A historical sketch of the life of Orson Pratt Brown, born May 22, 1863, in Ogden City, Utah. Son of Captain James Brown of Company "C" of the Mormon Battalion and founder of Brownsville, now known as Ogden, Weber, Utah. His mother was Phebe [Abigail] Abbott Brown, a pioneer of Utah, Arizona and Mexico.
The first incident worthy of note was the testimony I received of the Gospel and the fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. It was given to me by Martin Harris, one of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon, in the Ogden Tabernacle in 1870. He bore a powerful testimony explaining the visitation of the Angel and the presentation of the Gold plates from which was translated the Book of Mormon, together with the fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.
The next testimony that I received was from Apostle John Taylor. He told me of the conditions pertaining to the prophet Joseph returning to Nauvoo after having crossed the river, and gave himself up to the authorities of the law and was taken to Carthage jail and locked up. He also related the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and Patriarch Hyrum as well as himself being wounded in the incident, and he bore a powerful testimony to the fact of Joseph Smith being a Prophet of God and the Book of Mormon being an inspired record.
The next incident was a powerful sermon and testimony of the Prophet Brigham Young in which he held the people spellbound in the Ogden Tabernacle; bearing testimony of the wonderful blessings that had come to him through obedience to the Gospel and that the Prophet Joseph was in very deed a prophet of God who had sealed his testimony with his blood; and also testified with great power to the fact that the Book of Mormon was a record of the inhabitants of the continent of America and the word of the Lord to us.
The testimonies of these men have always inspired me and have been a great help in the guiding of my life.
The next incident in my life was in the November of 1880. I started with my mother and step-father [William Nicol Fife] to Arizona. We had three wagons and three teams. When we arrived on top of the Buckskin Mountain it snowed and we lost one of our teams, a pair of mules. I returned to a little village by the name of Johnson, in Southern Utah and there found some people who were also traveling to Arizona and they had extra animals and they came on top of Buckskin Mountain and loaned us a pair of horses and we continued our journey crossing the Big Colorado river at Lee’s ferry and while we were at the ferry some people traveling to Arizona overtook us and advised us that our mules would be found at a little village called Pahrea. We borrowed a pony and saddle and I crossed the river to hunt the mules and the company moved south.
I arrived at the Pahrea the next day and found that the mules had been taken by the man that found them, north to a village called Hillsdale. This was late in December and it began snowing and the roads were practically impassable. I received word from Ellsdale that the mules would be at a town by the name of Kanab. On Christmas morning I went to Kanab from the little village of Johnson and there found the mules in the corral of the sheriff of the county. I went into the house and the wife of the sheriff asked me who I was and when I told her who I was and where from, tears came into her eyes and she came and embraced me and kissed me and sent for her husband; and when he arrived she said to him:
"See who is here! This is the son of Captain James Brown of Ogden."
And he, too, embraced me and said, "Your father and mother saved the lives of our fathers and mothers and our families when they were in dire need and starvation.
And notwithstanding, the man who had taken the mules demanded twenty dollars, and I not having only three dollars in my pocket, the sheriff said:
"Take the mules, my boy, and while you are going I will put the man who Stowell the mules in jail."
They put me up a fine lunch, gave me a Christmas dinner, and I started on the road rejoicing."
I encountered severe stormy weather and nearly froze. My mother and her husband and family did not get word from me and as they had traveled some two-hundred miles from Johnson south. My mother saw me coming in a dream and said I would be there for New Year’s dinner. She prepared that dinner and sure enough I arrived for New Year’s dinner, at noon, fulfilling the dream of my mother at the place called Willow Springs.
The next day we started on south arriving at Sunset, Arizona, on the Little Colorado; staying there a couple of days and then up the Little Colorado passing through at Fort Apache. The military officers advised us that we had better not proceed farther south as the Indians Apache chief and about fifty Apache warriors were on the warpath. But my step-father, after we had a consultation, decided to proceed on south and after passing the south fork of the Salt River and climbing out of the canyon starting down the dugway we saw an ambulance and two dead horses that had rolled down the dugway that the Indians having attacked the ambulance killing three soldiers only a few hours previous to our arrival. The Indians had gone on to the east and we arrived at Pima, Arizona unmolested.
While at Pima we heard of some freighting to be done of lumber from the Chiricahua mountains to Tombstone, Arizona; and so we proceeded on to a camp of Mormon freighters at Oak Creek at the foot of the Chiricahua mountains and there began to freight lumber to the big mining camp of Tombstone.
After hauling lumber for about six months I went to work herding work oxen at the logging camp of the Major Downing saw mill for a man by the name of Ed Elwood who had the logging contract for the saw mill. After working for Elwood for about three months I had lost two of the oxen. A man came into our camp and stayed one night, calling himself Buckskin Joe. He was armed to the teeth, as the saying is, carrying two pistols and a Winchester rifle.
And in the morning when he got ready to leave I asked him if he had seen anything of these two oxen, one of them having had a bell on; and with an oath he replied, yes. He had driven them off to a little mining camp by the name of Galey Vill where he said he had butchered them and sold them to the miners.
In his talk the evening before he spoke of many incidents of valor and said he was one of those who said they would never surrender to any officer.
Just about a month previous to this we had heard of an escapade where he and a man by the name of Dave Estus went into Tombstone and held up the superintendent of Grand Central mine and took his horses and money and watch and told him if he wanted his horses back to send a man with 300 dollars to a ranch about twenty miles from there and he would deliver the horses, but that if he made any noise about the matter they would come back and kill him.
My boss, Mr. Elwood was not in camp the night this man stayed there and when we told him of the conversation of this man and what he had said he said:
"This is the man who held me up about twenty miles east of Galey Vill and took away from me my horses and saddles with my pack outfit and arms, ammunition and money; even to my tobacco. He set me afoot and kicked me and told me to beat it."
Elwood said the Buckskin Joe had two companions with him; a Dave Estus and Jeff Lewis; big face Jeff Lewis. Then Mr. Ed Elwood related this circumstance: He said that in southern Utah in a little town north of Saint George he had a pardner by the name of Petersen who was a Mormon; but Petersen stayed on the ranch and he worked in the mines to supply the necessary means to keep the ranch going. But while Petersen was looking after stock an outlaw and bandit by the name of Ben Taskel shot him down in cold blood; Petersen had only been defending his own interests. The outlaw had left the country and Elwood had been following Taskel’s trail when he was held up by these bandits and robbed, and he said:
"Now is my time. I shall not sleep till I get Buckskin Joe. I shall not rest till I get Ben Taskel." And he said to me, "Look out for Buckskin Joe and when you see him, come and let me know."
About three days later I had climbed to the top of a mountain and saw coming up the trail from the eastern side of the mountain a man, horse-back; and from my field glasses I saw there was Buckskin Joe coming. I immediately put spurs to my mule and went to camp and told Elwood that Joe was coming and he said to me:
"You go over and meet him and we will meet you at the old saw mill setting and we will take care of him."
So I rode back to the other canyon and sure enough, Joe came up while my mules was drinking water.
He said, "You must have been in a terrible hurry. Did you get scared of somebody?"
And I told him no. I was just trying out my mule to see how fast he could run. So we rode down the canyon together and he asked me if I had seen a hobbled horse and I said I had, and where I had seen him. So we went out and found the horse and unhobbled him and put a rope on his neck and we rode along together talking.
He said, "Let me sell you this horse. You can ride him in Tombstone if you want to but don’t show him off too much; he was stolen ten miles below there in a place called Contention."
Then he said he would sell me four mules cheap. When I asked him where the mules were, he said the people still had them but he would fetch them for me. Just before we got to the place where my companions were to have met me, we met two men going up the canyon to a little mining camp and they called Tip Top, about fives miles from there; and then we proceeded on and when we arrived at the place designated there did not seem to be anybody in sight so I slipped off my mule while he was trying to untie the rope on his horses neck. I pulled my rifle down on him, told him to throw up his hands; he smilingly threw up his hands, thinking it was a joke, but when he tried to put them down I told him not to put them down or I would shoot him, and his face went pallid and while we were talking the very men we had met down in the brush arrive with Elwood in lead.
Immediately we disarmed Buckskin Joe and started him across the creek to a big juniper tree and there in the most profane and vile language he cursed us who had him disarmed. When we asked him the question if he wasn’t the man who had murdered a man at this same place he said yes.
About six months previous to this time the cowboy had been found, his head nearly chopped off and a fine herd of about 150 cattle had been driven off. Then Elwood accused him of being the man who had held him up.
Bucksin Joe said, "I was the man who held you up and took your guns away."
Then they put a rope around his neck and hanged him to the juniper tree; and I looked down the road and saw a dust coming and in a little while I saw there was two men on horseback coming towards us and I shouted to my companions to hide and as the men rode up they saw this man dangling from the tree, his legs still moving. They recognized him and rode on.
These two men, one of them being the deputy sheriff of the mining camp of Galey Vill whom this same Buckskin Joe had driven out of the town a few days before and he had gone to Tombstone to get a nephew of his to come and help him to get Buckskin Joe.
They went up to this Tip Top mining camp and brought down a number of men to bury the corpse; but before the Vigilante committee left they nailed a board up above Joe’s head and wrote on it, "The end of Buckskin Joe," and "Don’t cut him down until tomorrow." Vigilantes.
When the deputy sheriff and his party returned to where the man was hanging they returned to the mining camp and left him hanging; and the next morning they came down and buried him. Buckskin Joe was reported to have been hanged by unknown parties. It was found out later that this same Buckskin Joe had been educated as a lawyer and while pleading the case of the outlaw in south-western Texas near Brownsville the prosecuting attorney very severely accused the outlaw as well as the methods he used; but Buckskin Joe became enraged and pulling his pistol he killed the prosecuting attorney, judge and deputy sheriff. He got on the deputy’s horse and escaped.
About three months later I was in the employ of a man by the name of Chris Grower when one evening a man by the name of Tom Keef, reputed to be a carpenter came to the home of Chris Grower where I was working. He having come with a team of mules from Tombstone. Chris Grower was building a house and together Keef and I began working on it. After a few days Keef began talking about the hanging of Buckskin Joe and my suspicions were immediately aroused that he was there as a detective, and I had nothing to say. I knew nothing about the matter. One night in talking he began telling me about his experiences as a deputy U.S. Marshall and of arresting John D. Lee of the Mountain Meadow Massacre; also of him following the trail of President Brigham Young and arresting a number of polygamists in Utah; and that he, in his braggadocio way, was a very big gun man. The next evening, we having been working together, we were sitting at the table just after supper and he pulled out his forty-five double action pistol and slapped it down on the table and said with an oath, "You haven’t talked any yet but I’ll make you talk. You are my prisoner."
I looked at him, never having for a moment been without my own pistol; and he held his hand on his pistol and commenced cursing me with it pointed towards me. An incident that I had heard of my brother, Sheriff Bill Brown of Ogden, using, came to my mind like a flash and I took my eyes off of him and looked towards the open door of the tent so he turned his head thinking there was someone coming in. I pulled my pistol on him and told him to throw up his hands and turn his back. I went over and got his pistol, putting it in my belt, and picking up my Winchester rifle I saw Chris Gower come to the door having his pistol on. He asked what was happening. I made him unbuckle his belt and drop his pistol. I drove them both outside where the light wagon was waiting that was to have taken me to Tombstone.
I made them get into the wagon and drive. My horse was tied close by and I saddled him and followed them for ten miles telling Keef if he ever came back to that country there would be another neck-tied party as bad off as Buckskin Joe. He never came back.
The hanging of Buckskin Joe was the beginning of a new era in that whole section of country as it was infested with bands of outlaws and Indians, and one never knew when he stepped out of the door whether he was going to be shot down or not. When you saw an Indian you knew what to do but when you saw a white man you did not know whether he was a friend or foe.
I immediately took my pack horse and loaded him with provisions, and my saddle horse and went into the mountains and stayed there for more than a month, just me and my dog Jeff. When I returned from the mountains I got the information that Keef had left for San Francisco, and it appeared that the incident was closed; but I thought it best to leave that section on the country for a short time. So in the company of two friends we started for Prescott Arizona. We went on to the Sand Pedro river and followed down that river and just before we got to the mouth of the river we were encamped across the river from the Apache Indian tribe know as "Skimizeenses".
We arrived at this camp at about ten o’clock in the morning and as there was good pasture we decided to stay for a while. Several of the Indians visited us and tried to trade for our rifles and cartridges but I said to my companions:
"These fellows look mighty suspicious to me. We must keep our guns in our hands."
During the night they were having a great war dance and we moved our camp about a half mile into some mesquite bushes and left one companion in camp and two slipped off to see what the Indians were doing making such a terrible noise.
They were having a war dance. I said to my companions:
"Let’s saddle up and go immediately."
So we left about one o’clock in the morning passing by the mouth of the San Pedro river where it empties into the Gila River and there traveling down the Gila river about five miles taking off to the north over the road going to the mining camp called Tip Top; and while we were climbing up the dugway we saw somebody coming on the run behind us and it was the mail carrier. He said as he passed the trading post he had found that the Indians had murdered the two brothers who had had the post. They were on the war path and they were now on our trail. He said he had seen then and past them on a cut-off. His horse was all of a lather with sweat.
I said to one of my companions, "You and him go on with the pack animals and we will stay here and see what happens; so we waited in a little gully. Soon we saw six Indians coming in sight riding very fast. We waited till they arrived at about one hundred yards from where we had tied our horses. We opened fire on them, killing two of their horses and some of them.
We proceeded on up the road arriving at the mining camp called Tip Top at about eight o’clock that evening, [to] find it all in excitement and expecting an attack from the Indians at any time. The next morning all the women and children in the camp, together with a scout went over to Globe, Arizona, about twenty-five miles distant.
On arriving at Globe we found that they were guarding the town on all sides fearing an attack by the Indians. They said that the sheriff with a posse of fifty men had come over north onto the Tonto Basin to bring in some families and that the Indians had massacred about twenty people; and the sheriff and party had turned their horses into a pasture but the Indians had stolen all the horses, leaving them afoot. A man had come afoot during the night wanting wagons and horses to bring the rest of the people in. When they arrived they brought news of the terrible massacre of about twenty persons.
My companions and I remained in Globe for about one month working. Then we proceeded west till we arrived at Mesa, Arizona where I found an uncle, Edward Bunker. They (his family and he) insisted on my remaining with them, so after counsel with my companions I decided to remain there with them.
I stayed there about six months, but one day just after I had gotten there I was asked to follow a trail of some stolen horses and while I was on this trail I met a man by the name of Morris who was an apostate Mormon and renegade; and he, thinking that I had just stolen these horses and that I was an outlaw, he began to tell me things that would be of mutual interest to both of us. He incidentally told me about the outlaw bandit, and murderer, Ben Tasker, saying that he was a great friend of his and was still ready to do business. I made as if I would be glad to combine with them. But as he was telling me this I remembered what my old employer, Elwood, had told me regarding Ben Tasker, and as I knew Elwood’s location I immediately wrote him, giving him the news and telling him to come here. He took the trail and came.
I let him take my horse and saddle and told him where Tasker was. He came back the third night and later on it was reported that the Utah and Nevada bandit, Ben Tasker had been found dead at a certain little ranch near the mountains east of Mesa, Arizona, closing some very interesting incidents, and thereby proving the great law of retribution that came upon Buckskin Joe, Ben Tasker and Tom Keef, the great detective from San Francisco.
After remaining in Mesa for a short time, I accompanied my uncle Edward Bunker and family to Saint David and after being there a short time Apostle Erastus Snow and Moses Thatcher came and visited the colony and they found that the people there were very much in need of repentance. The bishop was given to drinking of liquor and the patriarch was not living as he should; the community at large had been living lives not worthy of Latter Day Saints. After a meeting they concluded to re-baptize the whole community for the remission of sins. So we all went down to the San Pedro river, with the exception of a very few and there were re-baptized by Apostle Moses Thatcher. And in a meeting held immediately after Apostle Erastus Snow gave a very powerful testimony and severely rebuked the people for the manner in which they had been living; then prophesied in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that if they did not repent and mend their ways and live the lives of Latter Day Saints that there would not be one thing left to recognize that town of Saint David by.
This was in the year 1882. And in the year 1886 a severe earthquake came and shook down the houses; and a flood came down one of the big washes and completely destroyed the old town of Saint David, bringing to pass literally and absolutely the prophecy made by the prophet, Apostle Erastus Snow.
On Christmas morning of 1882 I started for my home in Sulphur Springs Valley, riding my horse, White Cloud, and having with me my faithful dog Jeff. As I rode over the top of the mountains to the east of Saint David down into the center of the Sulphur Spring Valley, I became sleepy and drowsy. I got off my horse and tied the rope to a bush; I lay down and went to sleep. Then I felt something pawing at my face and on awakening my dog Jeff was growling and scratching at me to wake my up. I immediately jumped up, saddled my horse and then I could see six horsemen coming and three of the had come on one side and three on the other.
I paused for a moment to get my bearings and decided there was only one thing to do and that was to go straight ahead, confronting the three in front of me, for I thought that they would probably not shoot for fear of shooting one of the others. They were Apache Indians. As I neared the ones who were fronting me I opened fire with my six shooter, shooting down a horse and wounding an Indian. The other two gave way and let me pass. The others were following me but my horse White Cloud was of Arabian stock and outdistanced them and I passed beyond a little ledge. Here I stopped and dismounted and returned the fire from the Indians. I shot down another horse and the others immediately gave way and returned to the west.
These Indians had early in the morning attacked three Americans who were hauling hay; killed all three of them on top of the load of hay. They had cut the ham’s strings and loosed the horses from the wagon; set the hay on fire and burned the hay with the men on top of the load.
These Indians continued their raiding to the southeast when at a point know as Rucker’s canyon they ran into the Hunt brothers. The older Hunt brother had belonged to a gang of outlaws and murderers. One or two of the men there in a fight with the sheriff’s party had gotten Hunt; and while there Billy the Kid, No.2, was killed.
Hunt was placed in the hospital. His brother came down from eastern Texas and got him out of the hospital, got him into Rucker canyon and was tending his wounds so that he could take him on home.
They were attacked by these Indians. Hunt being an expert shot, raised up from the bed in the tent and shot one of the Indians and his brother escaped on a horse to a military camp on the east. They sent an escort of twenty-five American soldiers who killed all five Indians and found that two of them had been wounded a few days previous; another evidence of the justice of the law of retribution, both in the case of the Indians and this man Hunt who was a murderer and outlaw.
I arrived at my home in Sulphur Spring Valley about ten o’clock. Our dogs began barking at me.
"I know that is Orson coming, because last night I saw him coming home," my mother said, even before I had spoken.
In April 1883 in the full of the moon, an Indian Chief by the name of Loco, with about eighty warriors broke out from the San Carlos reservation and they made their way south up the San Simon valley, murdering and destroying ranches and property along the way. At the point known as "The Three Irish Friends" ranch, one-hundred and fifteen of these Indians crossed over the Chiricahua and that morning John Fife, Tom Fornay and a man by the name of Lobley started from a ranch with four mule teams, two wagons, to bring a load of mining timbers to take to Tombstone Arizona.
While they were going up the Pinery canyon they were attacked by this band of Indians. They killed Tom Fornay and Lobely and wounded John Fife in two places but he got away from them, running through the brush, arriving at a little mining camp some four miles from where they were attacked, by the name of Tip Top. A messenger came to our ranch and told of the killing.
There were only two more of us at the ranch and the information having come that probably the whole band of blood thirsty Indians were on their way we took my mother and Diana Fife and the girls and went across the trail to Riggs's ranch that night. It was about six miles distant. And in the morning at daylight with Mr. Thomas Riggs driving a light wagon and myself as a guide we drove up into the Pinery canyon and before we got to the mining camp we met about fifty men on their way, leaving the camp.
They advised us that they had left six men behind to guard and protect John Fife until we came. His wounds were of such a nature that it was impossible for him to ride on a horse. We lifted him on the wagon on a mattress we had taken and at Riggs's ranch he soon received medical aid. In the afternoon we formed a small posse of five and went up the canyon to bury the bodies of Fornay and Lobeley. As I knew the country well I was in the lead and about a mile before we got to the dead bodies it had sprinkled on us. Just then I saw in the road tracks of 3 Indians who had crossed the road leaving their tracks fresh on the trail. I stopped and said to the men:
"There are their tracks, fresh on the trail; they are going to lay for us."
I suggested to them that we separate; three going up the road and two on each side flanking the road, looking out for the Indians. This whole country was covered with Oak brush; in places so thick you could hardly get thru it. So one of the boys went on one side of the canyon and I went on the other and the other three men went along and up the road. They found the two bodies. One was about one-hundred yards from the other. They carried the one to where the other was, dug a grave and placed the bodies in the grave while we too were standing guard on each side of the canyon. And when the burial was finished. I suggested to the boys that these fellows were going to be laying for us and we had better cross into a divide in the next canyon instead of going down the canyon the way we had come. We decided to do this. It will be remembered that a lot of these Apache Indians had received an education in government schools and could speak English. Undoubtedly some of these understood English for when we went over the top of the Divide I saw some fresh signs. The five of us were riding about twenty...five steps apart and I hollared back,
"Here they are! Here are the fresh signs again!"
I was the only one who had a pistol. All at once an Indian raised up from behind a stump and we fired simultaneously and just at my left another Indian raised to fire at the man who was following me, and I fired at him, he not being more than ten steps from me. The second one jumped up, throwing his rifle over his head and yelling like a wild animal fell over backwards. I yelled to my companions who were the farthest away to come, and I fired the rest of the cartridges. I rode down the canyon and stopped to wait for my companions and I felt a trickle of blood down my left breast and stuck my hand into my shirt and pulled out a bullet. The wound was directly over my heart; the bullet was flattened and we wondered how it was that it had not penetrated and passed through my body.
We returned to the Riggs's ranch where we had a consultation and remained there over night. We got two more men to accompany us and started back on the trail after these Indians at daylight the next morning. On arriving at the point where we had the skirmish we found blood stains where these two Indians had lain. The mules had been taken from the wagon but the trail was easy to follow.
