History


Pleasant Valley War Chronology

1879 — James D. Tewksbury moves to Pleasant Valley and establishes a ranch on Cherry Creek with his new wife, toddler son Walter and three grown sons from an earlier marriage, Edwin, John, and James. They raised cattle and half wild hogs. (Phoenix Gazette) John’s first wife, mother of John, Edwin, Frank and James was reportedly either a Hupa or Wiyot Indian (Hanchett) or Shoshone (Dedera).

1881 — James Stinson moves his cattle into Pleasant Valley (Hanchett)

1882 – the Graham brothers arrive in Pleasant Valley (Phoenix Gazette). The Grahams came to Pleasant Valley in response to an invitation by Ed Tewksbury to one of the Graham brothers John or Tom. (Hanchett, 17; Dedara, 38)

January 12 1883 — confrontation between John Gilliland and Edwin Tewksbury. A party from the Stinson ranch, including John Gilliland (Stinson ranch foreman), Epitasio “Potash” Ruiz (Stinson Mexican ranch hand) and Elisha Gilliland (foreman Gilliland’s cousin) ride to the upper Tewksbury Ranch on Cherry Creek (John Tewksbury’s) to discuss alleged mis-branding of Stinson cattle by the Tewksburys. Ed, James, John, Frank and Mary Ann (John’s wife) Tewksbury were at the ranch, together with Tom and John Graham (then friendly). A gunfight ensued between Ed Tewksbury on the one side and Stinson’s foreman Gilliland and ranch hand Ruiz on the other. John Gilliland was shot in the shoulder, and Elisha Gilliland in the back while attempting to get away. (Hanchett, 17)

A complaint was filed in Strawberry against the Tewksbury and Graham brothers on behalf of the Stinson outfit with respect to the shooting. A posse was dispatched, arrested John, James and Frank Tewksbury and John Graham and escorted them to Pine Valley. In the meantime Ed Tewksbury and John Graham rode to Prescott and and filed a complaint against Gilliland and the Stinson group for the shooting, and warrants issued against the Stinson men. Stinson Foreman John Gilliland and ranch hand Ruiz were arrested and taken into custody. (Hanchett, 19)

February 1883 – Gilliland and Ruiz are indicted in Prescott for the shooting.

A hearing was held in Pine Valley with respect to charges against the Tewksburys and Grahams. (Hanchett, 20) All charges against the Tewksburys and Graham were dropped.

May 1883 — Gilliland and Ruiz are tried in Prescott for the shooting incident and found not guilty. (Hanchett, 20) Mary Ann Tewksbury, Tom Graham and John Graham both testified that Gilliland was first to draw his pistol. (Dedara, 43)

Spring 1883 — Frank Tewksbury, after being subpoenaed as a witness for the Prescott hearing, dies of measles complicated by exposure during the trip to and from the hearing in Prescott. (Hanchett, 19; Dedara, 49)

November 1883 — Grahams enter into a contract with Stinson under which the Grahams would receive 25 cows and 25 calves for each instance where they provide evidence leading to the conviction of someone rustling Stinson cattle. (Hanchett, 20)

1884 — John Tewksbury whipped John Graham in a fistfight (Dedera, 71)

March 1884 — John Graham recordsthe TE Connected brand (commonly known to be the brand used on cattle commonly owned by Tom Graham & Ed Tewksbury) in his own name

March 1884 — Grahams record the contract with Stinson, and immediately file a series of complaints to the effect that the Tewksbury Brothers were rustling cattle from Stinson and from the Grahams. (Hanchett, 20)

July 1884 – The Tewksbury Brothers are indicted for cattle rustling based on complaint filed by the Grahams. (Hanchett, 21) At trial, the contract between the Grahams and Stinson was put in evidence, and George Newton testified that Ed Tewksbury was in Globe at the time of the rustling providing an alibi. The charges against the Tewksburys were ultimately dropped. The Grahams charged with perjury by the judge. The perjury charges against the Grahams were also ultimately dismissed. (Hanchett, 21)

