[page 202]

Estevan Ochoa—Expulsion from Tucson by Confederates—Return to Tucson—Member of Firm of Tully and Ochoa—Draught Oxen Run Off by Indians—"Jerked Beef Butte"—Mayor of Tucson—Served in Territorial Legislature—John F. Stone—Gives Name to Stone Avenue, Tucson—Sylvester Mowry—West Pointer—Resigns Commission in Army to Take Up Mining in Arizona—Becomes Owner of Patagonia Mine—Mine Confiscated by General Carleton and Mowry Arrested—Mowry as a Writer—His Views on Indians—Twice Elected Delegate to Congress Before Organization of Territory—Death in England—Samuel Hughes—Came to Arizona Sick—Organized First Bank in Tucson—One of Organizers of Arizona Pioneer's Society—Henry Wickenburg—Discovers Vulture Mine—Town of Wickenburg Named After Him—Member of Seventh Territorial Legislature—King S. Woolsey—First Occupation in Territory Mule Driver—Becomes Rancher—Suspected of Being Secessionist—Fights With Indians—Hanging of Dead Chief—Member of Walker Party—One of Discoverers of Lynx Creek—Opened First Road into Northern Arizona—The "Pinole Treaty"

[page 203]

—"Wheat Fields"—Woolsey's Experience With a "Bad Man"—Served in Legislature of Arizona—Defeated for Delegate to Congress—Lieutenant-Colonel of Volunteers and Aide on Staffs of Governor Goodwin and Governor Safford—One of Founders of Phoenix Flour Mills.

Estevan Ochoa was a New Mexican by birth. In his early youth he went to Kansas City, where he obtained employment and acquired a fair knowledge of the English language. He started in business on his own account at Mesilla, New Mexico. He made a success of the enterprise, and thereafter started a number of branch stores in both New Mexico and Arizona. The firm of Tully & Ochoa, of which he was a member, was one of the largest mercantile establishments in Tucson. In Bourke's On the Border with Crook is an account of his visit to Tucson, in which he has this to say of Estevan Ochoa:


This rather undersized gentleman coming down the street is a man with a history—perhaps it might be perfectly correct to say with two or three histories. He is Don Estevan Ochoa, one of the most enterprising merchants, as he is admitted to be one of the coolest and bravest men, in all the Southwestern country. He has a handsome face, a keen black eye, a quick, business-like air, with very polished and courteous manners.

During the war, the Southern leaders thought they would establish a chain of posts across the continent from Texas to California, and one of their first movements was to send a brigade of Texans to occupy Tucson. The commanding

[page 204]

general—Turner by name—sent for Don Estevan and told him that he had been informed that he was an outspoken sympathizer with the cause of the Union, but he hoped that Ochoa would see that the Union was a thing of the past, and reconcile himself to the new state of affairs, and take the oath of the Confederacy, and thus relieve the new Commander from the disagreeable responsibility of confiscating his property and setting him adrift outside of his lines.

Don Estevan never hesitated a moment. He was not that kind of a man. His reply was perfectly courteous, as I am told, all the talk on the part of the Confederate officer had been. Ochoa owed all he had in the world to the Government of the United States, and it would be impossible for him to take an oath of fidelity to any hostile power or party. When would General Turner wish him to leave?

He was allowed to select one of his many horses, and to take a pair of saddle bags filled with such clothing and food as he could get together on short notice, and then, with a rifle and twenty rounds of ammunition, was led outside the lines and started for the Rio Grande. How he ever made his way across those two hundred and fifty miles of desert and mountains which intervened between the town of Tucson and the Union outposts nearer to the Rio Grande, I do not know—nobody knows. The country was infested with Apaches, and no one of those upon whom he turned his back expected to hear of his getting through alive. But he did succeed, and here he is, a proof of devotion to the cause of

[page 205]

the nation for which it would be hard to find a parallel. When the Union troops reoccupied Tucson, Don Estevan resumed business and was soon wealthy again, in spite of the tribute levied by the raiding Apaches, who once ran off every head of draught oxen the firm of Tully, Ochoa and De Long possessed, and never stopped until they crossed the Rio Salado, or Salt River, where they killed and 'jerked' the meat on the slope of that high mesa which to this day bears the name of 'Jerked Beef Butte.'


