Two Guns, Arizona
By Gladwell Richardson

Indian Miller

Miller's lease on his part at Two Guns was a source of constant tribulation to him. In his zoo was every beast and bird native to Arizona, from tiny coral snakes to cougars. One of the mountain lions clawed him almost to death. A year later a small Canada lynx very nearly disemboweled him. Another time a Gila monster on exhibit as an attraction before the zoo entrance, clamped toothless jaws fast to a right finger. The wound infected, his arm swelling enormously to the shoulder. Six months elapsed before it became normal again.

He also had domestic troubles. Then someone maliciously ripped down all his flamboyant advertising signs along the highway. In court, he charged six different people with the deed. One of them was found guilty in court and fined $90.

With all the trouble suffered, Miller had made up his mind to leave Two Guns. The climax came in a very badly hushed-up case, the details not remembered by local people today. He left the State in 1930 to avoid prosecution on serious charges.

Crossing the Arizona line into New Mexico, he put in a similar zoo and tourist attraction north of Highway 66. As before, he constructed phony cliff dweller's ruins, where none had ever existed, in a cave in a sandstone cliff wall. The name "Cave of the Seven Devils," was painted in huge letters over the cave, and visible from the highway. He lived there until his death in February, 1952.

After Miller's departure, his Two Guns buildings were leased to various people. Earl Tinnin of Flagstaff managed the business and ran a restaurant from 1933 to the end of 1935.

Phillip E. Hesch, Santa Fe Railroad signal maintainer at Canyon Diablo station, and Mrs. Cundiff were married December 9, 1934. That year the big trading post at Canyon Diablo burned out. Hesch rescued Depot Agent Rowen from the flaming building barely in the nick of time.

That same year Mrs. Ray Thomas, with an invalid husband, taught school at Canyon Diablo station. Obtaining a permit, she began constructing a red sandstone home with a flat roof, directly below the Hopi house. She planned to live there with her husband but he had to be confined in an insane asylum and it was never finished.

After Tinnin's lease expired the Heschs took over the Two Guns property to manage it themselves.

The last rerouting of Highway 66 occurred in 1938, still crossing Two Guns land. A new bridge was built over Canyon Diablo downstream from the first one.

Hesch moved two frame buildings to the new highway side. They housed a store, a restaurant and living quarters, with gasoline pumps directly in front. The zoo and lion farm were re-established by him directly behind the store on the brink of the larger gorge.

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