McNary, Arizona: A town on the move

By James Lewis on May 7, 2012

When Mrs. B-logger and I moved from Washington, DC, to Durham in 2003, we only half-jokingly said we wished we could move our friends and some of our favorite restaurants and stores with us. When the Cady Lumber Corporation decided to move in 1924 to get access to more timber, its owners did just that. It moved all of its employees. And their families—800 people in all. From Louisiana to Arizona. This was the very definition of moving lock, stock, and barrel.

At the time, moving a lumber camp was not unheard of. A logging company would put the small houses and other buildings on railroad cars and move them to the next location a few miles down the line.

Converted railcars often served as housing and offices for loggers. This one was used by the Crossett Lumber Company, Crossett, Arkansas. (FHS4448)

But in 1922, William Cady realized that his lumber and milling company had cut out nearly all the yellow pine around McNary, Louisiana. He realized that it would be cheaper to abandon the land than it would to undertake reforestation. He and his business partner James McNary had an unusual idea. They would buy an existing mill operation and relocate their employees to another region of the country. McNary and Cady wanted to keep their skilled loggers and mill labor because the owners felt they were the best at what they did.

McNary first scouted the Pacific Northwest and then Mexico. He then found the mill town of Cooley, Arizona, on the Apache Indian Reservation. He and Cady purchased the defunct Apache Lumber Company for $1.5 million in a deal that included all of Apache’s timber holdings and its milling operations in Cooley and Flagstaff. The deal had to be approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and also the U.S. Forest Service because the agency oversaw timber on the reservation and because some of the timber was coming off of the Sitgreaves National Forest. In fact, nearly all of the timber Cady contracted for was on government land, and the government would pick up the cost of fire fighting and reforestation. Cady Lumber then spent $3.5 million to install an all-electric plant with three band saws. For marketing purposes, the company received permission from the federal government to rename Cooley as McNary. With that, it was time to pack.

On February 7, 1924, the last log in the McNary, Louisiana, plant was cut. Three days later employees boarded special trains with their baggage and equipment and moved west to the new home that awaited them. They were moving from the heat and humidity of Louisiana to a town at 7,300 feet above sea level, a place where they measure annual snowfall in feet. To say that there would be some adjustment required to get used to the new surroundings was an understatement. But it wasn’t just the weather.

Of the 500 employees who moved, almost all were African American. According to the 1920 federal census, there were 8,005 African Americans in the entire state of Arizona—or 2.4% of the state’s population. James McNary recorded in his autobiography that “there was a good deal of indignation in some quarters in Arizona over the importation” of the African American employees and their families but the threatened violence never materialized.

Once operations started in Arizona, the company also employed Native Americans and old homesteading Spanish and Anglo families in the area. According to McNary, each ethnic group constituted a quarter of the work force. Though living conditions in McNary, Arizona, were better than what was found in surrounding towns, it was nonetheless a company town (the company controlled all utilities, hospital, and schools, and owned the housing and only store in town)—and one that was segregated. Each group had its own section of town, with its own school. When adjusting to the climate or life in Arizona proved difficult for some African Americans, they left, only to be replaced by others coming from Louisiana who had heard about the good jobs and a degree of racial tolerance unheard of in the Jim Crow South.

The caption read, “A typical residence street in McNary, showing roomy, comfortable homes of employees of the Cady Lumber Company.” However, African American employees lived in a separate part of town called the “Quarters.” (below)

Cady Lumber Company store

The company store. It was the only place in town where employees could shop.

In 1935, James McNary bought out William Cady after Cady Lumber collapsed and renamed the company Southwest Lumber Mills (later it became the Southwest Forest Industries.) Over the next two decades McNary modernized logging and milling operations and built a lumbering empire that after World War II “would challenge Weyerhaeuser, Georgia Pacific and other preeminent producers on the Pacific Coast.” He also became involved in the work of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association. McNary sold his business interests in 1952 and became a man of leisure, publishing his fascinating autobiography This Is My Life in 1956 (for example, active in Republican politics on a national level, McNary was pals with Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover).

