Part I: Pages 1-36
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 Ogden City. His mother was Phebe Abbott Brown, a pioneer of Utah, Arizona and Mexico.
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 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 of 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 Prophet Joseph was in very deed a prophet of God who had sealed his testimony with his blood. He 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 unto us.
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 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. 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 on south.
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 and where from, tears
came into her eyes and she came and embraced me and kissed me and sent for
her husband. When he arrived, she said to him, "See who is
here! This is the son of Captain James Brown of Ogden."
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
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 stole the mules in jail.
encountered severe stormy weather and nearly froze. My mother and her
husband and family did not get word from me and had traveled some two
hundred miles from Johnson Slough. 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.
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 Fort Apache. The military officers advised us that we
had better not proceed farther south as the Apache chief and about fifty
warriors were on the warpath. But my step-father, after we had a
consultation, decided to proceed on south. After passing the South
Fork of the Salt River and climbing out of the canyon and starting down the
dugway, we saw an ambulance and two dead horses that had rolled down the
dugway, 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.
at Pima we heard of some freighting to be done of lumber from the
Chiricahua Mountains to Tombstone, Arizona, 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.
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
Ellwood who had the logging contract for the saw mill. After working
for Ellwood 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 goes, carrying two pistols and a Winchester rifle. '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, 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, money and watch and told him if he wanted his horses back to send a man with three hundred 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. Ellwood, 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:
is the man who held me up about twenty miles east of Galey Vill and took
away my horses and saddles with my pack outfit and arms, ammunition and
money--even took my tobacco. He set me afoot and kicked me and told
me to beat it. "
Ellwood said that Buckskin Joe had two companions with him--a Dave Estus and a big face, Jeff Lewis. Then Mr. Ellwood related these circumstances. He said that in southern Utah in a little town north of St. George he had a partner by the name of Petersen who was a Mormon, but Petersen stayed on the ranch and 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 Tasket shot him down in cold blood. Petersen had only been defending his own interests. The outlaw had left the country and Ellwood had been following Tasket'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 Tasket. " 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 on horseback, and from field glasses I saw there was Buckskin Joe. I immediately put my spurs to my mule and -went to camp and told Ellwood that Joe was coming and he said to me:
go over and meet him and we will meet you at the old saw mill setting, and
we will take care of him."
I rode back to the other canyon and sure enough, Joe came up while my mule
was drinking water.
said, "You must have been in a terrible hurry. Did you get
scared of somebody?
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.
said, "Let me sell you this horse. You can ride him to Tombstone
if you want to but don't show him off too much. He was stolen ten
miles below there in an 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 they called Tip Top, about five 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 horse's 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 arrived with Ellwood in lead.
I 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. "
six months previous to this time a cowboy had been found, his head nearly
chopped off and a fine herd of about fifty cattle had been driven
off. Then Ellwood accused him of being the man who had held him up.
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 some dust. In a little while I saw there were 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.
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, had gone to Tombstone to get a nephew of his to come and help him
get Buckskin j(D6.
went up to 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, "'fhe end of Buckskin Toe, "
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 southwestern 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 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 gunman. The next evening, we having been working together, were sitting at a table just after supper and he pulled out his forty-five double action pistol and slapped it down on the table and said an oath, "You haven't talked yet, but I'll make you talk. You are my prisoner. "
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
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 Grower 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.
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 necktie party as bad off as
Buckskin Joe. He never came back.
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 friend or foe.
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
of the country for a short time. So in the company of two friends, we
started for Prescott, Arizona. We went on to the San 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 known as
arrived at this camp at about ten o'clock in the morning and as there was
good pasture, we decided to stay awhile. Several of the Indians
visited us and tried to trade for our rifles and cartridges, but I said to
fellows look mighty suspicious to me. We must keep our guns in our
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
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 operated the post. They were on the warpath and were now on our trail. He said he had seen them and passed them on a cut-off. I said to one of my companions, "You two 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.
opened fire on them, killing two of their horses and wounding some of them.
proceeded on up the road arriving at the mining camp called Tip Top at
about eight o'clock that evening, finding 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 gone north into 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 them, 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 these people.
