John Tabor Alsap (1832-1886)
According to a biographical sketch in Thomas Edwin Farish's History
of Arizona, John Tabor Alsap was born 1832 in Frankfort, Kentucky.
He graduated in 1854 from the New York College of Medicine, after which
he went to California, intending to practice medicine. Once in
California, however, he developed an interest in mining--an interest which
brought him to Prescott, the capital of the Arizona Territory, in 1864.
In 1865, he accompanied King
Woolsey's punitive expedition against the Apaches as the party's surgeon.
He married Louisa A. Osborn, daughter of Prescott pioneer John Preston
Osborn, on 6 June 1866.
In 1868, he was Yavapai County's representative to the territorial legislature.
Alsap's political ambitions
were not to be realized in Prescott, however, possibly because he was still
a relative newcomer to an established community. In 1869, therefore,
he moved south to the Salt River Valley, where he helped to select
the 320 acres comprising the original Phoenix townsite. He was one
of the original commissioners of the Salt River Town Association, formed
in 1870 to promote settlement along the Salt River.
When Phoenix was made the seat of Maricopa County in 1871, Alsap became
its first probate judge. In his capacity as judge, he sometimes
officiated at civil weddings when no minister was available. He also
served as territorial treasurer and superintendent of public education.
In 1874, Alsap reported 20 children attending public school in Phoenix,
district 1; 41 in Riverside, district 2; and 47 children in Tempe, District
In 1881, Alsap's contributions
to the city of Phoenix were recognized when he was elected its first mayor.
Following the death of his first wife, he married Anna D. Murray.
Upon his death in 1886, Alsap,
a Mason, was buried in the Masonic Cemetery. His grave is number
47 on the self-guided tour of the Pioneer & Military Memorial Park.