Eventually operations began shifting to the more modern Flagstaff plant. With that, the migration of workers began again. After a fire in 1979 destroyed the lumber mill in McNary, the remaining workers moved out, leaving McNary, Arizona, as deserted as its namesake in Louisiana.

Cover image from a photo tour pamphlet in the Southwest Lumber Mills, Inc., file.

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Both the topic of James McNary and the towns that bear his name are ripe for research. One could look at the business, the man, or the towns— through the lenses of social, racial, and environmental histories. FHS has materials on Cady Lumber and its move from Louisiana to Arizona and life there among the big white pines. The move to Arizona and the history of the company was captured in a lengthy article in American Lumberman magazine in 1926. In addition to this article and McNary’s autobiography, we have the records of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association, which contains McNary’s correspondence from when he was its president from 1937 to 1939. The Cady Lumber Corporation materials include copies of the contracts signed by Apache Lumber in 1918 with the government and when Cady bought them out. We also have information on Southwest Forest Industries, including several annual reports and press releases from the 1980s. Secondary sources include Curtis Wienker’s article-length study of the town, “McNary: A Predominantly Black Company Town in Arizona” (Negro History Bulletin, 1974) and Arthur R. Gómez’s 2001 study “Industry and Indian Self-determination: Northern Arizona’s Apache Lumbering Empire, 1870-1970,” in Forests Under Fire: A Century of Ecosystem Mismanagement in the Southwest. The Cady operations, which at one point was the largest contract producer of timber in northern Arizona, are also discussed in a history of Region 3, Timeless Heritage (see page 74). Speaking of northern Arizona, the Arizona Historical Society has some papers on Southwest Forest Industries and Northern Arizona University has images and 3 related oral histories.

The April 10, 1926, issue of “American Lumberman” magazine featured a 55-page article on the Cady Lumber Corporation operations in McNary and Flagstaff.

 

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56 responses to “McNary, Arizona: A town on the move”

  1. Shriram Tank says:

    I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure of
    your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could
    connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text
    for only having one or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Shriram,
      Thanks for reading the blog and for your comment about the layout. With posts like this one, which is an essay, I tend to emulate the format of our magazine Forest History Today with a single image towards the top and then more later. Other posts can be photo essays and therefore have little text. Perhaps as we consider how to update the design of our site, we’ll bring the design of the posts into the 21st century as well.

      • Jim Warren says:

        Not sure if you’ll even get this, but here goes…I am the oldest grandson of James G. McNary. I was born in McNary in 1941. Presently I live in nearby Pinetop. I want to say that you’ve done a pretty accurate history of the town which is more than I can say about some authors! If you get this, feel free to contact me. My sister, brother and two cousins in this area are also grandkids. We have lots of photos and other memorabilia of the town. Thx

  2. Camdin Classen says:

    In 1926 till their deaths I had an aunt & uncle who lived in McNary,Az my uncle was an employee at Cady’s Lumber Co Store. His name was Roy Hall.Roy died Dec 1928, in McNary,my aunt Josie died Feb 1929 also in McNary. From what I understand it was the flu epidemic.Was there a flu epidemic at that time?There are no death records to make of the causes of deaths.Is there anyone who can help me.Camdin. camdin.classen@gmail.com

  3. Michael says:

    I was born in the McNary, AZ hospital in 1965, and lived in the neighboring town of Pinetop until 1974 when the sawmill started shifting operations to Flagstaff, and my parents decided to move elsewhere. I can still remember going shopping with my mom in the old McNary general store and being treated and having a tonsillectomy at the McNary general hospital. My father and grandfather and most of their friends worked at the mill, and my aunt and mother worked at the hospital. My parents have since moved back to the White Mountains, and every year they have a McNary reunion for all of the people who used to live in that once thriving town.

    • Dianne says:

      I was born in McNary General Hospital in 1965 and my two brothers were also born there, in 1962 and 1967. Does this mean we were born on the reservation?

