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   Part IV  ---  Tom Jeffords - cont 

       Reproduction of an obituary appearing in a Tucson newspaper Feb. 20, 1914

     Star, Feb. 20, 1914

Famous Indian Scout Passes Away Alone.

Captain Thomas Jonathan Jeffords, "Blood Brother", of Cochise, Noted Apache Warrior, Dies at Owls Head; Funeral to be held here. 

Was Mile's Scout in search for Geronimo. Given prize of $2000 by Gen. Cook for persuading Cochise to surrender; was fearless, never broke word.

Holding inviolate the sacred secret of the location of the grave of the great Apache Chief, Cochise, his "blood brother" Captain Thomas Jonathan Jeffords, the famous pioneer Indian trader, and United States Military Coroner, passed away at his ranch at Owl's head, 35 miles north of Tucson, late Wednesday evening at the advanced age of 83 years, according to a dispatch received here last evening by Victor Morajeska, his friend of late years and executor.

The dispatch did not state the cause of his death, but is supposed to have been some sudden sickness, as three weeks ago when the grizzled old Indian fighter was in the city to meet state historian, Thomas Farish he looked well and hearty. Some of his friends thought last evening,he might have been suddenly stricken with pneumonia.

On receipt of the dispatch at the Orndorff Hotel Mr. Morajeska, accompanied by Arturo Carillo, undertaker of the Tucson Undertaking Co., left for the ranch to prepare the body for burial. The remains will be brought back to the city, and the funeral will be held later under the auspices of the Arizona Pioneer Society of which Capt. Jeffords was a member.

Lived as Recluse

The news of the death of the veteran Arizonian caused universal regret among his many friends and comrades of earlier days, when it became known last evening that he had died at the ranch. Although of late years he had been much of a recluse, still his friends had never forgotten him and many had seen him on his last two or three visits during the past few months.

Whatever else Captain Jeffords will be remembered by perhaps the most interesting feature of his western life was his long and steadfast friendship for the great Apache Chief, Cochise. The two were "blood brothers", made so by the mystic ceremony of the intermingling and supping of blood from each others arms.

Secret Died with Him

This sacred friendship, Captain Jeffords never violated and he remained in the confidence of the famous Apache warrior until the day of Cochise's death. Captain Jeffords was the only white man entrusted with the mysterious secret of the exact location of the great chief's grave, and to his dying day he never revealed it, and when his life ebbed the secret died with him.

As a pledge of his friendship and affection the great chief presented Captain Jeffords with a double barrel shot gun which he prized and valued just as he would an arm or a leg as he said and in his will he bequested the historic weapon to Morajeska, his friend and neighbor of late years and his executor. He has one brother, John Jeffords, now in the Soldier's Home at Sawtelle, near Los Angeles. The entire property left by Captain Jeffords, consisting of the Owl Head Ranch, and personal property, valued at less than $2000 is left to his brother. No other near relatives are known.

Some Who Knew Him.

Captain Jeffords was known intimately to such pioneers now living as Sidney DeLong, John Magee, Samuel Hughes, Bob Leatherwood, Al Bernard, Governor L. C. Hughes and H. Harrison. Much information about his history and experience was given last evening by the two latter men.

Captain Jeffords was born in New York State in 1831, and left home when but a lad for the West. He became a river man on the Mississippi steamboat, running from New Orleans to the Upper Mississippi. He obtained his title of Captain in that position.

He next became a military messenger of the United States Army and was sent to New Mexico for duty in 1859. Hs saw service in the Civil War in the fight made by the Union Troops under General Canby against the invading Texas rangers, and was at the battle of Apache Pass near Santa Fe, when the invaders were finally routed. Following the civil war, Captain Joffords became a trader with the Apache Indians in western New Mexico and Arizona. In the year 1871 he succeeded in earning the reward of $2000 offerred by General Crook by bringing the great chief of Cochise, into camp to treat for peace.

Real Treaty Maker

In 1871 when General Howard came to Arizona to make a permanent treaty with Cochise and the Apaches, Captain Jeffords was the confident of the Howard and Cochise, and was instrumental in bringing the two together.