As a member of this firm of Tully & Ochoa, he operated a stage line from Tucson and Yuma to Santa Fe, New Mexico, executed Government contracts, and for about twenty years was the most extensive freighter in Arizona and New Mexico. Most of this merchandise he handled for himself, and it was hauled from Kansas City on his own freighting outfits, which at the height of his prosperity, represented an investment of one hundred thousand dollars. He was obliged to maintain relay stations along his long route, and his fine system won the admiration of everyone. He was liberal and openhanded, spending his means freely, in which respect he was a typical frontiersman. When the railroad reached Tucson, it was to him a personal loss. His extensive investments in wagons, mules and oxen for freighting purposes, were unmarketable, and involved a loss of over a hundred thousand dollars, besides a great loss in merchandise which had cost him a large amount to import. For many years the city of Tucson was his headquarters; Ochoa street therein being named in his honor. The first public school erected in

[page 206]

Tucson stood on ground which he donated to the city. He was mayor of Tucson for one term, and he represented the district in one session of the Arizona Legislature. His career came to a close on October 27th, 1888, when he died at his home in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

He was a typical frontiersman, bold, aggressive and resourceful, laughing danger to scorn, rarely daunted by any obstacle, and, in brief, possessing just those qualities which are essential in the founding of a new State. Force of character was his undoubtedly, yet, withal, his was a kindly and sympathetic heart, and many a time has he shared his scanty meal on the desert or in the mountains with some poor traveller or Indian. While he was held in some awe and thorough respect, his innate goodness of heart was well known far and wide, and, indeed, few pioneers of this great southwest were more widely known from Kansas City to the boundaries of Old Mexico.

The Tucson Post prints the following concerning John F. Stone:

‘‘Stone Avenue was named for John F. Stone. Just how or why he came to the country no one now living seems to know. He was a man of considerable means and of magnificent physique. Of powerful build and wearing a heavy black beard he stood distinguished among his fellow men. A rich gold vein had been discovered in Apache Pass, and upon this he built a small reduction mill. While en route to Tucson with the proceeds of the first month's run, he was killed by Indians in Dragoon Pass, about 1500 yards east of the old stage station. The

[page 207]

driver of the stage, two soldiers and two other civilians were killed at the same time. Sometime in the early sixties, he built the first house on Stone Avenue. It was situated on the southwest corner of Stone avenue and McCormick street, and is still standing.’’

Mr. A. F. Banta, in the Apache County "Observer" gives the following account:

‘‘General Stone, as he was known in New Mexico, was Adjutant-General of New Mexico under Governor Henry Connelly, appointed Governor in 1861. After the battle of Apache Canyon, the defeat of the Texans under Sibley, and their expulsion from the territory, via Fort Bliss, Stone resigned the Adjutant-Generalship, and came down to Albuquerque, where, in partnership with a man named Ewing (not sure if his name was Tom or not, he was a large man but not so tall as Stone), and opened the Union Hotel, situated facing the east wall of the old Catholic Church and on the east side of the church plaza, in old Albuquerque. When the writer left Albuquerque in 1863 for Arizona, Stone and Ewing were still running the Union Hotel. As to this last statement, we are not absolutely certain, they may have closed out before we left and started for Arizona, via Las Cruces.’’

