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Recorded by Richard J. Kelley from personal interviews

Earthquake of May 2, 1887 was recorded on January 15, 1938 as an additional separate report.

I was born on Clinch Mountain, twenty miles east of Morristown, Tenn. in 1856. When twenty-five years of age, or in 1881, I came to Hackberry, Arizona to help build the railroad, but was soon stricken with small pox which was then quite common and returned east to Missouri. It was very cold in Missouri in the spring of 1882, so when an old pal wrote me from Charleston, Arizona, that he could guarantee me a job and the climate was so warm you could sleep without blankets, I started west again and reached Charleston in July 1882.

The railroad had been only recently built and I traveled all the way by train to what is now named Fairbanks, which is only three miles down the San Pedro River from Charleston. Fairbanks was then only known as the “Y” because that was where the train or rather, engine, turned around for the return trip to Benson. It was then the end of the track, but later the Santa Fe R.R. continued it south from Fairbanks to Nogales and Guaymas, Mexico.

I immediately went to work in the Dick Gird mill at Charleston. At that time there was not enough water in Tombstone to mill the ore, so the big companies built their mills on the San Pedro. There were five big mills strung along the San Pedro from Charleston to the neighborhood of Contention. It was hot as my friend had promised. I knew it was hot, but was getting along fine until one day I saw a thermometer. It said 124 and after that I felt the heat noticeably. Since then I have laid off of thermometers. They only make me feel the heat more. We had to drink lots to keep a healthy flow of perspiration. Most of us thought the water supply was impure, so of course, we did not drink that water. The Gird brothers and O’Gorman were probably at that time, the only abstemious once in that part of the world. Dick Gird had installed a distilling plant in his mill where plenty of free ice and distilled water was available to all and he used that. But we men figured that the process of distillation removed all the natural salts of the water. As salt is absolutely necessary to good health in this climate, you could not expect us to use this distilled water for drinking purposes. No, none of us ever died of thirst in Charleston. On the contrary. However, the ice came in handy to cool what we did drink. Chasers? I’ll bet none of that crowd had used chasers since they were ten years old, if ever. Some of them did not even know what the word meant.

In proportion to its size, Charleston was a far tougher and livelier camp than Tombstone which was only nine miles away. There were four saloons going twenty-four hours daily. All kinds of gambling games operated continually. Yes, there were lots of naughty girls living close to the saloons. You did not ask me the last, but I knew you would get around to it sooner or later. Everybody does. Even Alfred Henry Lewis did. I remember his coloring and stammering somewhat when he inquired about such intimate indelicate details. When pay days occurred at Fort Huachuca, many of the soldiers came to Charleston to drink. The soldiers of that time and their female friends were a pretty hard lot. Then would ensue some real heavyweight drinking and carousing. No, the law did not bother them as long as they paid their taxes. This tax on bawdy houses and saloons was set apart for the support of the public school system. It was the only support of the public schools at that time.

On the second day of my arrival, I entered a saloon to get a drink. The faro dealer was having an argument with a customer concerning a bet. The customer went out. The faro dealer sat down at the end of the bar and began to read a newspaper. As I finished my drink, I heard someone outside approaching the doorway to enter. The faro dealer had tilted back his chair and raised his feet to the bar. Suddenly, though sitting in this awkward position, he reached into his belt with his right hand, pulled out a forty-five and dotted the newcomer exactly between the eyes just as that person arrived in front of the open doorway. The dead man was the argumentative customer of only a few minutes before. He had gone to his room for his gun. Without getting out of his chair, the faro dealer calmly went on reading which he had held in his hand as he shot with his right. Past experiences and instinct had told him that that man was coming back ready for trouble. It was simply part of his days work to get in the first shot. The only thing that annoyed him was the smoke from his own gun barrel.

I was scared out of my senses. In one leap I got outside and made a beeline for my room where I locked my door. I was still there a few hours later when a couple of deputy sheriffs came to get my version of the shooting. At first I would not unlock the door even for them. As I was a new comer, they felt I would be an impartial witness as I was not allied with any of the cliques of the town. On learning from me the dead man had a gun on him when he came back, they dropped the case right there. They did not even arrest the faro dealer. He worked his game that and many following nights.

I soon got over my squeamishness. The saloons were somewhat small and if a man’s light went out during the night, he was usually stuck outside until the next day so as not to crowd those who remained. Again, a man was occasionally blasted outside in the dark night by some enemy and would not be found until daybreak. Therefore, from 1885 until silver was demonetized in 1895, it was not an uncommon sight to see one or more dead men lying in the street when going to work on early morning shift. If a dead man had a gun on him and was shot from the front, no one bothered to look for the killer.

You must not think that everyone was tough or hard in the Charleston of those days. Gird seemed to have a preference for American, Irish and Scotch assistants. Every Sunday there was quite a procession of buckboards and buggies to the Catholic and Protestant churches in Tombstone. I remember when Joe Curry, now head of the Apache Powder Co.; Ed Hughes, a state official in Phoenix; Harry Rafferty, now a peace office in Whittier, Calif.; the McPherson family and many others, all went to the Charleston school to teacher, Miss Ella Foy, who was later Mrs. M.M. O’Gorman and now resides in Los Angeles. These were all steady, reliable and religious families that would add respectability to any community anywhere. I myself, belong to no church and never married.

I located this ranch in 1883 and have lived here for 54 years. I think I am the oldest old timer left in the County. I know of only one man left who was here before me. He is Johnny Hanniger, now residing in the Pioneer’s Home in Prescott.

Did I ever have a run-in with the apaches? H—l, no. I was too scared of them to trust myself within ten miles of them if I knew where they were first. Fort Huachuca is but a few miles from here and troops of cavalry frequently tore by on a hot Apache trail. The Indian scouts with the army were enough in themselves to scare anyone. If the renegade Indians were any worse than these, they were a good bunch to stay away from. Which I did.

Did I know intimately any of the old sheriffs or their deputies? Why, I knew them all. However, I never had any official business with them. They were down here on business a great part of their time. Whenever I got into a jam in those days, I made my own rules and enforced them without running to the law for help. At times we had some fine law-officers, but you acquired a funny feeling toward the law when you knew that some of the deputies had a different name last year and were “wanted” in some other state; and that some of last years officers were down in Mexico or elsewhere this year under assumed names because of law breaking.

For many years after I arrived, I used to clip out and save all references to Cochise County that appeared in the local or other papers and magazines. They referred principally to Indian troubles, officers, outlaws and robberies, all arranged in chronological order. They made a stack as big as a bible. Then years ago, so many I cannot remember exactly when, a writer Alfred Henry Lewis, visited here with me for a few days. He pored over those clippings most of the time of his stay. At last he persuaded me to loan them to him, promising to return them carefully and also to give me two copies of any book or article he might get printed as a result of them. The boys in Tombstone tell me Lewis wrote several books on Gayleyville, Tombstone and Charleston from these clippings. Then I heard later that Alfred Henry Lewis was dead. At any rate, I never received my clippings back nor have I received a single copy of any of his books. Even at that, I still think Alfred Henry Lewis was a fine young man and I have no doubt that had he lived, he would have kept his word. I have no regrets over lending him the stack of clippings. I understand he named one series of stories “Wolfville tales” in my honor.

To what do I attribute my long life and such good health? To Arizona’s fine climate, of course. But also and principally because I never asked acquaintances where they came from, where they were going, what their names were formerly or any other questions, no matter how innocent they might appear.

Because it was the smelter and mill town for Tombstone ore, many Tombstonites presumed in thinking Charleston was but a suburb of Tombstone. It was not. We were an entirely independent outfit. For many years the Justice of the Peace was Jim Burnett. He dispensed Justice, Capital J. please, on the dot at any and all times. He was prompt and decisive and could and did hold court anywhere without the aid of a clerk, courtroom, law books or sissy records. In addition, he never would entertain any appeals from any of his decisions. He always carried and could use a forty-five with speed and precision, hence there was a vast amount of law and some semblance of order in his particular vicinity at all times.

A Mexican stole a horse from Mr. Curry, the father of the present head of the Apache Powder Works. Some days later the Mexican came into town with a train of wagons loaded with firewood and drawn by a long team or string of horses. Mr. Curry recognized his horse and proceeded to claim him. As he and the Mexican argued, Judge Burnett happened along. “Is this your horse? Here, take him. I fine this Mexican nine cords of wood to be delivered to the Gird mill,” said the Judge. Court had convened and adjourned all in one breath. The Mexican had no show at all to argue. His wagons held nine cords of wood exactly as Burnett’s trained eyes well knew. The wood was delivered to the mill and Judge Burnett was paid for it.