We crossed the canyon, following the trail, and went up over some cliffs where there were some small caves and found that they had deposited the two bodies in one of these crevices and piled in rock tight so that the animals could not get into them. We took out these rocks and took out the bodies and found one of them had been shot just under the left eye, the bullet coming out at the base of his brain; the other was shot just below the arm pit, bullet coming out just above the hip bone. We saw the Indian signal fires and following them until about two o'clock we arrived at a small saw mill about five miles from where the first encounter had been. We got some more men and left our horses there. We climbed a steep mountain that night to attack the camp in the early morning but when we arrived we found that the Indians had set fire to the whole mountain country. We made our way back to where our horses were and that night went back to the Riggs's ranch, making two days of very hard work.
Again proving the law of retribution to those who willfully take lives, in September of this same year, 1883, I was living on a little ranch that I had taken up about four miles from where the family lived. My aunt Diana Fife, the wife of William Fife, who was my step-father, had come from Utah. My mother and sister, Cynthia, had gone with my uncle, Edward Bunker and family to do work in the Saint George Temple and while aunt Diana and Agnes were on the ranch alone with a Mexican hired man (my uncle William having gone to Wilcox, Arizona for provisions) a Mexican who had deserted the Mexican army in Sonora came to the house and asked for a watermelon. They gave him a watermelon and his dinner.
He seemed to be acquainted with the Mexican who was working on the ranch; and while aunt Diana was ironing in the center room he pulled out a pistol and shot her, the bullet passing through the cords of the arm just above the wrist, then passed through her stomach just above her hip bone. Her daughter Agnes was in the kitchen, and on hearing the shot ran out of the back door. At this the man who was working ran to the door and this man that had the pistol shot at him, missing. Then the hired Mexican grabbed hold of the other and wrestled for the pistol. Both became bloody from the blood of aunt Diana.
In the meantime Agnes had run around the house into the front room and got her mother by the shoulder and dragged her into the front room. The hired man had taken the pistol and thrown it to one side and asked Agnes for a rope but she fearing treachery did not give him one. There the Mexican murderer got away; the other picked up a pistol and fired a shot but missed. The Mexican laborer went around to the window and asked Agnes what she wanted.
She wrote a note to a ranch about six miles distant. The Mexican got on a horse and rode to the ranch with the note. This was the White Ranch. Mr. White, the president, immediately sent a man back with the Mexican and he himself, rode to Tombstone to where one of the county commissioners stayed and there started a search for the murderer. About ten o'clock that night Charles who had been employed in the hayfields at the ranch came to my little cabin and told me what had happened. I got up and saddled my horse and we immediately started searching, going to the north.
The night was very dark and as we passed a ranch known as "Italian Joe's ranch" we found that the Mexican had been there and got his supper. He had gone on his way toward a ranch north near Fort Bowie. On the way our horses became frightened and shied and I said to my brother Charles that I believed the fellow would be along here somewhere. The country was a prairie country so we rode up to the Pass and waited for daylight. We guarded the pass to see whether the man would come through. But just at daylight we saw what appeared to be, in the distance, Italian Joe coming with his horse and buggy taking vegetables, as was his custom, to Fort Bowie. We decided we had better go down toward camp as the Mexican might have gone through the pass before we had arrived there. We searched out a little camp near there and then went to a mining camp called
Dos Cabezas where we met Deputy Sheriff Ward with another man. They had come from Wilcox Arizona in obedience to a telegram sent them asking them to help in the search for the murderer. Together we returned to the ranch to be present at the burial of my aunt. These two rode directly towards the ranch but I went around by Italian Joe's and he told me that they had caught the murderer and had taken him to the home ranch. Just before I got to the home ranch I saw hanging from a big oak tree the murderer of my aunt. I rode down to the ranch and encountered the Deputy sheriff Ward and his companion. They asked me if I had seen or heard anything. I said yes. That I had heard something and had seen the biggest acorn I had ever seen hanging from an oak tree.
We went back to the ranch and held the funeral of my aunt. It was a very sad affair. Little Agnes was inconsolable. She was only thirteen hears old. Then I heard from the Mexican who had defended Agnes what the murderer had proposed to him; that they rob the house, take the horses and girl and escape to Sonora. I heard from Agnes how much the Mexican had done in defending her life.
By this time a great many frontiersmen had gathered and we proceeded up the valley to where the murderer was hanging. The mob spirit took hold of the crowd and they wanted the hired Mexican hanged too. This was seconded by all with a shout. I was the only one who was there horse back; I pulled my rifle from the scabbard and backed the Mexican up against a tree. I told them if there was going to be any hanging done they would have to hang me first; that I would put a bullet through the first man who laid hands on the Mexican. I stated the injustice of hanging the man just because he was a Mexican. The mob spirit immediately vanished. We buried the Mexican and in three days the coyotes had dug him up and gnawed the flesh off his bones; another incident where the law of retribution was brought to pass.
Going back to the year 1881 I desire to relate some incidents that happened to show the conditions that existed in that section of the country. There was a number of men whose names were: Old Man Ike Clenton, and his son Ike; Billy and Jim, the two McDaniels brothers, big head Jeff Lewis and Rattle Snake Jack Wilson. They attacked a Mexican caravan from Basaricia and Bavaspia, Sonora; mortally wounding the head of the caravan and killing the two mules that were loaded with Mexican silver dollars. These Mexicans were on their way to Las Cruces, New Mexico to purchase merchandise.
Rattle Snake Jack Wilson came to our home with Jeff Lewis a few days after the assault on the Mexicans, having a saddle and bridle. Their pants pockets were full of Mexican silver pesos.
These men said to me, "Kid, come and join us. This is the way to make money!"
I replied that it was only a matter of time till they would find its termination and their extermination but they only laughed. Rattle Snake Jack was born and raised a Mormon boy at Wilson's Lane just west of Ogden city and my mother tried very hard to get him to stop his mode of living but all in vain for only a few days later he was at Clifton, Arizona and had been drinking and carousing all night and as he rode out of town towards Duncan he met a Chinaman with a load of vegetables taking it into Clifton. He shot the Chinaman, got into the wagon, tying his horse behind, and began to peddle vegetables. He raised the Chinaman’s head up every once in a while and laughed.
When the sheriff was notified and went to arrest him, Jack reached for his pistol but the sheriff shot him all to pieces with a double-barreled shot gun; another incident of swift justice and retribution.
A little later Old Man Ike Clenton, his son Billy, the two McDaniels brothers, Jeff Lewis and James Clenton made a raid on the Carretas ranch, driving off about five-hundred head of cattle, and killing one of the cow boys. Another member of the ranch went to Basaracia and Bavaspa for help. They followed these cattle rustlers and bandits and when they got across the U.S. line they lay down and slept, thinking they were safe. The Mexicans came on to them and killed four of them and wounded the other two, but supposed they had killed them all. They drove their cattle back to Carretas then took their equipment and went back to Sonora. But two of the men, Lewis and Billy Clenton, were only severely wounded. But they pretended that they were dead when they were being examined by the Mexicans. Later on, Billy Clenton was killed in Tombstone while Lewis was killed by his own companion; thus ending another incident of swift justice and the law of retribution being satisfied.
There was another band of outlaws and bad men going around under a man called Curly Bill, and he had as his allies, Billy the Kid, No.2, John Hunt, and Bud Moore. This man, John Hunt, had sold his freight teams and joined the outlaws. He and Bud Moore and the Kid Stowell about two hundred head of cattle at a little ranch they called "Stockton's Ranch," twelve miles from Tombstone.
As I was coming around east of our ranch I met these men driving this herd of cattle, and as I had passed by the ranch where these cattle belonged many times I knew the brand. Bud Moore rode up to me and said:
"Kid, turn your head the other way and keep your mouth shut or it will cost your life."
I said nothing but went immediately to the ranch and sent by a teamster who was hauling lumber, a note to Mr. Edmunds and Jack Chandler, the owners of the ranch. When this incident happened Mr. Edmunds and Chandler refuted a $1600 note that they had given to Hunt as a balance due on his freight teams. Published in the local newspaper was the fact that they refused to pay the note because of the cattle theft. Edmunds followed the cattle alone, getting about one-half of them. When John Hunt and Billy the Kid went to Stockton's ranch to kill Stockton and Edmunds, Stockton's wife got her little girl three years old out of the back door on the way to get her father who was on his way from Tombstone. They went back to Tombstone and notified the officers and the sheriff with a posse of five men came out to the ranch and had a battle royal, wounding John Hunt and killing Billy the Kid while Bud Moore was laying to catch me. But the sheriff's party soon caused him to leave. This same Hunt was killed by the Indians later, thus closing another incident.
Curly Bill and Jim and Tom MacLowrey and John Ringold who was an own cousin to the famous outlaws of Missouri, Jesse and Frank James, went west of Tombstone to hold up the stage that was coming from Benson. While they were there in waiting, another band of outlaws who were officers, the Erpe brothers, Wyatt, Jim Virgil and Tom together with an outlaw by the name of Doc Holiday also were in waiting to hold up the stage. Wyatt Erpe was marshall of Tombstone; Jim was chief of police; Virgil, Tom and Doc were police officers. The two parties came together and had an understanding; they held up the stage and divided the spoils.
Later, Bill Clenton was on a drunk in Tombstone and also shot up the town and these men, the Erpe brothers with Tom Holiday, shot him down. The MacLowrey brothers were with Curly Bill and the bunch who were holding up the stage. The ranch had just been sold for $13,000 and they had the money on their person, expecting to leave Tombstone the next morning for Benson to take the train into Texas. The Erpe brothers knew this and opened up with their shot guns and murdered them both in the street, robbed their bodies of the money, went into court and with their evidence proved self-justification.
A little later, Curly Bill, John Ringold, and Pat Burns (a man whom I had ridden the range with and slept with) at night opened fire on these Erpe brothers, killing Jim and shooting an arm off Virgil. They wounded Tom. Pat Burns came about two o'clock in the morning and said, "Come, and take me into the mountains please."
He did not tell me why but after being in the mountains with him for a month he told me the whole circumstance. A little later the two Erpe brothers and Doc Holiday started on the hunt for Curly Bill and his pardner. In the lower part of Sulphur Spring Valley they came on Curly Bill and killed him and later followed John Ringold into the Chiricahua mountains and while he was sitting in a tree, shot him in the head. Later, my friend, Pat Burns, was made deputy warden at Yuma, Arizona.
The Erpe brothers that were still living and Doc Holiday went to Dodge City, Kansas, where Doc Holiday and one of the Erpes was killed, leaving only Wyatt Erpe who went to San Francisco, closing another very interesting incident of swift justice and the law of retribution being complied with.
Just after the hanging of Buckskin Joe there were two notorious highwaymen; one by the name of "Shoot ‘em up Dick" and Sandy King. This Dick was a son of a Russian general from Russia; he had come out to participate in the things of the wild west. They had made a raid on a ranch in New Mexico and come out into Arizona and when they were camping east of Tombstone a man who was an uncle to the champion prize fighter of the day came into their camp, as it was a rainy night. He brought a saddle and bridle with him, also some scotch whisky. Dick and Sandy shot through the old man's head, took his horse, bridle and blankets and left, going back into New Mexico where a sheriff's party surrounded them and after capturing them, put them in jail. After
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the hanging of Buckskin Joe a posse gathered, took them out of the jail and into an old adobe Mexican house; strapped them and hung them to the rafters.
I was once hauling lumber from the Chiricahua mountains to Bisbee with my companion, a man by the name of Dan Dowd. He had a record behind him of being a remarkable shot. He was continuously practicing with 8 pair of six shooters that he always carried. He could throw up a can and fill it full of holes before it came down. One day two men came into our camp while we were camping at noon and began talking to Dan. He seemed to have known them formerly and they traveled along until we camped at night; I was curious to know what it was all about so I eavesdropped them and heard one of their names was Johnny Heath and the other was Delaney. They formed a plot of highway robbery and my companion became a party to it. When we returned from Bisbee to the saw mill he got his horse and saddle ready and said to me:
"Kid, this old world owes me a living and I am not going to work any more."
I asked him if he was going on the highway and he said yes. A little later Delaney who had previously talked with Dowd, Curly, Red, and Texas met Dowd at a ranch called White Water; and my new companion, whose name was John Hall, and I, saw these men and I said to him:
"This looks mighty bad."
But he said he thought they were all right. But as we were driving out teams to Bisbee we met Delaney and another man coming out of Bisbee in the very early morning. They advised us that there was a hold up in Bisbee. I immediately said to Hall:
"That is Dan Dowd and his bunch and I believe your pardner, Frank, knows all about it."
Then Hall became very much enraged and we had a rough and tumble fight over the matter. I was the stronger and choked him until he promised to be good. When we got in Bisbee we found that what this man had said was true. I found Sheriff Daniel's and told him what I knew about this man Heath coming to our camp and consulting with Dan Dowd, and he immediately sent two men following Heath's trail. They went to Tombstone and Daniels scoured the country.
It seems that five men rode to the suburbs of Bisbee and left one holding the horses then Red and Tex went into town to the Copper Queen Co. store, the only banking institute in that section of the country; Dowd and Delaney stayed out side and when a man came out of the store door carrying a hand full of bills they told him to stop but he did not so they shot him down. Then the firing began. Heath had rented a place for a dance hall right close by the Copper Queen store and it seems that he opened fire on the citizens of the town. A woman opened a door and they shot her down. They took some watches and jewelry and about $3000 in cash and bills, some of them marked. The next morning a horse of one of the party gave out so he got on a freight train at San Simon station and was taken off by the train at Lordsburg as a tramp. When they examined him they found a large amount of money and jewelry and a pistol on him.
Red and Tex rode into Clifton. Red had a sweetheart in one of the sporting houses and gave her a watch and some money and left town. The sheriff, seeing that this man had come into town, was suspicious and went to this woman and she gave him the information that he wanted. He deputized a number of men and they encountered Red coming into town the next morning. They surrounded him and took him without a shot. They followed his trail back and found Tex in a little camp cleaning his pistol and rifle and they took him also without firing.
Sheriff Daniels followed the trail of Dan Dowd to Corralitos ranch [in Chiricahua] and he was found staying with the blacksmith on the ranch, who was an American. Daniels went into the house where Dowd was. Dowd's pistols were hanging on the wall and he made Dowd surrender, buckling Dowd's pistols on himself. He made the blacksmith make some leg irons; then he put these and handcuffs on the prisoner. He made a Mexican drive them in a buckboard to Deming, New Mexico. The next day they went to Tombstone. Daniels later followed Delaney into a little town called Fronteres, Sonora.
Delaney had been on a drunk and shot up the town and they had him in jail. As soon as he saw Daniels coming he shouted that he was glad a gringo had come to his rescue. Daniels had a picture and asked Delaney if he recognized it.
"Is that the picture my mother gave you for you to come and get me with?" he shouted.
The sheriff told him yes, and the officers turned him over. He was taken to Tombstone. A jury was formed to try these six men. Heath was the first man tried, and his sentence was life imprisonment at the penitentiary in Yuma. The other five men, Dowd, Delaney, Curly, Red and Tex were found guilty of murder and sentenced to hang. Just the day before Heath was to have been taken to the penitentiary, about fifty miners from Bisbee came over to Tombstone and took Heath out of jail and hanged him to a telegraph pole. Just previous to this Heath sent a band of five men who stopped the train at Stein's pass in New Mexico. They had robbed the passengers and express car and gone into the north to the Black Range. Heath had gone to the Bowie station himself and asked the operator if there had been news of any hold up. Just twenty minutes later the operator received word of it. This all came out in the testimony against Heath. These five men that had robbed the train at Stein's pass were followed by a sheriff's party who took them in the Black Range mountains, killing two and wounding another one. They put the other two in jail in Silver City. A little later they broke jail but the sheriff's party killed the remaining three, closing another incident of justice and the law of retribution again being satisfied.
In the fall of 1884 I was working as a cowboy for the 3C Cattle Co. in Sulphur Springs Valley and while engaged in this work it was the custom for the ranch hands to all cut and haul hay. My brother Charles and I with four [others? torn page] were hauling hay from the White Water section to the Sulphur Springs, a distance of about fifty miles, taking four days to make a trip. The [? - torn page] previous I had been over home and returned. My brother and I camped at [a? torn page] little ranch about half way from White Water to Sulphur Springs and as it was chilly the next morning I put on my coat. While I was sitting on the hay [I? torn page] found something in my pocket and saw that it was a hymn book mother had given to me. I opened it and read and the tears fell down my cheeks. I began to remember the things that had happened in my childhood and the testimonies of President Brigham Young, John Taylor, Martin Harris and many others, among them the wonderful testimony that was always borne to me by my mother. I had been wild and wayward but never an Idea had come into my head of being a robber or bandit. On the other hand the inheritance of Justice to everything contrary to banditry that I had received from my birthright from my father and mother had always stayed with me and the reading of these hymn[s] was a turning point in my life for it awakened in me a desire and determination to find out what there was in Mormonism for me.
On arriving at the ranch that evening I said to my brother Charles, "I am through with this kind of a life. I am going to find out for myself what there is in Mormonism and try to live the life of a Latter Day Saint. I am going to quit this kind of a life now and go down to the Gila River among the Mormon people and try to get a piece of land and settledown! Charley said he would go with me.
So we went and saw Mr. White, the manager, and asked for our time. He called me to one side.
"Orson, what is the trouble? Are you dissatisfied?" he said.
I told him no; not with him but with the kind of a life I had been living. He asked what I was going to do and when I told him, he said that was right. He was glad I had seen the light for he had thought many time what a shame it was that a young man like me was wasting his life in that kind of business.
Mr. White was a refined person, an engineer by profession. There was also another young man there from Ogden City who had been our neighbor when we were boys.
"That is right, Orson," he said. "You and Charley go over and get a place if you can. Count me in on it and I'll stay here and keep up expenses."
Charley and I went over and bought three forty-acre fields from a man and there began living a new life.
In the spring of 1885 we were visited by Apostle Lyman and John Henry Smith; and the president of the seven presidents of the Seventy's, Seymour B. Young. And while we held a fine meeting at Safford, my brother Charley and William Nelson and the two Wright brothers after the meeting had a fine talk at about twelve o'clock at night. And previous to our talk the two brothers and myself were ordained as Seventies, my brother and Nelson not desiring to take upon themselves the obligation.
About two in the morning a bunch of Apache Indians rode through the outskirts of Safford driving off a number of horses. The two Wright brothers, together with Robert Welker followed the Indians. The Indians fired on them, killing the two Wright brothers and Robert Welker, but his companions were saved and they returned to Safford. We went out and brought the bodies home and it was one of the saddest funerals I have ever witnessed. The husbands and fathers of two small families being dead at the same time. Apostle Lyman, Smith and Young advised us not to follow them further. My real work and experience in the Gospel began here.
I labored in the Mutual and Sunday School and did everything that I could to make myself worthy of service among my fellows and in the Gospel.
In March 1887 Apostle Moses Thatcher returned from the colonies in Mexico and told how the conditions financially were so distressing with the people in Mexico, and asked for volunteers of young men who were willing to serve and labor and build roads and dig ditches and become members of the colonies in Mexico.
There were as I remember, about twelve or fifteen young men who volunteered to come to these colonies, along with them, myself. When I asked Apostle Thatcher how soon he wanted us to leave he laid his hand on my shoulder.
"Just as soon as you can arrange your affairs," he said. "Get ready and go; and I promise you in the name of Israel's God that his blessing and Spirit and protection will be with you and that this will be the greatest blessing that could ever come to you to have volunteered this service for it is a service in the work of the Lord." And he sent me on the way rejoicing.
I began to dispose of what little I had and came to Sulphur Springs Valley where my mother was. She desired to come with me and together we journeyed to the colonies, arriving there on the thirtieth day of May, 1887.
Just before getting into the little colony of Juárez our wagon broke down and in the work of reloading and moving the malaria fever came back on me; I having had it once before. I was in bed for about three weeks, nigh unto death.
I remember especially this incident: My mother had gone from our little tent and sent Brother MacDonald to come and administer to me. He brought a man who was a doctor, by the name of Metz. I remember after they had administered to me they stepped outside of the door of the tent.
Brother MacDonald said to his companion, "What do you think about this case?"
Metz said, "Poor woman! She is going to be left alone very soon."
On hearing these words, I raised from my bed and called Brother MacDonald to come in and Metz followed.
"I will live yet to perform the work that has been promised me I should; I will see this man buried and live many years."
Brother MacDonald clasped my hand and said he felt also that I was going to live.
As soon as I was well enough I got up and went and saw Apostle Teasdale and he told me to go to Brother George Seavey who was Bishop of the ward. I went to him. I asked him what he wanted me to do.
"Can you make adobes?" he asked.
"I never have, but I can try," I replied.
I immediately went and laid out an adobe yard and began making adobes. Although my health wasn’t the best I continued making adobes into the rest of the year, making the adobes for the first school house.
This was the beginning of my work and service in Colonia Juárez.
On refreshing my memory I desire to refer to an incident that happened in the fall of 1885. Our dancing parties that were being held throughout the St. Joseph Stake were opened to all the public and in consequence of this there were coming into our dances the worst kind of characters, some of them being drunk and having their own way to a great extent. At a Stake priesthood meeting held in Safford this question of allowing everyone into our dances was discussed and a decision was made that they would bar all of those who were not members of the church. After this meeting the Stake presidency, president Layton, Martineau and Johnson, called Brother Arvel Allen and myself into a private counsel and asked us if we would take charge of the dances that were being given at Safford.
There were no school houses either at the Layton ward or Thatcher, and all of the people in these two wards came to the parties at Safford and Brother Allen and I asked for specific instructions. President Layton came to see us.
"We want you to keep them out and not allow them to participate in dances," he told us.
After a consultation between Brother Allen and myself, we decided that there might be serious trouble and we went to those parties prepared for any emergency.
The first party given after these instructions was a very large one, filling the hall and after we began dancing two men came in and sat down close to the door. We knew them to be murderers and outlaws; one by the name of Frank Morris who had just been released from the penitentiary for killing a man; the other a man by the name of Alkalide Dick who boasted of three notches on his gun for three men he had killed.
