SEPTEMBER 2017

SEPTEMBER  2017
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO - STANDARD OIL. Still dominating strangling the nation, a century later.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

TOMBSTONES Chapter Fifteen

I know exactly what Sergeant John R. McDonald was thinking that afternoon of Tuesday, 30 August, 1881. He had just pulled the saddle and blanket from his cavalry mount when the first burst of gun fire, produced a stabbing pain which tore his right leg out from under him, dropping both saddle and the Irishman to the ground. 
However, drowning out the searing agony, were the orders from his 51 year old commander, Colonel Eugene Asa Carr (above). Under no circumstances, the Medal-of-Honor winner had told him, should his prisoner be allowed to be rescued. So without examining his own wound, McDonald instantly searched for the Apache medicine man (above). Seeing Nakaidoklini - or Nock-ay-det-kline - scurrying toward the underbrush on all fours, the Sergeant dutifully pulled his big Navy revolver and shot the Apache through both legs.
Under orders from Brevet Major General Orlando Willcox 200 miles to the south-west in Tuscon, the 85 troopers of the 6th Cavalry under Colonel Carr's  command, along with 23 Apache scouts, had left the White Mountain stronghold of Fort Apache the day before.  
After a 45 mile, over night ride across this southern reach of the Colorado Plateau, they arrived that afternoon at the wickiups of Nakaidoklini's village, near Cibecue Creek (above), in the upper Salt River Canyon. Their stated goal was to bring the medicine man back to Fort Apache for a talk. But everyone - including the Apache scouts - knew the U.S. Army was not going to allow this leader to ever return to his people.
Nakaidoklini's offense was that he had been providing guidance to the warrior "He-who-yawns", aka by the Mexican and Americans as "Geronimo" (above, right), and to the another clan chief, Miguel. And lately the independent medicine man had also been preaching a fresh blend of traditional Apache religion and Christianity. Nakaidoklini was predicting he could, Christ like, raise dead chiefs from their graves. And that was what inspired General Wilcox to order Colonel Carr to arrest and detain the moral leader of the Cibecue band of Apache.
Carr's problem was he did not trust his Apache scouts on this mission. Centuries of life in the deserts and mountains had forced the Apache into small bands, even more suspicious of each other as they were the Americans or Mexicans. But a decade of luring all Apache bands into the White Mountains of northern Arizona with the promise of food and clothing, had eroded those divisions. And the racism of the Americans did not help.  So Carr asked General Wilcox for more troopers. The General replied that this summer of 1881, he was anticipating trouble with the Cow Boy elements between Tombstone and the Mexican border, and could spare no more men for the subjugated Apache. Carr would have to carry on with his suspect Apache scouts.
Once they had arrived at his village, Carr assured Nakaidoklini the army only wanted to talk to him, and he seemed agreeable enough. But once the lead elements had started back, the medicine man decided he wanted to ride his own horse. This delayed his escort about 15 minutes, which proved just long enough to set up the ambush by the Cibecue band at the crossing of Verde Creek. The Apache scouts knew what was coming. In fact, they were the first to fire, just as the column was setting up camp. 
The first volley was so close it killed 6 soldiers, and wounded 2 more, including McDonald. The Irish sergeant signaled his trumpeter, Corporeal William O. Benites, to make certain the prisoner was dead. Benites crawled close to Nakaidikini, and stood just long enough to draw a bead on the Apache. He shot the medicine man in the neck, before ducking down below the barrage that followed.

 With nightfall, Colonel Carr decided to run for the safety of Fort Apache before sunrise. But he decided to send his adjunct, 29 year old Lieutenant William Giles Harding Carter (above), to double check the dead prisoner. Carter wrote later he discovered, , "...not withstanding his wounds, (Nakaidikini) was still alive. The recovery of this Indian if left to the hands of his friends, would have given him a commanding influence over these superstitious people, which would have resulted in endless war. General Carr then repeated his order for his death, specifying that no more shots should be fired." One of the guides, named Byrnes then "...took an ax and crushed the forehead of the deluded fanatic, and from this time forward every person murdered by these Apaches was treated in a similar manner."