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.
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. He, thinking that I had just stolen these horses and that I
was an outlaw, 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, Ellwood,
had told me regarding Ben Tasker, and as I knew Ellwood's location, I
immediately wrote him, giving him the news and telling him to come
here. He took the trail and came.
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
After remaining in Mesa, for a short time, I accompanied my Uncle Edward Bunker and family to St. David and after being there a short time, Apostle Erastus Snow and Moses Thatcher came and visited the colony and found that the people there were very much in need of repentance.
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 St. David by.
was in the year 1882. 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 St. David, bringing to pass literally
and absolutely the prophecy made by Apostle Erastus Snow.
On Christmas morning of 1882, 1 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 St. 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 laid 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 up. I immediately jumped up, saddled my horse and then I could see six horsemen coming and three of them had come on one side and three on the other.
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 out-distanced 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 Arnericans who were@ hauling hay, killing all three of them on top of the load of hay. They had cut the hamstrings and loosed the horses from the wagon; set the hay on fire and burned the hay with the men on top of the load.
Indians continued their raiding to the southeast when at a point known 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 #2 was killed.
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 home.
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 to 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.
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
April, 1883, in the full of the moon, an Indian chief by the name of Loco,
with about eight warriors broke out from the San Carlos reservation and
made their way south up the San Simon Valley, murdering and destroying
ranches and property along the way. At a 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, two being a load of mining timbers to take to the mine. While
they were going up Pinery Canyon, they were attacked by this band of
Indians. They killed Tom Fornay and Lobley 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
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'
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.
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' 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 Lobley.
As I knew the country well I was in the lead and about a mile before we got to the bodies it started to sprinkle just then I saw in the road tracks of Indians who had crossed the road leaving their tracks fresh on the trail.
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 through 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 were standing guard on each side of the canyon. 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 dawn 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 'm 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 hollered back, "Here they are! Here are the fresh signs again!"
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, 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.
returned to the Riggs' ranch where we had a consultation and remained there
overnight. We got two more men to accompany us and started back on
the trail after those 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.
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 the 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, the 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
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' ranch, raking two days of very hard
proving the law of retribution to those who willfully take lives, in
September of this same year, 1883, 1 was living on a little ranch that I
had taken up about four miles from where the family loved. My Aunt
Diana Fife, the wife of William Fife, who was my stepfather, had come from
Utah. My mother and sister, Cynthia, had gone with my uncle, Edward
Bunker, and family to do work in the St. George Temple, and while Aunt
Diana and Agnes were on the ranch along 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 give him a watermelon and his dinner.
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. Then 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 laborer and he himself, rode to Tombstone to where me of the county commissioners stayed and started a search for the murderer. About ten o'clock that night, Charles, who had been employed in the hay fields 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.
night was very dark and as we passed a ranch known as "Italian
Joe's", 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 prairie, 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
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. We searched 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 response 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. 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
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 years 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.
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
horseback. 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.
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 were 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 Bavapia, 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.
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
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 awhile 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 shotgun.
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 cowboys. 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 laid 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 was killed in Tombstone while Lewis was killed by his own companion, thus ending another incident of swift justice.
was another band of outlaws and bad men going around under a man called
Curly Bill and he has as his- allies, Billy the Kid #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 stole about two hundred head of
cattle at a little ranch called "Stockton's Ranch", twelve miles
I was coming around east of our ranch I met these men driving a herd of
cattle, and as I had passed by the ranch where these cattle belonged, 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 a teamster who was hauling lumber with a note to Mr. Edmunds and Jack
Chandler, the owners of the ranch. When this incident happened, Mr.
Edmunds and Chandler refuted a $1,600 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
Bill and Jim and Tom MacLowrey and John Ringold, who was a cousin
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
Earpe 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
Earpe was Marshall of Tombstone, Jim was Chief of Police, and 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.
