This is a place for discussions of historic preservation in Armory Park, and what benefits and challenges it presents. Local history is another subject addressed here and in web pages. I will publish articles here when it seems helpful; readers are invited to comment. To support the mission of this site, acceptable comments are those that contribute to reasonable historic preservation, better understanding of our history and serve the interests of Armory Park residents. Others may be invited to post here also. Please let me know if you want to do so.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Four Named Streets

Most Armory Park streets are designated with numbers but there are four with names that have a connection to early residents of Tucson. I was unable to find the namesakes of Bean and Russell Avenues. If you come across something about them, please let me know. 

Stone Avenue – Named during Arizona’s Territorial period for Colonel John Finkle Stone (ca 1836-1869). Stone was born at Griffin's Corners, Delaware in 1836. He was a colonel in the Union Army and served in Utah from 1859 to 1862. He was a lawman in New Mexico and came to Tucson as Deputy Collector of Customs. He was owner of the first house on Stone Avenue at McCormick Street. Stone also operated a mine near Apache Pass, where he later died during an Apache attack. Between 1926 and 1990, Stone Avenue was part of U.S. Highways 80 and 89. Stone Avenue forms the west boundary of the Historic Preservation Zone though not all properties on its east side are within the zone. 

Scott Avenue – Named during Arizona’s Territorial period after businessman and Tucson pioneer, William F Scott (1831-1914). In the 1870s, he operated a flour mill adjacent to his home at the corner of Main and McCormick (since demolished). Scott Avenue has a short segment in Armory Park running between Broadway Boulevard and 14th Street passing in front of the Temple of Music and Art.  

Herbert Avenue – Herbert Drachman was born in 1876 in Tucson to Samuel and Jennie Drachman at a time when the Old Pueblo was still part of the Old West. Toward the end of the 1800s, Herbert journeyed by stagecoach to Berkeley, Calif., where he studied at the University of California for five years. After graduating, he returned home and worked in his father's cigar store downtown. He also became active in athletics, with a particular fondness for baseball. His father purchased the block between Broadway Blvd, Fifth Avenue and Ochoa Street for $48 around 1880 and named the street to the east Herbert Avenue after his son. Herbert Avenue runs between Broadway Blvd and 22nd Street, passing the Armory Park Center and with a break for the Safford School. 

Jacobus Avenue – Preston N. Jacobus, one-time mayor (and the namesake of Jacobus Avenue). Preston N. Jacobus was born on Feb. 25, 1864, in Sussex County, New Jersey. In 1901, he relocated to Tucson due to the tuberculosis Preston had contracted in New York. He later told a friend, “I was due to die the day I arrived, but I made up my mind that as long as I could put off that event and enjoy life, I intended to do it. So as soon as I got my family located, I bought a few hens and told myself I was established in the poultry business. I found it a fascinating employment.”

In total, he built 42 houses in Tucson. His obituary in the Tucson Citizen read, “His home building he considered his greatest work, priding himself on the fact that he built artistic homes and tried to give their purchasers the very most he could for their money....” On Jan. 4, 1909, Jacobus became a nonpartisan Tucson city councilman. On Nov. 4 of that year, he replaced Ben Heney as nonpartisan mayor of the Old Pueblo, serving until 1911. 

During his tenure in office, Jacobus worked to get the streets improved, with more than six miles of streets graded in 1910 — a significant amount considering the town’s size at the time. Miles of concrete sidewalks were built, and miles of sewers were laid under his direction. The Stone Avenue Bridge was built of concrete, and Congress Street was extended to Toole Avenue. After his mayorship, he returned to private interests. He died of pulmonary tuberculosis on Nov. 28, 1911. According to Donald A. Jacobus, Preston’s grandson, the family name is pronounced Jay-KAH-bus, with the emphasis is on the middle syllable, not the first as many Tucsonans pronounce it. 

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