STREET SMARTS

Street Smarts: Three downtown Tucson streets named for men killed by Apaches

2013-04-09T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T15:35:09Z Street Smarts: Three downtown Tucson streets named for men killed by ApachesDavid Leighton For The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Just south of the Tucson Convention Center downtown are three streets named in 1872 in honor of men killed by the Apaches.

Lt. Howard B. Cushing was born to Dr. Milton B. Cushing Sr. and Mary (Smith) Cushing on Aug. 22, 1838, in Milwaukee.

In 1862, Cushing enlisted in the 1st Illinois Light Artillery and saw action at the Battle of Shiloh and the siege of Vicksburg. After his younger brother, Alonzo, was killed at Gettysburg in 1863, he took his place in the 4th U.S. Artillery, and stayed there for the duration of the war.

Cushing had two other brothers, Milton Jr. and William, who served in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. William's heroism in the war was documented in the book "Lincoln's Commando" by Ralph J. Roske.

After the Civil War, Howard was stationed at Fort Washington, Md., drilling recruits. In late 1867, he transferred to the 3rd Cavalry and within a few months became a first lieutenant, commanding Troop F. In late 1869, he was in the Guadalupe Mountains of southwest Texas, where he attacked Mescalero Apaches who had stolen livestock.

On March 2, 1870, Troop F left Fort Craig, New Mexico Territory, for the Arizona Territory, where Cushing continued his pursuit of Indians. On May 26, 1870, a wagon freight train traveling from Tucson to Camp Grant was attacked by Indians, resulting in many deaths, including that of Hugh Kennedy, part owner of a ranch and store on the San Pedro River. After a long and difficult scouting mission, Cushing located the attackers and reported killing 30 of them.

On May 5, 1871, in the Whetstone Mountains of Cochise County, Cushing was ambushed by Apache warriors. He and his friend William H. Simpson, a mining engineer from San Francisco, were killed in the Battle of Bear Springs. The rest of the command retreated to Fort Crittenden.

Both Cushing Street and Simpson Street got their names in 1872, when S.W. Foreman did the town site survey and named the streets in their honor.

Kennedy Street was likely named that same year after Hugh Kennedy.

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

Sources: Special thanks to Donald Rollings and Doug Kluge of the The Cushing Street Bar Interview with Rusty Cushing Dan L. Thrapp, "Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography," Arthur H. Clark Co., 1988 Dan L. Thrapp, "The Conquest of Apacheria," University of Oklahoma Press, 1975 Kenneth A. Randall, "Only the Echoes: The Life of Howard Bass Cushing," Yucca Tree Press, 1996 "Cushing: Indian Fighter Without Peer," Tucson Daily Citizen, Aug. 19, 1975 Donald N. Bentz, "Sword of Revenge," Golden West, Vol. 1, No. 6 (Sept. 1965) "Preserve the Old Landmarks," Arizona Daily Star, Dec. 29, 1910 J.C. Martin, "First it was Calle de la Guardia, then it was Cemetery (or Campo Santo) and now it's called Alameda Street," Arizona Daily Star, Sept. 3, 1972 Notice to Creditors in The Weekly Arizonan, July 30, 1870 (Estate of Hugh Kennedy)

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

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