The town named by a turn of a card
Marion Clark and Corydon (often misspelled Croydon) Cooley are believed to have been the earliest non-Indian settlers in Show Low.
In 1869, Cooley, a military veteran and Army Scout, arrived in search of the fabled “Doc Thorn” mine. Rumored to lie somewhere in the wilds of the White Mountains. He was accompanied by A.F. Banta and Henry Wood Dodd. They never located the missing mine, but Cooley found the environment so inviting that he decided to put down roots. By 1873, Cooley and Clark became partners.
There are several versions of how Show Low got its name in those early days, the most popular is the following:
The two men decided to part ways and dissolve their partnership by playing a game of “Seven-Up” to see which of them would keep the ranch. It is told that as the night wore on, Clark said, “If you can show low, you take the ranch.” Then as Cooley turned over the lowest card of that game, he cried, “Show Low it is!” Thus a legend began.
A century later the main street in town would be called the “Deuce of Clubs” in honor of the legend.