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The story of a lonely Arizona pioneer named Gold Tooth Pranty

Fred Pranty was a rancher, prospector, hunter, and Arizona pioneer whose story was lost throughout history. He lived a solitary life in the Sierra Ancha mountains and was known as the greatest mountain lion slayer in the territory. He was said to have graced everyone’s dinner table and was a cheerful, joyful man who never bothered anybody. He was described as a medium built, fair complexion, finely educated man, and nobody could understand why he was out prospecting.



Early years

Fred was born Christopher Fredrick Prante to Ernist and Mary Prante on December 22, 1861, in Friendship Indiana. Fred and his family lived a rough life in Indiana. After suffering from years of depression, Fred’s father committed suicide. Mary Prante was left widowed with ten children.

She sent her two oldest sons to meet with her brother in Puru, Nebraska. She gave them the entire family savings to purchase land for a new settlement. The boys left with cash and returned with nothing. The Prante family would continue to live a rough life for the next ten years.

Fred’s story began when he was 17 years old. In 1879 Fred’s mother once again attempted to resettle near her family in Puru, Nebraska. Mary commissioned Fred to drive the family’s cattle to Paru, but once again, she was let down. Fred never arrived, and his family thought he had been killed.

Little did they know, he took off on his own and would become one of Arizona’s early pioneers. His whereabouts were unknown for the next 12 years until he eventually showed up in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.

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