We were dancing the Scotch reel at the time the incident I am going to relate happened and Brother Allen said I had better go down by those fellows and he would look after the dance. I went down close to where they were and listened to what they had to say. While everybody was dancing and enjoying themselves, Alkalide Dick said to his companion:
"Now is the time to shoot out the lights."
As he started to rise I brought them to a halt by poking a six shooter in their faces and told them the first lights to go out would be theirs and for them to beat it. They went out of the door and I followed close against them, my pistol in my hand. When they had crossed the street they let out a yell and began shooting but I returned the fire and they beat it, so we had no more trouble with those bandits and outlaws.
Another incident in Colonia Juárez: After I had been making adobes and serving as counselor in the Mutual Improvement Association in Colonia Juárez, in the month of November I was married to Mattie D. Romney, daughter of Miles P. Romney and together with my mother we passed an enjoyable winter. In the spring of 1888 the Mexicans began stealing the horses and cattle from the Colonies and Apostle Teasdale who was president of the Mexican Mission, together with his counselors, A.F. MacDonald, Henry Iring, together with the Bishop and his counselors asked me after a priesthood meeting at which these matters were discussed, to look after the horses and cattle on the range and protect them from the thieves and I accepted the request. The stealing soon ceased.
Later on, I took the church sheep herd on shares. These sheep had been brought from Arizona to save them from being confiscated and while I was looking after these sheep and cattle and interests in general of the people, we were having a round-up on the Tinaja Wash, north of Colonia Juárez. Five Americans came into where we had our round-up and said they had been trailing some thieves that might be Indians, from the San Pedro ranch over to this point. We immediately turned the cattle loose that we had rounded up and took the trail and as we were riding down the wash I picked up the discarded piece of a shirt and smelled of it.
"It is Apache Indians," I said.
As we rode a little farther on the trail I picked up some rawhide horse shoes that Indians had made and I told them there was no question about it being Apache Indians. We followed them nearly to the San Diego ranch where the Indians had crossed the river at the Bocilla, just below the ranch, and gone into the mountains east and south of San Diego. I came back and reported to the colonies that they were Apache Indians and that the ranchers should be called in, especially those in the mountains, for protection. I remember when I told that I could tell they were Apaches by the smell that brother Romney especially, laughed at me.
At this time I was getting ready to go to Chihuahua with several loads of wool we had sheared from the sheep that I had in charge. Before going I again told Apostle Teasdale and the brethren that the people in the mountains should be called in. They formed a posse under the direction of Brother Helaman Pratt. We were informed that the Indians had just passed by a little ranch that was occupied by Charles Whipple at some springs south-west of the colonies. We followed their trail and found they had gone into the mountains, then returned to the colony and reported there was nothing farther to be done.
I went to Chihuahua with the wool with a number of wagons and on my return trip I met Brother Henry Martineau going to Gallego after merchandise and he told me of the killing of the Thompson family. On my return home I proposed that we form a posse of men and try and run down the Indians but I could get no support.
A few weeks later, three Americans came into Juárez; one by the name of Quigley with his two companions and as I had known him in Ogden City when he was a boy I talked to him.
"You are going into very dangerous country where there a lot of Apache Indians." I warned him.
He and his companions said, "Do you see these guns, six-shooters and ammunition? What do you think we have them for?"
I said, "You might have them with the intention of using them but you might not get the chance."
About eight or ten days later he and his two companions came straggling into Juárez one by one and reported they had been attacked by Indians in Apache Valley at the head of the Hole country and that the Indians had taken everything they owned except the guns that they were carrying. They related this incident; As they went into the Apache Valley they saw an Indian standing watching them then he immediately disappeared. For their safety they climbed up onto the mountain to the north and there on the rim of the mountain they made their camp and guarded it all night. One stood guard in the early morning while the other two ate breakfast, and after eating, instead of continuing their guard, they stood around the fire discussing what they were going to do when all at once three Indians sprang up from behind their own barricade and fired on them. They ran, no two of them staying together, leaving everything in the hands of the Indians except the guns they were carrying. It took them three days to get to Juárez.
A little later after this happened there was an Indian raid on Pacheco where they had driven off some of the stock and Apostle Teasdale and his counselors asked me to go to Pacheco and organize a posse and go out and see what I could do. On arriving at Pacheco with a letter for Bishop Smith, as he had asked previously for instructions as to what to do, we formed a posse consisting of Bishop Smith, John T. Whetten, Sam Jarvis, George Naegle and Robert Beecroft and left Pacheco going to the west to the country described by Quigley and his party. We found where they had made their camp and one of their burros and the trail of the Indians they had seen was going down over the canyon into the Hole country. We camped there and during the night it began storming and when we got on top of the mountain there was five or six inches of snow and it was impossible to follow the trail any farther so we started back for Pacheco. The snow was falling and the fog was so heavy that we could not see any land marks and did not know which way we were going as we had no compass.
I remember Sam Jarvis saying, "I can lead you to Pacheco blindfolded."
We told him to take the trail and we would follow. After traveling for about an hour we had made a complete circle and come back upon our own trail. There we decided to camp till next morning when we returned to Pacheco then I went to Juárez.
I had taken a severe cold and when I got home I had to go to bed and remain there for a couple of weeks and while not yet able to get out and ride, David Hawkins came to me one morning and said he had sighted a bunch of Mexicans on the Tinaja Wash that morning driving a bunch of horses and among them some of the colony horses. I immediately asked him to go and call Brigham Stowell [Stowell] and David Stevens and to get me a horse from Brother Taylor.
They saddled the horse for me and we took a couple of blankets a piece and started out hunting these Mexicans. The trail led us into the Tapasitas where we found their camp and some of the horses but no men. We stayed there that night and guarded the camp and as the trail of part of the horses went up the canyon, next morning we went up the canyon to see what we could find and on returning we saw the Mexicans, seven of them in their camp saddling horses and as we rode toward them they began to run.
One of them shouted, "There comes Brown. He will kill the whole bunch of us."
We captured three of them, four of them getting away. We brought them down to Colonia Juárez. The man who had this band of thieves in charge was Tiofelo Hermosilo. On arriving at Colonia Juárez we decided to guard them there that night, taking them to Casas Grandes the next morning but on our way to Juárez we met a Mexican who rode to Casas Grandes and told them of our having captured these men. We put a guard over these Mexicans in a little lumber butcher shop that belonged to Brother Harper on the corner of his lot where his house now stands. During the night, I having gone home to bed, not being well, James Skousen, one of the guards, came and said several men had been there armed, demanding the prisoners and he could hear men coming over the dugway. I told him to return and tell the boys to get ready and protect the prisoners and not let them go.
I got dressed and went down to where the prisoner was as soon as I could carrying my rifle in my hand. As I neared the men in the middle of the street a man by the name of Colonel Omobono Reyes was shouting that if Brown, the one who was responsible for this, would only present himself they would hang him and take the prisoners. He had about thirty men with him and take the town. When I had listened to his boast as I could, he not recognizing me because of the dark, I threw my rifle down on him and told him who I was and said if he did not shut up I would shoot the top of his head off, and silence reigned.
Then two men came from Casas Grandes and brother Iring being the Comisario of Juárez, they said they had an order for the prisoners from the presidente at Casas Grandes who was then Manuel Hernandez. We turned the prisoners over to them and the next morning we went to Casas Grandes and found they had accused us of capturing them while in their camp eating breakfast and that the horses of ours we had found among theirs had only been drinking with their horses and they had not stolen them. We all had to go to jail, Brothers Stowell, Stevens Hawkins and myself. We remained there until Brother Helaman Pratt and Miles Romney went to Ciudad Juárez and got an order for our release, we having been there eighteen days. We then had to begin a fight for our recognition. I went to Ciudad Juárez and accused the judge of using his office to protect thieves and the judge lost his office and we began to get some protection from courts and officers of the law.
In the meantime there had been a new election and a new Presidente of Casas Grandes was elected and there was a notice put up that any one desiring to hunt any straying animals on lands belonging to the colonies would need to come and get permission, and advised the Presidente, that anyone of his people found riding the range without permission would be severely dealt with.
But a short time later I was going from Casas Grandes by Ojo de Motino north west of Casas Grandes on the Tinaja and just after passing over the Divide about at the springs, I saw four men coming driving a bunch of horses. From the distance I recognized that some of the horses were those belonging to the colonies. The men recognized me and as they were all armed they separated leaving the horses to surround me. I got off my horse and threw my gun down on them and motioned them to beat it and hollered to them that if they came any nearer there would [be] serious trouble. They took fright and went as fast as their horses could go to the north and I went on up to the bunch of horses and cut out those belonging to the colonies and drove them home. The next day I went down to Casas Grandes and had these men summoned before the Presidente and there again I advised them that if a like condition occurred I would leave their bones bleaching on the prairie for the coyotes. They took me at my word and we were not bothered for a good many years.
Another incident: (of the Tomoche raid of which I desire to give a short history)
The Tomoche Indians mixed with some Mexicans lived in a little town, western Chihuahua, by the name of Tomoche. There had some two or three years before been a girl who claimed to have visitations and spiritual instructions. The messenger visiting her, she claimed, had told her that the catholics priests were not supposed to sell the sacrament nor charge people for sermons pertaining to the church, and that they had no connection with the church of the Master. That they were all wrong.
And these people in the surrounding towns and countries of the mountains, believing what they had heard of her, visited her at her home in a little mountain village by the name of Cabora in Northeastern Sinaloa; among them, the Presidente of Tomoche, Cruz Chavez with several of the people of Tomoche. They returned home very much impressed with the things they had heard and seen at Cabora in regard to the manifestations claimed to have been given to Santa Teresa.
When the priest from Guerrero came down to visit them in Tomoche and was holding services in the church the people, instead of going to these services, went to the house of the Presidente, Cruz Chavez. He had erected an altar in his parlor where they were having the services. This infuriated very much the priest of Guerrero and he went to the house of Cruz Chavez and started to tear down the altar and destroy the images that had been erected there. Cruz Chavez in return, entered and drove the priest out of his house and told him to leave his house and the town also. The priest immediately went to Guerrero and informed his brother that was Jefe Politico, of the fact that he had been driven out of this town and abused. The Jefe sent an escort of seventy-five men to Tomoche with instructions to arrest all of the men and bring them to Guerrero.
Cruz Chavez and his men anticipated this happening, and had made preparations for their reception and sent out a messenger to meet the escort and tell them not to come into Tomoche because there would be blood shed. The men, instead of heeding Chavez's announcement, started on into the town. Chavez and his men met them with a battle cry of liberty and in defense of their lives and home they killed about thirty of the men coming down to capture them. The balance of the men returned to Guerrero and reported the conditions. The government then sent three hundred soldiers to Tomoche to subdue the Tomoches. In a like manner, Cruz Chavez and his men, scattering in bunches of five men hid in the bushes around the villages and as the men advanced they shot down their officers first then played havoc with the soldiers killing over one hundred at the first battle.
Cruz Chavez and his men only numbered thirty-seven. Then the government sent five hundred soldiers and the same thing occurred. They killed the officers first then the soldiers that happened to linger. The conditions seemed to be terrible. Then the Federal Government told fifteen hundred soldiers to go in and capture them, dead or alive. The General in command formed an attacking party, sending five-hundred soldiers around to the west to come down the canyon, thus having the town completely surrounded. The men from the west that were coming down the canyon were the first to come near to the village. The Tomoches shot down their officers and disarmed the soldiers and drove them into the church. When the General on top of the mountain demanded that they surrender he was shot and killed instantly by a Tomoche. The battle had raged for some hours when the Federal army fired some shots into the church from a canon, supposing that the Tomoches had taken refuge in the church. The roof of the church was of lumber and immediately began to burn and the soldiers locked in that church were cremated.
The Tomoches escaped to the mountains through the entrance left in the west where these soldier[s] had come down. The army followed them into the mountains and the death rate to the soldiers was terrible. It was estimated that before these Tomoches left the country that they had caused two thousand soldiers to loose their lives during their campaign of two years. The remainder of these Tomoche Indians then went to the United States and were there for a couple of years, then decided to return to their homes and families. They came by appointment to the border at Palomas and in the early morning assaulted the customs house and guards, wounding some of the guards, capturing the customs house and giving the customs administrator a receipt for the money and other things they had taken and came on their way south, having taken six horses and
saddles from the customs guards. They went close to Colonia Diaz and Stowell out of a pasture four horses belonging to W.D. Johnson. Bishop Johnson immediately sent a runner to Juárez advising us what had happened. At Juárez we had previously organized a home guard or militia with Brother Miles Romney as Major in command and myself as Captain of the cavalry.
On receiving this information we began to make preparations. Runners came in from Ramos advising of the fact that these Tomoches had passed by Ramos coming towards Juárez and they had taken four mules from a wagon belonging to the San Pedro ranch, which was loaded with provisions. They had carried all the provisions they could on the mules.
I got Brother Amos Cox and started to go up north of the colony when we met Brother Carl Nielson who said he wanted to go with us. We went up the eastside of the river to the north of the colony. At the first crossing we met Brother Seavey who said there were three suspicious looking characters up at the Seavey farm about four miles north of the colony and that in talking to Loona Baker who spoke Spanish fluently they had asked many questions in regard to the store in the colony and as to whether the people in the colonies were well armed.
I dispatched Neilson up the river to get the brethren together and try and capture these three men. I sent Seavey down to advise Brother Romney of the situation and for him to send me some men; and that I was satisfied these Tomoches were on the Tinaja. To determine their exact location I went with Cox and as we were scouting along the south rim of the Tinaja wash three men raised up behind the rocks, threw their rifles down on us and demanded that we surrender. Cox and I jerked our guns down on them in return and demanded that they surrender, and there we were for some moments. The man in charge of their party and the man who had his gun on Cox lowered their guns but there was an Indian who never lowered his gun at all and asked the question if we were going to surrender.
When I accused them of being bandits and thieves the man in charge spoke up.
"No, we are not. We have another mission."
When I asked him what his mission was he said they were going back to their homes and families. I said I knew that they were Tomoches and had stolen horses from Colonia Diaz and they did not deny it. I warned them not to steal anything from these colonies for if they did I would follow them even into the sea. Finally I asked them where their companions were and they said close by. Just then I saw one of their men going out from their camp for water with a bucket, being about five hundred yards from where we were, down over the hill.
This Indian who had never lowered his gun said to the man in charge, "Why not send our other companion down to the camp to tell the others to come up here?"
And at that the man turned around to go. I told him to stop or I would put a bullet through him even though they put two through me, as I was in command there.
The man in charge said, "You let us go to our camp and we will let you go to yours."
We agreed but the Indian never lowered his gun until I suggested that if he did not, he would be shot and anyway he would have to because they were going to their camp, so he did.
As we turned toward the colony the chief said, "There are three of our men gone down there and we recommend that nothing happens to them."
As Brother Cox and I rode we came to where we had met Brother Seavey that morning and saw him coming again. He advised that three men had come down the river and talked with Sister Baker. Brother Nielson had met and followed them. When they had seen they were being watched they went into the mesa east of the colony with Nielson in pursuit.
I then sent Cox down to tell Brother Romney to send me some men as I felt these men were going to come into the colony. But he had already sent some men to the hills. On my way to this point I met Brother David Johnson coming with some horses and he said he had seen Nielson following three men riding fast towards the north, and fearful for his safety I thought the only thing to do was to follow him but looking down towards the colonies I saw some men coming and waited for them. They were Carlton, Judd, Taylor, Stowell and Dory Cox.
We followed along up the ridge to the north and saw Nielson riding back and forth in front of these three men who were four hundred yards to the north of him who were asking him to come over where they were. And still farther to the north we saw a bunch of twenty-five Tomoches coming up out of the Tinaja wash onto the Mesa. These men wanted to have a parley and it was agreed that one of them who was the second in command of the Tomoches should come out of the bunch and meet me and have a parley. He let down his gun and I mine and we walked within fifty yards of each other.
He said they wanted to come through the colony and go on south and I advised him they would not be permitted to; they would have to go out around the colony. He said if we would not allow them to come by permission they might come any way. I advised him that we had plenty of men well armed and we would clean them out if they did, and I marked the way they should go. He went over to the main body and had a parley and we moved on up and followed along where I had left Brother W.R.R.Stowell and two of the men and had taken Brother Stowell and E.L. Taylor down the canyon and on the ridge there were six men horseback coming to attack us and as I looked down over the ridge I saw ten men coming afoot. They had almost surrounded us and for the moment it appeared the only thing to do was run.
We started to run down the ridge when the thought came to me that they could roll rocks down and kill us and I hollared for my companions to come back, they being in head of me. We all stopped and I had them walk back and forth as if we had a lot of men. Our enemies stopped and went the way we motioned them to go. We followed them the rest of that day and by night had their camp located. It was west of the colony on the top of the mountain to the west of the MacDonald Spring. I had previously sent word to Casas Grandes of the presence of the Tomoches by a Mexican who was working for me and when we got to the colony the commanding officers in Casas Grandes had sent twenty-five soldiers, twenty-five citizen volunteers and ten gendarmes and we had a counsel.
They said they were anxious to capture these fellows dead or live and I marked out a plan by the which we could surround them. They said to wait until the morning and then we had another counsel and they asked me to take the trail and find out which way they were going and when I found out to advise them and they would immediately come and destroy the whole bunch. So at daylight I left with E.L. Taylor, Jerome Judd, Peter C. Wood, Carl Nielson, Cox and Brigham Stowell. We went to the top of the mountain about at MacDonald Spring and found that their trail led us to the south. We followed it until we came to a canyon leading down into the stairs country. Instead of following their trail across the canyon and up the high ground we went right up the canyon but when we neared the pass we saw a horse with a saddle on and a man immediately stepped out and shot his gun as a signal.
I said to Brother Taylor, "You know the trail. Take it."
And as we ran by them they opened up fire on us and when we got down the ridge to a point of defense I told the brothers to stop and we would return the fire. We did so and about twenty minutes kept it up but saw they had the advantage of the ground and decided we had to get away because bullets would soon be coming where we were. We went down the ridge, and sure enough the bullets began falling around us. One hit a rock which Brother Wood was behind and lead sprinkled into his thin hair. I had already sent Brother Nielson to advise the people of Juárez and the soldiers that we had found the Tomoches and to come on. We took a position about five hundred [yards] from the Tomoches and remained there for two or three hours waiting for the Federal soldiers to come and take part and capture the Tomoches but instead of that they seemed to be afraid. The only ones coming were the gendarmes and the brethren decided I should go out and talk with the men while they held a fortified position near the Alameta ranch as the Indians had come through the Tomoche pass and through the low ground.
I could tell these Gendarmes were nervous and wanted to return to Juárez. When I got to Juárez, Nielson recognized me and said, "Here is the Captain."
He called to meet me with Brother Carlton. They were the guides for the Gendarmes. We held a parley and the Lieutenant in command of the Gendarmes said he had instructions to tell us to come on into town. So we rode into Juárez and reported to Major Romney, and he immediately took us up to where Brother Teasdale was.
Everyone in the colony were anxious because Brother Nielson had reported that the Tomoches had us surrounded and probably had killed us all by this time. Brother Teasdale looked upon us and blessed us that wherein we had protected our home town the Lord would bless us and be with us and we would have power, but the enemies would not have power to destroy us.
We later had a parley with the Mexican officials, and instead of being anxious to follow Tomoches, they were the most fearful lot of men I ever saw, to be under arms. They said those Indians had a charmed life and bullets would not harm them; that one Tomoche could whip a hundred other men. As soon as dark came they all disappeared towards Casas Grandes. Some of the brethren were alarmed, fearing the Tomoches would attack the colony during the night. I replied, that with six men we had whipped them the day before and that there was no fear of their attacking for they too were afraid of their lives.
The next morning a small body of men went with us out to the Alameta ranch and up into Tomoche pass where we found that they had killed three beeves and only taken a small part of the meat with them, having left in a hurry after the fight. We followed their trail and found they had gone to the west of San Diego and later saw they had gone to a little Mexican village known as Rusio south of San Diego and continued their way south into the mountains.
I knew that I would always know the Indian who had never lowered his gun. I had arrested a couple of men in Colonia Juárez for drinking and carousing and had handcuffed them and left them under guard with a man by the name of Pablo Soso at the store; While I went home to get my horse and dinner preparatory to taking them to Casas Grande. When I returned I saw the two men sitting under a tree with a man under another tree with my pistol in his hand and I looked at him and knew him to be this Tomoche Indian who was one of the party who held Cox and I up on the mountain. As I shook hands with him I recognized him and he recognized me but said he had never seen me before. He was no other than Juan Soso, the man who had to be killed in Juárez later when they arrested him for stealing. He was a man of exceptional nerve and courage and became a bandit, and was very bitter in his feelings towards the Mormons before he died.
A short time after John Soso came to the Colony I employed him and one day while he was on the top of the mountain finishing up a piece of road I had given him to do, going up the mountains to the saw mill, he in confidence told me this: He said we were the only outfit that had opposed them as strongly as we had; that he wondered why they could not kill us. They had fired about three hundred shots at us and had not hurt any of us. He said that in the fight at Tomoche Pass we had killed two of their men and wounded three others. This makes it evident that we were protected by the power of the Lord or we undoubtedly would have been destroyed by these men who had caused the deaths of so many.
A few months after they passed through the country. Apostle Teasdale and his counselors, Alexander MacDonald and Henry Iring, after having understood the reasons of the uprising of these Tomoches they directed a communication to President Diaz siting forth the reasons of this uprising and asked that these men might be given another chance and that they might be forgiven for their past deeds. This was taken into consideration by the President and his cabinet and these Tomoches were given a reprieve.
