C. WHEELER (Biography) Harry C. Wheeler, one of the most noted peace
officers of the entire Southwest was born in Jacksonville, Florida in
1876. He had attended a military school, and it is said, he was
rejected by the United States Military Academy because of his not being
quite tall enough, much to his distress. He descended from a family of
fighting men, his father, William B. Wheeler having served with
distinction in the Spanish-American war. Harry Wheeler also served in
the Philippine war with the first United States regulars from Oklahoma.
It is said he was discharged from the cavalry because of injuries he
sustained when his horse kicked him causing severe injury.
HARRY C WHEELER
Wheeler came to Arizona in 1900 and settled in the border town of
Bisbee. In July 1903, Wheeler enlisted as a private in the Arizona
Rangers. Three months later he was promoted to sergeant. In July 1905,
he was commissioned lieutenant and in March 1907, was elevated to the
captaincy, upon the resignation of Thomas Rynning, who had been named
prison superintendent. Wheeler remained with the Rangers as their
captain until the legislature abolished the organization in February
In September 1909, he was appointed deputy United States marshal for
the Tucson district and at the end of that year re-signed to become a
line rider in the customs service in connec-tion with the Douglas
Wheeler was elected sheriff of Cochise county when Arizona attained
statehood in 1912 and was re-elected and served until he enlisted in
the army during World War I, when he turned in his resignation. He was
commissioned a captain and was sta-tioned at Hoboken, N. J., in charge
of several hundred recruits, later being transferred to Camp Merritt,
N. J., where he re-mained for several weeks. He sailed for France in
March 1918, having been assigned to the Signal Corps of the Aviation
Divi-sion, much against his wishes as he felt he wasn't fitted for that
particular branch of the service.
Three months later Wheeler was ordered back to the United States to
face law suits and indictments brought against him as the result of the
deportation of the LW.W. (International Workers of the World) and their
sympathizers from Bisbee in July 1917. He was anxious to return to
Arizona to take whatever may be coming to him, as he put it, in
connection with the deportation of 1186 men from Bisbee. As sheriff of
Cochise county he directed the deportation, deputizing the men who
assisted him, and assuming all responsibility of these men being loaded
into cattle cars and shipped to Columbus, N. M.
Wheeler had been released on a short furlough to dispose of these
personal matters. Just before leaving he received his trans-fer from
the Signal Corps to the infantry for front line duty in France, having
made application for the change some time be-fore. He embarked at once
for the United States, landing in New York the latter part of July,
going directly to Washington. From there he secured additional orders
and proceeded to Tomb-stone, Arizona, as he had been ordered to report
at nearby Fort Huachuca temporarily or until the suits pending against
him were disposed of. He was sent to Nogales in charge of a machine gun
troop in the interim.
The Bisbee Deportation case dragged on. Wheeler was originally named as
one of the defendants, having been bound over for trial at his own
request. When the preliminary hearing was called in September 1919, it
was revealed that no information was ever filed against him in the
superior court. However, the case was finally settled and all
defendants, hundreds of them, being found "not guilty" by a jury of
their peers within a matter of a very short time.
The war was then over and the pioneer, soldier. Ranger, sheriff, and
good citizen that he was, died on December 17, 1925, at the Calumet and
Arizona hospital in the mining town of Warren (Bisbee), following a
short illness which ended with pneumonia, at the age of about 50 years.
Harry Wheeler was buried there.
STOP STEER TYING
With the action taken by Ranger Captain Harry Wheeler yesterday at Don
Luis in preventing the exhibition in which steers were to have been
roped and tied, and "Nigger" Pickett was billed to throw a steer with
his teeth, the end to cruelty to animals in Arizona, whether in an
exhibition or otherwise, was marked, the last and most thrilling of
wild west feats had re-ceived a quietus and the only vestige now left
of life on the plains remains in the simple and monotonous stunt of the
cow-puncher who may continue to mount the hurricane deck of the untamed
broncho and be jolted to his heart's content.
The Twenty-Fourth Legislature said that cruelty to animals in the guise
of feats of skill and exhibitions must stop. Captain Wheeler seconded
the enactment of the law, and so far as known, Sunday, April 13, 1907,
was the first time in the history of this territory that cowboy sport
was peremptorily called to a halt under threat of imprisonment.
For the past three weeks O. C. Nations and Clay McGonnigle, both famous
throughout the west as steer tiers and broncho busters, have been
conducting weekly exhibitions of their ability, and as a side line
"Nigger" Pickett, of Texas, a black cowboy, has been throwing a steer
by catching the animal's lip between his teeth after mounting the
running steer from the back of a fleet pony, and throwing the beast. To
the morbid this has proven a most interesting feat and crowds have
gathered expressly to see this part of the performance. There will be
no more of it wher-ever there is an Arizona Ranger, or for that matter
any other officer of the law who is conversant with the latest statute
cov-ering this feature of exhibitions.
Sunday's was the second exhibition scheduled to be conducted for the
edification of the Bisbee public, the first having been conducted
The management of the affair offered no resistance to the orders of the
officer of the law, but substituted instead of the steer tying ami the
"Nigger" steer contest, a whole lot of rough riding which seemed to
catch the crowd and serve to appease them.
The officers would not even permit the riders to throw a rope about the
cattle which they had secured for the occasion, but owing to the
foresight of the management a large number of unbroken bronchos were on
hand and the exhibition that fol-lowed was sufficient to satisfy the
crowd that had gathered. —Bisbee Review, 1907
The law referred to above is as follows:
To Prohibit Exhibition of Steer Tying and Steer Tying Contests Within
the Territory of Arizona.
Section 1. That it shall be unlawful for any person or persons to
engage in any steer tying contest or exhibition of steer tying within
the Territory of Arizona.
Section 2. That it shall be unlawful for any person to cast, rope or
throw any animal of the horse, cow or other kind, either his own
property or the property of another; Provided that nothing in this Act
shall apply to necessary work done on the range or elsewhere in tlie
handling of such animals.
Section 3. Any person or persons violating the provisions of the Act or
aiding and abetting in the violation of the provisions of this Act
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor ami upon conviction thereof shall be
punished by a fine of not less than Fifty Dollars or more than Two
Hundred and Fifty Dollars or by imprison-ment of not less than thirty
days nor more than one hundred and eighty days.
Section 4. This Act shall take effect and be in force from and after
April first, 1907.
Approved March 18, 1907.
Editor's Note: The Arizona Legislature in later years liberalized the
above law making it possible to resume the sport which is so popularly
known today as the "Rodeo."
Tucson, Ariz., May 6.—Lieut. "Billy" Old, of the Arizona Rangers, is in
the city preparing to go to the northern part ol the territory, where
he will command the movements of a bunch of Rangers in a war against a
band of horse thieves that have kept the stockmen of that part in
constant terror for sev-eral years past.
The first work of the Rangers will be in that part of Arizona lying
cast of the Colorado River, which is one of the wildest parts of the
United Stales. This little neck of rough country has served as a safe
rendezvous for cattle and horse thieves for years. It is almost
imposible to reach it from the west on account of Death Valley and
owing to the difficulty in getting across the canyon of the Colorado
the outlaws have practically run tilings as they please.
Following the same tactics in most ever)' theft, the thieves cross the
river, secure their hoofed boot)1 and drive them back across the
canyon. For ;t small number of officers to follow the thieves into
their own country has always been considered futile and owing to the
country preyed upon by the outlaws being very sparsely settled, the
getting together of a number of men large enough to follow the thieves
has been Impossible. The territorial government was finally appealed to
by the ranch owners, and the work about to be commenced by the
territorial Rangers is a result of this appeal. —Douglas Dispatch, 1907
Democrat, Phoenix: On their way to Prescott, where they will make their
headquarters, Lieutenant Old and Ranger McGee of the Arizona Rangers
stopped over in Phoenix today before con-tinuing north. In the past
they have been at Nogales. Lieutenent Old will have charge of the
Rangers in the northern part of the territory. He states that Captain
Harry Wheeler, who succeeded Prison Superintendent Rynning, will be
here in a few days on a tour of inspection of the whole territory. Old
states that condi-tions are normal along die Mexican border, with an
occasional had man breaking out and demanding the attention of the
—Douglas Dispatch, 1907
Lieutenant Billy Old who has charge of the officers in the northern
part of the territory is a visitor in Tucson today and says that he has
secured an almost entirely new force. lie said:
"Four of the officers from Southern Arizona who were detailed for work
in the northern part were unwilling to remain there and they were given
the alternative of doing work where they were assigned or resigning,
and four of the force decided that they preferred to get out of the
service. They did not like the wintry blasts and the many snowstorms.
However, new recruits have been secured from the northern part of the
territory and the quota is complete again." —Tucson Citizen, 1907
SARABIA KIDNAPPING CASE
Probably never in the history of Cochise county were the eitizens of
any community worked into such a frenzy as was evident in the city of
Douglas on the first day of July, when it became known that a prisoner
had been kidnapped from the city jail, probably by the cooperation of
two police officers of Douglas, and taken forcibly across the
international boundary line into Mexico, which was the last heard of
him. A monster mass meet-ing was held, at which those in attendance
made speeches de-nouncing in the most vigorous terms the outrage which
had been committed, because it had been learned that the prisoner who
had been taken in such a brutal and crude way, was not wanted for
murder, as was alleged, but was wanted on the other side because he
with some associates had criticized the existing government of the
During this time excitement was at a white heat, and even the sheriff
of Cochise county. Jack White, and District Attorney Shelley were
abused, because they had not prevented the out-rage. It was seen,
however, when reason was given a place in the affairs, that both of
these gentlemen had been most unjustly criticized and abused, and
apologies were rendered to them.
Resolutions were adopted calling on the President of the United States,
and the President of Mexico, to right the wrong, and even demanded the
immediate removal of the Mexican Consul at that point, who was alleged
to have been implicated in the affair. Complaints were also sworn out
against Ranger Sam Hayhurst, Constable Shropshire, Consul Maza, Jailer
Lee Thomp-son and Special Guard Dawdle, the last of whom was never
arrested, as he is believed to have left the country. The ab-solute
injustice of the complaint against Hayhurst, however, will be apparent
from the statement of the prisoner himself, now a free man, the only
ground on which the complaint had ever been sworn to being that he was
the arresting officer; and it is now clear that lie acted under orders
and in the best of good faith, discharging his duty as a fearless
About two months ago Captain Ramos Bareras called upon Captain Harry C.
Wheeler, of the Arizona Rangers, coming as a representative of the new
border force lately instituted by the Mexican government, which,
however, is separate from the Rur-ales under the command of Colonel
Kosterlitzky. At that time he asked for the arrest of Adolpho Garcia,
wanted in Mexico for various alleged crimes. Nothing ever came of this
visit. About three weeks ago Bareras again called on the chief of the
Rangers and asked for the arrest of one Manuel Sarabia, whom he said
was wanted in Mexico on a charge of inciting revolution. The American
officer informed the Mexican that under the laws of the United States
Sarabia had committed no offense, and there-lore could not be arrested.
"But," added Bareras, "this man is a murderer. Don't you arrest men in
the United States for murder?"
To this Wheeler replied that we did. The Mexican then stated to the
captain of the Rangers that Sarabia had commited murder at several
different places, naming them. He was assured that if the man were
found he would be held by the American authori-ties, but that Mexico
would have to secure extradition papers. The various Rangers were
notified to watch for Sarabia and place him under arrest, awaiting
papers, but nothing came of this.
On June 29, Captain Wheeler and Ranger Sam Hayhurst boarded the train
leaving Bisbee for Douglas, having been here at the time of the big
fire on that day. As the two officers walked through every coach before
taking a seat in a train, Captain Bereras met them in the Pullman
coach, and told the head of the Rangers that he knew where Sarabia was,
showing the man's description, address and everything else connected
with him, showing that he was in the city of Douglas. Hayhurst was on
the road to Douglas at that time, and Captain Wheeler, out of the
courtesy due from an officer in the service of one nation to that of
another, told Bereras that his subordinate would arrest Sarabia,
holding him on this side of the line until the customary extradition
papers were regularly made out, served, and it was shown that there was
probable cause to think the prisoner guilty of the offense charged.
Then in accordance with the story told him by Bereras, Captain Wheeler
told Hayhurst that the man wanted was reported to be a murderer, and to
be careful, as he might be desperate. With these instructions the
Ranger went to Douglas.
The ordering of the arrest of Sarabia by Wheeler is in accord-ance with
the courtesy of the two friendly nations. However, there has never been
an instance where the captain of the Arizona Rangers turned over a
prisoner to Mexico until extra-dition papers were issued no matter how
guilty the accused might be known to be. An instance of this is the
case of Trujillo, the infamous Mexican murderer, cutthroat, assassin
and outlaw, whom Wheeler refused to give to Mexico a few months ago,
although he had him on this side of the line in custody, until the
regular papers were issued in accordance with law. The Mexican
officials, however, would not get extradition papers, even for the
infamous Trujillo, claiming it was too expensive and laborious a task,
and in consequence Wheeler gave the prisoner his liberty.
