OBITUARY: Emory W. Ricketts

Emory W. Ricketts

HIAWATHA, Carbon county - Emory William (Bill) Ricketts, 76, died Monday at 3:15 p.m. at the Veterans Administration hospital in Sheridan, Wyo., after a lingering illness.

He had been hospitalized for the past two and a one half years.

Mr. Ricketts was born Oct. 28, 1876, in Mr. Union, Pa., a son of Wesley and Wilhelmina Jane Cornelius Ricketts. He left Pennsylvania while still a child and came to Livingston, Mont., where he lived for several years.

He was a volunteer in the First Montana Regiment, Spanish American War, and also served during Boxer Rebellion.

He came to Hiawatha in June, 1922, where he was employed by the U.S. Fuel Co., for 28 years. On April 2, 1925 he married Floria Warren in Evanston, Wyo.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lived in the Hiawatha ward.

Mr. Ricketts was a blacksmith and tool sharpener by trade and was a member of the Hiawatha Twenty Year Club. He was also a former member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Price Post, and an ardent fishing and hunting enthusiast.

Survivors include his widow, Clearfield; three sons, A/2C Milton W. Ricketts, with the U.S. Air Force in Las Vegas, Nev., and Galen W. and Norman Lee Ricketts, both of Clearfield; four sisters, Mrs. Mamie Davis and Mrs. Mine Clingerman, both of Livingtson, Mont., Mrs. Alice Patterson, Casper, Wyo., and Ann (last name unknow), Spokane, Wash.; two brothers, Roy Ricketts, Livingston, and Monte Ricketts, address unknown.

Funeral service will be announced by the Mitchell Mortuary, Price.

Emory W. RickettsFlora W. Ricketts

If you have any information concerning this family please contact Teresa Peterson


by Eugene H. Halverson

"You would lose no more children if you will come to America with us" said the Mormon missionaries to Charles and Catherine Houghton. The promise brought the two converts here to Castle Gate, Utah in 1907. This is their story written more than ninety years later.

For three generations our records list the Houghtons as residents of Heather, Leicestershire, England. So, our story begins with a little of what we know about Heather and what life was like at this time. An Earl, Earl Howe, owned most of the land in the Heather Parish. There was a flourmill on the river dating back to the middle ages. There were several small businesses, a brick making plant and a small coal mine with a railroad passing near them. The Houghtons were all listed as colliers (miners). They lived in a rented house on Main Street. Every house was on Main Street and they all had gardens.

Charles Houghton

This was where Charles Houghton was born 3 March 1874 in Heather, Leicestershire, England to Ann Wragg and George Houghton. His two sisters were Sarah Jane 5 and Catherine 2. Four months after the birth of Charles on the 20th of July 1874 their father, George was killed in a mine accident. The death of a breadwinner must have caused a great hardship. How the family survived is unknown to us but life would have been hard. Little was done for the welfare of its people then. Ann later married a Smith and had one more child, Edith. Marie, daughter of Edith is 71 and is still alive. Yet, no one here in America knew of this.

We know nothing about the opportunities of these children but education was very limited. Rarely were there opportunities to learn more than to read and write. To them it was a waste of time to teach children whose only future lay in the coalmines, factory or farms. School was only possible if the parents could afford the required fees and ended at the age of 11. There was no secondary education in most towns and they were expensive. Charles must have received some schooling because he acted like it and he had the most beautiful handwriting found anywhere. He served the community in Castle Gate with his talents in various ways.

Charles & Catherine Houghton

I have in my possession the marriage certificate when Charles Houghton married Catherine Burrows in the Parish Church in Heather. On the 25th of May 1896 Charles was listed as a miner and she as a twenty-year-old spinster. Witnessed by John Thomas Burrows and Catherine Salisbury (Charles' sister). Catherine's' father and brothers were also miners and they were from Kimberly and Whitwick. The operators of these English mines paid their workers very little for their labor and cared little for their welfare. There were no child labor laws then, both the fathers and their children were lowered hundreds of feet into the earth to work long, hard shifts. Unfortunately the miners in America weren't treated much better.

On the 9th of February 1897 their first child Agnes was born in Heather. Then it seems as soon as the next child was born, they would pack up and move to the next town. Times were poor and work was scarce. The industrial revolution caused a need for more and more coal. Towns were growing and expanding with no thought of a clean healthy water supply or proper sanitation. There was no sewer system, no garbage collection all rubbish was burnt or buried in the garden. Large out breaks of scarlet fever and typhoid were common many children died from disease and malnutrition. Five children would die in the next five years, Agnes, Gladys, Sarah Ann, Elizabeth May and George Herbert. The places they lived during these trying times were Heather, Leicestershire County; Swadlincote, Derbyshire County; and Audenshaw, Lancashire County.