What followed should not be dignified by calling it a "war". The 74 warriors and 300 women and children of the Cibecue Creek band were left trying to escape after their Pyrric victory at Verde crossing. Before the end of the month they would fail. But across Arizona, Europeans panicked. 
On 10 September, General Wilcox (above)  ordered the release for sale of 50 war surplus carbines, with 1,000 rounds of ammunition to any community which felt the need, This was the same day Pete Spence and Frank Stillwell were arraigned in Tombstone on charges of robbing the Bisbee stage, released on bail, and then re-arrested on Federal charges of interfering with the U.S. Mail.
Tombstone could afford the weapons the army was offering , and a militia company was instantly formed, electing County Marshal Johnny Behan as their captain and Federal Deputy Marshal Virgil Earp as First Lieutenant. The company included Wyatt and Morgan Earp, Mayor John Clum, deputies Billy Breakenridge and George Parsons. It almost seemed as if both sides of the Cow Boy/Law Man, local territorial, Democratic Republican divides joined the militia to keep an eye on each other. And now armed, they set out to defend the region from marauding Apache.
Except they did not ride north, toward the White Mountains and site of the uprising. Instead the Tombstone Militia headed in exactly the opposite direction, southwest, across the Sulphur Springs Valley. Their first day out they were caught in an afternoon monsoon cloud burst and were forced to seek shelter on a local ranch. Luckily for the militia's reputation, the owner - a Mr. Edwin "old man" Frink - had just suffered an Apache raid. The "savages" had made off with 20 horses. Not that the Tombstone Militia ever bothered to look for the missing mounts. The equine would eventually be discovered 20 miles to the east, in the Chiriahua mountains, in Horse Shoe Canyon. So perhaps the thieves were white raiders out of one of the Mexico - old or New.
Instead, the next morning the posse - er, militia company - rode further west, stopping for brunch at the McLaury ranch. The lawmen were greeted by outlaw leader Curley Bill Brocius, "Arizona's most famous outlaw at the present time." George Parson noted that Virgil Earp and Curley Bill shook hands "warmly." Shortly there after Brocius rode off to attend to some business, pausing just long enough to steal a pair of spurs from Wyatt Earp. They party stopped that night at Soldier's Hole, where they met up with a patrol of 6th cavalry out of Fort Huachuca. After a night spent drinking, the militia company returned to Tombstone, dusty and weary, but certain they had made the region safe from an Apache attack that was never contemplated.
The town they returned to seemed to have settled into a slightly bizarre normal. On 15 March, 1881, the Arizona Telephone Company began to installing poles and wires between the Mining Exchange building, the mines and the stamping mills in Charleston and Fairbank. That spring Episcopal minister Endicott Peabody challenged a Methodist minister to a public boxing match. The Episcopalian won.  Bartender Frank Leslie, ranch owner in the distant Chilihaura Mountains, became renown for drawing his lady friends' silhouette's on walls - with bullet holes. And at any time, day or night, the most infamous characters could be found strolling up and down Allen Street - named for baker, John "Pie" Allen, whose shop sat at Fourth and Allen Streets.
East of Sixth Street on Allen, was the red light district, whore houses run by Blond Marie, Irish Mag, Crazy Horse Lil, China Mary, Madame Mustache and Big Nose Kate. West of Third Street on Allen were the opium dens of "Hop Town". In between, in a town where a quarter would buy you a warm beer, a chip in a faro game, 2 buckets of water or a single egg, the most frequented shops in town were the saloons, The Oriental, The Crystal Palace, The Eagle and The Alhambra. As a local historian writes, along Allen Street, "...the sweet odor of opium hung in the air. Chips clinked and roulette wheels whirred..." It seemed as if the energy generated in Tombstone might go on forever, always bigger, always richer.
But underneath, the town was facing a growing crises. Late in 1880, the Tough Nut Mine had begun to suffer seepage. And in March of 1881 the Sulphuret Mine, half a mile south of Tombstone, had struck water at 520 feet below the surface. With silver still worth a dollar an ounce, the decision was to keep digging. It was even imagined the water could be pumped to the surface to drink and to power stamp mills on site, avoiding the expensive transport to the San Pedro River. But not enough water seeped into the mine to justify such investment. And besides, as the Sulphuret's name implied, the water proved not potable. However, as each mine reached below the water table, each in turn encountered seepage. It was clear that eventually large pumps would have be brought in - raising the cost of mining the silver, eating into the profits that justified the entire, bizarre desert oasis of greed that was Tombstone, Arizona.

