Hal F. Butler
April 27, 2006
By Joyce McBride
Show Low Historical Museum
Joyce McBride: Now you said that your father worked, how long did he work as a mail carrier?
Hal Butler: At the where?
JM: As a mail carrier, you said he was a . . .
HB: Oh, he had that for a number of years. I forget, 8 or 10 years. Then he became the deputy sheriff of the county. He had, his district was from Holbrook to Whiteriver. One man! And he had the C.C.C. boys. That was the Civil Conservation Corps, right after the War? They were trying to employ people and they called this the Conservation Corps. And they would thin trees and they would build bridges and they would work on roads and things like that. They were just young men. They were stationed where the White Mountain Country Club is today.
JM: That's in Pinetop?
HB: At Pinetop. My Dad, they'd get word to him that there were problems in Pinetop. He'd go up and have to handcuff them around trees or telephone poles because they had no jail at that time. And he would leave them overnight and then go back the next day and release them because most of it was disorderly conduct and alcohol involved. And that's the way he handled them. So, later on he built the Show Low jail, which is a historical monument today.
JM: It is! That's the one that's right off of 260. You see it when you're driving.
HB: Yes, it's up there on a hidden curve.
JM: It's not very big.
HB: No, it wasn't. In fact, it was just one room. And it had a stove in it with a stovepipe out the back end. And no glasses! It just had bars in the window. So he'd have enough wood in there they could stay warm all night, but nobody got pampered in those days! You know, nobody checked on them to see if they were living or not.
JM: I think it is amazing that we still don't have a jail.
HB: In Show Low
JM: In Show Low. They still have to transport everybody.
HB: Every day to Holbrook, that's right.
JM: I think that's a good sign, that we probably don't need a jail or we would have one, right?
HB: Well, you need a holding facility here, more or less, so they don't have to just make emergency runs to Holbrook with a prisoner. They need some type of confinement up here, but then you've got to man that 24 hours a day now, and there's all these restrictions on it, you know, to conform with today's rules.
JM: So, your dad was a deputy sheriff and was he that for a long time?
HB: Yes, for a number of years he was that. That was a political job at that time. And he was under two sheriffs. And then, he went to work as a foreman for the Navajo County Roads Department. And so, he was there permanently until he retired, really.
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The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee only. They do not represent the views of the Show Low Historical Society Museum. Please contact the Show Low Historical Society Museum with questions about the use and reproduction of this resource.