John P. Clum was one of America’s outstanding frontiersmen. At age 21, he became acting governor of New Mexico Territory, where he opened the first English-speaking school. As a Native American agent for the Apaches at San Carlos reservation in the Arizona Territory, he helped establish a system of self-government and Apache courts. In 1877, objecting to military presence on the reservations, he founded the first American Indian police force. It became a territorial militia and Arizona’s first National Guard unit. Using his understanding of the Native Americans and their confidence in his police force, Clum captured Apache raider Geronimo without military assistance. In 1879, he founded Arizona’s first daily, the Tucson-based Arizona Citizen, and in 1880, he founded Epitaph, in Tombstone, where he was the town’s first mayor and postmaster. After a period as assistant editor of the San Francisco Examiner, he became chief of the division of Post Office Inspectors in Washington, D.C. He single-handedly established the Postal Service in Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. In 1911, at age 60, he began traveling the country to promote tourism in the West. Clum died in 1932.
John P. Clum
Rutgers College 1874
Hall of Distinguished Alumni Class of