McMillan Building 1887

McMillan Building ca. 1910    Thomas F. McMillan (also spelled McMillon) was the father of Flagstaff. Born in Tennessee he sought gold in California and raised sheep in Australia before moving to northern Arizona in 1876. Here he established a sheep ranch and farm just north of the present city. He prospered and became one of the leading stockmen of Arizona. It was at a spring he used as a sheep camp on July 4, 1876, that the Second Boston Party raised the flag staff that gave Flagstaff its name.

    McMillan played an important part in the development of Flagstaff. When Coconino County was formed in 1891, he was elected chairman of the Board of Supervisors and helped the county through its formative period. He was the first postmaster and was a member of the first library board. In 1888 he bought the shell of the building on the northwest corner of Leroux St. and Route 66, begun by others in 1887, and completed it.

Stagecoach to Grand Canyon, 1898    His first tenants were a bank and a hotel (the Bank Hotel). In 1892 the hotel became the terminus for the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Stagecoach. The McMillan Opera House, located on the ground floor, became the premiere place in town to host plays, dances, and other events.

Bank Hotel in background    The McMillan family moved into the hotel and was living there in 1906 when Thomas F. McMillan died. His widow, Kate, ran it until her death in 1923. Her daughter, Mary "Mamie", married George Fleming in 1916, and ownership eventually passed into the Fleming family.

  1. Plaque (1997) on the side of the McMillan Building, provided by: Fleming Brothers, Richard & Sherry Mangum and the Main Street Foundation; 1997 owner: Fleming Brothers. 2002 tenant: Old Town Gallery.
  2. Northern Arizona University, Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives, Image Database: http://www.nau.edu/cline/speccoll/imagedb.html

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