On another occasion the keeper of one of the resorts got drunk and loud mouthed. The Judge and Charleston’s constable proceeded there and court opened and closed immediately by Burnett saying, “The fine will be fifty dollars.” On being paid the fine, Judge Burnett sat into the poker game and lost the fifty dollars in short order. The constable, a protégée of Burnett’s, knew his stuff. He started a new argument with the proprietor and as soon as the latter raised his voice, Judge Burnett stepped up and fined him a second time. The second fifty dollars soon went the way of the first and when the constable again approached the proprietor, that fast learning individual started blowing out the lights and thus calling it a day, but all the time firmly keeping his mouth clamped shut, when near the constable.

One time a bunch of County officials came down here from Tombstone and wanted to audit Judge Burnett’s books. I don’t suppose they would have been any better than Burnett if they had gotten their hands on any court money. But they got no money. “Gentlemen, this is a self-sustaining office. I never ask anything from the County and I never give the County anything,” was Burnett’s answer for an accounting. As he kept no books or records, the County officers returned as empty handed as they came.

The Tombstone area was fabulously rich and even though the first crude smelter at Charleston lost large amounts of values in the process of smelting, the returns were immense. Gird was virtually broke financially when the strike was made and he had to keep going with the equipment he had in order to acquire means to repay the sums he had borrowed to start his mine and build the smelter. Since then the tailings and slag from the first mill have been reworked five times, each time at a profit, so rich was the original ore. The richness of the district had attracted gunmen, bandits and crooks from all over the west and even the entire world. It was here at Charleston, the crude ore was converted into shiny bars of rich metal. Naturally, where the booty was greatest, the various gangs of hold-up artists came. Gird built an immense office building of adobe with walls almost three feet thick. In it he installed an immense steel safe, or vault, to protect the precious bars while they awaited shipment to the United States Treasury. Inside of this building the walls were papered with regular wall paper to hide the ugliness of the adobe mud, as were all such houses of that period.

As a matter of fact, the much advertised safe never held a bar of the precious metal. It was only a bluff. Hiding places for the smelted bars had been dug out at various places in the walls and the holes hidden with movable panels covered with wall paper like the rest of the room.

Charleston was an ideal place for a hold-up at this time. For miles to the west and north was an Apache infested area. To the south lies Old Mexico where at least a few petty larceny officials could be depended upon to protect American bandits, for a consideration. Flowing alongside Charleston was the San Pedro River. Immediately after a hold-up the bandits could take for the river where the stream removed all trances of tracks. They could get a good start by following the river up or down and then leave it at some rocky ledge where the horses hoofs would leave no prints. Also, the numerous creeks and washes emptying into the San Pedro had banks sufficiently high to hide a man on horseback until he was a long ways off, so the chances of escape were pretty good.

Shortly after my arrival here in 1883, I was aroused by the furious tooting of the mill’s steam whistle. As this blew only for fires and bandits, and I could see no smoke, I carefully and calmly, even deliberately, approached the mill. I had a great yearning to stay in my room, but my …… like mind told me this house was one of the best buildings in Charleston and I could picture bandits ceasing it as a fort if they were hard pressed. Everybody in town was running toward the mill so I joined the crowd. Some of them had forty-fives, others had rifles and shot guns and the rest had picked up anything they could find that might be useful in a free-for-all. As we neared the office, I could see the bandits running for their horses. They emptied their guns toward the crowd and made for the river and got away.

They had entered the office on some pretended business and ordered the bookkeeper to open the safe. He knew the safe contained little of any real value, but probably thought to derail them, and then aid in their capture, by slow compliance. Anyhow, he was too slow. They caught on and promptly killed him. The shot aroused the millmen and they had tooted the whistle.

The bandits got nothing and much blood found near the river showed that one or more of them had been hit even at that long range. They were never captured.

Gird and many of his early assistants came here from the old McCracken mine near Signal City in northwest Arizona in the seventies. Through many years all had survived the onslaughts of the mighty Mojave Indian tribes and were dead shots with pistol and rifle in addition to being fine miners. It was different fifty years ago. Then they were more feared than the Apaches. They were brave, crafty and comparatively intelligent. Only really good smart white men lived through the first fifteen or twenty years following the close of the Civil War in that part of Arizona, and not all of them. Self-reliance was ingrained in them. Thus you can see what a fat chance any bandits had with that outfit. It took legal sharps to trim them in later years.

The task of freighting the ore from Tombstone to Charleston was a problem in those days of small outfits. Finally a man named Durkee took over that contract in a big way at a big price. At the end of the first year, his books showed an immense profit, so he decided to throw a party. He hired the biggest saloon in Charleston, bought all the liquor in the joint and had more sent in from the railroad. The girl entertainers were engaged at a fixed price for the night. All the gaming tables were reinforced with huge stacks of freshly minted dollars. A large orchestra was brought in. Only working men were invited. In those days both miners and freighters universally wore blue flannel shirts. Thus a blue flannel shirt was the ticket of admittance. All the white collared higher-ups, bookkeepers, officials, macquereux and tin horns were barred from even approaching the place. It was a large night. Everything was free. When the crowd had first finished off the imported wines, brandy and rum, they started in on the common “soldier” whiskey. This class of whiskey was always sure to knock a man sideways at sixty yards without a miss. Then the fun began. As the men far outnumbered the hostesses, the latter complained they were being danced to death. The amateur croupiers and game tenders lost immense sums to the players. Joy reigned supreme until sometime after midnight. Then the freighters who were mostly Texans had to tell the others about the woes of their native state during the recent Reconstruction period. The miners, who were mostly Irish and Cousin Jacks advised them to forget it and enjoy the night. What? Forget Texas? No more dastardly proposition could be offered man. Thus the ruckus started. Luckily, everyone had been searched for guns on entering earlier in the evening, but table legs, cuspidors and bottles made punishing weapons in such hands. Finally the Texans were heaved into the outer darkness and the party was over. The next day, Durkee paid for the plate glass mirrors and other fixtures that suffered in the melee without any hesitation, but, although he made lots of money in future years, he never threw another party.

Tombstone was a wild and wooly place all through the “eighties” and well into the “nineties” or until silver was demonetized and McKinley made President. The tremendous price of $1.29 cents per ounce for silver and the rich mineral veins of the camp made work easy to get and money plentiful.

Outside of a few grocery stores and corrals, practically all the business houses were saloons. Every saloon was sure to have as part of its regular equipment one or more roulette wheels besides faro and poker tables. These places were open day and night Sundays and holidays. A few were respectably conducted but the rest were conducted under decidedly more or less flexible codes of ethics. In these places all  the games were as crooked as they dared to be and tended by soft handed, fishy eyed, well dressed, smooth spoken dealers recruited from all over the world; killer gamblers, or tin horns, as we used to call them. Many of them came from California, run out by the vigilantes of that state. Others of the same stripe came from Australia when the gold fields there were worked out, while the rest usually came from the east generally at the urgent solicitation of some eastern sheriff.

They were all out to “get the money.” If they could get it by clever playing, that was fine, but if it were necessary to run in marked cards on a tenderfoot, or start a quarrel and kill the other fellow, why, that was often done. When they shot, they shot to kill, for two reasons. First, even a wounded man might shoot back. Second, a dead man could tell no tales on the witness stand in the remote possibility of arrest over the affair. With the victim out of the way, they felt they could bribe a corrupt peace officer or get free with the aid of a spell binder type of lawyer if it ever came to a jury trial. These hard gamblers, many of them wanted for crime elsewhere, all wore forty-fives, had a house gun handy under the table or on their knees besides a lookout sitting behind them to cover the house in case of trouble. Because of the hostile Indians and bandits that infested the roads and hills, naturally the freighters and prospectors were compelled to go armed. The regular miners were all pretty good fighters and would not take back talk from any one, but they knew they could not win any arguments, even on the most trivial subjects, when all these other people were heavily armed and they were not, so they wore Colts also. The winners were always not necessarily the righteous, but the fastest on the draw. Killings were common day and night as evidenced by the many long rows of unmarked graves in the two cemeteries, not to mention the many hundreds of bodies that were embalmed and sent to relatives elsewhere.

