In 1924 William Cady moved 500 Louisiana lumber employees to what was then Cooley, AZ to start a lumber mill operation. In 1926 James G. McNary, a financial partner to Mr. Cady was elected president and became the full-time owner. Thus the town was named McNary. The mill produced lumber from the forests of Arizona’s largest stand of Ponderosa yellow pine. The town was the center of commerce having the McNary General Store, hospital, hotel, theater, barber shop, & skating rink. The Apache Railroad came from Holbrook bringing supplies and taking out lumber. This room displays items from the old McNary school and barber shop, along with mill pictures & printed articles about the town. In the mid 1970’s the White Mountain Apache Tribe and Southwest Lumber industries agreed to end the one hundred year lease for lumber production on the Apache Indian Reservation. The mill shut down the lumber operation, workers moved on. With little money to support the town, the town of McNary began to wither away. Today McNary is a shadow of what it once was, “The Most Beautiful Town In the White Mountains of Arizona”.
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