Bill Clenton was on a drunk in Tombstone and also shot up the town and
these men, the Earpe brothers with Doc Holiday, shot him down. The
Mac Lowrey 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 Earpe brothers knew this and
opened up with their shotguns and murdered them both in the street, robbed
their bodies of the money, went into court and with their evidence, proved
little later, Curly Bill, John Ringold and Pat Burns (a man who I had
ridden the range with and slept with) opened fire on these Earpe 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. "
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 Earpe
brothers and Doc Holiday started on the hunt for Curly Bill and his
partner. 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,
Earpe brothers that were still living and Doc Holiday went to Dodge City,
Kansas where Doc Holiday and one of the Earpes were killed, leaving only
Wyatt, Earpe, who went to San Francisco, closing another very interesting
incident of swift justice.
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 and had come out to participate in the
things of the Wild West. They had made a raid on a ranch in New
Mexico and came 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
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
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 a
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 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. 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 our 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 partner, 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.
we got in Bisbee, we found that what this man had said was true. I
found Sheriff Daniels 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 Company Store, the only banking institute in that section of the country. Dowd and Delaney stayed outside and when a man came out of the store door carrying a handful 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 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 $3, 000 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 of the train at Lordsburg as a tramp. When they examined him, they found a large amount of money, jewelry and a pistol on him.
and Tex rode into Clifton. Red had a sweetheart in one of the
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.
followed the trail of Dan Dowd to Corralitos Ranch and he was talking with
the blacksmith on the ranch who was an American. Daniels went to the
house where Dowd was. Dowd's pistols were hanging on the wall.
Daniels told Dowd to surrender, buckling Dowd's pistols on himself.
He made the prisoner put on leg irons, then he put these and handcuffs on
the prisoner. Daniels drove them in a buckboard to Deming, New
Mexico. The next stop was Tombstone. Daniels later followed
Delaney into a little town called 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 had 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.
A little later, they broke jail, but the sheriff's party killed the
In the fall of 1884, 1 was working as a cowboy for the 30 Cattle Company in Sulphur Springs. It was the custom for the ranch hands to all cut and haul hay. My brother, Charles, and I with four others 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 previous day I had been over home and returned. My brother and I camped at a little ranch about half way from White Water to Sulphur Springs and as I was chilly the next morning, I put on my coat. While I was sitting on the hay I found something in my pocket and saw that it was a hymn book Mother had given to me. I opened it and
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 hymns 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.
arriving at the ranch that evening, I said to my brother, Charles, "I
am through with this kind of 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 life now and ,go down to the
Gila River among the Mormon people and try to get a piece of land and settle
down. " Charley said he would go with me.
we went and saw Mr. White, the manager, and asked for out time. He
called me to one side. "Orson, what is the trouble? Are
you dissatisfied?", he said.
told him no, not with him but with the kind of 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 times what a shame it was that a young man like me was wasting his
life in that kind of business.
and I went over and bought three forty-acre fields from a man and there
began living a new life.
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 were dead at the same time. Apostles Lyman, Smith and Young advised us not to follow them further. My real work and experience in the Gospel began here.
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.
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
were, as I remember, about twelve or fifteen young men who
volunteered to go to the colonies along with myself. When I
asked Apostle Thatcher how soon he wanted us to leave, he laid his hand on
my shoulder and said, "Just as soon as you can arrange your affairs, get
ready and go. 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.
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 30th 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.
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?"
said, "Poor woman! She is going to be left alone very soon.
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.
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.
you make adobes?" he asked.
never have, but I can try, " I replied.
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 schoolhouse.
was the beginning of my work and service in Colonia Juárez.
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.
were no schoolhouses 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.
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 behind, 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.
incident in Colonia Juárez: After I had been making adobes and serving
as Counselor in the Mutual Improvement Association in Colonia Juárez, in
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 Eyring, 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.
on, I took the church shepherd 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 roundup on the Tinaja Wash, north of Colonia Juárez.
