Three historic buildings are visible from this stop: the Sutler's Store (1871), the Wingfield Building (1911), and the Camp Verde State Bank (1916).
The adobe bricks in the southernmost walls of the Sutler's Store were laid in 1871. Built and briefly run by early-day Yavapai County financier Huge Richards, the Sutler's Store is the Verde Valley's oldest standing commercial building. After its construction, it remained the area's only viable mercantile business until the mid-1870s. The sutler provided items to the troops that were not available through the military, and it supplied soldiers and settlers with groceries, dry goods, mining supplies, animal feed, and even bottled water. In addition to its role as local commercial center, the Sutler's Store served as the community's only post office, telegraph station, bank, and trade, collection, and bartering agency.
In 1898, William "Boss" Head sold the operation to Mac Rogers and Clinton Wingfield. A few months after the purchase, an outlaw murdered Rogers and Wingfield in the store on a Sunday evening in July, 1899, during an armed robbery. The business partners were buried together in the historic Clear Creek Cemetery a few miles to the southeast. Although Tom 'Black Jack' Ketchum was hung in New Mexico for the crime, the identify of the actual killer remains unknown.
W.G. and R.W. Wingfield took over the business in 1909, and extensively remodeled the adobe structure. During the remodel, the Wingfields plastered the adobe brick walls and reoriented the building to face east, not north. In 1911, the owners added a new store building constructed of reinforced concrete. They added the concrete Camp Verde State Bank building in 1916. These buildings have changed little since their construction, and this complex is Camp Verde's best example of historic-era commercial architecture.
LOOK FOR the plaque near the north end of Wingfield Plaza that honors the horse-riding mail carriers who traveled between Camp Verde and Payson, 1884-1914.