Verde Heritage 1902: PIONEER AFRICAN-AMERICAN, JAMES WILLIAMS, WAS SHOT MARCH 20.
"The Prescott Courier of March 21 says: 'About noon yesterday, in the residence of Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Linn, Architect J. R. Minor shot and killed James Williams, a middle-aged colored man, who presided over the culinary department of the Linn household near I. O. O. F.'"
"According to the evidence introduced before the coroner's jury, the circumstances leading up to the killing were about as follows; Mr. Minor is a boarder at the Linn residence. A short time ago, when Williams became abusive toward Mrs. Linn, Minor remonstrated with Williams. This, it is stated, incensed Williams so much that he made threats against Minor. While the family was at dinner yesterday, and while Mrs. Linn was in the kitchen giving some directions, Williams again became abusive, and Minor again remonstrated with Williams. Minor had, in the meantime, before entering the kitchen, gotten his pistol, this in view of previous threats by Williams.'"
"'When Minor entered the kitchen, it is stated that Williams threw a hatchet at him and rushed on him with a knife, when Minor opened fire and kept it up until his pistol was empty. The hatchet handle shows the marks of being struck by a bullet. Mr. Minor was in a hysterical condition and had to have the assistance of a physician before he could come to court. Dr. Fitzsimmons examined the body of Williams and found three bullet-holes, any one of which would have killed him. There was a bullet-hole through the upper part of the left arm, and this was probably made by the bullet which entered the left side and ranged downward across the body into the intestines. One bullet entered the abdomen and another entered the left nipple.'"
"'Jim Williams had resided in this section for many years. He was a pioneer resident of the Verde Valley and ran a ranch there with the Bush family over 20 years ago.'"
"'The trouble which ended in his death is the first of which there is any record of his ever having had in this section.'"
"'At the hour of going to press Mr. Minor is still reported to be in a state of mental prostration over the unfortunate affair. Hon. R. E. Morrison represented Mr. Minor before the coroner's jury.'"
(The Jerome Mining News; March 1902; page 3.)
"A dispatch from Prescott, March 20, says that Jim Williams, a cook, was shot and instantly killed by J. R. Minor, an architect. Minor's sister, Mrs. B. Linn, keeps a boarding-house, in which Williams was employed as a dishwasher. Some time since, when Mrs. Linn had occasion to reprimand Williams, he became very abusive, when Minor interfered in his sister's behalf, which enraged him, and he made dire threats against the architect."
"Today ... when Minor again interfered, ... Williams attacked him first with a hatchet, and afterward with a knife, when Minor emptied six chambers of the revolver at him, four bullets from which took effect, and Williams dropped dead."
"The Coroner's jury exonerated Minor, and he was discharged from custody."
(The Copper Era; Clifton, Graham County; March 27, 1902; page 2.)
"A BLOODY TRAGEDY --- Architect Minor Shoots and Kills Jim Williams. Self Defense Alleged as Cause of Shooting as Williams Attacked His Slayer With Hatchet and Knife."
"A tragedy was enacted in the kitchen of the residence of C. B. Linn, next door to the Odd Fellow's hall, at noon today, the actors of which were Architect J. R. Minor and an old colored man named Jim Williams, also called Frank Williams, who has been employed in the Linn household for some time as dish washer. As a result of it Williams lies dead in an undertaker's shop, and Minor is in custody of the officers."
"Williams, it is alleged, had been employed for so long by the Linn family that he resented any reproval by any of them for neglect of work or otherwise. Some time since, when reproved by Mrs. Linn, he became abusive towards her, and Mr. Minor happening to be present, interfered in behalf of Mrs. Linn. This so enraged Williams that he made threats against Mr. Minor."
"Today, while the family was at dinner, Mrs. Linn was in the kitchen and reprimanded Williams, when he began to become abusive. Mr. Minor interfered again on behalf of Mrs. Linn when Williams, it is alleged, threw a hatchet at him and then picked up a large butcher knife and started toward him in a threatening manner. On account of previous threats made by Williams, Minor took the precaution of getting a six shooter before going to the kitchen, and on being attacked by Williams, commenced firing at him emptying the entire six chambers of the pistol."
"The shooting attracted a large crowd to the house, among the number being two or three peace officers who took charge of Mr. Minor. He was in such a highly nervous condition that a physician had to be called in and worked with him a couple of hours before getting him quieted down, when he was taken to the court house." ...
(Arizona Weekly Journal Miner; Prescott; March 26, 1902; page 1.)
JAMES WILLIAMS was born about 1842, and died at Prescott on March 20, 1902. (Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archives)
1880 CENSUS, Verde Valley, page 470A: Near the James family, Eliza James, #20, Marvin James, #21, Margaret James, #22, and David James, #23, lives JAMES WILLIAMS, #24, Henry Huntington, #25, and James Thompson, #26 (eventual settler in Oak Creek), and the family of Leonard Carroll, #27 - #36. The BUSH FAMILY live nearby; Madison Bush, #1, Julie Bush, #2, Alice Bush, #3, Jane Bush, #4, and Lorrie Bush, #5. Their neighbors are the family of George Fain, #6 - #13, and Mitchell and Kate Burch, #14 - #15.
1880 CENSUS, Verde Valley, page 470A: This page starts with Peter Lembardo, Henry Thompson, and the family of William Munds, #3 - #6, (who lived at Spring Creek), then the Edward "Mollholland" family, #7 - #9, (who lived on Lower Oak Creek). The BUSH FAMILY; James Bush, #19, Mary Bush, #20, Mandy Bush, #21, James Bush, #22, Annie Bush, #23, and Willie Bush, #24, live next to Andrew and Margaret Jackson, #16 - #17, and William Mooney, #18. On the other side are Hugh and Frances Doss, #26 - #27, the family of William and Margaret Back, #28 - #30, and the family of Samuel C. Dickinson (he was the Cornville Postmaster for many years), #31 - #37.