Sit a spell while I weave the story of Joseph, as I have found it. All material has been acquired through public record.
Most of the files for Joseph's case are found in the State Archives in Sacramento, California. Other Articles are taken from Newspapers which are available through State Library in Sacramento.
A few of the newspaper articles are from Sonoma County newspapers
I am not going to defend or dispute what has been written, I am only stating the facts as I have found them.
Joseph Rankin Gibbins was born in 1832 in Clark County, Arkansas.
Joseph's father was Samuel Gibbins who was born in Mecklenberg, North Carolina in 1794 a time of strife for early settlers, many had come to Our United States to seek a better life for their family, some were escaping Religious persecution.
Samuel Gibbins married Rachel Crow circa 1816, Rachel was born April 19, 1802 in St. Genevive, Missouri Territory which was at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. They later occupied Clark County, Arkansas where their son, Joseph Rankin Gibbins was born! They had fifteen children born to them.
Rachel was the daughter of Benjamin Crow, born 1757 in Newcastle Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware, Married Ann Gregg circa 1780 in Augusta County, Virginia.
Benjamin was a Revolutuionary War Soldier. Enlisted in Capt. John Steed's Company of the Fourth Virginia Regiment of foot on December 26, 1776. First Commander was Col. John Nevill. Transferred to Capt. David Stephenson's Company of the Eighth Virginia Regiment of foot under Col. Abraham Bowman. Shot in the hip at the Battle of Brandywine,(not sure on source at this time). Was a Corporal-possibly a aide to George Washington. Spent 11 months recuperating and after returning was promoted to Sgt. and served the rest of his three year tour of duty.
John Finley Crowe was a brother of Rachel's and established Hanover College in Indiana, married Esther Alexander!
Robert Crow, another brother, had been residing in Illinois, and joined the Mississippi Saints, and together with many of this family, came to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1847 and was a early member of the Mormons.
Robert married Elizabeth Brown and later moved to Placer County, California, established the Long Valley House and is buried on private property on the land that used to occupy the Long Valley House.
It was used as a stage stop, and many Mormons had stopped there at times!
Walter Crow, a cousin, born 1794, took a trip to California with his brothers in 1849 to see what this land was like. Later went back accompanied by some brothers and nephew, Martin and thirty cowhands to take a herd of 830 cattle and establish Crow's Landing, Stanislaus County, California.
They arrived with 580 cows, sold milk for 75 cents a quart to miners, then finally sold the cows for $175 per head, purchased at $10.00 a head. This Walter moved family to California later, and some of the brothers followed. Many Crow descendants are in the San Joaquin Valley.
From this line, Bradford Crow, John Thomas Crow, Isaac Crow were the main ones who established Crow's Landing, California.
These are a few of the family members who were important to our family history and helped to establish many of the early settlements in these United States.
The children of Samuel and Rachel, had to help with the chores as does any large family.
Joseph was a bright young man, and useful to his father, but his life took many bad turns.
Joseph may be the sixth child born to Samuel and Rachel, probably some of the children died young as there was much illness and not medicines available to cure them. At this time (2001) I have not proven all the children of Samuel and Rachel Gibbins.
Samuel Gibbins received a head injury at a log rolling and was subject to lapses of memory.
During these lapses he would disappear from home, sometimes for as long as six weeks, but he always came back and would be apparently normal until the next attack.
Samuel disappeared around 1853-54.
In 1854, Rachel Crow Gibbins, three brothers, and two sisters, left Arkadelphia and started West by wagon train.
Three of Rachel's Sons, Thomps, JOSEPH RANKIN GIBBINS, and William had made a previous trip west and had established themselves in California. Thomps and William returned to guide the caravan, of which their family was a part, on the western trip.
Thomps was Captain of the train.
Robert was a boy of about ten at this time. Sisters were Jane, (married to Wat Lisenby, general blacksmith of the train), and Annie, the youngest of the family, probably about eight.
A daughter of Rachel's was left in Arkansas and never seen again by her family.
Rachel was a forceful woman who firmly dominated her family. Prior to the birth of their first child she had induced a reluctant Samuel to move to Antoine Twsp., Arkansas.
Some forty years later Rachel became interested in moving to California.
In 1852, her three eldest sons, John, William and Isaac, (my great grandfather) made a scouting expedition to California and returned the following year with glowing accounts of the far west--except for Isaac, who wished to remain in Arkansas.
Samuel, the father, who had been reluctant to leave Missouri, was even less enthusiastic about making the hazardous journey to the coast, but the others prevailed and made full preparations to leave for Independence, Missouri, to join a wagon train.
Samuel, who was a noted bear hunter, decided a few days before the date set for leaving, to go on a farewell hunting trip. The date set for departure came and went but Samuel did not return.
After a week of frustrating and anxious waiting a search party was organized.
The party returned carrying Samuel's knapsack, which had been found hanging from a limb of a tree. It was decided that Samuel had been killed by a bear, but some doubters hinted he may have returned to North Carolina, his birth place.
The journey west took more than a year. Breakdowns in equipment, scurvy and other illnesses, an encounter with Indians and near starvation were met and overcome.
Mormons rescued the distressed party, which took a long rest in Pleasant Grove, near Salt Lake City. There, Rachel found her brother, Robert Crow, also Betsy, who married young David Elkins in Clark County, Arkansas, they accompanied the party during the remainder of the trip.
Rachel, the mother, settled on a little farm near Rattlesnake Bar. The other members of her family settled on nearby farms.
Annie, another daughter, was only sixteen years old when she married Edward Ellit. Little is known of him.
A daguerroeotype of him, wrapped in a white silk handkerchief, was found among Annie's personal effects after her death.
Annie's gravestone in the Odd Fellow's Cemetery, Meridian, California, shows her as born, 22 Nov., 1843 and dying 13 July, 1907.
The death certificate for "Anna Alvira Weis", however, records her as having died 13 July, 1907, age 67 years, 7 months, 21 days, yielding a date of birth of 22 Nov., 1839 since she was stated to have been ten years old (the semester paper) when the journey from Arkansas to California ended in 1854, the 1843 birthdate appears to be correct.
Jacob Weis, Jr., while visiting his sister, Sarah and her husband, Hiram Bingham in Auburn, met the young widow, Annie Elvira (Gibbins) Ellit.
After a whirlwind courtship of three weeks they were married on 5 March, 1863, for Jacob planned to leave soon with his pack train for an extended stay in Idaho.
He left his young bride in the household of his sister, Sarah, paying in advance for her board.
Jacob returned from Idaho when his first child, Louisa, was three months old.
Anna wanted to visit her mother, Rachel, at her little ranch near Rattlesnake Bar.
While there, the baby became ill and died suddenly. The grief stricken parents then visited Anna's brother, John Gibbins in Colusa County, where Anna became seriously ill.
Jacob decided to sell his pack train business, buy a ranch and settle down.
In 1864, he bought a ranch, with a house on it, across the river in Sutter County.
Jacob and Anna acquired additional acreage and lived there until Jacob's death. (He died 5 August, 1905).
Martha Melvina, a daughter, drove two oxen to a small covered wagon in which her mother, Rachel, who was an invalid, rode.
Throughout the trip, however, her mother took it upon herself to be the official fire starter when they made camp, using a flint and steel for the purpose, or a sun glass when the sun shone.
She also kept an accurate record of the time, marking each day off on the calendar.
On the trip one of her oxen died, so they put in a milk cow and finished the trip with one oxen and one cow.
Once, when they were approaching the Arkansas River down a rather steep hill the wagon turned over, that was the only accident she had on the entire trip.
When they left Arkadelphia, they went north to Independence, Missouri, which was the starting point for most of the caravans going across the plains.
They followed the Old Oregon Trail for a while, however, they had to leave this road soon and follow a more southerly route (by way of Fort Bridger) to Salt Lake Valley.
They stayed in Provo, Utah, for the winter. It took several months for the trip. They probably started about May, and they got to Provo in the early fall.
Melvina's Uncle, Robert Crow, was already living in Provo, having joined the Morman Church before he came west.
His daughter, Jane married George Threlkill (pronounced Thirlkill). He also had twin daughters, Araminda Almarine (Mindy), and Icavinda Exine (Icy). Mindy was married in Utah in 1858, Mindy died in childbirth. Mindy's husband was part of the Mormon Battalion.
Robert Crow married only once.
Another Uncle, Rankin Crow, had come to California previously with James Crowley, who was the husband of Martha Melvina Gibbins.
Lytle Bury, James Crowley's father, married the third time to one of Rankin Crow's daughter. This was in Missouri; they never came west.
The hardest part of the entire trip was after they left Provo in the spring. Traveling was hard because of the scarcity of water and because of the heat.
They traveled continuously, night as well as day, to cover the distance between water supplies as quickly as possible. This stretch of desert was in Nevada.
Placerville, California, or Hangtown, as it was called those days, was their destination.
The old song, "Sweet Betsy from Pike", which Martha Melba learned from her father (and which can be found in Carl Sandberg's "American Song Bag"), mentions this town. It had, as name indicates, the reputation of being a tough town. Many worked in the mines there.
I have attempted to show a small bit of history of these families before attempting to write the tragedies and sad affairs of Joseph Rankin Gibbins and the tragedies of all families involved.
It is now time to capitalize on the Story of Joseph!
The Gibbins had an ongoing argument with the Rawles family, who were long time acquaintenances and was like the Hatfield's and McCoy's, probably on a smaller scale.
The Rawles family had lived in Illinois, which was where Robert Crow resided, and later occupied Arkansas, and even later, came to California.
Joseph had a brother named William Gibbins, who had lost his wife in Arkansas and Joseph had been raising Williams Daughter, Rachel Elba Gibbins.
Joseph had lost his wife after moving to Mendocino, California, about 1868. Joseph was raising a family of small children, plus raising Rachel Elba Gibbins, and had re-married to a lady named Lillian A. Graves in about 1869.
Rachel Elba Gibbins married Joseph Rawles on the 2nd of May, 1869 in Ukiah, California.
In 1870, Joseph Rawles is in prison in Ada, Idaho.
The Rawles family were quite prominent in Mendocino County, they owned a lot of property there. They settled around Booneville, California.
They helped establish the Boontling Language which was a language all their own. It could be spoken and strangers did not understand the language.
It is a very interesting language to study. For example, a "Horn of Zees" is a "Cup of Coffee".
Many of the Rawles family are buried in an old cemetery in Booneville, Mendocino County, California.
I have managed to find a large file in the State Archives in Sacramento, California which much of the material I am going to use is taken from.
This is not a pleasant story, but it is part of my family history and even though it is sad, I feel the need to organize some of this History for following generations as from this information there have come some new acquaintences who are a source to our ongoing History, which is important to me!
I would like to give a big thank you to Eleanora Cates(r), who was in contact with my father, Isaac Conlee Gibbins, when they discovered that they were Cousins. She is now deceased.
She accomplished the task of proving the pioneer heritage of Rachel Crow Gibbins and David and Elizabeth (Betsy) Gibbins Elkins and as a result, they are listed at the State Library in Sacramento Pioneer Card File as California Pioneers.
After my father passed away, the papers were given to my Sister, Gayle Lucille Gibbins Randolph, whom I lost to Breast Cancer at which time I inherited the papers.
I became so thankful for all the work Eleanora had done and decided I would not let all her hard work stop there! Thus my pursuit of this history!
THE STORY BEGINS
From PETALUMA JOURNAL AND ARGUS-DECEMBER 16, 1871
ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION AT CLOVERDALE:
On Tuesday afternoon last a man named Jo Gibbons shot and dangerously wounded Jo Rawles at Cloverdale. It appeared that the trouble between the parties was something about a woman. Gibbons charging Rawles with the attempted seduction of his own niece and we believe they had had previous quarrels about the matter.
On Tuesday last however, Gibbons, invited Rawles to dinner with him. Rawles accompanied him to the house and as they entered the door Gibbons drew his pistol and levelled it at his guest.
Rawles turned to run when Gibbons shot him in the back and he fell face downward to the floor and Gibbons not yet satisfied walked up and deliberately aimed his pistol at the prostrate man and shot him again and snapped the caps of the rest of the barrels at him.
Gibbons then made his escape and has not yet been captured.
Rawles' wounds are considered fatal, although yesterday morning the report was that his symptoms were favorable for his recovery.
The report that Rawles was killed because he was an important witness against the stage robbers is generally discredited.
FROM: PETALUMA JOURNAL AND ARGUS-DECEMBER 16, 1871
There was a stage robbery between Sebastopol and Freestone on the night of October 12, 1871.
FROM SONOMA DEMOCRAT, December 30, 1871:
Listed as Pacific Coast News Items,
B. F. Washington, R. GIBBONS and L. L. Bullock, late Board of Tide Land Commissioners, were REMOVED ON THURSDAY, AND L. CUNNINGHAM, R. P. JOHNSON AND C. M. STRATTON WERE APPOINTED TO FILL THE VACANCY.
NOTE: (would this be Joseph's brother and was he removed because of the circumstances surrounding Joseph)?
FROM SONOMA DEMOCRAT, DECEMBER 30, 1871:
Mr. Ralls, who was shot by Gibbens at Cloverdale some two weeks ago, is getting better, and strong hopes are now entertained of his ultimate recovery.
The many friends of Mr. Ralls in this and Mendocino Counties will be pleased to hear this favorable news in regard to his condition.
FROM: PETALUMA JOURNAL AND ARGUS-JANUARY 20, 1872
DIED:-RAWLES- At Cloverdale, January 20,(date of death, the 19th) Joseph Rawles, aged 30 years.
FROM: PETALUMA JOURNAL AND ARGUS-FEBRUARY 3, 1872
Joe Gibbons, the murderer of Joe Rawles at Cloverdale was arrested on Saturday last.
It appears that he was concealed near Cloverdale for 4 or 5 days after firing the fatal shots.
Then for 4 or 5 weeks he was harbored at George R. Skinner's house about 14 miles above Cloverdale near the road leading to Anderson Valley.
He slept in the house at night and hid in the brush during the day.
Persons who were on the search for him learned his lodging place and surrounded the house one night, but Gibbons had become frightened at shooting he heard the night before and had changed his quarters.
He remained hid in the brush until hunger made him so desperate that he went to Bob Walker's house 3 miles above Mc Donald's, showed his rifle and demanded food. Some bread was thrown out to him. "More", he ordered, "I want meat! I have not had anything to eat for five days"!
But before the people in the house could get the meat ready to pass to him, Bill Taylor and Frank Siddons, who were on the hunt for him, came in sight and he fled to the brush on a chemissal? mountain above Whitehall.
Although his refuge was known it was impossible to find him in the thick brush.
His capture was finally brought about through his brother Ike!
Word was sent to him that the parties in search of him were determined to take him dead or alive and that he had better give himself up, that he could select the man to whom he would surrender and that he would be protected.
To this message he sent an answer that he would give himself up to Deputy Sheriff Reynolds on Sunday at 10 o'clock.
Mr. Reynolds was at the place at the appointed time.
He gave a signal and Joe came from his hiding place looking as ragged, dirty and wretched as a veritable wild man of the wood. He surrendered his arms-Spencer Rifle and a sixshooter-and was taken to Cloverdale, where he was allowed to wash and put on decent clothing.
He waived an examination and was committed to the County Jail by Justice Morgan to await the action of the Grand Jury.
Skinner was arrested last week on a charge of accessory after the fact, and was admitted to bail by Justice John McGimsey of Anderson Valley
JURY AND TRIAL CALENDAR, SONOMA DEMOCRAT, THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 1872
THE PEOPLE VS. JOSEPH R. GIBBONS--MURDER
FROM: PETALUMA JOURNAL AND ARGUS, JUNE 22, 1872
"LETTER FROM SANTA ROSA".
People vs Joseph R. Gibbons-Indictment for murder. Defendant arraigned and given until 2 o'clock PM to plea. Defendant pleads not guilty. Set trial for Wednesday, June_th?. 1872
FROM SONOMA DEMOCRAT, JUNE 22, 1872:
Judge Ramage of Sacramento, has been in town during the week, holding Court in place of Judge Wallace.
Judge Ramage presided at the last session of our District Court, and is favorably known to many of our citizens.
Judge Alexander Campbell of San Francisco, and Judge Lamar of Mendocino, are engaged as counsel in the GIBBONS case, now on trial.
We noticed among other visitors, the familiar face of J. M. Burnett, ex-President of the Board of Education of San Francisco.
FROM SONOMA DEMOCRAT, JUNE 22, 1872
TRIAL OF JOSEPH R. GIBBONS
The trial of Joseph R. Gibbons for the killing of Joseph W. Rawles in Cloverdale last December, was commenced on Thursday in the District Court, Judge Ramage presiding.
But for the delay in getting a jury, we would have published a full summary of the evidence this week.
Being compelled to go to press, we are only able to give the opening of the case, and will endeavor to give a full report next week.
The following witnesses were examined on Thursday.
For the Prosecution, J. F. Dangerfield, D. B. Morgan, J. R. Ornborn, Edward Walker, Maria A. Morris, W. B. Gibbons, Joseph Rawles, Sr. and Jasper Linville.
For the Defense, D. F. Spur, J. B. Gibbons, Joseph R. Gibbons, the defendant.
Great interest is manifested in the case.
We learn that more than EIGHTY witnesses have been summoned and are in attendance.
TESTIMONY OF PHILLIP HOWE, called for the Prosecution.
Am a practicing physician. Have been practicing about 23 years.
Was called to attend Joseph W. Rawles last December.
He was then at GERKHARDT'S HOTEL IN CLOVERDALE.
That was on the evening of the 12th of December, soon after dark.
I found Mr. Rawles with two wounds, one entered the back near the spine, and came out under the collar bone on the other side, and passed through the upper part of the lung.
The other one was in the shoulder, entered the back part of the shoulder and came out under the lung, not striding the lung.
For the first few days the way we dressed the wound, was to keep a wet cloth on and give him medicine, stimulants, to bring on a reation.
Did not attend the deceased up to the time of his death.
Attended him about 12 days and was taken sick myself, and did not see him for the last two or three weeks.
They sent to Healdsburg for a physician.
I do not know who went first, Dr. Dangerfield attended him some.
Do not know if he was the first called.
As near as I can tell, I should think the wound was produced by an instrument nearly as large as a NAVY REVOLVER.
Did not find any of the bullets in the body.
Considered the wounds necessarily mortal.
Told deceased the probability was he would not get well.
Base my opinion that the wounds were mortal, from the fact of the ball passing through the lung. Have known persons to recover when shot through the lung, have not seen many cases of that kind.
During my attendance on deceased, he had some slight fever.
He had no fever until after the first two days.
During the latter portion of his time I attended him, it diminished.
He was also quite restless.
Restlesness is a usual accompaniment of fever.
FROM: PETALUMA JOURNAL AND ARGUS, JUNE 29TH, 1872
The trial continued until Friday 21st at 4 PM when the case was submitted to the jury.
After 4 hours deliberation they returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the 2nd degree and the Court fixed upon Thursday, June 27th for Judgement.
That time having arrived, Wm. McCullough, Attorney for the defendent moved for a new trial which was denied and the court then sentenced the prisoner to 15 years confinement in the State Penitentiary!
IN THE DISTRICT COURT, 7TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT, IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF SONOMA, STATE OF CALIFORNIA.
Regular June Term, A. D., 1872, Thursday, June 27th, 1872, Honorable Lewis Ramage Judge presiding
The People of the State of California vs JOSEPH R. GIBBINS.
Convicted of the Crime of Murder in the 2nd degree.
The time appointed by the Court for rendering Judgement having arrived: Now comes into open Court the District Attorney of the county of Sonoma and the Defendant, JOSEPH R. GIBBONS, and his Counsel, Wm. McCullough.
The Defendant is duly informed by the Court of the Indictment found against him on the FIRST OF APRIL, A. D., 1873, charging him of the crime of MURDER IN THE SECOND DEGREE.
The Defendant was then asked if he had any legal cause to show why Judgement should not be processed against him. He replies: "Through Counsel, by a motion for a new trial, which motion was over-ruled.
And no sufficient cause being alleged as approving to the court, why Judgement should not be pronounced, the Court renders its Judgement, as follows:
THAT WHEREAS, The said JOS. R. GIBBINS, has been legally tried, and convicted in this court of the crime of MURDER IN THE SECOND DEGREE, KILLING ONE JOS. W. RAWLES, IN SAID SONOMA COUNTY ON THE 12 DAY OF DECEMBER, 1871.
It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed: That the said JOSEPH R. GIBBINS, be punished by imprisonment in the State Prison of the State of California, for the term of FIFTEEN years, TO DATE FROM THE TIME OF HIS DELIVERY AT SAID STATE PRISON. The Defendent is remanded to the custody of the Sheriff of Sonoma County, to be by him delivered into the custody of the proper officers of said State Prison.
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY CLERK OF THE COUNTY OF SONOMA
I, Wm. R. Morris, County Clerk of Sonoma County, and ex officio Clerk of the District Court thereof, do hereby certify the foregoing to be a true and correct copy of the Judgement ordered on the Minutes of the said District Court, in and for the County of Sonoma, State of California, in the above entitled cause.
ATTEST MY HAND AND THE SEAL OF THE SAID COURT, THIS 27TH DAY OF JUNE, A. D. 1872.
W. R. MORRIS, Clerk
IN THE DISTRICT COURT, 7TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT, IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF SONOMA, STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
The People of the State of California, To the Sheriff of the County of Sonoma, and the Warden and Officers in charge of the State Prison of the State of California, Greeting:
WHEREAS, JOSEPH R. GIBBINS, having been duly convicted in our District Court, in and for the County of Sonoma, of the crime of MURDER IN THE 2ND DEGREE, KILLING JOSEPH W. RAWLES IN SONOMA COUNTY, and judgement having been pronounced against him, that he be punished by imprisonment in the STATE PRISON OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, for the term of FIFTEEN YEARS, from date of your delivery at STATE PRISON, of which appearing to us of record, and a certified copy of the Judgement being ordered endorsed hereon and made a part hereof.
NOW THIS IS TO COMMAND YOU, THE SAID SHERIFF OF THE COUNTY OF SONOMA, to take and keep and safely deliver the said JOSEPH R. GIBBINS, into the custody of the said Wardon and other officers in charge of the STATE PRISON OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.
AND THIS IS TO COMMAND YOU, THE SAID WARDEN, and other officers in charge of the STATE PRISON OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, To receive of and from the said Sheriff of the County of Sonoma the said JOSEPH R. GIBBINS, convicted and sentenced as aforesaid, and him, the said JOSEPH R. GIBBINS, keep and imprison in the said STATE PRISON OF CALIFORNIA, for the term of FIFTEEN YEARS. And these presents shall be your authority for the same.
HEREIN FAIL NOT
WITNESS: Hon. ? Overton, Judge of the said District Court at the Court House, in the County of Sonoma, and the seal of said Court, this 27th day of June, A. D., 1872.
W. R. Morris, Clerk
JOSEPH R. GIBBINS, JUDGEMENT AND COMMITMENT
Rec'd, June 27th, 1872
FROM SONOMA DEMOCRAT, 6 JULY, 1872:
DISTRICT COURT, RAMAGE, JUDGE
PEOPLE VS. GIBBONS-SENTENCED TO FIFTEEN YEARS IN STATE PRISON.
TRIAL OF JOSEPH R. GIBBONS
TESTIMONY FOR PROSECUTION CONTINUED
(This article doesn't reveal who is testifying, probably a prior article I have yet to find)
This article is from the Sonoma Democrat, June 29, 1872
I believe he remarked he was ready to die, and was not afraid to die, but he would like to get well. I did not visit him any more.
I talked with his physicians and gave them my ideas and the course that should be pursued with him.
There was not one opinion among the physicians in regard to his probably death. That was the result of consultation.
Saw him early the next morning after the shooting, I was telegraphed for that night, and got up about 11 o'clock the next morning.
Had known Rawles about eight years, he always looked like a healthy man.
CROSS EXAMINATION--(Witness describes the wounds.)
Based on my opinion that the wound was mortal upon the fact that a vital organ was injured.
He was suffering from general depression when I saw him. His pulse was frequent and weak.
Told Mr. Rawles he might not rally at all, that it was altogether possible that 24 hours would be as long as he would live, and that if he did rally, that his next crisis would come, in from 10 to 20 days; could not tell him how long.
I mean by the next crisis, that inflamation is bound to supervene upon all such injuries, and in the course of inflamation we would necessarily have supposed a breaking down of the tissues.
Then I believed he would die from hemorrhage, the opening of a blood vessel in the process of sup; or he would gradually wear out from the discharge.
I did not know which would be the result.
Do not believe that in a large proportion of cases in this country and this climate, persons who are shot through one lung, recover.
Gen. Shields was not shot through the lung.
A grape-shop passed through his chest but did not touch either lung.
Of the number of persons who are shot through the lungs, a fearfully small percentage recover.
It is rarely the case a ball penetrates the lung; the lung is elastic and springs from the ball.
A ball frequently runs around the chest and does not penetrate the lung at all.
Note:(I believe this was one of the physicians statements)
TESTIMONY OF DR. J. F. DANGERFIELD
Am a practicing physician. Graduated at the session of "65 and "66 at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.
Was called to attend the deceased.
Found him in a very critical condition.
(Describes the wounds)
Was there almost constantly with him about 24 days.
Deceased died from the effects of the wound.
Told him at the time I thought there was about one chance out of a thousand for his recovery.
Tried as much as possible to keep him from conversing upon the subject of death.
CROSS-EXAMINED--Did not at any time think he was out of danger.
Thought for a time he was improving; up to about 3 days before his death.
Had to leave the patient about two days.
Found him sinking on my next visit.
When I left him he was not breathing through the wound at all, and there was less discharge from the wound.
Left him because I was almost worn out, and thought it entirely safe for me to leave him for the time, and for him to just carry out the prescription I would leave.
Found that in my absence they had moved him and set him up in the bed, and left off some of my instructions.
Had ordered a toddy, a weak toddy, as a support, and some other stimulant, which they had neglected.
Had given general instructions he should be as quiet as possible, and talk as little as possible.
Moving him in the condition in which I left him, would be very apt to injure him' to cause the wounds to break out afresh.
Those wounds are so frequently fatal, we are not certain at what time we can say they are really safe; and, while I had some hopes of his recovery, yet those hopes were faint.
TESTIMONY OF D. B. MORGAN--Am Justice of the Peace.
Reside in Cloverdale.
Took a depostiton of Joseph W. Rawles, in his lifetime. (Witness identifies the name.)
I went into the room and asked him how he was.
He said he was very bad.
Says I, "I don't think you are bad as you think you are."
"Well", says he, "I don't expect to get up, sir, and I want to make a statement."
Some rumors are afloat against me, and I want to correct them.
He said he thought he was going to die; I took, probably a couple of hours to take the statement.
Mr. Cooper did the writing and Mr. Rawles dictated it.
The room was very warm.
He had to stop several times in consequence of his weakness.
TESTIMONY OF J. S. ORNBORN
Remember when Capt. Morgan was called in to see Mr. Rawles.
I was present. (Witness identifies the statement of Rawles and witness' signature.)
Believe I was present during all the time the deposition was being taken.
Think the deceased thought he was going to die.
He talked to me so.
Could not say how long he was in making the statement.
CROSS-EXAMINED--He told me several times he did not expect to live.
He said all the time he hoped he would live.
One night about two o'clock, he told me to raise him up in the bed; that he was dying.
I was waiting on him, and lifted him up.
That was about five days after he was shot.
THE COURT--Did he express a hope to live, or would he simply desire to live
Amswer: That is it, exactly. He desired to live. That was it exactly, in his conversation with me.
TESTIMONY OF EDWARD WALKER
Remember the fact of Rawles being shot.
That day I was in Mr. Dickson's saloon.
Saw the deceased in the saloon, with ROBERT GIBBONS.
Question: Did you hear any conversation between ROBERT GIBBONS AND JOSEPH RAWLES prior to this shooting?
Mr. Campbell objected to the question.
MR. HENDLEY-We merely wish to show that Rawles was accosted by Robert Gibbons and requested to go up to the house of Joseph Gibbons to take supper.
That he at first refused, and Robert Gibbons insisted upon it and took him by the arm, and they went up to JOSEPH GIBBONS' arm in arm.
The Court sustained the objection to the proof at present.
TESTIMONY OF MRS. MARIA A. MORRIS-Resides in Cloverdale.
Was acquainted with JOS. R. GIBBONS something over four years.
Knew JOSEPH RAWLES when I saw him.
Last saw him a corpse.
Was not present when he died.
Do not remember the day or month.
Saw him last at Gerhart's hotel.
Last saw him alive out in front of the house where MR. GIBBONS lived, at the corner of the fence-the first corner after you leave MR. GIBBONS yard.
Saw him in GIBBONS' yard.
Didn't know who was with him at the time until after he left the yard.
Saw the two gentlemen come into the yard.
Didn't know either of them when they came in.
I suppose they were ROBERT GIBBONS AND JOE RAWLES.
The gate is about five feet from the front door.
Heard the report of the pistol and saw the flash out of the pistol.
Mr. JOSEPH GIBBONS held the pistol.
He was standing at the right of the front door a little outside.
Saw him step out.
Don't think I had pulled off my things.
There is no hall in the house.
You step right in the front door into the house.
There are four rooms, a front room, two bedrooms and a kitchen.
Don't know where defendant was when I stepped in.
Didn't see him but I cast my eye around a little while after I was in and he stood in his bed room door.
I spoke to him.
Did not see the man fall.
Just as the report of the pistol went off a young man they call REID GIBBONS went out at the door, which shut the view off from me and the man that was out in the yard.
But just as he passed out of the way I saw the man lying on the ground.
That was after the first shot.
That shot was fired by the defendant.
Did not see any more shooting.
This man that lay on the ground he commenced with his arm kind of a rolling position just as if he was trying to keep up.
He was lying on his breast with his hands this way (showing), and he commenced making a move, like this (showing), and I thought he would turn over and probably commence shooting and I just went back into the back part of the house into the kitchen.
At this time, Bob Gibbons was standing about four feet from Rawles and was pleading with his brother Joe.
CROSS-EXAMINED--Bob Gibbons was pleading "for God Almighty's sake, Joe, Stop. What do you mean?".
I saw no more of the shooting.
TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM B. GIBBONS-Am the son of WILLIAM GIBBONS.
Saw the second shot that was fired.
I was in the door.
Came to the door as the second shot was fired.
My uncle, Jos. B.(R?)Gibbons, fired the second shot.
He was about eight feet from Rawles when he fired.
Didn't see the first shot.
Rawles was lying down when the second shot was fired, on his face.
Could not say exactly the position.
I was under considerable excitement.
When the second shot was fired my father and me both stepped in front of my Uncle and Jos. Rawles raised and got his pistol some way, and fired at Gibbons.
Gibbons disappeared around the side of the house after Rawles fired at him.
I was so excited could not say whether he ran or walked, or how.
Father stepped in front of my Uncle to keep him from shooting any more.
I supposed Rawles was dead before he fired.
I was paying no attention to him.
My back was to Rawles when he got his pistol out.
He had it in his hand the first I see it after he had been shot.
Next saw the defendant in Santa Rosa.
Rawles was lying about four or five feet from the gate.
I was in the house when the first shot was fired, combing my hair at the glass just before supper.
Saw Joe Rawles fire.
The defendant was standing pretty close to the house in front of the window at the time Joe Rawles fired.
Father and me were in front of him.
CROSS-EXAMINED-JOE RAWLES WAS MY BROTHER-IN-LAW.
He married my sister.
Don't recollect exactly what Joe Gibbons said when he fired the second shot.
He spoke to my father.
He either said "Damn your son-in-law," or "Damn you and your son-in-law."
One of the two. Could not say positively which.
Deceased had the pistol in his left hand when he fired.
Defendent was then standing at the window.
TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH RAWLES-Am the father of Jos. W. Rawles.
Was with him after he was shot.
Attended him about ten days.
Talked with him at different times about the probabilities of his death.
About the second day I went down there and he was talking to me, and the doctors had told me not to let him talk any more than I could help, and keep away from him.
I told him he must not talk.
He said he could not live and was satisfied he must die.
Several days after he alluded to it again.
Had a conversation with the deceased that day in reference to his recovery.
That was the second day after I got there.
Went in that morning and told him they were going to take his deposition.
He told me he had no idea he could live and talked a good deal about his concerns and told me what he wanted done with what property he had.
That was a short time before the deposition was taken.
CROSS-EXAMINED-Suppose I was not in there over ten minutes the first time when he told me that he had no idea he could live.
After that said he thought the chances about half and half.
TESTIMONY OF JASPER A. LINVILLE
Knew the deceased in his life time.
Was in Cloverdale at the time of this affray.
Was on the ground a minute or two afterwards.
When I got there, Mr. Rawles had got away from the ground where the shooting had occurred, some sixty or eighty feet.
He had fallen down when I found him on the opposite side of the street from where the shooting was.
I raised him up and turned him over till I could see his face.
Could not tell who he was the way he was lying.
I was about 600 yards from the place at the time of the firing.
Heard the shot and saw the flash of the pistol.
I raised him up on his feet and asked him if he was hurt.
Suppose it took me about half a minute to reach the spot.
Thought I saw him fall.
Seen some one fall and there was several men running there and I could not tell for certain whether it was him or not, but I think I saw him fall.
I asked him if he was hurt badly when I took hold of him and attempted to raise him up.
I set him up and he said, "They have killed me."
After he said that he says "They have murdered me without a shadow of a cause."
He mentioned no names.
There was two or three of us then raised him up to his feet and started with him down towards town.
Think he walked with our assistance about 150 feet from where we picked him up, towards town and he said, "Let me lie down, I am dying."
He says, "My heart is breaking; I can't live."
We laid him down on his back and at that time there was a man came up; I think his name is Gibbons, anyway he is the father-in-law, I presume, from the conversation which took place of Joe Rawles, the deceased.