Sylvester Mowry entered West Point Academy in 1848, graduating high up in his class in 1852. Among his classmates were General Crook, General Kautz, Colonel Mendel, Jerome Bonaparte, Jr., Major-General Evans, Captain Mullin of San Francisco, Lieutenant Ives, and other well-known army officers. In the summer of 1853, he was engaged with George B. McClellan

[page 208]

on the Columbia, surveying for a railroad route; in 1855 he was with Colonel Steptoe at Salt Lake City, and in the spring of that year conducted some recruits and animals through to California. At this time he was a lieutenant, and, late in the season, was sent to Fort Yuma, from which place he made an expedition into the wilds of Arizona, which inspired him with a high opinion of the territory's great mineral resources. He resigned his commission in the army, in 1857, or about that time, and became the owner of what was known as the Patagonia Mine, which name he changed to his own, and, thereafter, the mine was known as the Mowry Mine. An account of this purchase has been heretofore recorded in these pages. He worked this mine until 1862, when it was confiscated by General Carleton, and Mowry was imprisoned at Fort Yuma on account of his alleged southern sympathies. Mowry always contended that it was the result of an old feud between him and Carleton when they were both in the service. At any rate, after Mowry had been held a prisoner for six months, he was liberated, and sometime afterwards his property was restored to him, but in such condition that it was practically worthless. Mowry said it was paying well at the time he was arrested, but that at the time of its restoration, all the machinery and much of the works were destroyed, or in such condition that it required large capital to place the mine on a productive basis, which he failed thereafter to do. From the close of the war up to the time of his death, he wrote many articles dealing with Arizona, and its political history, which were

[page 209]

published in the San Francisco papers. He printed two books, the best known of which is his Arizona and Sonora which is, to-day, used to some extent by mining men. Mowry advocated the extermination of the Indians, saying that was the only way in which a permanent peace could be established in Arizona. In one place he says: ‘‘There is only one way to wage war against the Apaches. A steady, persistent campaign must be made, following them to their haunts—hunting them to the fastnesses of the mountains. They must be surrounded, starved into coming in, surprised or inveigled—by white flags, or any other method, human or divine—and then put to death. If these ideas shock any weak-minded individual who thinks himself a philanthropist, I can only say that I pity without respecting his mistaken sympathy. A man might as well have sympathy for a rattleshake or a tiger.’’

Sylvester Mowry was twice elected Delegate to Congress from Arizona before the organization of the Territory, but was never allowed to take his seat. He died in London, England, on October 15th, 1871, where he was trying to raise money to operate his mine. In speaking of his death, the Miner, of Prescott, under date of October 19, 1871, says:

‘‘Honorable Sylvester Mowry died in London, England, on Tuesday. This is sad news for Arizona. In the death of Mr. Mowry this Territory has lost as faithful a friend as it ever had in the person of one man. At the present, when all the departments of the Government seem combined in one great effort against us, we can ill afford to

[page 210]

lose the advocacy of a man so influential and so earnest in our behalf.’’

Samuel Hughes, probably the oldest pioneer Arizonan now living, was born in Wales, British Isles, August 28th, 1829. In 1837 his father settled in Pennsylvania, where Mr. Hughes lived up to 1848, when he became a cabin boy on the Mississippi River, which vocation he followed until 1850, at which time he came to California overland from St. Louis. His first mining was done in Hangtown, California. In 1851 he went to Yreka, California. In 1852 he crossed the mountains to Rogue River Valley in Oregon, where he was one of the first to discover Rich Gulch at Jacksonville. In 1853 he kept Cole station at the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains, and remained there until 1856, when he returned to the Shasta Valley, and soon afterwards became interested in the stock business. In 1857 he was compelled to leave California for the milder climate of Arizona, being, at that time, in the last stages of tuberculosis. He started with a party from Yreka in that year. At Yuma it seemed that his lease of life had apparently expired, with no hope of renewal, but after a few days' rest, the sick man determined to make one more effort to reach his destination, and started again with the party. At Maricopa Wells, about four miles east of the present station at Maricopa, he was seized with a hemorrhage and so greatly weakened, that he was left behind with a few men of the party to care for him, but really to bury him. By force of will power he rallied again and by slow stages was enabled to reach Tucson March 12th, 1858. At that time Tucson was not a very inviting place for invalids. It was a collection of monotonous adobe houses, without wood floors or glass windows, enclosed by high adobe walls with lookout parapets on the corners for protection against the Indians. Mr. Hughes had another hemorrhage which so weakened him that for many months he was in danger of death, after which came the final rally, and he began to recover rapidly. As soon as his strength permitted, he opened a butcher shop, and thereafter engaged in the mercantile business and became an extensive contractor with the Government. He organized the first bank in the city of Tucson, and is now known as one of its wealthiest citizens. He was married in Tucson to Atanacia Santa Cruz. The fruits of this union are ten children, all of whom are married and well settled in life. Mr. Hughes is a thirty-second degree Mason, and connected with other benevolent and fraternal associations. He was one of the organizers of the Arizona Pioneers' Society, and has always been classed as one of the most enterprising and industrious citizens of the Old Pueblo.


