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When a Frontier Becomes a Town: A Profile of Clifton-Morenci

Situated approximately 150 miles from Mexico, Clifton-Morenci was a border town in more ways than one. In the remote mountains, it bordered between frontier and civilization.  In 1900, Arizona was still nearly a decade away from statehood, and early Clifton-Morenci was littered with stories of gun fights, battles with the Apache, outlaws, prostitutes, and gambling halls.  These stories helped to shape the towns’ legacy - one that continues to give the area frontier credibility over more touristy areas like nearby Tombstone.  Yet, by the turn-of-the-twentieth century, the community and companies that shaped the town were transforming Clifton-Morenci’s frontier into towns where families came to live and businesses grew.  Chapter 1, Sixteen Tons

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