My first trip to Sonora: As I have previously stated, on my trip to the mountains after the Apache Indians I had become sick and had had an examination by two doctors who said I had Bright's disease and my health was very poor. President
Joseph C. Bentley had gone to El Paso and Mexico City and on his return in a conversation with Max Weber the manager of Ketelsen and Degatau's Banking and Mercantile Institution, arranged to get me to purchase cattle. Brother Guy Taylor and myself started to Sonora and on our way, over at Ojitos, Chihuahua we met an old French doctor who looked at me and said:
"Young man, you are in a very bad condition but you are going to the country where you can get a medicine that will cure you if you will take it as a medicine and not a beverage."
This was Mescal de Cabeza. Just previous to my leaving home I called upon Apostle Teasdale and while talking with him I told him of my anticipatory trip and my bad condition of health. He immediately stood upon his feet and laid his hands upon my head and gave me a blessing in the which he said I would find on this trip to Sonora the medicine that would restore my health; and also that I would encounter people who would oppose the principles of the Gospel.
"I hereby set you apart and give you a mission to preach the truth of the Gospel in this foreign tongue, and I make you the promise that there shall not be any one who shall rise up against these sacred principles that shall have power either to confound you in your language or their own for you will have the gift of tongues. You will be able to confuse and bring to naught those who oppose you."
And sure enough on this trip when I was staying at the little town of Guachinaro, Sonora, there was living at the house I was staying at a Catholic priest. I remained there some eight days awaiting returns from a messenger that had been sent to the pueblos south and west to find about some cattle. I had had a number of conversations with this priest and one Sunday morning he had made an appointment with some of his people of the little town and while we were at breakfast in the large sala of the house the people began to come in and they filled the parlor. The priest with a Bible in his hand and his other books stood up and began to speak, referring to me and my religion. The notes that he had taken, had been taken during his conversations with me. He ridiculed and asked me a number of questions in the presence of these people.
One of the most potent questions was: "The Idea of this man professing to be a follower of the Master when the church that he is a member of was only organized some sixty years ago while our church has come down during the ages from the Master Apostle Peter."
I asked him some questions and said if he would confine himself to the Bible I would be glad to discuss this matter with him and before I knew it I was standing on my feet and preaching the simple principles of the Gospel of the Master in the language of those people and the power of testimony and the Spirit of the Gospel came to me with such power that the Father of the village, Mr. Leonardo Doriella arose.
He said, "Stop! This man is teaching us the pure principles of the Gospel of the Master. We as Catholics are sinning against all of our traditions in listening to a new religion, even if it is the truth."
He went on to say, "My good friend, what you have said is true but I am sorry that we cannot accept it because we are Catholics."
The Catholic priest was confused and confounded and from that time on, during the remainder of my stay he made himself absent from my presence; thus bringing to pass the promises that were given me through the prophet Apostle Teasdale; also I found the medicine that restored my health and became strong and healthy again, thus proving the efficacy of the promises of the servants of the Lord under the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord.
In 1902 Apostle Teasdale and his wife came to visit us in Colonia Morelos Sonora. There was a terrible drouth throughout all the land and the rivers had ceased running, and to the north and east the San Bernardino river and the Big Bavispe river had no water running in them. The people had planted wheat and barley and it never had had any water on it and it looked very discouraging and the people were desirous of cutting their grain for feed when Brother Teasdale and his wife came and we explained the conditions to him and in the morning I advised Brother Charles W. Lillywhite who was superintendent of the Sunday School, to arrange the children in two rows in front of the door of a building we had made to hold our services in. I advised them to begin singing the favorite hymn or Brother Teasdale, "In our Lovely Deseret."
We all went in and took our seats except Brother Teasdale and as he stood up there before the Sunday School had opened, he spoke as I have never heard mortal man speak.
"I, the Lord your God, declareth unto you that your crops will mature and you will have plenty for your own use and to spare for your neighbors. This is the beginning of the times of the changing of the seasons and you will have the early and late rains if you will serve me and keep my laws and statutes and be united. This will be a land of plenty unto you. But if you cease your obedience to my laws and statutes this will not be a land of Zion unto you. Thus sayeth the Lord, your God. Amen."
The crops did mature, and as the Lord had promised we had plenty for ourselves and sold a great many tons of flour and barley to the neighboring mining camps of El Tigre and others at a good price. But we did not get a drop of rain on those crops and some of the brethren despaired.
"Bishop," they said to me, "we think we had better cut our grain for feed, as there is no water and not a chance in a hundred that we will get any grain."
I replied, "The Lord has promised it unconditionally and He never fails when He makes a promise."
Later the people became disunited because the Devil sent a man among us who sowed the seeds of discontent. This man had been a Latter Day Saint and had apostatized. His name was George Noble. Peace ceased to reign in that colony. On a trip to Salt Lake City to Conference while I was conversing with Brother Helaman Pratt in the railroad station of El Paso, this man, Noble, heard me talking. He was lying in the baggage room on a stretcher with his leg broken. He asked that I go in and see him and Brother Pratt and I went in and he confessed his guilt and said that he taken what means he could from the people and was leaving for his home in Utah when the horse he was driving had kicked him and broken his leg. He asked me my forgiveness for what he had done. Brother Pratt and I administered to him and he went with us on the same train to Salt Lake City. Brother Pratt and I administered two or three times to him on the trip and saw he had something to eat. But he only lived four or five days after arriving in Salt Lake City, and being in the hospital.
A prophecy and fulfillment by Apostle John Taylor: In the year 1898 Apostle John W. Taylor, A.W. Ivins, Brother Helaman Pratt and myself went to Colonia Oajaca, Sonora to try and settle some land difficulties between the brethren living there. After holding two or three meetings we saw it was impossible to bring those people together and Apostle Taylor made this statement in a priesthood meeting: He had had a pair of bull pups that he was very fond of. He bought a piece of venison and gave each pup a piece. They both took hold of their meat and looked at each other and began growling. They dropped their meat, jumped at each others throats and began chewing each other and a strange dog came along and got their meat.
"You people remind me of these bull pups. We came here to feed you on venison but your prefer bull dog. Now I say unto you that unless you repent of your sins and become united this land will become desolate and unfit for Latter Day Saints to live in, and this very house that we are holding this service in will be used as a ranch house and a place for strangers to camp. I say this through the authority of the holy priesthood I hold, and in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
And verily these people did not repent and these very conditions prophesied by Brother Taylor came to pass.
One more wonderful experience in which Apostle Teasdale again manifested the spirit of Prophecy: The people of Colonia Juárez had become very much disunited and because of a gross misunderstanding in regard to an action of President Alexander MacDonald the majority of the brethren got up a petition and sent it to Salt Lake City to have Brother MacDonald released from his office. I was one of the signers of this petition and manifested more zeal than wisdom and more audacity than humility and I remember at conference when the brethren were being sustained in their offices that I alone voted against Brother MacDonald. After one of the conferences Brother Teasdale instructed the Bishop to investigate my case and try and make me see the folly of my presumptuous attitude.
So one day in accordance with these instructions I was called before Bishop Seavey and his counselors, but to no avail. My blindness and stubbornness was such that they gave me no light in the matter. Brother Teasdale had advised them that if they could not reconcile me to my wrongs to send me to him, so immediately on being dismissed from the bishopric they directed me to Apostle Teasdale's home. I knocked at the door of Brother Teasdale's office. He got up and opened the door and told me to come in.
He said to me, "My boy, did the brethren have the right effect upon you?"
I with a spirit of bravado said, "Should one man forgive another when he does not repent?"
Brother Teasdale looked at me and it appeared that his eyes were consuming my very soul for all of the bravado in me left and I bowed my head and tears filled my eyes.
When I could get courage I said to him, "Brother Teasdale, I know my duty now."
He asked what my duty was.
I replied, "It doesn't matter what other people do, it is my duty to forgive them. And if I do not the Lord will not forgive me."
Brother Teasdale said, "As with Peter of old, flesh and blood has not revealed this to thee but our Father which is in Heaven. I have been praying that you might have an understanding and see the light."
As I rose up he came forward and placed his hands on me and blessed me and that spirit of forgiveness has always remained with me even until this day.
Another incident in which Teasdale figured in my life: I was very anxious and prayed to the Lord for a blessing to come to me as I was desirous to enter into the law of plural marriage and the door seemed to have been closed and I could not get any answer to my prayers.
While I was in the company of Apostle Teasdale in Colonia Diaz he said, boy, I want you to come and take a walk with me.
As we walked around the block of Bishop Johnson's lot he had his arm in mine.
But he stopped all at once and faced me and put his hands on my shoulders. It was a beautiful moonlight night and there with the power of the priesthood he blessed me and made me a promise. He said I should have the privilege of entering into the sacred, holy law and to be humble and listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit and those blessings would be given to me.
I had found very much opposition with my wife, Mattie. She had repeatedly said that if I ever married another wife she would either commit suicide or would never live with me another day. I was converted to the law and tried to explain and convert her but all to no avail. She was obdurate in her desires and sentiments. But one day in the afternoon while I was in Diaz on business the promptings of the Spirit of the Lord came to me and told me to go out into the brush and pray. I got on my horse and rode out into the Mesquite brush north of the colony and there kneeled down and in a few words poured out my heart's desire. I asked the Lord that if it was His will that I enter into this high and holy law that he should convert by his Spirit my wife because I loved her and wanted her to enjoy the same blessings that I would enjoy in this matter. That if it wasn't his will that it would be made known to me by the lack of her conversion.
On my return to Juárez my wife met me with the baby in her arms and with a sentiment that had been unknown in our home for many months.
As we knelt down to prayers that evening she said to me "Just after a minute I have something to tell you."
She said, "Night before last I had a vision in which I found myself standing in the doorway and just inside of the door was a pulpit and on this pulpit was the largest book that I ever saw and standing beside it was a man dressed in a temple robe, his arms nearly to the elbow and his feet above the ankles were bare, and part of his bosom; he had a white beard. He pointed his finger at me and told me not to oppose my husband in doing what is right or my name would not be written in that book. I knew that it was the Book of Life."
She knew what her opposition had been and her spirit had altogether changed and her ideas and desires in regard to that great and holy law, plural marriage, were also changed.
She said, "Now I am not only willing but anxious, and do not allow an opportunity to pass without entering into this principle."
Some months later she wrote a letter to a young lady that I had spoken to her about and told her that she would be glad to accept her into her home and our family; a wonderful change brought about by the power and Spirit of the Lord, and in succeeding years she never opposed me in that high and holy principle, another evidence that the futile efforts of man without the Spirit of the Lord are vain, but when he has the power and Spirit of the Lord everything is success.
While living in Juárez I had gone into business with E.L. Taylor in the purchasing and disposing of cattle and while we were in this business six years we got along very good. I should like to pay Brother Taylor a compliment, in that we never had a cross word or any disagreement in our whole career of six years of business. I found him upright and honorable in his business dealings and I learned to love him very much. While on one of his trips to Deming, New Mexico, I had been called to El Paso by a telegram from the banking house of Ketelsen and Degetau's. I had expected to return home in two or three days.
On reaching El Paso he wired to me and said, "Come down here immediately. There is trouble.
When I got there I found he had information that there had been some raids on . . . .
[Page is missing]
[For the subject of this missing page, see pages 30 through 34 of Memories of Orson Pratt Brown, 1863 1946, printed by C. Weiler Brown, December 1980.]
We rode into Deming. I felt that my duty was the first thing to perform and felt that I would get the protection of my Heavenly Father in doing my duty. I went to a hotel and secured a room then went down to a store of a man by the name of Bullock, who was my friend and he was surprised to see me. He told me they would sure get me if I remained. He said it was a public affair that if I ever returned to Deming they would kill me. I asked him to go see the sheriff whose name was Pink Peters and who had assisted me previously in running down and putting in jail some of these outlaws. Peters came up to my room.
He said, "Brown, there is no use; they will kill you as sure as the world if you remain here. I will arrange for you to go out in the night on the freight train to El Paso. Do not come down stairs at all. I don't want to be seen in your company because they will kill both of us. See, I have even taken off my gun."
I told him all right. That I would decide what to do. He said he would send a messenger to see whether I decided to go out on the freight train. After he left I kneeled down in the room and prayed.
I said, "I am here on Thy service and for the protection of the interests of Thy people. If it is Thy will I should run away and hide put fear in my heart. If is Thy will that I should stay here and meet these enemies, make me to have the courage of a lion that I may not fear to meet them. Help me in this labor that I have come out to perform."
As I stood upon my feet I felt that with the courage that came to me I could whip a whole regiment of that class of outlaws and people. I walked down into the street and noticed on the corner a man who had bought from others stolen animals belonging to me. While I was talking to him the man who headed the gang of bad men, John Cox, came out a saloon door and started to walk across the street.
This man I was talking to, Jack Gibbons, said, "There is John Cox now. He will kill you on sight."
I said to Gibbons, "You wait here and watch. Something is going to happen now."
I had on an old corduroy vest and I cocked my pistol and put it inside my vest and started for this man. When we got to the middle of the street I had no other thought than that this man would fight. When he turned around I advanced towards him and when within about eight feet of him I stopped.
I said, "Is your name John Cox?"
He said it was.
I said, "Well, my name is Orson Brown, Mormon Brown; and as you said you were going to bury him if he ever came around here I thought I'd like to be present at the funeral. Get your gun, you coyote! We'll see who is going to be buried first!"
He threw up his hands and started to walk backwards and I told him he did not need to run as I could run as fast as he could. I took him to a nearby store and took off his gun and told him to never wear it again. I said I had come here to make a cleaning of his kind.
In the store I met three of four of my friends who had just happened to come in and were trying to decide what they were going to do about these outlaws.
These bandits began to quiet down and after remaining there about three weeks to finish up business affairs in relation to Gruell's sheep I returned home; another evidence of the promises of the servants of the Lord being fulfilled when we are humble and obedient and subject ourselves to the will of the Lord.
[On the] return home I found there had been a new organization in the st[ake presidency, torn page] A.W. Ivins as President and Henry Eyring and Helaman Pratt as counselors. [I was torn page] called into counsel by these brethren and asked if I would accept [the calling torn page] of a High Counselor in the Juárez Stake and was set apart and ordained [? My torn page] association with these brethren, both in the council and in visiting the [branches torn page] and wards was always a joy and satisfaction as well as an inspiration to me. I had the privilege of becoming very intimate with these brethren and found [them torn page] to be of the highest type of manhood and sincere and devoted Latter Day Saints.
Two years previous to this, when I was in El Paso I was met in my room in the hotel by a man by the name or Captain John Hart and his associate who was afterwards editor of the El Paso Times, by the name of ________.
They came with a proposition to make me. They said that they had an idea and desired to invade the west coast of Mexico and take the two states of Sonora and Sinaloa and form a new republic. They explained the richness and desirability of these two states as both a mining and agricultural and horticultural center and said their object in seeing me was to find out what the attitude of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was towards this kind of an invasion and asked if the church would not be interested and put up part of the finances to finance this expedition; that in return they would allow the Mormons to go in and live their religion together with the principle of polygamy and turn over the civil government to them while they would have in hand the military forces. They felt sure that within a short space of time they could get recognition from the U.S. and other foreign governments. After they laid before me their plans and expectations I spoke.
"In the first place the church to which I belong is not interested in all in any such a program and in the second place I am a Mexican citizen and if you made any invasion into Mexico, with all my power and force I would resist you or any such invasion."
They went away from my room-considerably crestfallen, and their project, not receiving encouragement, fell down.
In the month of November, 1900 I made a trip to Kansas City on business and while there I went down to Independence and was on the temple block on the Sabbath day, strolling around when I felt the spirit of prayer and I kneeled down under a large oak tree just west of the church building belonging to the Josephites and there poured out my soul to the Lord. While in the attitude of prayer a very strong impression came to me that I was going to be called on a mission and I rose up and pondered and thought and wondered what that mission was going to be. I returned home to Juárez and told this to my wives, for in the meantime the Lord had opened up the way and I had married another wife. We had before this time arranged plans for doing some more building.
I said, "We will suspend that for the present for I know that I am going to be called on a mission, just what or where it will be I do not know."
In the early part of 1901 as we came out of a high counsel meeting, President Ivins put his arm into mine and walked over to my gate with me.
When we got there he said, "Orson, every time I think of Colonia Morelos I think of you and I cannot think of it only with you in my mind. I know that it will break you all up financially for you told me of your plans for building but I feel that there is where the Lord wants you to labor."
I said, "If there is where the Lord wants me to labor there is where I will go; I am no better than you or any other servant of the Lord that I should not make any sacrifices." And we both shed tears together and he went over to his home.
I did not sleep much during the night, thinking of the matter and early at day-light I was up and over knocking at President Ivins door; he, having awakened early, let me in.
I said, "Brother Ivins, I have come to tell you that regardless of what sacrifices, financially, it may cause to me, I have come to say to you that I want to go and be where the Lord wants me and where his servants see fit to call me."
And we both shed tears of joy again together.
He said, "Your name has already gone up north. Prepare yourself and make ready to move."
So I began to get ready to move to Morelos, Sonora. Again my wife Mattie was impressed.
She said to me, "Orson, I think you ought to take another wife."
I asked who it should be.
"I heard you speak very complimentary of Bessy MacDonald. I believe she would be glad to join our family."
So before going to Sonora I spoke to her about the matter and also to her father. My wife, Mattie took Bessy by the hand and gave her to me, the sealing being performed by Bessy's father, Alexander MacDonald. Another blessing come to me for in her I found one of the most noble souls I have ever known; a wonderful counselor, splendid mother and a worker in the church. She brought peace and harmony into my home. A few days later in connection with Brother Ivins and Helaman Pratt I went to Diaz and from there to Morelos and was presented to the people and ordained bishop. One of my counselors was the most faithful man I have ever known, Patriarch Alexander Jameson. The other was elder L.S. Huish. I began to move my families over to the colony Morelos.
But previous to this time [about 1895] Brother Ivins had sent me to Colonia Oaxaca to try and arrange a settlement with Colonel Katzerlitzky and Parson G.C. Williams. A runner had come over from Oaxaca stating that Parson Williams had made the announcement that the Colonel was coming with his men and they were going to confiscate all of the interests of the people because they had not made their payments on the land. Presidents Ivins and Pratt were not able to go. On arriving at Oaxaca the next day the Colonel with about twenty men including the Presidente and judge of Bavispe, Sonora came down to Oaxaca and the brethren were all called together to the little school house and the Colonel arose.
He said, "You people have not paid your payments on these lands and we are going to confiscate all of your personal property, together with your improvements and unless these payments are made within ten days time you can walk out of here."
And Parson Williams, in a very rabid and excited manner, abused the people and told them that because they had failed, it had made him fail in payments. I then asked the Colonel what his legal status was and who had given him such executive power to confiscate this property without having given them opportunity to appear in their own defense.
He said, "The judge has the document and is going to execute judgement."
The people were very much excited but I said to the Colonel, "Let the judge read the document and let us see what it contains." I told the judge, "Please read that document that you have."
The judge arose and read the document and when he got thru I found that it was an embargo on the property of Parson Williams, only, and that he was responsible to the Colonel for the deal on the land. Then with considerable emphasis to counteract the audacity of their plans I spoke.
I said to the Colonel, "Apply the confiscation where it belongs but in the name of justice I defy you or Williams or this court who have brought here your plans, to place their hands on any part of this people's property." Then I turned to the people and said, "Brethren, rest on your arms; I am here to help you defend you[r] interests against these imposters who have come to take from you that which is yours."
With cursings, Colonel Kotzerlitzky arose and said to his men, "Vamonos! Vamonos!"
And I followed him to the door and he and Parson Williams went towards the Parson's home and I turned to the brethren and told them to be calm.
I said, "The devils are whipped at their own game. I am going down and prod the lions in their own den."
Some of the brethren were fearful for my safety but I said there was no danger for they were whipped and so I walked down where Parson Williams and the Colonel were with their men who were cursing because their plans had failed. As I walked into the house the Parson turned and ran out of the back door.
The Colonel said, "You have raised H----."
I said, "Yes, that is the way it is. You had H--- in your necks and a desire to raise H--- and I have raised that H--- and put it on your own heads. Don't you dare to touch any of this property or molest these people. They came here under a private contract with Williams and have complied with their part of the contract and it is up to him to make good with them. You have no right to expel them from their lands or homes."
Later, in connection with Brothers Ivins and Helaman Pratt and Bishop Scott, I went to Magdalena, Sonora, where President Ivins received titles to the Oaxaca lands, showing that right will prevail when you have the Spirit of the Lord with you.
Previous to the settling of Morelos I had made two trips into Sonora with Brothers Ivins, Pratt and party hunting for a place to colonize some of the brethren who were coming from the north and on the last one of these trips we had selected the present site of Morelos. On each one of these trips I was very much inspired with the wisdom and sincerity and greatness of Brothers Ivins and Pratt and on a third trip that I was making with them, when we arrived at Ojitos we drove up and there was a lot of men around. I noticed one man ride up to another and he was cursing. I could not hear just what he said but as he rode off the other man, Charles MacDowell, came up to me.
He said, "Mr. Brown, do you see that fellow going off? I think you know who he is; he just said to me that if you had your just dues your head would be shot off."
He also told me that this fellow had said I was going to get mine and for me too look out. I walked into the store and Brother Ivins followed closely as a guard. In the store a man by the name of Barker said to look out because people were after me. I had previously received a letter from an American from Montezuma, Sonora and one from a Mexican in Basaraca, Sonora stating that an outlaw and cattle thief by the name of Henry Ward was going to kill me and was supported by Colonel Kotzerlitzky.
This man Barker who was running the store said, "Henry Ward is due here on the 17th; this is the l4th, and I as a friend am telling you to be careful because he is a bad man and a killer and knows he will get protection from the Colonel."
We journeyed on to Colonia Oaxaca that night and the next morning early I got up and saddled my horse.
I said to President Ivins, "I believe that I shall return to Ojitos and get this famous outlaw, Henry Ward. I don't like the idea of those kind of fellows following me around and making threats."
Brother Ivins put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Orson, I will excuse you from the rest of this trip as I feel you are doing the right thing; but don't let him get you! If anyone bites the dust, let it be him."