      • Jim Warren says:

        Yes, indeed you were (like me) born on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. I’m the oldest grandson of James G. McNary (1941).

  4. Cheryl Oakes says:

    Camdin,
    It turns out that there was a typhoid epidemic during the winter of 1928-29. I’ll be sending you some additional information directly.
    Cheryl Oakes
    FHS Librarian

    • Mark Pynes says:

      My uncle, George Pynes, died in the typhoid epidemic. I think in 1929. His parents, my grandparents, were Sam and Sally Pynes. They were married in McNary, Az. in 1927 but moved to Calif. and then Oregon where they spent the rest of their lives.

  5. hunter says:

    i live by the old saw mill in mcnary louisiana i go back in the woods sometimes and check it out and i finnaly found out the history about it

  6. Bryan says:

    I used to live in McNary, it was the best time of my young life. My favorite place was downstairs of the General store, THE TOYS section!!!!

  7. Terry Breen says:

    My grandfather ran the McNary mill in the late 50s thru about 1967. From what I understand, the 1979 fire may have been the last straw that caused Southwest Forest Industries to give up on McNary, but the real problem was the Apaches built their own mill and diverted all the good timber to their mill, leaving the crummy stuff to SW. My understanding is that this was contrary to their contract with SW, but you can’t successfully sue an Indian Reservation, so the mill died.

    Terry

    • Tammy Heinz says:

      I am trying to locate employee records for Southwest Forest Industries for 1962. My father worked there during 1962-1974 where he also sought work elsewhere because of changes. Does anyone know where I could get a copy of his employment there ? If so, Please reach me at mbsw57@hotmail.com

      • Laura Flood says:

        Hi Tammy – was just researching White Mountain newspapers and saw your recent request. Time flies; but this article I did and pasted from 2007 has some of the company names who might help. Laura

        Southwest Forest Products in full swing
        Resources turned into products

        By Laura Flood
        Ash Fork Correspondent

        Wednesday, October 10, 2007

        Ed Martin of Southwest Forest Products, Inc., pictured above, said the new mill in Ash Fork represents a long term economic boon for the area.
        The October rain on freshly cut pine logs, five miles west of Ash Fork, is a sweet scent for many reasons. It is the location of Southwest Forest Products Inc. (SFP), a forest products mill that opened in July. The privately owned Phoenix company has created a bright spot at 8108 W. Old Highway 66.

        Ed Martin, SFP Vice President of Forestry, is in good company with many excited folks.

        “The mill represents a huge sustainable resource and long term economic benefits for Ash Fork and all of western Arizona,” he said.

  8. was born and rised in Mcnary went to school there from 1-12 and worked at the general store and mill it was a very good place to be at the time, buryed my brother and his good friend there during the vietnam war that was very tough time,but the people there were like one big family and all helped one another as best as they could. Still go by there and say hey to Erine and Juan and thank them for what they did for us all really do miss them Bobby Madrid

    • Barb Ely Piatt says:

      I remember.

    • pat mcclain says:

      I remember it will…..pat

    • is Robert Madrid and bobby Madrid brothers and did one die in Vietnam and one came home to McNary? Do you recognize any of these family names. Sedillo, Castillo, Padilla, Serna Lerma? My father his brother and myself were born in McNary Arizona. the Madrid’s are related to me.

      • Greg Lewis says:

        Robert and Bobby are the same and younger brother of Ernie. Ernest was the only one lost in Vietnam.

    • Greg Lewis says:

      I remember Ernest and Juan and you well. Maybe some day we will meet again. Greg

    • Pam Moya says:

      Bobby, we went to school together in McNary. I just wanted you to know that my daughter and grandsons looked up Ernie’s name on the Viet Nam memorial when they went to Washington DC for a program called closeup through the schools. His memory lives on and his service to this country will not be forgotten. McNary was a fine place to grow up. Pam (Medlin) Moya.

  9. Leslie McNary says:

    Very interesting! I just went to visit a friend in Scottsdale AZ and decided to go through McNary to get my picture taken with the city sign as my name is McNary and I would love to know if it is a relative that owned the mill. James McNary is a decendent but not sure if it is one in the same.

    • Jim Warren says:

      Leslie…just discovered this blog, thus the late response. I am the oldest grandson of James G. McNary. He was born in Indiana and we have lots of family tree info.

  10. Dale A Fillmore says:

    I was born in McNary on August 21, 1947 apparantly in a one bed company hospital and I am looking forward to visiting McNary this coming September. This will be my first visit since my family moved back to Oregon in 1953.

  11. Patricia Blackwell-Cox says:

    My maternal grandfather (W. Penrod) was a native of the White Mountains, and was a conductor on the Santa Fe Railroad. My paternal grandfather came from Mississippi to work in the Mill when my dad was very young. He used to dig up the big night crawlers by the mill pond and sell them for fish bait. My mom worked in drugstore and also for Dr. Dysterheft too. They both graduated from McNairy high in 1949, where my dad played sports and my mom was a cheerleader. Hearing their stories and seeing photos of the area, it must have been an idyllic time in their lives. When my grandfather took a manager position at a Mill in Louisiana, my family relocated as well and it was shock for my mother going from a predominately Morman community to the hot, humid, Catholic and cajun french country of S. Louisiana. We visited McNairy every year and I loved going to find my grandmother working in General Store. I still have lots of relatives living in the White Mountains and I regret not visiting more often. My parents returned often for the reunion, but now they are unable to travel and I know they often think about the “good” times and the lasting friendships they made while living in McNairy.

  12. Shannon says:

    Hello, I’m the program coordinator of a Downwinder’s program in Flagstaff. We assist Downwinders with federal compensation claims. We are currently assisting a few families who lived in McNairy during the 1950s and 1962. We are trying to locate documents that prove these families lived in McNairy. Documents could consist of employee records, telephone book records, voting records, school records and/or medical records. These documents are necessary, so they can file their claims with the federal government.

    Downwinders are residents of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, who lived in the area during the 1950’s and 1962. They were exposed to the nuclear fallout from the Nevada test site. If you think you can help in these efforts, please contact me at: swilliams@northcountryhealthcare.org.

  13. Faye Jones Crowell says:

    I was born in McNary, AZ in 1943 and lived there for several years before we relocated to Holbrook because my twin sister was sickly and suffered in the winters. My parents were originally from Louisiana and came to McNary in the late ’30’s because they had relatives working there who had come on the original train. My mother, Mary Lee Halliday, worked in the mill office and my father, Charles H. Jones came to work there also. They met dated and were married several years later. We lived in one of the company houses and I have pictures of winter snow all the way up to the roofs of the cars and immense icecicles hanging from the eves of the houses. I have only a few memories of these early days but we visited about every five years after we moved back to Louisiana in 1947. Five years was just enough time that we could really see the changes that were taking place in the local society. When we lived in Holbrook, my father managed a store in Overgaard. I think that it was also owned by the McNary/Cady mill.

  14. jeri rutledge marquez says:

    I was born in McNary Arizona in 1958 & grew up there with the exception of one year in superior as a child. I was there when desegregation took place. my grandfather was a machine operator in the dry kiln of the lumber company, my stepfather was the local deputy sheriff. I remember the old steam engine “white mountain scenic railroad” even before that I remember the night the train station burned, we lived about 2 blocks up. I can tell you so much more. *hugs* from one of the last white girls from McNary .

  15. Mary says:

    I was born in McNary in 1957. My family worked for the BIA and lived in WHiteriver. Because non-native Americans could not be treated at the Indian Hospital in Whiteriver (where my mom worked), my dad had to drive my mom to McNary for me to be born when the time came. I appreciate knowing the history of McNary and where the name came form. Thank you!