July 5, 1884 — warrants issued against James Tewksbury and George Blaine for robbery of a store in Apache County. Tewksbury and Blaine were released on $3500 bonds, paid by William A. Daggs (Daggs Brothers sheep), secured by mortgages on John Tewksbury’s crops and ranch. James Tewksbury was ultimately tried and found not guilty

July 23, 1884 — Gunfight on Stinson ranch. George Blaine, John Tewksbury, William Richards and Ed Rose (Al Rose’s brother) went to Stinson ranch to discuss planning for an upcoming round up. An argument broke out between Blaine and Marian McCann (Stinson’s new foreman). A gunfight ensued, during which Blaine was severely wounded. John Tewksbury was also reportedly wounded.

(Hanchett, 26)

June 1885 — Range Detective for Apache County Cattlemen’s Association, Carr Blasingame, brings charges against the Grahams for cattle rustling. Grahams were indicted and released on $1000 bail. The bail was ultimately forfeited, but the charges were ultimately not pursued. (Hanchett, 26)

1885 – Stinson leaves Pleasant Valley, selling out to the New York-based corporation Aztec Land and Cattle Company., the Hashknife brand outfit. The Hashknife outfit also acquired 500,000 acres of land from the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad between Holbrook and the Mongollon rim. (Hanchett, 38)

1885 — Former Texas Ranger “Colonel” Jesse W. Ellison establishes ranch (Apple ranch) Between Pleasant Valley and Payson.

Spring 1886 — Andy Cooper (Blevins) and Charlie Blevins come to Pleasant Valley, driving the Adams brothers (original Mormon settlers) from the Canyon Creek Ranch. Andy Cooper and Charlie Blevins are joined by brother Hampton Blevins, father “Old Man” Mart Blevins, and mother. (Hanchett, 38) Andy Cooper and his brothers were aligned with, and reputedly in the employ of, the Hashknife outfit. (Hanchett, 38; Dedera 82)

Summer1886 — The Hashknife outfit begins implementing an aggressive plan to control not only its own range, but also the government-owned open range, intimidating or forcing out any smaller outfits attempting to share the use of the open range (Hanchett, 43) Hashknife enforcers (John Payne, Andy Cooper Blevins, Zack Booth, Tom Tucker, Bob Glaspie, Thomas Covington) pistol whip sheepherders, terrorize Mormon settlers and small ranchers to drive them from the range. (Dedara, 110 et seq)

Summer 1886 — the Tewksburys enter into agreement with the Daggs Brothers (largest wool shippers — sheep men — in Arizona) of Flagstaff to take two herds of sheep on shares

Summer 1886 — William Jacobs cabin is burned (Dedara, 110)

Fall 1886 – confrontation between cowboy “Gladden” and Ed Tewksbury in Payson bar. (Dedara, 110)

Fall 1886 — Herd of sheep driven over a cliff, and herders sent to carry word to the Tewksburys.

February 1887 — a sheepherder hired by the Daggs Brothers to help drive sheep through Pleasant Valley is killed, and reportedly beheaded. The Grahams are suspected of committing the killing; Indian trackers hired by Daggs Brothers reportedly followed the killers to the Graham cabin. The Tewksbury’s reportedly either had an interest in the sheep herd or had been hired by the Daggs brothers to protect the herd. (Hanchett, 38; Dedara 111)

February-March 1887 — Andy Cooper is sent out by the Grahams to obtain (coerce) signatures on a “Tewksbury scalp” contract: “We the stock men of Pleasant Valley, who signed our names below, agreed to pay Cooper Blevins fifty dollars for each and every one of the Tewksburys scalps” (Dedara, 115)