And with this injunction and his blessing I got on my horse and returned to Ojitos and laid for my man three days and nights. He never appeared. I then went to Mr. Barker's store and wrote him a letter and left it at the store. I stated that this country was too small for me and him together. I said I knew of his threats and that if I did not get a satisfactory answer in ten days of the date that this country would not be big enough for us unless one of us was under the sod; that I was going to Juárez where I would await his answer;
On the fourth day after leaving Ojitos a messenger came with a letter from Ward pleading with all that was in him that I let him stay in the country; that he had made those threats because an enemy of both of us had tried to get him to do some dirty work and while he was drunk he had made these boasts. He said it was impossible for him to live in the U.S. and he had a family here.
I made my calculations and met him near the stock pens at the Tres Alamos, or Dublán stock yards.
I went up to him and said, "Is it peace or War?"
He threw up his hands and said it was peace. Two of his companions came up and we talked the matter over and he was always very friendly afterwards. He was murdered about twenty-five miles south of Morelos, together with his wife by a band of outlaws who had previously murdered three other Americans.
Another incident: While at Morelos we got word one Sunday evening that three Americans had been murdered together with their dogs and thrown into the Bavispe river. These men were hunters from the eastern U.S.; they had come down to Douglas, Arizona where they were outfitted, bringing with them their hunting dogs with a view of hunting Mexicans tigers. On arriving near the Tigre crossing on the Bavispe river they were met by this bunch of outlaws and the three Americans and their Mexican guide, while swimming in the river were murdered together with all their dogs and their bodies left within the river.
The officers of the law got after these men, and some men from the colonies with a posse had a fight with these outlaws on the side of the river in the early morning of Monday. The posse killed one of the mules and wounded two of the horses. They had taken these horses and mules from the Americans. We formed a posse at Morelos and followed them all the next day but they escaped into the mountains in the Tigre country. These Mexicans continued their depredations, one of them being the killer of Henry Ward and his wife, and stealing and robbing and things were looking very bad so I went to Hermosilio, the capital of Sonora, and laid the matter before the Governor. He suggested that I form a posse for our people and try and exterminate them.
But I said, "No, that would not do. Notwithstanding that we are Mexican citizens, we are one race and they another and this would raise the question of race and our people came here on a missions of peace and good example rather than to run down and exterminate outlaws." I suggested a plan to the Governor; that he send a man of his confidence among these men and find out just who they were, where they were and what they were doing.
He said, "Mr. Brown, I have not a man of that kind. Can you furnish one?"
I said, "Yes I can."
I wrote to a man in whom I had every confidence and he came and met me at the ranch in Morelos. I gave him instructions and started him out on his mission. He went out and down the river among those outlaws and mixed with them, drank with them, gambled with them and even participated in their movements a little. He found out their plans, who they were, and where they were located and brought me back the names of twenty-two men. One of them lived in Morelos. I sent this list to the Governor with the suggestion that his men meet me on a date that I set, at a point between Morelos and Fronteres. We met these men and outlined a program as to the method of procedure. They went down this river dividing into two groups, capturing sixteen of the men. When they had them all together they divided them into two groups and put a bean and a grain of corn in a hat. Two blindfolded persons, one of each group, drew and the group which drew the grain of corn had the chance of going and joining the army of Sonora which they were compelled to do; but the group getting the bean were sentenced to be shot and hung. Later one of the men that was captured made the statement that only three out of eight escaped meaning that out of the sixteen the fatal number of thirteen lost their lives, cleaning up that section of the country from murderers and bandits.
While I was in Morelos in 1903 I had the privilege of visiting the world's fair at St. Louis in connection with Edward Eyring; one of the outstanding features of our visit was when we reached New Orleans we saw on the bill-boards of the grand opera house "Brigham Young and the Danites." We bought our tickets early to get a good seat and it was lucky that we did for the seats were at a premium. This was one of the most damnable and outrageous plays that has ever been presented before a public.
I remarked to Brother Eyring, "I believe that if we should get up and denounce these lies and assert who we are these people would hang us to the rafters of this theater."
We visited the wonderful fair and found a great many interesting matters. We would go down to the fair grounds in the morning and take notes of the places visited and things that we wanted to remember and after three weeks of very interesting and educational matter we returned home; Brother Eyring to Juárez and myself to Morelos.
After my return home I had the most wonderful experience of my life. I had a vision in which I was standing at the south of the town of Morelos and as I looked to the south west, down the canyon where the river runs I saw the most terrible black clouds, and thunder and lightning that I have ever witnessed. It appeared that the storm was coming with such rapidity that it was going to consume the people who were all collected in back of me and as the clouds rolled and came towards us we all started to run to our homes. All at once the clouds stopped and opened up and out of a bright cloud walked a man whose hair hung in ringlets around his shoulders. He had a slight beard. He walked down in front of where I was standing. He was standing in a semi-circle of twelve little girls all dressed in white. I could see that this Personage had on a Temple robe; his hands and feet were bare and he was in a reclining position. I knew it was Jesus, the Son of God. I knelt down before him.
I said, "O! Father, in the name of Thy Son, forgive me, for I know that I am a sinner and know I am not worthy of this wonderful presentation."
Then the Master spoke, "Unless you can become as these little children you cannot come where I am and enter into My Father's kingdom."
And the vision passed and the impression that came to me was that it meant for the people, and me especially, to be humble and prayerful and clean in thought and action that we might have a share of the kingdom of our Father.
Previous to my going to Colonia Morelos I had a wonderful impression. At this time Joseph F. Smith was president of the church; John Henry Smith was one of his counselors. President John Smith and Heber J. Grant were guests at our house and while we were discussing matters pertaining to the colonies and the Church I had a very strong impression come to me that Heber J. Grant would be the next President. I spoke about this matter to Brother Ivins.
He said, "That could hardly be possible, Brother Brown, because there are four brethren that have the seniority of Brother Grant and besides from natural conditions it would be hard, because Brother Grant's health is very bad and he might be the first one of the five to go."
I said, "He will be the next President of the Church."
"Maybe you are right. We cannot always tell."
At this same conference I had had a wonderful impression: Just previous, having come down from Kansas City, I had met on the train a Lord from England and a sporting man from New York being taken by Colonel Hunt, then a sheriff in New Mexico to the Black Range in New Mexico on hunting trip. While discussing with them many problems the Lord from England said to me:
"Mr. Brown, why do you call this gentleman that has just been introduced a Colonel?" he said, "Do you know what regiment in the army he belongs to?"
Then the thought came to me which I gave him, "We may have captains and Colonels in industry and I think it more appropriate, because they are of greater value and service to the country for its development and construction then Captains and Colonels in the army who are educated for the destruction of material and mankind."
He said, "That is a wonderful idea and I am very glad for the information."
I had been introduced to these men by Colonel Hunt as a Mormon elder.
This New York man said, "Present company excepted, I desire to express my sentiments and give my reasons why I could not belong to any church."
He said the reason he said present company excepted was because we did not have on that long frock with the collar turned the wrong way and that pious long face and hypocritical look that accompanies hypocrites.
I said, "I beg your pardon, but an explanation is due."
He said, "That is what I want to give. My wife and daughters belong to one of those churches and they are continually being hounded by those D--- hypocrites. The long tailed hypocrites! I would not trust my wife or daughters alone with one of them for five minutes. The experience of me and my family is the experience of one thousand other honorable families and business men. The contrast between them and you I compliment you for and that you are not wearing the same apparel and have not the same look on your face."
This so impressed me that when I was asked to speak in the conference in Colonia Juárez I related the circumstance and made the suggestion that it seemed to me, being at this time our elders were aping and following the customs their dress of the ministers of the world, that we should change that custom in of apeing the ministers of false doctrine and wear plain business suits so that we could be distinguished and preach the plain truths of the Gospel of the Master; and in the days of Jesus the Apostles had gone around in the same plain clothes of the people.
John Henry Smith said, "My boy, I am president of the missionary work and you have given us an idea that I feel we should follow."
And immediately after this conference the elders going into the world to preach the Gospel were advised to wear the business suits instead of apeing the ministers of the world in their method and manners of clothing; showing that even the authorities of the church are open to suggestion for the betterment of the work of the Lord from others who are humble.
On the third day of July, 1903 while standing on a scaffold in connection with Patriarch Alexander Jameson, James Thompson, and Edward Vandluven, we were pulling up green cottonwood logs for the rafters of an adobe building for the supporting of a dirt root on a granary we were constructing to hold the tithing of the people. The scaffold gave way, precipitating Brothers Jameson, Thompson and myself to the ground. Vandluven, seeing the condition, grabbed the wall and saved himself from injury. Brothers Jameson and Thompson were slightly injured. The distance of the fall was fourteen feet and I fell and my head struck the ground and one of these logs weighing about five hundred lbs. struck me on the hips; my neck was broken, also my right shoulder and elbow and this log crushed my skull. While I was under this log the impression strongly came to me that I would not die from these injuries and a Mexican by the name of Pablo Soso who was tying the ropes to these logs to be drawn up, removed the log from my body. He straightened up my body and put me on one of the logs. I was conscious of the conditions and asked him to raise up my head, which he did. The brethren carried me into the house and administered to me and I told them not to fear that notwithstanding my critical condition I had had a strong impression that I would not die from these injuries.
They immediately went for Doctor Keet who came four days later and on examining my neck and skull and arm and shoulder said that while my neck was broken he feared that if he tried to adjust the joints under the present conditions that it might cause my death. So I remained thus with two joints out in my neck even up until the present time.
My shoulder and elbow were adjusted and my skull seemed to only have been cracked. While I was suffering in these conditions I found in my right arm the severest pain that I had ever experienced and it continued for twenty-four hours until I was left without any physical strength because of the intense suffering. It seemed that I could get no relief and that my life was fastly ebbing away and in my agony I cried out to the Lord and asked him to relieve this suffering or to take me to Himself. And in that instant there came to me a voice.
It said, "My son, if you cannot suffer the things your father suffered, you cannot come where I am. You must suffer without murmuring."
I knew that this voice was the voice of my earthly father, James Brown, and that he was standing by my side. And with this knowledge of my father being at my side and pleading for me and sympathizing with me, tears came into my eyes.
I said, "O father! Forgive me for murmuring and help me to realize and feel the spirit of repentance and relieve me of this suffering by letting thy blessing come to me. And for this knowledge and testimony and the understanding that my earthly father is here with me, I would be willing that my body should be torn to pieces or any other suffering that Thou seest fit to come to me."
Immediately I was relieved of all of that suffering and pain and a blessing came to me that is impossible to express in words for the Spirit of the Lord was there and blessed me to the extent that I could not express myself further.
About three days later I had another experience; the left side of my body was paralyzed; I had no feeling in my left side and no sight in my left eye. I was bolstered up in a large high-backed rocking chair and my head was tied to its back. By some means or other, I must have slipped down and gone to sleep, and my head fell forward and I became unconscious for the first time during all of this period of suffering. The Brother attending me, immediately grabbed my head and drew it back up and tied it again and when I became conscious I was so weak that it took several hours for me to be able to speak. It seemed that my life was ebbing away and after some twelve or fifteen hours in this distressing weakened condition my wife, Bessy, came to me.
She said, "Orson, shall I send for the elders?"
I told her yes and sent for Patriarch Jameson, Charles Lillywhite and George Bunker. It was in the very early morning just at daylight and as they came in Brother Jameson spoke.
He said, "Orson, what shall we do?"
I whispered to him to kneel down in a circle and each pray for my relief; and they knelt down and in turn prayed for me and they arose and came forward and Brother Lillywhite anointed me with holy oil and Brother Jameson was mouth in the confirmation and before they had taken their hands off my head I felt life come into my left side which had been paralyzed and dead; strength came to me and I was healed and the power of the Lord was so great in the room, though humble, that no one could speak for a long time. When I recovered I praised the Lord for his blessings that had come to me and we all rejoiced in the great manifestations of the Spirit and power of the Lord as I rose up from the chair, loosened the bandages from my head and spoke.
"I am healed."
I immediately asked for nourishment and I later asked for more nourishment and in the evening of that day took a cane and walked four blocks and did not feel a particle of pain in any part of my body and from that time my strength rapidly grew until I was able in three weeks time to get into a buggy and come to Juárez to conference over that rough road. A miracle had been wrought and, as Doctor Keet wrote in the Scientific Medical American Journal, that my case was one in a million that I should live under those conditions.
And after that conference the Spirit of the Lord came to me and in confirmation of the blessings that came to my wives, Mattie and Bessy, before I returned to Morelos the way opened up and the Lord saw fit to give me another wife and I took her back with me. This was Eliza Skousen.
Another incident: The next year I was riding out on the range looking after some cattle and horses when a thunderstorm came up and I was on my way home. This was on the Cabellero Wash, and I was in my shirt sleeves, as it was the month of July. I rode over under a large walnut tree and got down off my horse. As I stood with the bridle of the horse in my hand a voice came to me.
It said, "Get out from under that tree or you will be killed as Bishop Scott was killed."
I took three steps forward and the lightning struck the tree, peeling the bark down its side and my horse fell to its knees and I was full of electricity. I knelt down and thanked the Lord for the preservation of my life and for His voice which had come to me in a warning. The year before in the same month Bishop Scott had left Colonia Oaxaca and come up the canal with his shovel to look after the water and the next morning his dead body and horse were found. He had the bridle reins in his hands and the big tree was shattered; another manifestation of the power of the Lord when we will heed his warnings.
Another incident of a warning of the Lord to his people: One morning I rode across the Bavispe river from Morelos on my horse and rode up to where Brother Charles Lillywhite and Horace Lillywhite were building two small brick houses. They had the walls about four feet high.
Just as plain as the sun shining in the heavens I had a vision. I saw that whole section of the country being flooded with water and I saw that even the rock foundations of those two houses had been washed away by the flood.
I said, "Do not continue to construct those houses because they will be washed away until there will not be one rock left to show where they have been built. Your families will be in danger and it will only be a miracle if their lives are saved."
Then I rode across the river to the low lands where my second counselor, Brother Huish, was constructing an adobe house for his wife Ana.
I said, "Do not build this house for there is a flood coming. I just saw it in vision and it will wash away this house and your wife and family will only escape through the mercy of the Lord."
But these brethren continued in constructing their houses. In public meetings three different times I took occasion to especially relate this vision I had had and warned the brethren not to build on the low lands. There were a number of the brethren who took my advise and ceased their construction. This was in the fall of the year.
The next February the unusual thing happened. It rained for three days and nights without ceasing and the flood came down and washed away most of Colonia Oaxaca. It washed away those two little brick houses. The husbands were not at home but the girls and their father were there. He happened to feel the water around his feet in the night and they barely escaped with their lives, going onto the high grounds. Brother Huish's family only escaped by getting on the backs of horses and the horses had to swim to safety. This shows that if we will listen to the manifestations of the Spirit it will always give us warning.
Another very powerful testimony that came to me while I was in Morelos was the casting out of the devil in Brother Hunsaker. Brother Hunsaker had been afflicted with typhoid fever.
I came home one night from a trip and my wife said to me, "Brother Hunsaker is very bad off and in despair of his life. He is afflicted with a devil."
In the early morning Brother Jameson went to Brother Hunsaker’s home where there were two men waiting on him because he had driven his family from home. Brother Hunsaker, it will be remembered, was a man who had been on a mission and was a faithful Latter Day Saint and had entered into the higher law of plural marriage but had become somewhat discontented and had quarreled and even fought with one of his neighbors and had not been able to get the spirit of repentance. In his affliction he had failed to be humble but rather censured the brethren whom he had had trouble with and under these conditions the evil spirit of the Adversary had taken hold of him because he had not forgiven his brothers their trespasses.
As we knocked at the door the evil spirit said, "Here comes that old Bishop," with an oath, even before the door was opened.
When the door was opened, with the vilest kind of language he said, "I am here to stay. You have come to drive me out but I will not be driven out."
Brother Jameson and I knelt down and prayed before we got there, for the power and blessing and Spirit of the Lord to guide us in what to do. With my hat in my hand I walked into the house and Brother Jameson was inside of the door. In the name of Jesus Christ and by the virtue of the Melchizedek Priesthood which I held I rebuked that devil and commanded him to come out of Brother Hunsaker and depart from that house. And he came out and Brother Jameson said he heard the spirit as it left through the door. Brother Hunsaker naturally was weakened and fell back on his bed and tears came into his eyes and he confessed his failure to forgive his brothers and we administered to him and the blessings of the Spirit of the Father came to him and comforted his soul. But he was in such a weakened condition, the Adversary having wrestled with him so long, that he had a hemorrage and passed away in a couple of days but he had repented and the blessings of the Father went with him to the other side.
A very interesting experience I had as I was returning from Denver, Colorado where I had been to buy some Mining machinery: I was returning on the railroad on the Denver and Rio Grande to a station (Del Harte, Texas).
When I arrived at the station the conductor advised me I could catch the next train if I would hurry but it was about three hundred yards from one station to the other. As I got off the train I started running over to the other depot of the Rock Island. I saw the headlight of the train nearing the station. I had my valise and my overcoat and as I ran along and started to cross the track, just in front of the engine, I tripped and fell on the track.
I got what they call the "solar plexis" blow. The bells had rung and whistles blown but the engineer saw me and reversed the engine and stopped within three feet of me. He and the fire-man jumped out and lifted me up and took me around where I was put on the train. They put me to bed and by the next morning I was restored to myself. While on this train I became acquainted with a gentleman by the name of Watson who was on his way from his home in Chicago to Tucson, Arizona to see his son who had been a tuberculosis patient. He had fought forest fires in the mountains near Tucson and had had his lungs injured and was in a very dangerous condition. Mr. Watson told me he had been ambassador to one of the smaller European countries, and if I remember correctly, it was Belgium; he was a member of the Christian church and had a family.
When the train stopped at a station and they brought on some newspapers that had been printed during the night. They had an account of Apostle Reed Smoot fighting the Senate for his right to his seat. This Mr. Watson was a scholar and sort of an orator and as each of us read this account he made me this statement.
"Mr. do you know the greatest and worst cancer the United States has in her? It is her worst point in a social, political and religious way; It is the Mormon people; they ought to be exterminated. Do you know them? I heard one of their members give six lectures in Chicago, the famous Anna Liza Webb Young, and they were very interesting but the most damnable things were said that I have ever heard."
He asked what I knew about the Mormons. I said I had been privileged to mingle among them. I told him I had always found them honest and upright. I did not desire to tell who I was just then and told him I also was a Christian." So we began a discussion of the principles of the Gospel of the Master.
The people around us became interested and listened and I explained the gospel as revealed through Joseph Smith. But Mr. Watson said there was one thing he had never been able to understand and that was why the Lord had revealed himself to the people on the other continent but not on this continent and there must undoubtedly have been people on this continent and why he had left them in ignorance of the Gospel. I explained that there had been a record found hidden in a hill and it was written in gold plates and had been translated to our language. It bore witness to these people having been visited by Christ and the Church had been organized with prophets, Apostles etc.
He said that was very strange. That he had never heard of it.
I said, "Mr. Watson, you know we get into a rut and will not listen to those things that would be most beneficial to us."
He asked if I could get him one of these books. I told him yes. A lady had been listening and clapping her hands and thought this the most wonderful explanation of the principles she had ever heard. She asked what church I belonged to. I told her I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, commonly called Mormons.
Mr. Watson was very astonished and told me I had said some marvelous things. I told him that these were the principles of the Gospel as revealed through Joseph Smith and that this book was the Book of Mormon. They asked me about polygamy. I explained to them and quoted scripture and told them that only the finest of people could enter into the law of plural marriage. I said it had been revealed through the Prophet and I was a product of this high and holy law. And that I had also entered into this principle.
Mr. Watson embraced me and said he had never had such light come to him and was very thankful for it. I corresponded with Mr. Watson for eight months and looked up the elders in Chicago. Mr. Watson was just going to be baptized when I received a letter from his son saying his father had just passed away. Thus proving the power of the Lord in breaking down false information.
In the year of 1893 I had the glorious privilege, together with my wife Mattie [Romney Brown], to go to the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple in company with my very good friend, Joseph S. Cardon and his wife, Rhoda. We went together from Juárez by wagon to Deming and from there on to Salt Lake City and Logan where we had the privilege of going through the Logan Temple and receiving our washings and anointings and were sealed by Apostle Merril who was then presiding over the Logan Temple.
We then returned to Salt Lake where we had the privilege of going to the dedicatorial service of the Temple there; it was one of the most wonderful manifestations I have ever witnessed. While the choir and congregation were singing "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning," they were joined in this most wonderful hymn by a heavenly host whose description of their singing is beyond words. This gave me a wonderful testimony.
On returning home to Mexico I had the privilege of bringing with me my mother who has always been a wonderful inspiration to me; her faith and testimony was always a great blessing to me.
I have just remembered what a wonderful manifestation of the Spirit of the Lord came from Apostle Brigham Young, Jr. He was visiting the colonies and while at a conference in Juárez he was present with Brothers Moses Thatcher, Aaron Farr, his brother-in-law, and a man by the name of Hinds, the three having been disciplined by the church authorities and Moses Thatcher having been disfellowshipped.
Apostle Young arose and in the language of severity said, "I'm going to say something that may not be agreeable to some who are here. I give them an opportunity to get up and leave if they don’t want to hear what I'm going to say." He stopped speaking for a moment and there was a terrible spell of anxiety came over the congregation but when he continued speaking, instead of that harshness in his voice, it was mellow with the Spirit of the Lord which came to him and he bore testimony after testimony of the manifestations of the Spirit of the Lord.
I had invited Brothers Thatcher, Farr and Hinds to my home for dinner. We sat down to dinner.
I said to Brother Thatcher, "There seems to be something very wrong. It seems that the meeting was not quite complete. At all other meetings you have been sitting on the front row but today I noticed that you had a back seat, together with these companions, Farr and Hinds. We had a wonderful spiritual feast, did we not? Some wonderful testimonies were borne by Apostle Young."
He said " Yes, Brother Brown. But I too, had a manifestation and my cause will yet be vindicated and proclaimed from the house-tops. I was being persecuted by my brethren so I went into my secret chamber and knelt down to pray in these words: ‘O, Lord! Why is it that thou hast left me alone in this day of my trouble and tribulations.’ Then the voice of the master came to me and said, 'O, Moses! My servant, why is it that you rest your strength upon the arm of flesh.' After that manifestation how could I accept the advice and counsel of my persecutors and the Presidency of the Church."