  16. V.L. "Shorty" Morrow says:

    My family Marvin “Red” Morrow and Zollie Morrow moved to McNary in 1940. Dad was an unloader at the mill pond and then a sawfiler at the Moulding Dept. He probably did other jobs that I don’t remember. I had a younger sister, Helen, and a brother Robert both deceased. I started the first grade with Donnie Douros and Billy Graham and we graduated from McNary High School together in 1953. McNary was a great town to be raised in, we had everything we needed and some we didn’t. Knew everyone in town. They have a McNary re-union every year around August, if you haven’t attended you are missing a great time. I left McNary in 1965 to become a Highway Patrolman and became a judge in Justice Court in Flagstaff and I still reside there. Vaines Lee “Shorty” Morrow

    • Shelley Bishop says:

      Shorty,
      I saw your name on this website and thought I would say hello : ) If you ever want to say hello, my E-Mail is dovesinid03@gmail.com I really have missed you and have wondered many times how you were doing. Take care and I hope to hear from you!
      Shelley

      • V. L. "Shorty" Morrow says:

        I am sorry it took so long to answer, I just found out today about the McNary internet.. Every is is great with me, I retired from the bench in 2000. I did have heart surgery in 2005 and had my aorta value replaced. other the that everything is great. I still live in Flagstaff. Where do you live.

    • Delores Blakeney Stingley says:

      V.L., I hope you might be able to suggest what avenues I need to take to find records, pictures, etc. of my family while living in McNary, AZ. Specificaly, a picture of my class at McNary School; and records of my sister’s birth at the hospital in McNary. I have another post giving more info…My father, Russell Blakeney, was a sawfiler also. Also, how would I get info on the McNary Reunion? I would appreciate any suggestions you might offer!!!!! Delores Olivia Blakeney (Stingley)

      • V. L. "Shorty" Morrow says:

        I sorry it took so long to reply. I found out today about the McNary on the internet. I remember Luther and Paul Stingley. I believe the re-union is in Aug. of this year. I don’t know how to get any records of any kind. There is still a school in McNary.

    • just wondering if you remember the lerma brothers (Manuel, Alfonso, Rudy, Richard), they worked in the saw mill late 1950’s to late 60’s. Dad (Alfonso) still lives in Eager.

    • Greg Lewis says:

      Remember any of the Lewis’s (Ermon (pete) and Opal)? I’m the youngest son of them, Greg.

  17. Woodrow Bosley says:

    Hello my name is woodrow bosley Junior I was born in mcnary in 1949 my father was JC bosley and my mother was Irene bosley we live in the quarters by the mill I went to school there till I was in junior high I can remember summer days that we would go behind the meal to the apple trees that were behind the mill in gather apples from the trees there before we went back to school we moved away from Macnary in 1965 it was a great place to Live The place that I always wanted to go back to I have now moved to Showlow since living in California.

  18. Delores Blakeney Stingley says:

    My family lived in McNary, AZ. two different times mainly because of good jobs at Southwest Lumber Company. My Dad, Russell Blakeney, was a sawfiler at the mill. He also worked at the movie house as as projectionist. My sister was born in McNary on September 22, 1948. I began 1st grade in the quanset hut, 2nd grade in main building, We moved back to Mississippi and I finished 2nd grade there. However, we moved back to McNary and I started and finished 3rd grade there. My teacher’s name was Mrs. McBee, I believe. I remember going to the dentist office (at school) to have my teeth cleaned. I remember the playground was covered in cinders. The 3rd graders (our class) had a picture taken. I am trying to locate one of those pictures. I don’t remember if the picture was made for the school annual or if it was just our teacher that had it made. If anyone out there has any suggestions on tracking one down, I would appreciate it. Would love to talk with others that lived in McNary from 1948-1950.

