Roster of interred


Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project

 Version 041409



By: Richard Pierce

Internet Edition 112908



One famous Arizona Pioneer grave site (Cemetery) is the Scott, Stott and Wilson site. About a quarter mile off Crook's road, FS road 300, up Hangman’s Trial, Section 27, on the Mogollon Rim.


Figure 1. The Stott-Scott-Wilson Cemetery is close to Hangman’s Tank off Hangman’s Trail. Notice on this map there is a notation of a “GRAVE” north of the road, approximately ½ mile north of the Cemetery. At this time nothing is know regarding this grave. Map Courtesy: Richard Pierce


Figure 2

James Warren “Jamie” Stott Jr., Killed August 4, 1888

Photograph Courtesy: National Archives


Jamie Stott grave

Photo courtesy Richard Pierce


Jamie Stott was a young man from back east and about to claim the homestead rights for his ranch.


Figure 4

Billy Wilson Killed August 4, 1888

Photo Courtesy; National Archives


Billy Wilson, was sometimes called Jeff Wilson. I would bet a bunch that he was named William Jefferson Wilson. Another cowboy/cook that worked around a bunch. Again a likable fellow according to those who knew him.


Figure 5

Courtesy; Richard Pierce


Figure 6

James Scott, Killed August 4, 1888

Photograph courtesy: Richard Pierce


James Scott was a drifting cowboy working at first one place then the other but liked by those who knew him.


According to Will Croft Barnes, Jamie Stott was "well known to have stolen horses" and normally that diatribe was about stealing from the north, selling to the south!


A group of deputies lead by James Dennis Houck waited for Jamie to come out at sunup for firewood and arrested all in the Stott cabin . . . except Motte Clymer, who had TB and worked for Stott. The deputies ate breakfast with the arrestees then took them off to jail . . . looked a bit strange to Motte since the left the Stott ranch to the west to take them to Holbrook which was North-Northeast from the ranch. It bothered Motte to the point that he walked to Holbrook to tell what he knew.


A few days later one of Will Croft Barnes' cowboys was chasing strays and looked up and saw three bodies swinging from the branch of a large Ponderosa Pine tree. Scared him so, that he flew back to the ranch to get the boss and some more hands. They looked the situation over and went to Holbrook where a group formed and went to the site to cut down and bury the dead.


Figure 7

Photograph Courtesy; National Archives


Figure 8

Photograph Courtesy; National Archives


The “LUNGER” reference in (Figure 8) was a reference to Floyd Lamotte “Motte” Clymer who had TB or some type lung disorder and lived in the small cabin near Jamie Stott's cabin. Motte did odd jobs for Jamie, and when they took Jamie. The day they took the boys away, Motte walked all the way to Holbrook to tell what had happened. I make that a 47 mile walk, maybe a greater distance by the trails of the day.


No one has ever seen the warrant that Houck claimed he had when he arrested the three boys. It is possible that some misfiled document may exist deep in the bowels of the courthouse. But even if there is a warrant, that warrant doesn't make you guilty.


All who researched the issue have come up short of anything close to pinning something illegal on these boys. No warrant for their arrest has ever been documented or produced. 


J. D. Houck was a killer with a badge - who claimed that a group of thirty masked men took the prisoners and he didn't know what happened after that. Houck had been overheard saying that Stott would never get that land homesteaded, he, Houck, wanted the graze in that area . . . to make matters worse, they hung those guys just a few miles from Houck's Ranch. Most people lump these murders in with the Graham/Tewksbury feud killings.


According to Will Croft Barnes he (Stott) was "well known to have stolen horses" and normally that diatribe was about stealing form the north, selling to the south! Ben Irby was a friend of Jamie Stott and he cornered J. D. Houck in Holbrook and accused him of killing those boys, trying to provoke Houck into a gunfight . . . it didn't happen. Houck weaseled out of a direct confrontation. Houck was a back-shooter and ambusher, right up to his death. Then he finally killed someone who needed killing . . . himself . . . he drank some Strychnine Poison.


Strychnine is used in raising chicken’s, J.D. Houck one day went to feed the chickens, drank the poison and came into the house and told the family what he had done, laid down on the bed, ask that his boots be removed and he died. He was living in Cave Creek at the time and owned a good bit of land there. 


Some of the killers were the same but my take is that they are two are independent events. The soothsayers that lived on had a pat set of phrases when talking of the Stott ranch or the Blevins ranch (OW today). They said they stole from the north and sold to the south, then stole from the south and sold to the north . . . never east or west always north and south. But after the hangings one William Jordan Flake, Mormon settler on Snowflake, with the help of Erastus Snow. Seems Flake was renowned for being person who could spot a horse after seeing it just once. I guess you would call that a horse-o-graphic memory? Anyway, seems he somehow was presented with Stott's herd and not one record shows an owner claiming any of these animals . . . amazing . . . those three boys were just murdered.


Figure 9

Hashknife - Photograph Courtesy; National Archives


The dude on horseback (Figure 9) on the left is Henry Kinsley, one of the "young gentlemen;" then three unidentified cowboys. On Pickett's left is Buck Lancaster, a foreman from Texas who was later killed by Willis Jackson. The next young fellow in Don McDonald, a neighbor who died of pneumonia three years after this picture was taken. Hiding behind him is George R. Agassiz, another of E. W. Kinsley's "young gentlemen." The man in white is the cook, Billy, or Jeff, Wilson, and behind him, Jim Simpson. Then Frank Ames, another "young gentlemen," posing, as usual, and who managed to get his name on the plate before it got into the National Archives, and at a respectful distance, Henry Warren. Off in the distance, seemingly at work, is the surveyor, William Vinal. The real cowboys and the ranch managers, Ben Irby and Ed Rogers, were probably out working and too busy for any group photo session.