We have two stories of the oldest girl, Agnes. The first was when they once lived in a large two story home in Audenshaw where candles were used for lights. It tells of how little Agnes while walking down the stairs caught her nightgown on fire serious enough to have caused her death. The other story tells of a little Five year old girl who got up early one morning to make the fire to cook breakfast. Somehow she was severely burned by a kerosene explosion.

Sometime after their sixth child, Charles Arthur, was born 6 November 1903, the Mormon missionaries came to them and promised them that if they accepted the gospel and immigrated to Utah all the rest of their children would live, and they did. In the later months of 1907, the family sailed to America. Another story tells of an earlier date but the 1907 date is more believable since Charley who was five years old remembers the Niagara Falls in New York and the train ride to Utah. They came straight to the coal mining town of Castle Gate. Charles was an experienced miner by now and a job was waiting for him.

There is where my wife's father Bill was born a few months later on the 26 April 1908. His brother, John Thomas was born October 1909.

This was the site of the first coal found in Carbon County, 1888. Soon after discovery, the Pleasant Valley Coal Company opened the Number One Mine and later in 1890 the Wasatch Store was built. A company town with company houses soon followed. To live in a company house you had to have a company job and if you didn't buy from the company store, you were fired from your job and you were immediately evicted from the town.

I'm told that Catherine's sister Ruth and two of her brothers came with them. One of them was Arthur who married Metta Minerva Harley here in Utah. The Burrow brothers were both miners. Their home was a large three-room house that was later made into the Castle Gate Library. I'm told that they all lived together in this house - Charles' family and the Burrows.

Catherine missed her family and life in England. She hated Utah. Later the two brothers were supposed to have returned to England. We know that Arthur' wife, Minerva, lived a long life and eventually died in Magna. Did they all return and was she left her?

Catherine was very religious but did have a little milk and tea ever day, and her grandchildren could not remember her attending Church, but she was old then. She had a China closet full of glass shoes that she brought from England. She had a lot of commemorative plates from the World's Fair. She also had an old fashioned phonograph with a crank for power. "Grandma would never allow us to even touch these things". All of these heirlooms are in the possessions of Lois Houghton Dansey.

When visitors came she served them tea with milk and caraway seed cake. In later years she became more reclusive and depressed. He blinds were drawn and her mirrors covered. She was afraid of the old lady in the mirror. She died in her home 13 October 1953 and her viewing was at the home of her son, John T. Houghton.

Charles Houghton was a very dignified old Englishman. He was very civic minded. He was secretary of both the fraternal orders of the Knights of Pithius and the Odd Fellows. He had beautiful penmanship. After working in the mine for few years, he injured his hand. His thumb was nearly cut off, but was sewn back on. After this he started working outside the mine doing whatever was asked of him. He delivered coal to the homes, garbage collection and town maintenance. He also built sand dummies for blasting in the mine.

Charley used a horse drawn sleigh in the winter and a team and wagon in the summer. The town's children were often seen riding with him. I have no stories that would tell what kind of person he was and what he enjoyed doing.

Charley smoked a great deal and in his later years suffered from cancer of the larynx. He soon became unable to talk and died in 6 September 1937.

The Houghton's life in England came from the records and stories sent recently from England by the grandson's of Sarah Jane, Paul Winstanley and Trevor Jones. Most of the history of the Houghton's has been lost over the years. Trevor said in his letter, "As you will realize as you read on we now know more of the descendants of Charles Houghton than we do of our own grandmother (Sarah Jane). Life in America has come mostly from the writings of Charles' grandson, John Houghton. Through this cooperative exchange of knowledge we now have a story to tell.



My father, Herbert Burrows was born in 1850 in Whitwick, Leicestershire, England. He was a kind and loving father. He was a Mine Superintendent. He began his mining career at the age of nine years, he was so small his brothers carried him on their backs to work. He was a mine deputy at sixteen years. He was a stern man around his work because he expected things done properly. He had an accident when he was fifty-six years which caused his death. He took us to Sunday School, and when he joined the church he was a devout member.

If you have any information concerning this family please contact Gene Halvorson

Herman Matson & Annie Koistinen

by Clark Hunt
Herman & Annie Matson

I was born in Price in 1944, with a Soumi mother and local Morman father. My grandfather Herman Matson (Finn name of Junka) emmigrated to Utah from Finland about 1900. Herman (Junka) Matson and Annie Koistinen were married at Clear Creek, UT in 1906.

Annie Koistinen was born on May 6, 1880, in Koumanniemi, Finland, and came to North America and Clear Creek with her two brothers, Matti and August Koistinen. Her brothers later moved to Canada, but Annie stayed in Clear Creek. Matti's son Ted was born in Clear Creek, but moved with the family to Canada when Ted was 2 years old."

My uncle Eliel John Matson was born May 30, 1910 in Clear Creek, UT. His brother Walford George Matson was also born Feb. 29, 1912, in Clear Creek. My aunt's Hilda (1914) and Edna (1916) were also born in Clear Creek. My mother Elma Edith (Matson) Hunt was born June 4, 1918 in Astoria, OR. Elma was the baby of the Matson family.