Mr. Gibbons came up at that time, and Rawles says to him, "Oh, my wife and babies!"
He says, "Tell my wife that my Uncle has killed me without a shadow of a cause, and that I am dying."
He says, "My heart is breaking, I can't live."
TESTIMONY FOR DEFENSE
D. F. Speer was called as a witness for defendant, and identified a diagram of the premises, which as a surveyor he had made; the same was admitted to be a correct diagram.
TESTIMONY OF JOHN B. GIBBONS
Am a son of the defendant.
Was present at the time of the shooting.
The first I saw was father coming from the barn, and he came running into the house, and my brother next to me spoke to him; says he, "Good Morning," and father pushed him out of the door; I watched him go into his room, and I seen him get his pistol, but I didn't see it when he came out.
I seen him pick the pistol up and look at it, and when he came back to the bedroom door, he was standing there, and a woman by the name of Mrs. Morris, spoke to him, and he rubbed his head and said he was very well, and then he looked out of the door.
I was standing back of the door, behind him-back of the bedroom door, inside of the house, and when he looked out, I looked at the same time, and saw Mr. Rawles come towards the house, and I didn't have time to go to the door or I would have prevented it, if possible.
By that time Mr. Rawles had come inside the yard, and says father, "Let me out," and I stepped back-I was back inside the yard, and says father, "Let me out," I was standing in the parlor door
I had gone to the parlor door to try and prevent it, but was too late, and father pushed me away and told me to let him out; and he stepped out and spoke something to Mr. Rawles, and at that moment Mr. Rawles throwed his arm up this way, showing, and grabbed his pistol, and whirled with his back towards him.
I saw his pistol.
He whirled with his back to father, and father shot him.
Mr. Rawles fell to the ground on his pistol.
Then father snapped two caps at him and stopped.
Father was abusing him to his step-father, and they was trying to prevent him and get him to stop.
Joe Rawles and Uncle Bob and Uncle William.
Joe Rawles' step-father was pleading with him to stop, and he done so, and while father was standing there Joe Rawles shot again.
He and father shot both at the same time.
I don't know who shot first.
Both at the same time.
Father said to them he had been around there for the last year and a half trying to seduce his daughter.
Rawles lay on the ground till after father left.
Rawles got up and followed him around the house.
He said he would kill the God d-d s-of a b-when he got to him.
He had his pistol then in his left hand.
After that he turned around and went out of the yard.
When father came in from the barn he was walking very speedily.
I am seventeen years old.
Have lived in Cloverdale about a year and a half.
The shooting occured about 6 o'clock in the evening.
My Uncle Robert Gibbons, lived with us at the time.
He is not a man of family.
My next youngest brother is fourteen.
Father had been the day before collecting for a man named Clary.
Had not been in Mr. Rawles' previously that day.
Uncle Robert was with him when he came to the house.
As they approached Uncle Robert was ahead of him about three feet and remained so till they entered the gate.
Uncle Robert turned around and shut the gate after Mr. Rawles.
I was then watching father.
Father came from the barn in a faster gate than he generally walks, a good deal.
The barn is about a hundred yards from the house.
In coming from the barn, father would pass in sight of Mr. Rawles and Uncle Robert.
He had a good opportunity to see him.
Father had just time to get into the house and get his pistol before they got there.
Did not observe any weapon in Rawles' hand when he approached.
Saw him draw his weapon inside the yard.
His coat was hanging loose.
My younger brother said to father as he came in the house, "Good Morning," and he pushed him inside the house and made no reply.
It was his manner that put me on my guard and try to prevent any difficulty.
WITNESS EXPLAINS HOW DECEASED DID WHEN HE TURNED HIS BACK TO DEFENDANT., THAT HE WOULD HAVE SHOT FATHER, IF HE HAD NOT DODGED.
The first shot of father's caused him to fall down.
He fell face first on the ground.
There was two other shots fired before he got up.
He fired one, and father the other.
He was lying on his face when he fired.
When father was talking he was lying there, rolling this way, showing, and to father's surprise, he rolled over on his side and fired at him.
Father stood on the door step when he fired the first shot.
When he fired the second shot he was standing to the left of the door about six feet, on the ground.
Rawles fell a little to the right of the gate about a foot.
Didn't know when they were pleading with him if Rawles was disabled or shot.
Didn't know what effect the first shot took on him.
Didn't hear what father said to Mr. Gibbons about his son-in-law.
I was about ten feet from father when he said it.
Father spoke rather excited and loud.
Could not distinguish what he said.
Have lived with my father since I was born.
Saw Rawles about a month before at our place.
He came there for the same purpose he got shot.
I know, because my sister drove him off.
She told me so.
Stricken out, by order of the court.
Know I have seen him there three times during the year preceeding his death.
When I saw him there I was there or near there.
Think I saw him there as many as ten times during the year.
Somewhere between ten and twenty.
My sister Mary's age is sixteen.
I have three sisters altogether, one older than Mary, married.
Her husband's name is Campbell.
My sister next to Mary is younger.
She is ten, born the 11th day of April, 1857 in Arkansas.
Did not say which hand Rawles drew his pistol with.
He drew it with his right hand when father spoke to him.
He discharged it with his left hand.
Did not see him make the change.
He was lying on his breast when he drew it.
When he fell his body concealed the pistol.
It was a six shooter.
Saw it after he shot at father.
He only ran about half way round the house.
Didn't notice whether he staggered or walked.
Father went out back over the fence and into the woods.
He stayed there about two months.
Rawles then went out the gate.
He went to the corner of Commercial and Second street before he fell.
Did not see him fall.
TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH R. GIBBONS, DEFENDANT
Mr. Campbell-Question, State where you had been on the day of the shooting in question, and then state all that took place on that day, in reference to it.
A. Well, sir, the fore part of the day really I could not give an account of where I was exactly, but during the principal part of the afternoon I was at work at the new house I was building in the upper part of the town of Cloverdale.
I had some workmen employed in building a new house, and I was up there taking an oversight of the work that was going on.
I had two interests of improvement going on at the same time, one of repairing a house for the purpose of setting up a restaurant on West Street, right in the center of town, and I was erecting a dwelling house in the upper part of town, north of where I was arranging for the restaurant, and I was flying first from one place to the other.
I think I was the principal part of the afternoon at the dwelling house from about two to six in the evening.
(Witness describes his route of travel to his house.)
When I first seen the defendant, I had in coming from my barn to my residence, to come across Second Street, and just about the time I had entered Second Street, I looked to my left in the direction of West Street, and I saw Brother Robert and Joe Rawles coming in the direction of my house as though they were going to my place, was the first I saw of them.
I just continued the gait I was then walking on to my place.
I felt that he was aware that he was not to come, and I went on about the same gait I was walking when I discovered him.
I didn't know he was in town at the time.
I had learned when I went to my work at 2 O'clock, that he was in town, but I supposed he had gone on to the city, and when I saw him coming to my place, I continued my gait, perhaps increased my speed a little. I couldn't say.
I went into my house.
They came on, coming about in the direction of my place.
When I got to the door I saw they were heading to the house.
I walked right into the bedroom, picked up my pistol, took it in my hand and walked to the door.
Brother Bob, as well as I remember, opened the gate, Rawles passed in at the gate.
Rawles continued his gait.
Brother Bob stopped, halted like, at the gate to shut it.
I won't be positive about it.
Rawles seemed to continue his gait.
As he advanced, I advanced, walking towards him.
I stepped down two steps.
He didn't speak to me nor I to him.
He looked at me and I at him.
Says I, "How do you come along seducing young girls now days?"
When I said that, he halted instantly, cast his eye on me, and cast it downward, and saw my pistol in my hand.
My pistol was hanging down on my right side, in my hand.
He seemed to discover that, and just threw his arm to his face in this way, (showing) and muttered something to me.
I didn't understand the language.
Says I, "You nor no other man can enter my house and try to seduce a daughter of mine."
When I said that, he made use of this language, and said in a murmuring tone of voice, and just grabbed his six-shooter hanging by his right side, and jerked it in front of him.
The instant he did that, like electricity, I was on him, and when I did that, he had his pistol in this way, (showing) and he just swung around in this sort of a shape, (showing) and when he swung himself around in this sort of a shape, I fired on him.
It was all done in the twinkling of an eye, as you might say, just as fast as it could be done by each of us.
He fell on his face from me, with his breast on his pistol, and brother Bob and Brother Bill and my nephew, raised a hue and cry to me, for God Almighty's sake not to shoot him any more, and what I meant by that.
I turned to my brother, the father-in-law of Mr. Rawles, and says to him, "Your son-in-law has been preying upon my little family in my absence, when business called me from home.
The solicitations of my brothers and seeing that he was down, had an effect upon me to stop me, and I stopped doing anything further in the premises, thinking he could go if that would satisfy him to keep sacred his promise, to keep away from me, and I says to my brother-I didn't know there was any feeling between Rawles and him-says I, "your son-in-law has been preying upon my family every time he got my back turned, for a year and a half, trying to get my little daughter away from me, and failing to do that, he has attempted to seduce her, and she has informed on him.
And about that time, he raised on his breast three or four times, and was moaning, and I thought he was complaining of the wound he had received, and he fetched a roll to the right, and I hadn't more than discovered it until he shot at me.
"Ahem!" says I, "you will, eh!" and I just moved forward on him about two steps, and shot him again.
My object in going out of the house with my pistol, was to keep Rawles from entering my house in direct violence of a promise he had previously made to my daughter, to never enter my house again in the world.
He had orders to that effect, and it was simply carrying out an order he had received previously, for his abuses to her.
I got my pistol solely with the intention that in case Mr. Rawles made a demonstration upon me, to do me an injury, to protect myself if I could.
And when I spoke to him, as I before stated, that he nor any other man could enter my house, and try to seduce my daughter, he murmured something to me, throwing his hand to his face and made a demonstration with his pistol, and drew it instantly, and that actuated me to use mine.
His demonstration was solely what caused me to use mine.
He never went without one.
He was the viciousest man we had in the community, by all odds.
Second to none.
By the viciousest man, I mean a man overbearing in his general manners, in his genreal disposition.
He was not respectful to the rights and privileges of others.
A man who wouldn't reason with you, if he was wrong, but you must go his way, whether right or wrong.
I think he was as ready to use fire-arms as any man, and a little readier than any man I ever saw on earth.
That was his reputation.
The first I knew of his acts of abuse to Mary, I was collecting.
On my second visit in my return, which was somewhere about the 10th or 12th of September, last-I had no one to leave at home when absent myself.
I am a widower, and my little children, as always before when I was absent, I would ask them how they got along, and I asked the question on my return, of all my children, save little Mary, how they had got along since I had gone.
They reported all very well.
I passed into my bedroom to change my clothing, and had placed a clean shirt on.
I stepped to the door, and called to little Mary, and she came to me, and I asked her to button my sleeves, while she was buttoning my sleeves, I noticed she looked pale and bad, as though not well.
Says I "daughter, how have you got along, during my absence?"
Says she, "Uncle, I have not got along very well."
SHE ALWAYS CALLS ME UNCLE.
Says I, "What's the matter with you?"
"Well", says she, "there is enough the matter. That is it."
"Well" says I, "State what is the trouble."
I supposed she had had a little broil with some of the rest of the family.
"Joe Rawles been here while I was gone?"
"Yes, Joe Rawles has been here while you were gone."
"Well" says I, "daughter, what of that, if he has?"
"Well" says she, "there is one thing you don't know, I do, and that is Joe Rawles has been trying to get me to leave you, for a year and a half, and go home with him, and I just tell you, he has got so bad on my hands, there has got to be something done.
I can't stand him any longer."
"Why, my daughter, what on earth has he done to you? What do you mean? Let us hear more of that."
"Well", says she, "he has done enough."
"What has he said to you?"
"He came here yesterday, or today,"-I forget which, I was excited. I was thrown into a perfect heat of excitement at the time."
Says I, "what did he say to you."
She says, "He came here, and I can't tell you what he said to me. He spoke words I never heard no man speak in my life before."
"What did he say? Can't you tell me the words he spoke to you"
No sir, for I never heard a man use them in my life before, and he looked from behind his hat and tried to talk to me, so I could not hear them, and I could not understand what he said, and I didn't know what his words meant.
But he has been trying to get me to leave you for a year and a half and he is getting worse and there need be something done for me. I can't stand him no longer. I said no to everything he said, for I didn't know what else to say."
"Did he ask you many other questions?"
"Yes, sir, he did."
"Well," says I "that is enough, don't tell me any more. That is enough. That is enough," says I. I understand perfectly the situation.
Don't tell me no more, daughter, now," says I "take a seat."
I got up and stepped forward from there, "Take a seat with me on the bed-side."
We walked forward to the bed in the little room where my son slept.
Says I, "daughter, sit down here with me, you may think your conversation has had no effect on me, but I was never so shocked on earth, sit down here with me and let me talk with you about this thing.
How long has Rawles been trying to get you to leave me? What has he done to you, what has he said to you and when did he first begin talking with you?"
She replied, "The first time he ever said anything to me in the world, he tried to get me to leave you, was when MELVINA and I went to visit my niece. While I was there on a visit, he caught MELVINA out, and he tried to hug and kiss me.
I told him to leave, and I wrung myself from him, and I never have been back there since.
That is the reason I don't want to go there."
I says, "is that all the time he has been trying to get you to leave and go away?
"No, sir, every time he has been to our house since, he has tried to get me to leave you, by offering me presents, if I would leave you.
He would buy presents for me, he said.
He once gave me five dollars, when he was here."
I asked her, "did he then tell you he wanted you to leave me?"
"No, sir, he didn't tell me that when he gave it to me."
"What did he tell you when he gave you that?"
"He just walked to the door when I was getting my meal, and gave me five dollars."
"Was you by yourself?"
"No sir, Melvina was with me."
"Did he make any other remark?"
"What did you say?"
"I told him to keep his money. I didn't want it, he said 'take it Mary, I want you to have it. Take this five dollars, I want you to have it." and she says, "I taken it."
"Well," says I, "presents is a nice thing daughter, when given from a pure motive, but be careful how you receive presents."
"I think," says I, "this is all right from Mr. Rawles, but be careful from whom you receive presents."
says I, "daughter, what else has he ever offered you to leave me?"
Said she, "at one time, he offered me a sorrel mare, saddle, bridle and riding suit, if I would leave you and go home with him. That he was abler to buy me many nice things than you, and would do so. Another thing he said, You have too much hard work to do here. You have to take care of everything, and if you will go home with me, you will have but little to do, and I will dress you well, and you will have an easy time.
I will give you this mare, saddle, bridle and riding-suit, and if you live with me, I will see you never want to go to him again."
I said, "Has he ever offered you presents more than that?"
"How many times has he tried to get you to leave me?"
"Every time he caught you gone he has always come here and tried to get me to leave you."
Says I, "daughter, why have you not told me sooner?"
Says she, "I reckon I hadn't sense enough, but he has got so bad I couldn't stand him any longer."
Says I, "Did you ever tell anybody else he was trying to entice you away?
She says, "When he offered me the mare and saddle and bridle, I told my GRANDMOTHER." (My mother was living with me at the time).
Says I, "What did she say?"
Says She, "Grandmother told me if I knew what was best for me I had better stay where I was."
Say I, "What did you say to him when he offered you the mare, saddle and bridle and riding suit?"
"I told him I didn't want none of his presents. I wouldn't leave you to go home with him nor no man on earth. You was good and kind to me and brought me all I wanted on earth and he could just keep his nice presents."
"Then", said I, "he continued to entice you away from that time on, I suppose, by some means or other?"
I thought he was a friend, and I felt he was for the first time in my life he is an enemy, a malignant enemy. And now let me tell you of the circumstances around us. These are the circumstances exactly.
Joe Rawles you know as well as I do, is a wicked, vicious kind of a man, you know the relationship and how we are all mixed up in relationship. His father-in-law is my brother. His brother-in-law is my nephew and both are living here with me.
His wife is my neice, and you are my daughter, ILLEGITIMATE, and we are all mixed up in kindred, and in case I should approach him in the premises, no doubt his first salutation would be to kill me.
In case he did it what would become of my little orphan children?" What would become of you? I don't know.
I have no means of knowing in the world. And in case I was to kill him what would become of me them?"
I would be hurried right off to the prison and my little children left by themselves to work out their own salvation."
"Daughter, don't you doubt. Have nothing to fear. Virtue will drive the meanest wretch on earth, if you meet him square and in person.
Says she, "Uncle, I will try."
Says she, "Uncle, I will do so."
Says I, "If you will, daughter, I think that to be the best plan for us to fall upon, under the circumstances."
So the thing passed along for that time, I think, as well as I can remember, something near three weeks or a month. I was called to go away again to Anderson Valley by a Mr. Wise-a month perhaps, at least-to meet a party who had previously engaged to pay me some money for Wise, the 1st day of October. On Saturday morning, the last day of September, as well as I remember, Wise came to my door, and asked me to go to Anderson Valley to meet that party for the money. I agreed to do so.
In going to Anderson Valley, I passed the house of Rawles both going and coming, but never stopped.
