Frank Adolph Kuhne (pronounced Cooney) was born August 18, 1846, in Germany.

He was serving in the German Navy when he came to San Francisco at age 21 in 1867, where he left his ship for a life in America. For a short time, he worked the fields in California before moving to Arizona in 1868. Frank first settled in Navajo, Arizona, located along old Route 66.  For a few years, he drove a hay wagon from the Big Chino area for feeding the military horses and mules at Fort Whipple. In 1891, On June 23, 1891 a passport was issued to him and he returned to Germany to marry Marie Seidler as part of an arrangement made by Frank’s and Marie’s parents. After the wedding, Frank and Marie returned Arizona by October 1891. 

Frank and Marie had 5 children. Marie (1892), Moritz Fred "Mo" (1894), and Frank (1896) were born in Howell. The younger children, Helen (1898) and Robert (1902), were born in Prescott. 

They began their married life in the small town of Howells, Arizona, along Lynx Creek, where Frank had several mining claims. The home was said to so close to the old Walker Road, that it appeared the stagecoach was going to clip the corner of it on each pass.  He was serving as postmaster for Howells as of July 1, 1889 and received $34.61 in compensation.  Frank served as Howells’ Postmaster from January 1888, until July 1890.  

The Weekly Journal Miner reported on March 30, 1887, Frank Kuhne and the Murphy brothers had a number of men at work on their “Eighty-Six” mine and had several tons on the dump ready for shipment. He also worked at the Belle Mine near Poland. 

By December of 1899, Frank had moved his family to Prescott to a home at 418 S. Marina Street. 

In the December 19, 1900 article in the Weekly Journal Miner, it was reported that Frank, along with Dan Hatz and Tom Parks made a very important strike of copper in a claim they had a lease on in Copper Basin.  The newspaper reported that “good sized copper nuggets, some almost as large as a man’s head” and weighing as much as 75 pounds had been found. 

He was away from home frequently, for long periods of time. Although Marie did not know his exact whereabouts during this time, the income from this employment allowed Frank to support his growing family. 

When Frank passed away in February 1903 at the age of 56 1/2, his oldest daughter was not quite 11, and his oldest son Mo was 9 and his youngest son Robert was born only 9 month prior in May of 1902. 

In an article posted in the Weekly Journal Miner dated Wednesday, January 31, 1906, three years after Frank’s death, it was reported that “One of the biggest mining deals recorded in this county for some time took place a few days ago when the St Anthony Mining and Milling Company acquired title to the Mark Twain and Eighty-Six mines in the Walker District.  The mines were the property of F. M. Murphy and Mrs. Kuhne, and are known to have produced some very rich ore some years when worked near the surface by Frank Kuhne, one of the original locaters”.  The 38.86-acre Mark Twain and the Eighty-Six claims became patented on October 18, 1905, signed by President Theodore Roosevelt. 

Mrs. Marie Kuhne died at the Community hospital July 30, 1945 following an illness of less than a week at the age of 84. 

For many years her exquisite needlework had won prizes at the state fair. She was also greatly interested in gardening. 

At the time of her death she is survived by all five of her children: Mo, Frank A., Robert H., Marie Kuhne, and Mrs. Helen K. Osborn, of Alhambra, California and three grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the Lester Ruffner Funeral Home with the Rev. David C. Trimble officiating.  

There is a headstone for Marie and her husband, Frank, at the Citizen's Cemetery on Sheldon Avenue in Prescott, Arizona. 

By 1916, Marie, the oldest daughter along with the two oldest boys, Moritz Fred and Frank Adolf had started a plumbing business in Prescott. They can be found in the 1916 and the 1923 Prescott City Directories.  The business address was 135 N. Cortez and the phone number was 429.  In 1923, the plumbing firm was awarded the contract worth $25,000 to install all of the plumbing and heating for the Hasssayampa Hotel being constructed.  Theirs was the largest sub contractor award for the new hotel. 

Marie it was said was the backbone and knew as much about the plumbing business as did her brothers.  She died at age 61 in May of 1954. 

Mo, in addition to running a successful plumbing business was active in the International Order of Odd Fellow (I.O.O.F.).  Mo outlived his wife of 38 years, Lou Ethel, and died at the age of 83 in January of 1984.  They had two sons, Mortiz Harold and Norman Frank. 

Frank Adolf Kuhne Jr. joined the Navy in June of 1917, became a shipfitter and earned the first class rating.  He returned to Prescott in 1919 and resumed his position with the plumbing business.  The Weekly Journal Miner reported the following year on September 29, 1920, that Frank, now living in Wisconsin was involved in a serious accident that resulted in the loss of an eye.  He had apparently stepped on a gasoline torch he had been using, causing it to upset with a jerk which shot a stream of hot lead into his face, immediately putting out one eye and seriously injuring the other. 