According to discussions I remember, the Matson family, with others, moved to the Astoria and Portland, OR area during World War I to work as welders in the shipyards. After WWI, they returned to Utah to work in the coal camps.

I left Carbon County in 1964 and currently live in San Jose, CA.

If you have any information concerning this family please contact Clark Hunt


by Beverly Brasher Nielson, 1973

He was born 14 December 1886 in Richfield, Sevier County, Utah. One of fifteen children born to James Nielson and Christina Marie Smith, he was the fifth. Ida Marie born 3 October 1880; Niels, born 28 June 1882; May, born 20 October 1883 James, born 22 February 1885; Ed, born 14 December 1886; Joseph born 14 July 1888; Jennie, born 26 December 1889; Caroline, born 4 March 1891; Jim, born 2 April 1892; Ethel Ordena, born 2 June 1894; Martha, born 16 November 1895; Dicinio, born 7 January 1898; Manila Viola, born 10 February 1899; Minnie, born 10 January 1901; Ella, born 20 December 1904.

On a trip to Richfield, he had us drive by the log cabin where he was born. Later on a trip we tried to find the cabin so we could take a picture, but we were unable to locate it. Perhaps it had been removed to make room for a newer home.

When Ed was about nine years old, he went from the family home in Richfield to Blue Mountain to obtain a milk cow for the family. He traveled a distance of about fifty miles one way.

In approximately 1898, the family left Richfield and moved to Spring Glen, Carbon County, Utah. While living in Spring Glen, Ed worked for Matt Warner, who is noted in Utah History as "the last of the good bad guys".

James Nielson, father of Ed, at one time owned much of Spring Glen, also a good share of land in Richfield. After the death of a favored child, he started gambling and drinking. He lost most of his belongings by gambling, leaving the family near poverty. James had injured a hand sometime in his life -- and always wore a glove on the bad hand. by trade he was a rock mason and a good one too - he worked on several public buildings in both Richfield and Spring Glen. He also helped with the building of the Manti Temple.

Ed had a way with horses. He had chased wild horses on Utah's desert. This is where the original "Old Nettie was acquired. In his younger days Ed drove freight wagons through Castle Valley, often the would race the teams from Price to Huntington to Castle Dale. He was not much different from his sons and their racing in cars. Driving freight wagons even is close to driving trucks, as does his youngest son Vern Dee.

On 31 July 1907, he was married to Sarah Evelyn Gibson. By this time his occupation was that of a coal miner. He worked on many rescue crews after mine explosions, until his health no longer permitted.

Ed and Sarah Evelyn were blessed with 10 children.

All of the children were born in mining towns. After the last child was born, it was decided that the family should have a farm to keep the three young boys from running around a mining town. Ed and Sarah cashed in a life insurance policy and purchased a farm near Price, Carbon County, Utah - where they lived out the rest of their lives.

Things I remember about my father in law. He was a choice man. He was a wonderful Grandfather. I remember watching him with his grandchildren, seeing how he enjoyed them and they enjoyed him. I regret that my children never knew him, except by the stories we have told them and the pictures we have. I remember he used to save a cigar for when he went for a ride with Dee and I (he usually smoked a pipe).

He rarely missed a news report on his radio, which was on a stand next to his favorite chair which was a platform rocker. After TV became popular in Carbon County, the family all got together and gave him a television one year for Christmas. He spent many hours watching it. He even got interested in some soap operas.

Pine nuts grow close to Price, so in the fall we would go gather some. He didn't have any teeth to crack them with as most people do, but he would sit and crack the tiny nuts with a special little pair of pliers, until he had enough in his hand to chew on for awhile.

On wash day it was a common sight to see him out wiping off the clothes lines so the clothes would not be soiled when clipped to the line. He did enjoy having his picture taken, especially with a movie camera. He had a special jig or dance he would perform.

He and the family farmed after moving to Price. They raised meat and vegetables that provided most of the families food. The boys usually had a hard time catching the horses, which were used to pull the farm equipment. But Ed could walk out to the corral and call or whistle and the horses would come to him. Even after he quit doing most of the farming, he still had a small garden spot, where he raised fresh vegetables.

In his last years, he was hospitalized several times because of his heart. He passed away 18 December 1957 in his favorite platform rocker in his home on the farm near Price, Utah.

If you have any information concerning this family please contact Gene Halvorson

Life History of Edna Matson Burton

By Gina Myrberg (Granddaughter) - born July 7, 1916, died November 15, 1997

In 1896 Herman Junka and his family came to Ellis Island, N.Y., U.S.A. with other immigrating families. They had come from Kannus, Finland. Herman changed his last name to Matson and set out for Wyoming with other Finns to find work in the coal mines. Soon the coal miners heard about the boom in Carbon County, Utah and headed Southwest. Mr. Matson, who was in his twenties, ended up in Clear Creek, Utah, a common place for migrant Finns. That was where he met Annie Koistenine who had come to Clear Creek, Utah from Koumeniemi, Finland to be with her brothers when she was sixteen.