On my way home, on Dry Creek I met the stage. I had sent some money by the driver, and he halted the stage, and told me he had a receipt for the delivery of the money, and talked a minute or so, and started off.
As he started, Joe Rawles stuck his head out of the stage and said, "How are you, Joe?"
Says I, "How are You, Joe"
He was sitting in the stage with his Henry rifle across his knees.
Thinks I, perhaps you have paid me another visit. I went home.
As soon as I rode up, my oldest son says to me, "Joe Rawles has been here since you have been gone, and Mary drove him off."
I went on to the house and says I, "Mary, I suppose your friend has visited you again today."
"Yes, he has."
Rawles did not come to the house to my knowledge, from that time to the time of the difficulty.
In going from the barn to the house when I saw the two coming, I increased my speed. My pistol was already loaded.
The force of raising my pistol cocked it.
He fell instantly when I shot him.
He came there to take my life, together with the purpose of ascertaining whether he had been reported on to me by my daughter.
Don't know how many conversations I had with Mary on the subject.
From three to half a dozen times.
In the first conversations my daughter told me that my least little daughter was present and Rawles sent her for water to the pump.
My eldest son became aware of the fact of these overtures of Rawles.
No one else to my knowledge.
Between the 10th of Sept. and the day of the killing, Joe Rawles, to my knowledge was not in the house but once, so Mary told me when I asked her pointedly.
Rawles generally made it a point to visit me when he came to Cloverdale, two or three nights slept with me in my bedroom.
Sometimes he wouldn't come up but go th the hotel and go to the city next morning.
I always believed Mary to be truthful and her communications reliable.
Made up my mind Rawles purpose was to seduce my little girl.
Never had a cross word with Rawles in my life.
TESTIMONY OF MARY GIBBINS
Was 16 years old last April. Knew Mr. Rawles.
Did not see the shooting of the deceased.
Had made communications to my father of Rawles' conduct to me a long time before the killing, maybe two or three months.
The first time I told him of it, he had tried to hug me and kiss me.
After that, he tried to get me to leave and go home with him.(Here, the witness was unable to proceed for some time)
Have been in Court before. Have been a Witness before. (Here the witness was indulged for several minutes while she gave vent to her feelings).
When my UNCLE was gone from home, when he came home, he asked me how I had been getting along.
NOT VERY WELL, I said.
"Well" says he, "What has been the matter"?
Says I, "Joe Rawles has been here".
"Well" says he, "What of that"?
"Well", says I, "There will have to be something done", "I can't stand him any longer".
"Well" says he, "What has he been doing"? and I told him that he had been here talking to me, and I didn't understand what the man had been saying to me at all either first or last.
He wanted to know if I could not use some of the language at all, I told him, no I could not use some of the language at all, and I told him, "No Sir", I could not, and he wanted to know "Don't you think you could recollect some of the language"? I told him, "No Sir".
Says he, "Do you think you could recollect some of it if I used it?"
I told him Maybe I could, and so he went on making some kind of language, and I told him that wasn't it, and he used some other kind, and I told him that was just what the man said and nothing else.
After that I told him, "Uncle Joe", there is one thing I know".
"You Don't", says he.
"What is it"?
I said, "Mr. Rawles has been trying to get me to leave you for a year and a half".
"Yes he has, Sir", and he has offered me a Mare and Saddle and several things he said you could not get me, and he would, if I would leave you"
"I told him No, I didn't want leave, that you were as good as I wished, and "I didn't consider it anything to live with him".
That I had as good a home as I wished, and that you were good and kind to me, and he kept begging me to leave, and I told him I would not leave, still there was no use of talking to me first or last.
I told father that he had been back after that, and when he came in, he spoke to me and I spoke back and asked him to take a chair, and he never offered to sit down but walked back into the kitchen and back into the sitting room, and back into my bedroom and off into the sitting room, and off into Uncle's Joes bedroom, and back into the sitting room.
SEVERAL WITNESSES WERE THEN EXAMINED ABOUT THE CHARACTER OF THE DECEASED FOR PEACE AND QUIET AND THE TESTIMONY FOR DEFENSE CLOSED.
TESTIMONY OF ALEXANDER SKAGGS, CALLED IN REBUTTAL
Was a member of the last Grand Jury, remember that the Girl Mary testified that Rawles had never made any improper advances toward her.
TESTIMONY OF ROBERT GIBBONS
Remember the circumstance of the trouble between my brother and Rawles.
Saw the defendant in Dickson's Saloon before the affray.
We went over to my brother's house together to take supper.
I invited him over.
Did not see deceased do anything when he entered the gate but whirl around.
Heard the first shot.
Before the firing of the first shot, did not hear a word spoken.
Was close by deceased.
My attention was addressed to my brother, the defendant, at the time.
Did not hear him say anything before the firing.
Did not see the deceased draw his pistol or attempt to draw it.
Mr. Hendley then offered in evidence the dying declaration of the deceased, which was objected to, as not rebutting testimony, and should have been offered on the testimony in chief.
The Court sustained the objection, and the prosecution excepted.
J. M. COVINGTON being called for the defense, testified--Had a conversation with defendant on the night of the 12th November last, at new schoolhouse in Mendocino County.
He and I was near a picket fence, about 70 yards from the schoolhouse.
No one else was present.
The conversation came up in this wise, if I recollect right.
I could not report every word that passed, but I asked him how he was getting along, or something in that offer.
He said "very badly" or "very roughly" or something of that kind.
That he had never suffered more, or something to that effect.
He went on to state that a man whom he had regarded as a friend of his, had been trying to injure him more than any man ever had done, or as badly, Worse, I think was the expression.
Worse than anyone had ever done.
He went on to state that this man had tried to seduce his little girl, Mary, whom I knew.
He talked in a manner to me knowing that I knew her, I suppose.
He went on to make a statement in regard to it, and made some statement in regard to the facts as they came into his mind, but I don't now remember the particulars.
He seemed to be very much aggitated on the subject and made a great many remarks, giving history of the cause that I don't now remember.
He said the party was Mr. Rawles.
He remarked he did not know what to do in the case.
The Jury were out almost four hours and brought in a verdict of murder in the Second Degree.
On Thursday morning, the prisoner was sentenced to imprisonment in the Penitentiary for the term of fifteen years.
We learn that upon the first ballot, the Jury stood: Six for murder in the First Degree, four for Second Degree, and two for manslaughter.
Excerpts from "The Recollections of Ernest Everett "Sharkey" Rawles, Transcribed by James W. Rawles
"At one time, Joe Rawles (Joseph Rawles II, 1842-1872), my dad's older brother, was written up in the Oakland newspaper. He had gone back east for the Civil War.
It was rumored that he was a Bushwacker.
When he came back out west, he got off the ferry boat in San Francisco, carrying a carpet bag. A guy came up and grabbed the bag. In those days, you see, each hotel had its own conveyance, and there was a lot of competition to pick up paying customers.
The coach driver picked up the bag, and Joe says "Put it down," but the driver didn't want to take no for an answer.
Finally, Joe pulled out his big Colt (Model 1860) Army .44 cap and ball revolver.
He didn't point it at the guy, he just scratched his ear with it (to show that he meant business).
The driver commenced to holler.
A cop came across the street, to see what was happening, and the driver yelled, "This man is carrying a concealed gun."
The cop looked at Joe and said, "Hell, it's not concealed, I can see it," and walked away.
That same Joseph Rawles was a stage coach driver after he settled in Anderson Valley. At one point some fellas held the stage up, when it was on its way up from Cloverdale.
The stage coaches, you see, carried cash boxes with the payrolls for the mill towns on the coast.
(When the bandits stopped the stage) Joe dropped off from the opposite side of the stage from where the hold-up men were, and walked around the stage, and got the drop on them (with his guns).
He was a pretty good two-gun man himself.
He had killed a man (named Olden or Oldham up in Idaho), Anyway, he said, "I know who you boys are, now go on home."
If you don't, I'll blast ya."
They did just what he said--they went on home.
One of the hold up men was some relation to his (Joe's)
Wife's people, named JOSEPH R. GIBBONS.
Joe Rawles was invited to dinner (with the GIBBONS) by his brother-in-law one time, (soon) after this (hold-up attempt).
("On Tuesday, December 12, 1871, according to contemporary newspaper accounts")
I guess this guy arrived there at the same time. I suppose that he thought that Joe was planning to turn him in.
He came around the corner of the house and opened up on Joe (Rawles), as he was coming up the walk, and knocked him down, then he turned and run.
Joe was shot through the lung.
By that time, Joe had got his revolver out.
The guy ran around the corner of the house, and Joe fired.
The bullet hit the corner of the house right about where his ear would be.
It just (barely) missed him.
I can remember seeing the splinters on the corner of the house.
He (Joseph Rawles) lived quite a while after that.
While he was RECOVERING from the bullet wound, he was reading in bed one night.
A BREEZE CAME UP AND BLEW THE CURTAIN OVER THE COAL-OIL (kerosene) LAMP, SETTING IT ON FIRE.
JOE JUMPED UP TO TRY TO PUT THE FIRE OUT, AND HE HAD A HEMORRHAGE, AND DIED.
HE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE LIVED.
(He died on Friday, January 12, 1872, at age 29. His grave marker can be seen in the Boonville cemetery.)
After GIBBONS had shot Uncle Joe, he ran out in the woods.
Everybody was looking for this guy--a big posse was formed.
Later, after they caught him, he told my father that at one point he was hiding in a hollow log, and some members of the posse had sat on top of the log, taking a break, talking, while he was inside it.
MENDOCINO DEMOCRAT, THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 1872, P.3, COL. 1:
DEAD--JOSEPH RAWLS (sic) who was shot at Cloverdale by J. GIBBONS, and who it was supposed would probably get well, died last Friday, and was buried at Anderson Valley Saturday.
GIBBONS disappeared after the shooting and is still at large.
MENDOCINO DEMOCRAT, Thursday, February 1, 1872, p.3, col. 2:
GAVE HIMSELF UP
JOSEPH R. GIBBONS, who shot RAWLES, was surrounded in the hills near Dry Creek, vicinity of Boonville, last week, by a large party of men who were intent upon his capture.
He was said to be in a starving condition.
One of his brothers told the party, if they would allow him, he would go into the chapparel, and see if his brother was there.
Afterwards, he returned and reported that Joseph was there and would give himself up to three men designated by himself, but not to the entire party.
This was agreed to (sic) when he surrendered and was taken under arrest to Sonoma County.
Next sentence by the author:
GIBBONS had two brothers that were later INDICTED as "ACCESSORIES AFTER THE FACT TO MURDER," ROBERT L. GIBBONS AND ISAAC GIBBONS.
A third man, GEORGE SKINNER, was absolved of harboring GIBBINS by County Court on Wednesday, June 5, 1872.
From the same book, ENTER THE CROW FAMILY
"The Crow family came across the Plains about the same time that my grandfather McAbee did".
One of grandfather (McAbee)'s sisters, Jane, was married to one of the Crows (JOHN L. CROW).
The Crows had a big cattle ranch in Lassen County.
Later, they moved down to Berkeley.
There is a limited edition book, that can be found both in the library at Sacramento, (and at the Bancroft Library at U. C. Berkley), called THE CATTLE DRIVES OF DAVID SHIRK, Based on DAVID SHIRK'S ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT. It will tell you something about the Crow Family and the Shirk Family.
He (David Lawson Shirk) drove cattle from TEXAS TO IDAHO.
Then he established a cattle ranch there.
Alice (McAbee) Shirk was grandpa McAbee's sister. It is an authentic California pioneer account.
David Shirk married one of the CROWS--JAMES RANKIN CROW'S grand-daughter (JOHN L. CROW'S DAUGHTER).
So, DAVID SHIRK'S WIFE WAS ALSO A COUSIN TO MY MOTHER.
Rankin Crow had a big ranch near Greenville, up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, right near the state line with Nevada.
Later, they settled in Berkley.
We called on the Shirks with my mother and father, just before he died.
This was about 1910.
They had a house on Hearst Avenue in Berkley.
By the way, at that time they still had livestock in the town of Berkley.
ONE OF DAVID SHIRK'S GRANDSONS, LAWSON BUTLER (*WONDER WHERE I HAVE HEARD THIS NAME? HMMM!, S.H.)
was later one of the most wanted criminals in California, at one time.
He was a "STOCKING BANDIT".
He robbed banks. He wore a woman's stocking over his head for a mask, with eye-holes cut in it (during the robberies.)
I think they finally sent him up (to prison).
*Editors note: He served time in SAN QUENTIN. THERE IS STILL SOME OF THE CROW FAMILY LIVING IN THE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY. SOME OF THEM STILL LIVE AT CROW'S LANDING. IT'S AN OLD PIONEER FAMILY.
End of articles from his book.
Rachel Elba Rawles did not want to be the administrator of the Estate of her deceased husband.
Honorable R. Harrison was the Probate Judge when Robert H. Rawles applied for right to be administrator for his brother, Joseph W. Rawles. the date was the 29 January, 1872.
Rachel E. Rawles, relinquished the right to be administrator.
Robert H. Rawles, brother of the deceased was appointed administrator of the Estate:
That the deceased died 12th of January, 1872, intestate.
"That the said petitioner is legally competant and is a Brother of said deceased and therefore entitled to Letters of Administration of the Estate.
And that the personal property belonging to the said Estate is of the value of THREE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND EIGHTY EIGHT DOLLARS, OR THEREABOUTS."
Children listed as born to Rachel Elba Rawles are:
Laurance Rawles, born 1870, married Henry Singley.
She would have been born before her father died.
Next child listed:
Joseph William Rawles, born 1872, no more known at this time.
Last child listed is Alice (Allie) Rawles, born 1878, married Charles Lawson.
This child could not have been the daughter of Joseph W. Rawles as he was deceased in 1872.
When Rachel Elba Rawles died (1916?) she is still listed as Rachel Elba Rawles (no new married name) and is living in the household of the Singley's. Henry Singley paid for the funeral expenses.
It is unknown (to me) who was the father of Alice Rawles.
Have not found any information that Rachel Elba Rawles ever re-married.
Rachel Elba Rawles is not buried with the Rawles Family in Booneville, she is buried in a large plot for the Singley Family in Ukiah, California.
THRUSDAY, JANUARY 25, 1872
ARRESTED: ROBERT GIBBINS was arrested at ANDERSON VALLEY and brought to UKIAH by JOSEPH GOSS last Saturday.
Mr. Goss tells us that ISAAC GIBBINS was also under arrest.
The arrests were made through process issued from JUSTICE MCGIMSEYS' COURT and have some connection with the case of JOSEPH GIBBINS.
REGISTER AND DESCRIPTIVE LIST OF CONVICTS AND SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT OF
CALIFORNIA. (From the State Archives found on film).
NAME: Joseph R. Gibbins, #5313
CRIME: MURDER IN 2ND DEGREE
WHEN RECEIVED: June 29, 1872
TERM: 15 years
COUNTY SENT FROM: Sonoma
HEIGHT: 5' 8 5/8"
REMARKS: Discharged, December 27, 1878
Long Spare Features, straight sharp nose, 2 scars on forehead, several scars
on back of neck, scars and mole at point of left shoulder and mole at left
center of mouth, LARGE SCAR ON RIGHT WRIST, scars on left arm and wrist,
scars between toes on left foot.
To his Excellency
William Irwin, Governor
Joseph R. Gibbons, at the June Term of the District Court for Sonoma County in 1872 was convicted of the crime of Murder in the 2nd degree, and received a sentence of 15 years imprisonment in the States Prison.
A man named Rawles had attempted, if indeed he had not in fact accomplished, the seduction of Gibbons" daughter who was of a very tender age.
Gibbons was cognizant of the attempt. He repeatedly warned Rawles to desist from visiting his house, but Rawles continued his visits. On one occasion they met near the threshold of Gibbons' dwelling, a contest ensued and acting upon the instincts of a father, Gibbons slew Rawles.
Gibbons is a man of worth and good character, and since his incarceration has behaved in an exemplary manner, and we are led to believe that, if released, he will make a good and valuable citizen.
During the late fire at San Quentin, he distinguished himself not only by his exertions in subduing the fire but by his efforts to maintain and preserve order and discipline among the prisoners.
We commend to the attention of your Excellency the fact that the several committees of the Senate and Assembly, charged with the duty of examining into the merits of claims for pardons, have each warmly and earnestly recommended that a pardon be granted to Joseph R. Gibbons. They were induced so to do from considerations of the nature of the motives which prompted the commission of the nine, the former character of Gibbons as a man and citizen and the services which he singly and efficiently rendered the State at the fire at San Quentin.
We therefore, members of the Legislature, earnestly request that your Excellency will grant an unconditional pardon to the said Joseph R. Gibbons, and in duty bound will ever pray. (signature Initials only, can't read)
Excerpt from a letter written February 16, 1872 to John M. Crow from Benjamin Brown Crow:....as for news, I have a little...Jo Gibbins has killed Roles(as Written)..Elbee's man...Bill Gibbins oldest daughters husband...he killed him over a month ago..they have him in Jale in the forepart of the winter..there was three men attempted to rob the Stage and Roles was in the Stage and he leaped out behind a tree and said dam you come on, I know some of you..it is thought he was one of the robbers and he was afraid he would tell on him and he would kill him so he couldn't tell on him as he was the only man that knowed him.