With this usual courtesy, the captain of the Rangers in the Sarabia
case ordered the arrest of the accused, subject to in-structions.
Hayhurst carried out instructions, and there is no doubt that within a
couple of days the prisoner would have been freed had it not been for
the scheming of the subordinate Mexican officials, who were looking for
a reputation, and Ameri-cans having no regard for honor and integrity.
Despite the fact, however, that violence was used to betray the
confidence which the head of the American Ranger force placed in the
word of a man who was supposed to be a soldier and a gentleman working
for a friendly nation; despite the fact that men perporting to be
American citizens connived and con-spired to help the treachery; yet
today the victim of the outrage is free, and on American soil. This
result is due solely and alone to the efforts of Captain Wheeler in
bringing the matter to the attention of General Torres in an informal
way, and not only Arizona, but the United States, has reason to be
proud of this man, whose bravery has been established on a solid
foundation; whose integrity as a gentleman can not be questioned; and
who in the last instance has shown himself a diplomat of the highest
ability in bringing about a result in his characteristically modest and
quiet way, that could not have been achieved by the federal slate
department itself, without complications. Throughout the entire affair
he has displayed the courtesy and gentlemanly bearing, backed by the
highest sense of justice, that justifies the pride of everyone who
knows him to think that he is an American citizen.
When Captain Wheeler brought the affair to the attention of General
Torres, commander of the northern military zone of Mexico, and
governor-elect of Sonora, the latter at once made a thorough
investigation of the affair, and on his return to Hermosillo
immediately opened the doors of the prison, thus making Sarabia a free
man to go whither he would. This was done entirely in an unofficial
manner, so far as international relations were concerned, so that when
Sarabia chose to come back to the United States on the same train
Wheeler did, he did it of his own free will, and was at no time under
arrest nor is he now. In his action General Torres displayed the high
sense of justice, which has done much to-foster the friendly feelings
existing between the United States and Mexico.
When Sarabia stepped from the train at Naco last evening he was met by
a Review reporter. The man accused of many murders, but who is now
known to be guilty of no offense, but that of criticizing the Mexican
government, stands about 5 feet 8 inches in height, weighs 130 pounds;
is 24 years of age, has a small black moustache, a heavy suit of black
hair on his head, dressed in natty clothing, and would give one the
impression of being a college student.
The reporter asked Sarabia for a detailed statement, and the Following
is the substance of his replies as he only speaks broken English. He
was born in the City of Mexico, and educated there. After finishing his
studies six years ago, he became a member of a group of men who
disliked many of the features of the Mexican government, under the
presidency of Porfirio Diaz, and banded themselves together for the
purpose of bringing about reforms. The name of this organization was,
and is, the Junta Liberal Mexicana. This group entered the newspaper
field, believing that they could bring their ideas to the attention of
the people of the republic most effectively in this manner. In this
enterprise he was associated with Ricardo Flores Magon, who was editor
in chief of the publication which they called the Regeneration. The
troubles of the newspaper were many, the plant being con-fiscated on
several occasions, and the editors thrown in jail. Finally they arrived
at the conclusion that they could best serve their interests from the
United States, and on January 22, 1904, arrived at Laredo, Texas, in
company with several of their asso-ciates. Sarabia remained at Laredo
for two months, and went from there to San Antonio, where the
publication of Regenera-tion was again attempted, and carried on for
several months, but was finally prevented by the intervention of the
government of Mexico on technical charges. From San Antonio the
head-quarters of the Junta were removed to St. Louis, Mo., where the
work was carried on for several months, when the Mexican gov-ernment
again, through Esperon Y'de la'Flor, brought trouble upon the heads of
the editors, which finally resulted in their leaving St. Louis. Sarabia
went to Chicago, thence to Hammond, Ind., from there back to Chicago,
from there to St. Louis, and finally back to Texas, where he visited
and worked in various cities. In all of these different cities, Sarabia
said he worked from three to four weeks. On June 1, 1907, or
thereabouts, he arrived in Douglas and secured employment in the office
of the Douglas Inter national-American under the name of Sam Moret,
fearing that if he used his real name, some such incident as lately
occurred might happen.
On June 30, at about 10 a.m., he walked to the railroad depot intending
to mail a letter on the through train, and was suddenly told to throw
up his hands. On looking he saw Ranger Hayhurst, who acting on the
theory explained to him that the man was perhaps desperate, took the
wise course to prevent trouble, by showing the man he had the drop on
him. Sarabia did not put his hands up, explaining to tlie officer that
he was not a bandit. He was again ordered to raise his hands, but again
refused, and was finally taken to the city hall by the officer.
While in the city hall six different men entered the room in which he
was placed under guard of a big man by Hayhurst, who went out, and
returned later. One of these men Sarabia describes as a Mexican, but
the description is such that, whether it was Consul Maza or Bareras can
not be determined. He was placed in jail about 11 a.m. by the big man.
After he was placed in jail, an old man, armed with a six-shooter,
displayed very generously, walked up and down in front of the bars, and
finally sat down directly in front of his cell. About 2 o'clock in the
afternoon he asked for dinner, which was brought in from a restaurant.
During the afternoon he asked to see his friends, but the privilege was
denied him, and he again demanded to know why he had been arrested. He
was informed that he would know later.
About 6:30 he was given supper. In the meantime he destroyed several
letters which had been overlooked in searching him. These he destroyed
to conceal his real name, pretending that he was Sam Moret, and hoping
to bluff out the officers.
At 11 o'clock at night, two men, both of whom he thinks he will be able
to identify, came to his cell and ordered him to dress. When he got out
of the cell he was handcuffed, and taken through the hall of the
building. As soon as he approached the entrance he saw an automobile
directly in front and suspecting that he was to be rushed into Mexico,
endeavored to escape, at the same time shouting "Long Live Liberty,"
and like expressions. He was overcome and forced into the machine, one
handker-chief being stuffed in his mouth and another held over his
eyes. Shortly after the machine started he again shouted out, but again
was hushed. The next he knew he was taken from the automobile into a
small round house, outside of which were ten mounted Mexican Rurales
and five whom he believes were soldiers on foot. There was also two men
in a buggy drawn by a team of horses, one whom he believes was in
command of the soldiers. He was taken from the house and placed on a
horse, handcuffed and with his feet tied beneath the horse, a rurale
having the bridle rein, and leading the animal on which he was mounted.
The party at once started out, being urged from time to time to go
faster by one of the men seated in the buggy. The cavalcade arrived at
Naco, Sonora, at about 5 a.m., where Sarabia was placed in jail until
the train left for Cananca, when again in the custody of the soldiers
he made the trip. He arrived in Cananea shortly after noon, and was
again placed in jail, where he remained two days and two nights. He was
then placed on horseback again, and in company with six soldiers, one
of whom led his horse, made the trip to the railroad at Imuiis, where
he arrived at 2 o'clock p.m., July 3. On July 4, he was taken on the
train to Hermosillo, where he was confined incommunicado, which means
that he was allowed to sec no one. The next time he was out of jail was
on Thursday morning July 11, when he was brought out and Captain
Wheeler met him after his release had been arranged, and he was
informed he was a free man to go wherever he wished. He elected to come
back to the United States, and came on the same train Captain Wheeler
did, arriving in this country at Nogales. Last evening at 5:10 he
arrived in Naco, where he remained that night and will go to Douglas in
After finishing his narrative, Sarabia, who would impress one as an
enthusiastic boy imbued with the spirit of liberty, began to speak of
Captain Wheeler. His emotion was so intense that he could think of
nothing adequate to express his feeling toward the man whom he had
never seen before he came out of jail at Hermosillo, but whom he knew
was his deliverer.
The arrival of Sarabia at Douglas will undoubtedly clear Ranger
Hayhurst of the slightest blame, and show him to be an officer who
although well known for his nerve, would rather prevent trouble than to
hurt a prisoner. His arrival will also undoubtedly mean the dealing out
of just retribution to those who, for want of consideration, were
instrumental in perpetrating this outrage, which had it not been for
eminent ability displayed on the part of Captain Wheeler, Governor
Kibbey, in ordering an investigation, and General Luis E. Torres in
treating the matter with the high sense of justice and a disdain for
trickery might have ended in serious complications as a result of the
absolute lie of one supposed to be a soldier and a gentleman.
—Bisbee Review, 1907
The Review in May 1908, had this to say:
Manuel Sarabia, the alleged revolutionist is at it again. He arrived in
Tucson in custody of Lee Youngworth, United States marshal for the
southern district of California, after his arrest in Los Angeles at the
request of the Mexican authorities.
The impression has been given circulation during the past few days when
it was announced that Manuel Sarabia had been brought back to Tucson on
his way to Tombstone that he was to be tried and if convicted that he
was to be deported to Mexico. Such is not the case. The indictments
found against Sarabia, Magon, Villareal and Rivera charges them with a
violation of the neutrality laws of the United States under which
statute they will be tried. The statutes provide for a punishment not
to exceed two years in the penitentiary and a fine not exceeding
$5,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The Review in October, 1908, stated:
Sarabia has been a prisoner in the Pima county jail at Tucson for five
months and he has just been released on bond of $500, which followed
receipt of a telegram to United States Marshal Ben Daniels, from
Tombstone, stating that Sarabia's bond had been approved. He and his
associates, who also are under arrest, were to await trial before the
United States court at Tombstone. Sarabia was charged with being an
ally of Magon, Villareal and Rivera, and other revolutionary agitators,
and the Mexican gov-ernment desires very much to extradite Sarabia, but
these pro-ceedings were hotly contested.
Editors Note: Before a jury at Tombstone court house in May 1909,
Magon, Villareal and Rivera, after several days of trial, were all
found guilty of violating the neutrality laws of the United States and
were sentenced by Judge Fletcher Doan to serve eighteen months each in
the territorial prison at Yuma.
What happened to Manuel Sarabia? He had disappeared from the scene at
Tucson when he jumped his bond and headed for places unknown. It was
thought he had fled to Canada.
DUEL TO THE DEATH
The Tucson Citizen of July 1, 1907, gave the following startling news:
Last night, a short distance from Child's Wells near Ajo,° a little
settlement in the Sierra del Ajo range in the western end of Pima
county, Ranger Frank S. Wheeler shot and killed James Kerrick and his
partner, Lee Bentley, with whom he lived in Tucson. Kerrick and his
companion were making away with a bunch of stock which they are alleged
to have "rustled" in the Ajo hills and when overtaken by Ranger Wheeler
and Deputy Cameron and called upon to surrender a fight ensued in which
the keen eye and automatic gun of Ranger Wheeler proved too much for
his two assailants.
Kerrick and Bentley, who had been working at Helvetia for several
months past, were in Tucson about three weeks ago and when they left
town it was for the avowed purpose of prospecting in the Ajo mountains
about fifty miles south of Gila Bend.00 A few days later they hired two
Indian ponies in Gila Bend and set out southward, leaving word that
they were prospecting and would return in a month. As Kerrick was known
to be a cattle rustler by some parties in Gila Bend and as he and his
fellow prospector carried no tools for prospecting it was quietly
suspi-cionccl that they were going out to "rustle" cattle and horses in
the isolated Ajo hills.
Ranger Frank Wheeler, who is stationed at Yuma, but who happed to be in
Gila Bend at this time, and Deputy Cameron, were put on their trail.
From information that the men could gather from the ranchers in the
hills it was learned that the suspicions concerning the self-styled
prospectors were true; that the hills were being covered by the men and
that they were lead-ing and driving a bunch of stock, including calves
and colts as they went. Wheeler and Cameron at once set out after them
and anticipating trouble, prepared for the worst. They overtook the
alleged rustlers at Sheep Dung Tanks, west of Ajo, where they were
watering and preparing to go in camp. When Wheeler and Cameron rode up
they were recognized and the rustlers must have known they were in
trouble. Wheeler called out for the pair to surrender. His call was
answered by a flash of pistols. It was then that Wheeler turned loose
his automatic that could give three shots to his opponents' one.
Cameron also fired but it was Wheeler's shots that did the work. Both
Kerrick and Bent-ley were killed and Wheeler hurried a messenger to
Gila Bend, who wired the news of the tragedy to the sheriff's office in
Sheriff Pacheco left on the train this morning for Gila Bend, where he
will take an automobile furnished by the Ajo Copper Mining company and
bring the bodies back to Gila Bend. Justice of the Peace John Doan of
Silver Bell, in whose precinct the killing took place, has been called
to Gila Bend, where a coroner s inquest will be held this evening if it
is possible to get the bodies there today. Sheriff Pacheco took ice out
from Gila Bend and an effort will be made to preserve the bodies of the
dead men for the inquest. Ranger Wheeler holds himself in readiness to
sur-render to the sheriff upon Paeheco's arrival.
Jim Kerrick was a bad man, and has a long record of deviltry and crime
behind him. For years he has been alleged to be a cattle thief. He
began his record by killing a sheep herder in Southern California when
but a vouth. An old man had been keeping a flock of about 600 sheep in
a little valley between two mountain ranges in the San Jacinto
mountains. Kerrick was a partner in a company that had a flock over the
range. One day ideal one for an ambuscade. When, in the early dawn of
Sunday morning, Ranger Wheeler called in the name of the law for their
peaceable surrender, the men sprang to their rifles and opened fire.
