Tue, July 23

1906: Cottonwood and Camp Verde Murders; November 6, Part 1.

"CAMP VERDE, Nov. 6. --- An Indian, named Justin Head, shot and killed another Indian at the Indian camp near Cottonwood, today, and fled to the Indian village on John Wood's ranch two miles north of Camp Verde, where he shot an Indian named Jim Stevens and one named Chapo. He then continued on to the Indian village at C. C. Callaway's place, one mile north of Camp Verde, where he shot George Beauty in the right arm, shattering the elbow. He then shot George Russell's wife in the chest, the bullet penetrating the lungs. Although alive at this writing, November 6, she will be dead before morning. He also shot a seventeen-year-old boy in the abdomen, who is expected to die. After shooting and slightly wounding another Indian, he fled into a corn field, and his present whereabouts are not known, although he is thought to be heading for the Fort Apache Indian reservation, through the Mogollon Mountains."

"So far there are two known dead, and Justice of the Peace George W. Hance is preparing to impanel a coroner's jury to investigate the killings and bury the Indians under the instructions of the Board of Supervisors. The Justice of the Peace is not allowed to give any aid to the destitute until permission is obtained from the Board of Supervisors, but as this is fifty miles from Prescott, and no telegraph or telephone connections, the Justice of the Peace feels that it is an extraordinary case, demanding immediate attention. Dr. C. B. Wiley had been engaged to look after the wounded, and Jake Webber is busily engaged in making coffins for the dead, which will probably number five before another day has passed."

"Deputy Sheriff Wes Owens has just arrived from Jerome with three Indian trailers, and with our own Constable and Deputy Sheriff Mahurin, is hot on the trail of the murderer, who is considered one of the 'baddest' Indians of recent years."

"There are several hundred Indians in the Valley, and there ought to be some kind of government supervision over them, and an Indian school. They are overly fond of 'red-eye,' especially a drink known as 'Lis-wine,' or 'Tualpai,' a sort of still slop made from corn, which, at a certain stage of fermentation is regular 'fighting' booze. One big drink makes an Indian want to steal; two drinks, and he wants to fight, and at the third drink he feels that it has suddenly become his solemn and religious duty to go out and kill someone. The manufacture of this stuff is prohibited on the San Carlos and White Mountain reservations, and should be here."

(Weekly Arizona Journal-Miner; Prescott; November 14, 1906; page 7.)

"ARMED MEN ARE HUNTING DOWN APACHE: Sheriff Lowry Has Five Deputies at Head of 150 Whites and Indians in Verdi Valley Pursuing Apache."

"PHOENIX, Nov. 10. --- Commanded by five deputy sheriffs, 150 whites and Indians are on the trail of Justin Head." ... Sheriff Lowry is in Phoenix today, and states that at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon he received a message at Prescott, which reported that Head had reached the Beaver creek country." ...

"Tuesday morning Head, who is an Apache-Mohave Indian, shot down a man in Cottonwood, in the Verde valley, not far from Jerome. He left there, and went to Camp Verde, arriving in the evening. While resisting capture, he shot down four more Indians and a squaw."

"Head stole a fresh horse and headed for Beaver creek, endeavoring to get into the wilder mountain districts, and make his escape. Two Indians he is reported to have shot down there yesterday did not attempt to detain him in any way." ...

"Deputy Sheriff Wes Owens, Charley Hooker, Ed Mahurin, Chas Bowder and Frank Burns are at the head of five bands of pursuers, whose total number is 150. All of them are armed and most of them have horses, blankets and provisions. They will follow the fleeing Indian into the mountains, and most of them camp on his trail until he is killed or captured."

"Head has sent word to his pursuers that he has a Winchester and 100 rounds of ammunition, and that he does not intend to be taken. He says that if cornered he will die before surrendering. Should he be brought to a stop, it is probable that there will be more killing."

"An educated Indian, having been to Carlisle, and a dead shot with a rifle, Head is considered one of the most dangerous men ever made the object of a man-hunt in Arizona. He knows the country as well, if not better, than his pursuers. Several Indian trailers of long experience are following him."

"Sheriff Lowry is of the opinion that Head got into a fight while drunk, quarreled with a companion and shot him. This aroused the other Indians, and the one-sided fight has followed. Verde valley Indians have been making whiskey of corn for some time, and recently there have been several fights among them."

"Reports from Prescott today were that Head had succeeded in getting into the mountains, and that his capture dead or alive will be a difficult task. It is feared that several of his pursuers will be killed before he is caught."

(Bisbee Daily Review; Bisbee; November 11, 1906; page 3, column 1.)