SALOONS AND "BAD MEN"IT has been said that most Arizona towns began with the opening of a saloon to supply the necessities of life, later a grocery store would be started to furnish the luxuries. Possibly the idea that this statement intended to convey was that in pioneer Arizona the saloon was not only the poor man's club, but almost every man's club, and when the rear section of it was occupied by the usual Chinese restaurant, it came perilously near being many men's home as well. We, naturally, are not commending the custom, we simply record the historic fact.
Within the saloon were gaming tables. It is not strange that so many of Arizona's early citizens were gamblers in one form or another. An old pioneer friend of ours says they couldn't help being, that every time a miner visited his shaft, every time a cowboy went out after a "bunch" of cattle, every time a traveler started on a journey, he gambled his pay check or hope of profit against his life.
In the earlier days, poker and monte were the favorite saloon games, but later, in such places as Brown's "Congress Hall" in Tucson, or Gus Hirshfeldt's "Palace" at Phoenix, the opportunities to contribute to that fickle jade, Miss Fortune, would include one or more faro layouts, a roulette table, a crap game, a kino corner and perhaps a Chinese lottery. In these saloons, whose doors had no keys and whose nights were the principal parts of the days, there was always music and a lady in a gown of carmine or sunset pink would place vocal gymnastics in competition with what was usually a very good orchestra composed of Mexicans, who played entirely by ear.
The most popular game at the "Palace" was faro, where the seats about the table would always be full, with more men standing behind. One queer rule of etiquette was that while social proprieties would not admit a negro playing with the whites at faro, a Chinaman would be admitted upon perfect equality. There the long queued celestial would sit by the hour, and, whether winning or losing, his face would have all the facile mobility of expression of a granite tombstone. The colored customers would play craps and the mixed, unopulent clientele of the house, black-and-tan and white who wished to indulge their gambling proclivities with small risk concerned themselves at kino. Roulette seemed to hold special attraction for the tenderfoot who had money to burn and didn't mind the smell of smoke. In consequence more than one gentleman from east of the Mississippi was reduced from opulence to penury in a single evening, due to the unfortunate dropping of a small ball on the wrong color and number of a wheel. Occasionally, of course, a player would make a big winning which would be widely heralded, and which would result in increased playing at all of the tables.
There were many reasons why the owners of the tables found their calling a lucrative one. The two basic reasons are these: first, all games have a certain percentage in favor of the dealers; second, ninety nine men out of a hundred, sooner or later, come back to the game if they win, and every man has to stop playing when he is broke. Indeed, the average laborer when he came to town did not expect to win with any consistency. His business in town was to "blow in" his pay check or his gold dust, and he expected to go back penniless to the hills, or his job, when his fling was over. So it happened, in every town of any size, the workers supported a group of affable, well mannered, cool-eyed, cool-fingered, law-abiding gentlemen, who dressed well and were good spenders, at the expense of others. In the big places the dealers worked in shifts of four hours at a time, the twenty four hours through.
As told by Captain Bourke: "Isn't it rather late for you to be open?" asked the tenderfoot arrival from the East as (at Tucson) he descended from the El Paso stage about four o'clock in the morning and dragged himself to the bar to get something to wash the dust out of his throat.
"Wa-a-al, it is kinder late fur th' night afore last," genially replied the bartender, "but's jest'n the shank o' th' evenin' fur t'night."
From the saloon to the professional "bad" man of the country is an easy transition, as the saloon was the parade ground where the bad man strutted. Sometimes, however, he would be spurious, and his bluff was soon called. Again we quote Bourke, who lived in Tucson in the early '70s: "
A wild-eyed youth, thoroughly saturated with 'sheep-herders' delight' and other choice vintages of the country, made his appearance in the bar of 'Congress Hall' and announcing himself as 'Slap-Jack Billy, the Pride of the Panhandle,' went on to inform a doubting world that he could whip his weight in 'b'ar-meat'. . . . " '
Fur ber-lud's mee color,
I kerries mee corfin on mee back, '
N th' hummin' o' postol-balls, bee jingo,
Is me-e-e-u-u-sic in mee ears.' '
Thump! sounded the brawny fist of 'Shorty' Henderson, and down went Ajax, struck by the offended lightning. When he came to, the 'Pride of the Panhandle' had something of a job in rubbing down the lump about as big as a goose- egg which had suddenly and spontaneously grown under his left jaw; but he bore no malice and so expressed himself. " '
Podners,' he smiled, 'this 'ere's the most sociablist crowd I ever struck; let's all hev a drink.'"
