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Sheriff Broadway’s face still a mystery

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Sheriff Noah M. Broadway (1832-1905) may have a street named after him in the Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa neighborhoods—but nobody has been able to identify a ‘true’ photograph of this early Maricopa County sheriff.

Raised on the farmlands of Mississippi, Broadway relocated to the Arizona Territory after the Civil War. He was one of the original settlers in Phoenix. He owned a ranch south of the city and dug what was known in early days as the Prescott ditch. When the joint head was constructed, he had to abandon the Prescott ditch and go higher up to tap into the Salt River. His farm was located between 7th Avenue and 27th Avenue on the south side of what is now known as Broadway Road.

In 1884, Broadway was nominated to the office of sheriff by the democrats over his protests. He was elected and served his term as sheriff from 1885 to 1886. One of his duties was to transport insane persons to the asylum of Langdon and Clark in Stockton, California. After having to be paid large sums of money to transport these misfortune people, it was decided to build the "Insane Asylum of Arizona" in 1887 on what is now the corner of 24th Street and Van Buren.

He was the first sheriff to begin his term in the new offices at the two-story brick courthouse finished in 1884. It was located between 1st and 2nd Avenue with the main front facing Washington Street.

He died in Sister’s (St. Joseph’s) Hospital on November 23, 1905. He was buried here on the north side of Madison Street between 14th and 15th Avenues. His grey tombstone was just inside the entrance on 14th Avenue in the Rosedale Cemetery.

Broadway lived his life as a mysterious, single man—never married. You could say Sheriff Broadway watched the Valley grow from a wilderness to a great oasis.

Perhaps someday a distant relative of Noah Broadway will step forward and will be able to present a family photo of this early Phoenix Pioneer!

Meet Noah Broadway and other early lawmen of Phoenix on Saturday March 22, 2014 when the Pioneers’ Cemetery Association presents “A Historical Walk in the old Cemeteries”.

Registration begins at 10:30am. The tour starts promptly at 11:00am. Please be on time! Adult tickets are $10.00. Students under 12 are $5.00. Children under 5 are free! This is an event the entire family can enjoy together! There will be root beer floats available after the tour for an additional $2.00.

For more information go to www.azhistcemeteries.org

Pioneer & Military Memorial Park (cemeteries)
14th Avenue and Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Arizona Haunted Sites examiner: Debe Branning nazanaza@aol.com

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