In their twenties, Herman and Annie were married in Clear Creek. They had three children there and then moved to Kenilworth, Utah where Edna was born on July 7, 1916. While she was still a baby her family moved to Astoria, Oregon where her youngest sister was born. When Edna was five years old her family moved back to Scofield, Utah. She moved several times while growing up because her father was a coal miner and was always being transfered. Throughout her childhood she lived in Astoria Oregon, Kenilworth, Scofield, Clear Creek, Mohrland, West Hiawatha, Helper, Spring Canyon, Standardville, and Price. (Grandma gave me this information. She told me she was born in Kenilworth, although her birth certificate says she was born in Clear Creek.)

The Finnish language was always being spoken around Edna when she was growing up. This was only natural with her parents both coming from Finland and many Finn immigrants living around her. The Finns were the first non-Mormon immigrants to enter the Carbon County coal mines, the Finns by 1903 accounted for more than 1/3 of the miners at Clear Creek and Winter Quarters.

There were many Finns around that helped the Matson's keep their culture alive and the Matson's contributed a great deal to keeping it alive for others. Finn socials were held often where everyone would get together to speak their language, eat their favorite foods, and of course dance.

Another tradition that the Matson's partook in was the sauna Grandma use to always tell me how she would get in the sauna with her family naked. It was tradition for families to do this together.

While Edna was in high school her family moved to Kenilworth, Utah for the second time. She would ride the school bus to Carbon High School in Price. When she was a senior in high school she met John Burton, who was a best friend to her older brother Eliel. John was six years older than Edna, but that made little difference to her.

When Edna was seventeen she graduated from high school. Her and her two best friends then decided to move to Salt Lake to look for work. They all found jobs doing housework for different families and caring for their children. Edna missed John but he visited her often. While visiting, they loved to go out dancing with their friends. Their favorite and the most popular place to go at the time was Saitair at the Great Salt Lake. The dance floor at Saltair was advertised as the largest in the world. On special occasions two bands would play, one at each end of the floor, one picking up when the other stopped playing so the dancing was continuous. Couples customarily dance the first and last dances with each other and changed partners in between. Those who forgot and danced cheek to cheek were asked to leave the dance floor. They danced everything from the maxixe, to the Charleston, to the polka.

They not only loved to dance at Saltair but in the daytime they enjoyed swimming, as did many others. The salt water allowed them to bob up and down in the water like corks. Perhaps that is why they enjoyed it so much - they could not drowned.

After a couple of years a job opened up in the Kenilworth store for a bookkeeper, so Edna went home and got the job. When she was 21 she married Mr. John Burton who was 27. For six years she worked at the Kenilworth store, but then quit to start a family. The first baby was a boy, born in 1942 and died when he was one month old. He had been sick since he was born. John and Edna moved to Salt Lake in 1943. Edna had been working for ZCMI for about a year when she had to quit her job because she became pregnant again. A baby boy was born in 1944. They named him Stephen. They moved back to Price and John got a job at Redd Motor Company and worked for them for many years while Edna stayed home with Stephen. In 1946 Frank was born. Five years later another was on the way, but turned it out to be "some more". Edna had twins, a boy and a girl that were named Scott and Sue.

Edna stayed home to raise her children, which she said, "is unheard of these days!" Edna had many adventurous times with her children. Living in the small town that Price was, it was not hard for young ones to get into trouble.

Edna helped her three sons earn some extra money by getting them up every morning for ten years to deliver newspapers. Her children were very involved in sports. Sue always took dance and gymnastics while the boys were involved mostly with baseball and scouts. Edna made sure they were always active.

John and Edna had many friends from different ethnic backgrounds. They spent numerous weekends dancing the polka (their favorite dance) and loved accordion music. The family spent many vacations in the desert of Moab and the mountains of Clear Creek.

When Edna was 50 she became employed. The youngest kids were 17 and she thought they were old enough to stay out of trouble. She got a job part time at the Price Court House where she worked nine years as Deputy Assessor. All the kids were out of the house and some married by this time so she began working full time as Deputy Treasurer.

One year after she started working full time John passed away at the age of 69, leaving Edna widowed at the age of 63. This brought her much sadness and it was decided at that time that she would never marry again or even consider dating. She would always tell me, "John was the only man for me".

As a widow, Edna enjoyed watching her children grow and make families of their own. She retired from the courthouse as Deputy Treasurer in 1990. She worked there for 24 1/2 years. She continued to live in Price, in a home that was built by John. She loved her weekly hair do's and sitting on her back porch. She would often visit her children and grandchildren in Salt Lake and San Jose, California.

