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1918 memory in Ray, Arizona

The picture from Sam Barden's photo album may not be a family member. It may be just a snapshot of an interesting person circa 1918. With some help, I would like to flesh out details about him. Sharpening, fade removal, histogram adjustments and so on could not bring out much more detail.

Hat from 1918 picture

Pictures from the 10th Cavalry show similar hats. Is this style for military only or is it a common hat. Is it for a "dress" occassion? To go with the tie?

Apparently a tie?

This may be a tie. Or a bandana? Again, is this part of a uniform?

Arm band  -- red cross?

Would this signify Red Cross or medical unit? Did military medical units use this armband?

Saddle front

The pommel has no saddle horn.

1918 horsemanSaddle, rear.

The cantle.


Narrow stirrups were used by cavalry troopers. And I believe he is wearing spurs. Any help deciding military vs non-military?

Maybe for a rifle?

I don't have any idea what this is for; a sleeve for a rifle?


Few people associated with Ray-Sonora from as far back as 1918 are found. Having this picture contributed helps. Some of what is written talks of union strife. It would be nice to place this gentleman in a known category. The picture below is for my own information.

saddle picture from


From Kurt
I am emailing reference one of the photo submitted by Sam Barden,.... He is using using a Model 1912 US Cavalry (enlisted mans) saddle, the item on the side is an M1912 rifle boot for the Springfield 1903 rifle. He is wearing a model 1911 campaign hat, 1911 spurs, that is probably a black tie. He also looks to be wearing model 1910 leather leggings. The photo possibly dates to circa 1915-late 1917.
The saddle was used for a limited time by regular troops but may have seen extended use by NG troops.
I hope the above has been of some help.
(Aside--immense help-thanks. ovk.)
Kurt Hughes

From Ann
    It appears to be a western saddle tree (judging by the swells where the horn would normally be), and the cantle is similar to a trooper saddle - but it is built with flaps instead of fenders - like an English or plantation saddle. The narrow stirrups are the same as what you'd find on an English saddle. Also some cavalry saddles had stirrups like these made of brass.

Is there a chance there was a prison in the area? Based on the uniform I would also think of military or cavalry. The hat looks like what you see Royal Canadian Mounted Police wear. But the red cross on his sleeve makes me think maybe some sort of medical service? That type of saddle would make sense for a prison guard though...someone who would be in the saddle a long time would be more comfortable in that type of saddle. In the deep south, the overseers on plantations rode that sort of saddle while keeping track of slaves.


Fort Apache trooper? (At bottom of the page) Ft. Apache was not too far from Ray--two days ride?

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