Five Americans came into where we had our roundup 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 it. "It is
Apache Indians, " I said.
we rode a little farther on the trail, I picked up some rawhide horseshoes
that Indians had made and I told them there was no question about it being
followed them nearly to the San Diego Ranch where the Indians had crossed
the river at the Bocilla, just below the ranch, and had 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 said that I could tell they were Apaches by the smell that
Brother Romney especially, laughed at me.
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 southwest 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 to be done.
went to Chihuahua with the wool loaded in 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 to run down
the Indians, but I could get no support.
few weeks later, three Americans came into Juárez, one by the name of
his two companions and as I had know him in Ogden when he was a boy, I
talked to him. "You are going into very dangerous country where
there are a lot of Apache Indians, " I warned him.
and his companions said, "Do you see these guns, six-shooters and
ammunition? What do you think we have them for?"
said, "You might have them with the intention of using them, but you
might not get the chance.
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.
related the following 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. Leaving everything in their hands, they ran for
their lives. It took them about three days to get to Juárez.
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 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 was going down over the
canyon into the Hole country. We camped there and during the night it
began storming. 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.
remember Sam Jarvis saying, "I can lead you to Pacheco
We told him to take the trail and we would follow. After traveling for about an hour, we had made a complete circle and came back upon our own trail. There we decided to camp till next morning when we turned to Pacheco. Then went to Juárez.
had taken a severe cold and when I got home I had to go to bed and remain
for a couple of week ' s. While not yet able to get out and ride, David
Hawkins came to me one morning and said he had sighted a group of Mexicans
on the Tinaia Wash that morning driving a bunch of horses and among them
some of the colony horses. I immediately asked him to go and call
saddled the horse for me and we took a couple of blankets apiece and
started out hunting these Mexicans. The trail led us into the
Tapasitas where we found their camp and some of the horses, but not
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. 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, "'Here comes
Brown. He will kill the whole bunch of us. "
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 Hermesilo. 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.
got dressed and went down to where the prisoners were 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 then take the prisoners. He had about thirty
men with him and when I had listened to him boast long enough- -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.
two men came from Casas Grandes and Brother Eyring being the Comisario of
Juárez, 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. The next morning we went to Casas Grandes and found they had
accused us of capturing them while in their camp eating breakfast, 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.
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.
the meantime, there had been a new election and a new Presidente of Casas
Grandes was elected. There was a notice put up that any one desiring
to hunt stray 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.
short time later, I was going from Casas Grandes by Ojo de Motino northwest
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 gat
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 flight 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.
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 in
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 Catholic 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.
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 was
the Presidente of Tomoche, Cruz Chavez, with several of the people. . 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
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
him to leave 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 bloodshed. The man, 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 homes; 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.
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. 'Me
conditions seemed to be terrible. 'Men the Federal Government told
fifteen hundred soldiers to go in and capture them, dead or alive.
'Me 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. 'Me 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 cannon, 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.
Tomoches escaped to the mountains through the entrance left in the
west. 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 lose
their lives during their campaign of two years. The remainder of
these Tomoche Indians went to the United States for a couple of years, and
then they 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 stole out of a pasture
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.
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.
got Brother Amos Cocks 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
east side 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.
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 Cocks 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. Cocks 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 Cocks 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 for Colonia Diaz and they did not deny it. I warned them not to steal horses 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.
man in charge said, "You let us go to our camp and we will let you go
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.
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.
Brother Cocks 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 to Sister Baker. Brother Nielson had met
and followed them. When they had seen they were being watched, they
went onto the mesa east of the colony with Nielson in pursuit.
then sent Cocks 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. 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, Stole and Dory Cocks. 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 yard to the north of him who were asking
him to come over where they were. Still farther to the north, we saw
a band of twenty-five Tomoches coming up out of the Tinaja wash onto the Mesa..
These men wanted to have a parley. 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 anyway. 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 l had left Brother Stowell. Two of the men 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.
started to run down the ridge when the thought came to me that they could
roll rocks down and kill us and I hollered for my companions to come back-they
being in the lead. 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
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
said they were anxious to capture these fellows, dead or alive, and I
marked out a plan by which we could surround them. They said to wait
until 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, Cocks and Brigham Stole. 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. "
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.