Had the pursuers halted and turned away from their long chase or had
they delayed a day there would in all probability have been one more
stage robbery with its attendant murder, and with relays of fresh
horses, their route selected with care, the bandits would have been
safe in Mexico before the crime was discovered.
From the circumstances surrounding the killing of Kerrick and Bentley
by Ranger Frank Wheeler and Deputy Cameron, near Ajo, it is reasonable
to conclude that a holdup of the bullion stage which passes from the
King of Arizona mine to Sentinel on the Southern Pacific was averted.
The rustlers at the time of the killing were possessed of six crack
saddle horses which they had stolen from ranchers, and they were in
secret camp along the roadside which passes each week the stage which
carries the bullion from the King of Arizona mine to Mohawk on the
Southern Pacific railroad. As Kerrick and Bentley had every facility
for a hold-up, including several brand new .33 Winchester rifles of the
latest model and had familiarized themselves with the nearest and best
trail by which they could make their escape across the line, it is
believed their plan was to rob the stage, pack the bullion on their
speedy horses and make their escape to Mexico.
YUMA, July 4.—In telling the story of the shooting of Kerrick and
Bentley, Ranger Frank Wheeler, in an interview, said: "I left here on
June 26 and went as far as Welton, where I met Johnny Cameron, whom I
had wired to as soon as I had word from Captain Wheeler to go after the
men. Cameron had two horses at Sentinel, and together we struck out
across the burning desert in search of the outlaws. We knew they were
in the Ajo country, and we rode 140 miles in the blazing heat, tracking
the horse thieves. On Saturday we rode thirty-five miles. Our horses
went without water the entire clay, and the water in our canteens was
so hot we couldn't drink it, and you know how hot it was. Just as dawn
was breaking we started in the direction we knew the men were camping,
and when we had walked a mile and a half we took off our shoes and
walked another mile and a half before we came upon the men sleeping
beside their guns.
"Bentlcy's Winchester lay about a foot from where he was alsleep, and
as soon as he was awakened, (of course we let them know what we
wanted,) he managed to load his gun before I began shooting. Four times
I shot at him, but not until the fifth shot did he drop. The bullet
went through his left temple and came out the right ear. Cameron got
his man Kerrick with one shot. My gun was a 30-40 rifle, and Cameron
carried a 30-30.
"When we were sure they wen* dead we put them on their own horses and
rode twenty-five miles with them to the Ten Miles Wells, ton miles from
Ajo. We sent word to Sentinel to wire to Pima county for a coroner. The
coroner refused to come, and a wire was sent to Silver Bell for the
justice of the peace, and he refused to come. So it was all day Sunday
and until 2 o'clock Monday when Sheriff Pacheco arrived, before we
buried the men. We did not dare leave them on top of the ground any
longer, on account of the heat, so I made boxes for them and lowered
them into the ground. Even when Pacheco got there the bodies were
decomposed beyond recognition.
"We went back to Gila Bend, where we took the train for home. Both men
were wanted for stealing Indian ponies in Maricopa county. There was no
reward offered either by the captain of the Rangers or the sheriff of
—Phoenix Democrat, 1907
TUCSON, Aug. 20.—"I never before realized what a terrible thing the act
of taking a human life was until the evidence of the inquest into the
killing of Bentley and Kerrick by Ranger Wheeler and Deputy Sheriff
Cameron was unfolded bit by bit before my eyes," stated District
Attorney Benton Dick in discussing the inquest at Silver Bell.
"According to the story told by the two officers and corrobo-rated by
two eye witnesses the killing was entirely justifiable, bul it was a
horrible affair, nevertheless," continued the district attorney.
"Bentley was a young man in the prime of life, about twenty-six years
of age, and Ranger Wheeler said that he showed more nerve under fire
than he had ever seen displayed by a man before, which is saying a good
deal, as Wheeler has been in the Southwest for a good many years and
has been a member of the Ranger force for the past four years, having
handled a number of bad men in his time.
"Bentley was down on one knee with his rifle in hand taking deliberate
aim when the first shot was fired, which struck him in the abdomen.
Although five shots were fired into his body, one in the head, two near
the heart, one in the abdomen and another in the lower part of the
body. Wheeler said that Bentley never wavered from his position he had
assumed at first until the last shot had been fired, whereupon he fell
face down upon the ground, but not until after he had made a last
desperate effort to recover his equilibrium."
J. D. Simmons of Helvetia and Silver Bell, who is a brother-in-law of
Lee Bentley, one of the men killed, made a statement today in which he
denies that Bentley fired the first shot.
"According to the statement made by the officers at Silver Bell," said
Simmons, "Lee Bentley did not fire the first shot. Cameron fired first
and the shot struck Bentley, who was the first one injured.
"Also regarding the ponies which it is stated they had stolen,
witnesses swore at the inquest that Bentley and Kerrick had hired the
ponies from Indians, paying them ten dollars for their use." —Bisbee
News reached tlie city, says the Tucson Citizen in 1907, of the killing
of Lariano Alvarez of El Cubo, a small Indian village tbout 150 miles
west of Tucson on the 30th of August, the murderer being John Johns, an
Indian resident of the village.
The news was contained in a letter from Tom Childs Jr., who is a
brother-in-law of Alvarez, to Sheriff Pacheco, who, through the aid of
the mails, deputized Childs to arrest Johns and bring him to Tucson.
El Cubo is about twenty-five miles south of Ajo, and in the Papago
language means "Big Pond," after the large water hole there. It is
reported here that the Indian residents of the village Frequently
smuggle mescal into the place from Mexico and get on drunken sprees.
No particulars of the killing are given in the letter, with the
exception that Alvarez was in the camp for a few days and while ihere
Johns got drunk, and picking a quarrel with him, stabbed him to death
before any of the Indians who were present at the lime could interfere.
There are numerous Indian villages in that part of the country and it
is said that the residents of all of them spend a good part of their
time in a drink-crazed condition.
It is not known here just when Childs will arrive with the prisoner,
but it is expected that it will be within the next day or two.
A few weeks later the Citizen disclosed:
This afternoon, Captain Harry Wheeler of the Arizona Rang-ers,
accompanied by eight of his men arrived in Tucson. They will be joined
by Sheriff Pacheo and three of his deputies, and the combined party,
armed to the teeth and prepared for a long desert trip, will leave
early tomorrow morning on horseback for the Papago Indian village known
as El Cubo. The trip will be made by way of Quijotoa and Ajo.
Some time ago this paper printed the particulars of the killing of a
Mexican at El Cubo by an Indian named John Johns. Later Sheriff Pacheco
deputized Tom Chilcls Jr., of the Ten Mile well, to make the arrest.
Nothing was heard from Childs for some time, until August 6th, when a
letter was received by Sheriff Pacheco from him, in which he stated, "I
herewith return you the warrant sent me. It is utterly impossible for
one man to make the arresl as the Indians are up in arms, and threaten
to kill the first white man that attempts to travel the Cubo trail."
When this letter was received from Childs, Sheriff Pacheco immediately
sent the following communication to the Board of Supervisors of Pima
"Some fifteen days past a murder was committed at a Papago Indian
rancheria called El Cubo. This rancheria is about twenty miles
southwest of the Gunsight Mine in this county. As soon as I was
notified of this murder I took immediate steps to effect the capture of
the murderer. For this purpose I went to Gila Bend but had to return as
I was unable to get necessary trans-portation into the Indian country.
Before returning to this city, I deputized Tom Childs Jr., a very
reliable man who knows the country and the Indians well, to go after
the murderer. Chilcls, accompanied by some of his neighbors made the
trip, but they were unsuccessful in accomplishing their mission for the
reason that the Indians were up in arms and absolutely refused to give
up the criminal. They had made the threat that any white person seen
traveling over the El Cubo trail will be shot down by them.
"In my opinion these Indians must be made to respect the law, otherwise
more serious complications will arise in the future. For this purpose I
have made arrangements with Captain Harry Wheeler of the Arizona
Rangers to accompany me together with eight or ten of his men. I will
take with me all available deputies. I desire your sanction for the
expenses incurred, which will be moderate as no compensation will be
paid to any of the posse, Simply supplies and incidentals. Trusting to
hear from you at once as we expect to start on the 15th inst., I am,
Respectfully yours, Nabor Pacheco, Sheriff of Pima County."
Upon receipt of this message from the sheriff, the board of Supervisors
decided to allow the expenses incurred by the posse, and a resolution
to this effect was passed by them.
This uprising by the Indians brings one back to the early days Of the
territory, when the redskins were out in numbers to am-bush the lonely
traveler of the plains. This is the first time for a good many years
that the Indians have taken arms in any num-ber to resist the laws of
the White Father, and it is the opinion of Sheriff Pacheco, as
expressed in his communication to the Board of Supervisors that it is
best to suppress them before they are led to believe from the lack of
action on the part of the officers that they are invincible and can
commit their depreda-tions and remain unmolested. To this end the posse
will leave town early tomorrow morning, and will not return until they
have captured the murderer and put down the threatened uprising of the
The posse left here Sunday morning, September 15, at five o'clock. They
traveled on horseback all day Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and
Thursday afternoon at 1:30 arrived at El Cubo where Johns was supposed
An old Indian was picked up 18 miles from El Cubo, who agreed to act as
their guide, under the supposition that the party was bound for
Gunsight. He informed Sheriff Pacheco that the easiest and shortest way
to reach Gunsight would be by a small Indian village known as El Cubo.
The sheriff replied with an air of indifference that they might as well
go through EI Cubo as any other way and told the Indian to lead the
way. The village was soon reached and Pacheco told the guide to find an
Indian for them, whose name was John Johns. The fellow, realizing what
the real purpose of the posse was, became fright-ened and refused to
look for the murderer. The place, at the time the officers arrived, was
deserted with the exception of a few women and several children, but
before the party had been there five minutes several men came running
in from nearby fields. They were placed under arrest by SherifF Pacheco
as fast as they arrived. Finally one old man came in, and after being
questioned, informed the officers that John Johns, the man wanted, was
in a field a short distance from the village. Pacheco and Wheeler
started for the field, and as they neared it they caught sight of a man
making away through the weeds. Captain Wheeler gave chase and soon
returned with the man, who proved to be John Johns, the murderer. He
admitted his identity.
The posse met absolutely no resistance from the Indians, but Sheriff
Pacheco stated that in his opinion the only reason they were not
molested was on account of their numbers. He said that if one man or
even two or three had attempted to enter the village, they would no
doubt have been killed by the Indians, a number of whom were armed with
Thursday night the posse camped near El Cubo, and Friday morning before
sunrise the return journey to Tucson was com-menced.
A news letter by mail from the special correspondent of the Citizen at
A jo reveals an extraordinary and astonishing state of affairs in the
Indian country to the south and west of Ajo. Sheriff Pacheco and
Captain Wheeler were greatly suprised at the customs of the Indians and
the apparent disregard for any civilized laws. The letter is as follows:
"An eye for an eye and a life for a life is not the custom that
prevails among the Papagoes that live in the southwestern part of Pima
county. They vary the ancient law so that instead of really giving an
eye when one is lost or instead of having an execution when a murder is
committed the family or relatives of the killed or murdered party are
recompensed by a money consideration.
"It was the refusal of John Johns to pay the small sum of $75 to the
widow of the murdered man, that led to all the present trouble. As is
the custom of the tribe the squaw of the dead man took her claim up
with the head chief in the Indian pueblo and the order was given that
Johns should pay her $75. Johns balked in the payment and the squaw in
her Indian understanding of her legal right attempted to force the
payment of this sum. This refusal of Jobns placed him under the ban of
the law and it is the general belief that he would have been dealt with
according to the Indian customs had not the White Man's Law stepped
into the case.
"No sooner had word been received in the pueblo that the officer from
Tucson wanted Johns than the whole village rallied to his support. The
Indians did not at all relish the prospect of interference with their
affairs and they determined to either resist with arms or to secret
Johns when the officers arrive. For this reason it is believed that the
officers' posse will have the greatest difficulty in discovering the
whereabouts of the Indians.
"By means of communication known only to the Indians word reached the
village of El Cubo within twenty-four hours after it was known in
Tucson that the posse would start for the village.
"The Papago fiestas in this country are grewsome affairs and not a
single one goes by without a serious cutting or killing scrape. The
Indians seem to accept these things, however, as a matter of course and
the relatives are always satisfied when they receive their money
"It was during the last fiesta at Ajo that Rafael Vega, a Papago,
mysteriously met death. It was supposed that he had perished in the
flames which destroyed his shack, but there was evidence that his skull
had been fractured and this strongly indicated murder. Those who are
familiar with Indian adobes do not attribute the fracture to the
falling of walls of the shack.
"At another recent fiesta an Indian named Juan, struck an Indian named
Juaquin in the eye with a large boulder, mashing the latter's face and
gouging the eye out. This ghastly scene took place at Redondo's well.