July 1887 — “Old Man ” (Mart) Blevins, father of gunfighter Andy Cooper (Blevins) Hamp Blevins and Charlie Blevins, leaves his ranch to search for horses and disappears. His sons believe he was ambushed. (Phoenix Gazette, Hanchett, 53) Mart Blevins, though known as “Old Man” Blevins, was less than 50 years old (Dedara, 115)

August 1887 — Hashknife outfit (Aztec Land And Cattle Company) sued the Daggs brothers claiming the rights to part of the Daggs (sheep) Ranch. The Daggs Brothers counterclaim for damages. (Hanchett, 43)

August 9, 1987 – Gunfight at Middleton ranch. John and Ed Tewksbury (with Jim Roberts, George Wilson and WB Edmundson) were visiting George Newton at the Middleton Ranch when Hamp Blevins and Hashknife cowboys John Payne, Thomas Carrington, Robert Glaspie, and Tom Tucker arrive at the Middleton ranch (then owned by George Newton). In some reports they were “seeking information” about Mart Blevins disappearance. In other reports (McClintock papers) the Hashknife cowboys had “come to run everybody off, after giving ranchers a certain time to leave the country”, rather than investigating Mart Blevins disappearance (Dedara 122). A gunfight erupts. Hamp Blevins and John Payne were killed, were Tucker and Glaspie wounded. (Phoenix Gazette; Hanchett, 54; Dedara, 120)

After the gunfight, apparently concerned either attack by a larger party or the potential for arrest, the Tewksbury faction abandoned the Middleton ranch and fled to the forest.

The next day, a group including Charlie Blevins, Thomas Carrington, Al and Ed Rose, Bill Voris, Miguel Apodaca, and Lewis Parker burned down the Middleton ranch

August 17, 1887 – Billy Graham killed on trail. Billy Graham, the youngest Graham son is killed in gunfight with Apache County Deputy Sheriff James Houck. According to Deputy Sheriff Houck, while attempting to serve a warrant on John Graham, he encountered Billy Graham on the trail. (Dedara, 134) A gunfight ensued, during which Billy was shot and ultimately died. (Phoenix Gazette) Billy was shot through the abdomen, and eviscerated. (Dedera, 174) However, Graham partisans (G. O Sixby, Louis Gruwell, and Al Rose) testified that at a corner’s inquest that before he died Billy Graham claimed that he had been shot by Ed Tewksbury. (Hanchett, 59)

Late August 1887 — Sheriff Mulvenon and posse come to Pleasant Valley to investigate Middleton ranch gunfight.

September 4, 1887 – Gunfight in Holbrook between Apache County Sheriff Commodore Perry Owens and Graham partisans Andy Cooper (Blevins), Sam Houston Blevins, John Blevins and Mose Roberts. Cooper, Sam Blevins and Mose Roberts are killed and John Blevins seriously wounded. (Phoenix Gazette; Dedera, 139) Sheriff Owens was serving an arrest warrant on Andy Cooper, and the gunfight ensued.

September 10, 1887 — Arizona Governor C. Meyer Zulick sends Yavapai County Sheriff William Mulvenon and 20 man posse to arrest all feud participants. (Phx Gazette; Dedera 155)

September 16, 1887 — Gunfight At Rock Springs. The Grahams raid a Tewksbury encampment in Canyon Creek. One of the Graham faction is killed and another wounded. Both factions elude the Mulvenon posse. (Phoenix Gazette; Dedara, 161) The Tewksburys (Ed and Jim Tewksbury, Jim Roberts, George Newton) were camped not far from the Cherry Creek Ranch. The Graham partisans attacked the Tewksbury camp from horseback at dawn. Graham partisan Harry Middleton (reportedly a Hashknife cowboy) was killed, and Joe Ellenwood wounded. In some accounts, Tom Graham was also wounded. (Dedara, 162)

