University of Arizona

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Papers of the Oury Family

Photograph of Granville H. Oury, circa 1880

The Oury family was an Arizona pioneer family, prominent in territorial political and military affairs. William S. Oury served as first Mayor of Tucson, 1864, and sheriff of Pima County, 1873-1877; he was a participant in the Camp Grant Massacre in which about 100 Aravaipa Apaches were killed. With Sylvester Mowry, he purchased the "Arizonian" newspaper of Tubac and moved it to Tucson. His brother, Granville Henderson Oury, served with the Confederate Army in the Civil War, and held various public offices including Arizona legislator, 1866, and U.S. congressman, 1880-1884. Gilbert Cole Smith, William Oury's son-in-law, was a U.S. Army officer who served as quartermaster for Fort Lowell, Tucson, AZ in the 1860s.

Correspondence, diary, photographs, deeds, articles and speeches chiefly relating to Arizona territorial military experiences of Oury family members. Includes William Oury's address to the Society of Arizona Pioneers, 1885, regarding the Camp Grant Massacre; and letters to his daughter relating events in Tucson, 1883-1885; as well as items pertaining to Granville Oury's Civil War service with the Confederate Army and a letter from Sylvester Mowry to Granville from an 1860 political convention. Materials relating to Gilbert C. Smith consist of his diary, (1856-1857); letters to relatives while serving with the California Volunteers in Arizona, 1862-1863; a letterbook kept while at Fort Lowell; photographs, chiefly of army officers, but also family members and Zuni tribespeople, 1862-1894; military commissions; and annotated articles from "Frontier Times," 1928-1933. Also included are four photocopies of early land transactions involving George, August, and Wendell Oury in Virginia and Texas.

Most of this material appeared in William Sanders Oury: Historymaker of the Southwest, by C.C. Smith, Jr., published by the University of Arizona Press, 1967.