Excerpt from a letter written by Matilda Jane Crow Threlkel, to her father and mother, Robert and Elizabeth Brown Crow, dated Sunday, April the 3, 1870.
There is a reference to the Gibbins family: Joe's wife is dead, Joe's girl is married.
I have a copy of a letter, the original is in the possession of my Aunt in Mendocino County.
The letter is dated April 13, 1873 and is written from my Great-great Grandmother, Elizabeth Fade, who is living in Texas to her daughter, my great grandmother, Martha Ann Deweese Gibbins, living in Cloverdale, Mendocino, California.
She opens the letter with "I have heard from you at last".
I had given out ever hearing from you, but SORRY TO HEAR OF SO MUCH SAD MISFORTUNE AMONGST OUR RELATIVES.
THE DEATH OF MY TWO SISTERS AND MY LITTLE GRANDCHILD, BUT IT IS BETTER OFF THAN WE ARE, AND THE MISFORTUNE OF BROTHER JOE".
This article has legal heading:
Robt. McGarvey, ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR AT LAW
UKIAH CITY, CALIFORNIA, MARCH 11, 1874:
Honorable W. M. Pendegast (Writing not clear on name)
I have just been called on by the friend of Joseph Rawles who was murdered by Joseph R. Gibbons and they inform me that the PRISON COMMITTEE have recommended the PARDON of Gibbons, really should have been executed. We had no better citizen than the murdered man, and I feel certain if the Gov. knew the facts he would not think of pardoning, just such acts keep people stirred up and leads to VIGILANCE COMMITTEES.
We trust you will call on the Governor and give him the facts in the case, and do this section of the County a favor, Your Friend,
AT BOTTOM OF SAME DOCUMENT
I concur in every word of this letter, the killing of Rawles was in my opinion, a cold, cruel, assassination, murder--Alex Campbell defended Gibbins with great ability and to show cause? was failing to agree most of these, insisting on the Extreme verdict and our yielding to prevent a mistrial, W. W. Pendegast
LAW OFFICES OF J. B. LAMAR, Ukiah City, March 11th, 1874:
Honorable Winfield Wright,
Dear Sir, Among the names of persons recommended by the PRISON COMMITTEE for Executive Clemency is JOSEPH R. GIBBINS who was tried in Santa Rosa for the murder of JOSEPH RAWLS in Cloverdale and convicted.
Perhaps you remember something of the case-There was no effort made to appeal the case-his attorney very wisely no doubt considering that Gibbins was fortunate to save his neck.
The killing of Rawls was certainly a very atrocious crime and I have heard many expressions of indignaton at the recommendation of the Committee.
On behalf of the friends of the murdered Rawles who was a citizen of the County, I have been requested to write to you to see the Governor and ask him to look into the case before adopting the suggestion of the Committee.
You will please call the attention of SENATOR TUTTLE and your Colleagues in the assembly to the matter.
( with whom he was associated in the prosecution of Gibbins is conversant with the facts).
To His Excellency, Governor Newton Booth of the State of California:
We the undersigned citizens of Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties in said State petition and respectfully show:
That we are informed and believe in regard to the case of J. R. Gibbons of said, County of Sonoma, and State aforesaid, who is now confined in the States Prison at San Quentin for the killing of J. W. Rawles in said County--and whose pardon was recommended to your Excellency by the "PRISON COMMITTEE" of the last legislature, that there are many mitigating circumstances and views of the said killing which were not given, (in our view) their proper weight by the jury who convicted, and that we believe the conviction was obtained by the intense ZEAL of the PROSECUTION, rather than by any real merit which the facts presented.
Therefore, we earnestly urge that said recommendation of the Prison Committee be favorably considered by your excellency and that J. R. Gibbons be pardoned, and your petitioners will ever so pray!
*NOTE...There are many impressive signatures on this petition such as Sheriff of Lake County, Attorney, County Judge, Deputy Clerk, M. D., County Surveyor, District Attorney of Lake County, Undersheriff, Deputy Sheriff, etc.)
CUFFY'S COVE, MARCH 14, 1874
To the Governor of the State of California,
The undersigned residents of Mendocino and Sonoma Counties respectfully represent that they have learned with surprise that the State Prison Committee of the Legislature have recommended for Pardon JOSEPH R. GIBBONS who was convicted in the District Court of Sonoma county at the June Term, 1872, of the murder of JOSEPH R. RAWLES and sentenced to the State Prison for the term of fifteen years.
We cannot believe the Committee were cognizant of the facts connected with the murder or were aware of the magnitude and atrocity of the offense of which said Gibbons is Guilty.
We therefore protest against the action of the Prison Committee in recommending the pardon of JOSEPH R. GIBBONS and ask your Excellency to withold the Executive pardon and not turn loose upon Society a criminal so recently convicted of a heinous offense.
MANCHESTER, MARCH 14TH, 1874
To The Governor of the State of California
The undersigned residents of Mendocino and of Sonoma Counties respectfully represent that they have learned with surprise that the State Prison Committee of the Legislature have recommended for pardon JOSEPH R. GIBBONS who was convicted in the District Court of Sonoma County at the June Term, 1872 of the murder of JOSEPH RAWLES and sentenced to the States Prison for the term of fifteen years.
We cannot believe the Committee were cognizant of the facts connected with the murder or were aware of the magnitude and atrocity of the offense of which said Gibbons is guilty. We therefore protest against the action of the Prison Committee in recommending the pardon of JOSEPH R. GIBBONS and ask your Excellency to withhold the Executive pardon and not turn loose upon society a criminal so recently convicted of a heinous offense.
Contents of THIS petition is exact same wording as preceeding but is postmarked NAVARRO RIDGE, MARCH 14, 1872.
SACRAMENTO, MARCH 26, 1874
MRS. M. BUTLER,
Your favor of March 25 came to hand today. All we can do is to present the petition in behalf of Mr. Gibbons to the Governor, and make an earnest appeal for his pardon. Senator Boggs, Mr. Northcutt and myself will wait on the Governor and do all that is in our power to restore him to liberty. I think it best to have the petitions forwarded here as soon as possible, as the Legislature adjourns on Tuesday next.
City of California, County of Sonoma
In the matter of the application of R. L. Gibbins for the pardon of JOSEPH R. GIBBINS.
E. W. Maslin, being duly sworn deposes and says that on Tuesday, June 30th, 1874, he served upon Wm. E. McConnell, the District Attorney of the County of Sonoma, in which county the conviction of the said JOSEPH R. GIBBINS was had, a written notice of intention to apply to the Governor of this State for the pardon of the said JOSEPH R. GIBBINS, which said notice was signed by the person applying viz R. L. Gibbins, and states the time for such application to be the 13th July, 1874 and of which the following is a true copy:
APPLICATION FOR PARDON
SANTA ROSA, SONOMA COUNTY
MAY 25TH, 1874
To W. E. McConnell, Esq., District Attorney and Barclay Hanley, Esq., late District Attorney for Sonoma county:
Please take notice that I intend to apply to His Excellency the Governor of the State of California, for the pardon of JOSEPH R. GIBBINS, who was convicted in the Distirct Court of Seventh Judicial District of the State for Sonoma, County, of the crimes of murder in the second degree, and was by said Court, on the 27th day of June, 1872, sentenced to imprisonment in the State Prison for the term of fifteen years.
Said application will be made on Monday, the 18th of July, 1874, or as soon thereafter as the same can be heard.
R. L. Gibbins
Subscribed and sworn to before me (E. W. Maslin) this the 30th June, 1874
SACRAMENTO, MARCH 26TH, 1874,
MRS. M. H. BUTLER
Your favor of March 25 came to hand today. All we can do is to present the petition in behalf of Mr. Gibbons to the Governor, and make an earnest appeal for his pardon. Senator Boggs, Mr. Northcutt and myself will wait on the Governor and do all that is in our power for to restore him to liberty.
I think it best to have the petitions forwarded here as soon as possible as the Legislature adjourns on Tuesday next.
Respectfully yours, Walter Ferral
OFFICE OF THE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS
SACRAMENTO, MARCH 30TH, 1874
To His Excellency, Governor Newton Booth,
The Prison Committee have recommended to you for pardon JOSEPH R. GIBBONS, who is now serving out a sentence for murder in the second degree. I am acquainted with MR. GIBBONS, and was DEPUTY SHERIFF of SONOMA COUNTY at the time he was convicted. The man he killed, (Rawles) had the reputation of being a most desperate man. Gibbons was informed by his step-daughter, a girl of some sixteen years of age, the Rawles was endeavoring to take improper liberties with her. This is what led to the difficulty which resulted in Rawles death.
If ever a man believed that he was protecting the honor of his family, Gibbons believed he was so acting at the time of this difficulty. He has lived in our county for years and this is the first time he has ever been charged with any crime. He has six poor little children, one of whom is a HELPLESS CRIPPLE, that are now upon the world with no one to look to for aid, comfort and advice. If, after examining into his case, you can restore him to those poor little helpless ones, HUNDREDS of our citizens will feel thankful for the mercy so extended,
Respectfully Yours, Walter Ferral
SACRAMENTO, MARCH 30, 1874
To his Excellency, Governor Newton Booth,
We, the undersigned members of the State Prison Committee, do hereby earnestly urge upon you to examine into the case of JOSEPH R. GIBBONS, recommended by us for pardon. he is a truly unfortunate man, this being the first time he has ever been charged with any offense against the laws of the State.
W. G. Lang
J.(or G) F. Cowdery
?. ?. Russell
Thomas J. Ables
303 West 18th Street
New York City, April 17th, 1874
By a letter which I have just received from JOSEPH R. GIBBINS, of SAN QUENTIN, I learn with pleasure that you are his TRUE and GOOD FRIEND and that you are doing everything in your power to have him pardoned-Heaven grant that you may succeed and to this end alone I write this letter. I became acquainted with MR. GIBBINS while he was awaiting his trial at SANTA ROSA in SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, and know all the facts and will here state them as briefly as I can. From every possible view of the Case, as well as from all the evidence given at his trial, it appeared most clearly that he was simply preserving the virtue of his precious child and DAUGHTER. The unfortunate man who died from the effects of the wound inflicted would have been A VILE SEDUCER, but for the extreme measure adopted by her father to save her and I never can be made to believe that he intended to take the life of his unfortunate but WICKED VICTIM.
At his trial, it was difficult to get his case properly before either the minds of the judge or jury, as the principal witnesses were children, and more than half the jury were AT FIRST in favor of acquiting him which ought to have been done. NEVER should MR. GIBBINS have been imprisoned at all, but that he has been, he ought to be pardoned. If Governor Booth can be made to understand that the now bitter enemies of friend GIBBINS would hand him because he HAS BEEN AND IS NOW a STAUNCH REPUBLICAN, and that they are LOW BASE FIRE EATERS AND REBELS then he will understand how any opposition can be made to his PARDON AND RELEASE. In my life of now more than fifty years, I have never met with a more noble high minded, honorable gentleman than JOSEPH R. GIBBINS.
No man is more worthy of Executive Clemency and in the event of the exercise of it by His Excellency Governor Booth towards our friend, not will his desolate homeless orphans, bless his memory, but God, Angels and men will call down Heavens Richest reward for this ACT OF JUSTICE.
Should you carry this very imperfect letter to show it to Governor Booth, please tell him that I have had every possible opportunity to know friend GIBBINS and therefore know whereof I speak. I am an early PIONEER OF CALIFORNIA-1849er, known well to SENATOR SARGENT, COLLECTOR SHANNON, BISHOP KIPP, JUDGE FIELD and a host of others of carnal standing. I hope and pray that our friend may be pardoned. If I can do more COMMAND ME.
I am with the highest regards, Most Sincerely, Robert Kellen(r)? Late MAJOR on Colonel Bakers Staff during late Rebellion!
Note: This letter is written to the mysterious Mrs. Butler. Who is she?
YORKVILLE, APRIL 22, 1874
Mrs. M. H. Butler
I have heard you are making efforts to have MR. J. R. GIBBINS pardoned. I believe your undertaking to be a just cause, in my opinion, I think MR. GIBBINS killing the meanest man in this county and I believe he was justifiable in doing so.
If justice had been done to MR. GIBBINS during his trial, he would have been today a free man.
I have known MR. GIBBINS for many years, and I always knew him to be a perfect gentleman, peaceable, industrious, and respected by all those who knew him.
I also knew MR. J. RAWLES to be a dangerous, troublesome, bad man, fighting, cutting, and shooting, was all he thought about, had no respect whatever, to time or place.
I have seen him with my own eyes fight in church. Further more, I heard J. RAWLES say enough to justify MR. GIBBINS in the unfortunate deed.
May heaven grant that the good Governor may grant your prayer, for the sake of his six little orphan MOTHERLESS children is the wish of yours very truly,
LAKEPORT, MAY 15TH, 1874
Mrs. Mary H. Butler,
Your last letter is at hand and contents noted.
I wrote yesterday to Honorable Henry Edgerton asking of him to accompany you to Governor Booth when you get ready to go and I trust he will do so.
I think him to be a gentleman of large heart and have asked of him to do me the special favor to aid you in your mission of mercy in supplying those SIX LITTLE CHILDREN with their now incarcerated father.
Neither yourself nor Mr. Gibbins have I ever met in life that I have any knowledge of.
From what I have learned about the affair, my conscience would forever smite me were I to turn a deaf ear to their cries, god forbid that I should ever do so.
I have no formal feelings against the man RAWLES that was killed.
I seen him several times during his life time, and always treated him as I treat all such men and that is, with cold politeness.
I have made diligent enquiry about his character and find that it was that of a bravado, prided himself in thinking people was afraid of him, such is what I have learned of him, and upon the other hand have learned that MR. GIBBINS' character was that of a peacable and quiet citizen.
I got one of my neighbors to make inquiry about when he lived there and that is his testimony to me.
And upon such information have I based my action in the matter,
May the prayer of the petitioners be answered is the wish of,
SACRAMENTO, MAY 2OTH, 1874
Lindsey Carson, Esquire
On my return home last night after an absence of more than a fortnight, I found your letter of the 14th Inst. awaiting me.
I will, without delay, make inquiry concerning the case of GIBBONS and of his application for EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY is a meritorious one.
I will do what I can to aid his friends in his behalf.
I will at all events introduce MRS. BUTLER to the GOVERNOR, should she call upon me to do so, and will see that she gets a full hearing of her case,
Very Truly Yours
UPPER LAKE, LAKE CO., MAY 26TH, 1874
This is to certify that we have been acquainted with J. R. GIBBINS, who is now in the STATE PRISON, since 1846, and with his family. With his Father, Mother and Brothers, and that we were neighbors in the STATE OF ARKANSAS, CLARK COUNTY and that in the year 1852, we crossed the plains together with J. R. GIBBINS and some of his brothers.
In the STATE OF ARKANSAS, the family were known to be peaceable, quiet and industrious, upright, honest citizens, and in crossing the plains, no better men, kind, obliging, true, reliable in every particular were than J. R. GIBBINS and his brothers.
I visited J. R. GIBBINS several times in COLUSA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, and I can say, I never knew nor heard any thing of him, but a gentleman, and I was surprised when we heard that he was in PRISON.
I hope he may be pardoned by our good GOVERNOR,
Signed, Reverand J. G. Johnson and Mrs. P. K. Johnson
MENDOCINO COUNTY, JULY 10, 1874
This to certify that we, the undersigned citizens of Mendocino County, have known JOSEPH GIBBINS FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS.
Character good and Believe the circumstances of the case to be agravating.
B. F. Cassidy
F.? (J.?) Weiler
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SONOMA,
I, Thomas L. Thompson, being duly sworn deposes and says: That he is the proprietor and publisher of the Sonoma Democrat, a newspaper, published once a week, and issued each Saturday of each week, at the City of Santa Rosa, County of Sonoma, that the following copy of a notice of application for the pardon of JOSEPH R. GIBBINS was published in said newspaper once a week for six consecutive weeks, beginning from the day of the first publication to wit: "Saturday, June 6th, 1874 and being published in the issues of June 13th, June 20, June 27", July 11th and ending on Saturday, July 11th, 1874. Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 6th August, 1874. (McConnell) Signed, Thomas L. Thompson
Note: This "Application for Pardon", has been shown in earlier article.
HEALDSBURG, APRIL 10TH, 1875,
MRS. BUTLER (who is she?)
Yours of the 8th instant is at hand and contents duly noted, have been absent from house which is the cause of the delayed answer. You say the remonstrance circulated and signed by some protesting against the action of the STATE PRISON of J. R. GIBBONS, sets forth among other things that said GIBBONS was an accomplice or an aider or abetter 'with the band of STAGE ROBBERS, which I arrested in this County some four years ago.
My answer to your querry on this point, is this, that SQUIRE J. R. GIBBONS, rendered me valuable service in bringing those outlaws to justice, I brand the charge as a base slander.