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 came 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 to where Brother
in the colony was 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 hometown, the Lord would bless us and be with us and we
would have power, but the enemies would not have the power to destroy us.
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 carne, they all disappeared toward Casas Grandes.
Some of the brethren were alarmed, fearing the Tomoches would attack the
colony during the night. 1 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 for their lives.
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
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
in preparation to taking them to Casas Grandes. When I returned, I
saw the two men sitting under a tree with a man under another tree with my
pistol in his hand. I looked at him and knew him to be this Tomoche
Indian who was one of the party who held Cocks 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, but became a bandit and was very bitter in his feelings towards
the Mormons before he died.
short time after Juan 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, 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 death
of so many.
few months after they passed through the country, Apostle Teasdale and his
counselors--after having understood the reasons of the uprising of these
Tomoches--directed a communication to President Diaz setting forth the
reasons of this uprising and asked that these men 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.
first trip to Sonora: As I have previously stated, on my trip to the
after the Apache Indians, I had become sick and 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:
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. "
was Mascal 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 condition of health. He immediately stood upon his feet
and laid his hands upon my head and gave me a blessing in which he said I
would find on this trip to Sonora the medicine that would restore my
health; also that I would encounter people who would oppose the principles
of the Gospel.
hereby set you apart and give you a permission to preach the truth of the
Gospel in this foreign tongue, and I make you the promise that there shall
not be anyone 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.
sure enough, on this trip when I was staying at a little town of
Guachinaro, Sonora, there was living at the house I was staying 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 out 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 part 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.
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 had come down during the
ages from the Apostle Peter."
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.
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.
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
received a telegram at Ciudad Juárez from our bankers, Kettleson and
Degatian at El Paso, to come out immediately as there seemed to be a
discrepancy in our bank account, in particular with E. L. Taylor's buying
and selling of cattle. Brother Taylor had gone out to Deming, New
Mexico enroute to conference at Salt Lake City. I went to El Paso,
wired him at Deming and received return wire to come immediately to
Deming. On arrival, he said that cattle thieves were not only
stealing our cattle, but cattle belonging to other Colonia Diaz residents.
went to Chief of Customs at El Paso and told him undoubtedly they were
smuggling these stolen cattle across the border into the U. S. As there was
no fence along the international line between Mexico and the U.S. at that
time, cattle drifted from one side to the other. The Chief of Customs
wrote a letter to Mr. Jack Kyle, his man in charge at Deming. I went
to Deming and my partner, Taylor, said that he had information that cattle
had been stolen and brought to the U. S. I went to the sheriff of the
county and he deputized me and I hired two gunmen and we started out.
In ten days, we had six American cattle thieves behind the bars. As
we couldn't do a thing to them for stealing cattle in Mexico, we applied
the law of smuggling cattle without paying duty to the U. S.
Government. One bad man in particular, with the alias of John Hall,
had six notches on his six-shooter saying he had killed six men along the
Texas-Mexico border. He sent me word that if I didn't go back across
the border and stay there, he would leave my carcass in the desert for the
buzzards to pick. I immediately offered $100 reward for information
leading to his whereabouts.
had suspected that a man by the name of Tom Word had been buying stolen
cattle from Mexico. We learned that he had written a letter and sent
it to his ranch with a boy. We overtook the boy, took the letter and
found that Hall would be that night at an old deserted fort east of Deming
about twenty miles. We arrived there just before daylight. The
guide and myself stayed on the outside while the other three of our party
went inside to get breakfast. I had given the guide with me my
pistol, foolishly going into the house without
gun. I was sitting with my back to the door when I heard a horse
coming. The guide shouted, "My God! Its John Hall!" I
said, "Give me my pistol. " fie was frozen with fear.
I turned my chair around, jumped up just as John Hall stepped into the room
pulling his pistol. I grabbed his gun, twisted it from and his hand
and stepping back, shouted, "Put 'em up, you Son of a Bitch.
