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Robert Nelson "Bob" Leatherwood
Member of the Arizona Territorial Legislature Council
In office
Member of the Arizona Territorial Legislature House of Representatives
In office
Mayor of Tucson, Arizona
In office
Preceded by James H. Toole
Succeeded by J. S. Carr
Sheriff of Pima County, Arizona
In office
Preceded by Joseph B. Scott
Succeeded by Lyman Willis Wakefield
Personal details
Born (1844-06-01)June 1, 1844
Haysville, North Carolina
Died April 3, 1920(1920-04-03) (aged 75)
Tucson, Arizona
Resting place
Political party Democratic
Military service
Allegiance  Confederate States of America
Branch/service  Confederate States Army

Robert Nelson "Bob" Leatherwood (June 1, 1844 – April 3, 1920) was an American businessman and politician who served three terms in the Arizona Territorial Legislature and two years as Mayor of Tucson, Arizona Territory.


Leatherwood was born to William and Elizabeth (Nelson) Leatherwood near Haysville, North Carolina in June 1844. During the American Civil War, he served as a member of the Confederate States Army. Leatherwood saved his uniform and cap following the war and often wore them on special occasions. While he was small of stature, standing 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) and weighing 130 pounds (59 kg), he was considered an individual full of "valor and grit". Leatherwood married and the union produced one son.

In 1869, Leatherwood moved to Tucson, Arizona Territory and lived there for the rest of his life. He operated a livery stable and had mining operations in the Santa Catalina Mountains. In addition to his mining interests, Leatherwood built a ranch in the Santa Catalinas.

Politically, Leatherwood was a member of the Tucson City Council from 1874 through 1879. He also served as a school trustee and was elected Mayor of Tucson for 1880. During his term of office, the Southern Pacific Railroad reached Tucson. To celebrate the March 20, 1880 arrival, Leatherwood appointed eight committees to help organize the festivities and served as chairman of both the Committee on Toasts and Speeches and the Committee of Reception. In 1885, Leatherwood represented Pima County in the Council (upper house) during the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature. He was returned to the territorial legislature two years later, serving in the lower house during the 14th Arizona Territorial Legislature. Leatherwood's final term in the legislature was during the 1893 session.

By the late 1880s, Leatherwood was a deputy sheriff serving under Charles A. Shibell. He was elected Pima County Sheriff on November 6, 1894 and served in the office from 1895 through 1898. After leaving office he retired to private life.

Leatherwood died from a heart attack on April 3, 1920. He was buried in Moss Memorial Graveyard, Cherokee County, North Carolina. Despite rumors to the contrary, Leatherwood was not buried in his Civil War uniform.

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