Another story Bourke tells is of ex-Marshal Duffield of Tucson who was credited with having slain thirteen undesirable citizens. This may have been true, for Duffield was brave enough to wear a "plug" hat in Tucson in the early '70s, and to a man who had nerve enough to do that, encounters with a baker's dozen of gunmen would be mere pistol practice.
One day a certain "Waco Bill" arrived on a wagon train from Los Angeles, and being three- fourths full of a fluid Captain Bourke denotes as coffin varnish, he desired to meet and overcome the celebrated guardian of the peace. " '
Whar's Duffer?' he hiccoughed, as he approached the little group of which Duffield was the central figure, 'I want Duifer ; (hie) he's my meat. Whoop!' "
The words had hardly left his mouth before something shot out from Duffield's right shoulder. It was that awful fist, which could upon emergency have felled an ox, and down went our Texan sprawling upon the ground. No sooner had he touched Mother Earth than, true to his Texan instincts, his hand sought his revolver, and partly drew it out of the holster. Duffield retained his preternatural calmness, and did not raise his voice above a whisper the whole time that his drunken opponent was hurling all kinds of anathemas at him; but now he saw that something must be done. In Arizona it was not customary to pull a pistol upon a man; that was regarded as an act both un-christian-like and wasteful of time, Arizonans nearly always shot out of the pocket without drawing their weapons at all, and into Mr. 'Waco Bill's' groin went the sure bullet of the man who, local wits used to say, wore crape upon his hat in memory of his departed virtues.
The bullet struck, and Duffield bent over with a most Chesterfieldian bow and wave of the hand: 'My name's Duffield, sir,' he said, 'and them 'ere's mee visitin' card.'"
There were other outlaws within the Territory of very different stripe than "Waco Bill" or the "Pride of the Panhandle." There were years, like those preceding and during the early part of the Civil War, when much of Arizona was practically without law, and therefore a refuge for all kinds of desperadoes from other localities. Those were the times when it was said that the California vigilance committee and the peace officers of Texas were the most zealous immigrant agents Arizona ever had.
Many conditions in Arizona served to encourage the vicious to deeds of crime. The border was infested with Mexican outlaws, and a robbery committed by them at an isolated miner's cabin, if accompanied by murder, might easily be laid at the door of the Indians, while innocent Mexicans in turn were accused of crimes committed by vicious criminal whites. Bullion was often carried across lonely stretches of desert or mountain on stage coaches where hold-ups were all too frequent. In 1879 the Phoenix stage was robbed four times within four months. In 1882 the pack train which carried mail and express across the Pinal Mountains into Globe was held up, the express messenger killed and $10,000 in gold stolen. In
Bisbee in '83 five desperadoes, early in the evening, entered the store of Goldwater and Castenada, robbed the safe and, in escaping, shot and killed at least four people. In '89 a female who called herself Pearl Hart, with a man by the name of Joe Boot, robbed a stage in Kane Springs canyon. Although there was an abundance of evidence against her, twelve sentimental pioneers declined to convict a perfect lady of stage robbery, and immediately thereafter were dismissed for the term with caustic and uncomplimentary remarks from Judge Doan upon their action. A succeeding jury convicted Miss Hart on the charge of taking the stage driver's revolver, for which crime she was sent to the penitentiary.
