“I was a traveler and the one to send down among wild Indians,[he] asked me to go to Arizona and examine and dispose of some mines which had been left them by a brother”. Traveling west from Ohio in 1864 A.J. Davidson, who had been fortunate enough to attend school, spent time in California where he was a teacher. Later, he made his way by buckboard stage from Las Angeles to Arizona where he assessed the validity of mining claims around the state at the request of a business partner. He made Arizona his home. His right thumb was shorter than his left, it was a family trait inherited from his Welsh mother. It didn’t have any effect on his gregarious nature, or sense of adventure, but provided an interesting conversation starter. On February 17, 1880, he was in Tucson when nine inches of snow fell. Everyone was scrambling to find a place to sleep out of the weather. He recalled paying $1.50 to sleep on a billiard table at the Palace Hotel!
Always looking for a new opportunity, he soon landed in Pantano, seven miles east of Vail’s Siding. It was the summer of 1880. Seeing a great opportunity he built a store on the north side of the railroad tracks. Business was exceptional because the Southern Pacific Railroad was laying track through the area. One day he made $3,000.00. His store was a long way from any bank so he would hide his daily receipts in a sack! By his account he, and not the Vail brothers, built the busy Toll Road between Total Wreck Mine and the town of Pantano. In 1887 he “heard a rumble and saw a dense smoke near the window in the rock, then there came a crash.” It was the large earthquake of 1887. A homesteader, cowboy, entrepreneur and miner; the Davidson Wash, canyon and road are named for him.