Many worthy citizens lost so much time from their regular business because of being impanelled for service on Coroners’ juries, that they stopped voting in Arizona, selected some little Mexican hamlet across the International line as their place of residence and took out first papers as Mexican citizens, although they continued to do business and pay taxes in Cochise County, in order to escape this onerous duty. It was a hectic situation and Tombstone soon acquired a world-wide reputation as being well named.

Let it not be forgotten however, that at the same time thousands of miners were at work daily, millions of dollars were going extracted from the mines and the camp was also noted for its many fine mining experts, doctors, restaurants and capitalists from everywhere.

Like all other Arizona towns, most of the saloons employed girl “hostesses” to greet and entertain the cowboys and prospectors when they came to camp for a spree. Their job was to cajole the easy going newcomer into buying drinks and their pay was usually two and one half cents per drink or about twenty percent of whatever the man spent for liquor.

The mortality amongst those girls was awful, especially those who lived in those cheap, draughty pneumonia inducing shacks immediately surrounding the Bird Cage Saloon. Drinking so much booze combined with pneumonia and the hard life they lead caused them to go by the scores.

What is now called the Boothill Cemetery was the original burial ground of the camp, but the heterogeneous character of many of the early interments caused the several churches and fraternal societies to combine and start a second cemetery for their people. After that, the old burial ground was used mainly for that tough element, both male and female, who had died, figuratively speaking, with their boots on. Thus it gradually acquired the name, Boothill Cemetery. However, some of the fine first families who had bought lots there before the organization of the second cemetery, continued to use it.

The first sheriffs of Cochise County were a brave fearless lot. They had proved their mettle against Indians, bandits and other hard characters of the West, but in Tombstone, where even many of the men of the church-going element thought nothing of taking a few drinks on Sunday before going to church and then after the services having a few more drinks and sitting into a gambling game, thereby rubbing elbows with the riff-raff of the world, they were up against it. They were too honest and square to be ruthless or as tricky as the situation demanded. At times, both the City of Tombstone and the Sheriff’s office employed city Marshalls and deputies who were themselves under suspicion, evidently on the theory of dog eat dog, but the lawless crowd yet remained a menace.

The County jail was kept full of offenders, but in this young Territory, the first laws were full of loop-holes and in that day when lawyers of the spell-binding type of oratory like Mark Smith and Al English easily swayed juries, very few convictions were secured.

Finally, such a sad state of affairs was reached, the business men met and induced John Slaughter to run for sheriff.
Slaughter was a cowman who lived at the extreme south east corner of the County on the San Bernardino Grant. His ranch occupied both sides of the International line, but most of it was in Old Mexico and in the direct path of those smugglers, bandits and cattle-thieves who made their headquarters in old Gayleyville, now known as Paradise in the Chiricahua Mountains near the southern end of the San Simon Valley. This valley, though rough and tortuous, afforded this class of outlaws a convenient route from Old Mexico to northern Arizona and points beyond without coming in contact with the peace officers of either the Territory of New Mexico or Tombstone. Too far away, in those horseback days from Tombstone and Fort Huachuca to receive any assistance from the regular law authorities, Slaughter fought his own fights. San Bernadino was directly in the favorite path of Geronimo and those other Apache hostiles when they raided Old Mexico or had to slip through there at various times to flee pursuing troops from both sides of the line. In addition, he had to be ever on the alert to guard against predatory Mexicans from south of the line who freely infested the border in those days. It was also whispered around by the irreverent that even he made his start in the cattle business in a none to ethical manner, if you get what I mean.

My ranch here on the San Pedro, between Lewis Springs and Charleston, is in a rather exposed position when personal safety is to be considered. It is beautifully situated as a hideout and a supply point for any gang operating along the border, whether Mexican or American. You can approach it from up or down the river and the water leaves no trail. The high banks of the river and the washes that drain into it nicely hide any rider or riders that wish to conceal his or their presence. Because of these outlaw passers-by, I took precautions. My pasture surrounding the house and barn is all fenced. The only gate it is placed close to the house, yet just far enough away to keep some people at a desirable distance. Every night I always secretly fastened a piece of twine to the gate and let it in through a window to my bed where I would fasten it to my wrist before I went to sleep. It easily awakened me when anyone tried to enter a I slept. I have been thus able to fittingly receive several strange visitors who have come here after dark during the past fifty three years.

One night long ago, I was awakened by the twine around midnight. There was no moon up,  but I could makeup out a rather heavy set man tip-toeing in. His horse was outside. I arose, picked up my rifle and in my bare feet cautiously kept him in sight by going quietly from room to room as he silently went to my corral and walked around the few horses there. Then he carefully went to the barn, very silently opened the door a little and cautiously inspected the inside. He then carefully circled the house. Once some little noise stopped him and by the way a gun suddenly appeared in his hand, I knew he was fast. By this time he had reached the gate again. A fast natural shot is a nasty opponent in the dark even if you have trained on him. Then, to my relief, he banged open the front gate as if he had just arrived, and shouted, “Hello, anyone in?” even then he was pretty well protected by the large juniper gate post against any sudden shot from the house. I know by the voice it was John Slaughter, the newly elected sheriff. He had picked up the trail of a stage robber the day before and followed until it became lost in the river. He figured the road agent might try to get a fresh horse and some food at my place. Slaughter had wonderful eyes and could follow a trail while riding fast that many others could not see at all. Most desperados down in this country would never sleep in a house when on the “jump” preferring a shed or even no roof at all where no one could easily approach them. Hence, Slaughter’s preview before announcing himself. His many years in Texas and Arizona taught him to take no chances. I did not tell him about the twine, but I described every movement he had made from the time he first entered the gate. He was clearly worried but merely asked, “Don’t you ever sleep?” The first thing he did at daylight was to walk to the gate. I had removed the twine first but he picked up my fresh track. Then he saw the faintest trace where the twine had touched the ground when he had opened the gate. His face cleared. He knew how I was able to describe his approach.

He slept a few hours, had breakfast and started after his man again. The joke was, the road artist must have arrived at my place a few minutes after Slaughter had announced himself. He could not have known that Slaughter was inside, but some sixth sense had told him to keep on going. In the dirt right outside the gate was his track on top of those of the sheriff’s. Slaugther identified it right away and was off. Two days later he came back leading a fine horse with an empty saddle. On Slaughter’s saddle was tied an extra rifle and two extra Colts. He had caught up with the bandit and “got” him. You ask, “Where was the prisoner?” there was no prisoner. Slaughter had simply kept on the trail like an Indian until he found his man. Even when Slaughter was a long ways off, the bandit must have known he was being followed or he was a darn poor bandit. They had shot it out and Slaughter had won. In fact, Slaughter had insisted on fighting it out. He did not want to be bothered by any desperado who might, by some lucky break, turn the tables and kill him on the long return journey back to the county jail.
Without divulging his plans to even his own office force, he started in to enforce his orders to the shady element to leave the County. As soon as his office was notified of any murder, cattle-rustling, stage hold-up or banditry of any kind, Slaughter himself and alone would take the trail. A few days later he would return and announce he had run the outlaw clean out of the country. Finally it was noticed that these killers never showed up either here or elsewhere. Then the truth became apparent. Slaughter was killing these bad men just as they had killed so many poor victims but on more even terms. As they were always armed they started out on even terms with the sheriff, but this sheriff was not accepting any surrender so the law breaker was run out of the County, in spirit, if not in body. At all times they had an even break. It saved the County excessive witness and court fees and the expense of feeding this element in jail, to say nothing of the possibility of some freak of the law of shyster lawyer getting them freedom. In that case they would only have lived to get revenge on the sheriff.

Of course the hard gang turned yellow then and commenced to holler about this bloodthirsty sheriff and wanted protection. They talked about their “constitutional rights” and such, but it did them no good. He was ambushed several times, but escaped and lived to a ripe old age and died when he got good and ready.

Very few people are aware of how Tombstone riches built up the west and especially California around fifty years ago. We had some big men in every sense of the word. They carried out big deals involving large sums of money and the only contract was a real handshake. Richard Gird was one of these.

Soon after the Schieffelin brothers and Gird had found Tombstone and exposed its vast wealth, they were approached by eastern buyers who offered large sums of money for their holdings. The Schieffelins, who probably had  never earned more than $3.50 daily in their lives were afraid to take a chance on the future, and, much against Gird’s wishes, sold out their part for around a hundred thousand dollars.

