Originally Robert W. Groom came to the area to mine. However, Groom was also a surveyor which was a rarity in Yavapai County in the mid-19th century. Soon he would be pressed into service to plot the streets and blocks for both Prescott and Wickenburg.
Groom Creek was named in his honor.
He was also involved in one of the most bizarre duels in the history of the southwest.
He was born in Clark County, Kentucky, August 28, 1824, and moved with his parents to Clay County, Missouri when he was 3. He went back to Kentucky to study surveying and was Deputy County Surveyor of Trigg county from 1845 to 1848.
He then went to California to mine, but his rare surveying skills were called upon in all his western sojourns. He was contracted in 1856 “to survey certain townships west of the San Bernardino meridian;” was San Diego County Surveyor from 1856-59 and again in 1861-62. He also served in the 9th and 11th California legislature.
“He lived in the goldfields of California…until the breaking out of the Civil War. At that time, there were many southerners in California and he was heart and soul with the South.”
“He lived in the goldfields of California…until the breaking out of the Civil War. At that time, there were many southerners in California and he was heart and soul with the South.” He raised and led a party to head to Texas and join the Confederacy.
They never made it. “After many skirmishes with the Indians and the Federals, this band of hardy Westerners was scattered and many of them were killed; others got through in safety, while still others, including Mr. Groom, were captured.” As leader of the group, Groom was “held with ball and chain at Fort Union, NM, (for ten months) until released on receipt of a letter from Senator James A. McDougal of California certifying to his loyalty.”