The city of Prescott was named for the historian, William Hickling Prescott. The street names of this history-rich city also have origins of historical significance.
Whipple Street, as well a Ft. Whipple, was named for Brigadier General Amiel W. Whipple, who led troops into Arizona in 1853-1954 during the Civil War. He died from battle wounds in the Civil War Battle of Chancellorsville.
McCormick Street was named after first Territorial Secretary of State, Richard C. McCormick.
This street was named after John Noble Goodwin, named in 1864 the first territorial governor. Goodwin also established Prescott as the first territorial capital.
Colonel James Carleton commanded Union forces under orders to take back Arizona from Confederate forces during the Civil War.
Alarcon St. is named for Hernando de Alarcon a Spaniard who explored the American Southwest in the 1500’s.
This street was named after another Spanish explorer of the west who discovered the Colorado River.
Cortez and Montezuma Streets
Probably named after the Spaniard, Hernando Cortez, conqueror of Mexico, and the Aztec Emperor, Montezuma, who was defeated by Cortez.
Other Street Names
Other historical figures who were important to the founding and building of Prescott, such as Walker, Gurley and Sheldon, had streets named after them as well.
Gail Gardner – Prescott’s Cowboy Poet
One of the main streets in Prescott Arizona, Gail Gardner Way, gets its name from a colorful local cowboy poet and favorite son, Gail Gardner. Born in Prescott in 1892, Gardner holds a unique place in the history of our town. Although he was educated in the east at Dartmouth College where he received a BS degree in mathematics, his heart’s desire was to be a cowboy. So,he left employment at his father’s store to hire on at a cattle ranch in Skull Valley. After working as a cowboy, he was hired as Prescott’s postmaster. Gardner served in the military in World War I. At the end of the war, he returned home to Prescott.
Gail Gardner is most well-known as a cowboy poet and songwriter. His most famous poem, written in 1917, was Sierry Petes or (Tying Knots in the Devil’s Tail). (The name Sierry Petes was a colloquialism for the Sierra Prieta Mountains of Prescott.) In 1935, Gardner published a collection of his poems entitled Orejana Bull for Cowboys Only, (Library of Congress copyright entry Class AA, No. 192120) which included the poem, Sierry Petes. Other poems by Gail Gardner are: Real Cowboy Life, The Dude Wrangler, The Cowman’s Troubles, and Arizona August.
To read some of Gardner’s works ( well worth the time!) go to: