In Thomas Edwin Farish's "History of Arizona," 1918, E.C. Bunch, former Justice of the Peace, Springerville, is quoted: "of those whose loss I keenly felt, owing to close associations, were Paddy Creaghe, Deputy Sheriff and James Richmond, who were killed on Eagle Creek while returning from Clifton and the Gila Valley where they had been to assess the property which then belonged in Apache County."
St. George and his brother Gerald were born in Tipperary County Ireland, (St. George in 1852, and Gerald in 1855). Together they started a small cattle ranch near Springerville called Coyote Springs in 1874.
Gerald was a special deputy under Yavapai County Sheriff Bowers in 1877. The Arizona Enterprise of November 27, 1878 noted Gerald Creaghe was elected constable at the regular election in early November for Springerville.
On June 2, 1879, Luther Martin was elected the first Apache County Sheriff. He appointed Gerald as under sheriff. One of the duties of the sheriff was to collect property taxes from residents and businesses. Clifton, some 135 miles south of Springerville, was part of Apache County.
Yavapai county District Court records show that in the "Territory of Arizona, vs. John Wisdom”, Gerald Creaghe is the under-sheriff of Apache County, (November 4, 1879). The criminal complaint filed by Apache County Sheriff Luther Martin, against his jailor John Wisdom stated, “during the night, following the 15th day of October, A.D., 1879 John Wisdom, being the legally appointed jailor of said county, did allow, George W. Davis, a prisoner in his immediate charge, to make his escape from custody, and remain at large." The complaint was filed before George Dunlap, Justice of the Peace at St. Johns who found the jailor guilty.
The weekly New Mexican, April 12, 1880 edition states that a Dr. Joseph Osmisch was brutally murdered at Buckeye Ranch, Apache County. It states "when he departed Cincinnati he had nearly $4,800 in cash and as far as we can judge from his remarks in letters, a sum of $2500 to $3000 ought to be found in his possession. We leave it to God's justice to punish the murderer."
The June 21, 1880 edition of the Weekly New Mexican stated; "Captain John Hogue reports that Jack Burke, who murdered Dr. Joseph Osmisch at Houck's ranch, on the 28th of March last, is at liberty. It will be remembered that Burke was confined at St. Johns, Arizona after much difficulty on the part of the officers of the law and the people in arresting him. He fought hard against his capture and the people were so much incensed against him that he was in great danger of being lynched. A man named Paddy Creaghe and some others interfered, however, and he escaped death at the hands of an infuriated people, and was lodged in Jail. His recent escape from custody seems to have been the result of gross negligence on the part of some of the authorities. It appears from the accounts received that he was removed to Prescott in the early part of May for trial. In Prescott it was found that the sheriff had not brought the commitment papers. Burke employed a lawyer who succeeded in having him released under a Writ of Habeas Corpus, where upon the criminal left for parts unknown and is still free. By a strange fatality, which looks somewhat like an act of retribution, the man Paddy Creaghe, who saved Burke from the hands of the populace, was murdered on the highway in the month of May, while in the performance of his duties."
The Phoenix Herald, Tuesday, May 11, 1880, under "Victorio" stated, "Nothing has yet been heard from the troops in pursuit of Victorio. The agent at San Carlos says he has received information that states that the Chiracahua Chief intends to join Victorio if he gets the opportunity. The agent has taken all possible precautions against such an event, but says if Victorio were to double back on his pursuers, and return, he would be powerless to prevent it. He has applied for a company of cavalry to be stationed there. It is reported that Paddy Creaghe had $2000 when he was killed. Nothing definite has been heard in regard to him or Richmond, and it is feared their bodies were mutilated and thrown into some ravine. On the Southwest side of Escudilla Mountain, about 15 miles from Springerville is a small stream called "Paddy Creek" named by St. George Creaghe for his brother."
A memorial to Arizona Peace Officers, those who died in the line of duty is located at Wesley Bolin Plaza at the State Capital in Phoenix. The names of Gerald F. Creaghe and James A. Richmond are listed under Apache County Sheriff's Officers killed in May, 1880.
Credits for above picture go to Tucson Lodge #1 at
Except where noted above everything else from the files of Jack A. Becker.