It first occured to the most fervent of Tombstone's boosters, that the end of the boom might be in sight.
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Friday, February 24, 2017

TOMBSTONES Chapter Fourteen

I can't imagine what the hell Pete Spence - aka Elliot Larkin Ferguson - was thinking when he and that smug violent little (5.4") lunatic Frank Stillwell (above) held up the south bound Bisbee Stage on Thursday, 8 September, 1881. The Sandy Bob line carried no strong boxes so this less than dynamic duo were reduced to robbing the passengers, miners and gamblers who had little cash southbound, going into the little mining town 25 miles south of Tombstone. And probably every one of the 200 residents squeezed into the narrow "Puerta de los Mulos" knew Pete and Frank personally, since the pair jointly owned a livery stable in Bisbee. Stillwell was just 24, but he had already gunned down an Hispanic waiter who brought him tea instead of coffee. But Spence had been a Texas Ranger. Not for long, since he was also a little crazy, but he should have been too smart for this hold up.
Some thought this lunatic larceny had something to do with Robert Crouch, a 50 year old California coach driver who had entered a cut-throat competition with the established Arizona Mail and Stage Company. Because the new entrepreneur had red hair and a freckled face, they called him and his business the "Sandy Bob" line.  And it was a hard business in the best of times. Paying passengers and freight barely met operating costs. The Arizona Mail could also count on a $15.00 a month fee for carrying Wells Fargo insured strong boxes 3 times a week between Charleston and the rail head at Benson. But the real profits were in carrying the United States Mail. Seeking to promote growth, the USPS paid $50 a month for daily delivery between Tombstone and Charleston, and $78.00 for three times a week delivery between Tombstone and Bisbee.
But when Arizona Mail and Stage balked at delivering to the tiny San Pedro River community of Hereford, 7 miles due west of Bisbee, "Sandy Bob" snapped it up.  He was even willing to wait to be reimbursed by Arizona Mail, which continued to collect from the USPS. So maybe there was a nefarious plot to generate bad publicity for the upstart Sandy Bob line, and they hired Frank and Pete as their agents. But that seems unlikely because the future of all stagecoach lines in Arizona had been determined in March around a conference table in far off Boston, Massachusetts.