[page 211]

Henry Wickenburg was a native of Austria, born in that empire in 1820. In 1847 he came to New York. He went to San Francisco in 1853, and came to Arizona in 1862. He remained at Fort Yuma for a time, then went up the river to La Paz. At La Paz, he learned that a party of explorers had left there a few days before to go through the country to Tucson. Henry took their trail and overtook them at what is now known as Peeples' Valley, having travelled nearly two hundred miles alone through the

[page 212]

Apache country. After leaving Peeples' Valley, the party travelled east to what is now Walnut Grove, then on to Turkey Creek and Black Canyon. Near Turkey Creek one of the party found some white quartz which had coarse gold in it. His name was Goss. He said nothing of his find to the balance of the party, but the next year he came back, and in company with Timothy Lambertson, worked some on the mine and packed the ore to Walnut Grove and arrastred it. From Black Canyon the exploring company made their way to Tucson. There Henry went to work driving a team for the United States Government. We next find him on a piece of land in Peeples' Valley in 1863, where he learned through King S. Woolsey of the finding of rich ore in the Harquahala Mountains. Henry got Van Bibber, a man named Green, and some others, and started for the place Woolsey had described to him. They went down to the Hassayampa River and there made a start for the long stretch across the desert for the place indicated by Woolsey. They were not sure of any water after leaving the river until they reached the pass in the Harquahala where the gold was said to be, which meant a trip of fifty miles and back with what water they could carry with them. Following the low foothills, the party came in sight of the great white croppings of the Vulture Mine. Wickenburg wished to stop and examine it, but the other members of the party refused. After the party returned from their hunt in the Harquahala Mountains, Wickenberg went back to the big white croppings and discovered the famous Vulture Mine. When Van Bibber

[page 213]

learned of the great strike made by Wickenburg, he at once claimed an interest, which, of course, Henry refused. Then commenced a long struggle in the courts, Coles Bashford handling the Wickenburg side of the case, which was finally settled in Tucson. Wickenburg remained at the mine, where he lived until the spring or summer of 1864, when he managed to get a ton of Vulture ore packed to a camp he had established at the present town of Wickenburg, a very poor excuse for an arrastra being built there by July 4 of that year. At that time C. B. Genung came to Wickenburg's camp with another man, having been driven in from a prospecting trip by Apaches. Genung having had experience in working ore by the arrastra process, undertook to show Wickenburg what he could about the method, and did remodel the arrastra and assist to grind the ton of ore that was on the ground. From this ore they took seventeen and a half ounces of gold. In less than twelve months thereafter there were forty arrastras running on Vulture ore, some with burros, some with horses or mules, and others with oxen, Wickenburg furnishing the ore for most of them, for which he charged fifteen dollars a ton, the buyer mining and sorting the ore himself. During the years 1865 and 1866, there were four mills built within one mile of the present town of Wickenburg—one five stamp mill by Charley Tyson, another of equal size by Jack Swilling, and two others, one a ten stamp mill, and the other a twenty stamp mill. This last mill was run two years, when twenty more stamps were added to it, after which it was run until 1871, or about four years.

[page 214]

James Cusenberry built the twenty stamp mill, (or superintended the building of it) and also added the twenty new stamps; then turned the management over to a man named Sexton, who stole everything that he could during the four years that he kept it running, and was over $100,000 in debt in Arizona when he had to close down. It is hard to tell how much the Vulture Company owned in California at that time, and it is doubtful if any of the debts were ever paid.