This act seriously crippled Gird, but he was just Irish enough to be visionary. Although always a poor man himself, he hung one, made millions out of the mine and mill and then sold out for an immense fortune. Then to the surprise of all, Gird figured out what the Schieffelins had lost by selling prematurely and then wrote them a check for the amount. A partner meant something to those old timers when an Indian lurked behind every bush.

I understand the Schieffelins invested their money in a large acreage of Tennessee and Alabama cheap farm lands on which coal and iron had been newly discovered at that time. But they spread their butter too thin and were also a generation ahead of their time. They eventually lost it all through the non-payment of taxes and died comparatively poor. These lands are producing today and are worth billions, not millions.

Gird had large ideas. One of his enterprises was to buy fifty thousand acres of perhaps the best land in Southern California at Chino, in the San Gabriel Valley. Then he sent two bright college men to Germany to study the latest methods of extracting sugar from beets. After two years of study, these experts returned via San Pedro with a shipload of sugar machinery and so was started the first beet sugar mill in California, which, after Gird’s death was bought by Henry Oxnard the famous sugar king of a generation ago. All the husky ranch men around Chino were employed to erect this new plant. One of them was noticeably powerful when juggling the new boiler plates and was dubbed “Boilermaker Jim,” a name that has stuck to him ever since. His full name was and is, James J. Jeffries.

Gird at this time created a sensation all over the nation by asserting then ten  acres of western land was sufficient to support a large family. He was scoffed at by almost everyone. At that rate, California alone could support the whole country. But Gird sub-divided about twenty thousand acres, obtained settlers and proved his claim.

Another of Girds enterprises was to buy in partnership with M.M. O’Gorman, about four hundred thousand acres of fine land in Sonora just a few miles from here. Most of it was part of the estate of old Gov. Pesquiera and was known as La Cananea. With the adjoining national land it would run over thirty thousand head of cattle.

M.M. O’Gorman was President and General Manager of this cattle company. The official title of the enterprise was, The California and Mexico Land and Cattle co.

After a few round-ups, it was plainly seen that mysterious losses almost equaled the number of new calves branded. Owing to the strong antipathies between “Greasers” and “Gringos” at that time, it was not deemed expedient to use American cowboys, so the new company was “up against it.” The natives were getting away with the profits. As they shipped all their salable cattle to these United States and bought most of their supplies here in Tombstone, it was considered an American company, so the Mexicans did not consider it any sin to steal from them. Mexico and especially Sonora was a turbulent country although the new President Diaz was getting it quieted down. The Yaqui Indians and the Mexican government were continually at war on a large scale and the regular quota of revoltosos and bandits added their share to the unrest, so a fat cow was always in danger of departing somewhere permanently. However, O’Gorman handled that situation beautifully. He went to the Colonel commanding the Mexican Rurales in Sonora, Emilio Kosterlitzsky, with whom he was on very good terms and bluntly asked, “Coronel, may I ask what your pay is in the Mexican Army?” the Colonel smilingly told him. “I am putting you down on my payroll for the same amount”,  remarked O’Gorman. “Sta bueno,” answered Kosterlitzsky and thus commenced one of the oddest and most famous partnerships known along the border. A Mexican Colonel’s pay was not very much in American money so it did not cost O’Gorman very much. It was the ‘pickings’ that made Mexican officials rich in those days.

Under Kosterlitzsky’s guardianship, huge train loads of cattle were shipped to Chino to fatten on the waste sugar pulp from the mill which had hitherto been a total loss. The famous firm of Vail and Gates was imported from California by Gird to handle the cattle end of the business. Not only were Cananea cattle fattened, but it afforded a market for a great deal of the rest of the steers raised in Southern Arizona.

When the republicans succeeded Cleveland, a tariff of from five to ten dollars per head was imposed on foreign cattle. Ordinarily that would have been a knockout for this business, but it did not bother these old timers in the least. O’Gorman got hold of a ranch lying along the border on the American side of the line near Hereford. The cattle on it were branded the same brand as these of the Cananea herds. There was no International fence between the two ranches. You would be startled to learn of the vast numbers of cattle raised and shipped from that little ranch on the American side. Do I think the Mexican cattle were surreptitiously driven over to this side of the line? No, it was done at night time. An immense sum  was saved in import duties annually. Many of O’Gorman’s cowboys were peons or given to him by Kosterlitzsky. They were an awful bunch, the pick of the Colonel’s command. All, or most of the Rurales were criminals. In those days all the murderers, highwaymen and bad hombres all over Mexico, when caught, would be given the choice of being shot or joining the army to fight the Yaquis. If they killed a Yaqui that was fine. If a Yaqui killed them, that also was fine. The rest of Mexico profited in either event.

heoretically they received pay. When the payroll was sent to Sonora for the Rurales, the commanding officer took what he considered fair and passed the rest to the next in rank. He did the same. By the time the officers got their share there was nothing left. If the men robbed and raped in the Yaqui country the rest of Mexico cared not. The sergeants and corporals in turn relieved the men of any choice loot they might get. That paid them. Their uniforms were not uniform. Almost any old rags had to do. Those who had been guilty of murder had their hats painted black. All wore the wide brim high peaked crown straw hats often seen along the border today. They always obeyed any order promptly. Death was the penalty. The officers in quiet times had no hesitation in renting them out to a favored few friends during the planting or harvesting season.

It is a question whether Kosterlitzsky copied John Slaughter or whether Slaughter copied Kosterlitzsky. The colonel could not see what he and his command should travel miles on horseback to capture some rascal and then be burdened with the duty of guarding and perhaps feeding the man. As Kosterlitzsky’s force acted as a sort of State police for Sonora in addition to other duties, they had lots of work to do. At least one of the black hats always carried a spade strapped to his saddle. Whenever they overtook a culprit, they simply handed him the spade and gave him thirty minutes. If he dug a hole they promised to cover him up so the coyotes would not feast. Argument was always useless. If the prisoner had a good horse and saddle or any valuable loot when caught, that became one of Kosterlitzsky’s prerequisites.

Later, when O’Gorman sold La Cananea to Wm. Greene, Kosterlitzsky went in as part of the sale and transferred his allegiance to the new owner. Soon afterward a Mexican killed one of Greene’s cowboys. Kosterlitzsky was notified. He soon picked up the murderer’s track which led toward the United States. Because of my long residence and knowledge of the country hereabouts, I was deputized by Sheriff Del Lewis to catch the Mexican if he came over on this side. Squeezed by Americans from the north and Rurales from the south, the wanted man took refuge in a little swale covered with very tall dry galleta grass. We surrounded him but one of us wanted to go in after him. He was similar to a rattlesnake. By crouching low and keeping quiet he could easily detect the rustle made by anyone else moving around to find  him. He might easily have killed several before being downed. He might even have gotten away.

“Get back and set fire to the grass,” ordered Kosterlitzsky. We each sought a safe spot. The Rurales fired the grass. In a short time the little dell was burned over. The smoke cleared away and there was the scorched and singed body. Kosterlitzsky and his command calmly rode away after the Colonel coolly prodded the body with his toe. He always made sure his man was thoroughly dead. He knew if ever any of them ever came alive it would be just too bad for him.

Whenever Sheriffs John Slaughter, Scott White or Del Lewis of Cochise County wanted any man who had escaped them and crossed the line, Kosterlitzsky always flushed that man across the border to some spot where a sheriff was in waiting. In accordance with this gentlemen’s agreement, the Cochise sheriffs always returned the favor. Of course and by right, there should have been proper arrests. Then long winded communications between Washington and Mexico and a lot of other red tape. This way was quicker and surer. It certainly added a lot to safety on both sides of the border.

Later in 1905, I was awakened early one morning by Sheriff Del Lewis. Burt Alvord and Billy Stiles had broken jail in Tombstone and Lewis was hot on their trail which lead straight to Charleston, where it was temporarily lost, and he wanted me to help find them as they were undoubtedly heading for Mexico and I knew the adjoining country quite well.

Now, if there is any one thing I did not want to do, it was to go out into the chaparral and mesquite and engage in a controversy with either one, let alone both, of those gentlemen. I knew those birds too well. Both of them were fast snap shots, fearless, cold blooded, tricky and expert trailers. They would only have laughed at any ordinary posse that by any strange quirk of fate might have caught up with them. If irked, they were apt to turn that posse into a coyote feast suddenly.

