THE ST. JOHNS HERALD TERRITORIAL ITEMS January 20, 1900Mr. P. Slaughter of Apache County is spending a few weeks in Tucson, having brought his two boys, Paschal and Joel, from the wilds of the mountains and placed them in the University. Mr. Slaughter is a prominent ranchman in Apache County and is a brother of John Slaughter the popular cattleman of Cochise County.......... CITIZEN.
THE ST. JOHNS HERALD SPRINGERVILLE NEWS NOTES February 3, 1900
Mr. Montie Slaughter has settled in Springerville. We welcome such citizens as Montie Messrs. Montie Slaughter and C. Taylor left Monday for Black River. They were accompanied by Mr. Reed.
On Monday the 26th inst. someone passing from St. Johns to Springerville, observed five men standing near the carcass of a cow freshly killed. On reaching Springerville the traveler related what he had seen. Warrants for the arrest of the five men were sworn out; and a posse organized, with Sheriff Beeler at the head, to arrest the lawbreakers. The posse didn't overtake the men until they reached St. Johns, where the alleged renegades were purchasing various supplies.
For all of which they paid, much to the surprise of some of the Merchants. While the outlaws were yet in town a part of the posse came in but made no attempt to make an arrest. The strangers went a short distance from town where they camped; next morning the posse aided by other men of this town sallied forth to bring in the men. But they opened fire on the posse at long range. A general fight ensued in which the alleged thieves had one horse and probably some of their men wounded, and were so closely pressed that they abandoned part of their bedding. But they soon outstripped the Sheriff's posse leaving it in the rear. During the engagement the Sheriff had sent a courier for reinforcements, which were promptly sent, but when they reached the scene both pursuers and pursued were out of sight. They took up the trail and overtook part of the posse, many of the first crowd, including the leader had returned on account of horse fatigue. These reinforcements and part of first crowd kept on the trail of the bad men. There were now eight men in pursuit and they thought that there were others ahead. Soon this party divided one half, keeping the trail and the other made a flank move, but the latter not meeting friend or foe, they thought best to return. This left four inexperienced boys on the field alone; riot having a leader even among themselves; They were Frank LeSueur, Gus Gibbons, Antonio Armijo and Frank Ruiz. After continuing some distance they came upon a sheep camp at which they learned that the bandits were just ahead; going on a mile or so, Frank Ruiz' party got so tired that it could not keep up, so he called the other boys to stop, which they did. After discussing the proposition of turning back, all except Frank LeSueur favoring that move; the result of the conference was that Gus Gibbons consented to stay with Frank LeSueur and they went alone on the trail, which was headed for R.D. Greer's Ranch, the road to which leads is through a box canyon. The other two boys stayed overnight at the Cedro. Next day as the four boys were absent, great excitement was manifested by the relatives and friends of the four missing boys. A relief party was organized and sent out to search for them. About noon Frank Ruiz and Antonio Armijo came in and told where they had left the other boys; then all began to fear the worst. About three o'clock a messenger brought the sad news that all had dreaded; both the boys were dead, Frank pierced by five balls and Gus by six. Their bodies were found on the steep slope leading into the canyon referred to above. They had been shot from ambush probably while leading their horses up the slope. Their pockets were turned inside out, their horses, saddles, guns, pistols, and even their hats were gone--the murderers having taken them. Their bodies were brought in and an inquest held, and warrants issued for the arrest of the murderers. A large posse of experienced men went out on Friday, prepared to make a long chase and a bitter fight. It is the earnest hope of every one that these blood-thirsty criminals may be brought to a speedy justice. The funeral exercises of the murdered boys were held at the Assembly Hall Thursday afternoon. Pres. Udall, Bishop Anderson and Elder Freeman all delivered appropriate addresses, full of condolences.
Note: It has later been asserted that the bodies of the dead boys were not found at the mouth of above mentioned canyon, but at a place about a mile south of that point on a very steep slope of a jagged edged mesa. The murderers had been hidden in the gullies along the top of this mesa.
$850 REWARD $850
For the arrest of the murderers of Frank LeSueur and Gus Gibbons
The deed was done about 25 miles east of St. Johns, Apache County, Arizona Territory, at about five o'clock p.m. on the 27th day of March 1900.