The ten stamp mill owned by William Smith, Fritz Brill, and others, was moved from Wickenburg to a point about thirteen miles lower down the Hassayampa in order to get wood, as the wood had all been consumed near the town. The mill was run until 1878 or 1879, when Smith and Company sold out the claims they held on the Vulture Ledge to James Seymour of New York, who had bought out the old Wickenburg interests. Seymour employed James Cusenberry to superintend the working of the properties, and he moved twenty stamps of the old mill down to a point on the river about eleven miles below and the twenty stamps were run at the place called Seymour for nearly a year, when a man named Shipman was put in charge.

Instead of moving the other twenty stamps to Seymour, he advised building a larger mill at the mine, and pumping the water from the river to it. The result was an eighty stamp mill, and a seventeen mile pump line to it.

The amount taken from the Vulture Mine is variously estimated at from seven to ten millions of dollars. The ore was hauled to Wickenburg, a distance of sixteen miles from the mine,

[page 215]

at a cost of seventeen dollars a ton. Vulture gold passed current throughout the territory at that time having a value of about fifteen dollars an ounce. Henry Wickenburg, after parting with all his interest in the mine, settled at the town which bore his name, having a ranch there up to the time of his death in May, 1905. He was a fine character, honest, straight-forward and industrious, a typical Westerner, quiet, unobtrusive, bold and fearless, and generous to a fault. He was not possessed of much property at the time of his death. He was a member of the Seventh Legislature of the Territory.

Among the most notable of the early pioneers of Arizona, was King S. Woolsey. He was a native of Alabama, but was raised to manhood in Louisiana, from which state he emigrated to California when only eighteen years of age. He came into this territory in 1860 in company with Mr. Benedict of Tucson, and Colonel Jackson, who settled in Yavapai County. When they landed in Yuma, all the money in the party was five dollars, which King Woolsey had. In addition he had a horse, rifle and pistol, and the others were similarly mounted and armed. They had ridden all the way from below San Francisco into the territory. Woolsey's first occupation in Arizona was that of a mule driver; he then became the owner of a mule team and made contracts for the delivery of hay, etc., to the Government. Later he engaged in partnership with George Martin, who afterwards lived at Yuma, and they purchased the Agua Caliente Ranch.

[page 216]

When Albert Sidney Johnson's party came across the territory on their way to join the Confederates, Woolsey joined them, but when they reached Maricopa station, he was taken down with smallpox, and was left behind. He was watched as a Secessionist for some time thereafter, but never took any part in the civil strife. The Texan invasion found him actively engaged in private business.

He had many fights with the Indians, and one of his first is described by J. Ross Browne in his book: The Apache Country, where, in describing his trip through Arizona in 1863, Mr. Browne tells the story. In travelling between Grinnell's and Oatman Flat, near the old mail station called Burk's, Mr. Allen, Mr. Browne's companion, called his attention to an open space fringed with brushwood and mesquite, where a sharp fight had taken place about two years before between a party consisting of three Americans, one of whom was King Woolsey, and about fifteen or twenty Apaches. Mr. Browne says:


Mr. Woolsey, who has since become quite famous in Arizona as an Indian fighter, had contracted to supply the Government with hay, and was returning from the grass range with his loaded wagon and two hired hands, entirely unsuspicious of danger. They had one gun with them, which by good luck rather than precaution was charged with buckshot. In emerging from the bushes where the road approaches the point of the sand hill, a terrific yell burst upon them, and in a moment, the Apaches sprung up from their ambush and charged upon them like so many devils incarnate. Woolsey said: ‘‘Hold

[page 217]

the mules boys, and give me the gun!’’ which they did with great coolness. The Indians wheeled about and dodged, but kept shooting their arrows with such fearful dexterity that Woolsey thought it advisable to give them a load of buckshot. The distance was too great, and no damage was done. At this the savages renewed their diabolical yells; closer and closer they crowded, the brave little band of whites standing coolly by the wagon and mules, ready to sell their lives as dearly as possible. The leader of the Apaches, a warrior of gigantic stature and hideous features rushed forward brandishing his war club, calling upon his men to follow. Woolsey waited until the chief had approached within twenty paces, when he discharged the other barrel of his gun. Down tumbled the yelling savage, with a hole through his head.