The assailant settled with his victim by the payment of $75 and the two
are now warm friends.
"All the depredations on the part of the Indians are caused through
their becoming drunk on the vile brand of mescal which is smuggled
across the border from Mexico and sold to them. This fiery fluid
inflames the Indians and it is no unusual thing for a brave to kill
some member of his family and his best friend, Thus far the officers
have been unable to stop the mescal smug-gling and until they do the
horrible scenes that mark all the fiestas will continue to be enacted.
"The Indians when sober are fairly industrious and live peace-fully in
their villages according to their own laws and customs. A governor
selected from their ranks is the chief ruler of the village and he
settles all disputes and prescribes the form of pun-ishment for all
"It is from the tribes in this vicinity that many of the young braves
and squaws who attend the Tucson Indian school are recruited. They
remain in the city for several years and receive a fair education. They
soon revert to their old ways and customs, however, on their return to
the villages and within a short time appear to have forgotten all that
they were taught in the Indian schools.
In speaking of the return trip the Tucson Star stated:
.... The posse having ridden hard that day, decided to camp with the
Indians that night, a number of the force doing guard duty during the
night to frustrate any attempt on the part of the Indians to rescue
Johns, but not a single move was made by them.
The next morning the homeward trip was commenced and the posse,
composed of Sheriff Pacheco, Deputy Mills, Captain Harry Wheeler of the
Rangers, and Rangers Kidder, Stanford, Fraser, Speed, Miles, Smith,
Pool, Rhodes and Bates, returned after three days of hard riding. The
party returned with their man and another Indian named Citiano, whom
Johns implicated in the murder. The two Indians were placed in the
wagon brought along by the posse, and various members of the Rangers
watched their movements on the long journey until they were placed in
the county jail by Deputy Mills and the shackles removed from their
legs, the irons having been applied at the time they were arrested.
Johns and Citiano were given their hearings and were bound over to the
grand jury without bail, according to the Citizen. They were not
compelled to make statements during this hearing, but both afterwards
claimed that the other was guilty of the murder.
Four Indians, who were brought in from the Papago reserva-tion, swore
that they were eye witnesses to the murder and testified that it was
committed by John Johns. Two others, who were also brought in for the
hearing, said that Citiano was guilty of the deed. These two Indians
did not see the murder, and from their testimony it appeared that their
only basis for saying what they did, is the statement made by Johns
after the murder had been committed, in which he said Citiano was
The four eye witnesses testified that Lariano Alvarez, who lived at El
Cubo, had made several remarks to different residents of the village,
concerning John Johns, who heard of these remarks which were far from
complimentary and started on a still hunt for Alvarez, whom he soon
found, riding on the El Cubo trail. Johns, so these four witnesses
claim, pulled Alvarez from his horse, and stabbed him several times
with a knife. Death resulted five days later from the wounds.
The Tucson Star later revealed:
The jury, after deliberating all night, one of the ballots this morning
stood ten for acquittal and two for conviction in the first degree. At
noon the jury came into the court room and asked to be discharged,
agreeing on the fact that they could not agree. Judge Campbell,
however, sent them back with instructions to get together. At 3 o'clock
they asked for some information on law points, and the verdict was
returned a little less than two hours later, which was guilty of murder
in the second degree.
The Tucson Citizen in February 1908, stated:
Ten years in the territorial penitentiary was the sentence given John
Johns, the Papago Indian, today by Judge Campbell.
Editor's Note: The Yuma Prison records show that John Johns, convict
2725, was received February 18, 1908, to serve ten years for second
degree murder. Johns was 26 years of age, 5 feet 7 1/2 inches in
height, and weight, 175 pounds. He was unmarried and his mother was
left to hear the sorrow.
CAPTAIN WHEELER DEFENDS RANGERS
Among the visitors to Bisbee Saturday afternoon was Captain Harry
Wheeler of the Arizona Rangers, who made a trip to Bisbee on matters of
official business. He returned to his head-quarters at Naco the same
The captain stated that lepoill from his men in the north are to the
effect that there is comparatively little breaking of the law in that
section; that several cases of cattle rustling have been reported by
men working in the mountains of the south near the boundary line.
Information of a somewhat definite character has been ob-tained in
regard to the law-breakers, and there is no doubt that a part of the
force will he detailed on the work.
In referring to articles written concerning the Ranger force by various
magazine writers which, among other things, described the appearance of
the members of the company as being that of "careless cut-throats,"
Captain Wheeler said:
"I can assure you that neither myself nor my men appreciate any such
description. We use our best efforts to uphold the laws of the
territory, but I do not think wc can be accused of swagger-ing around
with the air of a desperado. It is unfortunately true that in the
course of official duty it has been found necessary by members of the
company to kill outlaws, but duties of this kind have always been
performed with the greatest regret by the Rangers. I have not the
slightest hesitation in saying that the Rangers are honorable officers,
and do not resemble 'careless cut-throats' in any particular."
To anyone acquainted with the men composing the command of the Ranger
captain, the absurdity of the description of the magazine writers is
apparent, but unfortunately these articles are read throughout the
United States, and help to keep Arizona branded as being a typical home
of the "wild and woolly."
It can be said without fear of denial that there is no more polished
gentlemen anywhere than the captain himself, and it would take a most
vivid imagination to picture him as a "care-less cut-throat." Although
his personality is striking, his mode of dress would never attract
attention for any "wild west style," and there is not a man who would
think he had a six-shooter on his person, unless he knew he was an
Including the captain of the Rangers there arc nine men in the
organization who never touch liquor of any kind, and drunken-ness is a
cause for immediate dismissal.
The Rangers never congregate in the large cities of the terri-tory
except when absolutely necessary, spending the greater part of the time
riding the ranges rounding up lost, strayed or stolen cattle, or
tracing some criminal. It is true they arc absolutely fearless, and are
marksmen of high caliber, which facts account for their being alive.
But with it all they arc a modest set of men, who say little and try to
avoid the "tenderfoot" magazine writer, who insists on maligning them,
and blackening the name of Arizona.
The days of the "wild west" are gone, and the territory now ranks with
the foremost of the union, with her educational facili-tiss, churches,
modern cities and pretty homes. In the city of New York horse cars are
still in vogue, but in Arizona this anti-quated mode of transportation
has given way to most modem electric systems. —Phoenix Democrat, 1907
RANGERS HAD A BUSY MONTH
Captain Harry Wheeler's report of the operations of the Ranger force
for January has been made public. It shows that the Rangers have been
busy and that their work has not been without some very important
The miles traveled by all members of the force total 9,855, of which
7,870 were on horseback. Thirty-eight arrests were made, of which
sixteen were for felonies committed either in Arizona or elsewhere by
men who were arrested in Arizona as fugitives from justice. Twenty-two
arrests were for misdemeanors com-mitted in Arizona.
Of the felonies for which arrests were made, three were for cattle
stealing, five for murders, one was for burglary, two were the
receiving of stolen goods, two were grand larceny, and two were highway
The Rangers in the course of their duty recovered stolen property to
the value of $2,500. The captain says that every member of the force is
now busy in the field or on special work. —Tucson Citizen, 1908.
JEFF KIDDER'S LAST FIGHT
Three members of the Mexican police seriously wounded and Sergeant Jeff
Kidder, of the Arizona Ranger force, probably fatally wounded, is the
result of a clash between the Mexican authorities and Kidder at Naco
Saturday morning about one o'clock. Kidder is under arrest and guard on
the Mexican side, the affair having occurred about 300 yards beyond the
line. There is considerable feeling on the part of both the American
and Mexican inhabitants of the town, but no demonstration is being
made, and the authorities on both sides of the line expect no further
At the time of the trouble there were only two Rangers in Naco, Kidder
and Tip Stanford. Kidder had been stationed near Nogales for the past
year, where he has made an excep-tionally good record by his arrests of
notorious criminals. His term of enlistment expired on the first of the
month and he had fust come in to re-enlist for another year when the
Kidder was wounded in the stomach, the bullet, a .45, enter-ing just to
the left of the navel, and after ranging downward, came out at his
back. He is under the care of Dr. F. E. Shine, of Bisbee, and Dr.
Brandon, of Naco. They state that it is im-possible to imagine a bullet
taking the course it did without penetrating the intestines, and that
while he is resting well, the best hope they can hold out for is that
he has a chance for re-covery. Jack O'Laughlin, of Bisbee, is acting as
nurse for Kidder.
The Mexicans injured are all members of the city police. Their names
are Thomas Amador, wounded just above the knee; Dolores Quias, wounded
in the fleshy part of the thigh; Vic-toriano Amador, slightly wounded
in the side. The wounds arc all from a Colt's .45. That which entered
the knee of Quias ranged downward after striking the bone, and imbedded
itself in the calf of his leg. Dr. Shine removed it yesterday. None of
the Mexicans is dangerously wounded, and unless complications set in,
The story of the shooting, aside from the different versions given, is
about as follows: Kidder had been in one of the dance halls in the
evening, having danced some and taken several drinks. He left and in
from one to five minutes returned and went to one of the rooms occupied
by Chia, one of the girls of the house, who had just come to Naco from
Douglas, and whom Kidder had never seen prior to the night of the
trouble. Soon after he entered her room she called for the police, to
which call two of the Mexican police, Quias and Thos. Amador, responded.
In the shooting which followed both of the Mexican officers and Kidder
were wounded. The Mexicans lay where they had fallen, while Kidder got
up and began to make for the United States side of the line, about 300
yards distant, his sole idea being that he would be killed if he were
taken on this side. Just who his pursuers were after he left the dance
hall could not be learned, but he fired at them sufficiently to keep
them from coming close enough to capture him. After he had gone about
seventy-five yards he fell, but rolled over for about twenty feet,
still keeping in the direction of the American side, re-loading his gun
from cartridges which he had in his pocket, his belt being empty.
He then arose and proceeded about seventy-five yards farther, having in
the meantime come up with two line riders, with whom he exchanged
shots. At the same time that he came up to the fence his ammunition
gave out and he was captured by the Mexican officials. He was struck on
the head with the butt of a gun, and dragged in the direction of the
Mexican jail, a dis-tance of over 100 yards, the trail being plainly
visible from that distance, although his own statement only says about
fifty yards. There were other injuries on his body, but whether they
were received in his attempts to scale the fence or at the hands of his
captors could not be ascertained from their nature.
He was then taken to the Mexican jail, but on the arrival of Deputy
Sheriff Ells, of the American side of the line, he was removed to a
private residence, Judge Garcia having given his permission. Dr.
Brandon was called in, and about daybreak Dr. Shine of Bisbee, arrived.
Although very weak from the loss of blood and the terrible experience
he had gone through, Kidder, while lying on a cot, with a Mexican
standing guard over him with a Winchester rifle, made the following
statement of his side of the case:
"I know that a great many people think I am quick-tempered and without
looking into the details will form the opinion that I precipitated this
trouble. It is probable that I may die, and I would like the public to
hear my side of the affair.
"In company with the other boys we came across the bound-ary to meet a
friend coming out of Cananea, and while waiting for the train went into
this house. We had been in there for some time, and this woman was in
the room. There was some fooling around and we finally walked out. As I
stepped outside the door I put my hand in my pocket and found that a
dollar which I had was gone. I went back in and told this woman to give
me my money, as I believed she had taken it. She struck me with her
fist and immediately ran to the door and yelled police.
"I had not had a chance to.move when two Mexican police came through
the doorway with their six-shooters drawn, and one fired, hitting me. I
fell and was dazed, but knew that my only chance was to fight while I
had cartridges left. I drew my own six-shooter while sitting on the
floor and opened fire. I believe I wounded both of the men, and they
went down help-less.
"I was very weak, but was able to crawl to the door and out, it being
my intention to get to the American side of the line. I finally got on
my feet and was walking along when suddenly firing opened up in front
of me, and I saw a number of men between me and the line armed with
Winchesters. They were directing their fire directly at me, but
although I was only a short distance away, and had an empty revolver in
my hand, they did not hit inc. I noticed the fence to my left and
staggered in that direction, hoping that someone would come to my
assist-ance. When I got to the fence I put the last six cartridges I
had into my gun. During all this time these men were firing at me, and
as I was too far away to do any good with my six-shooter I saved my
fire, until one of their number came within range and I shot him. I
then fired until my gun was empty. When my last cartridge was gone I
yelled to them that I was all in and told them to come and get me. They
came and placed me under arrest.
"If anybody had told me that one human being could be as brutal to
another as they were to me I would not have believed it. I could
scarcely stand, but one of this crowd armed with Win-chesters that was
necessary to place a wounded man under arrest struck me over the head
with his six-shooter and I fell. Between them they dragged me on the
ground for about fifty yards, and then seemingly tired by their
exertions stopped and beat me over the head with a six-shooter. They
finally dragged me to the jail and threw me in there. I suffered
terrible agony, but could get no relief until this morning, when the
"I did not precipitate this trouble, and never drew my gun until I was
wounded and on the floor in that house. I had absolutely no chance for
my life, except to keep fighting until I was helpless. It's too bad
such an unfortunate thing occurred, but if I am fatally wounded, I can
die with the knowledge that I did my best in a hard situation."
