“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Elfrida in Cochise County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Old Camp Rucker Ranch

Old Camp Rucker Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Nuti, April 11, 2011
1. Old Camp Rucker Ranch Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  Camp Rucker was a ranching headquarters for over 80 years. The first owner was Michael Gray, a Justice of the Peace in Tombstone, Arizona. He moved to Camp Rucker in 1883 under the privileges of a “Squatters Claim.” Gray was strongly committed to controlling Indian depredations and the loss of cattle from cattle rustling. With his family, he created Old Camp Rucker Ranch covering about 22,000 acres.

Theodore Hampe, a German artist, and his wife Mathilde purchased Old Camp Rucker Ranch from Gray in 1896. Mathilde’s description of the ranch upon first seeing it was:

“Just before arriving at the ranch we had to drive up a short steep hill. [The old road was located near the Bakery]. Coming upon the house suddenly, [originally the Commissary] a pleasant surprise awaited me, for there was a large adobe house set in a mass of flowers, many kinds of shrubs and trees, There was also a vegetable garden in the corner.”

The Hampes raised goats and cows. They were also artists, some of whose illustrations and watercolors depict life in Rucker Canyon. They painted the ceiling of the small adobe house here.

Charles and Mary Rak bought the ranch from the Hampes in 1919. Charlie Rak was a cattle rancher. Mary Rak, from San Francisco, was new to ranching, but soon adapted
Photo Displayed on Marker image. Click for full size.
2. Photo Displayed on Marker
Branding time at the Hampe Ranch.
Photo courtesy of Arizona Historical Society.
to the way of life. She described many of her experiences in books she wrote while living at the ranch. Two of the best known are “A Cowman’s Wife” published in 1934 and “Mountain Cattle” published in 1936. The Raks branded their cattle “O C R” for Old Camp Rucker.

The Raks sold the ranch to Mrs. Ella Dana of New York in 1943. She used this historic property as a restful retreat before transferring it to the Forest Service in 1970.
Erected by United States Forest Service.
Location. 31° 45.21′ N, 109° 21.482′ W. Marker is in Elfrida, Arizona, in Cochise County. Marker can be reached from North Tex Canyon Road near East Rucker Canyon Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Elfrida AZ 85610, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Camp Rucker and the Indian Scouts (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Camp Rucker Timeline (about 500 feet away); Camp John A. Rucker A Military Outpost (approx. ¾ mile away); John Ringo (approx. 8.6 miles away).
Additional keywords. Ranching
Categories. Industry & Commerce
Camp Rucker Ranch Residence image. Click for full size.
By James Nuti, April 11, 2011
3. Camp Rucker Ranch Residence
Barn at Camp Rucker Ranch image. Click for full size.
By James Nuti, April 11, 2011
4. Barn at Camp Rucker Ranch
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 1, 2011, by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona. This page has been viewed 914 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 30, 2011, by James Nuti of Bisbee, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide area view of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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