While as a whole the peace officers of the State have been capable, fearless and energetic men, in a few conspicuous instances they seem to have been chosen on the theory that it takes one desperado to capture another. A celebrated case of the criminally inclined officer is found in the story of the Earps of Tombstone. In the early '80s, when lawlessness in southern Arizona was worse than it had been for many years, Virgil Earps was city marshal of Tombstone and Wyatt Earps was deputy United States marshal, this in spite of the fact that both of them were professional gamblers and were suspected of either planning or participating in at least two stage hold-ups. Associated with Virgil and Wyatt were Morgan and Jim Earps and Doc Holliday who, although he hung out a dentist's sign, had gambling for a vocation and manslaughter for an avocation. Bitter enemies of the Earps were the Clanton cowboys of the Babacomari Mountains.
One night in October, 1888, Virgil had arrested Ike Clanton on the charge of disorderly conduct, though it appeared that the arrest was simply made as a declaration of war upon the Clanton gang. Seeming to appreciate the great advantage that being peace officers gave the Earps, and so desiring to postpone hostilities until a more auspicious occasion, the following morning Billy and Ike Clanton, with Frank and Tom McLowery, two other members of their gang, saddled their horses preparatory for leaving town. As they came out of the 0 K Corral they were met by the four Earps and Doc Holliday, all heavily armed. The Earps opened battle at once, shooting and killing Billy Clanton and Frank McLowery, while Morgan Earps and Virgil received flesh wounds. The Earps at once gave themselves up to friendly authorities who promptly dismissed them.
The Clantons plotted vengeance. Soon after Virgil Earps was shot from ambush, but got off with a wounded arm. Morgan Earps was not so lucky, for one night, while in a saloon, he was shot to death by a man hidden in the darkness, his assailant firing through a rear glass door. Without going into details of the subsequent events, it may simply be said that Frank Stilwell, an enemy of the Earps and a friend of the Clantons, was killed, supposedly by the Earps at Tucson. Later they resisted an officer at Tombstone who had a warrant for their arrest, took to the hills and killed a Mexican in the Dragoon Mountains; afterwards they fled into Colorado where for some unex- plainable reason Governor Pitkins refused to grant requisition papers from Arizona for their arrest. The most sanguinary feud ever known in the State was that between the Grahams and the Tewksburys in Tonto Basin in '86-'87. The Basin was a cattle country, but in '86 or earlier, sheep were driven from the north and herded under the protection of the Tewksbury brothers. The Grahams, who were cattlemen, resented this action and gave various hints to the sheep herders that a continued residence in Tonto Basin would doubtless undermine their health. Some of these hints, given after dark, took the form of bullets, which would go singing through the herder's frying pan as he fried his bacon for supper. However, when frightened herders fled, others were put in their
places, and soon open warfare was proclaimed by the Grahams. John Tewksbury and a man by the name of Jacobs were running sheep on shares. One day both were ambushed near the Tewksbury house and killed; then, keeping the rest of the Tewksbury family away by a fusillade of bullets from their hiding place among the rocks, the assailants allowed the bodies to be devoured by hogs. This was sowing dragon's teeth with a vengeance, and resulted in a bloody harvest of twenty-three of the Graham faction killed and four of the Tewksburys. Three of the Grahams were hanged by their enemies on the rim of the Mogollons, most of the others were shot from ambush.
The last to be killed was Tom Graham. With most of his faction gone and knowing that the threat of the Tewksburys to "get him" if he stayed would be surely carried out, Tom fled to the Salt River Valley. The writer ate breakfast with him in the morning when, after an all night's ride, he arrived in Phoenix. "They sure would have got me if I'd stayed," he said, "and they may get me yet."
What he feared came to pass; he was shot and killed from ambush as he was hauling a load of grain from a ranch he had bought in the valley to Tempe. Two young women who saw the deed testified that Ed Tewksbury was one of the murderers. John Rhodes, one of the Tewksbury gang, and Ed Tewksbury were arrested. At the preliminary hearing Graham's widow attempted to shoot Rhodes but failed. Rhodes was discharged, Tewksbury was convicted, but on a technicality a new trial was granted, when the jury disagreed.
While these are conspicuous instances, there were many other acts of violence which occurred about that time, the situation becoming so serious that, in a message to the Legislature, Governor F. A. Tritle called its attention to the thefts, murders and general lawlessness specially prevailing in the southern part of the Territory. The President of the United States was petitioned to ask Congress for an appropriation of $150,000 to be used in the establishment of mounted rangers to protect the State from criminals and Indians.
