STREET SMARTS

Pennington named for early family in territory

2012-11-13T00:00:00Z Pennington named for early family in territoryDavid Leighton For The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 13, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Pennington Street is named for an early family that made its permanent home in what is today Arizona.

Elias G. Pennington and Julia Hood married in 1832 and left the Carolinas for Tennessee, later moving to Texas.

Julia died in 1852 in Texas, leaving behind 12 children - eight girls and four boys.

In 1857, Pennington and his children joined a wagon train headed for California. When they reached Fort Buchanan near present-day Sonoita, one daughter, Larcena, fell ill, and the family was forced to drop out of the train.

For the next two years, they lived near the fort, and they grew hay for the military.

In 1858, Larcena Pennington wed John H. Page in Tucson. A year later, the Penningtons lived in Calabasas, and in 1860 they lived in a stone house two miles north of the border.

That same year, Larcena was kidnapped by a small band of Apaches, who after spearing her and knocking her unconscious with a rock left her for dead. After about 14 days of near-starvation and incredible pain, she found her way back to camp.

In 1861, Page was ambushed and killed. Larcena remarried a decade later to William F. Scott, a leading citizen in Tucson.

In 1863 the family was in Tucson; in 1864, it was in Tubac. In both places family members hauled logs from the mountains and whipsawed them, selling the lumber to the military. The Sopori Ranch was their home in 1867 and '68. Between 1868 and 1869, Elias and his two sons - Jim and Green - were killed by Apaches.

What was left of the family, mostly women and children, moved to Tucson and stayed for some years. Jack, the only remaining brother, took his unmarried sisters back to Texas.

Pennington Street, on the south side of the old presidio wall, was originally called Calle del Arroyo and was used by Elias Pennington as a saw pit.

Editor's note

Each week the Star tells the stories behind Tucson street names. If you have streets to suggest or stories to share, contact writer David Leighton at streetsmarts@azstarnet.com

Special thanks to Richard "Tub" Troyer of Nippon Motors Service. Special thanks to Kim Etherington and Shaw Kinsley of the Tubac Historical Society. Sources: Robert H. Forbes, "The Penningtons: Pioneers of Early Arizona," Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, 1919 Frank C. Lockwood, "Pioneer Days in Arizona," The Macmillian Co., 1932 Pennington Footbridge marker: hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=26431

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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