" Then the other three men came running down. We took him to
where other ranchers had stolen cattle and I left John Kyle about a quarter
of a mile from a ranch guarding Hall. No one was at the ranch when we
arrived. After about two hours, two ranchers came and with them was a
Kansas City stock buyer. We'd left our guide with our horses down in
the creek. One man was at the corner of the house, one man behind the
chicken coop and I was in the doorway as these men rode up. I stepped
out with a double-barreled shotgun and had the boys come out and disarm
them. The man from Kansas City was so scared and smelled so strong
that we had to get him a clean pair of pants.
next morning, we took them down to Deming together with Hall, and they
swore that they had bought the cattle from Hall and a man named Gurelle
learned that they had helped to bring the cattle from Mexico to the U. S.
The U. S. Attorney made a case against all of them for smuggling stolen
cattle from Mexico. Gurelle had turned states' evidence.
then went to Chihuahua and laid the matter before Governor Ahumada.
He authorized me to act for the State Government and made me Captain of
Rural Police for that district. I came back to Deming and got
together all the prominent stockmen along the border both from the Mexican
and the American side and we organized the International Stock Growers
Protective Association. Lou Brown, president of the bank and also
president of a big cattle company of New Mexico was made president of this
new organization. He was authorized and instructed to run down and
bring to justice the cattle thieves on both sides of the border.
While I was there, Apostle Teasdale came out from Salt Lake City.
When I explained the situation to him, he blessed me and set me apart to
defend not only the interests of the Association, but the interests of the
colonists in general against bandits and thieves, and he promised me that
if I would serve the Lord and keep His commandments, I would be protected
against all such kinds of people. In performance of my duty, I always
depended upon that blessing and promise.
had been a gang of men headed by one Israel King, attorney by profession,
who had bought a large tract of land near Deming. With maps and
charts, King showed that steam ships run up the Rio Grande, on up the
Members River to a town of that name. Going east, he sold this
interest out to people there for about $150, 000. With this money, he
went into the cattle business on both sides of the border. When I met
him, he said, "I have a bunch of gunmen and we will take what we want-
and where and when we want them." And they started out in that kind of
a game. They bought a big herd of cattle at Palomes and as they had
no permit from Mexican authorities to pass them over the line, a Mexican lieutenant
with twenty-five Federal soldiers stopped
cattle and the men. King's foreman, Henry Coleman, a gunman and a
killer, pulled his pistol on the lieutenant and told him to tell his men to
let the cattle pass or he would be killed. Coleman took the lieutenant
and the cattle across into the U. S. Later, we had evidence that part of
these cattle were stolen. We also learned that King, Coleman and
three other men had started a roundup crossing the border at a place away
from the customs house. I took three of my men and went to the site
of their operations. They weren't there, but when they came into
camp, we arrested them and took five of them to jail at Ciudad
Juárez. Here they were taken care of for a while.
received information that some of these stolen cattle were taken to
northeastern New Mexico. Ted Houghten, who was Superintendent of
Corrolitos Cattle Company in Mexico, accompanied me to a railroad station
named Wagon Mound and here the stolen cattle were rounded up and shipped
into Indian territory. We cut out some of the -stolen cattle, killed
four or five of them, skinned them and shipped the hides to El Paso, Texas
as evidence against these thieves.
we were in New Mexico, King got out of jail on a 10,000 peso bond.
Houghten received word that King would be on the afternoon passenger
train. He said to me, "Be careful, for I'm afraid there will be
asked, 'What do you mean?"
answered, "King's a killer and you want to watch out.
replied, "Well, if there is going to be anybody killed, it will be the
other fellow for I'm not going to take any chances. "
as King got off the train, he was met by a man he had sold the cattle to
with two other armed men and Houghten. King asked, "Where is Mr.