These two men had been deputy-sheriffs for years. While still deputies they had organized a gang of train robbers, horse thieves, murderers and cattle rustlers around Pearce and Willcox. The principal charge on which they were being held was for holding up an S.P. train near Cochise and robbing the Wells Fargo Express Co. They were about the two craftiest men ever held in the Tombstone calaboose at any one time. They had been jailers there on and off for years and knew every brick in the building. Lewis explained they had evidently been removing the mortar from between the bricks and secretly mixing it with the dirt of the floor of the jail or throwing it outside through the barred windows. Finally the night came when they had enough bricks loose to let a man crawl through the opening. The several rewards offered for them had read ‘dead or alive’. Knowing the other deputies and jailers as they did, they realized what a fine easy mark they would make when about half way out of the aperture. Along the border it was not unusual for some American officers to borrow the old Mexican ‘fue del lay’ trick of leaving a cell door unlocked and apparently unguarded when they wanted to get rid of a dangerous prisoner. Then they would pot him when all the evidence showed he was escaping jail.

Alvord argued with Stiles and Stiles argued with Alvord as to which should be first out, but neither got anywhere as both knew all the answers equally well. Stiles had solved the difficulty by grabbing a Mexican who was being held as a material witness in another case and shoving him through the gap. Nothing happened, so the two desperados followed and made their escape after ordering the Mexican to fly. The Mexican left there, but it was a cold morning and he soon missed the warm jail. Then he remembered the free meals and the many days of witness fees owed him by the County at $3.50 per diem, so the first sheriff’s office knew they were shy two very important prisoners was when the Mex. Appeared at the front door of the jail demanding to be readmitted.

Undoubtedly guns and ammunition had been cached in several places around Tombstone for them by other members of their gang on the very first day they were surprised and put in jail in the mere hope they might be able to make a get-a-way at some time. Anyhow, the sheriff had learned they obtained saddles and horses and had tracked them to Charleston.

The instant I saw their track from Tombstone I put up an awful howl to Sheriff Lewis. I did not want any of their game at all. I could easily see that these men had hardly bothered to even get off the main road. Their horses steps were short and unhurried. As they knew all the ropes they must have known that officers in Charleston had been telegraphed concerning them, yet every sign showed they rode openly and easily. They were absolutely unafraid and confident of themselves so I knew they were well armed. Any posse overtaking them would only get well ventilated. Besides, I had not lost any bars of gold. If the Wells Fargo wanted their $60,000 back let them go to it. I was willing to be strictly neutral. No one knew better than I what a long way one had to go to find a doctor when wounded out in the brush in those horseback days. So I kicked and protested and swore I did not own a rifle and therefore could not be expected to go. I thought I was safe from being deputized when I sprung this ‘not owning a rifle’ tale, but Lewis fooled me. Knowing Cochise County as he did, he had purchased several cases of the latest model 30-30 carbines and cached them handy to the trouble spots of his bailiwick in case he was ever surprised and disarmed. We rode the outlaws trail a little way and then he ordered me to stop and await his return. After but a short time he returned with one of those carbines and his pockets full of cartridges which he divided with me. I still have that rifle. So, in spite of myself, I was deputized to assist him.

We circled Charleston and picked up the fresh trail across the river. It would innocently appear to be going to a straight line for a long distance but when a hard rocky ledge or outcropping occurred, it would promptly disappear. Alvord and Stiles had trailed and been trailed before. Unshod horses leave almost no evidence on such rocky ground. At such places they had turned, doubled back and then turned a different way again. They knew all the tricks. However, we were certain they were making for the border, although we did not know at just what part of the International Line they would cross, so we tried to put ourselves in the same frame of mind we believed the fugitives to be in and so were able to pick up the trail and follow quite rapidly.

The general direction was toward the Huachucas. Then it circled around those mountains and by afternoon we were on the southwest slope of the Huachucas close to the Mexican line. In those days it was wild and practically uninhabited. Snorting cattle, probably the descendants of Fr. Kino’s original herd, roamed untamed and unbranded. Mostly smugglers and outlaws hung out there. There was no place handy for us to get fresh horses. We could tell by the sign we were nearing the fugitives when suddenly we came upon a fresh campfire. Examination showed it had been occupied by about ten or a dozen Mexicans, presumably smugglers less than a half hour before.

Stiles and Alvord had met them first and it is likely the smugglers outposts had spotted us also. Anyhow, they had but just gone toward Mexico and with them our trail, for the Mexican horses had obliterated all trace of the Alvord Stiles mounts. Lewis was sure our fugitives had thrown in with the smugglers, and gone to Mexico as they were heading that way anyhow. I strongly disagreed with him, for that did not make sense to me. Here was a bunch of petty larceny smugglers who were sure to be sooner or later picked up by Kosterlitzsky and wiped out. I reasoned that if our two fugitives stayed with this bunch, even if it were only for a day or two, at least one or more of them would steal away and try to secure Kosterlitzsky’s pardon and favor by informing him of the whereabouts of these two Americans just as soon as they neared the first Mexican town that had a telegraph line by which the Coronel de Rurales could be reached. Alvord and Stiles had been deputy sheriffs under John Slaughter and Scott White for many years. They had killed and jailed too many Mexicans in that time not to be well known and hated by all the border underworld. I was absolutely sure almost everyone of this band had recognized the ex-officers. If they were not so well acquainted with the Americans speed with a pistol, it is likely they would have tried to earn the reward themselves. I was sure Alvord and Stiles knew all this just as well as I did, probably better and so told Lewis our quarry would be sure to drop out at the first opportunity. Lewis was positive I was wrong. He argued they were all crooks and, as there was safety in numbers, the two Americans and dozen Mexicans might band together for a long time.

Therefore we took up the big trail on the run, but when we came to another rocky ledge, a little further along, I again tried to persuade Lewis to stop and examine it as it led up a rocky ravine, feeling sure our fugitives would be there. Lewis would not even pause he was so sure our men were with the smugglers.

We followed the smuggler trail until long after dark and then had to give it up for the Mexicans’ horses travelled two miles to one for our tired nags.

I think now there is a reason for every little movement we make. As least I am certainly delighted Lewis did not follow my advice and ascend that ravine. Many months later, Lewis did surprise and recapture Alvord. I met them on the way to Tombstone and had a talk with the prisoner. We had been great friends. He was sore with me at first. “I saw you trying to put Lewis on our trail at the line that afternoon on our first day out. I had you covered and Stiles had Lewis covered all the time you were talking. One step up that ravine and I would have shot your heart out.” He said and he meant it.

“Well, how many times have you been deputized before you joined the wild gang?” I replied. “How many men who had once been your friends have you killed or jailed while doing just as I did that day?” He had not thought of the affair in that light before and we finally parted good friends again. He was soon tried and convicted and served out his time.

What did we do to pass the time in the early days of Charleston? We worked pretty hard ten hours daily, all of us. For diversion, many of us usually drank whiskey, gambled and danced with the saloon girls. When a new school-teacher, or a new family having one or more daughters moved here, a few of the softest galoots were apt to mop up, slick down their hair with soap and then attend church to secure an introduction to the fair maids. Then, if they secured but a fleeting smile, they would immediately invest in an outfit of store clothes. Those who were confident of their ability to handle Mr. Colt’s hardware properly might even buy a derby hat. Otherwise, they used discretion. With every corn aching and all dressed up in a stiff collar like a government mule, they would attend the next church bazaar where they would be milked of all their money buying raffle tickets, all for the sake of a new face and the opportunity to learn to curl their little finger around a tea cup in the tiniest fin-de-siècle manner of the day, when straight whiskey and the Bird Cage was really their caliber.

Was I ever married? Was I never even stirred by the grand passion? Well, yes, sometimes I used to get pretty mad when things went wrong, but usually blamed it onto the water I might have accidently imbibed.

Did I never get the idea of having a wife and helpmate? Oh yes. I got that idea several times and experimented around the Bird Cage and like places with husky girls that I thought would be suitable for this ranch and neighborhood. Some of them could ride horses and even frisky broncs, but they all shied at the sight of the wood-pile and plainly murmured their opinion of ranch life when I talked about hooling corn and milking a cow. Anyhow, they left me to go my solitary way.