I said, "Why Brother Thatcher, I can't understand why you place that kind of an interpration upon the word that came to you when in truth you are resting upon the arm of your own flesh and taking your own counsel and advice and the advice of the enemies of the work of God instead of those that could help you."
He went pallid and made no remark. It was a wonderful testimony to me that he had committed some great sin and was being blinded by the master hand of Satan and being guided by that power.
Another incident: I had the privilege of taking my wife Bessie [Macdonald Brown] and her two children to the Salt Lake Temple. In Salt Lake City I met my wife Jane [Galbraith Brown] who was studying medicine and mid-wifery. We went through the Salt Lake Temple where if we received our washings and anointings and the two little girls of Bessy's were sealed to me and after these wonderful ceremonies were performed, Apostle Teasdale, together with President Winder, took us through the Temple and explained all of its magnificence and pictures and the wonders, of that wonderful building. It was a glorious privilege and opportunity and as we were leaving Brother Winder pronounced a wonderful blessing upon us.
Then a little later I went to President Joseph F. Smith and in his private office I presented the records of sealing that were performed by Patriarch Alexander Macdonald.
He looked them over and said, "Brother Brown, all of this work that Brother MacDonald performed was duly authorized by me and I want you to take these records back to Mexico with you and keep them until a later date as we do not know under the present conditions what search may be made by our enemies for records of these kinds; and when the time comes, bring them back and have them deposited with the Church recorder."
At the breaking of the Revolution I had those records deposited and took them from their place for fear they might be destroyed and on the return of Apostle Ivins from El Paso during that period after our people had been driven out of Mexico, I gave them to him to be taken to Salt Lake City to be deposited as I had been instructed by Joseph F. Smith.
Another incident: While living in Morelos, I remember that the seeds of discontent had been planted among the member[s] of the colony, as reported in another incident, and I was very much concerned in regard to the matter. I wondered just how much of the responsibility and fault were mine. I continually prayed to the Lord to know whether or not my labors were acceptable to him and for inspiration that I might be able to be in harmony with his Spirit and be worthy of the place I had been called to occupy as a bishop. It worried me that I could not even have the peace of mind one should. I thus prayed and sought the Lord for more than a year without getting any satisfaction, for my prayers.
I, at this time, had just been to a conference in Juárez and in returning brought Patriarch, James Skousen, with me. When I awoke in the early morning I remembered that the Patriarch was leaving this morning for Douglas, Arizona. I remembered what Apostle Woodruff had said to me. He said he was in a like condition as myself, and wanted to know from the Lord something relating to his private life and he had asked continually without any results but when he was preaching from the stand in Snow Flake, Arizona he was looking down on the congregation and saw a man by the name of Hatch who was a Patriarch and the Spirit of the Lord came to him, and told him to ask this Patriarch and he would receive his answer.
When the meeting was over he took Patriarch Hatch by the arm and led him around to the back of the school house and told him he wanted a blessing. Brother Hatch laid his hands on his head and instead of giving him a patriarchal blessing gave him the answer to his prayers. Thus proving in truth that the patriarchs are the prophets of the Lord unto his people.
This morning when I was remembering this I retired to the barn and there knelt down before the Lord and asked him to reveal his will and answer my prayers through his servant, the patriarch. I returned to the call for breakfast and Brother Skousen was sitting at my left. I got through breakfast a little before he did. As I raised to go he put his hand over and detained me and said he had something to tell me and the Lord had a blessing for me.
I told my wife Bessy to bring paper and pencil and Brother Skousen rose and laid his hands on my head and began to speak in the name of the Lord and said:
"I, the Lord, have seen thy labors and thy strugglings before me and I say unto thee for thy comfort and blessing that thy labors have been acceptable and thy sins are forgiven. I bless you with health and strength and the spirit of humility. As long as you are prayerful and keep my commandments my Spirit and blessing will be with you."
I bear testimony to the fact that just as long as I did my part that His blessing and Spirit were with me; but when I ceased to do his will that Spirit left me and I was left alone to wander in darkness and doubt. But at no time did I ever doubt the promises of the Lord.
I remember another incident: While I was in Bisbee on business I visited the little ward that was presided over by Bishop John Warren, an old time friend of mine, and after the services in the evening, the bishop and his two counselors said they wanted to talk with me.
Among other things they said was, "We are continually being asked to join these secret fraternities. What do you know about the instructions of the authorities of the church in regard to this matter?"
I told them my understanding was you should not join these societies; that there was enough in our church to take care of all of the matters of the Latter Day Saints. But as these people were under rather peculiar circumstances I promised to wait and think it over.
On returning to my room in the hotel that night I asked the Lord in regard to this matter and I had a wonderful dream which I related to the brethren as follows. I dreamed that I had joined one of the secret societies and I had died and over my temple burial clothes I had the Masonic emblems; the robe and apron and other emblems that make up the burial clothes of the Masonic order. I thought I went up to a great gate in a wall that surrounded a large city and there met the gate-keeper and I thought he was dressed in temple robes.
He looked at me and said, "Who are you? What are you doing and where are you from?"
I told him all and that I had come to get entrance into that large city.
"Did you come to get in this city with those clothes on?"
"Yes, but I have my temple clothes under these."
"You cannot come here with those clothes on; there is only one thing to do. That is to return to where you came from, repent of this condition and those strange things you have been doing and take off those clothes, then come back with those clothes on that belong to the house of the Lord."
I awoke with the feeling that as far as I was concerned I would never participate in any secret orders. I told them the dream at breakfast and they said they were mighty glad the information had come to them; that they could not accept the secret orders.
About the year 1907, President Ivins and Brother Pratt came over to Morelos and asked me if I would like to be released from my position as bishop in that ward as they needed me over in Dublán to help bring together the contentious elements that were existing there and to help construct the canal to the reservoir. I replied that I would like to go anywhere the authorities wished me to go. So, in accordance with this, they released me as Bishop and advised me to arrange my business affairs and to go to Dublán as soon as possible. There I was called to be a member of the high counsel and assistant superintendent of the stake Sunday School with Bishop Jesse N. Smith and Lorenzo Payne, his first assistant; and we began immediately to hold meetings to try and bring about harmony among the people in Dublán and we organized the Lagoona Canal Co. and began operations. Just at this time the W.C. Green R.R. people who had been constructing a grade running south east from Casas Grandes into the Galeana Valley, broke up, leaving indebtedness to the Unions Mercantil of $20,000 and to Willard Skousen, of $10,000.
The Green Co. had quite a large grading outfit including mules, plows, freznos and harnesses and other material which they had been using in an independent grading camp of their own. I went out to El Paso and there found the real status of their interests which proved to be hardly more than ten percent of what they were supposed to be. I immediately reported to Brother Bowman this condition for he was intending to take notes from the Green Co. for the amount of money due the Union Mercantile Co. I suggested to him that they take this grading outfit instead. They had already attached this outfit but were about to release it and take notes instead of the outfit.
I went up to Juárez and met President Ivins who was president of the Union Mercantile Co. and laid the matter before him and he came down and had a consultation with Mr. Bowman, the manager, and Willard Skousen who owned part of the company and they accepted my recommendation and the Mercantile Co. got all of their money and considerable more out of the outfit.
The Madero Revolution, November 20, 1910: There were a great many rumors coming from the south of what the rebel movement was doing down there and around Casas Grandes Generals Salazar and Alaniz had gather together sixty or seventy men and they were riding around this section of the country independent of the Madero revolution.
We were called upon by the Jefe Politico, Mr. Mesillas, to go out scouting to the north east around the San Pedro mines as a rumor had come in that Salazar and his bunch were in that vicinity. Leon Pratt, Ammon Tenney, Ira Pratt and Nathan Tenney and myself went. At the stock yards north of the colony we got in a freight car and were taken by the train to Summit station and there scouted around that section of the country up to San Pedro and along the foot hills of the Escondido mountains but before we came to these mountains we found that what had been reported to be rebels were only work animals that were being used to freight oar from the Leon Mines to the San Pedro Mines. We came home and reported the matter to the Jefe Politico and shortly afterwards at a stake priesthood meeting held in Juárez it was decided that from then on we would try and remain neutral as far as taking up arms against either side was concerned. But at the same time we resolved we would defend our own interests against any intrusions.
At this time a check was made on our arms and ammunition we had in store and it was found that most of our arms were of small calibre and power and that if we came in contact with any of these rebel bands, they could attack us from a long distance and we would not have anything to defend ourselves with. It was decided that we ask the Church for means to procure arms and ammunition to put us on an equal with anyone. I was dispatched to El Paso with this object in view but found it was impossible to get these arms for the purpose for which we needed them. I was made general agent and delegated to get these arms as soon as possible.
While in El Paso I met my old friend, Abram Gonzalez, who was then acting as rebel governor of the state of Chihuahua as well as commander-in-chief of all of the forces of this state. In my conference with him I advised him we desired to remain neutral and it pleased him very much.
He said, "I have been very much worried about you people and your position in the country and feared that the Federals might force you into taking up arms against us and some of our bands of men and bandits might take advantage of the situation and bring on complications."
He took me and introduced me to Francisco Madero and together they wrote letters to be sent to all of the colonies to be handed to any rebel officers that might come around the colonies advising them in every way to respect the lives and property and interests of the colonies. There was no communication between El Paso and the colonies at this time because a band of rebels had torn up the Railroad track in several places and burned some bridges. I took these communications and also a letter to General Jose de la Luz Blanca who had come from the state of Chihuahua to the Tigre mining camp on his way to Agua Prieta.
I sent the colonies communications to Brother Junius Romney by my son Clyde [Brown] and I went myself, to meet General Jose who was then at the mining camp known as Pillares de Terras. This communication advised him to go to Ciudad Juárez with his troops as soon as possible.
He said, "I will go to Ciudad Juárez when I have cleaned up Agua Prieta and got money to take care of my needs."
So I went with him close to Agua Prieta and from his camp showed him the town and the most advantageous way to capture it.
He said, "Why, I am a military man. The idea of you, a civilian, giving me instructions."
I said all right and took the communication from him to the military chief in
Agua Prieta. This town was ordered to surrender to save blood shed but if they would not, the town would be attacked in the morning.
Blanco said, "When they see my army of 350 men and learn of my reputation as a fighter they will surrender."
I replied, "You might be very much mistaken, because these soldiers are not like ordinary Federal soldiers; they have been on the Yaki river fighting Indians for five years and know how to handle their guns."
During the night Agua Prieta received reinforcements and they started out to meet General Blanco's army. I had started with a communication from Hernandez to the Madero representative in Douglas, going around the west side of Agua Prieta and up the arroyo and when about five miles from Agua Prieta I spied General Blanco coming with his troops. I was just going to advise him about the reinforcements when I saw him coming on a white charger at the head of a column of men. Over at the north the Federal troops were approaching. I hid myself between two large desert plants.
The Federal soldiers attacked General Blanco and his men before they knew the Federals were anywhere near them and the General and all of his men fled leaving a nephew of Governor Abram Gonzalez, with sixteen Tahuamara Indians who were all on foot to guard their retreat.
These Indians, in their skirmish, killed six Federal officers; one captain, two sergeants and three corporals; they lost four of their own men and two were wounded but they had held the Federals off until General Blanco and his men had made good their escape.
The next morning I went around the west side of Agua Prieta and came to Douglas and saw Governor Hernandez of Zacatecas. He cried like a child because of Blanco's foolishness. The next morning at daylight I left and went into Blanco's camp with a letter from Hernandez advising him to immediately go to Ciudad Juárez.
On arriving at Blanco's camp I gave him the communication and told him the Federal troops were then on their way from Agua Prieta to his camp and were going to attack him again. They immediately saddled their horses and left camp, going to Ciudad Juárez, a very disappointed bunch of men. I returned to Morelos to the Pitaciche ranch to where my cattle interests were. I gathered a bunch of beef cattle to take to Agua Prieta where I had made a sale to a man by the name of Manuel Hernandez who lived at Agua Prieta.
We started with the cattle and as we drove the cattle into the stock pens to the east of Agua Prieta, about a mile and a half long the International Line we heard the rattle of musketry and saw they were fighting at Agua Prieta. General Rojas and a number of other men had come out of the mountain country coming up the Nacosaria where they got on the oar train and came up on the regular schedule and they fired from the train cars when the train arrived and drove the Federal soldiers, together with the customs guards, across the International border and took Agua Prieta.
While they were in this fight, the International line along the American side was lined with Americans, Mexicans and Chinamen and all kinds of people who were watching the battle. Manuel Hernandez and I rode down to the American Custom house and we could see rebels going into the back of his yards toward his house.
He said, "O God! What will happen to my family."
I asked permission to cross the line.
The American captain with a few soldiers said, "You cannot go over there. They are fighting and you might get killed."
At this I put spurs to my horse and crossed the line and rode to the house of Manuel Hernandez where I found the family frightened to death. I took charge of the situation and put five soldiers in front and five in back of the house with instructions not to let anyone pass; and I rode back into town. Twenty-five soldiers with a sergeant would be left at the military quarters to guard the retreat of the Federals who were crossing the line at that time. I met a commander of the forces who was General Madina; he had been sent down by Mr. Madero to take charge of the situation around Agua Prieta.
I said, "What are you going to do with that little bunch of Federals."
"If they will surrender they will come to no harm but if they don't we will kill them."
I rode over to the cuartel and asked them to surrender.
The little sergeant said, "It is better to die like men than dogs, because if we go into the rebels hands they will execute us."
I said I did not believe they would and began arguing with them and they agreed to surrender their arms. I agreed to take them over to the U.S. side. I crossed over alone first, and got two sargeants and two American soldiers and came back and we were just ready to escort these men across when some women came and said they had some of the soldiers in another place but we could not wait so we escorted these twenty two men over to the American side.
I immediately returned and found four more men who had taken off their soldier equipment and were only in their underwear and a rebel captain had them standing up against the wall to execute them. The firing squad was ready. I shouted at him and told him to stop and release these men.
He said, "By what authority?"
I said, "By the authority of Madero."
He believed me and gave the permission and I escorted the soldier[s] to the American side.
The Federals got reinforcements the next night from Canonea and retook Agua Prieta, holding it for a long time.
I returned to El Paso and found that General Blanco had arrived, increasing the rebel forces to a considerable number.
One morning while the Madero scouts were scouting near Ciudad Juárez, the rebels opened fire and they in return, returned the fire and that brought the rebel forces into play and they began running toward Ciudad Juárez and the battle was on without anyone having given orders. Then General Orozco gave orders to cut the water out of the canal and they came streaming along the river front and from there attacked the Federal forces, driving them back. This battle lasted fifty-six hours. Surrender was made to General Smutts of South Africa, and General Garibalde. General Orozco, supposed to be in command of those forces, had been in hiding up until the time of the surrender.
This battle of Ciudad Juárez was the key that opened the way for General Madero to take charge of Mexico.
I returned to the colonies after the battle at Ciudad Juárez and found that the Jefe Politico, Mesillas, had died. There was an alarm that Casas Grandes was about to be attacked by the rebels. Mesillas had climbed a ladder on to the top of the Municipal building and had seen a big herd of cattle coming
towards the town, which he took to be rebels. He became badly frightened, being hardly able to come down the ladder. He took sick and died and they sent Mr. Anastachio Mapola from Chihuahua to take his place. On hearing that I was here, Mapola immediately sent for me. I went up and he immediately demanded from me, one hundred armed men from Colonia Juárez and Dublán to protect Casas Grandes against any attack that might be made by the rebels. I advised him of the fact that we had decided to remain neutral as far as possible in the question of the Revolution.
He said, "If you people will not furnish me these men, when this revolution is over, I will see that the law, called the 33rd of expulsion, is applied to you people."
I replied that when this revolution was over, then we would see. I told him we would absolutely refuse to take up arms for either side.
Shortly after this he was driven from Casas Grandes and was taken to Chihuahua as a prisoner by General Villa's men and was executed.
On my return to El Paso from the colonies, I had received the money to purchase some arms and ammunition for the colonies. Previously I had asked the United States government in Washington, through Senator Smoot, for a permit to export two-hundred-fifty rifles and ten thousand rounds of ammunition to be used by the colonies in defense of their homes. In a meeting, as already stated, of the general priesthood it was decided we would stand our ground and protect our interests. Most of the arms we had were of small calibre and would not suffice to defend ourselves against the long-range guns, and for that reason we purchased these long range rifles and ammunition.
The President of Mexico had issued an order to arrest and execute any one that was found exporting arms and ammunition into Mexico other than those to be used by the rebel government; and there was a law in the United States to the effect that anyone found exporting arms and ammunition into Mexico without a permit from the War Department in the United States would be given from one to five years in the penitentiary and fined $5000.
I purchased a part of these arms and ammunition and loaded them on the train and shipped them in the name of T.G. Ernest, which was the alibi of Brother E. G. Taylor. He went down to a little station west of Columbus where the arms were scheduled to arrive and just as the train got there a Sergeant with two soldiers rode up on their motorcycles, coming from Columbus having received instructions that there was a shipment of arms on that train.
When the Sergeant saw Brother Taylor, he said, "Is your name T.G. Ernest?"
He said, "My name is Guy Taylor."
I had prepared a letter to the effect that Brother Taylor's mission and business in Mexico was looking after stolen horses, giving brands and colors of horses so in case he might get caught he could use this alibi. The Sergeant immediately asked if he had anything on him to show who he was, and he pulled out this letter. The Sergeant took it and read it. The Sergeant sent the arms and ammunition on the next train back to Columbus.
Brother Taylor came and met me and said, "They are on our trail; it looks like we are going to jail."
When he told me, I told him to hide out and we would see what could be done. I immediately went up to the telegraph office and wired Senator Smoot in regard to the matter and received information back that he could not see there was anything that he could do to keep me out of the penitentiary; that I should not have
shipped those arms without a special permit and that I was subject to the law. I then went up and saw General Stever who was our devoted friend. He was in command of Fort Bliss.
He said, "Mr. Brown, I cannot see there is a thing I can do for you. If you had advised me of this matter my men at Columbus never would have intercepted those arms."
For the moment it looked as though I was headed straight for jail. I got on the street car and was undecided what to do; in fact, I was worried, but I uttered a silent prayer to the Lord to inspire me to do the right thing and I immediately became calm and before I reached my room I felt as calm as a summer day. I went to my room and came out and the mail carrier had just come into the hotel and there was a letter from the War Department in Washington granting me the permit to export these arms and ammunition.
I immediately went down to the Federal court, as I had found there was an indictment against me, to see the prosecuting attorney. While I was sitting there he was examining some witnesses in another case and a man by the name of Sam Brown was being questioned.
The attorney looked at him and said, "Are you the Brown who is interested in exporting arms to Mexico."
Mr. Brown said that he was not. The attorney went on with his examination. I sat there about two hours until the court was dismissed for lunch, then I walked over to the attorney.
I said, "How are you, Mr. Oliver?"
He said, "Fine. How are you?"
I said, "I am curious to know what relation this examination you were giving to Mr. Brown has to this case here."
"It has this relation: That I am looking for this man, O.P. Brown and men are out seeking him for attempting to smuggle arms into Mexico."
I looked him in the eyes, "Why, don’t you know me?"
"Yes! By Jolly! You are O.P. Brown."
I said, "Yes, I am the fellow you have been looking for:" I pulled out this letter from the War Department in. Washington and said, "Now, there is a crisis on and these arms are being held in Columbus and if I am thwarted in getting them into Mexico I will feel like holding you responsible. I have purchased some more arms here in El Paso and I want you to give me a release for those down there and a release for these here, also."
He said, "Why did you ship those arms down there without this permit."
I said I wanted to get part of them down there first so they wouldn't be so bulky and likely to be suspected. But it seems the Mexican government had had a secret service men in the freight and express who had watched the shipments and had discovered this one.
"Come to my office and we will fix this out," said Mr. Oliver.
We went up and he checked the indictment against me off, and gave instructions to release the arms in Columbus and also to let me ship these arms from El Paso. These arms were received by Brother Taylor, Ira Pratt, Oscar Bluth and some others.
Just previous to this I had heard that Salazar, Alaniz and Emilio Campo were about to rebel against [the] Madero government. General Jose de La Luz Blanco was then quartered with about three hundred and fifty men in old Casas Grandes; I had come to find out the facts in the matter and while investigating in Nueva Casas Grandes I was held up by a Major and a Captain and a Sergeant who said they had information to the effect that I was a Madero spy. With drawn pistols they tried to force me behind an old store house that was just south of the station house where they said they were going to execute me. When we got to the center of the road between the station and the old Ketelsen and Degetau store, I stopped and told them to shoot. I pulled out my book and pencil and took the description of these men, then put away my book and pencil and told them I was going to go back to the Ketelsen building; if they wanted to shoot, go ahead. They punched me with their pistols. The one responsible for this, and he was present at this time, was Teofilo Hermosillo who was then acting as a Major in the forces of Salazar. I advanced towards the building.
Hermosillo said to the others, "Look out! He is a bad man."
They stepped to one side and let me go by but followed me with their pistols in their hands. That morning I had felt an impression to take my pistol out of my scabbard and put it around at my back in my belt and when they saw I had no pistol in sight they thought I was unarmed. I leaned against the wall of the building and it looked like a matter of life and death. I was reaching for my pistol to open up on these three fellows that were there when a man by the name of Reyes Portillo came in sight.
He said, "Hermosillo, companero, what are you doing with this man?"
He replied, "We are going to hold him here until Colonel Sylvestre Quevedo comes and then are going to hang him to the tallest tree at the crossing of the Casas Grandes river. He is a spy and is here in the interests of the Madero government. We are going to show this Mormons as well as the others where he will head in."
Portillo said, "He is the best friend I have."