Of all of the crimes committed in the Southwest, none has been given more publicity than the hold-up and robbery of Maj. J. W. Wham, in 1889. On May 11th of that year, Major Wham was driving from Fort Grant to Fort Thomas, carrying with him $26,000 in gold, to pay the Fort Thomas soldiers. With him were eleven colored infantrymen and a sergeant. When the party entered a gulch just beyond Cedar Springs they found their way blocked by a large bowlder. Several of the soldiers, while attempting to get the rock out of the way, were surprised by a volley of shots coming from the hillside. Unexpected as was the attack, the soldiers sought shelter in orderly fashion and started to return the fire, but upon seeing that the gallant major had turned tail and was flying down the road, and that the enemy was shooting from stone breastworks, they followed in their commander's wake, leaving the gold for the highwaymen to carry away at their leisure. Eight soldiers were wounded, but none seriously.
An investigation was made by the military authorities, and within a short time eight prominent ranchers of the Upper Gila Valley were arrested, including Dave Cunningham, Dave Rogers, Tom Lamb, Ed Lyman and Wai Follett. The three Folletts were soon dismissed, but the others were bound over for trial. The attorneys in the case were among the most prominent in the Territory; those for the defense were Marcus A. Smith, Arizona's delegate to Congress, and Ben Goodrich. The prosecuting attorney was Henry Jeffords. While the trial abounded in picturesque and exciting incidents, there is not room to enter into them here. Altogether 165 witnesses were examined, but in the end the jurors found the prisoners not guilty.
The Arizona rangers, which were organized in Arizona in 1901, at first numbered but twelve men, with Burton C. Mossman, a young, energetic cattleman, as captain. Dayton Graham of Cochise County was first lieutenant. Every member of the company was a picked man, of proven ability in handling criminals and of unquestioned nerve and courage. An arrangement was entered into with Colonel Kosterlitsky, commander of the Mexican Rurales, that the command of either might pursue criminals across the border.
From the time of their organization, the rangers proved their value to the State, not only in capturing many desperate criminals, but their activity in pursuing the evildoers resulted in an exodus of many an undesirable citizen. In 1902, T. H. Rynning, former lieutenant of the Rough Riders, was appointed by Governor Brodie to the captaincy of the rangers to succeed Mossman, and like his predecessor, he made an able and efficient commander. By 1903 the company included twenty-lix men which, during the six years of its existence, arrested over 1,000 men charged with serious crimes and three times that number for lesser offenses.
Although not acting in an official capacity, one of the most picturesque of Rynning's acts happened in 1906. In the mining town of Cananea, south of the Mexican line, were living hundreds of Americans. In June several thousand striking Mexican miners were terrorizing the camp. A lumber yard had been set on fire, five Americans and a number
of Mexicans killed. With the consent of Governor Ysabel of Sonora, Rynning led a force of 270 Americans into Cananea, and although they did not find it necessary to resort to arms, their presence greatly reassured the American inhabitants.
In 1907 Rynning resigned to become superintendent of the Territorial Prison, and the captaincy of the rangers went to Harry Wheeler, who later, while sheriff of Cochise County, became widely known through the active part he took in the deportation of the members of the I. W. W. and others in the summer of 1917.
The company of rangers was discontinued in 1909 by an act of the legislature as a result of a political quarrel between that body and Governor Kibbey.
Submitted by Friends for Free Genealogy
THE BOGUS BARON OF THE COLORADOS
When the United States, by virtue of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and that confirming the Gadsden Purchase, acquired its great southwestern territory, it also, under the terms of these treaties, fell heir to many claims of private persons for large tracts of land granted them, it was alleged, by the Spanish crown.
In New Mexico these claims involved 6,643,938 acres of land, and in Arizona 11,326,108 acres. To consider and adjudicate these claims, Congress, in 1891, passed a bill creating a Court of Private Land Claims, which was composed of five justices and was organized at Denver, Colorado, July 1, 1891. After completing its work, it disbanded June 30, 1904.
