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GEORGE WARREN

Bisbee Tours - Things To Do In Bisbee AZ - Bisbee Mine Tour - Bisbee History Tour

The life and times of George Warren could be a Hollywood script. Born in Massachusetts in 1835,  Warren's mother died when he was a child and he was raised by his aunt until he was 10 years old.

Warren moved to western New Mexico to live with his father who was a government teamster and herder. While herding, his father was killed by an Apache Indian raid and George Warren was injured. 

The Apache kidnapped Warren and he was held captive for almost two years until mine prospectors paid a few Bags of sugar to get him back. Warren's life living with the prospectors made George Warren an excellent miner but also taught him other undesirable traits like smoking, drinking, and lying.

As an adult, Warren lived in Cochise County and hung around Fort Bowie looking for work. He was an excellent miner and the Army soldiers who discovered Mule Gulch (Rucker and Dunn) wanted to partner with him and paid Warren to start mining claims in all of their names.

Warren promptly headed to Tombstone AZ and blew the soldier's money while drinking and gambling. With no money, Warren headed to Fort Huachuca AZ, and found other financial backers. 

Warren filed for the Mercy Mine Claim in Mule Gulch without including Rucker's and Dunn's names and copper mining was born in the Bisbee AZ area. Warren was responsible for many other mines starting below Mule Gulch and the area became known as the Warren Mining District.

colorful map of the warren mining district in bisbee arizona

George Warren was well-liked in the community but had a drinking problem. When drunk, he was a gambler and a fighter. In fact, Warren is known for being shot in the neck, arm, and leg in different fights and surviving. 

george warren wearing a hat sitting on a rock holding a miners pick ax and posing for a cs fly portrait

Warren's drinking and gambling problems cost him dearly. While day drinking in Charleston near Tombstone AZ on July 3, 1880, Warren bet his drinking buddy George Atkins that he could beat Atkins in a 100-yard race. Warren let Atkins ride a horse while Warren would run on foot. Warren placed a marker at 50 yards and argued that he would win because he could make the turn quicker than the horse. Atkins bet his horse, and Warren bet his 11% ownership of the Copper Queen Mine. Warren lost. The value of what Warren lost in that race was estimated to be $20,000,000 in 2005.

copper queen mine entrance on bucky o neil hill with telephone pole and wires in foreground and blue sky background

Atkins wasn't George Warren's friend and convinced a Bisbee Judge to commit Warren due to insanity. Warren was committed to a California Hospital and his other mining ownership in the Warren mining District was stripped away and sold at a public auction where Atkins gobbled up what was left of Warren's claims.

 

George Warren was declared sane and released from the hospital shortly after the auction and returned to the Warren Mining District to learn that he had nothing left. So he left for Mexico to find his fortune. He became a Mexican Citizen and soon found himself in debt to a Mexican Court in Oposura, Mexico. Oposura, now Moctezuma Mexico is about 100 miles south of the Mexico Border near Bisbee AZ.

Church in Moctezume Mexico - Bisbee Tours Attraction

Warren sold himself into peonage to an Oposura Judge because he owed a debt. Judge G.H. Berry in Bisbee found Warren, paid his debt, and brought him back to Bisbee where he finished his life as a "Rounder" cleaning Bisbee bar floors and cuspidors for free gut-rot whiskey intill he died penniless in 1893

Warren is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Lowell AZ.

white, square george warren headstone with square bronze plaque in the middle with george warren information

Warren AZ, a suburb of Bisbee AZ, and the first planned community in Arizona is named after George Warren.

a residential neighborhood of many homes in the hills with a gray street, curb, telephone poles, and telephone wires in the foreground along with grassy covered gold hill and a light blue sky in the background

Warren's image was discovered on the Bank of Bisbee interior wall and was chosen to be the copper miner image in the middle of the Great Seal of Arizona.

round image of the seal of arizona with ditas deus, farms, mountains, and george warren the copper miner