September 25, 1887 — Gunfight at Perkins Store . The Mulvenon posse catches John Graham and Charlie Blevins at Perkins store in Pleasant Valley (now Young). John Graham and Charlie Blevins are killed in the ensuing gunfight. (Phoenix Gazette) The posse included (apparently among others) Sheriff William Mulvenon, Deputy Jim Houck, Deputy Francis, Deputy Joe T. McKinney, Const. E. F. Odell, Osmer Flake, William Birch. By some accounts Jim Roberts and perhaps other Tewksbury partisans were also part of the posse. There were approximately 14 men in the posse arrayed around the outside of Perkins store. John Graham and Charlie Blevins approached on horseback. When Sheriff Mulvenon stepped out from behind the building and told them they were under arrest, they pulled their pistols and attempted to flee. Sheriff Mulvenon shut them down. (Dedera, 164)

After hearing about the gunfight at Perkins store, Jim and Ed Tewksbury, Jim Roberts, George Newton and Jake Laufer (and perhaps others) surrender to Mulvenon (Phoenix Gazette; Dedera 168)

October 8, 1887 — Tom Graham moves to Tempe and marries Anne Melton. (Phoenix Gazette) Tom Grahams Ranch is taken over by S. W. Young, father of Ola Young. (Forrest)

Summer 1887 — Committee of 50 Formed. Local ranchers form vigilante group cleanup Pleasant Valley. Graham partisans and others are lynched. (Phoenix Gazette) Colonel J. W. Ellison was “chairman” of the vigilante group. (Dedera, 184)

November 1887 — A grand jury in Prescott indicts the Grahams and Tewksbury’s on various charges (Phoenix Gazette) A Prescott grand jury indicted Ed and Jim Tewksbury, Jim Roberts, Joe Boyer, George Newton, Jacob Lauffer, and George Wagner for the Middleton (Newton) ranch shooting of Hamp Blevins. Tom Graham, Louis Parker “and others” (Miguel Apodaca) were indicted, presumably for the ambush at the Cherry Creek Ranch (Dedera, 182)

November 1887 — Al Rose is killed. By one account Rose was shot by Ed Tewksbury, by other accounts Al Rose was lynched by the Committee of 50 (Dedera, 185)

March 1888 — James Stott and Tom Tucker are charged with stealing horses from Jake Lauffer, but acquitted (Dedera, 188)

June 1888 – Cases against Grahams and Tewksburys dismissed when witnesses refused to testify. The trial was postponed and ultimately dismissed (Phoenix Gazette; Dedera, 182)

August 1888 – Jake Lauffer at his ranch on lower Cherry Creek is shot in the arm from ambush

August 15, 1888 – Jim Stott, Billy Wilson, and Jim Scott are lynched (Dedera, 192)

September 20, 1888 — John Blevins is sentenced to five years in Yuma territorial prison for participation in Holbrook gunfight with Sheriff Owens. (Phoenix Gazette)

September 1891 — George Newton, Tewksbury partisan, disappears while returning to his ranch (the Flying V) from Globe. (Phoenix Gazette; Dedera, 211) Tom Graham and Charlie Duchet (Tom Graham’s bodyguard) are suspected.

August 2, 1892 – Tom Graham is shot and killed in Tempe. Edwin Tewksbury and John Rhodes are charged (Phoenix Gazette)

August 19, 1892 – charges against John Rhodes dismissed at preliminary hearing (Phoenix Gazette)

December 23, 1893 – Edwin Tewksbury’s convicted of Tom Graham’s murder after seven day trial in Tucson. A retrial is granted for procedural error. (Phoenix Gazette)

February 1895 – Edwin Tewksbury retried for Tom Graham’s murder, resulting in a hung jury, and freed on bail. (Phoenix Gazette)

March 2, 1896 – charges against Edwin Tewksbury dropped (Phoenix Gazette)

April 4, 1904 — Ed Tewksbury dies in Globe (Phoenix Gazette)

January 8, 1934 — Tewksbury partisan Jim Roberts, “the best gunfighter of them all” dies in Clarksville Arizona (Forrest)

May 21, 1945 – Walter Tewksbury dies in Prescott Arizona (Forrest)