It is IMPOSSIBLE for GIBBONS to have been interested with them, the man turned STATES EVIDENCE, told us of all the parties interested, there was at that time, a BITTER FUED existing between the RAWLS fAMILY AND THE GIBBONS FAMILY, the remonstrance circulated was signed by very few in this county, the most of the signatures were obtained in MENDOCINO COUNTY, for I am sure they could NOT of got any signatures in THIS COUNTY, without falsley representing the true state of FACTS.
Many of our best Citizens have signed a petition asking the GOVERNOR, to pardon MR. GIBBONS, persons that have known him for many years, and would be delighted to see him at liberty.
I am respectfully most obedient servant,
W. B. Reynolds
EX DEPUTY SHERIFF OF SONOMA COUNTY
HEALDSBURG, APRIL 13TH, 1875,
I was in SAN FRANCISCO Sunday, and intended to come and see you but was taken sick Sunday night and did not get out until the boat started so I came home, may be down in a few days and will call and see you.
I seen MR. HENLEY, EX. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, he says he will address a letter to GOVERNOR PACHECO.
I don't think the time to strike for the reason that PACHECO is a CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, and will be very cautious in PARDONING anyone.
I think the thing had better be deferred until the STATE CONVENTION is over, then we can see how the thing looks.
Of course, I am as anxious as anybody for MR. GIBBONS, this advice is a mere suggestion of mine.
If you are in possession of the proper fact, go ahead, but it will be bad to FAIL NOW.
WM. B. Reynolds
MENDOCINO COUNTY, JULY 10, 1874
This to certify that we, the undersigned citizens of Mendocino County, have known JOSEPH GIBBINS FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS.
Character good and Believe the circumstances of the case to be agravating.
B. F. Cassidy
F.? (J.?) Weiler
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SONOMA,
I, Thomas L. Thompson, being duly sworn deposes and says : That he is the proprietor and publisher of the Sonoma Democrat, a newspaper, published once a week, and issued each Saturday of each week, at the City of Santa Rosa, County of Sonoma, that the following copy of a notice of application for the pardon of JOSEPH R. GIBBINS was published in said newspaper once a week for six consecutive weeks, beginning from the day of the first publication to wit: "Saturday, June 6th, 1874 and being published in the issues of June 13th, June 20, June 27", July 11th and ending on Saturday, July 11th, 1874. Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 6th August, 1874. (McConnell) Signed, Thomas L. Thompson
Note: This "Application for Pardon", has been shown in earlier article.
HEALDSBURG, APRIL 15, 1875
Sir, I understand that a petition has been sent up to you asking the release of J. R. GIBBINS from the STATE PRISON. I also understand that the evidence of JAMES HUTTON AND GEORGE MC ABEE, would have been in his favor.
I have been well acquainted with these men for fifteen years and believe them to be honorable citizens,
T. J. GROVER
LOS ANGELES, SEPTEMBER 16, 1875
In a friendly call upon you in May last we took occasion to call your attention to the case of GIBBONS, in the STATE PRISON from SONOMA COUNTY for homocide.
At your suggestion the papers in the matter of the application were forwarded to your office a few days after our visit and are no doubt still on file.
During the past summer, for obvious reasons, we have refrained from pressing this case upon your attention. We are aware that to some extent, you are personally cognizant of the merits of the application, and therefore, respectfully request that at as early a day as is consistent with your other duties you will examine the papers before you and pass upon them.
We have interested ourselves in this case especially on account of the numerous children of the applicant, who are thrown on the world without a protector.
Hoping your judgement may be tempered with mercy.
We remain your Obedient Servants
HUTCHINSON, MANN & SMITH
GENERAL INSURANCE AGENCY
314 CALIFORNIA ST.
SAN FRANCISCO, AUGUST 11TH, 1875
R. PACHECO, ESQUIRE
Hopeful you and yours are well and that you have entirely recovered from your indisposition and that your defeat will only add to your individual and family happiness.
Friend Pacheco, I have never asked a favor of you before this time and I pray this may not be asked in vain and that the evidence of your having granted, will be so unmistakable that I may have the pleasure of imparting the news (if not before) at least by the time all things are arranged.
I have reference to the party, MRS. M. BUTLER, JACKSON STREET, of this City, has been pleading with you for, I believe a MR. GIBBINS, all of which you know about.
Dear Pacheco, one thing I do know, if it were not right and proper that EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY should be used in his favor, MRS. BUTLER, would be the last person in the world to ask it, but knowing her personally as I have for thirteen years, without the least hesitancy, please confer this favor upon her and me.
I have no axe to grind financially, but if it is done right away, through by virtue of my plea, money could not buy the kind acts and courtisies that would be conferred upon me and my wife and Babie, for a life time.
OBLIGE YOUR OLD FRIEND, who loves you indeed.
Regards to wife and daughter
Care of Hutchinson, Mann and Smith
LOS ANGELES, OCTOBER 15TH, 1875
HONORABLE R. PACHECO
SACRAMENTO CITY, CALIFORNIA
I must respectfully ask leave to join with others in the petition for the pardon of GIBBONS in the STATES PRISON from SONOMA COUNTY.
I have taken the trouble to inquire somewhat into the case, and find that the application is one of merit.
GIBBONS has some very warm friends here who deeply sympathize with him, and his children.
If necessary, a numerously signed petition could be forwarded from here asking for his pardon, with confidence that his case is one that recommends itself to EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY.
I am very truly yours,
A. J. King
SANTA ROSA, JULY 9, 1876
To his Excellency Governor Irwin,
It is in connection with this matter I now desire to write you.
THE STATE PRISON COMMITTEE of the HOUSE and many of the members of the SENATE COMMITTEED, expressed a willingness after a thorough examination into the case of this unfortunate man, to go in person to you and intercede in his behalf.
MR. GIBBINS was brought before both COMITTEES, and his intelligence and gentlemanly bearing made a strong impression upon every member.
In addition to this, the officers of the prison, one and all, particularly CAPTAIN TOWLES, testified that no man could have deported himself better than GIBBINS has done since his confinement.
The Committee of the LEGISLATURE before the last one were alas unanimous in petitioning GOVERNOR BOOTH for his pardon.
In that instance as in this the DELEGATION from this county were a unit in asking clemency.
MR. GIBBINS lived in this county for many years, and his reputation for peace and quiet was excellent. This is the only instance that I have any knowledge of where he was a party to any unlawful action. The standing of the gentlemen who have at various times interceded in his behalf is a sufficient guarantee that he is not a desperate or a bad man at heart.
He has a large family of children in this county, the youngest one being a DEFORMED CHILD. To these children and their future welfare he is devotedly attached.
They are sadly in need of his help in the battle of life. His letters to them are filled with the best advice that a parent could possibly give. The only reason that prompts me to intercede for him is because I know him to be an honest man and a devoted father.
His past life is a guarantee of his obedience to the laws of the country, and that he possesses all those requisites which go to make a valuable citizen.
Believing that in his case the law has been fully vindicated in the punishment, he has already passed through, I respectfully ask your Excellency to examine into his case at as early a day as possible, and if that examination proves that he is worthy of pardon at your hands, that he may be restored to citizenship and those helpless children who stand in need of a fathers protection.
Respectfully Your Friend
Mr. Maslin is conversant with all matters connected with this case.
JOHNSON & HENLEY
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA, JUNE 22ND, 1877
To his Excellency, Governor William Irwin,
The man who was killed, HAD KILLED HIS MAN and a feeling had arisen between the deceased and the accused which from the character of the man, I believe, they eventually agreed must result in the death of one or the other.
The cause of the homicide is still enshrouded in mystery.
I have learned nothing since the trial, but we question the correctness of the verdict, and I still state that the man ought to be pardoned and in brief for the following reasons. His former character was good, this was his first act of lawlessness, his conduct since his incarceration has afforded proof of a sincere disposition to submit to authority and if released to make a useful member of society.
I don't think his longer detention would be productive or any good to any one upon any bearer, whether it be that the Prison is either final or reformatory in both.
I would see you in person, but prefer to put myself in paper as asking his pardon,
DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF SONOMA COUNTY
*Note--This is a difficult document to read.
To his Excellency, William Irwin
Upon the solicitation of the friends of JOSEPH R. GIBBONS, a convict you confined in SAN QUENTIN, NO. 5313, and who has four and a half months of his sentence unserved, I have made a critical examination into the State of his HEALTH and find that he is affected with GENERAL DEBILITY, as a primary cause of other complaints, while here, gradually developed itself during the last 12 months.
One result being the LOSS OF 30 POUNDS in weight.
To use a common term, he is down from the general effects of PRISON LIFE.
Recently his ailment has become agravated by effects of the organ of the chest, resulting in a dull sound upon percussion over every portion of the Lung. BRONCHIAL IRRITATION causing considerable coughs, thickening of the MUCUS LINING, OF THE FIRST AIR PASSAGE AND WEAKENED ACTION of the HEART. The LUNGS as a consequence imperfectly performs its duty of arterialising the blood.
This condition of the Lungs is called PYREMIA ? (difficult to read)
Although there is no question of his ability to live in PRISON THOUGH THE REMAINDER OF HIS TERM OF CONFINEMENT, EVENTUALLY IT IS, nevertheless, it is certain that during the time his disease will be seriously aggravated and may in all calculations naterially shorten his life.
The gist of the matter resulting from my examination of him, and the symptoms detailed above, is that he has CONSUMPTION in the stage of developement and which may be materially relieved by restoration to his family.
In consequence of his Physical condition, I now recommend to the WARDEN that he be relieved from duty as a TEACHER IN THE LIBRARY, and be assigned, during the day, to duty outside the Walls of the Prison which will afford him exercise and free circulation of air.
Your Obedient Servant
J. E. Pelham?
Physician to State Prison
WILLITS, MENDOCINO, APRIL 10, 1878
MR. GIBONS SIR (AS WRITTEN)
Your letter was handed to me this day. I wish I had got it sooner.
I see MR. M. C. BRIGGS in POTTER VALLEY.
I told him that this was nine or ten of jurors that will sign your pardon.
It has been said that a petition was in circulation which is not here.
I do this that you may be pardoned for, I believe that you have paid the penalty long since.
If it comes necessary, I will get summons to sign a petition for Pardon.
I know that several of them has signed them and delivered, they was.
Excuse bad writing and spelling and answer soon.
I hope that Governor will see it in its true light,
To JOSEPH R. GIBBIONS (as written)
P. S. I have written this in having to get in the maile today! (as written)
SAN QUENTIN, AUGUST 19TH, 1878
LITTLE LAKE, MARCH 26TH, 1878,
To His Excellency, Governor William Irwin,
It has been reported that NONE of the JURY that tried JOSEPH GIBBONS for the crime of MURDER in SONOMA COUNTY, and now serving a term in the State Prison would sign a petition for his pardon.
NOW, I, One of the Jury that tried said GIBBONS, beg leave to inform you to the CONTRARY.
I am willing at anytime to sign such petition and truly hope you will give him a full pardon.
P. S. I am willing to proclaim this TO THE WORLD, without fear or affection, believing it is just, and believing said GIBBONS will be a GOOD AND RESPECTFUL CITIZEN IN THE COMMUNITY.
JOSEPH'S LETTER OF APPEAL
To his Excellency, Government Irwin
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, SACRAMENTO
Pressed by friends to do so and by a personal desire pardon, I have decided to ask your Excellency for CLEMENCY and for a FULL RESTORATION by it.
TO ALL MY FORMER RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES AS A CITIZEN.
I appeal to your Excellency direct for such CLEMENCY.
Not forgetful however of the COMMUTATION of FIVE YEARS you granted me for MERITORIOUS CONDUCT during the great CONFLAGRATION OF FEBRUARY, 1874, nor of your OFFICIAL ACT for ASSIGNING THE PHILANTHROPIC GOODWIN BILL that was so general in its benificiary workings, which also reduced my sentence TWENTY MONTHS more.
My sentence was for FIFTEEN YEARS, hence, with the above benifits of COMMUTATION AND EXPIRATION OF LAW, together with over SIX YEARS (solid) that I have served, I now have FOUR MONTHS AND A HALF LEFT TO SERVE.
Some think the short time I have yet to serve, will millitate as against me with you for a PARDON.
To the contrary, I shall offer it as in my favor rather against.
Though I have to contend against your LIST OF PARDONS already granted and to do this, Your Excellency, I hope, you will be patient with me and follow me through my argument.
Wherin I hold the short time yet to serve cannot in justice millitate against me, MY REASONS, ARE THESE "These are they:"
I never was in prison before, never was arrested in life, surrendering myself to the law Officers in this case.
Have served SIX YEARS one month and 15 days (solid time), have been THREE TIMES IN SUCCESSION recommended by the JOINT LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES for IMMEDIATE PARDON.
It is also represented to me that I have a PETITION 900 STRONG sent up asking for my pardon (This petition went before Governor Pacheco.
I VERY RECENTLY learned that the files show it only about HALF THAT STRENGTH)
It is further represented to me that I have a PETITION ASSIGNED BY ALL THE COUNTY OFFICERS OF MY COUNTY, (SONOMA), asking you for my pardon.
It is also represented to me that the HONORABLE BARKLEY HENELY wrote and sent you a letter as strong as he could pen (He can pen a strong letter, I did not see it) asking you to pardon me. (He was a FIERCE PROSECUTOR)
ASSISTED BY THREE OTHER COUNCILS, as good as himself (I WAS WELL PROSECUTED GOVERNOR).
Another fact worthy of consideration and also in my favor.
I sent you a letter from one of my juryman, MR. EUGENE MC PEAK, I also sent you his letter to me in which he says: TEN OR MORE OF THE TRIAL JURIMAN besides himself, had impressed their willingness to assign a PETITION for my PARDON.
And last, but not least, I HAVE A FAMILY OF ORPHAN CHILDREN, NO MOTHER, NO FATHER! Their MOTHER DIED LONG BEFORE MY SAD INCARCARATION, which finished the condition of Orphanage and broke the bounds of love that united them as brothers and sisters.
And, today they are SCATTERED FAR AND WIDE, by MOUNTAIN , HILL AND PLAIN!
One, a son, 12 YEARS OLD LABORING ALONE, HERDING STOCK FOR $25 PER MONTH AND COOKS FOR AND BOARDS HIMSELF, out of that pitence, this is not all.
HE IS DEFORMED IN BOTH FEET, THEY BEING VERY CROOKED.
This picture is sufficient, I will say no more, that I am wanted at home, is obvious.
And, what makes realities more binding than all else, I am and have been for months, yes, even years, EDUCATING THE SONS OF STRANGERS HERE IN PRISON, WHILST MY OWN DEAR TO ME THAN MY LIFE, WAS GOING AND GROWING UP IN NEED OF WHAT I WAS BESTOWING ON OTHERS, most of whom are incapable of appreciation.
The duties here alluded to, I think, should millitate in some way in my favor.
I have never to my recollection SHRANK FROM A SINGLE DUTY IMPOSED UPON ME BY MY SUPERIORS, but endeavored at all times to do their will with pleasure during all my long and grievous confinement and if I have, or even have had any influence (and I think I have) among my fellow prisoners, I have been found at all times existing in the PEACE AND GOOD WILL OF THE WHOLE PRISON.
In Conclusion, and in Consideration of all these facts, I ask your Excellency to extend to me the CLEMENCY asked for and which is beyond doubt, that best calculated to make a WOUNDED HEART WHOLE and though the time be short, it does not and will not lessen my appreciaton of the favor asked.
If the clemency asked is extended to me, IT SHALL BE ONE OF THE CHIEF OBJECTS OF MY LIFE TO DO HOMAGE TO THAT ACT.
Thanking your Excellency for PAST CONSIDERATIONS AND HOPEFUL IN THE FUTURE.
I am yours most Respectfully.
San Quentin, August 15th, 1878
The above statement by MR. GIBBINS is truthful in every respect and I take pleasure in Certifying to his fidelity in the discharge of his duties.
C. C. Cummings
POTTER VALLEY, MARCH 25TH, 1878
JOSEPH GIBBINS, ESQUIRE,
EUGENE MC PEAK is at my place today and your case comes up in conversation and he said he would take great pleasure in signing a petition for your pardon as he was one of the jury that convicted you.
I went to work and wrote a letter to Governor Irwin in my feeble way and he signed it and I will send it to you and if you think it will do you any good, forward it to the Governor. He is very anxious you should be set at liberty.
You can write to him at anytime, his post office address is WILLITSVILLE, LITTLE LAKE, you can write to him at that place.
He says he can get nine of the jury to sign a petition for your pardon.
M. C. Briggs
P. S. Tell Bill Burke that we will know what will be done with his case in a few weeks, hoping it will be good.
I am as ever
INDEX TO TRANSCRIPTS OF SAN QUENTIN PRISONERS
State Archives, Sacramento, California
Name of Convict, Joseph R. Gibbons
Prison No. 5313
Crime: Murder 2nd D.
Name of Prison: San Quentin
County sent from: Sonoma
Box NO. 174
File No. 2759
Thus, Joseph was freed from prison.
Would he have been allowed to go to his mother's funeral while incarcerated?
