Maricopa County, AZ is renowned for its rich history of battles and events that have shaped the state's past. One of the most significant battles in Arizona's history is the Battle of Pima Butte, or Battle of Maricopa Wells. This intense hand-to-hand combat took place on September 1, 1857 in Pima Butte, Arizona, near Maricopa Wells, in Sierra Estrella. The warriors Yuma, Mohave, Apache and Yavapai attacked a Maricopa village called Secate and were met with fierce resistance from the Maricopa and their Pima allies.
Despite being outnumbered by the Quechan and Mojave River warriors on horseback and foot, the Maricopa defended their homes with courage and destroyed almost all of the opposing force. The Yavapai consider this to be the most devastating massacre in their history, with newspapers and army reports of the time describing it as one of the most “terrible” battles in Apache history. The battle resulted in the burning of many houses in Maricopa and the death of some women and children, as well as some warriors. Don Mahan, a native of Arizona, was living in a railroad car on a detour in Maricopa in 1959 when he heard about this battle. The Fort McDowell Reservation is located approximately 23 miles northeast of Phoenix in Maricopa County. It is home to many Native American tribes who have lived there for centuries and serves as a reminder of the battles that took place there.
The Battle of Pima Butte is an important part of Arizona's history and serves as a reminder of the courage and strength of the Native American tribes who fought for their homes. It also serves as an example of how quickly things can change when two sides are pitted against each other, emphasizing the importance of protecting our homes and families.