Town vs. Gown in Tucson

“The year was 1885 and the mood was mean. The cities and counties needed money and the territorial legislature controlled the purse strings. To make matters worse the members of the 13th Territorial Legislature were known to make decisions, often, for less than ethical reasons. They had earned the nickname, ‘The Thieving Thirteenth’.

There were two major prizes to be won from the legislature that year. Phoenix and Prescott came out on top. Phoenix was given the asylum for the insane and Prescott kept the state capital. Tucson received an unwelcome consolation prize of The University of Arizona, and with it, a measly $25,000 appropriation, just one quarter of the amount Phoenix received to build the insane asylum.

C.C. Stevens was the man sent to Prescott to win the state capital for Tucson. He came home with what he hoped would be welcomed as good news about the University. Instead of celebrating, Tucson responded angrily. Some reports say the people of Tucson greeted him with a shower of ripe eggs, rotten vegetables, and a dead cat.”

UA History