Turning to Deputy United States Marshal and former Ranger John Foster,
"You know Jack, that I would have no object in telling what is untrue.
They got me, but if my ammunition had not given out, I might have
served them the same way."
A representative of the Review secured interviews with all of the
wounded Mexicans, the bartender in the dance hall where the trouble
occurred and with Chia, the girl, who called for the police. Their
stories fail very materially to tally with each other. In the
interviews with the Mexicans Frank H. Morales acted as interpreter, and
otherwise offered such assistance as he could in securing the facts in
the case. Judge Garcia also gave permission to interview the injured
members of the police force.
The Review representative was told the story of Thomas Amador could be
relied upon because of the reputation for veracity and soberness which
he bore. As interpreted by Morales, it is as follows:
"Dolores and I entered the dance hall just after Kidder. We heard the
girl call for the police and started in that direction. Kidder met us
at the entrance of the door which leads from the dance hall to the
girl's room. He had his gun under his coat and ordered Dolores, who had
his gun about half drawn, to throw up his hands. When he said this and
before any other shot had been fired, I shot at Kidder and hit him.
After he fell he shot at me and hit me in the leg. I took another shot
at him after I fell. He then shot at Dolores and hit him. I do not know
who shot first, Kidder or Dolores. Kidder and Dolores had trouble some
time ago, when Dolores did not know he was a Ranger and asked him about
carrying a gun. Both drew their guns, but no shots were fired. Kidder
had taken several drinks at the bar, but I do not think he was drunk.
Kidder did not shoot at the bartender."
Dolores Quias' story of the affair was as follows:
"Thomas and I were at the bar when the girl called to us. I stepped to
the entrance of the hall leading to the girls* rooms and was met by
Kidder, who was carrying his gun under his coat. He drew his gun and
ordered me to throw up my hands. I did not do so, and he shot me. I
also shot at him about the same time and hit him. He then shot Thomas.
After I was down he fired at inc three times and I fired at him twice.
I think that he was drunk, because he had been drinking during the
evening. There was no hard feeling between myself and Kidder. We had
never had any trouble. Kidder did not shoot at the bartender." These
are the stories of the two men who were in the fight in the clance hall.
Ramon H. Telles, the bartender in the dance hall where the fight
occurred, relates a story that is hard to believe, and that in many
points is contradicted by the other witnesses. He says:
"Kidder had been in the hall dancing in the early part of the evening
and had taken at least fifty drinks. He had spent $5 in gold and had
several drinks charged. He was very drunk. He left the hall just about
12:15 and came back after going about fifty steps. He went to Chia's
room and slapped her. I know this because she told me. She called for
the police and Dolores went clear to the end of the hall where Kidder
was. Kidder drew his gun and backed him to the dance hall. He then told
him to throw up his hands. Dolores did not comply and Kidder shot him.
Dolores then shot at and hit Kidder. After Kidder fell he shot Thomas.
He then shot at me as I started toward him, although I had only a
bottle. One of the girls pulled me away from him, but not until he had
taken another shot at me. If the girl had not pulled me away I would
have been killed, because I was going to him to make him stop. After
they caught Kidder they brought him back to the bar-room. He called on
me to protect him and drew a razor from his pocket and began waving it
about. One of the men put his foot on Kidder's wrist and took the razor
from his hand."
When Ramon was telling about keeping the men away from him, he was
asked by the reporter if they were trying to hurt him. He said no, he
was sick and did not know what he was saying. He repeated his story
several times and later on said: "If it had not been for me I guess
they would have killed Kidder when they brought him back to the dance
hall. One of Dolores' sons had a gun and was trying to shoot him, but I
knew I was responsible for what happened in the dance hall and kept
them away from him."
Victoriano Amador, chief of police, who was slightly hurt, received the
wound after Kidder had reached the fence in his efforts to cross the
line. His story is as follows:
"I was awakened about one o'clock by the shooting and hastened in the
direction of the firing. Two of the line riders and Kidder were
exchanging shots. As I came up he shot me in the side. His ammunition
gave out about this time and we captured him. We took him to the jail
and later, upon the direction of Judge Garcia, to a private residence.
He is being held a prisoner there awaiting developments. I kept the men
from striking or otherwise injuring him after we got to him. Kidder was
not taken back to the bar-room after he was captured, and I know
nothing of his having drawn a razor."
In regard to what took place between Kidder and the girl, there were no
witnesses other than the principals themselves. Kidder says that he
went back to get a dollar he missed, which the testimony of the others
to the effect that he had just been out a minute or so when he
returned, seems to corroborate. He says that when he asked the girl for
the money she hit him with her fist. —Bisbee Review, 1908
From the Review the following day was this story:
Sergeant Jeff Kidder died in Naco, Sonora, at six o'clock Sunday
morning as a result of wounds he received in a desperate encounter
early Saturday morning with a number of Mexican police, in which three
of them were also wounded. The body is now in Bisbee and will be sent
on to Los Angeles this afternoon. The local lodge of Elks have charge
of the ceremonies.
An examination of the bullet wound which Kidder received revealed the
fact that it was certain the intestines had been cut, and that he had
practically no chance for recovery. Over and above the bullet wound,
however, were the injuries he received while he was in the custody of
the Mexican officers, when he was brutally beaten and dragged, although
in a dying condition, a distance of more than 200 yards.
Although his chances for recovery was very slight, throughout it a!I
Kidder displayed the greatest courage. He talked freely with his
brother officers who were almost constantly in attend-ance and a number
of friends who visited him from time to time. He said he hoped to live
but was not afraid to die, knowing he was innocent of having
precipitated the trouble. During all of Saturday he did well, but
during the night began to show signs of weakness, finally sinking until
death came at 6:30 o'clock.
Owing to the intricacies of the Mexican law on this point it was
impossible to get the body across the international boundary line until
late in the afternoon, when a message from Governor Torres granting the
necessary permission was received. The remains were then brought to
Bisbee to be prepared fox burial.
Instructions have been received from the mother of the dead officer,
who lives at San Jacinto, Calif., to send the body there.
On Saturday evening Sergeant Tip Stanford, of the Rangers, in command
in the absence of Captain Wheeler, after having done everything to make
Kidder's remaining hours as comfortable as possible, asked the wounded
officer if he had been able to dis-tinguish the men who had beaten him.
Kidder replied it was so dark he could not see very well, but that it
was one of the men who had a Winchester rifle.
It is probable that a petition will be sent to the department of slate
at Washington by some of the friends of Kidder asking that a request be
made of the government of Mexico to dismiss the man or men from service
who beat Kidder after he was wounded and under arrest, if it is proven
that it was a man in the govern-ment service.
Sergeant Stanford sent a telegram to Kidder's mother Sunday evening,
and then wrote her a letter in which he set forth the details. The
communication speaks of the true worth and fear-lessness of the dead
officer in the highest terms.
Up until late yesterday it had been impossible to establish
communication with Captain Wheeler, who accompanied by several of his
men, had been following the trail of some horse thieves for about ten
days. Telegrams have been sent out, how-ever, to all places where it is
possible he will visit, and it is expected that as soon as he receives
one of these messages he will leave at once for Naco.
Although directly after the affray very bitter feeling developed on the
American side of the line no untoward act was com-mitted. For a time
after it was learned on Saturday morning that Kidder was dead it also
looked as if trouble would break out. The arrival of permission from
the governor, however, to remove
the body, did much to quiet matters.
Later the Review stated:
For the first time since the tragedy Captain Wheeler learned of the
affair yesterday morning while riding through the Chirica-hua Mountains
with a detachment of his men returning from a trip after horse thieves.
He was informed by two cowboys that Kidder had been killed at Naco.
Immediately the party's course was changed, and instead of going to
Naco, the headquarters of the company, all haste was made to Bisbee.
The commander of the Rangers went at once with his men to the
undertaking parlors to view the remains. Steeled as he is to every
hardship, a man who in the course of duty has seen blood shed at
various times without a tremor, the sight of Wheeler as he leaned over
the coffin containing the remains of his dead comrade was affecting. As
he saw the wounds about the face and head where Kidder had been
brutally struck with guns after he was mortally wounded, tears came
into Wheeler s eyes and he gave way. Gunner, Chase and Horan also
looked on the body of their dead friend and brother officer. Not one of
the four men uttered a syllable. But that their grief was deep-seated,
and their thoughts bitter could be easily seen in their faces.
When seen after the services Captain Wheeler said:
"This is a terrible experience for us, coming back from a trip on which
we had captured a Mexican wanted across the bound-ary for the murder of
one of their officers. Of course I have not yet had time to investigate
the matter, but have heard many reports since we arrived in the city,
all of which agree that Kidder had done no wrong, but made a fight for
his life after he had been mortally wounded.
"Jeff Kidder was one of the best officers who ever stepped foot in this
section of the country. He did not know what fear was; was a devoted
son; was absolutely truthful; had rendered excellent service; and was
hated by the criminal classes because of his unceasing activity in
bringing them to justice. His life was in danger at every moment at his
station in Nogales, because of the fact that during the past year he
has arrested many highway-men, murderers, and other criminals, yet his
being killed in this manner is a terrible shock.
"We not only lose a true friend and a well loved member of the force,
but Arizona loses a faithful American officer who was fearless in
upholding her laws."
—Bisbee Review, 1908
Jeff Kidder s Dog.
A sad little cur sat in the baggage car of No. 9, last night with its
big brown eyes reflecting the distress of its broken heart. It was Jeff
Kidder's dog—the dog that on that terrible night at Naco, crouched on
the breast of its dying master and fought with all its tiny strength
against the men who shot him down. It is on its way to San Jacinto,
Calif., where Jeff Kidder sleeps the long sleep and where the Rangers
aged mother lives. For the rest of its life the little dog will live
with the grey haired woman and the bond of sympathy between these two
will be a hallowed memory.
The dog is part Chihuahua, part plain cur. Big Jeff Kidder found it
starving on a border road one day. He picked it up, made it his
constant companion and won from the little beast an affec-tion
wonderful from such a tiny thing. Kidder carried the dog on his saddle
and in his blouse on long trips along the border. It slept with him at
night. It fed with him and played with him and shared his sorrows.
Everyone who knew Jeff Kidder in recent years knew his little dog. It
is not surprising that the dog had a part in the tragic closing chapter
of Jeff Kidder's eventful life.
At Naco, on the early morning of April 4, the dog was at its master's
heels when he began his desperate pistol battle with three Mexican
policemen. When Jeff Kidder and his three op-ponents lay bleeding on
the ground the dog crouched itself on the Ranger's breast. It fought
the brutes who kicked him and beat his prostrate body. Finally it was
kicked aside, but it followed its wounded master when he was carried to
the jail. Later it crouched beneath his cot while in a hospital where
he fought his losing battle for his life. A day later it followed the
solemn little cortege that carried all that was mortal of Jeff Kidder
across the line into the United States.
During the funeral services at Bisbee the little dog was near the
casket. When the coffin was taken to the train to be shipped to
California the cur trudged pitifully behind. Ranger Hayhurst picked up
the little animal. It was first the intention that the dog be adopted
by the Arizona Rangers. But it mourned and sick-ened. Again and again
it ran away seeking the master that it could not find. Finally the
matter was brought by the Rangers to the attention of Captain Harry
Wheeler. He passed the hat. There was enough money filling it to have
sent the dog to Cali-fornia in a Pullman, but of course, it went in a
baggage car. And that is how a nameless little cur went through Tucson
last night, the object of as much attention from the trainmen as a
magnate in his private car.
—Tucson Citizen, 1908
Earlier, the Citizen had this comment:
Kidder was one of the best known officers on the Ranger force. He was
also considered one of the most efficient. He was known for his daring
and fearlessness and has been in several previous gun fights. He had
been a member of the Ranger force for five years and was promoted to
the position of sergeant on the force in appreciation of his excellent
Before being appointed to the Rangers, he was a resident of Nogales and
served in various capacities there as an officer. He had also worked in
the mines at Bisbee. Kidder was about thirty years of age and of
somewhat slender build. He was reported to be the quickest man on the
Ranger force in drawing a gun. It was said of him that he could allow
an average man to cover him with a gun and then draw his own weapon and
fire quicker than the other party. He was also one of the best shots of
the Rangers, and could shoot also equally well with either hand.
NACO, Ariz., April 24.—A drastic order summarily dismissing all of the
members of the Naco, Sonora, police force as well as all of the line
riders in the Naco district, was received in the town just across the
border line from here today. Twenty officers were let out.
A second order arrived also revoking all the saloon licenses in Naco,
Sonora, and ordering all of these places, about fifteen in number,
closed immediately. As a result, Naco, Sonora, will be by the end of
the week a completely "dry" town.
The wholesale discharging of the Naco police and line riders and the
closing of all the saloons in that town is the direct result of the
fatal wounding of Sergeant Jeff Kidder in a deadly duel with Mexican
officers. The promulgation of this order followed an exhaustive
investigation which was made by Mexican federal authorities into the
duel between the officers of the two countries.