On one side of that table sat William Barstow Strong, President of the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe Railroad conglomerate. On the other sat the President of the Southern Pacific Railroad et al., Mr. Charles Crocker. At this meeting the SP agreed to lease their tracks between Lodi, New Mexico and Benson, Arizona for use by ATSF trains. And ATSF agreed to share profits from a new line they would build south from Benson, through the mill town of Fairbank, Arizona, to the border at Nogalas Mexico, where it would connect with their Sonoran line, reaching the Pacific via the port of Guaymas. The minute that agreement had been reached, the most profitable stage coach lines in Arizona were living on borrowed time. So why go to all the trouble to annoy a competitor when everybody's business was going to shrink over the next six months to a year?
Like the Guadalupe Canyon Massacre, the beginning of the Benson to Guaymas rail line was another indication that the age of outlaws was coming to an end. Two months earlier, about midnight on Thursday, 14 July 1881, the career of freelance and infamous hot head Henry McCarthy, aka William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid (above), came to an abrupt end in rural Lincoln County, New Mexico when he was shot dead slipping into his girlfriend's bedroom. 
 And the day before the Bisbee Stage Mutt and Jeff robbery, a successful 15 year criminal career, which included at least 9 bank robberies, 8 train and 4 stage coach holdups also came to an end. On a tight turn 2 miles west of Glendale, Missouri the James gang pulled off their last armed train robbery. The division of the paltry $6,000 take, caused some discouragement among the members.
And 6 months later, in St. Joseph Missouri, Mr. Thomas Howard, aka Jesse James himself, would be assassinated by one of his own gang. These were indicators.
In a decade the Federal government would recognize what was happening that summer of 1881. The Census Bureau would announce in 1890 there was no longer anywhere in America with less than 2 persons per square mile, nor significant numbers migrating west. The frontier had ceased to exist. And according to historian Fredrick Jackson Turner (above), "The Significance of the Frontier..." in America was that it had made Americans exceptional - more violent, more inventive, less restricted by traditions. 
The same census also determined that over the previous 40 years the population of native Americans had been reduced by almost half - 401,000 to 248,000 - proof that Americans were not like other nations who butchered and starved minorities, such as the Ainu in Japan, the Armenians in Turkey, the Hindus in Pakistan, the Muslims in India, and the Romani, the Cathars and the Irish in Europe. Except of course we did.  But all that was big picture stuff.
The little picture was that Pete Spence and Frank Stillwell needed a couple of hundred dollars for the up coming weekend. And Frank was so disliked that one Tombstone resident predicted that when he died Frank would be the "chief attraction" in hell.  So on that dark night of 8 September, 1881, these two chuckle heads wearing masks blocked the road and forced the passangers to hand over any "sugar" they had on them. All noticed the smaller of the thieves repeatedly used that word - "sugar" - to refer to money. It was a favorite phrase of Frank Stillwell, a man whose inquest jury laughed when the coroner described his body as the most shot up corpse he'd ever seen. And Cochise County Marshal Johnny Behan knew the instant he received the telegram announcing the Sandy Bob hold up, that Frank Stillwell had to be the chief suspect. He was, after all, one of Johnny's own deputies..
And this might be the proper moment to ask why the crooks never thought to cut the telegraph lines which criss-crossed southern Arizona. The Apache did, every chance they got.  But "white" criminals never seemed to think of delaying law enforcement by just clambering up the nearest pole and snipping the thin wire. And it was not just the fools Stillwell and Spence. In March the would-be robbers of the Benson stage had also left the telegraph wires intact, allowing for immediate pursuit. But I digress.
Part of Deputy Marshal Frank Stillwell's job was collecting county taxes, but Behan noticed the money from Bisbee always seemed to be late and always seemed to be short, which meant so was Johnny's 10% cut.  So Behan, not usually known for his dedication, wasted no time in dispatching to Bisbee ,a 28 year old mining engineer, fast draw shooter and part time deputy, David Nagal  along with 35 year old Deputy William Milton "Billy" Breakenridge (above).   Billy was also a Federal Deputy Marshal, and a cool man with a gun. And knowing that Frank Stillwell was the suspect, he and Dave were joined by deputized Federal Marshals Wyatt and Morgan Earp, and Wells Fargo detective, Marshal Williams.
The Tombstone lawmen interviewed the passengers of the held up stage, and learned about the thief who asked for "sugar". And in checking the crime scene they identified a distinctive boot heel mark in the sand. Checking with a Bisbee cobbler, they were told that Frank Stillwell had new heels put on his boots that very morning. A search of the shoemaker's trash produced the source of the distinctive heel prints, and all 5 lawmen proceeded directly to the livery stables where they found Frank and Pete, still recovering from their night time crime spree. The master criminals were arrested and transported directly back to Tombstone. Which is where things started to get confused.
Charged with highway robbery and theft, both men were arraigned in front of a Justice of the Peace on Tuesday 13 September.  Bail was set at a hefty $7,000 each. And then, to the Earps surprise, Frank's bail was guaranteed by his old boss, Charles Hamilton "Ham" Light.  Light had managed teamsters in Prescott, and Frank Stillwell had been his enforcer. Then about 1880, "Ham" moved to Tombstone. He owned a corral there, and rented out apartments on the northwest corner of 3rd and Fremont, in his Aztec house. It got is name because it also contained the offices of his Arizona Trading Company. In other words, Charles "Ham" Light was far more than he appeared to be.
Light's willingness to put up $7,000 in property to guarantee Frank Stillwell's appearance in court, would seem to indicate a couple of things. Either "Ham" trusted that Frank would show up or he feared what Frank would tell the lawmen if he was supported by Light.  There was also the possibility that like Luther King before him, once out of jail, Frank Stillwell would shortly be dead. That possibilty was reinforced when Johnny Behan chose this time to fire Frank for "accounting irregularities".   But the rapidity with which both bails were supplied - Ike Clanton guaranteed Pete Spence's $7,000 bond - hinted that if "Ham" Light and Ike Clanton were not the money men behind the Cochise County Cowboy's rustling ring, they were both closely connected to those who were.
Whatever the reason for the quick bond, the Earps (above) were not willing to allow these two miscreants out of their clutches. Almost immediately Pete and Frank were re-arrested, and transferred to Tuscon for trial in Federal court, beyond the immediate reach of the Cow Boy forces in Tombstone.  To make matters worse, the Republican Tombstone Epitath now insisted the pair were being charged with the robbery of the Tombstone to Contention stage coach. 
Knowing Pete Spence (above) and Frank Stillwell were innocent of that charge, the McLaury brothers and the Clanton family were convinced the Earps were now framing their opponents, as the Cow Boys had done to Doc Holliday. As Wyatt Earp later testified, "since the arrest of Spence and Stilwell, veiled threats were being made that the friends of the accused will 'get the Earps.'" In fact the pair had been charged with interfering with the United States Mail, which justified the Federal charge.
It didn't matter. By the end of September 1881, with Pete (above) and Frank in jail, the Cow Boys could feel walls, real and imagined, closing in on them.  They were willing to believe in a conspiracy against them, because they had conspired against others. And in response to the rising tensions, the Earps moved their families into adjoining rooms at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Both sides were hunkering down into armed camps. 
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