Grandma visited Salt Lake for her 80th birthday. At this time, her children convinced her to stay in Salt Lake permanently. In October of 96' she moved into a cozy little home in Sugarhouse. One thing that always stood out in Edna that she had ever since she was young was her great sense of humor. Last spring grandma, my mom and I flew to San Jose to visit with Stephen and Sue. We were in the car driving to dinner and grandma didn't have her seat belt on. She was sitting in the front passenger seat and I was sitting in the back directly behind her. I was trying to put the seat belt on her from the back seat. It was taking me a while to get the seat belt into the buckle and grandma couldn't figure out what was taking so long. So I said "I can't get the seat belt buckled". Grandma looked at me out of the corner of her eye and surprisingly blurted out "well why don't you stick it up your buft!"

Another sunny day last spring my mother and I were driving in the car with grandma. She was sitting in the passenger seat once again. At the end of our street is the busy street of 21st south. Police always sit at the end of our street waiting for speeding cars. On this particular day, there were four very good looking motorcycle police officers parked and awaiting. They happened to be parked in front of a fire hydrant. We were sitting at the corner waiting to make a right hand turn when grandma rolled down the window, looked at the police officers and blurted out "you better move those motorcycles or you are going to get a ticket!" All of the officers looked at each other and cracked up laughing. My mom and I were laughing so hard we almost wet our pants. Grandma always said the darndest things!

In April of this year grandma's leg broke out with sores. The doctors did many tests trying to figure out the cause. By June, the sores on her leg caused her to lose circulation in her foot and she became somewhat disabled. This was extremely difficult for grandma. Especially considering the fact that she had never been in the hospital previous to this (except when she gave birth to her children.) Grandma didn't talk as much and became a lot less active after this experience. My mother Sue took care of grandma in our home from June until October. Steven, Frank, and Scott also took care of her in her home.

Grandma never really complained much, so no one ever really new how much pain she was in. About mid-October grandma moved to St. Jose Villa where she stayed for 3 weeks. The nurses were wonderful. Grandma had many tests and the doctor's diagnosed her with liver cancer. They said that with type of cancer the individual does not live longer than 3 to 6 months. Grandma was such a strong woman. She rarely ever complained and she had to have been in so much pain. She probably had the cancer for 5 to 6 months without us knowing. Throughout grandma's life she never was a complainer, especially about her health.

I believe that there is something after this life, although I don't have any clue what/where it is. I think that everything happens for a reason. Everything meshes together in an order that allows us to constantly grow. Whether we are happy, glad, sad, or mad, we are constantly learning. It is all a process. I know that we all learned something from grandma and her time spent here on earth. Although, what we learned is probably different for each one of us.

Grandma was the last of her siblings to be alive and grandpa died 18 years ago. She lived for her job at the courthouse, her children and her grandchildren. Everyone had their own lives and families. I know that she was lonely and constantly missed grandpa. I feel that she was ready to go and I strongly believe that wherever she is now, she is closer to grandpa than she has been in 18 years and happy as a clam!

The day that grandma passed away, I envisioned her and grandpa dancing the polka to those accordions. Grandma's smile was bigger than I've ever seen. The song they polkaed to was "in Heaven there is no beer that's why we drink it here." Grandma was drinking a Long Island iced tea..

Grandma didn't say I love you much, but she didn't have to. We all knew. Grandma and I had our own special way of saying I love you: "Mina Racastaan Sinuaa Iso ltii!" "I Love You Grandmal

This story was donated by Clark Hunt. If you are related to or have any other information about the family please contact him.

Bill Lines

Bill Lines served as a Deputy Sherriff in Columbia. The following is a few recollections of Carbon County citizens and what they remember about Bill Lines. Thank you for your donations.

When i think about him I remember Mom saying that he was born at one of the forts and there was speculation that his dark complexion was because he was the son of one of the "buffalo soldiers" stationed there. My earliest memory is of him helping us look for Laddie. I also remember his Irish setter "Cherry' carrying one of the guinea pigs out of the hot frame in our garden home with her. She didn't hurt it, just carried it down to Bill's house. I also remember our last visit with he and his wife. They moved to somewhere around Wellington after he retired. Anyway he told us about being pulled back from a cattle drive because he had a reputation as a pretty good bronc rider and they wanted him to participate in a rodeo in honor of a visit by a President of the U.S. My recollection is that it was Grover Cleveland , but I can't swear to that. Anyway the plan was for Bill to carry the flag out at the beginning of the rodeo while mounted on a bucking bronco. He said the horse caught him by surprise on the first jump and he ended up sitting on the ground on his butt still holding the flag. He swore there was a picture of him sitting there somewhere, but he couldn't find it."

Bill and my dad were great friends so we visited with them every once in a while. I will share one of my personal experiences with Bill. I remember the night that a group of us were sleeping out in the little park up by the post office. We decided to go get some peaches from Tally Evans' peach tree. I was up in the tree and all of a sudden a bright light came on shining right at me. I knew that Evans wasn't home. Bill said "Come on down from there. You better go on where you belong, your dad wouldn't like this much." He watched the kids in the town and believe me, he always knew where we were. Donated by Bruce & Melvin Sharp.