  19. Steve Chavez says:

    I’m looking for the old cemetery. My wife’s brother died in McNary approx 1936. We would to find the grave site. Need some help…

  20. I was born in McNary Arizona in 1960. if you are familiar with the downwinders program, you will know that there was nuclear testing just over the mountain in New Mexico in 1962 and the radiation drifter over our town and since then, a good majority of people we knew in Mcnary got cancer and died, including my dads brother and step brother. they both died this year. they did get the downwinders compensation. I was two years old in 1962 and there are no surviving records to prove that I was in Mcnary at that time. (Where else would I be at two years old). If anyone out there has any records from that time period. please share the information so we can get help with our cancer. Thank you.. I can be contacted at amlesoncarehomes@gmail.com

    • Pam Moya says:

      Michael, I too am a downwinder. I am a Leukemia survivor and have used my school transcripts as proof of residency. You can use your dad’s employment records, or voting records as long you can prove he was your dad. Since you were only two at the time of the last radiation exposure I am sure you lived with your parents.

  21. Cindy Williams-Acadiz says:

    McNary Az was a nice place to grow up I miss is it and go up to camp at Little Bear in the summer with my family and relatives.
    I was born there and lived down by the sawmill where my late father worked his name is Austin Williams he pasted away Jan 2013 and my brother Robert “Robear” Williams died in McNary in 2013 also that was where Robear loved to be at.

  22. Robert Johnson says:

    my family moved out to mcnary in 1966 we were there for about 3 years my stepfather whos Name was John Tedder worked there ? he was born in the area he was a good man, some of my best child hood memories are right in that place called mcnary. it was safe we ran all over that neighborhood. there was a small LDS church just down the road from the eleaminary school which my family went. that’s where we went to church. my teachers name in first grade was from Shreveport La all I remember is her name was miss Jackson.

  23. Cheryl A. Smith says:

    My great grandparents lived in Glenmora Louisiana and worked for Cady Lumber company. My great grandfather Zephaniah P. Scarbrock was one of the foreman who helped moved the operation to McNary AZ. My father Joseph Aubin was born in McNary in June 1925. They moved to Flagstaff the next year. This is more information than I have ever heard about the Cady Lumber company.

  24. I graduated from McNary High School in 1965. My understanding is there was a fire in the school (when I don’t know) but records were burned, mine and my brothers and sisters. Row Family

  25. My name is patsy row i grew up in McNary, graduated from there,married there and in1982 moved to phoenix,i remember the madrids,sedillos,naranjos, ballejos’s married a douros first time around. divorced. My father was slim row, set up man in the moulding.Him and my mother are gone now. remember the douros’s medelins,stingleys., I remember the morrows,.I could go on and on. I remember the quaters, the indian camp, My parents always took us to Mc Coys bridgetoswim on satuday or sunday. My dad retired from SWFI. hello everyone hope to see you at the McNary reunion.

    • Jim Sorgatz says:

      Worked with your dad from 1960 thru 1970 in the moulding plant. Taught me how to setup machines.

  26. Fredrick D. Merrill says:

    This is Fred Merrill. My family spent 6 wonderful years in McNary when my Dad was deputy sheriff. We left in 1960 when he was elected Sheriff of Apache County. I regret never keeping in touch with all of the people who became family while we were there. The Johnsons, Cooks, Penrods, Stingleys, Sidellos, Sheltons, Chaves, Dagenharts, Quicks, Estes, and many many more. I loved being there. And though it ended in the tragic death of my brother Barton; even then, when we returned from Texas (where his death occured), the entire town was there in our front yard and in the street when we arrived. I am going to make it to the reunion this summer.

  27. carolyn Daniel says:

    I lived in mcnary when I was 18 and my husband worked in the mill. His father worked for the Forrest service. I lived in maverick Arizona through grade school. My husband’s name is Crowther. My grandfather lived in Holbrook and retired from the railroad. I love Arizona.

  28. Ken maxwell says:

    My mother Bessie Jordan was one of the original members to move from Mcnary Louisiana to Mcnary Az. She was just a young girl at the time she graduated from Mcnary High school and married my father Marion Maxwell from Springerville Az. I was born in Springerville. I recently drove from southern Az. Where I now live to Springerville and we decided to go through Mc,nary. It was sad that the town no longer exists. It’s still a beautiful area up there.