Brown?" "There he is by the water tank, " they answered.
came running to me. I put my right hand on my pistol and awaited his
coming, watching him very closely. As he came up to me, he extended
his right hand to shake hands with me. I stuck out my left hand and
he asked, "Mr. Brown, why do you do that?"
answered, "I'm taking no chances with cattle thieves and murders.
he exclaimed, "For God's sake, don't put me in the penitentiary with
my wife in the poor house and my daughter in the orphanage. "
I said to him, "King, you are a member of the International Stock
and know what my instructions are from the president and manager
the company. Houghten went east to Kansas to look up more of our stolen
going east, King and his attorney came to me in El Paso and asked,
"Brown, do you know who I am? We are Free Masons and if you
continue to prosecute Mr. King, you will suffer the consequences at the
hands of Free Masonry."
I said to him, "I know a lot of Free Masons and I know them to be gentlemen. You may be outlaw Free Masons and think you can intimidate me, but if ever you cross the border into Mexico again, I'll put you behind the bars with the rest of them.
received word from him in Mexico that thieves were stealing my horses and
cattle, among which were three mares, colts and a very fine stallion.
I took an Indian guide as trailer and we followed them up a canyon over a
mountain to another canyon. The wind was blowing very hard. We
saw the mares and stallion grazing and smoke coming out of a cave in the
side of the mountain. I dismounted. The Indian was afoot--he
wouldn't ride a horse-and we slipped up to the cave and there were three
men eating a piece of calf they had killed and roasted. We held them
up, brought them out, bound their hands behind them and then tied them
together. We then partook of the roast dinner. I went to sleep
leaving the Indian to guard them in the cave, telling him to awaken me when
the moon reached a certain point, which would be about midnight. When
he finally awakened me, it was coming daylight. We gave them
breakfast and let the Indian drive the horses ahead while I followed with
the thieves, making them walk to Casas Grandes.
As I was needed at home, it was a month before I went out again. While home, a runner brought a letter from Father Gurelle to whom I had sold a lot of sheep the year before. The letter stated that bandits had ' driven his sheep and the herder across the border into Mexico. He asked me to come and take care of the matter. I rode horseback to Colonia Diaz. Father Gurelle wanted me to get them back and sell them. He said, "They have murdered one of my boys and the other is in jail, and I have no one to take care of them."
I went to Polomes and arranged with Mexican officials to release the sheep
and have them taken back toward Deming. While I was at Deming, I
shipped Father Gurelle's sheep to Kansas City and he received about $2, 000
more for his sheep than they had cost him the year before. This was
settled a very disagreeable situation.
in Polomes, a Jew who owned a local store came down from Deming and looked
me up to say, "Mr. Brown, where are you going?" I answered,
"I'm going to Deming from here. " "No, you aren't,
" he said, "They'll murder you as soon as you get there. "
took the mail stage to Deming. The wind was blowing hard. I put
a Mexican hat on my head to disguise me somewhat. I got off the stage
at the Deming Hotel and went up to my room. Then I went down to a
to see a Mr. Pullock. He exclaimed, "My God, Mr. Brown, what are
you doing here?"
here on business, " I answered, "And I want you to go to Sheriff
Peters and tell him to come up to my hotel room. "
came to my room say, "My God, Mr. Brown, those men have the town and
any time you go down on the street, they'll be a killing and I don't want
to be seen here with you at all for I want to live a little longer.
" And down the back steps of the hotel he went as I replied,
"Well, I'll see what I can do. "
going, he had outlined a plan by which I could escape. He said,
"I'll go to the depot and arrange with a freight train that goes to El
Paso at 10:00 this evening. A car will pick you up and take you to
the freight yards. Wrapped up in an Indian blanket, " he
cautioned. "Well, I'll see, " I answered. He left.
