HARRY  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.

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 1909.

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 custom house.

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.


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 without interruption.

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 officers.

—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


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 Southern Republic.

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 officer.

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 the morning.

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.


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 Tucson.

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 Maricopa county."

—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 Review, 1907


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 county:

"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 Indians.

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 to be.

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 rifles.

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 payment.

"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 offenses.

"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 guilty.

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.


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 evening.

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 officer.

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


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 results.

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 robbery.

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.


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 trouble.

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 trouble oc-curred.

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, will recover.

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 doctor arrived.

"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, Kidder muttered:

"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 services.

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 returned, however.

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


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 found.

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 "bad man."

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


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 chaps.

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 stated:

"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 anyone.

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 life.

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


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 quietly surrendered.

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


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 him.

"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 the offense.

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 kept about.

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 to deny.

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 two years.

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 shoot.


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 legislature.

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 removed.

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.


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 public:

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 another administration.

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 purpose whatsoever.

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 remain.

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
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