Woolsey and his party determined to make a conspicuous mark of the dead chief, from which marauding Indians might take warning. They dragged the body to the nearest mesquite tree and hung it up by the neck, leaving the feet to dangle about a yard from the ground.


The Indians fled upon the death of the chief, and being superstitious, never approached the place as long as the body was dangling from the tree.

About this time the California Column, commanded by General Carleton, arrived in the Territory, and Woolsey made considerable money furnishing them with supplies. In 1863 he joined the Walker party and with them set out to prospect Northern Arizona, and was one of the discoverers of Lynx Creek; he then associated

[page 218]

himself with John Dixon, and took up the Agua Fria ranch east of Prescott, after which he returned to his home at the Agua Caliente. A short time after this he opened the first road into the Northern part of Arizona. While constructing this road in the vicinity of Antelope Mountain, considerable stock was stolen from the people of Wickenburg. The Tonto Apaches had been raiding the ranches in Peeples' Valley and along the Verde, and Walnut Grove and other localities south of Prescott. A large band of them drove off all the stock in Peeples' Valley. While en route to Prescott from Agua Caliente, with his wagon train loaded with flour, which he had ground out in a small mill at Agua Caliente, upon arriving at Peeples' Valley, the settlers insisted that he should send his teams on to Prescott and take command of a volunteer company in a raid against the Apaches. There were about sixty white men. Woolsey dispatched couriers to the chiefs of the Maricopas and Pimas, and each of them joined him at the mouth of the Verde, with thirty warriors from each tribe. They took the trail of the Apaches and followed it into Tonto Basin, where the chief of the Pimas, fearing an ambush, decided to go no further, and withdrew his followers, but the chief of the Maricopas, Juan Chiavria, who was a great friend of Woolsey's, stayed with the whites, with his warriors. They followed this canyon for about three miles when they found themselves surrounded by about four hundred of the Apaches. Knowing that unless diplomacy was resorted to, they would all be massacred, King

[page 219]

Woolsey got his interpreter, a Yuma Indian who lived on his ranch and had formerly been captured by the Apaches and had acquired their language, to talk to the hostiles. Jack was the orator for the occasion. He talked long and loud, begging them to come down, and assuring them that they would be kindly treated; that they were not there for war, but to make peace. Jack told them that Juan Chiavria of the Maricopas was present, and he, himself, was the chief of the Yumas, and that the three white men were great American captains who came from Washington to make a treaty with them. After many hours of persuasion, the Apaches concluded that they would come down and have a talk. It was arranged that each party should meet in council without arms; the chief of the Maricopas, Jack, King Woolsey, Joe Dye of Los Angeles, and young Lennon, who was the recorder to write down the treaty. The rest of the white men and the Maricopas were left about sixty or seventy yards away, armed with rifles and shotguns, with the understanding that when the fight commenced, they were to take an active part; those armed with shotguns to come to the relief of Woolsey, and the riflemen to fire upon the Apaches on the hills. In this they were supported by the Maricopas. The white men and the Maricopa chief in the council were each armed with two six shooters under their coats. The Apaches, the big chiefs and the little chiefs, numbering about thirty, were seated in a half circle. One of the big chiefs said that he would not sit on the bare ground, so King Woolsey sent off and got a fine scarlet blanket, and seated