  29. Geraldine sherrill says:

    My uncle, walker w. Vick kept books for the store there and his wife, Elvira or “vi” worked in the dry goods dept in the store…I would go in the summer to stay with them…their house was right next to the gas station….we loved to go to the “fountain” at the store everyday to get a sundae…we would go to eat at the hotel across the street to the west….platters of fried chicken and big bowls of mashed potatoes…their son, walker, went to school there..I don’t remember the year they left….geraldine Andrews sherrill., Gilbert, arizona

  30. Claude Endfield says:

    My family lived in McNary from 1953 until 1959, (3rd through 7th grades)when we moved to Whiteriver. My father Red Millet had worked briefly at the Mill but then branched out on his own and then for the White Mtn. Apache Tribe as Construction Enterprise manager, building many of the “cabins” at Hawley Lake. They moved from Whiteriver to Lakeside in 1964. My mother Suzanne worked first in the drug store in the general store in McNary then at the McNary post office until 1972. My brother Jean Pierre was a year younger than me. I am returning to the Lakeside area after having been living in Holbrook for the past 28+ years. I love running into former classmates and folks who remember my Mother and her French accent. I agree, McNary was a wonderful place to grow up in and although it has greatly changed, the town is still there. Four of my grand children attended elem. school there. My God parents were Rand and Harriet Sprankle. Some of the names I relate to in my memories are: Cox’s, Pavelins, Sedillos, Stingleys, McDaniels, Seeley’s, Clines, Duoros, Bensons, Merrills, Acevedos, Harvey’s, Madrids, Putts, Naranjos, Quicks, Dysterheft, Bacas. Going to school there was fun, we learned a lot and the whole town did things together. I remember the HIgh School Prom my 5th or 6th grade year when I was an “usher”. Adults & parents even went to the high school prom. For two summers I worked for SFI as a “helper” and it was interesting to look at some of the old documents. This was before computers and I will never forget typing “borad feet” for 8 hours a day. I went to the McNary reunion with my parents a couple of times and they so enjoyed having the opportunity to see old friends….unfortunately not many of my age were in attendance.

  31. Jim & Emily Gilbert says:

    We are Jim and Emily (Crow) Gilbert. We lived in Whiteriver and attended high school in McNary. Jim’s graduating class was 1954 and Emily’s was 1956. After we married one of our daughters was born in the McNary hospital in 1960. The movie theater was our week-end treat all through high school and into the 60’s when we moved away from Whiteriver. We still buy fishing worms in McNary when we come up to stay at Hawley Lake.

    • Norman K. Wood says:

      Couldn’t help but reply to your post. I was still in elementary school, but I remember you both when you were attending McNary High School back in the 50’s. You were friends with my older sister, Merna (Wood) Lewis, and my brother, Gordon W. Wood. Unfortunately, Gordon passed away in 1992, but Merna is still with us. She resides on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation in Scottsdale, AZ. I am the youngest of the Wood Family, of which there were six. Merna, my sister Delores, and I are the only survivors right now. Although you don’t know me, I just wanted to say hi as you were people I remembered from McNary years ago.

  32. Paul Love says:

    I went to school in McNary from 1st grade through 12th. Graduated in 1967. Moved to Albuquerque in 1968. Remember some of the names mentioned I had 3 sisters and two brothers that also attended school there. The Moss family.
    My cousins also named Moss also attended school there around the same time. I was known as Jr. Moss. Actual name Paul Love. Last time in McNary was 1 year ago while driving to Phoenix.

  33. steve says:

    I grew up in Scottsdale, Az. But in the 1960’s we always spent 2 weeks in July camping and fishing just above Mc Coy bridge on the White River. Always was a treat to go to the old general store in McNary for supplies. Also took the White Mountain Scenic Railroad up to the log camp at Maverick. What a beautiful ride. Too bad it’s all pretty much gone now.