Review-Catch the Stage to Phoenix:
Leland Hanchett, Jr. of Cave Creek describes himself as "a semi-retired engineer and inventor who enjoys Arizona history so much that he has written four books on the subject." That enthusiasm shows in his latest publication, "Catch the Stage to Phoenix." With a helping hand from researcher Walt Jayroe, Hanchett tells the exciting story of stage travel from Prescott to Phoenix over the Wickenburg and Black Canyon roads. John H. Pierson, Charles Stanton, Charlie Genung, Jack Swilling and a cast of other fascinating characters occupy center stage in an era when highwaymen haunted the public roads and murder was commonplace. "Opening stage lines in early days of the Territory was risky at best," the author reminds us. "The type of man who was suitable for that work would have to be...tough and relentless, willing to take chances even if it cost their reputation or their life." Elsewhere, Hanchett focuses on life at the remote stage stations and the lonely but important roles the occupants played in promoting travel and commerce in the struggling Arizona territory. A wealth of newspaper stories, trial transcripts, and coroners reports carry modern readers back to olden times, and provide researchers with important firsthand accounts of dramatic events. This detailed, entertaining and lavishly illustrated book fills a gap in Arizona's transportation history.