knelt down and prayed, telling the Lord that I was here in the interests of
His people and if it was His will that I should stay and tend to it, to
give me the heart of a lion that I would not fear anything and to protect
in so doing; and if I should get away, to put fear in my heart so
that I would accept the suggestions of the sheriff. When I got up off
my knees, I felt that with the help of the Lord, I could whip the whole
put on my hat and walked down into the street. A man by the name of
Jack Gibbons was standing on the corner. He had bought a mule, a
horse and saddle from a Negro who had stolen them. As I came up to
him I said, "Jack, you've got these stolen animals and you take care
of them or I'll put you behind the bars. " A man came near and I
asked pointing to another "Isn't that John Cox?" He replied,
"Yes, and you had better go or he'll kill you. "
answered, "You stay here as witness. " As Cox neared the
center of the street, I was within five steps of him and I called
him. He whirled with hand on his pistol. I had mine cocked and
I asked him, "Is your name John Cox?" and he replied,
"Yes. " I answered, 'Well, I'm Mormon Brown, and as you and
your gang have said you'd bury me when I came out here, I thought I'd
better come out and be present at the funeral. " He commenced
shaking his hands above his head and I yelled, "You damned coyote, you
get your gat and get into action. " Shaking all over, he said,
"No! No! No!"
drove him into a store, had the man take off his gun and then I told him
just what he was and further told him that if he or any of his gang made
another crooked move, we'd hang them right here. Three of the
International Stockholders came in just then and one of them remarked,
"We'll have to do as they do in Montana--hang him to a telephone
pole. " I answered, "Here's one right here. Let's
hang him right now. " Cox was scared nearly to death.
of the men, Shorty Rector, who had accompanied Cox to Ciudad Juárez
get Coleman out of jail, came to me and said, "Mr. Brown, you
befriended me one time and I've never forgotten it. And I'm not going
to be mixed up in this bunch any more, but if I were you, I'd leave this
country for they plan to murder you. " I answered, "Shorty,
I appreciate your advice, but whenever they open up on me, I will get two
of them for one. I'm not afraid of them. "
before all this happened, John Cox had, been to Juárez to arrange to get
Henry Coleman out of jail. They planned to throw a rope over the
wall. When Cox pulled Coleman half way up the wall, the horse made a
noise and the guard heard this. He hit Coleman over the head, untied
him and took him to his cell. Then he gave the alarm. Cox and
his companions went running across the Rio Grande into the U. S. and came
into Deming and here they swore vengeance against Mormon Brown and that if
ever I came back to Deming, I would be served the same medicine as was
served Colonel Fountain and his son who were murdered in the sand hills
while they were traveling from Las Cruses to Carlsbad, New Mexico.
My first run in with this Henry Coleman
had been at Colonia Diaz. We were sleeping in the same room when a
young woman came to the door and said, "Henry! Henry! My
husband has a shotgun and is coming to kill you. " He answered,
"I'll just step out and kill that old man. " I said,
"You'll just step out of here. Take your saddle and get
out. Any man that will monkey with another man's wife needs
killing. " I followed him out and saw that he got away. He
hadn't been gone ten minutes when the outraged husband came with a shotgun
to kill him.
Finally, Coleman got out of jail by
paying the jailor a big fee. By this time, he was so weak that a big
Negro had to carry him out. He then went to Deming, married a
sporting girl, moved to Gallup, New Mexico and bought a ranch. Later,
he divorced this girl and went back to this ranch. It was reported
that he murdered his ex-wife and the boy helper and just as Coleman was
running away from the ranch, another rancher whom Coleman regarded as an
enemy came along. Coleman was afraid this man would testify against
him, so had two Mexican deputies arrest this rancher and while they were
leading him away from his ranch, Coleman shot him in the back.
Because of the influence of Coleman's brother who was a U.S. Senator, he
got free. Next, he got into trouble with a Mexican rancher and killed
him. He came over to El Paso and into Mexico. His brother was
arranging to get him land south of Juárez and trying to get his cattle from
New Mexico on this land.
A friend of Coleman's said to me one day,
"Mr. Brown, what would happen if you should meet Coleman?"
"I've seen him; I know where he is,
" I answered.
"Well, he wants to meet you and see
what can be done about getting his cattle down here.
Provided to this website courtesy of Clyde Weiler Brown
Copyright 2001 www.OrsonPrattBrown.org