TOMBSTONES Chapter Thirteen

I know what 21 year old John Pleasant Gray was thinking on the evening of Saturday, 13 August, 1881, when he first saw the bloody man staggering through the yellow tabosa grasses. He was frightened, fearing an Apache raiding party must have ambushed the workmen who had spent a month building the adobe cabin he had slept in for the first time last night. The laborers had left the day before, escorted by the ranch hands, leaving only himself and the cook in their isolated outpost 15 miles north of the Mexican border. And in the clear air of the New Mexico dusk, John could see the dark brown blood caked on the man's lower face, as he stumbled across the distance between them.
Raised in civilized Sacramento, California, and the Sonora, Mexico port of Guyamas, John Gray had never seen the Animus mountains before the spring of 1881. He could not know that Apaches could rarely afford attacking large parties of whites. John had never seen the Sonoran Desert before 1880, when after graduating college he joined his family in Tombstone, Arizona.
John's father, 56 year old (in 1881) "Colonel" Mike Lee had lived in Tombstone  almost since before it was a town - 1879. He had lived there long enough to be sued by Ed Schefflin for stealing ore from The Good Enough claim. But Mike had served in the California Legislature, and hired expensive Sacramento lawyers, who counter sued Ed - and won. The title of "Colonel" was purely ornimental. Mike Lee had been born in Tennesse and raised in Texas, and moved to California in 1849, but he never served in the milia in any of those places. 
In Tombstone(above) Mike Gray owned a boarding house, was secretary to the town council, and served as a Justice of the Peace, where he acquired the title of "Judge".  As such Judge Gray spent his time arrainging alledged drunks, petty thieves and killers, and assessing taxes. He was a "mover and a shaker" in Tombstone, well known as "selfish and dishonest" and "a slippery character". That spring of 1880,   looking to give his returning son John Pleasant a good start in life. Judge Gray paid the infamous Curley Bill Brocius $300 sight unseen for 300,000 acres of land on the slopes of the Animus Mountains, in New Mexico. And he sent John and his 18 year old son Richard "Dixie Dick" Lee Gray, to manage the palce, although neither of them had any more expericence at ranching than did Judge Colonel Mike Gray himself.
Curly Bill Brocius (above) did not actually own paper to the land in the Animus mountains. He claimed a homestead there. 
Brocius and he and his partner, Robert E. "Dutch"  Martin (above),  often grazed cattle there, which they had rustled in Sonora Mexico, and driven across the border through Guadalupe canyon, about 20 miles south of Martin's ranch around a New Mexico the spring called Cloverdale.  In Sonora 'Dutch' Martin was known as a thief and a murder, responsible for killing a dozen Mexican citizens a year.  But in Cloverdale Robert Martin was a respected businessman, with a wife and child.
Just about the time John Pleasant Gray was graduating from the University of California, businessman Dutch Martin had been murdered - shot in the head from ambush by rustlers who had lately taken to rustling the largest rustler's cattle.  'Dutch' Martin was 45 years old when he died, and William "Curley Bill" Brocius (above) was nearly 40 himself. Where the freckled faced "Curley Bill" had once been, ".. able to hit running jackrabbits, shoot out candle flames...and ...quarters from between the fingers of "volunteers, " the middle aged alcoholic Curley Bill's world was beginning to blur at the edges, like Wild Bill Hickock's before him. Hickok had died at 39, so Brocius the gunman was living on borrowed time. Time to change careers. And time to replace Dutch Martin in the Rustlers Trail.
The trail began between the western foot of the Dragoon Mountains and eastern rampart of the Mule Mountains, centered upon the San Pedro River (above, left). There, cattle were fattened on the feed lots of the Clanton and McLaury ranches before being slaughtered to feed the hungry miners in Tombstone and its mill town outliers of Charleston, Contention, Fairbank and Millville. The cows had arrived in this promised land from the east, by crossing the Dragoons through South Pass, and enduring the water-less desert of the Sulfur Springs Valley. The drovers had prepared the cows for this endeavor by fattening and watering them on the slopes of the 6,000 foot high Chihuahua Mountains (above, right), at way stations like the Horse Shoe Valley 7-Up ranch , whose owner of record was a San Francisco barkeep named "Buckskin" Frank Leslie - recruited by Curley Bill.
