Marshall Trimble

trimble, m..pngMarshall Trimble
(Author, A Roadside History of Arizona)



3.1 – Aliens & the Old West (7.28.11)



Marshall Trimble has been called the “Will Rogers of Arizona.” He can deliver anything from a serious history lecture to a stage concert of cowboy folk music and stories with his guitar. Trimble appears frequently on radio and television as a goodwill ambassador for the state.

“Trimble’s Tales” are on radio stations around the state. He answers questions about the Old West from readers all over the world in True West Magazine’s popular column, “Ask the Marshall.”

He is considered the “dean of Arizona historians.” He taught Arizona history at Scottsdale Community College for 40 years before retiring in 2014.

Recently he’s appeared on national television documentaries on the Old West including Fox News TV’s 2015 “Legends and Lies”; Lion TV Blood Feuds: The Pleasant Valley War and the Smithsonian Channel’s “Mummies Alive: The Gunfighter.”

His first book was published in 1977 by Doubleday & Company, New York. Since then he’s written more than twenty books on Arizona and the West. Trimble is one of the state’s most popular speakers and performers. He’s also an educator, lecturer, folk singer and stage performer.

Trimble has received many honors both as a historian, writer and performer. In 1997, the governor of Arizona appointed him Official State Historian. In 2000, he was selected as one of Arizona’s representatives in the Library of Congress’ “Local Legacies.”

In 2003 he was named a Charter Member of the Arizona Culturekeepers.

In 2004, the Daughters of the American Revolution awarded him their “Medal of Honor” for leadership and patriotism. He was also inducted into the Scottsdale Hall of Fame.

A former U.S. Marine, in 2004 he was inducted into the Arizona Veteran’s Hall of Fame. That same year he received the “Semper Fi” Award from the U.S. Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

In 2006, he received a regional Emmy for hosting the television show, “Arizona Backroads.”

In 2007, the Arizona Office of Tourism honored him with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his many years of service to his native state. In 2008 he was the recipient of the first “Spirit of the West” award.

He is a charter board member of the National Wild West History Association.

In 2010 he received the Wild West History Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame in February 2011. That same year the Arizona Historical Society presented him their distinguished Al Merito Award in recognition of his lifetime service in promoting Arizona history.

The Arizona Centennial Commission honored him in December 2011 as “One of Arizona’s Most Inspiring Leaders.”

Trimble served on the Arizona Centennial Commission. He was also a member of the Governor’s Commission in 1987 celebrating the state’s 75th Anniversary.

In 2012 he was presented the “President’s Silver Star Award” from the Wild West History Association for his “Distinguished and unselfish service on behalf of the advancement of WWHA and the documentation of western history.”

In 2012 he was selected for the U.S. State Department’s “Cowboy Hall of Fame Tour”, a “Warrior Tours” goodwill tour with three World Champion rodeo cowboys and two rodeo queens to the nation of Kyrgyzstan to share American cowboy culture with the people of that country.

He was inducted as a 2014 “Historymaker” for the Historical League of the Arizona Historical Society.

That same year he received the “Semper Fi” Award from the U.S. Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

True West Magazine honored him as their Westerner of the Year for 2015.

In 2015 Maricopa County Colleges Annual Heroes of Education honored him as one of Ten College Heroes, one from each of the ten community colleges representing individuals, organizations, or companies who have distinguished themselves by providing exceptional support and/or service to one of the college.

In 2016 he was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to the Board of Directors for the Arizona Historical Society. He served one term as president 2015-2016.

Trimble has served more than 25 years as a founding member of the Arizona Peace Officer Memorial Board honoring officers who died in the line of duty.

He is a special deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office with the rank of captain. He is also an honorary deputy sheriff in Cochise County. and he is an honorary major in the Arizona National Guard.

