Tales from the Morgue: Old friends meet and a warning to thieves

2014-01-14T12:00:00Z 2014-01-22T15:00:35Z Tales from the Morgue: Old friends meet and a warning to thievesJohanna Eubank Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 14, 2014 12:00 pm  • 

One hundred years ago today, a blind man who was once a telegrapher and correspondent for the Star in 1881, attended a meeting during which Arizona's governor spoke. The man recognized the governor's voice as that of his former editor at the Star.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Thursday, Jan. 15, 1914:


Man Who Reported Apache War for Star When Governor Hughes Was Editor Identifies Old Friend by Voice

Recognizing one of the speakers at the Christian Science church last evening as Governor L. C. Hughes, his former editor when he was a correspondent for the Star in 1881, J. W. Hayes, a blind telegrapher, visiting in Tucson yesterday evening, had a visit with his old friend in which they recalled the old times of the Apache wars when the Star gave to the anxious people the latest news about the dreaded and bloodthirsty Indians on the warpath.

Mr. Hayes with his attendant, William White, arrived in Tucson yesterday, and during the day they met quite a number of people and made quite a number of sales of Mr. Hayes' two books, containing his many adventures and experiences. In the evening they attended the Christian Science meeting at the church, and during the meeting Governor Hughes made a short talk.

"That Is Hughes."

"That is L. C. Hughes, the editor of the Star," Hayes said to his companion. "I am sure that I recognize his voice."

At the close of the meeting White took Mr. Hayes up to the governor and the two had a pleasant talk over the early days of Arizona daily journalism. During his experiences as a war correspondent Hayes worked for the Western Union at Willcox, Bowie and other points in Mew Mexico and Arizona and also had charge of the telegraph lines laid for the use of the army officers.

As a side issue he acted as a correspondent for the Star and sent in all the matter about the Apache war for a number of months.

Following the close of the war he left the country and has never returned until this trip. Part of the time he has been in Mexico. His travels include the entire United States, and he has written a number of interesting books, the sale of which keeps him.

The Changes of Time.

Mr. Hayes stated last evening that in 1881 the Tucson office was in charge of Bob Kerron and Charley Donnelly was an operator. The latter is now chief operator at San Francisco. Yesterday Mr. Hayes called up Willcox but found that all of his old friends at that place had gone.

He leaves this morning for El Paso and expects to go on still further east. He may go into Mexico and intends to return later to Tucson and remain longer in the hope of finding still other old friends beside Governor Hughes.

In the paper of the same date a report appeared that a thief was hung in nearby Sonora. His body was left hanging from a gatepost near the highway as a warning to other potential cattle rustlers.


Sonora Government Rurales Capture Leader of Band of Cattle Rustlers After Fight; Others Escape to Arizona

DOUGLAS, Jan. 14.—"Let this be a warning to all thieves," is the text of a placard affixed to the breast of Ramon Valenzuela, a Mexican cattle thief, whose body hangs from a tall gatepost near the main highway at Cuquarchi, Sonora, 37 miles southwest of here.

Valenzuela was hanged a few days ago after a year's operation as leader of a band of cattle thieves. Sentence of death was recently passed on him in Cananea. A force of rurales was sent out with orders to capture and summarily execute Valenzuela or any of his men.

The rustlers were located a few days ago near Mababi, having stolen cattle with them, and a running fight with the officers ensued. Valenzuela was captured. His three followers escaped, although one was said to have been badly wounded.

The bandit was hanged in the most conspicuous spot in that vicinity. Before his execution he have the names of two Mexicans residing at Fronteras, who he alleged were acting as his agents. They were arrested and taken to Agua Prieta. They probably will be sent to Hermosillo for trial. Rurales are still in pursuit of other members of the band, who are believed, however, to have escaped into Arizona.

Frontier justice apparently wasn't concerned with the sensibilities of innocent people who might come across a corpse left hanging along the highway for several days, but it would certainly be a worthy lesson for those contemplating larceny.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com

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