Arizona native William D. Kalt III’s love of history sprang to life on his grandmother’s lap as she shared tales of growing up in the Territory’s rough and tumble mining towns prior to statehood. Imbued with a passion reserved for one’s true love and a burning desire to share stories of the pioneers, he set forth to capture the accounts of their bygone days.

The Friends of the Pima County Library named Kalt’s Tucson Was a Railroad Town: the Days of Steam in the Big Burg on the Main Line a Southwest Book of the Year for 2008. In addition, his 2006 story, “Epes Randolph: Railroad Man of the Southwest” won the James F. Elliot award for the Journal of Arizona History’s best article by a non-professional historian and “I’ll Meet You in the Cornfield: the Tragic Train Wreck of 1903” appeared in the Journal’s winter 2004 issue.
Kalt served as Sheriff of the Tucson Corral of Westerner’s and co-authored, with historian David Devine, Smoke Signal #88-89, “Tucson’s Wondrous Depot” in 2010. Arizona Pathfinders. Inc. of the Arizona Historical Society named the former career educator board president in 2014 and the Tucson-Pima Historical Commission awarded him its prestigious Historic Preservation Award in 2016.​

Grace Margaret Hanna, the author’s maternal grandmother stands before her father, Harry B. Hanna, at Yavapai County’s Chaparral, Arizona in 1896. A miner, entrepreneur, and postmaster, Harryl sits on the porch with his wife, school board member, community leader, and entertainer Caroline Rebeccca Grundy. Frank Graham (left) and former Mohave County Sheriff (1929-1944) Ernest I. Graham (right) flank the rough wooden house on horseback. (Photos: above, Guadalupe Johnston Collection; right, Kalt Collection)​​