His mother, Rachel, died in 1877 and thus never saw her son gain his freedom.
Did he live happily everafter?
Unfortunately, he did not.
The rest of the Story
Article taken from the Mountain Tribune, April 11, 1885:
GIBBINS AND PAGE ARE RAISING AND MAKING OTHER IMPROVEMENTS TO ASSESOR RALLS (THE NAME RINGS A BELL?)
This article is taken from the Shasta Democrat, April 29th, 1885:
We are indebted to a semi-correspondent for the particulars of a quarrel that also ended in a bloody tragedy at Mr. Scroggins' place, between Buzzard Roost and Furnaceville, last Saturday.
It seems that Mr. Scroggins and old man Gibbons were in dispute over the ownership of the land Scroggins lives upon with his family, and in consequence a bad feeling existed between them. On the day mentioned Gibbons appeared at Scroggins' house, when the later asked the former what he was doing on his (Scroggins') premises.
Thereupon Gibbons pulled from his inside coat pocket a large-sized Colt revolver and fired at Scroggins as he was standing in the door of his residence. Behind him were his wife three children and two gentlemen, who were in direct range with the shot.
The husband moved out of range to get a rifle he supposed was sitting behind the door, when the murderous Gibbons advanced, and was met at the door by Mrs. Scroggins and her three little children, whom Gibbons forced before him and at whom he snapped the revolver repeatedly.
At this juncture, Scroggins grabbed Gibbons, threw him to the ground, pulled out his pocket-knife and would have cut his murderous assailant's throat had not Mrs. Scroggins and the two gentlemen visitors preventing him from doing so.
However, Gibbons received a slight wound in the neck and his was badly used up.
While Scroggins had his assailant (Gibbons) pinned to the ground, the villan pulled another revolver and tried his best to shoot Scroggins at the same time pitiously appealing to the two gentlemen to take him (Scroggins) off, that he was murdering him. His revolver was taken from him and they were seperated.
Gibbons made a lively exit over the fence and down the gulch to his home, where he procured a horse and made his escape.
It is supposed that he struck out for Big Valley, where he had two sons residing. Since the affair took place officers have been dilligently hunting up the would be assassin in the mountains.
Gibbons is about 65 (incorrect) years of age, and we are informed that several years ago he killed a man in this State and was sentenced to sixteen years imprisonment in San Quentin, but was pardoned by Governor Pacheco after serving about half his term.
If he is captured it is a sure thing he will go to San Quentin again.
From all accounts his attempt to kill Scroggins was premeditated, and the fact that he "heeled" himself with two Colt revolvers tended to make those who witnessed the affair believe he went to kill the whole family, and would have done so had his pistols not missed fired.
WILLIAM GIBBINS WAS A BROTHER TO JOSEPH R. GIBBINS. William also had a son, William, thus it is possible that the letter was written by a nephew of Joseph's
I am posting a letter that was written by William about 1 1/2 years before the incident of the battle over property.
It is unknown to me at this time if William may have paid on some property there, but the letter is postmarked, SUMMIT, which was a name given to this area prior to naming it LOOKOUT!
This letter was found at the State Library, Sacramento, California and was found in the GOODWIN MANUSCRIPT COLLECTION.
A CONSTABLE SHOT DEAD
REDDING, MAY 29, 1885
James Greenlee, constable in Fall River Precinct, Charley Fitzwater and John McNemor went to Lookout in Big Valley to arrest JOE GIBBONS for shooting Scroggins (Article says Seraggino) at Round Mountain.
About sunup day before yesterday they discovered GIBBONS going into the woods.
GIBBONS secreted himself in the top of a fallen tree.
Jim Greenlee got to the stump and ordered him to surrender, when the firing commenced.
GIBBONS shot Greenlee in the center of the head with a Winchester rifle, tearing the top of his head off and killing him instantly.
GIBBONS was shot in the left breast.
FITZWATER and MCNEMOR captured GIBBONS and took him to Lookout.
The citizens fear a rescue from GIBBONS'S three sons and have sent a messenger to Shasta for the Sheriff.
Greenlee's body was taken to Fall River Mills for burial.
THE RED BLUFF PEOPLE'S CAUSE, MAY 29TH, 1885
A SHASTA COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF KILLED
The Red Bluff People's Cause of May 29th, gives the following particulars of the death of a Deputy Sheriff, who undertook to arrest a desperate character and former State Prison convict named Gibbons, the latter being also mortally wounded.
Some weeks since the Shasta County papers contained accounts of a difficulty between J. R. Gibbons and a man named Scroggins, near Fall City, Shasta County.
News reached Shasta at a late hour last night that Deputy Sheriff James Greenlee, of Fall City, had attempted to arrest Gibbons on a warrant issued for his apprehension on some charge connected with the Scroggins difficulty, when Gibbons fired at the Sheriff, the ball taking affect in the latter's head.
The Deputy Sheriff, however, immediately returned the fire, his shot taking effect in the breast of Gibbons, and seriously, if not fatally wounded him.
The shooting took place, it is said, just over the line in Modoc County, the officer being in pursuit of Gibbons at the time.
A warrant has been out for Gibbons ever since the difficulty with Scroggins last month, and he has been seeking to evade the officers for some time, and is regarded as rather a desperate character.
He was arrested immediately after the shooting by a Constable who still held him in charge at last accounts, in Fall City, whence he will probably be taken to the county seat of Modoc County and lodged in jail.
Under Sheriff Reynolds of Shasta County, repaired to the scene of the tragedy this morning.
Latest advices obtained from Sheriff Hopping, are to the effect that both shots were fired simultaneously, Gibbons' shot proving almost instantaneously fatal, while as already stated, Gibbons survived his injuries and was living at last accounts.
It is also stated that the officer snapped both barrels of a shotgun at Gibbons before drawing his revolver, though this report does not come through the Sheriff's office.
Deputy Sheriff Greenlee was a son-in-law of Dr. J. E. Moores of fall City.
He was a young man about 35 years of age, and leaves three small children orphans, as his wife died a few years ago.
As a man he was highly respected, as an officer, brave and honorable and he proved his fidelity to his trust-he died at his post of duty.
MOUNTAIN TRIBUNE, MAY 30, 1885
JAMES A. GREENLEE, DEPUTY SHERIFF OF SHASTA COUNTY, KILLED IN BIG VALLEY, WHILE ATTEMPTING TO ARREST JOSEPH R. GIBBINS
HIS MURDERER UNDER ARREST, AND BADLY WOUNDED
The community Thrown Into a Dangerous State of Excitement...Talk of Lynching Freely indulged in, but better Counsels Still Prevail.
The news of the killing of Officer Greenlee came to the people of our town and community last Wednesday morning as a shock, the painful character of which it is difficult to find language to describe, but, as MR. GIBBINS had given it out that he would NOT BE TAKEN ALIVE, this news was not altogether unexpected.
MR. GIBBINS is charged with an attempt to murder a man named Scroggins, near Furnaceville, Shasta County, on the 25th of last April--an account of which we copied from the Shasta Democrat.
Since the affray took place GIBBINS has been in our valley and although several officers have been sent here to secure his arrest, they have all returned without their man.
Last Tuesday, Officer Greenlee received a warrant from the Sheriff of Shasta County, commanding him to make the arrest and to summon all the assistance he deemed necessary to accomplish the arrest.
Accordingly, he deputized Charles F. Fitzwater, of Fall River Mills, and John H. McNemar, of Pittville, to accompany him to Big Valley.
Officer Greenlee, having been in the valley last week, and ascertained the whereabouts of GIBBINS, proceeded with his possee Tuesday night and camped in that vicinity, a mile or so west of the house in which he was supposed to be.
A little after sunrise Wednesday morning, they observed a man coming over the hill from the direction of the house and whom Mr. Greenlee thought to be GIBBINS.
There being considerable timber and underbrush between he and them, the officers separated and kept a short distance apart, thinking to come on him by surprise.
It appears that GIBBINS had been on the look out also, and had concealed himself behind a large log.
Mr. Greenlee was the first to discover him, when four or five shots were immediately exchanged.
When Fitzwater and McNemer came upon the scene, they found Greenlee breathing his last and GIBBINS badly wounded.
The shooting being heard at ECTOR GIBBINS HOUSE, by Mr. Paulk and Ector, they were upon the ground nearly as soon as the officers were.
Mr. Paulk immediately started to Bieber after Dr. Thompson, and the officers assisted in caring for and conveying GIBBINS to the house of his son.
Word was then sent to S. C. Mooers, Justice of the Peace and ex-officio Coroner at Lookout, Modoc County, who immediately summoned a jury of twelve and proceeded to the scene of the tragedy, made an examination of the grounds and took possession of the body of James A. Greenlee, conveyed it to Lookout, held an inquest, and the following is the:
VERDICT OF THE JURY
In the matter of the inquisition upon the body of James A. Greenlee, deceased, before S. C. Mooers, acting Coroner of the town of Lookout, Modoc County, State of California,
We, the undersigned jury summoned to appear before said acting Coroner, to inquire into the cause of the death of said JAMES A. GREENLEE, found dead about two miles of this place, having been duly sworn according to law, and having made such inquisition, after inspecting the body and hearing the testimony adduced, upon oath, each and all do say:
THAT WE FIND THAT THE DECEASED JAMES A. GREENLEE, was a native of America, a citizen of Fall River Mills, Shasta County, California, acting as Deputy Sheriff; that he came to his death while attempting to arrest JOSEPH R. GIBBINS, by a ball from a repeating rifle in the hands of JOSEPH R. GIBBINS.
All of which we duly certify to by this inquisition in writing by us, signed this 27th day of May, 1885.
James W. Brown, foreman
N. W. Thresher
Ira S. Cannon
J. H. Wheeler
George E. Payne
James C. Word
J. M. Leventon(See later details and picture)
N. D. Wheeler
R. L. Leventon.
The body was then taken to Fall River Mills, where the deceased had resided for many years, and was held in high esteem by the citizens of Fall River Valley.
The funeral procession was led by the Fall City Cornet Band (of which deceased was also a member) and was the largest funeral ever witnessed in Fall River Valley.
Dr. Thompson, who is in attendance upon MR. GIBBINS, says that although his wound is dangerous, there is a chance for his recovery.
He is in charge of Constable J. W. Marcus, on a charge of murder.
Although Mr. Greenlee was shot down while in the discharge of his sworn duty, we hope the law will be allowed to take its course in punishing his murderer.
We are opposed to mob law, and conscientiously opposed to capital punishment, but we hold that no good, true citizen will attempt in any manner to thwart the execution and enforcement of the laws in such cases made and provided, and, no good citizen will.
The above is a sad affair, indeed.
The deceased leaves three orphan children.
He was a respected citizen, and his loss will be felt in the community in which he has resided many years, while Gibbins' relatives and friends are classed as being among the best citizens of our valley.
LET JUSTICE BE DONE, IS OUR WISH.
AS WE WENT TO PRESS YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, DR. THOMPSON INFORMED US THAT THE CHANCES FOR JO. R. GIBBINS' RECOVERY, WERE VERY UNFAVORABLE (DATE, MAY 30, 1885)
A DESPERATE MAN
REDDING, JUNE 3, 1885
Under Sheriff John E. Reynolds of this county has just returned from the scene of the Greenlee and Gibbons difficulty.
Reynolds reached Gibbons' son's house in Big Valley Saturday last at noon, where JOE GIBBONS died at 7 o'clock Saturday morning and was buried at LOOKOUT, two miles from the scene of the tragic affair.
GIBBONS had fortified himself on a bluff about half a mile from the residence of one of his sons, had his bedding there and was determined not to be taken alive.
From this point he could see any approach to his concealment.
The Sunday before Deputy Sheriff Greenlee was in the valley looking for Gibbons.
GIBBONS halted Greenlee and asked him what he was looking for.
GIBBONS told him to keep it in his pocket, for if he drew it out he would certainly kill him.
They then talked on the subject of GIBBONS' wrongs for over an hour, when Greenlee left and returned to Fall River Mills.
On Tuesday, he, Fitzwater and McNemar went over to arrest GIBBONS, and the result is the death of Greenlee and Gibbons.
All is quiet in that section now.
JUNE 6, 1885
J. R. GIBBINS, WHOM OFFICER GREENLEE WOUNDED IN THE ATTEMPT TO ARREST HIM ON THE MORNING OF THE 27TH ULT., DIED LAST SATURDAY MORNING, AND WAS BURIED IN THE LOOKOUT CEMETERY ON THE SUNDAY FOLLOWING.
JUNE 6, 1885
J. R. Reynolds, Under Sheriff of Shasta county, upon receiving intelligence of the sad fate of Deputy Greenlee, while attempting to arrest J. R. GIBBINS in our valley on the 27th ult., immediately started for the scene of the tragedy and arrived here last Saturday morning, where he was informed that the High Sheriff had taken charge of the prisoner--GIBBINS having died at seven o'clock that morning.
He informed us that ONLY ONE WARRANT TO MAKE THE ARREST WAS ISSUED FROM THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE AND THAT WAS PLACED IN THE HANDS OF OFFICER GREENLEE.
As SEVERAL SO-CALLED DETECTIVES have been in the valley, REPRESENTING THAT THEY WERE CLOTHED WITH AUTHORITY TO MAKE THE ARREST, we make this statement, IN ORDER THAT OUR PEOPLE MAY NOT BE HUMBUGGED BY SUCH IN THE FUTURE, AND WE THINK THEY WILL BE REQUESTED TO SHOW THEIR PAPERS HEREAFTER, FOR WE HAVE BEEN CURSED WITH MANY SUCH FRAUDS WITHIN THE PAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS.
AN INTERESTING TID-BIT PASSED ON BY DIXIE LEVENTON, POSSIBLY JUST FOLKLORE BUT ANOTHER TWIST TO THE STORY:
This was written by a young school boy when he interviewed Harry Roberts, an old timer about thirty years ago. Harry was born in 1878:
The Gibbons fued was over being accused of stealing a team of oxen. They arrested him and gave him a trial. He was Mrs. Nellie Leventons Mothers brother Gibbons and Crolling (probably Crowley).
He hide out in a Big Jumper tree during the day.
The sheriff came from FallRiver and Deputy.
He shoot the deputy.
They took the Deputy back home and waited a few days and then came back and he was hide out at night.
They shot him there and he died of blood poisoning.
Joseph Rankin Gibbins is buried in the LOOKOUT CEMETERY. As you walk into the gate go left and head toward the back corner.
The tombstone is a pillar whose top is now missing.
The stone needs repair and someone has tried to patch it.
J. R., as he is called, is buried there with his son, Bertie.
Bertie died just 3 months after J. R.
The tombstone reads: Bertie R., Beloved son of J. R. & L. A. Gibbins, died August 19, 1885, Age 1 Year, 7 Months and 18 days.
The Poem on the bottom reads:
"Tis a little grave, but O have come, For world wide hopes are buried there. How much of light, how much of joy, Is buried with our darling Boy."
J. R.'s reads:
JOSEPH R. GIBBINS died May 30, 1885, Aged 52 years, 1 Month and 11 days.
A loving husband, A tender father, and a generous friend.
The poem at the bottom reads:
"Shed not the tear, the bitter tear, nor give the heart to vain regret. 'Tis but the casket that lies here, the gem that filled it sparkles yet."
JOSEPH R. GIBBINS had a sister names MARTHA MELVINA GIBBINS, who married JAMES CROWLEY, BORN 25 August, 1829 in Clinton, Missouri, then called Clintonville.
From July 1845 through 1846, James rode the Pony Express for a man named Cummins, who had the contract to carry the mail from Clintonville to Fort Scott, Kansas.
James made a round trip twice each week, a distance of 120 miles each way.
The horses had to swim with the rider and the mail when the rivers were high, but James missed only one trip from high water or any other cause.
He was half through his 17th year when he started to ride for the Pony Express, and weighed only 122 pounds.
When he was eighteen, he weighed 165 and was overweight for the job.
James had his outfit ready to come West with a party in 1849, but he contracted pneumonia and his journey to California was delayed to another date.
He took a trip east during the interval, however, helping to drive a herd of cattle to Virginia.
He was aware of having relatives in Virginia, but he did not get in touch with them.
When James finally came West in 1852, his outfit started from SAINT JOSEPH, MISSOURI.
The captain of the train was Colonel Hagen.
One man in the train was named LIJE SMITH. Another was RANKIN CROW, RACHEL CROW GIBBINS' BROTHER AND ALSO THE FATHER OF JAMES' STEPMOTHER.
In addition, there were other members of the Crow family, including, JOHN LOGAN CROW and his bride, who joined the train three days after their wedding.
Also, a younger son, JAMES RANKIN CROW, then 14, was with his father.
The Crows brought their horses and cattle with them, traveling by ox teams and schooner wagons.
JAMES married MARTHA MELVINA GIBBINS and they moved to Placerville.
He later owned some land in Petaluma which he lost-part of an old Spanish grant that was confiscated by the government.
He then went back to the mines in Placerville at Miner's Ravine where a couple of his children were born.
