January 1, 1888


Improvement on ranch known as Cienega Maria Ranch., 20 miles east of Springerville.  $1,000-6 horses,
$2.10-180 American cows, $3,486-70 American young steers, $87.40-saddle, $25. Tax on real estate $30. Tax on personal property, $170.94-Total tax, $150.94. Penalty, $8.55¬$159.49.


The se 1/4 of se 1/4, sec. 15 and the n 1/2 and the sw 1/4 of the ne 1/4 of sec. 22 Township 31, $300, total tax $6-penalty $1.33- $17.33

THE ST. JOHNS HERALD                February 2, 1888 


We take the following account of the capture and escape of the above named bandit and desperado from the Clinton (Mo.) Democrat:

In November last, Sheriff Elliston received a letter from T.W. Johnston, District Attorney at St. Johns, Arizona, inquiring about a man, whom he described; whose real name was G.S.Swingle, supposed to be in this portion of Missouri.  The person inquired for was charged with having made three stage robberies, and was noted for horse stealing--a very lawless and desperate man.  He went under four known aliases: Montana Kid, Claud Preston, Kid Swingle and C.W.Johnson."  Immediately after receiving the notice Marshal Richardson and Sheriff Elliston combined and located the man at Humansville.  District Attorney Johnston was at once notified, but owing to St. Johns being situated off the railroad it was a week before Sheriff Com. P. Owens arrived in Clinton.  A requisition from the Governor of Arizona from the Governor of Missouri was obtained in the meantime. Sheriff Owens arrived in Clinton on the night of December 7th, but owing to a special term of circuit court, Sheriff Elliston was unable to accompany him to Humansville, but gave the best directions for the capture of the desperado. Sheriff Owens came dressed in western style--broad brim white hat, colored shirt, ect. and the first thing Mr. Elliston did was to have him change his habiliment. By suggestion of Messrs.

Elliston and Richardson, Mr. Owens went to Humansville the day following, relative to buying real estate. This part he acted well, and had not Swingle left that place, there would have been no trouble in capturing him. Sheriff Owens went to Springfield in search of the bandit, but after two days returned to Humansville en route for Clinton but found there, that Swingle was in Bosque county, Texas. He wired the marshal at Morgan to arrest him, which was done. Mr. Owens had no trouble in securing his man, and in a short time was on his way to Apache county, Arizona. When west of Toyah, Tex. Sheriff Owens was washing his face in the car, Swingle jumped from the cars with shackles and hand-cuffs on and made his escape. Sheriff Owens wrote Sheriff Elliston of his inability to recapture the prisoner and says that he surely had help in making his escape. Henry county officials were the first to find the frontier stage robber, and had he not escaped, a reward of about $1,000 would have been divided between our officers and Sheriff Owens.

THE ST. JOHNS HERALD                       March 1, 1888

Springerville, Feb. 26, 1888

A double murder occurred in Luna Valley on Saturday the 18th ult. There had been a horse race, after which the crowd gathered at the store of Sperling Bros & Taylor, and were drinking and playing cards, when a man named Pitman and Billy Smith got into a wrangle. Pitman drew his six-shooter and threw it down on Smith; who, being unarmed, threw his coat open, and told him to shoot. Pitman on learning that Smith was unarmed, told him to go and heel himself. Smith thereupon started and went into the store where he had left his pistol, which he secured, but friends interfered and prevented his returning. Pitman on learning the cause of Smith not coming back, began to threaten and abuse every one, and finally wanted to know if Smith had any friend. A young man named Blaine, recently from Texas, walked over to his horse, pulled his Winchester from its scabbard and threw it down on Pitman, telling him to throw up. Instead of doing so, however, turned toward Blaine, as he did so both fired almost simultaneously. Pitman fell dead, being shot through the heart, the ball entering under the left arm, passing through the body and coming out under the right. Blaine was shot in the shoulder blade, splitting, one half coming out on the left, below the ribs, and the other on the right side; Blaine living only two hours.


Socorro, New Mexico,      Saturday, April 7, 1888
Daring Deeds of a Juvenile Outlaw
in Arizona, ________ _________Unequaled
in the______ of Crime
A Beardless Youth With a Blood-Curdling Record


FRISCO, N.M., MARCH 28.--Kid Swingle, whose name is familiar to nearly every one in this County and also Eastern Arizona, certainly is, if reports are true, the most daring outlaw of the day, in his way. His aspirations, however, have not yet reached so high as to rob express trains, banks, etc. He confines his deeds principally to robbing the mail carried by stage coaches.


