The Financial Corporation of Arizona requested a picture of the Great Seal of Greenlee
County. After further study the Board of Supervisors found that a seal had never
been adopted as far as could be determined.
The Board members suggested designs for the seal. Chairman of the Board, G.M. Callicotte,
members C.C. Martin and Leslie A. Billingsley, felt the residents of the county
should know the early history from where "Coronado" originated from. Many businesses,
a mountain, a canyon, and a highway were named after Coronado.
The seal depicts a picture of the Spanish explorer Coronado. They felt the selection
of the head of a Spanish Conquistador was most fitting due to the early history
of this area. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's was chosen to command the expedition
to search for the Seven Cities of Cibola, which reportedly existed somewhere in
what today is Arizona and New Mexico. They were so rich that gold there was used
like mud. These rumors tantalized all of New Spain. On February 23, 1540, he set
out from Culican, deep in Mexico with 100 Spanish soldiers, 4 priests and a small
Indian force. Weary, hungry, and weak the small force finally reached Cibola in
July. Instead of golden cities and street lined with gold they saw small pueblos
filled with Indians who were ready to fight. His troops beat the warriors and took
over the villages along with their well-stock food supply. After they had proven
themselves both unconquerable in war and insufferable in victory, the natives took
to humoring their requests for gold by indicating that, yes, there was a huge civilization
with lots of yellow metal, but that it was far away. Coronado pursued the fantasy
all the way into the wide plains of Kansas. In 1541, disillusioned at last, he executed
his chief guide for confessing (under duress) to having misled him. Coronado was
bitterly disappointed when he returned to Mexico City his dreams of fame and fortune
were shattered. The Spanish included Greenlee County in their lands, and claimed
it in the name of their King and called it New Spain. New Spain lasted for 281 years
until 1821 when a revolt far to the south led to an independent Mexico.
On August 3, 1964, the Great Seal of Greenlee County was officially authorized and
approved, before this time Greenlee County never had an official seal.