Marshall was born in Mesa, Arizona and grew up in Ash Fork, a small railroad town along old Route 66. He makes his home in Scottsdale with his wife Vanessa. [1]


1 - A Roadside History of Arizona.jpg

Roadside History of Arizona (Roadside History Series)

Join Marshall Trimble, state historian, storyteller, and native son, on the highways and back roads of Arizona, where a Grand Canyon’s worth of facts and stories add up to a portrait of a state. Along the way meet Fathers Eusebio Kino and Francisco Garcés, Ned Beale and his camels, Nellie Bush and her steamboats, “Great Western” Sara Bowman, and the Navajo code talkers. Find out why Why’s called Why; where Arizona’s Civil War battlefields are; what happens at the Zuni River Reservation, where no Zuni live; and much, much more. Visitors, newcomers, and long-time residents alike will enjoy this travel and history classic, now revised and updated.


2 - Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen - Gunslingers, Bandits, Heroes and Peacekeepers.jpg

Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen: Gunslingers, Bandits, Heroes and Peacekeepers

A refuge for outlaws at the close of the 1800s, the Arizona Territory was a wild, lawless land of greedy feuds, brutal killings and figures of enduring legend. These gunfighters included heroes as well as killers, and some were considered both. Bandit Pearl Hart committed one of the last recorded stagecoach robberies in the country, and James Addison Reavis pulled off the most extraordinary real estate scheme in the West. With fearless lawmen like C.P. Owens and George Ruffner at hand, swift justice was always nearby. In this collection, Arizona’s official state historian and celebrated storyteller Marshall Trimble brings to life the rough-and-tumble characters from the Grand Canyon State’s most terrific tales of outlawry and justice.


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Arizoniana: Stories from Old Arizona

Stories of Arizona’s history in this fascinating book include: The Legend of Red Ghost, The Fabulous Lost Adams Diggings, Con Men of Yesteryear and Frank Murphy’s Railroad.


4 - Arizona Adventure - Action-Packed True Tales of Early Arizona

Arizona Adventure: Action-Packed True Tales of Early Arizona

Daring deeds and exploits of Wyatt Earp, Buckey O’Neill, the Rough Riders, Arizona Rangers and the notorious Tom Horn. Includes the complete story of The Gunfight at the OK Corral.


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Marshall Trimble’s Official Arizona Trivia

1997, trade paperback, Golden West Publishers, Phoeniz, AZ, 174 pages. Compendium of the people and places of Arizona, b&w photos.


6 - In Old Arizona - True Tales of the Wild Frontier

In Old Arizona: True Tales of the Wild Frontier

History and tales of the Southwest told with excitement and humor.

· A Capsule History of Frontier Arizona
· The Battles of the Salt River Caves
· The Cowboys: Legends in Levis
· Steamboats in the Desert
· The Bungling Brothers
· The Baron of Arizona
· Tombstone Lawyers
· Steel Ribbons


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Diamond in the Rough: An Illustrated History of Arizona

Diamond in the Rough: An Illustrated History of Arizona by Marshall Trimble (Arizona’s official State Historian) tells the story of this great state in colorful language with over four hundred photographs and illustrations. During the 1850s, when the American occupation began, Arizona was a remote western part of the New Mexico territory, still unmapped and unsettled. The new residents clamored for separate status from New Mexico, and in 1863 the new territory of Arizona was created. The fabulous lodes of gold and silver in the 1860s focused national attentionn on the new territory; however, nature kept out all but the hardiest of pioneers. The arrival of railroads in the 1880s was a dramatic achievement. The elements – incessant wind, long droughts, and searing heat, not to mention the intractable Apaches, gunslingers, and an immoral majority of unchurched, unmarried, and unwashed citizens – gave Arizona a notorious reputation that spread far and wide.


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Ash Fork

The tiny community of Ash Fork lies on the juniper-studded hills some 15 miles west of Bill Williams Mountain. Founded in 1882 when the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad was laying tracks for a transcontinental railroad, Ash Fork became an important rail junction by 1895 when another new line was built, this one south to Phoenix. The storied Route 66 opened in 1926 and U.S. Highway 89 not long after, making Ash Fork the most important link between Northern and Southern Arizona by both rail and highway. By the mid-20th century, however, rail routes changed and Interstate 40 opened a half-mile south of town, stopping overnight the flow of traffic through Ash Fork. While many residents were forced to leave, those who remained stubbornly refused to concede defeat. As the new century dawned, the citizens of Ash Fork had developed a new community spirit and hopes for a brighter future.




Who were they?… Why did they come?… What did they leave behind?… Where did they go?… Will they return?…

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