The treaty was finally broken it is claimed, by the United States government in 1876 after the death of Cochise. Up to this time Captain Jeffords had been appointed Indian Agent for the Apaches through the influence of General Howard and remained until the breach between the Indians and the government in 1876 when he resigned his position. 

Served with Miles

When General Miles took command of the forces for his campaign against Geronimo in 1886, he enlisted the services of Jeffords, and he served for some time in that campaign as a messenger and courier. For three years in the early 90's he was post trader at Fort Huachuca. Later he retired to the seclusion of his ranch, at Owl's head, about 35 miles north of Tucson, and has not been seen much of by his friends.

The historic winning of the $2000 reward prize, offered by General Crook for the bringing in of Cochise in 1871 by Capt. Jeffords was related last evening by H. Harrison the well known mining man, who opened the first mines at Magdalena. Mr. Harrison was at that time trader at Fort MeRea near Canonada Alamosa, about 100 wiles west of Socorro, N. M. He knew Capt, Jeffords well, having first met him in 1868.

The Indians had been ordered to come in to Canonada Alamosa, and many had obeyed but Coehise had stayed out. Crook offered a prize of $2000 to any one who could bring Cochise in.

Captor of Cochise

One night while sleeping Harrison was wakened by Jeffords and the two in company with several others made the trip to the camp of Cochise. Here Jeffords persuaded Cochise to come in, promising that there were no soldiers in Canonada Alamosa. Cochise agreed, but when they neared the place saw soldiers, which had come in later. Cochise expected treachery and placed Harrison and Jeffords as hostages under guard, but after a peace parley at Canonada Alamosa, the matter was settled and peace made. It illustrated the great power of the Indians that Capt. Jeffords possessed, Mr. Harrison stated last evening. Mr. Harrison also had an experience a year later when Apache Indians with passes from Jeffords, then agent at Apache Pass in Arizona, raided his ranch near Fort Baird, and killed his partner and several others. These experiences he often talked over with Capt. Jeffords in later years in Tucson.

Word never Broken

"Captain Jeffords was six feet two inches and straight as an arrow. His hair was brown and his eyes blue. He generally was smooth shaven. He was very quiet and dressed usually in civilian dress, except then he wore Indian costume. He was absolutely without fear," Governor Hughes stated last evening, "and his word was never broken. He was like an Indian in this respect and when he once gave his word it was law."

Jeffords was a bachelor, never marrying. So gambled much in the early days, and often lost large sums of money, made by trading with the Indains. He was of a very jovial disposition and kept up his good nature to his old age. In his death Arizona has lost one of its most unique characters, and one who is in a modest way contributed materially to the events of the early history of the state.

Jefford's Funeral Will be held Today. Arizona Pioneer Association Will have Charge of Obsequies.The funeral of Captain Thomas Jefferson Jeffords will be held from the rooms of the Arizona Pioneer Historical Society 200 West Congress Street, at 2 o'clock this afternoon. Interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery.

Up to a late hour last evening, efforts to get in communication with his brother John Jeffords, at Sswtelle, Calif., at the Soldier's Home at that place were unavailing. The remains of the aged pioneer were brought to Tucson yesterday noon by Arturo Carillo and Victor Marajeska, his friend and executor. Captain Jeffords had been sick for four or five days before his death and his death was said to be due to old age. One man was with him. Arrangements for the funeral have been made by John Magee, Secretary of the Pioneer Society. He selected as pall bearers the following: W. P. B. Field, Mose Kelley, E. O. Stratton, Edward Vail, Gabriels Angulo and Charles Bent.

The honorary pallbearers are Sam Hughes, E. N. Fish, Sidney R. DeLong, George W. Oaks, Frank H. Hereford and A. B. Sampson.

Last evening secretary Magee issued the following official statement:

"The funeral of Capt. T. J. Jeffords will be held at the rooms of the Arizona Pioneer Historical Society 200 West Congress Street at 2 o'clock p.m. Saturday, the 21st of February. All members are requested to be present, to pay their last tribute to our worthy vice president and brother."

       Jeffords contribution to history, in guiding General Howard to Cochise's camp, is given but the shortest of treatments in the above article.  Perhaps it is with the passing of time that we have come to know just how pivotal this action was in bringing peace to the Southwest.  It is this great deed that we concern ourselves with here . . .


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