Member of Outlaw Posse Tells Story
of Walker=Cassidy Capture In 1898

by Pete Anderson, Price, Utah
The Sun Advocate - 9 Oct 1941 pg 12

From the court house records:

April 5, 1897: county commissioners offered a reward of $250 for the capture and conviction of Joe Walker.

July 20, 1897: Charles W. Allred appointed county sheriff to fill the vacancy of Gus Donant, resigned.

May 16, 1898: Bodies of Joe Walker and Butch Cassidy, alias Parker Giles, buried on east side of cemetery at Price, Utah. They were killed by a posse about 3 days before near the Book Cliffs north of Thompson.

July 15, 1898: $20.80 allowed to C.W. Allred, J.M. Whitmore, Pete Anderson, John Gentry, James Inglefield, J.W. Warf, J.A. Watson, Joe Bush, Perry Coleman, William McGuire, George C. Whitmore and Bud Whitmore (12 persons) amounting to $249.60 for the capture of Joe Walker, dead.

Owing to the many queries that have come to me in regards to the capture and killing of Joe Walker and Butch Cassidy, I have been induced to write a short account of that experience. As far as I know, I am the only man living that witnessed the scene.

In May, 1898, Sheriff Allred called on me to go with him after Joe Walker, who had been rustling Whitmores' cattle. W.M. McGuire had followed Walker to the box canyon on Price river below Woodside, not knowing just who he was following. Walker ambushed him, and a young Whitmore lad who was with McGuire, sent the boy back, then took Bill's cartridge belt and beat him over the head with it, after which he took the horse and saddle and ordered Bill back up the canyon.

Blindly, McGuire started out for Wood side, reaching there exhaused at ten a.m. the next day. in the meantime, Walker and his pal left the stolen cattle, back-tracked a few miles and took another trail to Range valley. Sheriff Allred had completed his posse about two p.m. that day for Woodside, where we met McGuire.

We went on to Box canyon, picked up the outlaw's trail and followed it to the Range Valley cabin, where we met some of the ranch hands and inquired about Walker, but got no satisfaction from them. After scouting, we picked up the trail again, headed north to Green River, and met James McPherson, a rancher. The sheriff asked him where Walker was. He said, "Across Green River." The sheriff said, "We'll take you back with us."

We traveled up the river across from McPherson's ranch, where he had left his boat. He ferried our camp over and we swam the horses across. After eating lunch at his place, we waited until five p.m., then took the trail up Florence Creek in the night, arriving on the summit at day break, when McPherson told Sheriff Allred to get his fighting men in front, that he was not going further. "They are right down there," he pointed in a northeast direction.

We didn't go far until I saw a horse and saddle. The sheriff called to Joe and told him to surrender. "We have come to take you dead or alive. You had better surrender."

Our first and only answer was a gunshot. The bullet struck the ground between mine and the sheriff's feet. We did not see anyone shooting, but saw the gunsmoke and began firing at that spot, stepping up closer with each, until we were within twenty five yards of their bed.

Walker had apparently rolled from his bed. He now raised up and ran down the mountain about 300 yards and was shot there. Cassidy, so called, was shot as he jumped up and began to run. tompson and Schultz, who were with them, put up their hands in surrender. We were lucky that they had left their Winchesters by a big rock, and when they had emptied their six shooters at us they had no protection.

We found a sort of table for their frying pan, bacon and groceries. The campfire was by the rock also. While shooting, we noticed the frying pan, their dutch oven, canned beans and coffee pot leaping into the ari. Later we found them perforated with bullet holes.

When the excitement had calmed, we tied the dead men on horses and started for Thompson Springs on the D. & R. G. W. R. R. Sheriff Allred, Whitmore, Joe Bush and McGuire took the train and the dead men to Price. The remaining posse took care of the prisoners and the band of horses.

No living person claimed the animals, except two thich belongsed to Whitemore. (probably s/b Whitmore) The live men said they all belonged to the dead men. We took Thompson and Shultz to Castle Dale, where they were tried, but freed upon lack of accusing evidence.

Edna Averett

PRICE - Edna Casaday Averett, 94, passed away Oct. 16, 2001 at Castleview Hospital in Price. Edna was born June 26, 1907 in Price to William E. and Mary Babcock Casaday. Married Elijah "Lige" Averett April 24, 1933 in Price. He passed away July 23, 1986. Member of the Price Seventh Day Adventist Church. She was a true Christian who will be dearly missed by her family and many wonderful friends. Survived by son, granddaughters, a special niece, great granddaughter, and several other great-grand children; brother, sisters. Preceded in death by: brother, Bill Casaday; sisters, Fern Morgan, Enid Hardy, Verda Casaday and Mildred Casaday. Funeral service was Monday, Oct. 22; at Mitchell Funeral Home. Interment, Price City Cemetery.