[page 220]

him next to where he himself was standing. The Maricopas had brought a quantity of pinole and tobacco. The pinole was placed on a blanket near by, and the Indians pretended to be smoking the tobacco. After the Apaches were seated and the conference commenced, an Apache Indian entered the council, dragging two lances at his heels; another came with a handful of knives, which were distributed among the hostile savages. Immediately afterward an Indian boy rushed in almost out of breath and told the Apaches that the order from the big chief was for them all to get out of the camp, and they would kill the last one of the whites and the Maricopas. The signal agreed upon by Woolsey and his men for the firing to commence, was for him to put his hand upon his hat. Before the Apaches had time to do anything, Woolsey gave his signal, and, at the same time, shot the Apache chief who was seated upon his blanket. Joe Dye, Young Lennon, the Maricopa chief and Jack did the same, and every bullet found its mark. The shotgun men rushed in and killed every Apache who had come to the council, while those having rifles were picking off the Apaches who were on the hills. After the fight was over, they examined the hills, which were covered with blood, but they found no dead, as it was the invariable custom of the Apaches to carry off their dead and wounded whenever it was practicable for them to do so. Woolsey and his men retraced their steps through the canyon, and not an Indian was in sight. In this fight Woolsey lost only one man. He had warned young Lennon to look out for a lame Apache who had a

[page 221]

lance, but in the excitement young Lennon had forgotten his warning. The Indian ran him through the body with his lance, and Lennon shot the Indian with his revolver almost at the same time, both dying together. The Apaches received such severe punishment that they were good for some time thereafter.

The above account is given me by Mrs. Baxter, the wife of Judge Baxter of Yuma, who was the wife of King Woolsey, and may be considered the true story of what is known as the "Pinole Treaty," or the massacre at Bloody Tanks.

King Woolsey was the hero of many expeditions against the Apaches, particularly during the Civil War when the United States troops were withdrawn from Arizona to New Mexico, leaving the settlers in Arizona to take care of themselves. At one time he was in command of one hundred and ten volunteers. In one of his expeditions he followed up the Salt River to Tonto Basin, and from there through the Sierra Anches, where they had a fight with the Apaches, in which 120 of the Indians were killed. The Apaches were taken by surprise and Woolsey did not lose a man. In the same expedition they came in around where the town of Globe now is, and discovered a wheat field which had been planted by the Indians. They thrashed out all the wheat they wanted, parching it, and making it into pinole. After doing this they turned their horses into the field and destroyed the growing crop, while the squaws on the surrounding hills were bewailing their loss. The

[page 222]

place to this day is known as the "Wheat Fields."

At one time King Woolsey, William Fourr, now living at Dragoon Summit, and Salazar, acted as guides for the Government. Salazar was the Government guide, but not knowing the country, Woolsey and Fourr acted as guides for Colonel McClave in expeditions against the Apaches, who had their rancherias in the vicinity of the Harquahala Mountains. The three guides were in advance of Colonel McClave's company, and when near the water, they discovered three Indians. Each killed his Indian, which prevented any knowledge of the expedition reaching the hostiles. That afternoon the command neared the water and the Indians began shooting. The battle raged all that afternoon and the next morning until about ten o'clock, when the chief of the Indians was killed by either Fourr or Woolsey, who had been shooting at him with their Sharp's rifles for at least a half an hour. After the chief was killed, the Apaches dispersed and allowed the troops to come to the water. These Indians had been plundering the ranches along the Gila, and all the stations ten and twelve miles apart. They drove off from Woolsey's ranch at one time, stock valued at $10,000, stripping him of everything except eight mules. They robbed Fourr in the same way. Juan Chiavria, Chief of the Maricopas, sought out these Indians, who were just ordinary thieves, but not murderers, and told them that if they attempted to interfere with his friends, the whites, again, he would arm his men, follow into their strongholds, and kill

[page 223]

the last one of them, men, women and children. The Indians were Apache-Mohaves, who had such a wholesome fear of both the Maricopas and the Pimas, that thereafter they did not interfere with the ranchmen on the Gila.

