Back in 1995, in an idle moment, I ran a web search for ‘Utting’. I nearly said ‘Googled for‘ but of course, there was no Google in those days! One of the things that turned up was a reference to an Arizona railway siding on the old Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad called Utting Siding near Bouse, La Paz County, at lat/long N 33°50’20″, W 113°53’13″. Intrigued, I decided to try and find the reason for the name.
Frustratingly, there didn’t seem to be any information available, but friends sent me a photo of the name sign and a railroad spike! Twelve years passed until I ran another search for ‘Utting’ and ‘Yuma’, and one of the hits was an extract from the New York Times dated 9 August 1911:
KERMIT ROOSEVELT TO HUNT. The text reads: “LOS ANGELES, Cal., Aug 8. – Kermit Roosevelt, second son of ex-President Roosevelt, is to go after game in the wild regions, near the Gulf of California. In letters today to friends here young Roosevelt, who has been spending some time in Silver City, New Mexico, stated he would leave Yuma, Aug. 9, for a ten day hunt, returning to this city after he has bagged a few mountain sheep.
As most of the trip will be on horseback, Kermit will take to Yuma with him his own saddle, which he has used in Arizona and New Mexico. He will also be equipped with two high power guns, one of which was used by his father on the latter’s trip after African lions. Ciriano Dominguez, an experienced guide of Yuma, will conduct Kermit to the Gulf’s mouth.
The party will include A. L. Verdugo, Dr. R. R. Knotts, C. H. Utting, R. L. King, and Albert Andrade, all of Arizona.”
Success – an Utting in Arizona, but why would he be in Kermit Roosevelt’s hunting party?
Early life and background
Deputy US marshal