Ugly rumors about a deliberate plot to get Sergeant Kidder into a fight
and then to murder him had arisen immediately following the bloody duel
fought by the officers.
The Mexican federal officials were advised of the reports that were
being circulated and they determined to institute an ex-haustivc
inquiry. This investigation has been on for two weeks. The result is
given in the dismissal of the policemen and line riders and the closing
of the saloons.
It is reported on this side of the line today that sufficient evidence
was discovered by the investigators to allow good grounds for belief
that the reports regarding a conspiracy to kill Jeff Kidder were based
on facts. It is stated here also that the Mexican government would have
placed a number of the Naco, Sonora, policemen and line riders under
arrest had the investigators been able to secure more tangible and
direct evi-dence against the alleged conspirators. The information
obtain-able, however, was considered sufficient to warrant the
dismissal of the officers.
Permission had previously been given Capt. Harry Wheeler to take across
the line the gun which Sergeant Kidder made his fight and the Ranger
star which he wore at the time. Kidders watch and money were not
Kidder died two days after the fight. One of the three Mexican
policemen who battled with him also died. The other two includ-ing
Chief of Police Thomas Amador recovered. Amador is among those
dismissed from the force today.
Kidder's friends in Bisbee were the first to circulate the report that
he had been deliberately decoyed to a fight that instead of being the
aggressor he had simply defended himself against over-whelming odds.
An entire new police force and bunch of line riders will immediately be
put on duty by the Mexican government. —Tucson Citizen, 1908
OUTLAW TAKEN IN MOUNTAINS
With a detachment of his men Captain Harry C. Wheeler arrived in Bisbee
yesterday morning after having been absent from this section of the
territory for twenty days following the trail of horse thieves. He had
in custody a Mexican wanted at Pilares, Mexico, for the murder of an
officer. The trip had been an unusually hard one, and both men and
officers plainly showed the effects. In all about 500 miles had been
traveled through the wildest portions of Cochise, Graham, Pima and
Pinal counties, and a part of New Mexico.
Wheeler had been receiving reports from various parts of Graham,
Cochise and Pinal counties to the effect that cattle "rustling" and
horse stealing were going on in those sections, and about twenty days
ago left Naco horseback, taking with him Sergeant Chase and Privates
Home and Gunner. The detachment rode through Cochise county, spending
several days in those sections where thieves and outlaws might be in
hiding or have their plunder hidden. A trip was made into a portion of
Pima county, then into the mountains of Pinal, across Graham, and into
that section of New Mexico in the vicinity of Rodeo.
At every stage of the trip the officers inquired of whoever they met in
these wild places concerning any traces of cattle or horses, but in no
instance did they meet anyone who had seen any strangers or persons who
might be suspected of being impli-cated in the outlawry. The
investigation was most thorough, but no traces of thieves could be
The hunt took the officers into the wildest country, where they were
miles from any sign of civilization, and many times they were without
food, let alone short rations. They were covering a great deal of
territory and could not afford to load the pack animals too heavily.
Convinced that the cattle thieves could not be making their
headquarters on this side of the boundary line, Wheeler started on the
return trip, coming home by way of the Chiricahua Moun-tains. When his
command arrived in that section the captain was informed by some of the
ranchers that there was a Mexican living in a cabin in the mountains
who was wanted for murder in Mexico, and who for some time past had
been riding around that section armed with a rifle and six-shooters
looking for trouble through which he could strengthen his record as a
The Rangers at once rode into the mountains, and after travel-ing over
many trails discovered a cabin perched near the summit of one of the
highest peaks. They kept riding towards it, and when a short distance
from the cabin met the Mexican mounted on a horse and armed with a
Winchester rifle. He was placed under arrest and disarmed, after which
the party returned to the valley. This was on Sunday morning just about
the time that Sergeant Kidder died at Naco, Sonora, as a result of
wounds inflicted by a gang of Mexican officers.
Wheeler and his men with their prisoner were riding through the Sulphur
Springs Valley in the vicinity of Moore's ranch yesterday morning when
they met two cowboys, who told them Kidder had been killed. In spite of
fatigue as the result of the hard trip, hunger and the jaded condition
of their horses, Wheeler and his men started immediately, and covered
the remaining twenty-eight miles to Bisbee yesterday morning, ar-riving
there about 11 o'clock.
The Mexican who the Rangers brought with them is Andres Marina
Guclialmo. He is wanted for the killing of an officer named Silveria at
Pilares, a town situated about 60 miles south of Douglas, in Mexico, He
admitted to the officers having shot Silveria about a year ago, but
claims he only wounded him. He stated that at the time of the
occurrence the Mexican authorities pursued him, but that he succeeded
in crossing the line.
He contended that he had not committed any crimes in this country. At
the time of his arrest he was mounted on a bay horse with an inverted B
brand on the left thigh for which he could show no papers, claiming
they had been burned up. The officers believed the animal was stolen.
Wheeler and his men left here on horseback about 4:30 o'clock yesterday
afternoon for Naco, taking their prisoner with them. When asked
concerning the alleged cattle stealing Captain Wheeler stated that some
traces would certainly have been dis-covered if the gang made its
headquarters on this side of the line. He said he was convinced that
the outlaws must be across the line in Mexico.
Although the bitterest feeling still prevails along the border over the
killing of Kidder and the brutal manner in which he was treated, it is
not likely that there will be any outbreak, as Wheeler is on the
ground. He started an investigation last evening.
—Bisbee Review, 1908
HORSE THIEF PAYS PENALTY
At about 3 o'clock yesterday morning, George O. Arnett, alias George
Wood, was shot and killed by Captain of the Rangers Harry Wheeler and
Deputy Sheriff George lluimn of Lowell. Arnett was killed about one
mile from Lowell in a canyon a short distance from the Winwood
townsite. The dead man had in his possession at the time of his death,
and also when encoun-tered by tin- officers, two horses which he had
stolen from the Brophy stables in Lowell, and upon the two horses were
two stolen saddles which have been missing for two or three weeks.
Arnett's death was caused by a wound which was made in his neck by one
of the shots fired by the officers. The course of the bullet was
through the left shoulder, into the left side of the neck and out ol
the right ear. Another wound was that in his left arm, the bullet
passing through that member, entering below the elbow and leaving just
above where it entered.
The wholesale theft of valuable horses which has been occur-ring in the
district the past few months, and even later than this, led up to the
officers suspecting Arnett, and for about four or five days, ending
yesterday morning, they have been lying in wait for him in the canyon
above mentioned. The officers refuse to divulge where they learned that
the horse thief was to leave by that pass.
For several weeks both Humm and Wheeler have been at work on clews
pretaining to the theft of several horses and also of quite a number of
valuable saddles, and their patience and per-sistency was rewarded
yesterday morning, when their man was encountered. During the four days
leading up to the killing, both the officers have been keeping watch
every night, and in the day time also, awaiting the appearance of the
thief with the stolen property, which they had sufficient reasons to
know that he would have in his possession.
At about 2 o'clock yesterday morning the officers left for the place
where they would intercept Arnett, and a short time after arriving
there their man made his appearance. The officers had hid behind some
bushes and when he was about ten feet from them, lx)th officers sprang
up and flashed their electric bulls eye lights on him, at the same time
commanding him to bold up his hands, as he was under arrest. Instead of
complying with their demands, Arnett quickly wheeled his horse to the
right and turned and fired two shots at the officers, who returned the
fire. Arnett then passed out of range over the brow of the hill and was
lost to view. The officers thought that they had missed their man, and
bemoaning their ill luck in failing to capture him, returned to Lowell
to secure horses in order to take up his trail at daylight. When they
returned to the scene of the shooting shortly after four o'clock they
found two horses standing some distance apart, but could not see the
man on account of darkness. A little later the body was found, face
downwards. Amett had ridden about a quarter of a mile after he was
shot. The coroner was notified and a jury was taken to the location of
the corpse at about 6 o'clock. The remains, after being viewed, were
taken in charge by the Palace Undertaking Company.
The full facts surrounding the killing of Arnett were brought to light
at the inquest at Coroner Crier's office in Lowell yester-day afternoon
when the stolen saddles were identified, and facts regarding his past
life were bared. The first witness was Deputy Sheriff George Humm. He
stated that the last time he saw deceased was on the trail north of the
Johnson Addition at about
3 o'clock yesterday morning. He, with Captain Wheeler, had been lying
in wait for Arnett for the previous four nights. They left Lowell at
about 2 o'clock yesterday morning and rode over the mountains on
different trails. They left their horses in the mountains and went to
the trail where they expected to intercept the part)'. After arriving
there they looked for a place to hide. In a very short time Captain
Wheeler stated that he heard someone coming up the trail. He hurried
back to where Wheeler was, and both hid behind the first objects they
came onto, he getting behind a bush and Wheeler behind a cactus. Arnett
soon afterwards came over the top of the raise. When he came to within
ten feet of the officers they sprang up at the same time commanding him
to halt, and flashing their lamps in his face. Arnett said "Oh," or
some other exclamation arid wheeled off towards the right. The officers
yelled to him again, commanding him to throw up his hands, and he
opened fire on them. The fire was rapid and at a distance of about
twenty feet. It was very dark and Arnett was about fifty feet away when
he fired his last shot, of which there were two. Humm then picked up
his rifle and fired once at Arnett as he was crossing the ridge at an
angle. Both officers followed him some distance, but they were on foot
and their attempts would be of no use, so they returned to Lowell and
secured horses at a livery stable, going there by way of the Johnson
Addition. When they returned they found one of the stolen horses and
later the other one. They tied their reins together and proceeded to
look for the man, who they now suspected of being injured. At break of
day the dead body was discovered, The coroner was then notified. On the
way back the jurymen picked up the hat of the dead man and also his
Captain Wheeler was the next witness, His testimony was in nearly every
instance identical with that of Humm. The officers and the fugitive
opened fire at about the same time, the latter shooting a second before
them. The shot from Arnctt's gun struck a bush between the officers.
Captain Wheeler then noticed that the second horse which he thought was
a pack horse, fol-lowed at a pretty good pace, and concluded that if
his man was able to get away in such good grace that he was uninjured.
He tried to follow him, but saw that it was useless and too difficult
to follow on foot. Then they came to Lowell and secured horses. Upon
returning they found the horses and later, at daylight, found the body.
When questioned by Assistant County Attorney Taylor, Wheeler stated
that he is positive that the first shot was fired by the fugitive. He
"I was pointing my gun at him and holding my light at arm's length to
detract his aim. the light shining in his face, he fired a second
l>efore I pulled the trigger of my gun. Humm opened fire upon him at
the 88me time I did. I would like to state that we did all we could to
arrest him, allowing him to approach within ten feet, in order to show
him that he had no chance whatever for escape, but he seemed to think
that he had. I have heard a relative state that Arnett had said that he
would never submit to arrest."
James K. Brophy, proprietor of the livery stable from which the horses
were stolen on the night of the 5th, stated that he had been notified
by his help that two horses had been stolen from the stables, one
belonging to himself, a roan, branded "44," and the other the property
of Ralph Cadwcll. superintendent of the Warren electric line. The
animal belonging to Cadwell was shot in two places, in both instances
the bullets passing through the hind legs.
W. H. Goode, the next witness, identified one of the saddles, a bridle
and a pair of chaps as being the property of Albert Chris-tian, who
lives with him. This property disappeared from his place on the night
of April 23. This saddle was also identified by C. H. Dusold and J. F.
Vaughan. The latter repaired it several months ago. and was familiar
with the different parts.
John Gerdes, foreman of the Brophy stables, stated that he was notified
of the horses being stolen when he arrived at the stables yesterday
morning at 5:30 o'clock, by the night man, John Carl-son. He went with
the officers later in the day and secured the animals.
W. B. Maxwell identified the other saddle as being his prop-erty, and
which was stolen from his barn on the night of April 21, another before
that belonging to Mr. Christian was stolen. This saddle was identified
also by Joseph Boyle, Wiley Fitzgerald and George Hunter.
Captain Wheeler was recalled and identified the saddles as being the
same as those on the animals in the morning.
Edward Payne was the next witness. He stated that he had known Arnett
for about four years. Saw him last about two months ago. Had a falling
out with him regarding a family affair, and over which. Payne admitted,
several shots had been fired. Had made a trip with Arnett into Sonora
on a hunting and mining expedition, the only trip he ever made with the
deceased. They crossed the line at Naco. The saddles were the property
of Arnett, as was one horse, the other animal being borrowed from a
friend of Arnett in Bisbee. He came back by train, while Arnett
returned bv horseback. When he returned he had the same outfit he had
when he went to Sonora. This trip was made five months ago. Attorney
Taylor tried to lead Payne out on several impor-tant lines, but he
failed to accede to his wishes.