The principal claim for land in Arizona was brought by James Addison Reavis, who, on January 3, 1885, filed with the surveyor general a request for the survey of the land claimed by him and a confirmation of the grant, which he claimed was originally given on December 20, 1748, by Fernando VI, King of Spain, to one Senor Don Miguel de Peralta de la Cordoba, Baron of the Colorados, etc.
The alleged grant was in the form of a quadrangle, approximately 236 miles from east to west and 79 miles from north to south, with its southwest corner 39 miles south of an initial point on the south side of the Gila River opposite the Salt, and included Phoenix and the Salt River Valley, the Gila Valley, many of the richest mines of the Territory, Clifton, Arizona, and Silver City, New Mexico.
Reavis first made his claim by virtue of a deed from a man by the name of Willing, who, it was alleged, inherited it through a long but legally unbreakable chain of descent and transfer from old Don Miguel. However, when the matter came up before the land court, Reavis made the claim wholly through his wife, a Spanish lady by his statement, whom he introduced to the dignified judges by the simple and unassuming name of Dona Sofia Loreto Micaela de Peralta-Reavis, nee Maso y Silva de Peralta de la Cordoba, the great grand-daughter of Don Miguel. As for himself he had quit being just Jim Reavis and was Don James Addison Peralta-Reavis. Even old ancestral Don Miguel's name had sprouted, and now with all the buds of it nicely fruited, it was Don Miguel Nemencio Silva de Peralta de la Cordoba y Garcia de Carrillo de la Cordoba, grandee of Spain, Sir Knight of the Redlands, gentleman of the king's chamber, Sir Knight of the Golden Fleece, and a lot more.
Now, as a matter of fact, James Addison, either on his own account or that of his wife, had no more valid a claim to a Spanish grant than he had to King Solomon's Mines, or the canals on the Planet Mars, but he certainly did have imagination, and if he had gone in for literature instead of fraud, he would have made Jules Verne or Rider Haggard look like the drabbest of realists. Men have worn striped clothing and lived behind bars half their lives for attempting to steal a little silver plate, J. Addison very nearly got away with almost 20,000 square miles of ranches, mines and cities.
To begin at the beginning, our friend with the big imagination made up Don Miguel out of his own over-active brain, and then after taking one look at his own creation decided that so gallant a gentleman could be none less than the king's bosom friend. Ry the way, for some reason J. Addison had shifted monarchs on the old Don, for now it was Philip V who was his patron instead of Fernando VI, but that was a mere detail. The important thing was that one afternoon his Royal Highness, just to show what a good fellow he was, said to Don Miguel, "Don, old man, how would you like to be Baron of Arizona?"
"I'd like it fine," says Don M. "Where in the wide world is Arizona?" "
Oh, it's over on the other side of the Big Water," says the King. "It has a lovely winter climate, and you don't suffer with the cold even in the summer. Besides, you can't dig any place
without striking a gold mine." "
Wonderful!" says Don M. "How much land goes with the title?" "
Help yourself," says the King. "There's lots of it there." "
Thank you kindly," says Don M. "Put me down for about twelve million acres."
Easy, wasn't it, when all one had to do was to dream it, like making money on one's own hand- press.
It is said that Mr. De Quincey could conjure a dream like that almost any evening with two pills of opium. We used to know a Chinese laundry- man who could do it with one. But what Reavis wanted to do was to be able to wake up and find his dream still going on; in other words, he wanted to make people believe that he, Jim Reavis, of Henry County, Missouri, who used to be a street car conductor and later a newspaper solicitor was, by marriage at least, a sure enough Spanish Don entitled to wear a coat all spangled over with orders of nobility and both pockets full of emoluments.
It sounds like something of a task, doesn't it, when one thinks of all the things he had to do, first, make it appear that Don Miguel was a real person; second, show that the king did really grant him the barony of the Colorados or Arizonaca (it had several names), and last, that Mrs. Reavis was really the heir to the old Don?
