In Rucker or White River canyon sometimes
called White Water Canyon. Named after Lieutenant John A. (Tony) Rucker, 12th U.S.
Infantry, who accidentally drowned here during Victorio campaign of 1879, while his
company had a camp on this stream. List of Military post says: Originally called
Camp Supply and the Powers. Military reports, July 21, 1876, show that "Rucker
rode his horse into the stream when in heavy flood to rescue his comrade, Lieutenant
Henley, and both were drowned." Rucker was then in command of a company of
Indian scouts. Established as Camp Supply on April 29, 1878 and changed to Camp
Rucker in April 1879. Post office established on March 3, 1891 and named
Powers. Changed to Rucker on June 20, 1891.
Rucker Canyon is the site of the
infamous battle "The Campaign of the Rocky Mesa" between Cochise and
Ft. Bowie soldiers in 1869. To learn more of this battle please
The camp was closed as an official duty
station in 1880 but was used off and on until the surrender of Geronimo in 1886.
After the military left the area was taken over for cattle grazing.
"Colonel" Mike Gray, a justice of the peace from Tombstone, moved his
cattle into the area and lived in the adobe commissary built by the army. Poor
health however, caused him to sell his ranch to two artists from San Francisco in 1896.
Theodore and Matilde Hampe kept the ranch until 1918 when it was sold to Charlie
and Mary Kidder Rak who lived there until 1943. From 1943 to 1970 Mrs. Ella Dana
owned the property. In 1970 she turned it over to the Forest Service.
The Forest Service with the help of
volunteers have stabilized some of the buildings. There are various archaeological
ruins in the area.