The youngest daughter Helen married a Mr. Osborne and lived in Alhambra, California.  She died on January 22, 1963, and is said to also be buried in Citizen’s Cemetery on Sheldon Street. 

Robert Herman, the youngest son attended Washington School through the 8th grade.  However, his brothers, Mo and Frank, pulled him out of school so Bob could help out and participate in the Kuhne brothers' plumbing business in order to support their widowed mother.  Later, Robert at the age of 14 began working for Art Gage (1916-1917) as an auto mechanic. In 1918, he lied about his age (16), and went to work at Fort Whipple as a mechanic on the trucks and ambulances. He was given a letter of recommendation when he left their employment in 1920 and went to work for Fred Harvey at the Grand Canyon as a mechanic.  Robert Kuhne carried a camera throughout his life. The photographs he took at the Grand Canyon between 1920 and 1923 show heavy sightseeing traffic early in the park’s history. They also showcase canyon landmarks and depict the lives of American Indian artisans who were brought to Hopi House as tourist attractions. Early in Kuhne’s career at the Grand Canyon, the photographer encountered one of these artisans—an elderly woman carrying a basket on her head. After he took her picture, she chased him with a stick until he offered to purchase the basket, which remains today in his daughter’s collection. Kuhne also took photographs of American Indian dwellings and horse races. American Indians added interest to long-distance foot races that were popular in the 1920s, and a picture of a Hopi runner appears in his daughter’s collection. He formed friendships with Navajos and Hopis, as well as with Havasupais who lived within the Grand Canyon, in later years (1950’s) making innumerable trips to deliver food, clothing, and supplies to their reservations, even a Ford tractor. This was dismantled and hauled down on horses and mules and reassembled at the bottom. He, with the help of the Supais, built their first tourist lodge in about 1952.  He eventually joined with Barry Goldwater in efforts to secure land and water rights for the Havasupais.  

He also worked for Yavapai County as a heavy-equipment operator in the building of Arizona 89A to Jerome.  Bob was an adventurer, and spent all his non-working hours exploring the canyons and land in and around the Grand Canyon by hiking and photographing the landscape. He was friendly with the many of the Indians, particularly the Havasupai. 

On December 6, 1923, Bob married Laura Helena Bolden and they made their home at 936 Fair Street on an acre and a quarter of property he purchased while working at the Grand Canyon. Today this is where the Fry’s Grocery Store (Originally Smith’s Grocery) is located.  Two trees planted by the Kuhnes in 1931 remain as sentinels in the parking lot. He also opened an auto shop in the 700 block of Miller Valley Road. Later, he moved his frame house from Fair Street to Valley Street and began constructing a rock and brick three-bedroom, two-bath home which was finished in 1932. On September 18, 1931, daughter Joan Marie was born at her Grandmother Bolden’s maternity home at 212 Summit Street. 

In 1933, Robert took over his father-in-law’s well drilling business. This business kept him moving to different locations in Arizona, as many of the wells were for ranches. His businesses did not interfere with his many hobbies, however. He built three boats and spent many hours on various lakes and rivers. He watched and photographed the canyons as the water filled Lake Powell behind Glen Canyon Dam. 

Robert was instrumental in forming the Miller Valley Fire Control in 1952. From 1958, to 1959, he was a Yavapai County Supervisor for District 1. At the end of 1953, beginning of 1954, he started the fundraising plans and work toward the development of the Yavapai County Youth Center. In 1955, the ball parks were laid out for softball and little league fields. In March of 1956, the Center was dedicated.  In July of 1956, the swimming pool and bathhouse were opened. From 1958-1959, the wading pool for children along with two tennis courts opened. During 1961, boxing and wrestling matches were held in the center. In 1962, the gymnasium, recreation hall, and skating rink opened. 

In June 1965, “Kuhne Day School” (Prescott Handicapped Children’s School) opened. The Prescott Unified School District provided teachers.  The citizens of Prescott completed all of this work from donated money, material, and labor.  In 1973, the YMCA took over the Youth Center. The community knew Bob as “Mr. Youth Center,” and in 1958, named him Prescott’s first “Man of the Year.” 

Robert's hobbies also included constructing beautiful pieces of furniture, some with metal inlays. He built the cabinets, furniture, and interiors for the many buildings he was involved in constructing.  

Robert died November 19, 1976, at the age of 74, from emphysema and chronic asthma. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Prescott. 

Earlier, I mentioned that Frank Adolf Kuhne was often absent from home for extended periods of time and that his wife Marie did not know his whereabouts.  While Robert was exploring the Grand Canyon in his free time away from the Fred Harvey garage where he worked, Robert discovered a mining camp on Horseshoe Mesa. It was here where he found his father’s papers and belongings, undisturbed for more than twenty years.  This discovery solved the mystery of Frank Kuhne’s long absences from his family.  

I mentioned that Frank was one of the owners of the Mark Twain mine.  Who do we know whose home is built atop the Mark Twain shaft today?  Answer, Nancy and Wolfgang.