Elegant residence had a ladder to escape raids by Indians

Indian raids on white settlers were common in the 1880's so when William Clark, a mining engineer, came to Florence, he devised built-in security when he constructed his residence about 1884.  

 

Inside the once elegant dwelling where Florence society of that era was hosted by Clark and his bride, was a ladder reaching to the upper floor in the event of an Indian attack. Once the occupants were safely upstairs, the ladder would be pulled up and a trap door closed.

Mr. Clark came to Arizona with a railroad survey party but he was primarily in mining in the Florence area. His widow, Ella G. Clark, was Florence postmaster for many years.

Richard E. Sloan resided in the house with his bride when he was district attorney from1885 to 1888. He was also a member of the Territorial Council from 1888 to 1890. Later he was a Territorial judge for 17 years and was the last Territorial Governor.

A nephew of Mrs. Clark was Nott E. Guild, a mining executive and rancher. He was also a local postmaster. Florence will remember Mr. Guild as the last occupant of this historic residence. 

Restoration work is scheduled to begin in the fall of 1997. The current owner plans to put his newspaper office in the completed building.