To pick up the thread of our story where the plot begins to thicken, in the '70s there lived in Sherwood Valley in Mendocino County, California, an olive-complexioned, black-haired young woman whose father was an American, John A. Treadway, and whose mother was an Indian woman. Only a few people seemed to know just who the parents of the girl were, as she lived with Americans for some years. Reavis met her while on a trip devoted to the manufactory of evidence to support the old Willing claim, and suddenly decided that it would be much easier to assume this girl was the descendant of the mythical Don Miguel and marry her than to carry the line down through Willing. No sooner planned than done. Reavis planted the girl's family tree at once, and had it bearing dons and grandees inside of a week. It was more difficult, however, to coach the girl on the part she was to play, but Reavis was equal even to that, and for years drilled her daily until at last she could not only act the part of a grand lady, but seems to have half believed that in very truth she was the Dona Sofia, the heir to the Castles on the Gila.
In order to make Don Miguel a real person, Reavis went to Guadalajara, Mexico, where in some mysterious manner he was able to spend unobserved hours alone with the old vice-regal records, and after he had finished with his quill pen and the ink was nicely dried, all through the old volumes and papers there was evidence and to spare bearing on his grant, including a decree creating the Barony of Arizona and a book of genealogy showing the noble descent of Mrs. Reavis.
So pleased was Don Jim with what he had been able to accomplish that he gave $1,000 for an altar cloth for the cathedral at Guadalajara and erected a $15,000 drinking fountain at the city of Monterey.
Wishing to feast his eyes on his ancestral halls and hills, Reavis took his wife, the Dona Sofia, who by this time knew her lesson perfectly, across the blue Atlantic, and with his grand air seems to have had no more difficulty in obtaining access to the royal archives at Madrid than he had in looking for what he wanted in Mexico. Here, too, when he had finished poring over the records, everything he wanted there was there.
By this time Don Jim had almost made himself believe that he was the real thing. He lived nobly at a leading Madrid hotel with a retinue of liveried servants. As the Baron of Arizona he entertained the American legation and with his wife was received with the honors of nobility at the Spanish Court.
Where did Reavis obtain the money to do all this? That was easy. After convincing some of the most astute attorneys of America of the genuineness of his claim, it is not strange that he was also able to scare owners of mines and ranches within the limits of his "barony" into paying him good prices for quitclaim deeds, and to sell interests in his broad acres to capitalists for real money.
For a short time he lived at Arizola, on the Southern Pacific Railroad, a short distance east of Casa Grande, where his wife received her guests in robes of velvet and his twin boys, Carlos and Miguel, covered their noble heads in caps of royal purple with monogramed coronets emblazoned upon them. It is said that from 1887 to 1893 Reavis' living expenses for himself and his family could not have been less than $60,000 a year. He divided most of his time between expensive hotels in New York and Europe, a country house on Staten Island and a mansion in California. His familiars included millionaires and high government officials.
In spite of all this, before the formation of the land court, when Reavis sang his siren song before Congressional committees and to the surveyor general at Washington he was confronted with the unenthusiastic ears of agnosticism. His story might be true, but the gentlemen wanted to be shown.
As time went on the gullible goldfish grew more chary of his bait; in brief, his story grew stale, and ugly rumors were repeated about the validity of the grant.
Nevertheless, with magnificent audacity, Reavis brought his claim before the land court, and his former counsels having deserted him, among whom it is said was Robert G. Ingersoll, with the assistance of an obscure attorney he tried his own case, producing what at first seemed an overwhelming weight of testimony in his favor. There were cedillas, decrees and writs in Spanish and English; there were royal seals, royal signatures and rubrics; there were not only genealogies but portraits of noble ancestors.
But it was all of no avail. Ever since the claim had been filed, experts in the employ of the government had been investigating the case and the work they did was worthy of a Sherlock Holmes or an Auguste Dupin. From the records at Madrid it was learned that the will of the second Baron of Arizona, passing down the barony, was undoubtedly a forgery; and at Guadalajara a careful scrutiny of the records showed that a cedula, advising the city that the king had appointed a new viceroy, had been, by marvelous forgery and substitution of words, transformed into a decree creating the barony of Arizona. In a book of genealogies, thirty-five leaves of solidly forged matter, showing the noble descent of Mrs. Reavis, had been interpolated. Even Mrs. Reavis' plebeian blood was revealed. As witness after witness gave his evidence, slowly the edifice of fraud so ingeniously built up by Reavis crumbled about him.