John Carlson, the man who was in charge of the Brophy stables at the
time of the stealing, stated that he was at Warren late at night, and
when he returned to the stables he noticed that two of the horses had
been stolen or had strayed from the stalls, although their tic ropes
were also missing. He reported the absence of the animals to the
foreman in the morning. He did not rent out or loan the animals to
Frank Arnett, a brother of the deceased, stated on the stand that
George Arnett was l>orn in the United States and that his father was
an American, while his mother was Spanish. He stated that deceased was
about 28 years of age. He asked per-mission to ask questions, which was
granted, and he desired to know the number of empty shells in the gun
belonging to his brother. The answer was "two." He then thanked the
officers for granting his request.
A witness who knew a great deal concerning the actions of Arnett was
Mrs. Kdward Payne, whose husband testified a short time before. She
stated that the last time she saw him was about two or three months
ago. She had been on friendly terms with him for some time, had visited
his family and he had called at her home. He was inclined to be
somewhat of a braggart and had told her of his holding up people and
taking their money away from them. That in one instance he had held up
a gambler at the ice plant in I-owell. He also bragged ADOUt his
cutcness in keeping out of the clutches of the law in running horses
over the line into Mexico. This was some time ago, just before
Christmas. At one time she had asked Deputy Sheriff Frank Bauer for
pro-tection, as she feared that Arnett would keep his word and kill her
and her daughter, as he had threatened to do. She stated that the
reason for his making the threat is that she probably knew too much
regarding his unlawful operations. On one occa-sion, as she was on her
way to her home in Bakcrvillc from Lowell, on a dark evening, at about
8:30 o'clock, some one had shot several times at her and she believed
that Arnett had done the shooting. This instance happened about two and
a half months ago, as she was returning from the picture show at
Lowell. Upon being closely questioned, she stated that the cause of her
being threatened by Arnett was her influencing her hus-band against
associating with him and since that time she has been afraid of her
The verdict of the jury was as follows: That the deceased, George O.
Arnett, 37 years of age, a native of the United States, died near
Lowell on May 6, 190S, from the result of a gunshot wound inflicted by
George Humm and Captain Harry Wheeler, in the discharge of their duty,
and we, the jury, exonerate said officers from all blame, as they were
in the discharge of their duty at the time.
The verdict was in accord with the popular sentiment. The officers had
been praised on even* hand regarding the way they performed their duty,
and their fairness in permitting the dead man to surrender without a
struggle. Amett is suspected of com-mitting crime by the wholesale in
the district, and is credited with holding up the Chinamen in Tombstone
Canyon several months ago, and for which he was arrested, but which
could not be proven against him. There are many thefts of horses and
saddles laid at his door, and it is the general opinion of the public
that a dangerous man has met his end. —Bisbee Review, 1908
CONVICT WAS DEPUTY SHERIFF
WILLIAMS, Ariz., July 21.—With a pistol pressed to his abdomen by
Ranger Lieut. Old, Frank Sherlock, alias Charles Bly, recognized as a
convict who rode away from the New Mexico penitentiary on the warden's
horse exactly eleven years ago, exclaimed: "Guess you got me, kid," and
He was delivered into the custody of Captain Christman of the New
Mexico penitentiary and immediately started on the overland train for
Santa Fe, where he had two years yet to serve on a four years' sentence
for horse stealing.
Sherlock was betrayed by a fellow convict whom he discharged from a
position with the Grand Canyon Lime and Cement com-pany at Nelson,
Arizona, where Sherlock had taken a contract. Since his escape, he has
lived an exemplary life. For eight years he had served as a deputy
sheriff of Mohave county, Arizona, and in that time had run down many
desperate criminals. Sher-lock also served four years as livestock
inspector of Mohave county.
Aware that Sherlock was a dead shot, Lieut. Old, accompanied by Ranger
Wood, met him casually at the Grand Canyon Cement company's camp. Old
introduced Wood and while the two men were shaking hands, Old stuck his
pistol against Sherlock's stomach and cried:
"Hands up! I have a warrant for yoxi!"
Sherlock calmly replied as his hands went up: "Guess you got me, kid."
Wood disarmed Sherlock of a huge pistol and extra clip of cartridges
while Old covered him with a cocked gun.
For the first time Sherlock weakened badly and wept bitterly as the
officers took him away. He admitted that he was the right man and said
he had quit crooked business long ago, and wanted no more of it. He
requested the Rangers to speak a good word for him, if possible, when
they reached the New Mexico officials. —Tucson Citizen, 1908
BILL DOWNING KILLED
WILLCOX, Aug. 5.—William Downing, in his day a noted outlaw of southern
Arizona, and since last fall a resident of Willcox, was killed this
morning by Ranger William Speed in the rear of the Free and Easy
Saloon, of which Downing was pro-prietor. Ranger Speed killed Downing
only after the latter had made a move as though to get his six-shooter.
A coroner's jury this afternoon exonerated the Ranger. Public sentiment
here also exonerates the officer for any blame in the killing. Downing
had made frequent threats and boasted often that no one could arrest
"Bill" Downing came to Willcox early last October and started the
saloon where he was killed today. He had just been released from the
Yuma penitentiary where he served seven years for the Cochise station
train holdup. The place is located back of the postoffice about 100
yards. It has had an unsavory reputation. Frequent robberies and brawls
were reported from it. Last week Downing was prosecuted for permitting
women to congregate and drink in his saloon and paid a fine of $50 for
Citizens of Willcox secured a copy of the proceedings and sent them to
Tombstone with a petition to the board of supervisors that Downing's
license be revoked. None of them, however, being willing to appear
publicly against Downing it was decided to secure the evidence in
another way. The matter was taken up with Captain Marry Wheeler of the
Rangers and two officers were detailed to keep a watch on the Free and
Easy, one of them Ranger Speed.
Tuesday night Downing beat a Mexican woman who fre-quented his saloon
and she made an information against him. The warrant was given to
Constable Bud Snow. The latter went to Ranger Speed and asked him to
help make the arrest. The two officers went to Downing's saloon about 8
o'clock this morning. Speed carried a 30-40 Winchester. They called in
at the front door of (he saloon for Downing to come out. He paid no
atten-tion to the request. A second demand was made by the officers.
Downing then darted out a back door. Speed went around one side of the
saloon and Snow around the other. Speed reached tin-rear first. Just as
he turned the corner Downing came out of a woodshed. The Ranger called
on Downing to throw his hands up. Instead Downing made a move for a
six-shooter he supposed he had in his pocket. Speed fired, the bullet
entering Downing's right breast and passing through his body. He died m
two or three minutes.
Downing was unarmed, as it developed later, but a six-shooter had been
taken from his pocket by R. E. Cushman as he passed out the back of the
saloon and when Downing reached for his gun he supposed that he still
had on his person. He had been drinking during the morning and was in
an ugly humor before the officers came.
In Downing's pockets at the time he was killed was over $200 tied Up in
a handkerchief in bills of various denominations. Frequent robberies at
the Free and Easy had been blamed on Downing. He was accused of
encouraging the robbery of men who frequented his saloon by women he
Downing had practically terrorized Willcox for several months, He
boasted of the fact that he was a bad man, and drank much. No open
complaint was made against him because he had Ihreatened to kill
whoever filed charges at Tombstone. Downing was about 50 years of age;
was of rather slight build and a man of undoubted nerve. His wife who
died at Tucson while he was a prisoner at Yuma, is said to have been a
beautiful woman of good family in Texas.
Captain Wheeler left Naco for Willcox this afternoon.
"Bill" Downing died in a manner befitting the life which he had lived,
and if the truth were known, in the manner in which he had expected to
die. That he was a fearless man, at home with the wildest spirits in
the early days of Arizona when it was a rendezvous for men of his
class, no one who knew the least of his many deeds of daring will care
There are people in Cochise county perhaps who know what the real name
of the outlaw was, but they arc few. According to information which may
he relied upon as accural*'. Downing was the last member of the
notorious Sam Bass gang in Texas, and came to this section when that
gang met its Waterloo at the hands of the Texas Rangers.
Forced to leave the Ixme Star state, he took the name of Downing and
soon located in this section of the country, He brought with him the
scars of former battles, as one of his legs in which he had l>een
badly shot troubled him all the time. In fact, it became so bad when he
was in the penitentiary that the physicians declared it would be
necessary to amputate it. "Well," said Downing, "that leg and I are
going to live together or die together," and the leg got better.
Downing had not remained long in this section until he was suspected by
many of being implicated in numerous cattle and horse thefts, and to be
known as a man who would not hesitate to shoot, and shoot to kill.
Notwithstanding his shady record he secured an appointment as
constable, and it was while holding this commission that he took part
in the famous Cochise holdup near Willcox, in which the Wells-Fargo was
robbed of $140,000. This was in 1891.
In the gang were Billy Stiles, Matt Burtt, Bert Alvord and the two Owen
brothers. The robbery occurred in the fall of the year.
Sacks of Mexican coin were used as ballast on the sticks of dynamite
placed over the safe, and Mexican coins are picked up to this day on
the prairie in the neighborhood of the holdup. Coins lodged in the top
of the car, which was blown out, and one which is kept as a souvenir
was picked from the top of a tele-graph pole.
After the robbery Downing, then a constable at Pearcc and Bert Alvord,
who held a position as deputy sheriff at Willcox, made a great bluff at
capturing the robbers. Chief of detectives Thacker of the Wells-Fargo
people came out from San Francisco and soon had the whole gang under
arrest. It is stated as a matter well understood that the first hint of
the guilty parties was received by Thackcr from Stiles himself. After
the arrest the Owen brothers gave the whole affair away, and were given
light sentences of four years.
The prisoners were taken to Tombstone for safe keeping, and it was from
there that Stiles and Alvord escaped on the night preceding their
trial. Stiles was later captured, whereupon Alvord surrendered. Alvord
was tried first and given two years in the pen for his complicity in
the holdup. That night he and Stiles again broke jail. Alvord was later
captured by the Rangers at Naco and sent to Yuma, where he served his
All of the others of the gang captured, including Downing, were sent to
Yuma to serve their terms. Downing drew ten years, but by good behavier
was released at the end of seven years.
Shortly after his release he opened up a saloon at Willcox, which was
run on the "free and easy style," that is, practically nothing from
gambling to shooting up the town was barred. —Bisbee Review, 1908
The Tucson Citizen in covering the story of Downing's death, stated:
"After Downing's arrest for robbing the mails, his wife, who was very
well thought of, sold the ranch near Willcox, and expended all of the
proceeds in the defense of Downing. Finding herself penniless, she went
to work as a servant in Tucson. She was found dead one morning and a
coroner's jury which investi-gated the case returned a verdict that her
death was due to heart failure.
Sheriff Jack White, who was in the city yesterday, says the Bisbee
Review, talked interestingly of the recent death of Bill Downing at
Willcox. Among other things he stated that had not Downing been killed
by Ranger Speed, he would probably have been killed in a very short
time, not more than a few days at the most, by George McKitrick, who
had a saloon in Willcox.
McKitrick had Downing fined on a former occasion for allow-ing women to
come into his saloon and drink. Later when Down-ing was said to have
beaten a Mexican woman with whom he was living the woman went to
McKitrick and asked him what to do. He advised her to have a complaint
sworn out against him, which she did. It was while resisting arrest on
this charge that Downing was shot.
Upon learning of the fact that McKitrick was the man who had had the
warrant for his arrest served, he swore that he would kill him.
McKitrick learned of this and went armed with a double-barrelled shot
gun loaded with buckshot. He was laying for Downing in his house in the
dark when the latter came looking for him and the fact that Downing did
not know which was his room probably saved the hitter's life.
After the killing of Downing, McKitrick went behind the bar to let down
the hammers of the shot gun, which he kept at full cock all the time.
In doing so he fired one of the barrels through the wall, whereupon
some bystander wanted to know if he were nervous. McKitrick is a man of
undoubted courage, but he admitted that he had stayed up all night
watching for Downing, whom he knew would kill him at the first
opportunity. McKitrick is the man who put a Negro soldier permanently
out of business at Ft. Dodge after the latter had the drop on him.
Sheriff White is of the opinion that Downing deliberately walked to his
death at the time he was shot, and that he had made up his mind to
that, with the intention of getting as many of his enemies as he could
before he cashed in. The sheriff says that at the time of his release
from the Yuma prison Down-ing was looking well and was full in the
face. Not long afterward he was thin, worried, despondent and was
drinking hard all the time.
According to the testimony of a score or more of people who saw the
death of Downing, he slowly and deliberately lowered his hands after
Ranger Speed had ordered him to surrender, reaching at the same time
for his left hip pocket, for he was left handed. He kept his hand on
his pocket and kept advancing, notwithstanding the fact that Ranger
Speed begged him to put his hands up and to stop, as he did not want to
kill him. He refused to obey and no alternative was left Speed but to
GOVERNOR KIBBEY'S REPORT
BISBEE, Jan. 27.—Cochise county being die headquarters of
the Arizona Rangers, considerable interest has been taken here in the
recommendation of Governor Kibbey in his message to the territorial
The number of arrests for the year ending June 30, 1908, is given as
1,096, which is a considerable increase over the report covering the
two previous years. The total number of arrests for the two years, 1905
and 1906, is given as 1,756. These figures show that the Ranger force,
although not as large as authorized by law, on account of a number of
vacancies now existing which Governor Kibbey has not seen fit to fill,
is evidently carrying on a more vigorous campaign against criminals.
