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Submitted by Jean Walker, Nov 2017

Page 430
Who’s Who in Arizona, 1913

JOHN H. SLAUGHTER, pioneer cattle and ranch man, is one of the state's most interesting and picturesque characters, whose success in various undertakings has been a matter of common pride. He was born on a plantation in Louisiana in the forties, and was reared among the surroundings of a southern home, which he left at an early age to seek fortune and adventure in the West.

He first landed in Texas, where he saw an opportunity offered for stock raising. Here he set about getting a start in the cattle business and at the age of six- teen possessed a considerable herd.

While yet a young man the Civil War broke out, and he was one of the first to enlist in the Confederate Army. His career as a soldier was cut short by an unlimited furlough owing to serious illness, but immediately upon his recovery he enlisted with the Texas Rangers and was made a Lieutenant. With this remarkable company he was active during much of the service which made it justly celebrated, and many of the members who served with Lieutenant Slaughter relate his stirring experiences and daring deeds.

During his career in Texas he battled with uncertainties, twice amassing a fortune and twice losing all. The effect of this adversity was but to bring out the grit and determination well known in the Slaughter blood, without which the name would not have figured so prominently in the development of the Southwest.

In 1877 when gold was discovered in Arizona and the name of Tombstone was everywhere spoken, Mr. Slaughter was attracted by the new country, and believing that greater opportunities existed here for wealth, drove his cattle overland to the San Pedro Valley, which was his first permanent camping ground in Arizona. After inspecting the country for a suitable range he purchased land in the Southeast corner of the Territory, where he established the San Bernardino Ranch.

For 15 years following the surrounding country and even portions of the ranch were never free from bands of hostile Indians, and the utmost vigilance was necessary to prevent their uprising. Mr. Slaughter struggled through this period with a firm and fearless determination to hold the ground, and that he has succeeded is shown by the passing of the redmen and the building up of one of the prettiest spots in the great Southwest.

In the year 1886 Mr. Slaughter was escort to the late General Lawton, then Captain in the United States Army, in the capture of the famous Apache chief, Geronimo, who later surrendered on the San Bernardino Ranch. On many occasions later Mr. Slaughter directed expeditions of the United States troops through southern Arizona and northern Mexico, as no man better knew the lurking places of the Indians, or better understood their cunning, habits, and modes of warfare. He was also well known to the Indians, and it was old Geronimo himself who said no life should ever be taken on the San Bernardino Ranch.

In 1887 Mr. Slaughter was elected Sheriff of Cochise County on the Democratic ticket, and in this capacity served two terms which have gone down in the history of Arizona as remarkable for the good accomplished. During his ten years of office he brought to justice many desperadoes who had been operating through the county, and many attempts were made to entrap him and take his life, but in every case he outgeneraled his foes. 

Mr. Slaughter has always been solicitous for the welfare of Cochise County, ever ready to assist those upon whom the hand of adversity has fallen, and foremost in ridding the country of outlaws and cattle thieves, thereby encouraging the stock raising business.

Mr. Slaughter married Adeline Harris, daughter of Lesial Harris, of San Angelo, Texas, one of the prominent men of that State. Mrs. Slaughter died shortly after their removal to Arizona, leaving one son, William J., who was associated with his father in business until his death in 1911, and one daughter, Adeline, now the wife of Dr. William Arnold Greene of Douglas. Mr. Slaughter later married Miss Cora Viola Howell, a most lovable woman, who enjoys much popularity, and who is a woman of rare public spirit. Mrs. Slaughter has been a most cheerful helpmate, charming and devoted, and much of the extraordinary success which her husband has enjoyed may be attributed to her native ability.


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