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Anson P.K. Safford.jpg

Anson Pacely Killen Safford (14 February 1830-15 December 1891) was the Republican Governor of the Arizona Territory from 9 July 1869 to 5 April 1877, succeeding Richard C. McCormick and preceding John Philo Hoyt.


Anson Pacely Killen Safford was born in Hyde Park, Vermont in 1830, and he left his family farm for California in March 1850 during the Gold Rush. He worked at a claim in Placer County, and he ran for the State Assembly in 1855 as a Democrat; he went on to serve in the State Assembly from 1857 to 1859. During the American Civil War, he joined the Unconditional Unionist Party and then the Republican Party, and he moved to Nevada in 1862 and became a Humboldt County commissioner. He turned down a nomination to the US House of Representatives, instead serving as surveyor-general of Nevada from 1867 to 1869. In 1869, he was appointed Governor of the Arizona Territory after the Nevada Republican Party persuaded President Ulysses S. Grant to grant him the job, and he created a volunteer militia to fight off hostile Native Americans. He also sent in the US Army to defend the road between Gila Bend and Fort Yuma from Mexican outlaws, and he also had the territorial legislature make highway robbery a capital offense and build a territorial prison. He also created a public school system, financed by a new property tax. After leaving office, he opened one of Arizona's first banks, and he became a mining businessman in Tombstone. During the 1880s, he moved to Philadelphia and then to New York City, and he moved to Florida in 1882 and cofounded Tarpon Springs. He died in Tarpon Springs in 1891.