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Sierra Bonita Ranch

Sierra Bonita Ranch

Sierra Bonita Ranch is a site in Arizona that is significant for its association with Colonial Henry C. Hooker's cattle ranch, the first permanent American cattle ranch in Arizona, located near to present day Willcox, Arizona. The ranch was first established by Hooker in 1872, beginning with 800 acres, with him being the largest military beef supplier in Arizona Territory. Initially, Hooker suffered heavy losses both in personnel and supplies, due to Apache raids. He built a small adobe fort to help defend against the attacks, and averaged an annual 15,500 head of cattle. Prior to the Lincoln County War, Billy the Kid, then an unknown, was employed by Hooker. In 1881 and into 1882 members of the Earp faction used the ranch to resupply during and after the Earp Vendetta Ride, with Hookers blessings. Following the drought of 1891, Hooker expanded the ranch to 250,000 acres, supporting 20,000 head of cattle. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

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