The "Kid" has always managed to evade arrest. The first charge prefered against him in this part of the country was the one charging him with robbing the St. John Stage, which runs between St. Johns and Camp Apache, Arizona.  A warrant was issued for his arrest on this charge and placed in the hands of an officer at Springerville.  The "Kid" at the time the officer, with several Deputies, came upon him, was in a store negotiating for a pair of suspenders.  The Officer stepped up to him with the warrant in his hand and said: "Kid, I have a warrant for you."  The "Kid" smiled and replied: "You have, eh?"  Then turning to the clerk, he said to him: "Did you say those suspenders were worth one dollar?"  On being answered in the affirmative, he replied: "All right, I will take them."  So saying he put his right hand in his breast pocket as if to get the money, to pay for them, but the great surprise of the 0fficer, when his hand came out of his breast, instead of a dollar bill, it held a Colt's 45 calibre revolver, full-cocked, and in close proximity to the Officer's breast.  The Officer threw up his hands and shouted: "Don't shoot! Don't Shoot!"  The "Kid" had been smiling all the while, but here it seemed that he could hold in no longer, and laughed outright.  Then he backed himself out the door, mounted his horse and rode away.


The deeds mentioned above occurred, I think, in January, 1886.  The next heard of him he was at Clifton, A.T.  He was gambling with some Mexicans and got into a quarrel with one of them whom he shot and killed.  He stayed in Clifton that night, and next day attended the funeral of the Mexican whom he had killed, after which he quietly left the place.  Three friends of the murdered Mexican observed the direction taken by the "Kid," and with vengeance in their hearts resolved to overtake him, and slay him, but they reconed without their host, for soon afterward two dead Mexicans and a wounded one were found by the roadside--a ghastly and terrible evidence of the fatal strife that had taken place.  The "Kid" escaped unharmed, and it was thought, went to South America.


But last winter he turned up in Arizona again, and robbed the St. John Stage.  The boldness with which he did that job is unsurpassed by Riddman, Jesse James, or any one else.  There were two stages on that line, traveling in opposite directions.  He first held up the one going from Camp Apache to St. John.  The stage had only one passenger, a discharged Negro soldier.  The "Kid" got up on the driver's seat of the stage and told the driver to drive to a certain place which was several hundred yards off the road.  After having arrived at the place designated he threw the mail bags out on the ground and ordered the Negro and the driver out.  The ex-soldier had in his pocket the savings of many years, and kept putting his hand in his pocket to feel of his well-filled purse, and to assure himself that it was still in place.  In the meantime the "Kid" was busy rifling the mail bags, but on noticing the Negro's uneasiness he looked up and smilingly said: "Be quiet, I will relieve you in a moment."  And he did.  He then ordered the Negro and the driver back into the stage, got in himself again, and told the driver to go on until he met the other stage. When the other stage appeared in sight he got down and halted it, and robbed the mail, (it contained no passengers) after which he entered that one and rode back to where he left his horse tied, at the place where he robbed the first stage, mounted his horse and rode away.

The next heard of him was the news of his arrest in Texas.  Sheriff Owens, of Apache County, Arizona, was wired of the fact and went to Texas after him.  He obtained his prisoner and with him started back to Arizona.  The "Kid" was heavily manacled, and the Sheriff, thinking his prisoner was perfectly secure, left him for a moment in the car in which they were riding, while he left the car for the purpose of washing his face.  This was some place in Texas, not very far east of El Paso.  The "Kid" was not slow to take advantage of the Sheriff's absence, and, although the train was running at the rate of thirty miles an hour, he jumped out of the car window.  When the Sheriff returned and found his prisoner gone his surprise can better be imagined than told.  He quickly pulled the bell cord and stopped the train and had it run back to the place where the "Kid" had leaped from the car window, but no prisoner was there--the escape was complete.   This happened in January of this year, and the bold "Kid" is doubtless long ere this safely in Old Mexico.

There are several other minor charges against him, the particulars of which the writer fails to call to mind.  One peculiarity of the "Kid" is that in the capacity of a road agent he always goes it alone.  He is very gentlemanly in appearance, and in all personal dealings always acts square and honorable.

May 17, 1888

We received through the politeness of our Sheriff, C.P.Owens, a very handsome walking cane, from the hands and with the good wishes of P.F.Clanton.  Accept our most grateful thanks friend Phin.

    THE ST. JOHNS HERALD                        June 7, 1888

PETITIONS have been circulated rather freely about the county for the release from the Territorial prison of Sol Barth.  These petitions have, we understand been signed by quite a number of the citizens of Apache county.  We like to be as generous as our neighbors, and as conscientious as the dictates of integrity and honor will permit.  We have no desire to lengthen or increase the sorrows of widowhood, nor add to the pangs of the fatherless.  Sol Barth's trial was just and impartial--notwithstanding this his friends saw fit to attempt assassination upon a witness--an important witness being shot at through a window, escaping death from being in a rocking chair, the motion of which carried his head not more than an inch from the line of the deadly missile.  Attempts were made to intimidate others, and jurors bribed. This is not all--Apache county now stands to be sued, and will in all probability, be sued for $15,000 or $20,000 of fraudulent warrants--the results of this man's crime and guilt, and for which he was tried and convicted. The question is this, does Barth deserve a pardon in the place of the above, after spending only one year in the penitentiary? If the Governor, or the pardoning power of whomsoever it may consist, think so, they will be held responsible by the people of Apache county, for the disgrace cast upon her courts as occurred during the trial of Barth, and for one-fifth of her indebtedness, which is now outstanding in the shape of fraudulent warrants. Why not pardon Juan Carrillo, Francisco Baca, Eutimio Baca, "The Iron-Galled Kid' and Phin Clanton? There are tender hearts daily pulsating for their welfare--crying children, grief stricken wives and mothers show they are not forgotten. The crimes of these men combined, are not equal to that for which Sol Barth was tried and convicted, and why not give them the same consideration? Is it because they are poor? Or is it because they were not "leading democratic" lights in this county?