George W. Berkeley


With two alleged wives of George W. Berkeley claiming compensation for his death at Standardville, on October 27, 1922, and with refusal of the industrial commission to grant hearings and rehearings, an intricate puzzle in administration of the workmen's compensation law was presented to the supreme court a few days ago. A writ of mandate was issued out of the supreme court citing the industrial commission to appear April 14th and to bring before the court records and files in the case for its review. When Berkeley alias Baklacic was killed in the mine of the Standard Coal he left surviving him at Standardville a wife, Ada, and a son, George William, who petitioned for compensation in December, 1922. This claim was subsequently allowed by the commission and the Standard Coal ordered to pay fixed sums for the support of dependents.

The company asked for rehearing, but was denied. It failed to appeal to the supreme court within the thirty days allowed by the statute and was directed by the commission on February 28th to begin payments. Nothing further was heard of the case until last week when Mike Ruby appeared in the supreme court on behalf of Milka Baklacia and Anna Baklacia living in Greece and secured the alternative mandate writ against the commission, claiming to be the widow and mother of the decident.

The petition charges the commission with refusing to hold a hearing on an application which was made to it a month before that of the wife left by Berkeley living in Utah, and with refusing to allow rehearings of the case to permit presentation of facts to show Milka and Anna to the wife and mother of George.

Sheriff S. Marion Bliss

Shootings End Lives of Sheriff, Two Ranchers
Officer's Testimony Indicates Bliss May not Have Been Killed by Slug Fired From Robb's Gun
Thursday, April 26, 1945

A coroner's jury, sitting in the court of City Judge S. J. Sweetring, adjourned for an indefinite period Thursday noon after hearing testimony of numerous witnesses concerning the death of Sheriff S. Marion Bliss by a bullet fired into his body near the vicinity of where a posse had Angus Robb, slayer of Verdell Pace, surrounded near Price.

Startling testimoney was given by Walter Westbrook, special agent for the Denver and Rio Grande Western railway, who claims to be a gunsmith and expert on fire arms, who state that in his opionion, the bullet taken from Bliss' body and which killed him, was not fired from the rifle of Angus Robb. He further testified that the fatal bullet was a copper alloy jacketed bullet of smaller calibre than those used by Robb, and that Robb's bullets were all different.

Mr. Westbrook stated that the bullet, in his opinion, was fired from an automatic pistol, probably of German make. However, he admitted that it may have been possible to fire such a shell in a rifle, but the rifling on the bullet indicated to him that it came from a gun of the same calibre. He stated, too that he saw three quick puffs of dust kicked up by slugs about the same time that Bliss was shot.

District Attorney Duane A. Frandsen will leave for Salt Lake City today to have the bullets and the gun of Robb's examined by ballistic experts, before proceeding with the investigation.

Verdell Pace, Price rancher, was killed early last Sunday morning by Angus Robb, and S. Marion Bliss, Carbon county sheriff, lost his life during the manhunt for Robb by a bullet presumably from the latter's gun late Monday afternoon, before the rampaging Robb was finally killed by the posse's fire.

The shooting took place northwest of Price. According to findings of a coroner's jury Tuesday, Robb, a Price farmer and rancher, shot Verdell Pace feloniously as he was herding cattle to summer grazing land several miles north of the Robb farm on one of the hills which surround the valley.

Sheriff Bliss was shot as he, with four other members of a posse, approached a dry canal in which Robb was concealed at the north end of the latter's farm two miles northwest of Price near the main highway Monday afternoon shortly after 4:00 o'clock.

Robb was finally killed by members of the officers' force about an hour later as he fought desperately against twenty or more deputies and state patrolmen. The coroner's jury found that Robb was killed not feloniously by officers bullets. Statements circulating that he was shot in the head by a deputy after he was dead, were declared not true by the testimony, according to S. J. Sweetring, city judge, who acted as coroner. The jury was composed of George Wallace, Erin Leonard and J. Allen Browne.

Testimony of Dr. J.C. Hubbard before the coroner's jury indicated that Pace may have been shot while he had his hands in the air, so he was off his horse. He was shot twice through the heart, two shots through his forearms and both ears were nicked.

Reports Tuesday that Robb had committed suicide were declared wrong, as a result of the findings, as Robb was shot several times and wounds in his chest and head could have been fatal and another in his arm would have a paralyzing effect to make it impossible to shoot himself.

The first victim of the crazed killer was Verdell Pace, who left home early Sunday morning to drive cattle to summer grazing.

Funeral Services Held for Sheriff S. Marion Bliss
Sun Advocate, Thursday, April 26, 1945

Funeral services were conducted today for S. Marion Bliss, Carbon county's most popular sheriff, who was killed Monday by gunfire during the man hunt for Angus Robb, slayer of Verdell Pace on the previous day.

