land still young, to sing in your age-dulled ears
The hero song of a strife as fine as your fathers' fathers knew,
When they dared the rivers of unmapped wilds at the will of a bark canoe

The song of the deed in the doing, of the work still hot from the hand;
Of the yoke of man laid friendly-wise on the neck of a tameless land.
While your merchandise is weighing, we will bit and bridle and rein
The floods of the storm-rocked mountains and lead them down to the plain;
And the foam-ribbed, dark-hued waters, tired from that mighty race.
Shall lie at the feet of palm and vine and know their appointed place;
And out of that subtle union, desert and mountain-flood.
Shall be homes for a nation's choosing, where no home else had stood.

We will match the gold of your minting, with its mint-stamp dulled and marred
By the tears and blood that have stained it and the bands that have clutched too hard,
With the gold that no man has lied for
the gold no woman has made
 The price of her truth and honor, plying a shameless trade:
The clean, pure gold of the mountains, straight from the strong, dark earth,
With no tang or taint upon it from the hour of its primal birth.
The trick of the money-changer, shifting his coins as he wills,
Ye may keep
no Christ was bartered for the wealth of our lavish hills.

"Yet we are a little people
too weak for the cares of state!"
Let us go our way
when ye look again, ye may find us, mayhap, too great.
Cities we lack
and gutters where children snatch for bread:
and hordes of starvelings, toiling but never fed.
Spare pains that would make us greater in the pattern that ye have set;
We hold to the larger measure of the men that ye forget

The men who, from trackless forests and prairies lone and far,
 Hewed out the land where ye sit at ease and grudge us our fair-won star.

"There yet be men, my masters," though the net that the trickster flings
Lies wide on the land to its bitter shame, and his cunning parleyings
Have deafened the ears of Justice, that was blind and slow of old;
Yet Time, the last Great Judge, is not bought, or bribed, or sold;
And Time and the Race shall judge us
not a league of trafficking men,
Selling the trust of the people, to barter it back again;
Palming the lives of millions as a handful of easy coin

With a single heart to the narrow verge where Craft and Statecraft join.

by Sharlot Hall, from Cactus and Pine

Sharlot Mabridth Hall (October 27, 1870– pril 9, 1943) was an American journalist, poet and historian. She was the first woman to hold an office in the Arizona Territorial government and her personal collection of photographs and artifacts served as the starting collection for a history museum which bears her name....

In 1905, when legislation to admit Arizona Territory and New Mexico Territory as a single combined state was proposed in the U.S. Congress, Hall responded by writing the poem, "Arizona." The poem, which mocked the proposal and made the case for Arizona's independent statehood, was published in several publications and a copy of the poem was given to every member of Congress.....

(Above excerpted from a Wikipedia article here.)

See our feature about Sharlot Hall here.

This photo of Sharlot Hall and her mother is included in the 1924 edition of Cactus and Pine



Arizona August

Sunshine and shadow,
Dewdrops and rain,
Gentle white moonbeams

It's August again!

Indian Flowers,
Blooming the same,
Red Summer sunsets
Matching their flame.

Cliffs of Vermillion,
Shadows of blue,
Feathery pine boughs,
The wind whispers through.

Dawn on the mountains,
Dusk on the plain,
In my Arizona

It's August again

by Gail I. Gardner, from Orejana Bull, 1935
reprinted with permission of the Gardner/Steiger family
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission.

Many of Gail I. Gardner's (1892-1988) poems were set in Arizona, and almost all of them were more lively than this one. Known best for "The Sierry Petes (or Tying the Knots in the Devil's Tail)," his poems are collected in a 1935 book, much re-printed, Orejana Bull.

photo courtesy the Gardner/Steiger family;
This photo should not be reprinted or reposted without permission
 Gail I. Gardner at 19, reproduced by Gary Lewallen from a 1912 Gardner family photo

Find more about Gail I. Gardner in our feature here.



The forest fades as the slow sun passes,
Stars of the pines come trembling through,
And the mesa dim, with its waving grasses,
Whispers the old, old song to you!

Arizona! The dearest lover
Of all the wild, free Western strain,
Blushing up from your cloudy cover
Young and fair in the flashing rain.