Baseball and football had not become national pastimes in these days. There was an occasional dance. Sometime a bunch of Pagago Indians and their families would come down from Tucson with ponies they wanted to race, trade or sell. Then we might have several days of horse racing, but as fast as the Indians sold anything for cash, some bootleg or  other would sell them whiskey and it always ended with the Indians going home afoot across country empty handed.

In those days you could always catch a nice mess of fish in the San Pedro. Later so many dams were built for irrigation that the fish were killed off. The Huachuca and Dragoon mountains teemed with bear, deer and quail. As there was no hunting season, a man could get meat any time he wanted.

Along the San Pedro were thousands of wild unbranded cattle remaining from the Spanish occupation. The land was open government range. Any good roper with a branding iron could get himself a start in life by locating on a piece of land and branding some of this stuff. But he had to be really good with both rope and pistol for these brutes were fighting wild and often gored both horse and rider. Thus a pistol was often needed by the lone rider to save himself when bull, horse rider and rope became hopelessly tangled amid the mesquite with the mad bull hooking everything in sight.

The main trouble was that this class of rider and roper did not hesitate to rope and brand any gentle calves he thought he could get away with, even when he knew they belonged to some other settler along the river. Of course this created trouble which was only settled by guns as everyone concerned scorned to run to the sheriff’s office for help. In those days there was so State or Territorial Sanitary Board to handle such matters. These feuds and consequent shootings kept us interested all the time.
Paydays at Fort Huachuca were decidedly erratic. The paymaster’s visits came unexpectedly and many months apart, yet we in Charleston knew when he was due by the horde of tin horn gamblers and female harpies, generally from El Paso and Tucson who would commence arriving a day or two ahead of him. How they knew, I could only guess. When the soldiers were paid off, all who could obtain leave came to Charleston. Many of the rest of the troopers went AWOL and came also.

Most of the soldiers at these isolated Arizona forts were a hard bunch in those days. Some of them were Civil War veterans who had found it impossible to settle down to civilian life at the end of that war. Many of the rest were hard nuts for the big cities who had been run out by the local judges and police. Their life was hard and their only diversion was whiskey and women and that soldier whiskey was awful stuff; ditto, the women.

Then would ensue several days of really wild debauch. What money the soldiers did not throw away on women, whiskey and the gambling tables, was generally stolen from them by those harpies when stupidly drunk. Those who first went broke necessarily became the first to sober up. On the return of a sufficient number of these to the fort, they were organized into a squad of military police and sent to round up their buddies and herd them back to the reservation.

There was no medical inspection of red-light districts. In Arizona, whether in or out of the army, every man had to look out for himself in all things. The terrible amount of disease that would appear after these events was awful. It was estimated that more soldiers were permanently ruined by one of these paydays than were killed by Apaches in any one year.

When I first came here, a barber by the name of Van Water was constable. One day he unexpectedly went home, and, not knocking on the door before he entered, found his wife in the arms of a paramour. Van Water ran and got his rifle and pistol, but when he returned, the paramour took those also. So Van Water exited somewhere permanently as far as Charleston was concerned.

The next constable was Sam Starr who teamed up with Judge Burnett for a good many years. Charleston being as lively as it was, the sheriff’s office always maintained one or more deputies here. For years this deputy sheriff was Jack Schwartz. His jail was simply a deep pit in the ground with a big stake embedded in the center to which he chained prisoners until he was ready to take them to Tombstone.

Constable Sam Starr did not need any jail. When a ruckus occurred, he and Judge Burnett would generally go together to the scene. Starr would then slip around and get the offenders covered with a shot gun or pistol, where-upon Judge Burnett would step forward, open court and fine the culprits which would end the episode. However, the court costs would always be as much as if the culprit had been in custody a month and consumed the whole time of the court for that period. If the rioter or rioters prepared for the coming of Starr and Burnett, those two officials merely turned around and left that infraction of the law for the local deputy sheriff to handle.

I worked every day regularly and in addition got in lots of overtime, so began to accumulate what was for me, a large amount of money. Banks here were, to say the least, somewhat sketchy and unstable. Yet, to have any large amount of money around was decidedly dangerous. Jack Schwartz wanted to open a saloon so I staked him to six hundred dollars to make a start. As interest on this money, I received all the drinks I wanted and a pint to take home every night. Soon afterward, in a poker game, I won a large frame building that was used as a combined saloon, gambling house and dance hall with a number of furnished rooms at one end. It was the center of activities on soldier paydays and the rendezvous of the wild bunch. Though the income from it was immense, it was still an unlovely place.

Ed Hughes father, a hardworking and serious Christian, considered I was going to the dogs. He prevailed on me to attend church one Sunday night when the minister made his monthly visit here from Tombstone. I went with the Hughes. The little hall was well filled with local residents when we were surprised to see a large gang of men whom I knew to be cattle thieves, horse rustlers, road agents and women, enter and sit down. A few of them were local tough-nuts and the rest were from Gayleyville and border points. All wore guns and bolts of cartridges. It was a delicate situation. Every so often incidents like this were apt to occur. Sometimes the wild bunch sat out the services with real respect. Again they might argue with the preacher and cause a row.

Knowing how easy it would be to start the shooting, the better element, being unarmed, commenced leaving unobtrusively one by one to avoid friction. The collection plate was passed around and the outlaws contributed in grand style. The minister sensed the situation and tactfully cut short the sermon and was bringing the meeting to a close when he was interrupted. It was perhaps the first time any of this gang had been to a religious meeting, but they had caught onto the fact it was being made very brief. “We have paid out money and are entitled to a full length sermon,” they said. Their guns were in full view, so the minister prayed earnestly for a couple of hours longer. Then they pointed to the little organ. “How about a little music and some singing?” the minister hesitated, it was getting very late. “Or perhaps you would prefer to dance for us.” The minister quickly played. In fact he played and sang hymns for several hours and the services were over.

The next morning Constable Sam Starr and Judge Burnett were on the job, but the Gayleyville gang was too much for one little officer. It really would have required a whole regiment to get that gang so Starr showed good sense in not trying. However, Jim Burnett  had to live and he believed a good start Monday morning insured a prosperous week. Down the road came Jaw Bone Clark, a local ne’er do well whose name but faintly describes him. He had been present at the religious services the night before. “Stick ‘em up.” said Starr. “I hereby fine you fifty dollars for disturbing a religious meeting.” said Burnett. “I did no such thing.” howled Jaw Bone. “I stayed with that gang so as to use my influence and try to restrain them ………For a second, Judge Burnett was stumped, but he was equal to the occasion. “Then I fine you fifty dollars for being in bad company on Sunday,” said the Judge. That dazed Jaw Bone. He paid the fine before he came out of his trance. The whole town had been guilty of the same offence for years.

I was over in the Huachuca Mountains on May 2, 1887, when suddenly all the ground around me commend to ripple and heave. It rose in billows to a height of two or three feet and would then drop almost in its old place, but leaving pronounced cracks.

The suddenness of it dazed me for one wild minute and I wondered if what I was seeing was actually occurring. I was panicked, but finally managed to calm down enough to figure out exactly what I had to eat and drink the previous few days. In that way I calculated for sure I had been all out of snake-bit preventative for many days, and thus I knew an earthquake was quaking.
The rocky ledges along the sides of the Huachucas rose up and fell outward, breaking into all sizes of boulders that rolled down the mountain sides, snapping off all trees and brush that were in their path. The friction of the rocks set fire to the grass and pretty soon, not only the Huachucas, but the Dragoon and Sam Jones Mountains, which I could see from where I was, burst into flames.

I could see deer, coyotes and rabbits running from the hills. The wild  cattle from along the San Pedro, who had never known what fear was before and only one generation back had scattered the Mormon Battalion, just stuck their tails straight into the air and, with eyes popping out, beat it for elsewhere, no two of them in the same direction. The ground was heaving all around and there was nothing to indicate where a really safe refuge was to be found, but you could see their main idea was to be somewhere else immediately. I felt exactly the same way myself.

No. I was not scared. Well, perhaps I did feel somewhat lonely out there.  I suddenly remembered there was some business I had forgotten to attend to in Charleston. Besides, as I just stated, I was all out of rattlesnake cure. I felt the need of some right then. They told me that the quake was about twenty minutes in duration, but you could not prove it by me. I was well on my way long before that. There was no telling how many poisonous reptiles might be forced out of their holes by this eruption, so I hurried to get to town before the medicine was all gone.

