Lyman Wakefield house

Old Houses Under $50K History Tuesday – Sheriff Lyman Wakefield House

History Tuesday at Old Houses Under $50K is for informational purposes only and focuses on beautiful homes that were built for less than $50,000 back in the day. They are usually not for sale, and if they were, they would certainly cost way more than $50K (like today’s home which was  recently selling for $825,000 ) Today we are featuring the home of Wild West Sheriff Lyman Wakefield.

Sheriff Wakefield’s house today.

Lyman Willis Wakefield

Lyman Wakefield was born in Malone, New York, in 1855. It is here that he learned farming and electrician skills, before venturing out to tame the western part of the country. In 1878, at the age of 22, Wakefield moved to Pantano, Pima County, Arizona, a new and strange place forty miles east of Tucson.  He founded a general store business, and also dabbled in mining, both in partnership with his brother William. Soon Wakefield was made postmaster of Pantano, the first to hold that position.

 

 

In 1891,  Wakefield married Anna Patrick, with whom he had  five children: Walter, William H., Edith, Clarence and Marguerite. Soon after marriage he developed a fine ranch in the Whetstone Mountains where he and his family survived several Apache raids when many of his neighbors did not. When special danger was expected, he traveled at night to the railroad and carried his Anna and their babies to the safety of Tucson, 25 miles away. Eventually in 1897, Wakefield built the nine-bedroom home in town on East University Boulevard and was elected Sheriff of Pima County on November 8, 1898.

 

Exterior featured at 205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

 

As one story goes during his term as sheriff, a female stagecoach robber, Pearl Hart, aka Bronco Sue Yonkers, was accused of murdering a man in an adjoining county.  (She was also known as the Lucretia Borger of the West as she left a string of dead husbands in her wake). Since the jail there had no cell for women, Wakefield agreed to house the prisoner in his more secure facility. He soon regretted his decision, however, as the lusty Welsh outlaw began using her cell as a forum for women’s rights, claiming she “would never consent to to be tried under a law she or her sex had no voice in making.” Bronco Sue even caught the attention of Cosmopolitan Magazine which did a feature article on the female outlaw crusader.

Meanwhile, Sue used her feminine wiles on a trustee who helped her escape from Wakefield’s “secure” jail and disappeared from history. It was quite the embarrassment for Wakefield, the man who had shot and killed outlaw Pedro Chavez during a gun battle.

 

After his one year term as sheriff, Wakefield was appointed to four terms as City Marshall and Chief of Police of Tucson where he made great advances in law enforcement in the prevention of vice and crime in general.

 

 

205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

See more interior photos at Old House Calling.

Exterior featured at 205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

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Exterior featured at 205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

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Exterior featured at 205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

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Exterior featured at 205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

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Property featured at 205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

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Living room featured at 205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

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Property featured at 205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

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Living room featured at 205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

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Living room featured at 205 E University Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705

 

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