You were ours when we wore good leather,
Horses and men both hard to hold:
Ranging wide in the sun together,
Riding ever a trail of gold.

Dawn, when your clear, cool eyes were brimming
Wide with the blue of a cloudless sky:
And the magic dust, when the stars were swimming
Close to your breast, where we chose to lie.

Dawn and dusk and the wide world singing
Songs that thrilled with the pulse of life
As we clattered down with our rein-chains ringing,
To woo you
but never make you wife.

Yet of your heart you gave full measure,
Splendid wealth of your upland soil,
As we fought for your far-flung emerald treasure,
And held it
by war and wit and toil.

Arizona! The tramp of cattle,
The biting dust and raw-red brand:
Shuffling sheep and the smoke of battle;
The upturned face and the empty hand.

Yea! But we loved you, your belted lovers,
Warring down from Butte and Blue...
and the night wind softly hovers,
Over the faces lost for you.

by Henry Herbert Knibbs, 1920, Songs of the Trail

See our feature about Henry Herbert Knibbs (1874-1945) here.

Find more on this photo of Henry Herbert Knibbs here.

[photo: Connecticut State Library, State Archives, PG 460, Colt Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company, Box 2, Folder 7, Item 4; http://www.flickr.com/photos/ctarchives/4110253896/ ]


Back to Arizona

Take me back to Arizona as it was in early days,
Ere the cowboy on the ranges had the moving-picture craze.
Let me see the festive puncher, with his bronco on the run,
Coming into town and shooting up the landscape with his gun.

Let me see the chuckawalla and the Gila monster, too,
Of the murderous Apache let me get a fleeting view;
Let me see a frontier squabble as it was in days of yore,
When the "bad man" of the border waded in a sea of gore.

Take me back to Arizona and the plains of alkali,
On the cactus-covered mesa in the desert let me lie.
Let me hear the rattler rattling as he crawls about the sand,
And the restive cattle bawling as they feel the red-hot brand.

Let me see the city marshal make a gun-play in the street,
And a victim later buried with his boots upon his feet!
Take me back to Arizona let me see a poker game
As in days when it was prudent not to ask a stranger's name.

Take me back to Arizona, where they "sized" a fellow, not
By the boodle which he carried, but the skill with which he shot!
Where the towns were short on water, but all-fired long on gin,
And there never was much mourning when a fellow-man "cashed in."

Take me back among the ki-yotes and the centipedes and such,
Where a brand-iron was respected and a "rustler" hated much!
Take me back to Arizona when it lived a wild career,
And they had a man for breakfast every morning in the year!

Take me back to Arizona Arizona rough and wild,
Where the days were dry and dusty and the whisky wasn't mild!
Let me live again those stirring frontier days when all was new,
When the faro banks were frequent but the churches mighty few!

Let me join a sheriff s posse and get on a horse-thief's track,
Where a hanging-bee was likely if they brought the fellow back!
Take me back to Arizona in the palmy days I saw,
When high boot-heels were in fashion, and a six-gun was the law!

by E.A. Brininstook, from Trail Dust of a Maverick (1914)



E. A. (Earl Alonzo) Brininstool (1870-1957) was a western historian, best known for his writings about Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

See our feature about E.A. Brininstool here.


The Arizona Boys and Girls

Don't know the author. Heard it sung by Kitt Collins in  Deming, New Mexico.

Come, all of you people, I pray you draw near,
A comical ditty I promise you'll hear.
The boys in this country they try to advance
By courting the ladies and learning to dance.

The boys in this country they try to be plain
Those words that you hear you may hear them again
With twice as much added on if you can.
There's many a boy who thinks he's a man.

They'll go to their parties, their whiskey they'll take,
And out in the dark their bottles they'll break;
You'll hear one say, "There's a bottle round here;
So come around, boys, and we'll all take a share."

There is some wears shoes and some wears boots,
But there are very few that rides who don't shoot;
More than this I'll tell you what they'll do,
They'll get them a watch and a ranger hat too;

They'll go in the hall with spurs on their heel;
They'll get them a partner to dance the next reel,
Saying, "How do I look in my new brown suit,
With my pants stuffed down in the top of my boot?"