Then Portillo told him an incident: While I was driving some work mules along the lane coming from Casas Grandes to Nueva Casas Grandes I met Portillo and his hired man in the road. The hired man had hit Portillo's work mare on the head with a shovel and killed her because she was balky. Portillo did not have another mare or horse to harvest his crops and was in need so I let him have one of the mules and said he did not need to pay for it until he got ready.
I have never paid a cent for that mule and he has never asked me for any money and it has now been two years...
"Will you respond for him," asked Hermosillo.
Portillo said he would. My wife was at David Spilsbury's place and I asked the privilege of taking her home for she was not well. They told me I could take her home if I would return in one hour. I replied I would return in one or two hours.
I immediately went and took my wife, Mattie, home and got my rifle and belt of cartridges and waited for them to come until after dark but they did not come. I got on my horse and started for Juárez. It seemed they had been watching my movements and a bunch were at the crossing of the river but instead of crossing there I went down farther. I heard these men and saw them; there appeared to be about fifteen. I went on to Juárez and stayed in the home of Brother Guy C. Wilson for two or three nights. Then I was taken to Pearson and got on the train somewhat disguised. Some of these rebels got on the train at Pearson, Nueva Casas Grandes and San Pedro, looking for me but I arrived at El Paso.
I found out on investigation that Salazar, Alaniz and Campo had made a combination with Pascual Orozco to raise up against the Madero government. Three days after I had left they gave General Jose Blanco an opportunity to leave or they would kill him. He also came to El Paso. A few days later General Pascual Orozco came to Ciudad Juárez and took all of his troops to Chihuahua, leaving the road open for Salazar and his followers to come into Ciudad Juárez and capture it, which they did without any resistance whatever. In fact, Mrs. Alaniz came into Juárez with sixty-five men and took charge of the city, looting the banks and mercantile companies, taking whatever they desired, waiting the arrival of Salazar and Campo.
Two or three weeks later Salazar, Campo and Alaniz, with their forces in Chihuahua joined with Orozco's forces and they commenced their march south, driving the government troops before them.
It must be remembered that Orozco had opposed the remaining in Chihuahua of any Federal forces of the old Federal government, and Madero, the president, had taken the troops out. And when they were marching south (Salazar, Orozco and their followers), they were met, just south of the city of Jiménez, by forces coming from Torreon and Mexico City.
In the fighting south of Jiménez, the rebel forces sent an engine loaded with dynamite in among the government trains and it exploded and killed many men of the government troops.
At one time, General Salazar, thinking the rebel troops were right upon them, committed suicide. The government troops became demoralized and retired towards Torreon but President Madero sent General Nuerta with reinforcements to stop the on coming of the rebels.
In the meantime, Mr. Llorente, the consul general in El Paso for the Madero government, had sent three men to the south in the rebel camp to try and get information as to their guns and amount of artillery and war equipment; but he asked if I could get a trusty man to go down and get this information. I found a man who took his wife and went into the rebels camps on pretense of looking after a sick brother. In this way he got the desired information and also a topographical map of surrounding country they were holding. On his return I went over the ground with him and we made a map of the hills and mountains and this map was sent to General Nuerta by a special courier hired by Llorente that he might know the exact situation of the rebels.
By this time, General Nuerta had his army equipped and started on his march northward driving the rebels before him. Before he arrived at Chihuahua, I went to Mr. Llorente and Alberto Madero, who was then acting as advisor to his nephew, the president, and I told them of my fears of the rebels coming northward and disturbing the colonies. I made the suggestion that there be organized in the state of Sonora a force of government troops, sufficiently large to come into the Casas Grande section and repel any invasions that were sure to be made by the rebels when they came north. They accepted my recommendation favorably and sent it to President Madero in Mexico City.
He in turn dispatched immediately, General Garibaldi, an Italian general, who had taken part in the battle at Ciudad Juárez. He sent him to take charge of this affair. I was asked by Mr. Llorente to purchase arms and saddles and make arrangements for the purchase of horses for this expedition, which I did.
I accompanied General Garibaldi to Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta to help out in the organization. I bought five-hundred rifles, fifty-thousand rounds of ammunition and arranged for the purchase of five-hundred cavalry horses and five-hundred saddles for this expedition while it was being organized at Agua Prieta, as a concentration point.
A man by the name of Juan Dosal, who had been General Villa’s chief of staff began to make trouble about having General Garibaldi take charge of this expedition and the troops that were organized refused to go with Garibaldi because of the fact that he was a foreigner. They demanded another commander to take charge of the forces. This somewhat delayed the expedition in its leaving of Agua Prieta. So Madero sent General Sanjinez, an old Federa1 general, to take charge of this expedition. Alvaro Obregón was behind these forces with one-hundred and fifty Yaki Indians.
In the meantime I had returned to El Paso and these men and equipment had started from Agua Prieta and had got as far as Oajaca, Sonora, and having some artillery with them, they were unable to move it over the mountains. The people in Morelos were loath to help them because they feared the after consequences of those who would come. I was dispatched by Mr. Llorente to Morelos and I arranged with William Nelson who sent over to Oajaca and got the artillery up over the top of the Pulpit Canyon.
The forces came to Ojitos instead of marching on to Casas Grandes and remained there sixteen days and in the meantime Salazar, Alaniz and Campo with the rebel forces had come over the NorthWestern Railway to Madeira and Pearson and Casas Grandes. At Madeira Salazar made a very strong anti-American, anti-foreigners speech. He demanded that all of the Americans at Madeira leave on penalty of extermination. He also made the Americans in Pearson leave for the U.S. Then he came into the colonies and they abused many of the families and homes. He demanded arms and treated them so that they could not stand it much longer.
Leaving a part of his men in Casas Grandes, he marched out towards Ojitos to meet the forces that were coming from Sonora and as they neared Ojitos they had what is known as "The Battle of Ojitos". The government forces drove the rebels back, but instead of following up their victory they remained at Ojitos overtime and then returned to Sonora.
In the meantime conditions in the colonies had become such that the people were forced to flee.
Previous to the people going out of Mexico I had the following dream: I dreamed that my son, Ray, and I had come down from Douglas, Arizona, going towards Morelos; that we were both riding horses and had a pack horse carrying the bedding and other things. We arrived at a ranch known as Cuchavirache which was about half way between Douglas and Morelos and as we came upon a mesa by the ranch house I heard the clanking of spurs and sabers and men riding down under the mesa.
One of the men said, "We will have to hurry to catch those fellows before they get to the colony."
I said to my son, Ray, "We had better take the upper road instead of going down the river."
As we rode along up the side of the steep hill, climbing up onto the upper mesa, my saddle cinch became loose and I got off my horse and while I was cinching my saddle I was surrounded by a number of black rattle-snakes; one of them especially large. He jumped at me and bit me on the left arm. After a fierce battle I was able to shake them off and I got on my horse and we rode along up the ridge. In the face and eyes of this large rattle snake was represented very vividly the picture of General Salazar and as we rode on top of the upper mesa I said to my son Ray who was ahead of me, leading the pack horse:
Take the left hand road and we will go around and back into the United States and these rebels will not get us for I know these rebels under Salazar are going to attack our people and they will have to come out of Mexico.
This dream so impressed me that on Monday morning I went to President Ivins who was in El Paso and I told him Salazar and his rebels were going to drive the people out of Mexico and I related to him my dream and the impression that I had received.
He said, "O, I guess you are mistaken. I have not had any impression in regard to this matter."
At this same time I wrote a letter to the President Junius Romney to this effect:
I feel impressed to say to you that Salazar and his rebels are going to demand the arms and ammunition of the colonists and will then drive them out into the United States. It seems to me the best policy to follow would be to deliver them the old arms and old ammunition and keep the new guns and ammunition that I have sent for your protection. I feel sure that the people are going to be driven out of their homes. I have received communications from Senator Smoot stating that he had just visited the Secretary of State and the President in regard to our critical condition and that if we did anything that might bring on international complications in Mexico, the American government would not give us assistance or protection.
This seems to me that our policy as to defending our interests and protecting our homes makes the conditions unendurable and we will not be able to do so."
The following day I received a letter from my sister, Cynthia Layton, in Thatcher. It said my mother was very sick and desired very much to see me; that she felt she might die at any time. I showed this letter to Brother Ivins.
He said, "I think you had better not go just now."
Then on Friday morning's mail I received another letter from my sister, requesting my immediate presence in Thatcher, Arizona; that my mother was much worse. I showed this letter to Brother Ivins and asked him what I should do.
He said, "Well, I think you had better go."
I said to him, "Brother Ivins, things in the colonies are in a terrible condition and I don't feel like deserting my post but if you say go, I will go and if anything happens while I am gone, you can wire me. At any rate, I will be back here next Monday morning.
I arrived at Thatcher Saturday at noon and found that my mother's condition was somewhat improved. She had received a wire I was on the way. On a Sunday afternoon while I was in Thatcher I was privileged to speak in meeting. While addressing the assembly I briefly related the critical conditions of the Saints in Mexico and asked the people of that community for their faith and prayers for the preservation of the lives and property of the people in Mexico and I was inspired to say that not only did we need their faith and prayers but also their materiel help, for at this time I knew the people would be having to leave because of Salazar and his red-flaggers.
After meeting was over I was asked to go and administer to one of our sisters who had previously lived at Morelos. On my return from that sister’s home I met President Kimball with a telegram from President Ivins.
It read: "Conditions serious return immediately."
When asked by President Kimball what I thought it meant, I said, "It means that our people have been attacked and are being driven out of Mexico by those bandits."
I returned home on Monday, finding that a train of our people who had been driven
out had arrived at El Paso. I immediately took steps to find places of refuge for them and make them as comfortable as possible. It was one of the most heart-rending scenes I have ever witnessed in my life to see those women and children who had been driven from their homes and most having left behind their husbands and sons and their anxiety for their safety was a terrible scene. They continued coming out until all of the women and children from all of the colonies arrived in the United States.
Then I went to Douglas where I met the people coming from Oajaca and Morelos; these had come bringing their teams and wagons. Then on going to Hatchita, New Mexico I met Brother Junius Romney and the brethren from the Chihuahua colony who came later. The reception of the colonists in El Paso, Hatchita and Douglas by the people who resided there was certainly wonderful. They seemed to try to outdo one another in their kindness and appreciation of our situation. This made the cross that the people were bearing, much lighter than it otherwise would have been.
We took the matter of transportation up for it had been deemed advisable and wise that our people be scattered among their relatives and friends in the United States. The railroad companies showed a wonderful spirit of help and gave us a wonderful rate of one cent per mile.
Through Senator Reed Smoot and the U.S. government, a relief fund was passed and all of the colonists were given rations and provisions, which proved a great blessing. This fund was not only for the Mormons but for all Americans who had been forced to flee from Mexico.
Previous to these existing conditions, the conditions around Colonia Diaz had become almost unbearable. One of our brethren had found a Mexican’s horses in his wheat and his fence torn down so he drove the horses over to his Mexican neighbor and asked him to take care of them. The Mexican raised his shovel and beat his brother to death.
A little later, this same man that killed his brother together with his friend went and robbed the store of a great quantity of merchandise. An alarm had been given and the brethren tried to intercept the thieves but the thieves opened fire on them. The brethren returned the fire and killed one of them but the other escaped to Asencion and said the Mormons were going to come and exterminate them.
This word was sent by a courier to Ciudad Juárez and General Orozco, the father of Pascual Orozco, was in command of the rebel troops at Ciudad Juárez and he immediately organized an expedition and began training his men and horses to go to Gusman and from there to Diaz to disarm and drive out the Mormon colonists.
I had also received a communication from Bishop Ernest Romney in Diaz stating the facts in the case that these robbers had broken into the back of the Union Mercantile store and while escaping with the merchandise one of the brethren had tried to stop them and they had returned the fire. The brethren immediately sent a courier to Columbus with the information to me.
My man that was getting information for me at Ciudad Juárez at about the same time that I received the communication from Brother Romney, advised me of the movement and the intent of General Orozco. I immediately looked up Profesor Colonel Hernandez, who was the representative in El Paso of the Orozco rebel forces and advised him of the fact.
He said, "Our troops are going to go to Diaz and disarm those Mormons and expel them from the country."
I had previously arranged for ten machine guns and fifty-thousand rounds of ammunition. I had organized a band of frontier men along the border for an emergency of this kind and I advised Hernandez that if those troops left for Gusman that we would head them off before they got to Diaz and the consequences of their actions would be made a matter of history, for at all hazards and costs I would protect those people in Diaz.
He immediately became alarmed and said, "For God's sake don’t bring on international complications. Come and go with me and see General Orozco at Ciudad Juárez."
I said, "You know that General Orozco and all of the rebel officers have orders to shoot me at any time that I am caught on the Mexican side because of the information that I got and gave in regard to their rebelling against the Madero government."
But he said, "I will guarantee that everything will be all right. Please come with me to see General Orozco that we might avoid a crisis."
I immediately communicated with General Stever in command at Fort Bliss and he advised me to go over there at this time and he phoned General Orozco that if anything happened to me while over there that he, personally, would be responsible and his forces would be attacked. I went over there and met General Orozco and his officers.
I said to them, "If you people want international complication, send your men over to Diaz. My men are ready to move at a moments notice and to stop any movement on your part to disarm those Mormons and drive them from the country and unless you immediately detrain your men and equipment and horses my men will have word in two hours."
The general said they did not want international complications and he gave orders to his chief of staff, Demetrio Ponce, to immediately have the horses and all detrained and taken from the cars and said he would leave the matter as I had suggested, to the courts of the land to decide in regard to the settling of the matter in Colonia Diaz. I returned to the American side communicating with General Stever and others in regard to this and also Mr. Llorente, the consul general in El Paso. I told them of the satisfactory arrangement.
The man's name that I had forgotten was Mr. Harvey, who was killed in Diaz and left a very large family of very small children.
Another matter that comes to my min[d] is that while on my trip to Casas Grandes I got the inside of the plot of the uprising of Orozco, Salazar and that combination against the Madero Government. General Orozco and his father had gone to Mexico City and demanded from the Madero government $100,000 pesos each for their services up to that date in the Revolution and both President Madero and Abram Bonzalez protested against this large amount but offered to give Pascual Orozco and his father $25,000 pesos each as a gift but not as payment for their services.
The Orozcoes refused and said if they would not pay it there were others that would and they went away without receiving any money. Pascual Orozco and his officers had been banqueted by General Terazzas and ex-ambassador Enrique Creel who were the representatives of the old scientific party of Mexico and had entered into the plot of rising up against the Madero government and were using Orozco and the rebel forces of Madero against Madero government, making great promises.
I had advised the Mexican consul general in El Paso and had written to President Madero and Abram Gonzalez advising them of this plot and said if they did not do something immediately that this would be one of the blackest spots in Mexico's history. In reply to my letter President Madero said:
"We will look after this matter immediately."
I received a telegram from my friend, Abram Gonzalez who was secretary of the Interior in the Cabinet of President Madero and learned that he would be in El Paso in three days. He came and we held a consultation in which he stated he had $350,000 (pesos) to pay to the widows and orphans and the men who had served in the cause of the Madero government in the state of Chihuahua.
I said to him, "You are too late. The Revolution is now a bona fide fact."
He said, "Is it possible that Orozco is a traitor?"
I said, "Yes, he is a traitor of the darkest kind."
He said, "Well, I think I shall go to Chihuahua."
I told him, "It will cost your life if you go to Chihuahua."
But he went and had to remain in hiding there and later it cost him his life.
It will be remembered that General Huerta and his forces were driving the rebel forces of Orozco and Salazar to the north, before the exodus of our people and that Salazar and his forces came over the northwestern Railroad from Chihuahua to Cases Grandes and Pascual Orozco went over the national road to Ciudad Juárez. And at this time Huerta arrived at Chihuahua with his forces. They were banqueted by the Terrazas, Creel Scientific Faction and although there wasn't anything that came to light of the plot that was formed until later, General Huerta and his forces followed Orozco and his forces to the north; Orozco burning the ties and putting the railroad track out of commission; Huerta's forces following, their fires in sight of each other, without attacking each other.
The fact came out later that this Scientific Faction of Traitors in Chihuahua had advised Huerta not to destroy the Orozco forces because it would be a matter of time before they could bring about a council between Orozco and his party and Huerta and his party. Orozco and his forces divided, some going towards Ojinaga and some towards Casas Grandes. Huerta and his forces arrived at Juárez with all of his artillery and began to prepare for their new plot against the Madero government. They bought cavalry horses and I was on a deal with Muerta to sell him six hundred artillery horses. At this time, he was acquiring ammunition and arms and artillery horses and making his preparations. The Chief of Staff who was a fin[e] looking officer of French extraction, was turned over to me by General Huerta to make the negotiations for artillery horses with.
I had arranged the purchase of the horses pending the coming of the money from Mexico City. It was delayed and General Huerta and his officers were very anxious and had received indirect information that there was a counter plot being formed by one of the men in the secret service but the details were lacking. I asked the Chief of Staff why they waited on Panchito Madero to do things; why didn't Huerta take matters in his hands and do things as they had been done once in Mexico.
He said, "That is just what we are going to do."
He revealed to me the whole plot in which Huerta was to return to Mexico City and release Reyes who was then in the penitentiary in Mexico City and was to take charge of some of the forces. General Feliz Diaz was to rise up in Vera Cruz and together these were to march on the Capital and capture President Madero and his officers and slay them and take over the government. (At the time he revealed this plot to me he was drinking wine and dining with me in El Paso.)
About twelve o'clock that night I went to the home of the lady who had been
doing my stenographical work and told her to get up and do me some work and I wrote a history of the contemplated plot and sent a copy to Apostle Reed Smoot in Washington and gave a copy to Abram Gonzalez and one to the consul general in El Paso. The copy to Gonzalez was sent by a special courier by Loredo to Chihuahua and Gonzalez in turn sent a copy to President Madero.
General Pescera, who was with Madero when he received the communication, said that Madero gasped and said it would not be true. Pescera told him that he believed these things to be true. He said that Mr. Brown had given them the lowdown on the Orozco affair and the same source was responsible for these elements. But President Madero wired to Muerta to come to Mexico City and there they had a consultation and Madero bared the information I had sent to him but of course Huerta repudiated it all. But Huerta was only biding his time and an opportunity to carry out this plot. This plot was eventually carried out to the disgrace and chagrin of the whole country and to the shame and disgrace of the Ambassador to Mexico, Mr. Henry Lane Wilson, who was a party of this plot. When discovered by his own government he was disgraced, discharged and called home.
As had been contemplated this Terrazas Creel combination in Chihuahua got in communication with Orozco and Salazar and the rebels and they entered into an agreement and joined the Huerta forces. During this time General Villa was mobilizing his forces in the mountain districts of Chihuahua and Durango and while the Orozco forces were in Ciudad Juárez he made an attack upon the town at daylight in the morning and took the city.
In the morning as the men and officers were being brought in, among them Colonel Enrique Portillo and some sixty other officers, Villa with his officers had their headquarters in the Mexican Customs house in Ciudad Juárez. He ordered these prisoners immediately to be executed. Bishop Arwell Pierce, Mr. Tod McClamey, and I went over to Ciudad Juárez to the cuartel and we witnessed the execution of Enrique Portillo and his three companions. The others were taken out to the cemetery and lined up and executed and all buried in a large pit that was dug for the purpose of their burial.
The Orozco forces that came from Chihuahua and attacked the Villa forces in Juárez were driven off with considerable loss. Villa then went into the northwestern mountain country with his men and General Feliz Terrazas, one of the Orozco Generals, with three trains of men went to where he was to attack him.
He was then at San Andres, about sixty miles west of Chihuahua. Villa allowed the trains to come up the canyon from Santa Isabel then blew up the bridges behind them. At this time his forces attacked them in the canyon from the hills and out of 3000 men that went to attack him only 1300 returned to Chihuahua. The trains were loaded with provisions and equipment which Villa took into the mountains and buried for future operations.
In a stone corral, Villa stood up one thousand prisoners, in rows of five, one behind the other and with their own guns shot them down to see how many men a Mauser bullet could go through and as the men fell they were treated with a "tiro de gracia", (bullet through the head).
Villa then began to get stronger and with his forces went to Chihuahua and drove the rebels out. He also went to Jiménez and Santa Rosalia. By this time the Torvino brothers had been sent by Huerta to take command of the forces in the state of Chihuahua. One was to be the Governor and the other to be in command of the military forces. Villa attacked these from the south and east and after twenty four hours of battle drove them from Chihuahua to the north. They went to Ciudad Juárez and Villa followed, attacking them on the way and their officers and a great number of their men passed over the border into the United States.
Then Villa took Torreon after ten days of battle in which he showed wonderful
military genius. He followed them south and at Zacatecas drove them before him, killing ten or fifteen thousand rebels there.
It was then that General Caranza who had taken charge of the Madero forces, sent for Villa to return to Chihuahua and take charge of the military forces in the north. Carranza feared that Villa, with his strength and popularity, might try to thwart Carranza's plans. Carranza was recognized as the rebel president in Mexico but Villa refused to accept this arrangement and said he was going to drive the Huerta forces out into the sea.
An arrangement was made; the Carranza officers decided to hold a conference at Aguas Calientes and that there should also be present the Zapatistas and the Obregón and Calles forces and in fact, all of the revolutionary forces. At this time the Obregón and Calles forces were coming from the west driving the Huerta forces before them, and in many instances destroying them. They went into Mexico city and took charge of the city, driving the Huerta forces out and then a conference was held at Aguas Calientes. Zapatista was named to the disappointment of the Carranza forces. Obregón refused to acknowledge this nomination and the Villa and Zapatista forces concentrated and made a drive on Mexico City and drove out the Carranza forces.
Obregón retreated to Vera Cruz and later was strengthened in his forces and came up to Mexico City, driving out the Villistas and Zapatistas to the north, and following them and at Salaya the largest battle of the Revolution was fought; it lasted three days in which the Obregón forces cut the Villa forces all to pieces. Villa fled to the north making small resistance until he came into Torreon and Chihuahua.
