Florence, AZ Tom Mix Dies in Auto Crash, Oct 1940

Tom Mix, 1925, photo from wikipedia.org

Tom Mix, Film and Circus Star, Killed In Crash

Auto Overturns Near Florence, Ariz.; On Way To Phoenix


Rose to Fame as Cowboy Actor In Silent Movies

FLORENCE, Ariz., Oct. 12 (AP) - TOM MIX, hard-riding star of the silent films and noted circus performer, was killed when his automobile went out of control and overturned 18 miles south of here today.

He was 60 years old.

MIX, traveling alone, was en route to Phoenix, Ariz.

The accident occurred on a detour skirting a road construction job. MIX was pinned under his automobile. He was dead when two highway employes, JOHN ADAMS or Oracle, Ariz., and E. A. ARMENTA of Casa Grande, Ariz., discovered the overturned vehicle.

The body was brought here.

Recently with Circuses
As the colorful star of scores of silent western thrillers, MIX was the idol of millions of young Americans. In recent years, he had been the featured performer in circus-riding exhibitions.

Coroner E. O. DEVINE said MIX apparently was killed instantly. There will be no inquest.

Local investigators said MIX, who left Tucson at 1 p. m., was serving as advance agent for a circus scheduled to show in Phoenix shortly.

MIX worked as a cowboy in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana and won national riding and roping contests at Prescott, Ariz., and Canon City, Colo., in 1909 and 1910.

In recent years, he had appeared in wild west circus shows and for a time operated his own circus, the TOM MIX Wild West Show.

MIX served with the United States Army in the Philippine Islands, in the Spanish American War and during the Boxer Rebellion in China, winning a medal and citation. He was with the British Army at the siege of Ladysmith during the Boer War in South Africa.

Carrying Much Money
MIX was carrying $6,000 in cash, $1,500 in travelers' checks and a considerable amount of silver. He also had several valuable diamonds on his person, police investigators said.

MIX'S former son-in-law, HARRY KNIGHT, rodeo performer, lives here and the former film actor was a frequent visitor in Florence.

His badly wrecked automobile was towed to Florence.

MIX had been married three times. His first wife was OLIVE STOKE, a circus cowgirl. They had a daughter, RUTH, now MRS. DOUGLAS GIRARD of Raymondville, Tex.

After he and the cowgirl were divorced, MIX married VICTORIA FORDE, film actress in 1917. Their daughter, TOMASINA, lives at MIX'S ranch in the San Fernando Valley, near Hollywood.

MIX'S divorce from the actress was followed by his marriage at Yuma, Ariz., in Feb. 1932, to MABEL WARD, circus aerialist. She left Los Angeles by airplane for Florence when she learned of her husband's death.

Albuquerque Journal New Mexico 1940-10-13