The Chiricahua mountain ranches were a rest stop after the herds had traversed the north-south San Simon Valley, which they had crossed after resting on the slopes of the Pedrogosa or Peloncillo Mountains, transited by the easy, well watered Skeleton Canyon on the Arizona-New Mexico border (above). 
Between the western mouth of Skeleton Canyon, it had been an easy drive across the San Bernadino Valley from the Animus Mountains, where the new Gray Ranch (above) was to provide ample grass and water, just 15 miles north of the beginning of the trail - the American side of the the winding, deadly pass through the Guadalupe Mountains.
The man who finally staggered into the Gray ranch that Saturday evening had spent the day traversing an arm of the San Bernadino Valley, on foot. He was exhausted, sunburned, dehydrated, and incoherent. It was some time before he could even identify himself. But when John Gray learned the man was not one of the construction workers, but a Cow Boy named Harry Ernshaw he panicked. Ernshaw had been in the rustler party with as his 19 year old brother.  "Dixie Lee "Gray had been gone south of the border to learn the rustler art under the tutelage of Old Man Clanton himself. As quickly as he could, John saddled a horse and went for help. He rode 20 miles east, to the slopes of the highest peak of the Animus mountains, Mount Gillespie. Here, he knew was a "Cow Boy" camp.
John Gray would dramatically described the  twisting canyon ride on dawn Sunday 14 August 1881, and the growing dread he felt approaching the grassy clearing where he had been told his brother's body lay. 
"Out of the clear sky," John recalled, "a black speck appears and soon other black specks ... Soon they are high overhead, beginning to circle slowly...circling round and round - and you know that somewhere within that circle on the earth below lies a corpse..." When the canyon walls fell away, John remembered the top of every tree in the clearing supported at least one of those "fiendish looking" birds. Sixty years later he said he thought of every buzzard as, "the worlds most vigilant undertaker."
The image of the 4 bodies was burned into his mind. "All were perfectly nude...Billy Lang...Jim Crane...Old Man Clanton...and my brother Dick, just turned nineteen....We found the dead body of Charlie Snow...about a half-mile from the camp. The other cowboy, Billy Byers, we found alive some five miles away. He was shot through the front of the abdomen and the ball had gone clear through his body..."  Byers was "completely out of his head", but he would recover.
John recalled, "We took our dead back to the ranch." There they ripped up the cabin's flooring to make coffins. "We buried the four bodies in a little square plot on the top of the nearby knoll."
Before its first stolen herd had even reached the new oasis, the Gray Ranch had turned to dust in the mouths of its new owners. In his 1940 memoir "All Roads Led To Tombstone", John Pleasant Gray sanitized the events of that summer, as people are wont to do with time. He remembered, "My father and I felt conditions were too hard at the time to fight against."  He did not mention that the naked scavaged corpse of his 19 year old brother had represented the inflated cost of stolen Sonoran cattle. But Judge Gray had $300 invested in the property, and John Gray remembered his father insisted they hold onto the property. "I made a trip out from Tombstone every month," he remembered, "to sleep one night at the ranch in order to comply with the preemption law." And to visit his brother's grave. In closing that early episode in his long life he added that after the Guadalupe Canyon Massacare, "Even the rustlers kept out of the valley for fear of meeting the Mexicans."
A few years later, Judge Gray sold the rustler's oasis to the George Hearst, father of William Randolph Hearst, for $12,000. So in the end I guess it proved worth the life of Judge Gray's youngest son. But John Gray never said so.
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