Biography of Colonel William Christy
Arizona Biographies





COLONEL WILLIAM CHRISTY was a man of the noblest and strongest character, and no man among Arizona's makers had a wider vision of her possibilities or a stronger faith in her future. For this reason, there were in those days, none who needed to be sustained in their hope of uitimate reward, aided through financial straits, or encouraged in any way in their work in early time Arizona, who did not receive help, if fortune brought them in contact with Colonel William Christy. His beautiful country homed, one and one half miles out of Phoenix, was ever conducted on a most generous plan, and here the old fashioned traditional hospitality was dispensed. Around his board one met the man of affairs who needed counsel, the stranger who needed to be made welcome, and the young person who needed the protection of home affiliations in the new country - not occasionally - but in the regular course of living, as the habit of the home was to entertain in this whole souled, cordial manner. Colonel Christy planned and worked with dauntless courage and purpose, along every line of development of the commonwealth, and he was the maker of the Valley Bank, the greatest financial institution in the state, of which his son, Lloyd Bennett Christy is at present cashier.

Colonel Christy was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, February 14, 1841, and was thirteen years of age when the family settled on a farm near Osceola, Iowa. There he finished his education and began to teach school at the age of seventeen. At the age of twenty he was a member of a regiment organized to protect the border in the Civil War. During the war he was injured a number of times and spent three months in a hospital at Newman, Ga., and for more than three years after his return home he was obliged to carry his left arm in a sling. Colonel Christy obtained his first banking experience in H. C. Sigler s Bank in Osceola, where he remained five years, and of which he became cashier. He then served a term as Treasurer of the State of Iowa, at the close of which he became cashier and a director of the Capita] City Bank of Des Moines, and while in this position assisted in organizing the Merchants National Bank of that city. Owing to poor health, about that time Colonel Christy found it desirable to seek a more genial climate, and in 1882 he came to Arizona. He purchased a ranch near Crescott, where he lived eighteen months, during which he regained his health. He then purchased a farm west of Choenix, consisting of 440 acres, and on this he made his home until the time of his death. He was actively interested in farming and stock raising, and realizing the need of irrigation, he was director in three canal companies and vice president of the Arizona Canal Company. In the matter of fruit raising Colonel Christy was a pioneer and demonstrated that a fire grade of oranges and peaches could be grown in the Salt River Valley, and was thus instrumental in developing an industry that has grown with each passing year. He was, in fact, a potent factor in the advancement of Arizona, the industries as well as the financial inte lists having been benefiitted by his sound judgment and wise foresight. Religious, philanthropic and educational movements, too, have been the beneficiaries of his constant regard and their welfare been promoted by his watchful oversight. In politics Colonel Christy was a steadfast Republican, and he served as Territorial Treasurer under Governor Irwin, and twice he was chosen Chairman of the Territorial Republican Committee. In the years to come when Arizona shall have forged ahead to a position of eminence and have attained to a higher rank among the states of the union, the name of Colonel William Christy will be given a high place in the archives of its history and his influence upon the material and moral interests of the country will he thoroughly recognized by an appreciative posterity. On August 22, 1866, Colonel Christy married Miss Carrie E. Bennett, a native of Illinois and to the couple were born five children, of whom Lloyd B. is the oldest. The other members of the family are George, Shirley, Carroll and Carrie.

From:
Who's Who in Arizona
Vol 1
Compiled and Published by Jo Conners
Press of The Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona 1913


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