He left General Fidel Avilo at Chihuahua City and General Ornellos at Ciudad Juárez and General Villa with about 1500 men came to Casas Grandes and Dublán and there made preparations to invade Sonora. While at Colonia Dublán he had an explosion of dynamite in the tithing grounds killing about fifty of his soldiers. He then made his way westward through the Pulpit canyon in front of Agua Prieta where he had found out that reinforcements had been allowed to go through to the United States, coming from Nogales, Sonora, to reinforce General
Calles who was in command of the forces at Agua Prieta. Villa made an attempted bombardment on Agua Prieta but as he was shooting down hill, the artillery, instead of hitting Agua Prieta, passed over and did no damage whatever.
Villa then went around to the south to Canonea and down the Southern Pacific Rail road to Magdalena and just south of here he met the forces of Obregón that had been sent from Mexico City around by Guadalajara to intercept him. They gave him battle with a complete rout and his men went up through the Yaki country, being cut to pieces by the Yaki Indians, and arrived back into the mountains with less than half of the men he had started from Dublán with.
When Villa arrived at Madero he found that all of his forces in the state of Chihuahua had surrendered to the Carranza government. This enraged him very much and he began making preparations to invade the United States. He traveled down thru the mountain country and the Hop Valley, near Pacheco. There was an American family consisting of the man and wife and a little two year old boy. They lived here. The Chief of Staff shot the man and gave the boy to a Mexican woman and forced the woman to accompany him on their way to the United States Border. On their road they hanged and shot three Americans whose names I have forgotten just now. At the attack of Columbus, Cervantes released this woman he had forced to live with and accompany him.
Villa and his men burned a part of Columbus but in their anxiety and greed to loot they overlooked the main object of their raid and the small American troop of soldiers came into play and drove them out with big losses to the Villa forces. His forces came on down through the country and arrived at Corralitos. They hanged the two Palanka brothers with two of their sons. They then came up the
country, leaving Dublán to the west and going out by the lakes and up through Galliana and El Valle. At this time the American Expedition was organized under General Pershing, which followed the trail and captured and executed a number of Villa's men but failed to capture the main object of their crossing the border, which was the capture of Villa. While they were encamped with military head-quarters at Dublán orders came from the Carranza government not to let the Americans proceed farther into the interior but to keep them in the north. They also sent word that they had placed troops to the south and east to prevent the Americans from going there.
General Pershing was anxious and sent two scouting parties to the east and they encountered the Carranza forces at Carrazal where the captain in charge of the scouting parties was killed and also a Lieutenant and sixteen colored soldiers. The Federal forces of Carranza captured thirty-five colored soldiers, and the chief scout of the expedition, Lem Spilsbury, was taken to Chihuahua City.
When the Punitive Expedition was organized I took service in the secret service Department under General Bell, who was in command of the American forces at El Paso. I was instructed by him to go over and meet the colored soldiers that had been taken prisoner, as well as Lem Spilsbury, which I did. I also received the horses, ammunition, rifles and pistols that were delivered by the Carranza forces.
At Ciudad Juárez, previous to these happenings, my wife, Jane, and her family were going from Morelos to Douglas, Arizona, and the mules became frightened and the wagon was overturned, killing my son, Galbraith, who was eight years old. They took him back and buried him at Morelos.
After the exodus of our people, Salazar, Campo and Alaniz followed General Sanjinez who had retreated to Sonora with his troops and between Agua Prieta and Fronteres, General Obregón, who was then only a colonel, with 250 Yaki Indians, gave Salazar battle and gave them such a threshing that they retreated towards Chihuahua City. And between Fronteres and Morelos, Obregón again attacked the Salazar forces and cut them to pieces. They retreated by way of El Tigre mining camp where they robbed it of bullion, merchandise and provisions. They loaded the bullion on their burros and had started on their way toward Bavispe when a rumor came that Obregón and his men were close behind them and they abandoned their loot and made their way out by Carretas. A number of their burros were found dead with the bullion tied to them.
While I was in the employ of the United States government under General Bell, there had been a number of very disagreeable circumstances that had come up between the Carranza government and the U.S. government. It seems that Carranza did everything he could to drive the American troops out of Mexico. The United States had many conferences through their ambassador in Mexico City but without satisfaction; so they demanded a conference to see if something might be brought about. An agreement was made between General Scott, of the American army, and
Obregón, Secretary of War and Marines of Mexico. Conference was held at Ciudad Juárez and El Paso to try and bring about some arrangement that would be amicable to both parties.
In the meantime the United States government had concentrated 65,000 soldiers of all arms at and near El Paso for the purpose, if needs be, to invade Mexico. Her navy, also, had been concentrated at convenient points for the same purpose.
General Bell called me in consultation with Scott and Scott told me that unless there was an amicable agreement brought about at this conference that the U.S. forces of all arms would invade Mexico within twenty days and he asked me to convey this information to Obregón. In compliance with instructions I went to Obregón and told him I feared terrible consequences unless there was an agreement made. He and General Scott had already had one conference before I was given this information.
He said, "We don't propose to have Uncle Sam for a step-father."
I said, "You will not only have him for a step-father, but also as a step-mother if there is no agreement made."
They had another conference without any satisfaction and then I was instructed to go back again and this time General Calles had come and was present at this conference. For an hour and a half I set forth the conditions that were existing and had existed and what would exist and I begged them to listen to what I had to say.
"You and I will not suffer personally so much, but the women and children and the poor people of Mexico will suffer because of this invasion which is inevitable unless an agreement is made for this matter in the Paso del Norte hotel this afternoon between you and General Scott. Obregón, I have always looked on you as a patriot and pride and vanity should vanish from this proposition and you and the others should have patriotism and come to this agreement to keep the U.S. troops from invading Mexico."
He said, "What is patriotism?"
I said, "A man has patriotism when he will give everything for the benefit of his country; even his life."
He said, "There are few of that kind of patriots in the world."
I said, "No, there have been and always will be lots of that kind of patriots; men who would even sacrifice their lives for their country; I believe you to be of that class.
He said, "There was only one good man in the world and that was Christ and he was sacrificed because he was good and I don't want to be sacrificed."
I said, "The cause you have espoused means you will finally lose your life for it and now you have an opportunity. Your country and people are being sacrificed."
He turned pale, and so did General Calles and Mr. Amador, at my words and prophecy.
Obregón said, "Mr. Brown I believe every word you have said and am going to do the best I can for the salvation of my people and country."
They went into conference at four o'clock that evening at the Paso del Norte hotel in El Paso and at four o'clock the next morning they had signed a tentative agreement with a stipulation that said agreement must be sanctioned by the Congress and president of United States and the Government of Mexico and the President must sign it also; averting a great crisis. The United States President and Congress signed the agreement but General Carranza and the Mexican Congress never did approve of this agreement.
Then was the World War between Germany, France, Great Britain and other European countries and before other matters of serious nature had appeared in Mexico, the United States had entered into the World War. Obregón and his party split with Carranza and followed and killed his troops and Obregón came into power as President of the Republic. Then followed General Calles as President; then there was another political upheaval. Obregón was being feted and was at a big feast and was assinated, giving his life for the cause he had espoused.
When the United States declared war against Germany there was a rumor that General Calles was organizing forces with Germany in the state of Sonora near Hermosillo, to invade the United States. I was asked by General Bell to go to Sonora
and make an investigation of these rumors. When I arrived at Nogales I learned that they would not allow any Americans into or over the border. I met a man who was the master mechanic of the Southern Pacific and who was from Tucson, Arizona. I had my Mexican citizenship papers with me and expected to go over the border the next morning.
This man said, to me, "A man Stowell my daughter three or four days ago and has gone to Sonora with her. I just got a letter from her and she wants to return."
He implored me very sincerely to try and find her and return her to him. My citizenship papers were accepted at the Mexican Emigration Office and I was allowed to proceed to Hermosillo where I stayed two or three days and found there was no truth as to the rumors about President Calles. I proceeded to Winoyas, Sonora and there also found there was no truth to the rumors.
I had a photo of this girl, the daughter of the mechanic; her mother was of Mexican extraction. On going around the plaza here in the evening I saw this girl. She was a very beautiful blond of about seventeen years of age. She was sitting on a seat with a Mexican woman. I walked up to her and showed her the photo and she was pleased and said the man who had taken her was expected home that night and that he was a very dangerous man and she was afraid he might kill her. I invited her to the hotel and gave her a room and the next morning at seven o’clock we left for Nogales. I had wired her father and he met us and took the girl home to Tucson.
This incident is one of those in which we do good and evil presents itself; For the matter of this girl was the most fatal step of all of my experiences in life. This matter so worked on my mind that I found myself in a condition of not being worthy of fellowship with my brethren and sisters and therefore wrote a letter to the Bishop, Arwell Pierce, of El Paso, which was forwarded to President Ivins and then to the High Council of the St. Joseph Stake, in which I made confession of misdeeds and I was disfellowshipped from the church.
I later had family troubles and my wives all got divorces from me and I was alone. I then married a young lady by the name of Angela Gabaldone, of Mexican extraction and moved to Ciudad Juárez to live and while there I took a position with the War Finance Corporation of the United States, to protect their cattle interests in the Santa Clara Valley, Chihuahua. I ran down three cattle thieves and put them in jail; among them one American. I located forty-two head of cattle.
While in this work a Mexican at Las Lamentos mining camp [I] got information of a band of bandits and murderers who were in that vicinity. Mr. Muller, the superintendent, asked me to get them. So I resigned my position and wired to General Caravello and told him the situation and told him to send me twenty-five soldiers. We scattered and found the camps where they had been and they became alarmed and scattered.
Previous to this, the train had been attacked near Caudelaria Chihuahua, on the Mexican Central Line by a bunch of bandits who had killed the one American pay master together with five railroad men and three Mexican Section men. They murdered these men in cold blood and robbed the train. This had happened a year and a half previous to my taking service here and within three weeks after my taking service we captured two of these bandits who were executed by the Federal government and found the location of a lot of others.
Superintendent Muller took pneumonia and died and his successor refused to pay any more expenses.
Caravello had received instructions from Calles to follow and execute all of
these men that could be located.
In 1925 I was again admitted into the Church. I was baptized by Bishop Arwell Pierce and confirmed by my very tru[e] and good friend, Brother Thomas Kimball of Thatcher, Arizona, at El Paso, Texas. In 1927 I moved to Colonia Dublán, beginning again my appreciation and sense of the blessings of the Gospel. I was employed in El Paso in the winters of 1929 and 1930 and on the first of March I received a letter from my son Miles, asking me to come to the Centennial celebration in Salt Lake City. He sent me fifty dollars and said he had told the other boys to do the same and was sure they would; and I had the glorious privilege of accompanying Brothers Keeler, Pierce and Call to Salt Lake City to the Centennial.
While I was there I met President Ivins and he took me into the office and said he had been instructed by President Grant to confer upon me my former blessings. He laid his hands on my head and gave me all of my blessings and resealed my wives to me, and also my children.
This was one of the happiest days of all my life. I returned home to Dublán. Shortly afterwards I had a most wonderful manifestation.
I dreamed that I was on a beautiful hill that sloped down towards the east. I had heard that the Master was coming and I was gazing into the heavens watching for him to come. Then I walked down the slope where there was a road and by the side of the road stood a man and kneeling at the feet of this man was a Mexican.
As I neared, the man who was standing said, "Who are you looking for?"
I said, "I am looking for the Master."
He said, "You, like many others, are looking where He is not."
Then He passed on along the road with the Mexican and I followed them until I came to the bank of a beautiful river and there my wife and her baby joined me and as she came near me she had the baby in her arms but she dropped it and it slipped into the river. I jumped into the river, which was crystal clear, and brought the baby unhurt. As I looked across the stream I saw on the other side a wonderful space of green grass surrounded by trees. It was one of the most beautiful spots I have ever imagined. I saw my mother coming down the slope.
I said, "Don't you know me, mother?"
"Of course I do, son," she said.
I said, "Look at this beautiful baby."
"Yes, she is most beautiful."
I asked her if I could come across to where she was but she said I could not for I was not yet prepared, and to wait until I was prepared then I could come and join her.
Then I said, "Why mother, you do not seem to be lame any more." My mother had been a rheumatic invalid all the last years of her life.
She said, "No, son. I have my resurrected body and am free from all pain. Her countenance was lighted up and it was most beautiful and she looked like when I could first remember her."
Then she disappeared and I marveled at this wonderful manifestation and knew that I must surely be more prepared.
Just going back a little: While at Salt Lake City I had the privilege of meeting my wives Mattie and Eliza and had a thorough understanding with them as to the future. I also met my dear sister, Abbie, at Los Angeles. And I saw some of my children at San Francisco and at other parts and in Arizona.
About two weeks before I had been called to preside over the Mexican Branch, I had an interesting dream wherein I saw myself laboring among the Mexican people, having been called to a position of responsibility.
When I related this to my wife she said, "Where and when do you think you will be called?"
I said, " I do not know but I want to be prepared and be in a spirit of humility. I want to go wherever they call me."
When I heard the voices of Brothers Keeler and Abegg outside my door late in the night, I knew that I was going to be called to labor among the natives.
I am thankful now to say, that while my labors have not been altogether satisfactory, I am enjoying this labor and I want to leave my testimony to all of those who read this that there is only one way and that is to be humble and prayerful; for the beginning of my downfall was in the neglect of the paying of my tithes and my lack of devotion to the Lord.
There is only one way, and that is in service and humility, to retain the Spirit of the Lord.
[About 1904] The death of my wife, Bessie MacDonald, at Colonia Morelos, was one of the severest blows in all my life, for she was one of God's noble women and a wonderful counselor and companion; God bless her memory.
President Junius Romney and myself began to look for some place for our refugees to get homes and we visited the Pacos Valley in Texas, also Carlsbad, New Mexico and found what looked like suitable locations. We went to Salt Lake City and layed the matter before President Ivins (then Apostle), and he sent us to the First Presidency and treated us most kindly and gave the following advice:
"We feel that it will be better for the Mexican Saints to scatter among the settlements of the Latter Day Saints than for them to locate all together."
Then the refugees began to scatter.
Then Brother Joseph C. Bentley came out from a trip to the Colonies in Mexico.
He said, "Brother Orson, I am going to see the First Presidency of the Church and try and get permission for those who desire to have the privilege to return to their homes in the Colonies."
I said I thought it very foolish at that time and opposed the move as entailing too much danger. But he said he felt impressed to make the effort and he went to Salt Lake City and the brethren of the First Presidency gave their consent and their blessing, but not their advice, to return to Mexico.
Brother Bentley was right and I was wrong, as matters have since proved; and here and now I want to pay the following tribute to Brother Joseph C. Bentley:
He is one of the truest friends, most humble and God-fearing, and has by his life proved to be one of the most courageous, (I mean moral courage) of all the men I ever had the privilege of being acquainted with and associating myself with. When duty has called there was no thought of danger and the consequence to his personal safety.
My experiences with Senor Villa, first after the Villa forces had driven the Huerta forces from the State of Chihuahua and the Terrazas and Creele Contingent had left Mexico and come to El Paso:
I got information that there had been organized an English Syndicate to take over all the Terrazas and Creele land and cattle holdings in Mexico and that Senator A. B. Fall was the Terrazas and Creele attorney arranging this deal because all the revolutionary factions in Mexico were respecting English subjects and their property rights.
I immediately went to Senor Rodolfo Fierro in Ciudad Juárez for a permit to go to Chihuahua City to advise General Villa, who was acting Governor and Commander of the Carranza forces in the state of Chihuahua. There were no trains running at this time between C. Juárez and Chihuahua.
He said to me, "Come over tonight at eight o'clock and I will take you on a special train."
So I went over and we arrived in Chihuahua at 4:00 A.M. next morning and went immediately to Senor Villa's headquarters. I related the information and that morning he issued a decree confiscating for the Government in the name of the Government all the properties of the Terrazas and Creele holdings, lands, cattle and all properties owned or controlled by them.
He did this by the authority he had as Governor of the state and had the state Congress in a special session approve the act, thus thwarting the plans of the Terrazas and Creele traitors.
Another experience: I later took service under Senor Villa as Inspector of Cattle. Crossing from Mexico to the U.S. one morning, I received word that a man by the name of Juan Terrazas had arrived at Palomas with twelve men and twelve-hundred cattle, and that these cattle belonged to about twenty people; principally to the Guermo Arutia Estate, from the Fresnel Ranch near Gusman.
I was reporting this matter to Senor Benavidis, commander of the military forces at C. Juárez at military headquarters, when, as was his custom, without previous announcement, in came Senor Villa, having come from Chihuahua and Senor Benavidis said to me:
"Tell Senor Villa what you have just told me."
So I reported to Senor Villa and without hesitating he said to execute the men, confiscate the cattle, and bring them here, and then began giving other orders.
They had a leased wire from Ciudad Juárez through El Paso to Columbus and Palomas. The operator took the message and started to send it when I spoke up.
I said to General Villa, "My, Senor! I don't think you should send those instructions to execute those men. They are only men being employed to bring those cattle to the border and as far as I have knowledge are not enemies of our cause and besides it is sure to have a bad effect with our friends, the Americans, on the American side."
He straightened up his head and thought for a moment and said, "Change the order. Release the men, confiscate the cattle and bring them here."
This was done and the men came with the cattle and were allowed to pay export duty on the cattle, thus saving the lives of twelve innocent men.
Another incident: Lem Spilsbury had purchased from one of the Carranza or Villa Colonels about one hundred-fifty head of yearling heifers, supposed to be from the Babicura Ranch and had taken them to the U.S. Later David Spilsbury and Byron MacDonald had purchased about four-hundred-fifty head of cattle in the pueblos of Cruces and Namaquipas and brought them out to Juárez.
I had gone over them and signed their release and when they came to pay the export duty the Fiscal Agent said these cattle were confiscated. He showed me a telegram from Senor Villa.
I said, "That is strange. These cattle are O.K. What is the matter?"
He said he didn't know and just then in pops Senor Villa and when I asked for an explanation he told me this:
"They are confiscated. That’s all."
The next morning I went over and met Senor Villa.
I said, "Senor, Mr. Spilsbury and Mr. MacDonald desire to see you and make any explanation you may desire."
He railed out, "These cattle are confiscated! If those men come over here I will have them both shot! That’s that!"
I protested and said, "To me this is an act of banditry to take these cattle from these men in this manner, not giving them a chance to defend themselves."
So I went to Senor Benavidis and told him and he said:
"Mr. Brown, be careful. The Senor is in a bad mood."
I went to El Paso and next morning I went over again and as I knocked on his door he opened it but never took his hand off the door knob but put his right hand on his pistol. He looked at me in the meanest way possible.
He said, "You called me a bandit yesterday, you ______---________--!! I know who you are!"
I looked him straight in the eye. I prepared for an emergency as I knew there was one. I figured on grabbing his pistol if he tried to pull it from the scabbard.
I said, "General, I still think you are not treating these men fair."
Things looked and felt mighty bad but I just looked him straight in the eyes and when the crisis seemed to be consumating a knock came at the door. He opened it a little and two Americans were standing there.
He said, "Get out!"
And I got out and was very glad for the privilege. I immediately went to Senor Benavidis, commander of the Post.
On entering he exclaimed, "Did you not get my message I sent you last night?"
I said I had not.
Then he said, "Senor Villa was very much infuriated with you for what you said to him yesterday. He said if you ever came over here again he would kill you; that he never let any man talk to him as you had and live."
I told him what had happened and he was very much surprised. He said, "You just have a charmed life," He told me I had better stay away from there.
About a week later I received word from Edmund Richardson that Villa’s men had held him and other men from the Colony of Diaz with their cattle at Palomas. I went to Villa. When he saw me coming he turned his back on me, but I went around in front of him and gave him my message and he said,:
"I will give my decision to general Benavidis. Go to him and don’t you come to me anymore!"
He was angry. I never had occasion to go to him any more, for which I was glad
for he was a most disagreeable man to deal with.
In regard to the MacDonald claim, Spilsbury cattle: When the Villa Fiscal Agent crossed them into the U.S. I helped Spilsbury and MacDonald claim them and get their money out of them. I later found the reason for confiscation was that Mr. Hayes of the Babicura Ranch had told the Villa Fiscal Agent that this bunch of cattle were those from Babicura that Lem Spilsbury had bought; a mistake all together.
Another incident: While I was working for General Bell and representing him in C. Juárez, one morning while I was making the rounds of the jail as my custom, a man called to me. It was Joseph Williams from Colonia Dublán. I talked with him, then went to see Senor Francisco Gonzalez, commander of the Carranza forces at C. Juárez.
He said, "This man and two others, Mexicans, had a bunch of stolen cattle and I am going to have them executed tomorrow morning."
I protested and went and told General Bell. He wired to Columbus; an airplane went to Colonia Dublán and returned to Columbus with word from General Pershing regarding the incident. I took this word from General Bell to General Gonzalez.
"You, Senor Gonzalez, will be held personally responsible for the safety and life of Joseph Williams."
Gonzalez railed out, "If you Damn Americans think you are going to give me orders on this side of the border you ______ are badly mistaken!!" Then I said, "Don’t you dare execute this man for if you do General Pershing and his forces will hunt you as they are now hunting Villa."
He turned pale and I went to El Paso and General Bell called Andres Garcia, the Mexican Consul and told him that if Williams was not protected he would cross the border.
Garcia went to Juárez and counseled with General Gonzalez. He accused me of threatening him and we had some lively words in General Gonzalez’s office but saved the life of Joseph Williams.
August 20, 1932. In conclusion I want to make the following declaration: That the preservation of my life in the many instances and incidents has not been because of my personal bravery but because of my being willing to serve others in a humble way and thereby depending upon the Lord for his strength and protection which was promised me by his servants in whose words I have implicit faith.
I hereby give my testimony that if we are faithful in the service of the Lord He will protect and bless us in every way that will be for out good. We are useful in this life only according to the service we render others; the privilege to serve is the greatest blessing that ever came into the life of man and it depends on the kind of service we give, the amount of good we get out of it and the blessing[s] we reap.
For the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the most sacred trust ever handed down to man from the God of our fathers and we who have had the privileges of its blessings should see to its preservation in all its virtues, inspiration, vigor and strength.