About the year 1866 or 1867, there was a lot of hard cases, bad men, who came into Northern Arizona from Montana. Among the rest was Jeff Standifer, who had the reputation of being a cool, courageous, nervy killer; a dead shot with any firearm. He was a gambler, and, hearing somewhat of King Woolsey being a man of courage, he declared that he would kill him on sight. Men of his character always seek out those who have the reputation of being fighters to try their mettle. As far as my experience in the West goes, this class of men, and I have seen many of them, are like gamecocks on a farm; every one has its master, but in trying to establish their superiority, when they come together it is a duel to the death. Some of Woolsey's friends visited him at his Agua Fria ranch, and told him of the threats which Standifer had made, and advised him not to come to Prescott for a few days. Woolsey said: ‘‘I'll think about it.’’ He said he didn't like the idea, however, of a man telling him that he should not go to a place, or tell him that he should not go or come as he pleased; that he was in the habit of doing very much as he wanted to. A few nights afterwards, when everything was in full swing, and this man was at his game, there entered the room King Woolsey. Going up to the bar, he turned his face to the crowd. All was still and quite. A hush came over everyone

[page 224]

and the whisper passed around: ‘‘There's Woolsey!’’ Standifer heard it, and started with his pistol in his hand towards Woolsey. Woolsey looked at him until he was within about fifteen or twenty feet, when, quicker than lightning, he pulled his six shooter, and had it cocked and levelled at the man's head. Raising his left hand he said: ‘‘Halt! another step and you're a dead man.’’ Involuntarily Standifer stopped. Woolsey looked him in the face for a moment, still holding his gun down on him, and said: ‘‘There's the door, take it, if ever you cross my path again, I'll kill you.’’ The man went out of the door and never returned.

Woolsey continued to make money; he got into mining, however, and lost about sixty thousand dollars. At the time of his death, he was one of the largest landowners in the Salt River Valley. In spite of all his activities, in hunting Indians, running ranches and mines, he still had time to serve the territory. He was a member of the Legislative Council the first, second, seventh, eighth and ninth Legislatures, and was President of the two last named Councils. He was a candidate for the position of Delegate to Congress in 1878, but was not elected. He was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of Volunteers, and was an aide upon both the staffs of Governor Goodwin and Governor Safford. In the early part of 1878, in company with John Y. T. Smith and C. W. Stearns, he erected the Phoenix Flour Mills.

He died June 29th, 1879, on his ranch adjoining the city of Phoenix at the age of forty-seven years, and was survived by his widow, who is

[page 225]

now the wife of Judge Frank Baxter of Yuma. The following notice is taken from the Phoenix Herald of July 2nd, 1879:


King S. Woolsey Crosses the Shining River.

In the Midst of Life we are in Death.

Arizona's most prominent citizen gone to his final resting place.

King S. Woolsey died last Sunday morning about three o'clock at his residence, the Lyle ranch, southeast of Phoenix. The deceased was a large, hale, and hearty man, and his death was very unexpected. He was in town up to a late hour the previous evening, and then certainly gave no indication of the nearness of death. Returning himself after all the farm hands had retired, and not wishing to disturb them, he put up his buggy animals unassisted, and then went to his room.

The cook, who sleeps outside, saw him enter the house and commence preparing for bed. The cook states that he heard a slight groaning, but as deceased was occasionally troubled with nightmare, he paid no attention to the matter and went to sleep. He was awakened by a prolonged groan, and, jumping up, he rushed to the room and discovered the deceased lying on the floor, partially under the table.

A messenger was dispatched for help, who shortly returned with Dr. Conyers, but no aid could be rendered—the groan which awakened the cook was, no doubt, the last of King S. Woolsey on this earth. A dispatch was immediately sent to his wife, who was living on the Agua Caliente ranch. She reached here early Monday

[page 226]

morning, and the remains were conveyed to their last resting place at nine o'clock that morning. The funeral service was conducted by the Masonic Order, (of which Woolsey was a member), and was the first ever performed in this valley. The funeral was largely attended.


Juan Chiavria, chief of the Maricopas, wept like a child at the loss of his friend, and accompanied by almost all the males of his tribe, attended his funeral.


© Arizona Board of Regents