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    Histories

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    Turn-of-the-Century Homestead



    In 1892, James Oliver Power came to Arizona with his belongings in a tin trunk aboard a buckboard wagon that his family brought from Kansas. He first settled in Lehi, a Mormon community near present-day Gilbert where he met his bride, Sarah Loveda Bullock, at a church dance. Sarah and her family had moved here from Blanchard, Iowa in Page County. James and Sarah were married in 1900.
    With the help of the Pima Indians, the early Lehi Pioneers, as the settlers were known, organized work parties and began digging irrigation ditches to bring in water from the Salt River Valley so they could plant crops. With completion of Roosevelt Dam in 1911, which provided abundant and steady irrigation, settlers flocked to the Gilbert area.
    Young James and Sarah began their 2,000-acre Power Ranch homestead living in a tiny frame bungalow. The five-room adobe house, with its 10-inch thick walls and a screened porch in back, was where they raised their 13 children (including two sets of twins). All of the children, except Lou, the youngest, were born at home with the older girls helping in delivery.
    Without a doubt, cotton was king at Power Ranches. In fact, James Power was known throughout the area as one of the best producers of pima cotton, named after Pima County, Arizona. When the Depression hit in 1929, the banks closed and everyone was broke. Power Ranches couldn't sell its cotton, so it diversified into vegetables, all kinds, and hired a Japanese supervisor and Filipino crew from California. Nevertheless, the ranch operation survived and was prospering again by 1934.
    Following World War II, Power Ranches also began running cattle and continued the operation until 1962. At its peak, the cattle herd counted 600 head. If James Power put his strength and ingenuity into Power Ranches, then Sarah Power provided its heart and soul. Indeed, it was Sarah who fashioned the family's branding iron

    Owner/SourceAncestry website
    Linked toSarah Loveda BULLOCK; James Oliver POWER

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