Showing posts from May, 2010

Creature Found in Phoenix Zoo Pond

During the latest cleanup of the Phoenix Zoo pond, they found a 62 pound “alligator-snapping turtle". This creature has been described as “straight out of prehistoric times” and found living in the deepest part of the pond located in front of the Zoo. The jaws are so strong that they are able to snap off a child’s arm or leg. According to Wikipedia: “The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America, the alligator snapper keeps to primarily southern U.S. waters, while the smaller, more aggressive common snapper inhabits lakes and streams from South America to Canada. These turtles can remain submerged for three hours. Typically only nesting females will venture onto open land. The Alligator Snapping Turtle is characterized by a large, heavy head, and a long, thick shell with three dorsal ridges of large scales giving it a primitive appearance reminiscent of some of the plated dinosaurs.” The Phoenix Herpetological Society says that this creature d

John Henry Thompson: Arizona's Most Colorful Sheriff

For 8 long terms, John Henry Thompson served as sheriff for Gila County in the years 1890-1912. He was born on December 19, 1861 in Bell County, Texas and in the early 1880’s arrived in the Payson area. He settled and farmed 160 acres which were located under the rim rock of the Mogollon Mountains. People gave him the moniker of “Rimrock Henry”, and that name that stuck with him his entire life. On January 12, 1887, John married Carrie L. Nash and then moved to the town of Payson and was selected Postmaster. The sheriff of Globe at the time was Glenn Reynolds who was shot to death after escorting the Apache Kid and other rebel Apaches to the Yuma Territorial Prison. Afterwards, Jerry Ryan was appointed to fill the position of sheriff. His term was short lived when he died six months later. He drowned trying to save a family friend. John decided that he wanted the position and needed his neighbor and close friend, John W. Wentworth, to endorse him. Wentworth was a man of importance,