August 16, 1856 - August 22, 1921
[ Four markers are mounted on the four sides around the base of the monument. ]
Side A:Southern Pacific Railroad Map
Epes commanded the "Randolph Lines" that connected Phoenix and southern Arizona's outlying communities with Tucson. He also headed the Southern Pacific railroad's push through the rough barranca
country south of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico toward Guadalajara. Randolph envisioned a great agricultural and mineral bonanza along Mexico's western coast, but Revolution (1910-1917) destroyed his dream. At his death, all the wheels on the two railroads he controlled, the Arizona Eastern and Ferrocarril Sud-Pacifico de Mexico,
stopped for one minute in tribute. Randolph's caring and generous spirit spurred his employees to honor the faith and love he built in the hearts of his fellow men for more than a quarter-century after he died, August 22, 1921.
Side B:Closing the Colorado River Breach
Thundering Colorado River floodwaters swamped California's Imperial Valley in 1905, and southern Pacific head E. H. Harriman summoned Epes Randolph. Deemed a "desperate situation and one without engineering parallel," the flood endangered 2,500 settlers and one-hundred thousand cultivated acres. When none of the almost fifty celebrated engineers he consulted could agree upon a solution, Randolph ordered dumping thousands of tons of rock into the river's half-mile breach. From the sick-bed of his private car, the Pocahontas, he directed work crews of four hundred Pima, Yuma, Maricopa, Cocopa, Diegueno, and Tohono O'odham men, who finally closed the gash in the Colorado's bank on February 10, 1907.
Side C:Santa Rita Hotel
"Forty-five years I have labored. The laboring man, whoever he may be and however he may labor, with head or hands, has my sincerest sympathies and utmost goodwill." - Epes Randolph, August 1921.
Epes Randolph financed Tucson's premier hostelry, the Santa Rita Hotel (above) with Levi H. Manning in 1903. He also invested in banks, railroads, and mines across Arizona and Mexico, including the rich King of Arizona (KofA) gold mine near Yuma. A member of the state Board of Regents from 1919 to 1921, Randolph rose to honorary 33rd degree Mason and presided over Tucson's Old Pueblo Club.
Side D:Epes Randolph - Bridge Builder
A whirlwind of power and energy, Epes Randolph completed construction of C & O Bridge (above) between Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington , Kentucky in 1888. It proved a crowning glory of his career in the East. Born in Lunenburg County, Virginia in 1856, the dynamic railroad leader and civil engineer built several other bridges in the region and earned professional acclaim.
Epes and his wife, Eleanor, moved to Tucson in 1895, when lung damage forced him to adopt a dry climate. Local superintendent of the Southern Pacific Railroad, Randolph gathered around him a host of bright, influential friends and soon dominated industry,, mining, and politics in Arizona. The couple grew to love Tucson and called it home for the rest of their lives.