Not only was his case decided against him, but at its close he was immediately arrested for fraud, convicted in the district court, and on July 18,1896, went to the penitentiary of New Mexico, where he remained until April, 1898.
Upon the unfortunate wife the blow fell the hardest. From being an honored guest at the Court of Spain, a baroness in her own right, she became a menial in the houses of Santa Fe, glad to obtain even the humblest work to sustain herself and her two boys.
Wm. M. Tipton, one of the government investigators, said of the claim: "No plan was ever more ingeniously devised, none ever carried out with greater patience, industry, skill and effrontery." It was all the work of one man, James Addison Reavis, the ex-street car conductor, the ex-solicitor for newspapers, and it was, perhaps, the most gigantic fraud ever attempted against the government.
Submitted by Friends for Free Genealogy
THE APACHE KID
Said to have been the fiercest Apache next to Geronimo, as well as a notorious outlaw of the late 19th century, was the Apache Kid.
Born in the 1860’s on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, the “Kid” was most likely of the White Mountain Apache. Named Haskay-bay-nay-natyl, "the tall man destined to come to a mysterious end," the pronunciation was too much for the citizens of Globe, who simply called him "Kid." Learning English at an early age, he worked at odd jobs in Globe and was soon befriended by the famous scout, Al Sieber.
At that time, early settlers of the Southwest faced numerous raiding bands of Apaches and General George Crook had come up with the idea to use Apaches to fight other Apaches. Enlisting Apache Indians from San Carlos and other reservations, the enlisted scouts could locate the trails that the hunted Apaches traveled.
In 1881, the Kid enlisted in the Indian Scouts and was so good at the job that he was promoted to sergeant in July, 1882. The following year he accompanied General George Crook on the expedition of the Sierra Madre.
The Geronimo Campaign of 1885-1886 found the Kid in Mexico early in 1885 with Sieber, and when the Chief of Scouts was recalled in the fall, Kid rode with him back to San Carlos. He re-enlisted with Lieutenant Crawford's call for one hundred scouts for Mexican duty, and again went south in late 1885. In the Mexican town of Huasabas, on the Bavispe River, the Kid nearly lost his life in a drunken riot in which he had been a participant. Rather than see the Apache Kid shot by a Mexican firing squad, the judge fined him twenty dollars, and the Army sent him back to San Carlos.
In May, 1887 the Apache Kid was left in charge of the Indian Scouts and guardhouse at San Carlos when Captain Pierce and Al Sieber, an anglo scout, were both gone on business. Though the brewing of tiswin, a beverage made of fermented fruit or corn was illegal on the reservation, with the white officers gone, the Indian Scouts decided to have a party. With the liquor flowing freely, a man named Gon-Zizzie killed the Apache Kid’s father, Togo-de-Chuz. Kid’s friends, in turn, killed Gon-Zizzie. However, the killing of Gon-Zizzie was not enough for the Apache Kid, who then went to the home of Gon-Zizzie’s brother, Rip, and killed him.
When the Apache Kid and the four other scouts returned to San Carlos on June 1, 1857, both Captain Pierce and Al Sieber were there ahead of him. Captain Pierce ordered the scouts to disarm themselves and the Kid was the first to comply. As Pierce ordered them to the guardhouse to be locked up, a shot was fired from the crowd who had gathered to watch the display of events. In no time, the shots became widespread and Al Seiber was hit in the ankle, which ended up crippling him for life. During the melee that followed, the Apache Kid and several other Apaches fled. Though it was never determined who fired that shot that struck Sieber, it was for sure not the Kid nor the other four scouts ordered to the guardhouse as they had all been disarmed.
The Army, reacting swiftly, soon sent two troops of the Fourth Cavalry to find the Apache Kid and the others who had escaped. For two weeks the cavalry followed the fugitives along the banks of the San Carlos River, when finally, with the aid of more Indian Scouts, located the Kid and his band in the Rincon Mountains.