The murderers are John Hunter, who is about 30 years old, dark complexion black mustache, about 5 ft. 7 in. high, wore a black hat and dark sack coat. This man is also known as Skeet Jones and lived at Ft. Wingate last year. Bob Johnson, is supposed to be much like Hunter. One Wilson, alias Smith, who worked for Wabash Cattle Company for a short time, April 1899, in this County. He is about 5 ft. 10 in. high, weight about 175 lbs. has slightly dark complexion, dark hair and mustache, had short black beard when last seen, is stoop shouldered but quiet well appearing, has blue eyes, and is of very pleasing address, but not over talkative, has a peculiar way of ducking his head from side to side when he talks and he usually smiles a great deal when talking. He is an expert bronco trainer. One Coley, with right fore finger shot off, also a fifth and unknown man. They are well organized band under a tall, nervy leader. They are armed with 30-40 and 30-30 Winchester rifles and a full complement of six-shooters. They had 12 head of horses and pack outfit. They have one 10 yr. old bay mare branded E N on left shoulder. Frank LeSueur was riding this mare at the time he was killed. They have two extra guns and one extra saddle which they took from the murdered boys, I will pay $850 for the murderers. Hold until I get them. Arrest and wire Via Holbrook, Navajo County, Arizona. Edw. Beeler, Sheriff, Apache County, St. Johns, Arizona.
THE ST. JOHNS HERALD April 28, 1900
The Governor of this Territory has refused to supplement the reward offered by Apache County, for the arrest of the murderers of Frank LeSueur and Gus Gibbons. The Governor in his refusal makes the following statements: "Counties should, as a rule, defray the cost of apprehending their own criminals, but of course, in cases extraordinary in character, where crimes of great atrocity have been committed, and serious difficulties prevent the apprehension of criminals, it is not improper for Territorial rewards to be offered. Besides the general reward fund is running low, and large amounts will not be available until the next legislature. His Excellency also says in substance, that many Sheriffs have in times past received rewards for the performance of mere duty. The inconsistency, incoherency and incorrigibility of these statements are obvious to any one conversant to the facts. In the history of crimes, there are recorded law, if any, more atrocious deeds of brutality. As to Counties paying for the apprehension of THEIR OWN criminals, as a rule. This statement is so ambiguous that "tis really difficult" to see whether he means that there are some counties that should pay for the capture of criminals, while others should be assisted by Territorial rewards, or something else. The former must be the meaning intended, for Apache County has never been assisted by Territorial reward and it is implied that these are our criminals. When only one of them is known to ever have lived in this County, and that for only a short space of a month. They are certainly men guilty of many other heinous crimes, and probably in other parts of Arizona; in any event the apprehension of these men would be the best interest of the whole West. We frequently hear Apache County spoken of as a rendezvous for outlaws. This is no nearer true than the same statement would be made of any other sparsely settled County in the West. The citizens of Apache have fought as nobly against desperadoes as any people can, and hence are entitled to the benefits.
THE ST. JOHNS HERALD April 28, 1900
On last Monday, a false report, to the effect that Sheriff Beeler had been killed by the outlaws his posse is following, reached out town But the midnight mail brought a dispatch from the Sheriff, stating that two other men were killed and a third wounded by the gang, in an engagement near the Mexico line. Later reports from Sheriff Beeler state that his posse is now on the trail of three of the gang, having eight horses, coming back southward.
THE ST. JOHNS HERALD April 28, 1900
Information from Bisbee is to the effect the posse of officers who were on the trail of the five murderers of Messers. Lesueur and Gibbons of Apache County, and of Geo, Scarborough, were close to the murderers at the San Bernadino Ranch in the extreme corner of the Territory, last Saturday. The posse wired Gov. Torres of Sonora for permission to cross the line to follow the outlaws. Scarborough's son is with the posse, and it is safe to say that if they run across the ruffians on Mexican soil their report of the capture will be like that returned by the Mexican Rurales. They were killed while trying to escape.--GAZETTE
THE ST. JOHNS HERALD LOCAL NEWS OF THE WEEK May 12, 1900
Sheriff Beeler of Apache County, went to Globe Monday night. He had located one of the men who escaped from Apache County after killing two Deputy Sheriffs. When Sheriff Beeler left Apache County on the trail of the horse thieves and murderers, he turned his office over to his Deputy with the instructions to run the office the best he knew how, as he did not intend to return until he brought a prisoner with him. This is the kind of Sheriff the people want.--BULLETIN
THE ST. JOHNS HERALD LOCAL NEWS OF THE WEEK July 2, 1900
Sheriff Taylor of Grand County, Utah, and Sam Jenkins were killed by a band of outlaws on the 26th inst. Deputy Day was with them and after being shot at, escaped and gave the news. This is probably the band of outlaws which Sheriff Beeler is chasing. The Governor of Utah has ordered out a posse of ten men.
From the files of Jack A. Becker, local historian.