Offered here is a historic American West archive identified to Arizona Ranger Clark H. Farnsworth. This archive includes a Winchester Model 1873 lever action saddle ring carbine, but before the contents of the archive are fully cataloged, let’s first introduce the lawman to which the items belonged to. While the cities of Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott had become beacons of modern society at the dawning of the 20th century, much of the Arizona Territory was still a wild frontier, a refuge for outlaws and cattle rustlers. Concerns from the cattle industry and statehood advocates pressured lawmakers to combat the lawlessness. Modeled after the famed Texas Rangers, the Arizona Territory Rangers were organized in 1901 to meet the challenge. For nearly 8 years 107 men passed through the ranks and brought with them diverse law enforcement and military backgrounds and an unwavering determination to bring law and order. They were celebrated by the printed press to folk hero status until their reputations were soiled by a governor who deployed them to break up striking workers. Nevertheless, the Rangers left an undeniable legacy of taming the last remnants of the Wild West, which is credited to establishing Arizona statehood in 1912. As Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble put it, “The Rangers were so good at keeping law and order they pretty much put themselves out of a job…They had pretty much outlived their usefulness and, like buffalo, native warriors, false-front saloons, and gunfighters, faded from reality into the realm of romance as Arizonans began to look ahead to statehood and the 20th century.” Clark Hiram Farnsworth (1874-1945) was one of the original Rangers. Additional information is obtained from his obituary which stated that Farnsworth was also served 45 years as Greenlee County law enforcement officer and was a Spanish-American War veteran as well as confirming he was once a member of the Arizona Rangers. Photographs of Ranger Farnsworth are identified in an included copy of M. David DeSoucy’s “Images of American Arizona Rangers” on pages 18 and 26. According to DeSoucy, “Pvt. Clark H. Farnsworth was a former deputy sheriff who was born in Illinois and enlisted in [the Rangers] at the age of 31. He served for only a few months.” The cartridge belt included in this lot is very similar to the belt Farnsworth is wearing in the photograph on page 18. Note the caption erroneously presents Farnsworth’s middle initial as “A”. All items in this lot were originally sold by Farnsworth’s descendants in November 2007 and were sold as the property of Clark H. Farnsworth. The Winchester Model 1873 carbine was manufactured in 1890 as a third model with integral dust cover rail and dust cover featuring serrations at the rear. The factory letter confirms the carbine configuration in .44 caliber when received in the warehouse on August 2, 1890 and shipped on August 5. The barrel is fitted with a blade front sight on a square base and a folding ladder rear sight graduated in 900 yards and marked “1873.” The top of the barrel is marked with the two-line address/patent dates legend ahead of the rear sight and “44 W.C.F.” at the breech. The cartridge elevator is marked "44 CAL” (faint). The left side of the receiver is fitted with a saddle ring. The upper tang is marked "MODEL 1873." The lower tang has the serial number. The stock is fitted with a trapdoor carbine buttplate (cleaning rod not included) and has a "JP" monogram carved into the left side. Brands of the same style have been used by several cattle organizations. In Arizona during Farnsworth's era, they included the Chiricahua Cattle Co. of Tombstone, J.M. Rountree of Cave Creek, Mrs. A. Modesti of Yuma, and Joseph Pennsyl of Aravaipa. Farnsworth may have received the carbine from one of the ranches for his work fighting against rustlers. Farnsworth’s other personal items that make up this archive include a fringed leather vest, S. C. Gallup Saddlery Company of Pueblo, Colorado, revolver holster rig, early pair of star marked Buermann spurs with light embellishment, chain and come-along, braided quirt, Arizona Territory Ranger badge, Waltham pocket watch (detached crystal), Regina pocket watch (parts absent), bone handle clip point bowie knife marked “FB” (OAL: 9 ¾ inches), and unmarked bone handle camp knife (OAL: 11 inches).
Good. An authentic Arizona Territory “working gun,” this carbine’s beauty lays with its scars and imperfections that radiate the spirit of the American West. No doubt this carbine spent a lifetime working in an inhospitable environment. It definitely has a “been there, done that” appearance one would expect from a carbine carried by an Arizona lawman. Mechanically excellent. The other items are in equal good "frontier issue" condition. A great group of historic artifacts owned and used by an Arizona Territory lawman. The stories these items could tell!
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