The family moved to Mendocino County on Rancheree Creek where they mined, and later to Sonoma County, California, and finally to the north of LOOKOUT on TAYLOR CREEK where they farmed and raised JOHN LOGAN, MARY FRANCES, ROBERT LEE, RACHEL ELVIRa, AND THOMAS JEFFERSON, NETTIE ANN, ERMINA EMMANANCEE AND JAMES WALTER CROWLEY.
MARTHA died in ODESSA, WASHINGTON, while they were on a visit, Tuesday, February 17, 1903.
James died of a BROKEN HEART THE NEXT DAY.
They are both buried at Harrington Cemetery in Lincoln County, Washington.
MARTHA MELVINA GIBBINS CROWLEY
NETTIE ANN CROWLEY married JOSEPH WELDON LEVENTON who came to LOOKOUT in 1881. His brother Robert, had come the year before and two sisters were already there. These brothers signed a deed in 1898 and built a very lucrative business in LOOKOUT, CALIFORNIA.
They raised horses and mules and matched teams to sell.
An advertisement in MODOC COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, 1912 reads as follows:
LEVENTON BROS., LOOKOUT, CAL.
LOOKOUT FEED & LIVERY STABLE
LOOKOUT BLACKSMITH SHOP
BREEDERS OF THOROUGHBRED GERMAN COACH AND PERCHERON HORSES,
DURHAM CATTLE, AND BERKSHIRE SWINE.
This information is taken from Jean Creswick.
This J. T.Gibbins, is probably the son of Joseph Gibbins. Joseph had a brother named John Thomas, but don't believe this is him!
Next item is taken from the Adin Advocate Business Advertisements, 1882-1885.
I have revealed to the best of my ability the truths in these events which are very well documented.
Melvina Gibbins was the daughter of Joseph Rankin and Mary Riffe Gibbins,(not to be confused with the sister of Joseph Rankin Gibbins) the Sister of the Isaac Walter Gibbins shown to be the "Helpless Cripple".
I only show him with this description, as that is how he is depicted in the articles, but he was never a "Helpless Cripple". He showed great strength in his accomplishments!
At this point, I will attempt to show the scarce details about the "Helpless Cripple", referred to in these files.
My great grandfather was Isaac Walter Gibbins, and have heard he spent most of what he had to free his brother, Joseph R. Gibbins.
The "Helpless Cripple" was the son of Joseph R. Gibbins, and was also named Isaac Walter Gibbins.
Joseph had lost his wife Mary Riffe Gibbins, and he had remarried Lillian A. Graves, rumored to be the sister of Mary Riffe although not proven at this time, before going to prison. Lillian felt she could not raise a CRIPPLE and put him in an orphanage in San Rafael, California.
His age at this time was about 7 or 8.
Rumor says he ran away from the orphanage at about 12 years of age. (Refer to earlier document that says he was making 25 dollars a month and cooking for himself).
He sooner or later made his way to Alturas, California, where he was a successful Shoe and Bootmaker. He learned to make his own shoes out of necessity. (Please refer to picture)
He also built the first Power Plant in Alturas, California, and was a very highly respected citizen of that place.
It is unknown to me how he and his father were united, but they were together before the tragedies in Modoc County.
He also married and raised a family and was a very handsome man.
He must been a very great person, he stayed in the area where his father committed the crimes, and was able to succeed and hold his head up high.
Article from the Adin Advocate, December 28, 1882
Local News, See the (business) card of I. W. GIBBINS, BOOT AND SHOEMAKER, at BIEBER.
MR. GIBBINS is a good workman and should receive the liberal patronage he deserves.
Isaac Walter Gibbins, son of Joseph Rankin Gibbins, was born February 10, 1864 in Woodland/Knights Landing, Yolo county, California, and died May 6, 1927 in Altruas, Modoc County, California.
He married Julia May Rachford, February 15, 1894 in Altruas, Modoc County, California, daughter of Charles Rachford and Augusta Snyder.
*Notes for Isaac Walter Gibbins:
Taken from Adin Argus, Thursday, August 1, 1895
MODOC COUNTY OFFICERS
I. W. GIBBINS, RECORDER
NEW ERA--Wednesday, April 11, 1906
When I. W. GIBBONS was at Cedarville a few days ago, he made a proposition to supply the power from his electric plant on Pine Creek.
We understand that the residents of Cedarville have practically decided to accept the proposition.
NEW ERA--January 10, 1902
ALMOST A FATAL ACCIDENT
Yesterday morning while I. W. GIBBINS was at work on the roof of the new electric light building, the roof being frosty, he slipped and fell from the roof.
The distance was about twelve feet and he fell backwards.
He was injured to such an extent in the back that he was unable to get up.
Hands at work on the building picked him up and put him on a work bench, and Dr. Risdon was at once summoned.
A litter was made and a crowd carried him to his home, and although the ordeal of carrying him was a trying one, he stood it without a murmur.
Upon examination Dr. Risdon found that there was one rib broken on the right side and four ribs broken on the left side, next to the back bone.
The Dr. informs us however that he does not consider the injuries serious, and thinks that if Walter remains quiet he will recover within a few weeks.
He had a narrow escape and we are pleased that it is no worse than it is, and sincerely trust that he will soon recover.
NEW ERA, JANUARY 17, 1902
I. W. GIBBINS, who was hurt so severely last week by falling off the roof of the electric light building, is now fast recovering.
This the roof Isaac Walter Gibbins fell from! It is a three story building and is still a very interesting and beautiful old Hotel with much History in Photos in the Hotel!
LASSEN ADVOCATE-MODOC EXCHANGES, 24 April, 1908
I. W. GIBBINS, B. LAUER, DR. AUBLE, S. M. SUMAFRANK were elected TRUSTEES. 185 votes were polled.
More about ISAAC WALTER GIBBINS
BURIAL: May 8, 1927, ALTURAS, MODOC COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Census 1: 1900. Alturas Township
Census 2: 1910, Alturas Township
Census 3: 1920, Alturas Township
Census 4: 1920, Married
Occupation: Electrical Engineer, Dry Goods Bookkeeper.
Notes for JULIA MAY RACHFORD
On her death certificate which was filled out by Eunice, her daughter, it states that her birth date is 30 October, 1868.
ADIN ARGUS, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1894
GIBBINS-RACHFORD-In Alturas, February 15, 1894, Miss May Rachford to I. W. GIBBINS. (Walter's numerous Big Valley Friends extend congratulations and good wishes.)
There was a quiet wedding, so we are informed, at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Rachford yesterday afternoon (15th), the contracting parties being their eldest daughter, Miss May, to I. W. GIBBINS, our WORTHY AUDITOR AND RECORDER.
May God Bless them.
NEW ERA, OCTOBER 31, 1902
Mrs. I. W. Gibbins has been confined to her bed by sickness for the past week, but is some improved as we go to press.
NEW ERA, NOVEMBER 7, 1902
Mrs. I. W. Gibbins who was seriously ill several days last week, is now improving rapidly.
NEW ERA, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 1904
MRS. I. W. GIBBINS is still quite sick with Typhoid fever. Mr. Risdon is her physician and we hope to soon report her improving.
NEW ERA, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1904
MRS. I. W. GIBBINS, who recently went through a siege of typhoid fever has almost entirely recovered.
Last week her eldest Daughter, CHRISINE was taken with the disease and has been quite sick.
Last Saturday the second daughter EUNICE was also taken down with fever.
Dr. Risdon is their physician and we are pleased to say that both the girls are getting along as well as it is possible for them to do, and the doctor looks for no serious results.
MORE ABOUT JULIA MAY RACHFORD:
AN ADDED INTERESTING SIDE NOTE: JULIA RACHFORD'S FATHER, CHARLES, WAS SHERIFF IN MODOC COUNTY AT THE TIME THAT J. R. GIBBINS WAS KILLED
Burial: January 8, 1946, El Cerrito, Alameda County, California
From Men of Modoc County's Past, Modoc County Journal:
The Sheriffs of Modoc County:
Chris Rachford (as he was known) was born in St. George,
Quebec, Canada, and he was among the pioneers who settled in Surprise Valley in 1864.
He settled in the north end of the valley near what would be Fort Bidwell.
Chris married Augusta Snyder in 1867, and theirs was the first wedding held in Fort Bidwell. They had seven children.
He endured the hardships, trials, and dangers that came along with carving a settlement in country that the Indians knew as home.
In a battle fought with the Paiutes in Fandango Valley in 1864, Chris was severly wounded and suffered from the effects of that wound for the rest of his life.
According to the newspaper report in 1864, Lake City staged the first community dance held in what would become Modoc County.
Chris Rachford was the envy of every man there because he was sporting a pair of fancy pump shoes, and the rest of the men wore cumbersome cowhide work boots.
Rachford's city shoes for the occasion were noticed by everyone.
The article also noted that because of the threat from Indians, the dance didn't break up until after sunrise.
Chris Rachford was sheriff in 1885 when news hit Alturas that there had been a murder on the Madeline Plains allegedly committed by an Indian man named Holden Dick.
Sheriff Rachford, along with a small posse, arrested Dick without incident in the South Fork Valley.
Dick was tried in Lassen County, where he was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to die by hanging.
Holden Dick carried a legend of hidden treasures of gold in the Warner Mountains with him to his death.
Chris Rachford passed away in 1908 in Alturas at the age of 69.
DAUGHTER OF CHRIS RACHFORD:
ELLA CHRISTINE RACHFORD, MARRIED A SLOSS
Ella was born on October 10, 1876, near Fort Bidwell, California.
In 1950, Ella C. Sloss was elected County Clerk and only beat her opponent, Bert Wardwell, by a single vote.
In 1955, her last official act as County Clerk was to prepare a marriage license for her grandson, Robert Sloss.
Ella died in 1963, two days before the assassination of President Kennedy.
Census 1: 1880, Lake City Township
Census 2: 1900, Alturas Township
Census 3: 1910 Alturas Township
Census 4: 1910, Married 17 years, 7 children, 5 living
Census 5: 1920, Alturas Township
Census 6: 1920, Married
Occupation: Dress Maker
MORE ABOUT ISAAC GIBBINS AND JULIA RACHFORD
Marriage, February 15, 1894, Alturas, Modoc County, California
CHILDREN OF ISAAC GIBBINS AND JULIA RACHFORD ARE:
1.Christine Augusta Gibbins, b. December 5, 1894, Alturas, Modoc County, California
More about Christine: From Journal of the Modoc County Historical Society.
About 1903, people started homesteading. One of the Homesteaders listed in the Journal is Christine Gibbins, listed as a teacher in the Red Starr School District.
Christine taught from 1914-1915. The school closed in 1932. It was located on the West Side of South Fork Valley
2. Eunice Magdelon Gibbins, b. August 3, 1896, Alturas, Modoc County, California, married Leonard Carl Wesleder
3.Thelma May Gibbins, b. May 28, 1898, Alturas, Modoc County, California, d. Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, California, m. Orin Boslar, December 5, 1926, Stockton, San Joaquin County, California
More about Thelma May Gibbins
Census 1: 1900, Alturas Township
More about Orin Boslar and Thelma Gibbins:
Marriage, December 5, 1926, Stockton, San Joaquin County, California
4. Beauel Millicent Gibbins, b. June 15, 1904, Alturas, Modoc County, California, d. December 19, Reno, Washoe County, Nevada, m. Richard Santa, June 25, 1944, Hollister, San Benito County, California, d. 1980
Notes for Beauel Millicent Gibbins
Beauel was a librarian for San Jose School District. She sang in the San Francisco Opera chorus for several years, was a member of the Presbyterian Church and attended University of Nevada, Reno and the university of California at Berkley.
She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority and California Retired Teachers' Assoc.
Her husband, Richard, preceded her in death in 1980
BEAUEL M. GIBBINS SANTA
Beauel Millicent Gibbins Santa, 91, died December 19, 1995, at Lifecare Center of Reno, Nevada
A native of Alturas, California, to Walter I, and Julia Rachford Gibbins.
She loved Modoc County and had many cousins here.
She moved to Reno in 1993, from California
Her husband Richard preceded her in death in 1980.
She is survived by nieces Carol Kenville of Reno and Virginia Weber of Danville, California, a nephew John Gibbins of Berkley and cousins Peggy Dekker and Robert Sloss both of Alturas.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in Alturas.
Cremation took place at Reno Crematory, under the direction of Northern Nevada Memorial Crematon and Burial Society.
Source: Modoc Record, January 18, 1996
More about Beauel Millicent Gibbins:
Census 1: 1910, Alturas Township
Census 2: 1920. Alturas Township
Education: 1921, Modoc Union High School Graduate
More about Richard Santa and Beauel Gibbins
Marriage June 25, 1944, San Benito County, California
Photo is Christine A. Gibbins Wyatt, Eunice Gibbins Wesleder, Thelma Gibbins Boslar, Beauel Gibbins Santa. Photo was taken about 1951
5. J. Drexel Gibbins, b. August 21, 1908, Alturas, Modoc County, California, married Darthula Jeannette Hotle. the parents of Ginny Gibbins Weber.
Photo is Thelma, J. Drexel and Beauel Gibbins
6. Walter Drayce Gibbins, b. May 19, 1911, Alturas, Modoc County, California
7. Ector Hemingway Gibbins and Hattie (more information to be revealed on Ector).
Ector Hemingway Gibbins was born 1858 and died December 6, 1903 in New Pine Creek, Lake County, Oregon. Hattie was born 1857 and died 1937.
NOTES FOR ECTOR H. GIBBINS
Wednesday, December 2, 1903
LIFE DESPAIRED OF
ECTOR H. GIBBINS, who has been lying at the point of death at his home at New Pine Creek, is no better, and the doctors have given up all hopes of his recovery.
Dr. Risdon was telegraphed for last Sunday evening, and departed immediately for Pine Creek.
We received a telegram yesterday stating that all hope was abandoned and that Dr. Risdon was on his way home.
Dr. Risdon returned last evening and reported that Mr. Gibbins had a very slim chance of recovery, although he still would hope for the best.
We received a telegram this morning and we are pleased to state that Mr. Gibbins is some better this morning.
His anxious friends at this place are trusting that he will now continue to improve.
MORE ABOUT ECTOR H. GIBBINS
BURIAL: December 7, 1903, New Pine Creek, Modoc County, California
NOTES FOR HATTIE D.
NEW ERA, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1903
Mrs. E. H. Gibbins and daughter Miss Eva, passed through here last Sunday morning on their way from San Francisco to their home at New Pine Creek.
Mrs. Gibbins and daughter have been below for some time for the benefit of Miss Evas Health, and we are pleased to state that she returned very much improved.
They were hastened home by a telegram stating that Mr. E. H. Gibbins was very low with typhoid fever.
The ladies were accompanied from Alturas by I. W. Gibbins.
NEW ERA, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1903
TROUBLE NEVER COMES SINGLY
Just after Mrs. Gibbins had returned from the burial of her husband at New Pine Creek on Monday of last week, she received a telegram from Woodland stating that her sister Mrs. Ella Kellogg, had died at that place at 11 o'clock of that day.
Mrs. Kellogg had been a sufferer from heart trouble and her death was very sudden.
Her husband preceded her to the grave about a year.
Mrs. Gibbins was named Executrix of Mrs. Kelloggs estate and will be compelled to soon depart for Woodland in the interest of the estate.
NEW ERA, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 1904
Mrs. Hattie Gibbins, and daughter, Miss Eva of New Pine Creek, came down to Alturas last Wednesday.
On the following day Mrs. Gibbons proceeded on to Colusa County, where she goes to settle up the estate of her deceased sister, Mrs. Ella Kellogg.
Miss Eva returned to New Pine Creek on Friday.
MORE ABOUT HATTIE D.:
BURIAL: 1937, New Pine Creek, Lake County, Oregon
CHILDREN OF ECTOR GIBBINS AND HATTIE ARE:
1. EVA GIBBINS
2. ROSE B. GIBBINS, b. circa 1883, California, d. circa 1920
Rose Gibbins and ? Briles,Daughter of Ector and Hattie Gibbins
Mellie (Malvina Gibbins) married to a Miller. She was the daughter of Ector Hemingway and Hattie Gibbins.
I would like to thank Pearl, Beryl, Darlene and Ginny, whom without each of them this would have not come into fruition!
Pearl helped me tremendously in learning how to publish my page and that was a huge undertaking on her part. Thank You, Pearl.
Beryl for giving me information on our line and being very supportive. Thank You, Beryl
Darlene, for TRYING to keep me straight, and that is difficult sometimes.
Thank You, Darlene
Ginny, thank you so much for helping me fill in the blanks and sharing with me. I was so lucky that Ginny found me and we were able to meet and exchange some very valuable information.
Thank You, Ginny
This is not the end of the story, I will be adding new information as it is revealed.
GOD BLESS ALL
"I WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE"
I wish I could have been there,
to be a friend to you.
I would have held your children.
And prayed each day for you!
My life won't reach from where I am,
Back through the sands of time,
But you are not forgotten,
Your spirit reaches mine.
History can never be changed
Not even by a prayer,
But if it makes a difference,
"I WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE"
Written by Sally, June 13, 2001
I claim all rights to this story as I have written it.
Sally Haven, June 4, 2001