Sat, Aug. 17

1881 RUMORS: "The Indian Scare," September, Part 3.

"The number of Indians off the Resevation and in arms against the whites number about 300." (The Weekly Arizona Miner; Prescott; September 16, 1881; page 4, column 1.)

"While we do not wish to be considered an alarmist, still we would advise people everywhere to be on their guard against surprise from Indians, tramps, and all other bad animals. We know that Indians are treacherous, at any time liable to shoot their dogwood sticks just where they hurt and do much damage." (The Weekly Arizona Miner; September 16, 1881; page 3, column 2.)

"VERDE, Sept. 14. --- Al Sieber has arrived from Agency. He and Captain Chaffee report that no Apache-Mohaves are out. He came through Globe and Tonto Basin with a courier. They examined the country carefully for signs of Indians, but found none." (The Weekly Arizona Miner; September 16, 1881; page 3, column 3.)

James Oliver and Susan Bristow came with their family to the Verde Valley in 1875. Their oldest son, Conway, married Mary "Mollie" Loy, and their first child, Samuel O. "Bud" Bristow was born October 22, 1880. The other children are named as; Mary, Martha, Nancy E., Alonzo, Elizabeth, Sarah "Sallie" H., James and Lenora (born October 6, 1873, who married John Hamilton Lee in 1891). They lived at "the cottonwoods," moved to Oak Creek, then moved to Beaver Creek where they lived at what would later be called Soda Springs. Lenora was almost 9 years old at the time of the "Indian Scare." She wrote:

"Once, while there, everyone was warned that the Indians were on a raid and that we should all get together for protection. All the neighbors, four or five families of us, went to the Montezuma Well Ranch, then owned by Bill Wingfield, where there was an adobe house with portholes to shoot through in case of attack. When the Indians broke out from the reservation and went on these raids, the soldiers from Camp Verde would go out and hunt them up and make them go back where they belonged. We stayed at the Well Ranch several days, for safety, camping near our wagons, and cooking over camp fires, till word that the danger was over. But we didn't see any Indians." (Pioneer Stories of Arizona's Verde Valley; 1933, 1954; The Verde Valley Pioneers Association; "Looking Back Across the Years;" by Lenora Bristow Lee; pages 133-134.)

The 1880 Census (p. 471 lists 8 people) includes: William and Margaret (Pleasant) "Winfield" with Charles, Ida, Frances and Edward and also (p. 471A lists 8 people) includes; James (James Henry "Hank) and Sarah (England) "Winfield" with Clinton, Mathilda and Frank. The Wingfield families had also lived near "the cottonwoods," and had helped build the school there. The James Henry Wingfield and the E. B. Mulholland families moved to Beaver Creek above Soda Springs in the fall of 1880.

"In the late fall of 1881, there was an Indian scare. W. S. Head, post trader at Camp Verde sent a courier out to warn the scattered ranchers to scurry for cover. The Powells, John and Jim Allen, Al Doyle, J. O. Bristow, Abe Koontz, and the Wingfields set out for the Wales Arnold ranch at Montezuma Well. The Cliff[,] Jones, Hornbracks, Casners, and a negro family by the name of Bush were already at the ranch. Wales Arnold always constructed houses with portholes in the walls. The Indians did not attack, so that in about two weeks the ranchers returned to their homes. W. G. Wingfield liked the Arnold ranch so traded his cattle for Arnold's equity in the place." (Pioneer Stories of Arizona's Verde Valley; 1933, 1954; The Verde Valley Pioneers Association; "The J. H. (Henry) Wingfield Family;" by David W. Wingfield; pages 143-144.)

The 1880 Census for Beaver Creek (p. 440A lists 45 people) includes William Clift, Mary Clift and Walter Clift; Isaac Jones, Rebecca Jones, Julia Jones, Lillie Jones and William Jones; R. Hornback (Robert "Bob" had carried mail from the Arnold's to Rock Station), Charlotta Hornback, Charles Hornback and R. Hornback's half-brothers, Grant and Lincoln ("Link") Smith; R. (Riley) and Rebecca Casner and their children William, Riley, George, Florence and Salatia; Angeline Bristow and Alonzo Bristow.

The 1880 Census (p. 470 lists 38 people) includes: James Bush, Mary Bush, Mandy Bush, James Bush, Annie Bush and Willie Bush; and also (p. 470A lists 35 people) includes: Madison Bush, Julie Bush, Alice Bush, Jane Bush and Lorrie Bush.

The 1880 Census(p. 424 lists 38 people) includes: W. D. and Julia (Allen) Powell, their sons, Vina and Dempsey, daughters Della and Etta, and Julia's mother, Susanne Allen; neighbors are Julia's brother, John Allen, his wife Julia (Sessions) Allen and children, William, Kate and Dora. In 1875, William Dempsy Powell organized and piloted a covered wagon train from Kansas to Arizona Territory. He had married Julia Allen in 1870. In addition to their 3 children, the group included Julia's widowed mother, Susanne "Susie" Allen, her 7 children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in-laws and other relatives. Their cattle followed the wagons to Clay Park where William cut trees and built a cabin with a "shake roof." William Riley Allen married Kate Sessions on December 28, 1877, then her sister, Julia Sessions, married John G. Allen on May 1, 1878. In Prescott, Sarah Allen married Alan Doyle on December 25, 1877, then Mattie Allen married Abe M. Koontz about February 14, 1878.

William Powell had established a summer range for his cattle near Clay Park and a winter range near Camp Verde. Al Doyle came to Arizona Territory in 1872, had been involved in mining near Prescott, then bought cattle in 1881. The group of Allen relatives at the Montezuma Well Ranch may have been the men moving cattle, or could have also included their wives and children.

The people who wrote about the 1881 "Indian Scare" may not have named all the people and families who sought protection at the Montezuma Well ranch. The 1880 Census lists more families living in that area. Some of these families may have sought protection closer to Camp Verde or may have gone to Prescott until the danger had passed.

See: Pioneer Stories of Arizona's Verde Valley; 1933, 1954; The Verde Valley Pioneers Association; "Children of Yesterday;" by Della Frier; pages 135-136; and Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archives for the 1880 Census and cemetery information.