The soldiers seized upon the Apaches' horses and equipment while the Indians fled by foot into the rocky canyons. In negotiations with the soldiers, Kid relayed a message to General Miles stating that if the Army would recall the cavalry he and his band would surrender. When Miles complied, the Apache Kid and seven members of his band surrendered on June 25th.
The Kid and four others were tried court-martialed where they were found guilty of mutiny and desertion and sentenced to death by firing squad. However, General Miles was upset over the verdict and ordered the court to reconsider the sentence. When the court reconvened on August 3, they were re-sentenced to life in prison. However Miles was still not satisfied and reduced the sentence to ten years. Beginning their sentence in the San Carlos guardhouse, they were later sent to Alcatraz.
However, their conviction was soon overturned on October 13, 1888, due to prejudice among the officers of the court-martial trial and the Indians were returned to San Carlos as free men. Causing an outrage among the citizens of the area, a new warrant was issued in October, 1889 in Gila County for the re-arrest of the freed Apaches for assault to commit murder in the wounding of Al Sieber.
At the trial on October 25, 1889, four Apaches including the Apache Kid were found guilty and sentenced to seven years in the Territorial Prison at Yuma. While being transported to the prison the Apache Kid, along with several others escaped. During the fighting that took place during the escape, the three guards, Glenn Reynolds, Eugene Middleton and W. A. Holmes, were overpowered. Glen Reynolds was killed, Middleton was wounded and Holmes apparently died of a heart attack. Middleton later recovered, saying the Kid had prevented another of the Apaches from "finishing" him by bashing his head with a rock.
The Kid and the others fled, their tracks obliterated by a snowstorm. It would be the last "official" sighting of Apache Kid, though unconfirmed reports of his whereabouts would continue to filter in for years.
Over the next few years the Apache Kid was accused of various crimes and said to have led a small band of renegade Apache followers, raiding ranches and freight lines throughout New Mexico , Arizona and Northern Mexico as he hid out in the Mexican Sierra Madre Mountains. Others insist that he became a lone wolf who was despised by his own people and was terribly feared by the Anglo settlers. Some accounts have the Apache Kid kidnapping an Apache woman until he tired of her, then killing her, before kidnapping yet another. Reportedly, the Kid preyed on lone ranchers, cowboys, and prospectors, killing them for their food, guns, and horses. Before long, a price of $5,000 was placed on his head by the Arizona Territorial Legislature, dead or alive, but no one ever claimed the reward.
It is impossible to determine how many of the crimes he is blamed for that he actually committed.
During an 1890 shootout between Sonoran Rurales (a branch of the army) and Apaches, a slain warrior was found to have Reynolds' pistol and watch, but he was too old to have been the Kid. After 1894, reports of his crimes came to an end. Some sources claimed he died at this time while others argue that he crossed into Mexico and retired to his mountain hideout.
In 1899, Colonel Emilio Kosterlitzky, head of the Rurales, reported him alive and living with other Apaches in the Sierra Madre. In the interim, there were several unconfirmed reports of his death - by gunshot or by tuberculosis. However, southern Arizona ranchers continued to report Apache stock raids into the 1920s.
There are so many different variations of the crimes committed by the Apache Kid, all with the purpose of exacting revenge for the treacherous way in which the Apache scouts had been treated by the army, that even historians cannot agree on exactly what he was responsible for, nor when he died. Seemingly, his namesake "the tall man destined to come to a mysterious end" was a prophecy.
Though the questions are many regarding the death of the Apache Kid, a gravesite memorial can be found high in the San Mateo Mountains of the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico. Here is yet another place that the Apache Kid was said to have been killed, after having been hunted down by local ranchers angered by his relentless raids. Reportedly, to mark the site of the site of the Kid's undoing, the vengeful posse blazed a tree, the hacked remains of which you can see to this day. The grave is one mile northwest of Apache Kid Peak at Cyclone Saddle.
Submitted by Friends for Free Genealogy