I have a question for you. You mentioned that the robbery in Bisbee that is called the Bisbee Massacre took place at a mercantile establishment because the town did not have a bank. Most writers dealing with this crime follow what has become the best-known and acceptable version of the incident, but, at least one--Maurice Kildare--claimed that the five men who were hanged were not the culprits. Have you ever heard of this claim before? Do others share Kildare's view?
Margaret, I attached the Kildare article to a post back in 2009 and got nary a reply.
Good read there Bob Thanks..
Those five guys, along with John Heath, who robbed the Goldwater-Casteneda store in Bisbee were the culprits alright. They were from over in Clifton along the Arizona-New Mexico line where they committed a number of serious crimes. I haven't read the piece by Kildare but there didn't seem to be any question as to their guilt at the time.
I first wrote about the "Bisbee Massacre" in my book "Arizona" published by Doubleday in 1977 and have lectured on it a number of times and had never heard serious historians question the guilt of Red Sample, Bill Delaney, Tex Howard, Dan Dowd and Dan Kelly, along with their alleged leader John Heath. After reading Maurice Kildare's article I did some more digging on the massacre which occurred during a robbery of the Goldwater-Castaneda store on December 8, 1883 and the legal hanging of the five outlaws along with the lynching of Heath. During the robbery four citizens were killed including a pregnant woman, Annie Roberts.
I've also talked with other historians and there seems to be no doubt they were the culprits. All six were members of an outlaw gang in Clifton, Arizona. After the robbery the gang split up. Two headed north, two went south and a third headed east. Lawmen quickly picked up their trails. Howard and Sample headed back to Clifton. Dowd and Delaney headed for Mexico. Sheriff's deputy Billy Daniels followed close behind and captured Dowd in Sonora. Delaney had gotten in some mischief and was arrested by Mexican officers. Kelly was recognized and captured while sitting in a barber's chair in Deming, New Mexico. Physical evidence including an expensive gold watch and chain linked the men to the crime. Tex Howard had taken the watch then hoping to gain the favors of a soiled dove in Clifton gave it to her and told her of the robbery. The lady shared the information with her boyfriend and he in turn shared it with a lawman. Heath demanded and got a separate trial and was given a life sentence at the Yuma Territorial Prison. On February 22, 1884 a mob of angry citizens stormed the jail, ignored the five condemned men took Heath out and hanged him from a telegraph pole on Toughnut Street. A few days later, on March 8 the rest were legally hanged in the largest mass hanging in Arizona history.
John Heath also had a long and 'undistinguished' career in the Dallas area before coming to Arizona.
I was informed last weekend that one cannot take writings by Maurice Kildaire on face value and that he is not respected as a historian. I had heard of the Bisbee Massacre on an old travelogue program on television when I was in college. I had visited Tombstone three times with my parents also during my college career and had toured the old courthouse. I have also seen photographs of the courthouse and the gallows in books. The Kildaire article was the first written piece that I had found dealing with the massacre and its aftermath, and, I was led to believe that there were a number of citizens in Tombstone, including some who were rather famous, who believed the men were not guilty.