No. I did not wait to gather up my camp equipment. The way the world was acting, I had big doubts as to whether I would ever need it again.

Yes. I made fast time, but that was because my horse was frightened like the other animals. I, myself, was very cool. You should have seen how calmly and carefully I held onto the horn of that saddle with both hands. The horse did the rest.
No. No snake bit me on the way in that I know of, but I took a little medicine anyhow, just to be on the safe side.
How did the other citizens of Charleston react to the earthquake? How do I know? Why should I be inquisitive? I was busy taking a course of treatments guaranteed to fully inoculate anyone, at least temporarily, against further shock. I do remember someone told me the attendance at the local churches noticeable increased the following Sunday.

On my way to Charleston from the Huachucas, I saw sheets of water spurting into the air at many places as I neared the river. Later I learned from others, this had occurred in hundreds of places on both sides of the river and for its entire length. The quake had shattered rock stratus and this underground water escaped through the fissures thus made. Some of these new springs flowed only a short time. A few flowed for about a month and a vey few even longer than that. However, there were so many of them, they eventually drained all the upper country of its reservoirs of stored water.

Every day,  and at the same hour for about a month, the earth’s trembling recurred, but with gradually lessened force and for a shorter duration each time, until finally they faded away to nothing. We humans could tell when the shock was due on the succeeding days by the actions of the cattle. For miles, cows and horses would stop and brace their legs. Their eyes would become round and glassy in appearance. A gently hush would come over them. Then the trembler would come. Since then, I have talked with many cattlemen from all over the earthquake zone and fine that all their cattle acted just the same way as mine did.

The Territory of Arizona was a whole lot different then, from what it is now. When you got away from the rivers in the dry seasons, good water was a scarce and valuable article. You never knew when a previously reliable water hole might go dry. It was no rare event for a party of travellers, or a freighting outfit, after desperately toiling through the sand and heat for twenty or more miles to arrive at a supposedly good watering place by nightfall and find it dry. To go back was usually as hazardous as going forward in such cases. Everybody carried a canteen and the wagons always had a keg of water. This would be doled out sparingly and the outfit would push on next day to the next water only to find it dry also. Then they were simply compelled to push forward, still uncertain as to whether they would find the precious water ahead. Occasionally an entire outfit perished from thirst.

Contrast this with today when you can get water every few miles at any gasoline station.

We had large areas of fine rich soil that had everything except water. A few years before the earthquake, the Territorial Legislature appropriated ten thousand dollars as a reward to the first person or company that developed artesian water in Arizona. The earthquake had proved, as I have described, the existence of underground water. This gave the Mormon farmers around St. David an idea. They soon put together an improvised rig and started to drill a well with the intention of developing a good supply of water to irrigate their lands and also to earn the ten thousand dollar reward.

Another outfit over near San Simon where the quake had been very violent, got the same idea at the same time. Both parties brought in wells of artesian water.

It is my recollection the Saint David people brought in their well far ahead of the San Simon crowd, but the San Simon outfit received the ten thousand dollar reward, for there was a great deal of prejudice against the Mormons at that time.

The U.S. Government, after years of trailing and detective work had, but a short time before, caught and convicted some Mormons for participation in the terrible Mountain Meadows massacre. Army officers had declared the Mormons supplied the hostile Navajo Indians with arms and ammunition. Many Mormons still hold to the idea of creating a Mormon nation covering the west with Salt Lake as its capital. Many of us non-Mormons felt these latter were always trying to oust us so the Territory could become a hundred percent Mormon country.

Because of this and other similar predjudices, I think the St. David Mormons were unfairly cheated out of the ten thousand dollars bonus.

Another, and what was regarded as a comical result of the earthquake, was a revelation concerning the water supply of Tombstone. For the first year of the camp, drinking water was brought up from the San Pedro River as there was no nearer supply. Then a small supply was found at a place near where the Schieffelin monument now is. This place was named Watervale. A company was formed that put in reservoirs, tanks, pumps, boilers and a supply pipe line to Tombstone. This supply soon became inadequate, for the city outgrew it almost overnight. This forced Gird and O’Gorman to form the Huachuca Water Company, which built dams in the Huachucas and piped fine water to Tombstone, a distance of over twenty five miles. Then for the first time there was plenty of water, not only for household needs, but also for little gardens and even a swimming pool.

The Watervale Company continued in existence, seemingly they struck new and better strata’s of water for, from then on, they had plenty to supply their customers and to solicit new ones. There were two sets of water pipes in every street, one belonging to each company and the old company became a thorn in the side of the new one.

Then came the quake. It rippled through Tombstone and, among the things, damaged the water pipes which, of course, were buried underground.

When the Huachuca Company work gang was repairing their pipes, they discovered a secret connection from their supply line to the pipes of the Watervale system.

The Huachuca Company whose dams were high up in the distant mountains, brought its water into Tombstone under terrific pressure. Any connection between it and the Watervale pipe systems would not only supply all the Wateervale customers, but also fill all the Watervale tanks and reservoirs.

Of course the Huachuca Water Company swore out warrants and sued for thousands of dollars, claiming all the money the Watervale had received for years from their sales; and, of course, the Watervale Company denied all knowledge of the existence of the unauthorized pipe connection, so the case dragged along for years.

I do not remember exactly how it was finally settled, but the Watervale Company soon afterward went out of existence and their wells have ever since been used as a watering place for cows.

In the easy going manner of old Tombstone, no one ever bothered to discuss the morality or immorality of stealing water. Results were what counted. Nearly everyone had a good laugh every time they pictured the Huachuca Company furnishing water to its rival free of charge.

Up to the time of Geronimo’s capture in 1886, and for a year or two afterward, Indians were always a factor to be reckoned with whenever one left a town to go anywhere. With Geronimo the military caught most of the really bad hostiles, but a few others escaped capture around this time and were a nuisance for a few years. These latter were gradually rounded up and the others soon seeing they were doomed to extinction, if they persisted in their old habits, slowly came in and settled down, more or less peacefully on the San Carlos reservation.

It was no rare thing to have a fellow worker wave his hand to you and say he was leaving for some other camp where wages or conditions were better. Then you never heard from him again until sometime later word would come that a part of his outfit had been found in the possession of some captured Apache. Or perhaps his decomposed body would be found somewhere. Others you never heard from at all. It was so common that no one became very much excited about such incidents. It was simply accepted as something to be expected anytime in ordinary Arizona life.

There was always a strong military force at Fort Huachuca, only fifteen miles west of Charleston. In fact, the soldiers could look right down into this town, yet, it occasionally happened that bullets would spatter against adobe walls or kick up spurts of dust in the street. A look around would reveal one or more Indians on some nearby hill. A squad of citizens would be hastily organized to take after them, but the Apaches nearly always escaped. It was simply a gesture of defiance for they seldom did any real damage. It seemed to give them great pleasure to stir us up.

Often a prospector or a cowboy, sometimes wounded, would come in on the run with a bunch of hostiles a short distance behind. If they were able to beat the Apaches into town, it was an indication they were not badly wounded. A few drinks of whiskey and they would be considered all right again.

Sometimes they would not beat the hostiles into town and a few of us would have to go out and bury what the Indians had left of the remains. One such case I particularly remember, because young Jack Schwartz, the son of my saloon partner, Jack Schwartz, was the victim.

Along about 1885, young Jack and two friends, whose names I do not remember just now, left here and went to the Huachucas on a prospecting trip. They located a little water and put up a tent not very far away from the Fort. Early one morning they were suddenly jumped by a bunch of Apaches.

The Indian rush was so unexpected, young Jack and one of the partners took to the brush, which was just what the hostiles wanted. Part of them took after the two white men, flushed them out as you would quail and butchered them.

The third white man had a better head. He was wounded, but ran into the tent, cropped to the ground and pulled the bed rolls around him to stop stray bullets. The Indians did not like this at all. They could have rushed the flimsy tent, but they knew the man inside could tell when and from what direction they were coming and so kill a number of them before they killed him. Or, they could have stood off a safe distance and riddled the tent with bullets and eventually get him that way. It is not known whether they were short of ammunition or whether they were afraid this prolonged firing would attract the attention of the soldiers at the fort who would thus locate and take after them. Anyhow, they rode off after studying the situation for a while. This third man, not knowing whether or not this was a ruse to draw him out so a remaining Indian could pot him nicely, remained in the tent until dark. Judging from the direction of the hoof beats, he reckoned the band had ridden off toward the fort, so he deemed it imprudent to go in that direction for help, but took the longer road to Charleston for aid.

