How did Show Low Get its Name?
Excerpt from Arizona Adventure by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian.
Early day settlers Corydon E. Cooley and Marion Clark had been neighbors for a short time, living among the lush, green ponderosa forestland along Arizona’s Mogollon Rim. The two became concerned about one encroaching on the other’s privacy. Perhaps on a clear day one could see a wisp of smoke rising from other’s country. Whatever the reason Cooley and Clark agreed it was getting too crowded and one of the two parties had to move.
The issue was to be settled, not by intimidation or gunplay, but with a deck of cards. The game, called Seven-up, where low card wins, was a favorite among frontiersmen. The game reached its climax when Clark said to Cooley as he dealt the last hand, “If you can show low, you win.” At this point Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs and declared “Show Low it is.” Marion Clark moved on down the road a piece and Cooley named the settlement that grew up near his ranch, “Show Low,” in honor of the now-famous card game.
The main street in thriving Show Low today is called the “Deuce of Clubs” and whenever there is a runoff for mayor the issue is settled by the two political opponents sitting down with a deck of cards. The first to draw the deuce of clubs is mayor for the next term.
It is “Show Low,” not “Showlow,” at least according to the Arizona Dept. of Commerce, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names of the United States Geological Survey, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Yes, I checked.
Hi Joe, thanks for reading. Please remember that humans run Arizona Oddities, and despite precautions, there will occasionally be errors that sneak by. I have inserted a note at the bottom of the post about the error. and I am working on finding out why the original book text included “Showlow.”
I went there
[…] After a really long, dusty drive on a road that winds across the ginormous Navaho Reservation, we arrived for our final stop before reaching Patagonia. By its name (and possibly its location), a person could be forgiven for assuming its economic base is gambling. Not so. The name has an interesting origin which you can read about here. […]
Took the trivia test… got the last 5 right
Hello my name is Alison Hearn I am in 7th grade and i have to right something about some one or something and I am doing Show Low I lived in Show Low since I was born and then I had to move to Texas for my dad because he got a job and i miss the cold weather but as I learn more about Texas I also want to learn more about Show low as well so if you can text me back or email me at my email thank you.
Just wanted to let the world know what a wonderful place Show Low is. We bought a cabin here a few years ago, to get out of the summer heat in the Valley. What a surprise, to discover what a lovely town it is. I hope it retains its western flavor and country appeal always.
It really is a wonderful place! Thanks for sharing.