Horse Happenings Travel United States

Twenty-Five Unnatural Wonders of the Western Roadside: Tom Mix Monument (Florence, Arizona)

Near this spot on Highway 89, the great cowboy movie actor Tom Mix died in a fatal one- car crash on October 12, 1940. He went out of the world as he had lives: fast and rolling in money.

Speeding west out of Florence through the Sonoran desert one night, he suddenly saw a washed out bridge ahead. He hit the brakes, his car flipped over, and his neck was broken when his head got conked by the suitcase loaded with gold pieces that he always used to keep in the backseat. To mark that unhappy event, there now stands a poignant monument by the side of the road: a cenotaph topped with silhouette of a riderless horse. On the plague memorializing his life is a handsome portrait of Mix along with Tony, the horse he loved.