June 7, 1888

In a shooting affray which occurred at Coyote, seven miles east of Springerville, earty Friday morning last, in the camp of the round-up of that section, and in which Robert Thomas was shot through the right leg, and Richard Jenkins, "Dick Bumgreaser," was shot through the right elbow and the right side.  The facts in the case, as we have gathered from eye witnesses, are substantially as follows: William Magee, "Windy," who was in the employ of the round-up as cook, had some altercation with Jenkins, before and during breakfast, on Friday morning last, while the round-up was at Coyote, and Magee told Jenkins to go away, that he was an old man, and that he wanted nothing to do with him.  Whereupon Jenkins, with his fists raised in a fighting attitude, approached Magee and said; "I am not as old a man as you think.  Come out and I will give you a round."  He was again told by Magee to go away, that he wanted no trouble with him.  Following this, Magee went to Bob Thomas, who was Captain of the round-up, telling him that he wished to be relieved and that another cook be engaged to take his place, saying that if he continued cooking there was likely to be trouble between him and that old s_n of a b___h, and that he did not want any trouble with him. Thomas requested Magee to continue cooking until the round-up got to the mountains.  It appears that at this time Magee was standing a few feet at the mess box washing dishes, and that Thomas was standing a few feet to his left.  During this interview between Thomas and Magee, it seem that Jenkins overheard it, and going a few feet to where the saddle and pistol of Jim Scott lay, picked the pistol up and approaching Magee from the rear, with the pistol thrown down on him, exclaimed, that he would not be called an old s_n of a b___h, and that he would kill him (Magee.) Magee turning and seeing Jenkins within a few feet of him, and with the pistol pointing directly at him, exclaimed: "Stop! Don't! Don't! at the same time jumping to the side of the mess box, and getting his pistol, began firing, which resulted in Thomas being shot through the right leg, and Jenkins through the right elbow and in the side.  In the excitement, Magee's pistol went off shortly after his grabbing it from the mess box, and before raising it up, and it is this shot which is thought to have struck Thomas, who was standing a few feet to his left. Scott's pistol, which Jenkin's had, it is said would not work, and that Jenkin's was pulling upon it at half-cock, otherwise Magee would have been killed.

June 7, 1888

Dr. Dalby was sent for immediately after the shooting, and on his arrival at Springerville, found both the wounded men had been brought over from the Coyote, where the shooting took place.  Jenkins' wounds were found to be fatal, and the bones of Thomas's leg seriously shattered from the knee nearly to the ankle, necessitating amputation, which was performed by Dr. Dalby on his arrival at Springerville. Jenkins died from his wounds at noon, and Thomas was brought to St Johns by Dr. Dalby, the morning after the operation, where he arrived Saturday night, with the patient doing well.  Magee had an examination before Luther Martin, Justice of the Peace, at Springerville.  The evidence of some ten or twelve witnesses, who were on the ground at the time of the shooting, made such a strong case of self-defense, that the District Attorney advised the Judge to acquit, which was done and Magee released.

June 7, 1888

Mr. Thomas, who was so unfortunate, in the shooting affray on the Coyote, is a young man of sober, steady and industrious habits, and deservedly popular among the cattlemen of the county.  We have not heard a single person express as opinion, but spoke of him in the highest terms, and whose warmest sympathies he did not have in his misfortune.

June 7, 1888

A few moments after the shooting which occurred at the Coyote on Friday morning last, between Magee and Jenkins, R.S. Van Regan saddled his horse to come to St. Johns for Dr. Dalby, at the request of Robert Thomas, who had been accidentally shot in the right leg just below the knee, during the shooting which took place between the two above named men.  Mr. Van Regan rode from Coyote to St. Johns, a distance of forty-two miles in just two and a half hours, leaving Coyote at six a.m. and arriving at St. Johns at 8:30 a.m.  Without a change of horses, this is the best riding with which we have been made acquainted.  This feat reflects great credit upon Mr. Van Regan, considering that a distance of 75 miles had to be traveled in order to get the doctor to the bedside of the patient, and that Dr. Dalby arrived in Springerville in time to amputate the shattered leg of Mr. Thomas within ten hours after the occurrence of the unfortunate accident.

Jack Becker's note:  Regan Mesa was named after R.S. Van Regan.

From the files of Jack A. Becker, local historian.