He was not certain what had become of his two partners. He thought they were dead, for he had heard a few sporadic shots after he had dived into the tent. Yet they might have gotten away to the fort or still be wandering around the brush wounded.
A party of us went out there and soon picked up the trail. We found young Jack and the other man dead not very far from the tent. There must have been a big party of the Apaches, for they left a mess of tracks. The third man showed good judgment in not leaving the tent until dark, for we found tracks where two horses joined the main party of Indians a long distance away from the scene of the shooting. They had undoubtedly remained behind to try to pick off this third man in the tent.

We trailed the hostiles a long distance, or until our horses gave out. They had actually ridden close to the fort, then turned and passed close to Charleston and Tombstone to Middle March Pass in the Dragoon Mountains. Then they rode out into the Sulphur Springs Valley and turned north towards Willcox and the San Carlos Indian Reservation. By the time we returned to Tombstone and Charleston, they were probably back on the reservation eating government rations and resting up until ready for another raid.

While we were sorry for the two dead men, as was usual, we said very little about it. Many of us thought they showed decidedly poor judgment in letting the Indians creep up on them. They should have scouted the neighborhood every morning for strange tracks the first thing. They had been careless but that was the way of the west in those days. The careful experienced man with good eyes and feet with a gun lived. The careless or incompetent once simply passed out of the picture. That is, unless they elected to stay in some big camp all the time.

One thing that helped a great deal was the law against selling guns or ammunition to Indians. The only weapons the hostiles ever got were generally of a cheap or obsolete kind sold by some rascally trader, or those which they took after killing some white man. They seldom had ammunition enough with which to practice when they did  get a gun, so very few Indians were really good shots. Nearly all rifles in those days were equipped with a cleaning outfit, usually carried in a little compartment hollowed in the butt. White men were careful to keep their guns well oiled and cleaned. They knew a foul gun would be incapable of accurate shooting, but the Indians were careless or ignorant about such things, which saved the life of many an American.

So sensational was the growth of this part of Arizona following the mineral discoveries of Jack Gird and the Schieffelin brothers, that people from all over the world were attracted. Some came to settle down and grow up with the country.  Others came for a visit or to spend a vacation, so they could have something to tell about later when they returned home.

Young and old mining engineers from all the continents came to study the geology of the district and get acquainted with the lasts mine methods. For instance, when water was finally struck in the Tombstone mines, it came with such a rush it almost drowned them out and seriously slowed down the sinking in the rich ore. The cost of pumping equipment, fuel and labor was enormous. Owing to the fissural character of the underground rock in the entire district, if one company pumped, it thereby lowered the water level in all the mines and thus permitted these others to mine more profitably by escaping the pumping costs. For a while mining operations were slowed up as there was an inclination among all the companies to dawdle until someone pumped and then permitted the others to save this expense.

Finally the volume of water increased so heavily with depth that it became financially impossible for any one company to work profitably. Then all the companies joined together and installed an immense Cornish type pump that drew out millions of gallons of water daily and unwatered the entire mineral belt of the camp. It was by far the biggest pump in the world.
Boston or New England money contributed largely to the early development of the camp. To look after those interests came Gov. Rice of Massachusetts, together with …Gov. Ames and General Ben Butler of the same state.

Ames was recovering his shattered fortunes which had been sunk by the blow-up of the disasterous Credit …. only a short time before.

Ben Butler had been a famous general of the Union Army during the late Civil War. He had become famous by his handling of the  embarrassing negro question in the early days of the war before the federal government and President Lincoln were ready to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. He had declared negros “contraband of war” and thus virtually freed them whenever he occupied any newly recovered area of the rebel states.

It was also freely claimed he had illegally acquired the famous racing yacht “American” and many rare and valuable solid silver sets for his home and those of his Massachusetts friends by confiscating, as punishment, all those valuables found in the house of those proud and haughty New Orleans dames found guilty of insulting his soldiers while he commanded the Union Army of Occupation there.

The memory of it made him a marked by the many unreconstructed southerners in camp, but that never worried him in the least. Whenever charged with self-aggrandizement, and he was many times, he blandly admitted he had confiscated, or stolen, if they preferred that word, everything of value he could get his hands on all during the war. But he always explained, he had now left the Republican party and joined the Democrats; he had seen the light and reformed and so expected their cooperation and would rely on that for support in all his future undertakings.

His nerve was colossal and that is the biggest word I know. The worst shot in the camp could not have missed him with any gun. He was an immense man and must have weighed at least three hundred and fifty pounds. Whenever he rode out to the mines from Tombstone, they provided him with an immense dray horse from one of the freight outfits. The horses had to be changed daily. Even so, when they returned from such a trip, they looked decidedly wilted.

As I have related before, many famous European princes and other celebrities came to see the camp, but none of these visitors created any particular stir. I don’t think one of our citizens even walked across the street to get a good look at any of them.
It was decidedly different, however, when John L. Sullivan, Champion of the World, came to town. Every man in Charleston found he had important business in Tombstone that day. All the mines and mills had to practically shut down.
Every available rig in Charleston left here loaded to capacity while others went horseback. We started out plenty early with a good supply of the elixir of life, but had to replenish it at the First Chance Saloon when we reached the edge of Tombstone, There we joined a long cavalcade of buggies, wagons and riders and went down the Fairbanks road some miles to greet the great man.

When John L. unloaded from his conveyance, all the men formed in line to shake his hand and say a few words of welcome. For many a year afterward, you could have heard and seen our citizens on state occasions exhibit their right hand and proudly announce you were gazing at a hand that had clasped that of the great champion. Even today, when I hear some young spriggins boast about some athletic celebrity they had seen, I effectually squelch them all by exhibiting my right and inform them of its place in the hall of fame.

A self-appointed reception committee surrounded him all the time as it was feared some ignorant rascal might try to make the front pages and win world-wide notice by mortally plugging our guest with a forty-five. Such a fiend would have been torn apart by bare hands before he covered a block, but we know that would not have brought John L. back to life.
I do not remember whether the champion had been engaged as a stage actor for the Bird Cage or not. I never saw him on the stage. He simply stood inside the door, but his mere presence packed the house, and the proprietor put  on many extra bartenders.

We had a local fly weight champion of about a hundred and fifteen pounds who caused the only disturbance created by Sullivan’s visit. While the champ talked to one of the committee, the mosquito suddenly squared off, tapped John L. on the chin, then stepped away but quickly followed up with several more punches and …. steps , meanwhile daring the big boy to battle.

Sullivan good naturally grinned at the committee, then at the little braggart and the surrounding fans pulled the latter away. One swipe from those big paws of John L. and our local favorite would have been plumb ruined for life.

The Champ stayed some days in Tombstone. He went underground and saw how the boys mined the ore. Then he came to Charleston and saw how the value was recovered from the same ore by the mills. He was a favorite with all, if any of our citizens became tongue tied on meeting our distinguished guest, John L. would nicely put him at ease by inquiring what the lad would have to drink. During his stay this popularity increased, if such a thing was possible. We never heard him use the capital “I” once. He acted like a big good natured boy who was out to enjoy the pleasure of being with us.

In those days, we never heard of the sport  games called football, baseball, basketball or golf. I doubt if some of  those games were even invented at that time. Anyhow, they had not become national pastimes as they are today.

Lawn tennis and croquet were games we considered fit only for effete eastern parlor softies. But a champion pugilist was something else again. I think all us Cochise Countyites liked hard hitting scrappers, and we knew when John L. socked an opponent that opponent usually stayed socked for some time. He was the most wonderfully built man I ever saw. Small feet for such a big man, but beautifully muscled arms and shoulders with hands like hams that could knock a horse down.

Of course the hostesses of the Bird Cage did their damn best, or worst, to attract his attention. Different ones of them tried to display her speed or naughtiness by high kicking at the chandeliers or wall bracket lamps, but the big boy would merely turn to the bar and call for a drink. Either he was not a ladies man or he disapproved of their profession. Again, he had undoubtedly been worked on by experts of that kind in the casinos of Paris, London and New York long before he came to Tombstone.
When he left, the whole town urged him to come again, an invitation that many more highly educated and polished visitors, before and since never received.

Thus ended the visit of our Greatest Guest.

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