The deadliest gunfight in Arizona did not take place on the streets of Tombstone, but rather in a remote canyon of the Galiuro Mountains in Graham County in 1918, decades after the frontier had closed. Much of this shootout remains a mystery: Were the Power boys evading the draft during World War I? Who was ambushed that day, the lawmen or the Power family? On the surface, the story looks like an Old West shootout, complete with a feud, murder mystery, and conspiracy theories galore, but it also foreshadows the emergence of a powerful federal government in the lives of average citizens.
Heidi Osselaer holds a Ph.D. in history and teaches at Arizona State University, Tempe, focusing on women in Arizona history. Her book Winning Their Place: Arizona Women in Politics was published by the University of Arizona Press and she served as the historical consultant for a documentary film on the deadliest gunfight in Arizona history, the Power shootout. Osselaer is a recipient of the Sharlot Hall Award for her “valuable contributions to the understanding and awareness of Arizona and its history” and she plays an active role with the Arizona Women’s Heritage Trail.