Now, I think it's quite time to leave off these lads,
For here are some girls that's fully as bad;
They'll trim up their dresses and curl up their hair,
And like an old owl 'fore the looking-glass stare.

The girls in the country they grin like a cat,
And with giggling and laughing don't know where they're at;
They think they're pretty, and I tell you they're wise,
But they could n't get married to save their two eyes.

You can tell a good girl wherever she's found;
No trimming, no laces, no nonsense around;
With a long-eared bonnet tied under her chin,
She'll marry you if you are broke or if you have the tin.

They'll go to church with their snuff-box in hand,
They'll give it a tap to make it look grand;
Perhaps there is another one or two
And they'll pass it around and it's "Madam, won't you?"

Now, I think it's quite time for this ditty to end;
If there 's any one here that it will offend,
If there's any one here that thinks it amiss,
Just come round and give the singer a kiss.

from Jack Thorp's Songs of the Cowboys (1920)


photo courtesy John Stauffer
Jack Thorp with Alice Corbin Henderson and her daughter

thorpsongslgz.JPG (28188 bytes)

The song was no doubt inspired by the two states' rivalries. Find our feature about Songs of the Cowboys here.



Arizona March Song (Arizona State Anthem)

Written by Margaret Rowe Clifford
Composed by Maurice Blumenthal

Come to this land of sunshine
To this land where life is young.
Where the wide, wide world is waiting,
The songs that will now be sung.
Where the golden sun is flaming
Into warm, white shining day,
And the sons of men are blazing
Their priceless right of way.


Come stand beside the rivers
Within our valley broad.
Stand here with heads uncovered,
In the presence of our God!
While all around, about us
The brave, unconquered band,
As guardians and landmarks
The giant mountains stand.


Not alone for gold and silver
Is Arizona great.
But with graves of heroes sleeping,
All the land is consecrate!
O, come and live beside us
However far ye roam
Come and help us build up temples
And name those temples "home."


Sing the song that's in your hearts
Sing of the great Southwest,
Thank God, for Arizona
In splendid sunshine dressed.
For thy beauty and thy grandeur,
For thy regal robes so sheen
We hail thee Arizona
Our Goddess and our queen.

Margaret Rowe Clifford, 1915

From netstate.com: This song, originally titled Arizona, was written in 1915 by Margaret Rowe Clifford and published by the Hatch Music Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This Arizona State Anthem, as it was designated, was adopted by the Fourth Arizona State Legislature and became effective February 28, 1919...

In 1981, an alternate Arizona State Anthem, "I Love You Arizona," by Rex Allen, Jr., was adopted. See a YouTube video here; lyrics at RexAllenJr.com.

From the Arizona Commission on the Arts web site: Arizona composers Sy Brandon and James DeMars, and librettist Alberto Rios, were selected by the Arizona Commission on the Arts to create musical compositions in celebration of the Arizona Centennial (February 2011 – December 2012). The musical compositions – one choral and one for concert band and orchestra – are available for performance by a wide variety of musicians, including high school, college/university, community, faith-based and professional or semi-professional ensembles. The commissioned works are celebratory in nature and reflective of the unique historical and cultural aspects of the state. [Find more, including audio, here.]


Centennial Links and More


100 Years 100 Ranchers  Scott T. Baxter's impressive photographic project, a Centennial Legacy Project

20th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering Centennial Legacy Project

25th Annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering  Centennial Legacy Project

Stories to Life: Travelling the Cowboy Trail—100 Years of Arizona Tales Centennial Legacy Project

Heard Museum: Beyond Geronimo: The Apache Experience  Centennial Legacy Project

Arizona Centennial Legacy Projects

Arizona Historical Foundation

Arizona Memory Project

Arizona State Centennial Web Sites

az100Years.org   Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation

Alternate Arizona Anthem, "I Love You Arizona"
YouTube video, sung by Rex Allen, Jr. (Lyrics at RexAllenJr.com)

Sharlot Hall Museum,

100 People, Places and Events that Shaped Our State Arizona Republic

Arizona State Flag






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