The Arizona Daily Star publishes a series of articles written by Tucson author and historian Jan Cleere, recognizing Arizona women who made their mark in the early history of the territory and the state. Some of them confronted extraordinary circumstances while others were known for their adventuresome spirits, all seeking new frontiers to explore, enrich and conquer. The articles appear monthly and can be accessed at azstarnet.com

November 15, 2016:  

Cecil Creswell

Cecil Creswell  Photo courtesy of Old Trails Museum

Cecil Creswell
Photo courtesy of Old Trails Museum

As the sun dipped below the horizon, rancher John Thompson headed his horse toward home. He took his usual route, but knew he had to keep a sharp eye out for his neighbor who had a habit of taking potshots at anyone passing too close to her property. Cecil Creswell was a crack shot and Thompson wanted no part in quarreling with her. The gunshots came quickly, nearly knocking Thompson off his horse. As he ducked low and spurred his mount into a hasty gallop, he grabbed for his saddle horn only to discover the lady sharpshooter had shot it clean off. Thompson hightailed it out of shooting range. No cowboy wanted to cross Cecil Creswell. Her petite stature and mop of gray hair belied her ability to perform just about any task on her small ranch, and she could outshoot most men in the area. She had lived on her Winslow property since 1924, gaining the reputation as a hard worker who kept to herself. She was also known as a cattle rustler.

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Other Western Women Columns by Jan Cleere