In this connection Captain Harry Wheeler calls attention to the fact
that while crime has been greatly reduced, still we have entirely too
much of it, and two many criminals, guilty of the most heinous crimes
succeed in escaping and going unpunished. During the past year within a
radius of four miles of Bisbee four murders were committed and to this
date three of them are unpunished and the perpetrator of the deed
unknown. In the other case a man is being held awaiting the action of
the grand jury, but the officers are far from certain that they can
succeed in bringing sufficient evidence to cause his conviction. That
this is a deplorable state of affairs will be recognized by every
citizen of this county and the territory.
Captain Wheeler, however, is of the opinion and states posi-tively that
if the members of his force were provided with the necessary implements
of their profession they could easily have captured all of the four
criminals mentioned, and they could make it so hard for any criminal to
escape that the incentive to crime would need he much greater to tempt
the criminal element.
In discussing the remedies he mentions the following things:
"First of all, a pair of bloodhounds of the very best training and
breeding could easily have taken the trail of each of these murderers.
Again, had we possessed the dogs, we could have given them the trail in
each case, within thirty minutes, there would have been no possible
escape for the fugitives.
"I consider the question of dogs the most important of all. I refer
only to the best of trained and blooded dogs, any other sort would be
worse than useless. Again the extradition laws are abominable and are
without sense or reason. It is next to impos-sible to get a criminal by
means of extradition from either side of the Mexican line. The process
is costly, clumsy and full of trouble, and a hundred technicalities are
run against at every turn. Our criminal must have an indictment against
him found by the grand jury. He may have killed a man yesterday—the
grand jury will not meet again for six months. In the meantime an
officer apprehends the criminal in Oananea, Mexico. They can hold this
criminal forty days according to their law and then he must be
released. In the meantime our grand jury is five months away. At
present the laws of extradition are merely an invitation to the
criminals of both countries.
"Another thing: At the present time I know of no way in which an
officer can follow a criminal, if the criminal takes to the railway,
unless the officer pays the fare of the road out of his own pocket.
This is not to be thought of, for no officer can pay such sums of money
out continuously for railroad fares. Now we can only write to some
other officer, who would not know the criminal even if he saw him.
Another thing, there should be a method (telegraphic) by which every
officer in the territory could immediately be made acquainted with the
crime, the criminal's description and all things necessary to give
every officer an intelligent and clear idea as to the crime and the
criminal. Yet there are no rates for officers and even so there is no
way for an officer to pay these telegraphic charges.
"The principal reason, however—the one which if rectified would do the
most good—is the lack of the very best trained bloodhounds that money
can buy. Grant us the dogs, railroad transportation particularly for
those officers who are compelled to travel most, and fix for us the
extradition laws so that they offer some hope to the officer instead of
an inducement to the criminal, and I am positive that I voice the
sentiment and the belief of all the officers of Arizona, when I promise
and guarantee a decrease of the murder crimes and those of robbery 50
per cent and in general all crime 70 per cent to 80 per cent."
These recommendations of Captain Harry Wheeler, who is noted for his
conservation, should be given more than passing thought by the members
of the legislature, which is now in session, and if, after due
investigation, they find that it is pos-sible to provide the things
which Captain Wheeler speaks of as being necessary, and in their
judgment it will make Arizona a safer place in which to live, then they
should provide them without delay and at any reasonable cost.
There are many people throughout the states who regard Arizona as
hardly a safe place to live. There are many people in our own midst who
share this idea and carry with them daily, contrary to the law,
dangerous weapons for their own protection. Our officers are doing
their best to deter men from a life of crime and it is the duty of the
territory to see that they are properly equipped.
Doubtless some of the things Captain Wheeler would like to sec brought
to pass cannot be accomplished until we are granted statehood, but it
is possible in some cases to so enact laws as to materially aid the
members of the Ranger force, and in other cases Congress should be
memorialized to give us the proper relief. We hope that this matter
will receive earnest considera-tion by the territorial legislature,
which is now in session in Phoenix. —Globe Silver Belt, 1909
Editor's Note: It will be seen by the foregoing item and this item,
published two weeks later, that the plea of Captain Wheeler with the
approval of the press, was to no avail as far as improving the Ranger
organization was concerned.
As stated in yesterday's Silver Belt, a petition is being circu-lated
in Globe asking the legislature to reconsider its action in attempting
to abolish the Rangers in Arizona. A counter petition was started
yesterday and there will undoubtedly be a lively scrap in the
legislature for attempting to eliminate the Rangers was prompted by the
belief—and there was ground for this con-clusion—that it was merely a
political shot aimed at Governor Kibbey.
The question is now being argued on its merits. The Silver Belt
believes, as it previously stated, that if there was ever a necessity
for a company of Rangers in Arizona that conditions have not
sufficiently changed to modify the necessity.
Arizona is far from being densely populated. There are sec-tions
visited by the Rangers not frequented by other officers, and that they
do offer protection cannot be successfully denied.
It is also true that since the formation of the Ranger company crime of
all kinds has been reduced to a minimum in these isolated places and
train robberies are incidents fast fading from our memories, as far as
they pretain to this territory. That this protection is still needed
goes without saying. If it can be more cheaply secured in the
employment of some other brand of officers, well and good. The people
should be safeguarded before the protection that is now given is
It is held by those who would banish the Ranger company that only three
counties in the territory are benefitted by this annual expenditure of
about $30,000. This is only partially cor-rect. It is true that most of
the offenders are captured in the border counties, but isn't this a
compliment to the efficiency of the Ranger force? The criminals are
apprehended right at the gates of Arizona, and are either driven back
into Mexico, or are incarcerated and punished for their depredations.
Should we take down this barrier and permit them to overrun the entire
territory? Shouldn't the people of all Arizona be willing to stand for
the expense of this good work? The people in the border counties are
compelled to bear the expense of their convictions, as well as to pay
their pro rata of the cost of maintaining the Rangers.
In New Mexico, a territory with a greater population than Arizona, a
Ranger company was organized for the protection of the people. The
people of New Mexico state that they were prompted to take this action
because the Rangers of Arizona had driven all the bad man into that
territory and that the ordinary-peace officers found it impossible to
cope with them. In order that the criminal classes might have some
peace of mind and eternally green fields for browsing. Arizona should
now remove the bars and permit them to enter this territory!
At a recent meeting of the meml>crs of the boards of super-visors of
the respective counties of Arizona, we are informed, that a resolution
was passed by a large majority—almost with una-nimity—asking that the
Ranger company be abolished. Cochise and Pima counties did not join in
this request. The opinion of these gentlemen, paying all due respect to
the exalted positions they hold—is of no more weight than that of the
ordinary observing layman. It is doubtful if they correctly mirror the
sentiment existing in their respective localities.
The matter of abolishing the Ranger company was a surprise party for
the people of the entire territory. It might be interest-ing to know at
this particular time how the matter happened to come up for
consideration at this territorial conclave of county representatives.
Surely there had l»een no surface agitation. But, as the Silver
Belt has stated, if the Ranger company is an expen-sive worthless
luxury, abolish it. No definite action should be taken, however, until
the question is thoroughly canvassed. —Globe Silver Belt, 1909
The Tombstone Prospector in February, 1909, stated:
No matter whether the ultimate result of the fight on the Rangers in
the legislature should be the retention of the service, Harry Wheeler
will tender his resignation to the governor. Al-ready he has
tentatively resigned, but, awaiting an answer to a telegram sent to
Phoenix, he has not formally tendered his resig-nation to the governor.
Editor's Note: Governor Kibbey vetoed tlx* bill abolishing the Arizona
Rangers. The veto message covered twelve typewritten pages in defense
of the Ranger service and claimed the legisla-ture was actuated by
political motives in abolishing same.
The bill was passed over the governor's veto and the Arizona Rangers
ceased to exist on February 15, 1909.
Wheeler immediately upon the receipt of news of the action of the
legislature, telegraphed orders to his men giving them their discharge
and his own discharge was at the same time signed by the governor and
the ex-Ranger left for Naco.
OPEN LETTER OF RANGERS TO PUBLIC
Former Captain Harry C. Wheeler of the Rangers in the fol-lowing letter
expresses the appreciation of the men of the organi-zation for the
hearty interest and support given the service in years past by the
Editor Bisbee Daily Review—I say for myself and my boys that the sting
and bitterness of defeat so recently suffered by us, is forgotten and
lost sight of in the knowledge which has come to us, individually and
as an organization, of the good will and appreciation of our people,
our friends and neighbors. To all our friends we extend our sincere
gratitude. They made a fight for us, which from force of circumstances
we could not make for ourselves. We are grateful to every man, woman
and child in this and other counties, for petitions and letters sent to
the Terri-torial fathers in our behalf.
We would not care to dwell upon the Act of Repeal, passed by the 25th
Legislature Assembly of Arizona, were it not for a few statements made
by individual members of that Honorable body.
We do not question the motives of a majority of those who dealt us our
death blow as an organization. Having been so long guided ourselves
blindly at times, from a sense of duty, it is not for us to Question of
others the motives actuating them, and therefore we do not question,
but leel assured that by the majority the actual dictates of conscience
were followed and carried out. We feel no bitterness toward any who
honestly fought us; we trust that in the end will be proved the wisdom
of the Act abolishing us, however much we doubt this will be so.
We believe our representatives Fred Sutler, Oscar Roberts and Ben
Goodrich would have saved us had such been within their power. Had Mr.
Goodrich and Mr. Sutter Ixrth been of the Assembly, instead of being in
opposite houses the governor's veto would have been sustained, but it
is useless to argue "what might have been." The Rangers arc no more.
The wisdom or unwisdom of the Act of Repeal will be evident to all in
the near future.
Yet, while we are not bitter toward those who killed us, as an
organization, (here were some, who seemingly not satisfied with their
work (The Act of Repeal had been passed Ik'fore speeches) arose and
needlessly, and falsely attempted the assassination of the personal
characters of men who have never in any way banned them. It was a
cowardly and a cruel thing, this attempted ruination of (lie characters
of a faithful body of men; men who having been denied the right to be
heard, being denied the right of self defense, little expected to be
made the victims of a personal attack.
I, being (he captain of the company, for my boys' sake re-quested to be
placed before a committee of investigation; we feared no possible
interrogation and I was (o resign my captaincy regardless of whether
the Rangers lived or not. We were not, however, accorded any hearing.
No investigation was permitted, no chance of self defense allowed. We
judged from this no altack would personally be made upon us, nor upon
anyone connected with us. We were deceived for we were doomed to suffer
an attack, from Mr. Thomas Weedin of Pinal county. Mr. Weedin arose and
publicly stated that the Rangers had Immmi assessed by the governor for
$3,000 of their salaries for campaign purposes. Just think of that
statement! Think of all it means! Only men without honor would either
demand such a thing or submit to such a thing were the demand made.
Further when you consider that of the twenty Rangers eighteen are
Democrats, the shame of the assertion, were it true, becomes more
manifest. Men of one political faith buying their positions from
Be that as it may he who was guilty of falsehood when he made his
statement regarding the assessing of the Rangers for any purpose. Mr.
Weedin appears to l>c a man of force and should have some character.
A false and malicious statement coming from him, might injure,
therefore I believe it a duty to myself, my boys and our friends to
state publicly that Mr. Weedin ap-parently did deliln-rately and
maliciously make a false statement in saying the Rangers were ever
assessed or ever gave any money or thing of value for any political
As to Governor Joseph H Kibbey, he will always rank first In the heart
of every Ranger. He was like a father to us, fair, just and kindly in
all things. We dared perform our duties against all alike, the high and
the low, the mightiest and the lowest. All he ever demanded of us was
"Be sure you are right." If there ever was a noble man 'tis Governor
Kibbey. We were with the people and of the people before we were
Rangers; now we arc of the people and with the people still. We are
citizens of Arizona, have our families and our homes, and here we shall
The organization of the Arizona Rangers is indeed dead, but the same
spirit which made of the boys, faithful and efficient officers, will
make of us loyal and earnest citizens.
We will do our part as citizens, help boar the burdens of citizenship
and we will share in all the pride and pleasure and the glory of simply
being Arizonans and living in Arizona.
For the Rangers and by them.
HARRY C. WHEELER. —Bisbee Review, 1909
A. F. Chase and John Redmond, two former members of the now disbanded
Ranger force, stationed under the regime of that body at Florence, were
in Bisbee yesterday on their way to Courtland (the new town just
opening up). Both, while indignant at their summary dismissal, refused
to speak at any great length upon the subject.
"I was out chasing outlaw horse thieves for five days after the force
had been disbanded," said Redmond. "Luckily I forced them into another
man's territory and he gathered them in. It would have been a pretty
'how-dy-do' if I had been killed or had killed one of them after my
commission had been taken from me." —Bisbee Review, 1909
Source: The Arizona Rangers Edited by Joseph Miller 1972
Contributed to Genealogy Trails by Friends For Free Genealogy