A republican he has served 18 years as sheriff, being elected right through the period when the democratic landslides were the thing all over the country and especially so in Carbon county. He didn't just "skin through" but had substantial majorities in every one of the five times he ran for office.

Foremost of the sheriff's adventures was his successful attempt to prevent a jail break in 1931. He did it, but it cost him his right arm below the elbow when a shotgun charge struck him.

This handicap didn't stop him, for he shortly returned to his duties. With diligent practice he became as adept left handed with pistol and rifle as he ever was. He also had a reputation as one of the county's best fishermen.

The sheriff was born in Toqerville, Utah, Nov. 12, 1884, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arlie Bliss. He moved to Moab early in his life but returned to Price and worked in the coal mines of Hiawatha and Standardville.

He first was elected sheriff on Jan. 1, 1927. He was elected president of the Utah Peace Officers' Association in 1932. He was elected exalted ruler of Price Elks Lodge no. 1550 in 1940.

Coroner's Jury Declares Bliss Death As Accidental
Case is Declared Officially Closed

Sun Advocate, Thursday, May 10, 1945

A coroner's jury, which reconvened Monday afternoon in the city court of Judge S. J. Sweetring to hear additional evidence connected with the death of S. Marion Bliss, sheriff of Carbon county during the hunt for Angus Robb, killer of Verdell Pace, brought in a verdict that Sheriff Bliss met his death by a bullet fired from the gun or guns of a person or persons unknown, not feloniously.

It was definitely established at the inquest that the bullet which killed the sheriff was not fired by Angus Robb, when a ballistics expert coroborated the opinion of Walter Westbrook, special agent of the Denver and Rio Grande Western railway, that the bullet did not come from Robb's gun.

The expert, Sergeant A. H. Rogers, chief of the Salt Lake antivice squad and head of the crime laboratory there for fifteen years, stated that he made tests which indicated the slug was fired from another weapon than that of Robb. He was brought here by the request of District Attorney Duane A. Frandsen.

Testimony was heard from Jack Sullivan, state patrolman; Mr. Rogers, and Warren Peacock, deputy sheriff. It was brought out at the inquest that Sheriff Bliss, Dr. J. C. Hubbard, Joe Arnold and Jack Sullivan, state patrolment, and Thomas Hackleberry, a transcient trapper, were going through the willows approaching the position of Angus Robb, when several shots were fired after some members of the party thought they saw Robb, one of the shots probably killing Sheriff Bliss.

Sgt. Rogers further testified at the inquest that after an examination of the shells which were found near where the body of Verdell Pace was discovered that they were similar to others which had come from Robb's gun and that the latter's gun was the one which was used in the killing of Mr. Pace.

Following the verdict of the jury, which was composed of George B. Wallace, Erin Leonard and J. Allen Browne, the case was declared closed by Judge Sweetring who acted as official coroner. No further investigation is necessary because the death of Sheriff Bliss was found to be accidental and not felonious.

The inquest was the culmination of the shooting Sunday of last week, April 22, of Verdell Pace, Price rancher, about two miles north of the farm of Angus Robb and situated two miles northwest of Price near the main highway.

Evidence gathered by police officers indicated that Robb was involved in the shooting, and early Monday morning, State Patrolman Jack Sullivan approached the Robb farmhouse and attempted to persuade Robb to be questioned. The latter fired several shots at the patrolman and retreated into the willows, north of his house.

About 4:00 o'clock that afternoon, a party which Mr. Bliss was among, approached the hiding place of Robb and shortly afterwards the accidental shooting of the sheriff occurred.

Shortly after 5:00 o'clock, about an hour later, officers bullets killed Robb. The coroner's jury declared that Robb met his death by gunshot wounds from the officers not feloniously.

Joe Dudler is Named Sheriff by Commission
Sun Advocate, Thursday, May 10, 1945

Joseph William Dudler was named as the new sheriff of Carbon county last Thursday evening at a special meeting of the commissioners to fill the vacancy created by the accidental death of Sheriff S. Marion Bliss April 23.

He was sworn in Saturday morning by B. H. Young, county clerk, and will serve the balance of the unexpired term of the former sheriff, about a year and a half.

Sheriff Dudler states that he will retain Warren Peacock as his chief deputy, and declared that law enforcement would suffer in Carbon county without Mr. Peacock, who has had long experience over the past eighteen years, and has gained the confidence and respect of the people of this section.

Mr. Dudler has been a resident of Carbon county for the past twenty years, coming here to play baseball. He worked also at Kenilworth, later being named as a state highway patrolman for four years and has recently been employed as manager of a local auto court in Price.

Sheriff Dudler is well and favorably known in this county and meets with approval of the great majority of the citizens. He has a wife and two children.

He is the first democrat to take the office of sheriff in carbon for the past eighteen years, S. Marion Bliss having first been elected in 1926 and for four other elections. Considerable pressure was brought on the commissioners to name Warren Peacock or W. W. Hill, the former being a republican and the latter a democrat, by groups supporting them.

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