Hashknife; Billy Wilson was a cook at the ranch headquarters, shown in (Figure 9) holding the “dowg”. Hashknife was the brand brought from Texas and the Company was the Aztec Land & Cattle Company, Ltd. The headquarters were in Holbrook, started in 1885. For a few years I think that ranch was the largest in the USA. The company bought 1.25 million acres from the Rail Road, every odd section! It was not surveyed so who knew where you line was? So in fact they had control of 2.5 million acres for many years.


I am pretty sure that Wilson and Scott both worked for the Hashknife at one time or another, Stott tried to get hired there when he came form Texas where he learned to be a cowboy, but they were full up with gentlemen from back east. Seems all the Board members had nephews that needed jobs


pages 80-82 in Carlock, Robert H., THE HASHKNIFE: The Early Days of the Aztec Land and Cattle Company, Limited.     

(Westernlore Press, Tucson, Arizona, 1994 Great West and Indian Series, Volume Sixty)

The photo appears on page 81, it is without the signature of Frank Ames, and Carlock comments:

E. W. Kinsley (he was pres. or CEO of the company) was on the job, though, and made a trip to Arizona in April of 1886. The coming drought was not yet apparent there because the country around Holbrook looks dry in the spring as well as most other times of the year. Later in the page: Tom M. Pickett, who was born in South Carolina and who had no connection with Billy the Kid, is the tall cowboy near the center and is easily identified. Another big rough Tom (NMI) Pickett, who had been born in Wise County Texas, and who was arrested on a charge of cattle stealing while he was in camp with Billy the Kid at Stinking Springs, New Mexico, did show up in Arizona later but never worked at the Aztec. Most historians and nearly all journals of this period confuse these two Tom Picketts.

That is the best I have as to who is in the photo. Ben Irby was president of the cattlemen's association in that area and Will Croft Barnes was the secretary. That group planned the roundups and posted where they would start and when and also the path they would take. Don Dedera wrote a book:


Dedera, Don, A Little War of Our Own: The Pleasant Valley Feud Revisited.

Northland Press, Copyright © 1988 Don Dedera


The title should be a lesson to those who don't properly research, especially when taking info from such stalwarts as Will Croft Barnes who coined the phrase "A Little War of Our Own" when in his book.


Barnes, Will Croft, Apaches and Longhorns


Reprint: The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona  1988


He talked about the Blevins boys and John Payne coming into a roundup camp at Dry Lake before they went into the valley. He claimed he told them there was a war going on down there and they replied, maybe we will start "a little war of our own"  well . . . along comes Bob Carlock who finds that the orders for the "work" as it was known, the roundup, was posted and was to start September 5, 1887. The battle at the Middleton Ranch happened on August 9, 1887. . . what Will Croft Barnes said in his book, written years later was not accurate!  The worse part is that he signed the original posted order for the "work" as Secretary of the cattlemen’s association.


The Ames Family


Oakes Ames, b. in Massachusetts, Same wealthy Ames family that owned the Ames Shovel company. 1880 to 1890 at Massachusetts


Carlock wrote p 42:

Frank A's grandfather and a respected member of congress before he got into trouble by selling fellow congressmen stock in the Credit Mobilier, the outfit that was building the Union Pacific and buying the family (Ames) shovels while doing so. All in the famous Ames family associated with Massachusetts, the building and management of the Union Pacific Railroad, and the highly profitable family shovel works. Which still sells shovels!




Oliver Ames, b. in Massachusetts, Elected Governor of Massachusetts, Same wealthy Ames family that owned the Ames Shovel company.

Brother of Frank M. Ames, uncle of Frank A. Ames. Lived in the same area as, and knew, James Warren Stott, father of the young Jamie Stott hanged by J. D. Houck and associates. His home was in North Billerica, Massachusetts


Frank M. Ames, b. at Massachusetts

Stockholder of Aztec Land and Cattle Company, Limited circa ,1885 at Hashknife Ranch, Holbrook, Apache Co, Arizona Territory

Director of Aztec Land and Cattle Company, Limited January 13, 1886 at Hashknife Ranch, Holbrook, Apache Co, Arizona Territory

Brother of Oliver Ames, govenor of Massachusetts. Father of Frank A. Ames.


Children of Frank M. Ames:


Frank A. Ames, b. at Massachusetts

Same wealthy Ames family that owned the Ames Shovel company.

Worked for Hashknife ,1888 at Hashknife Ranch, Holbrook, Apache Co, Arizona Territory.

Ames wrote of Stott's Arizona life. December 8, 1888 at Hashknife Ranch, Holbrook, Apache Co, Arizona Territory.


Member of the Coroners jury that buried the bodies of Scott, Stott and Wilson.


One of the "young gentlemen" as Kinsley called them. Tenderfeet from back east whose families had a financial interest in the Hashknife. At one time he had four or five of them underfoot, some worked out some didn't.


I haven't been to the graves for several years (written in 2007), last time up they had both ends of the trail blocked so the only way in was to walk. I don't walk very well, so I have not seen them for a long time. But these men deserve being remembered!


November 2008 - UPDATE

By: Neal Du Shane

Photo by: Neal Du Shane - all rights reserved

November 2008, Lee Hanchett Jr. researched the cemetery containing three headstone of Scott - Stott - Wilson. In an attempt to verify his findings, Lee asked me to accompany he and Susanne to the small cemetery containing the three headstone. True to Lee's research it was verified Scott's remains are under the headstone marked Scott. Wilson is actually buried under the headstone of Stott and there is no one interred under the headstone for Wilson.


Susanne & Lee Hanchett Jr. at grave of Jamie Stott

What happened to the grave of Jamie Stott? Extensive research by Lee, Susanne and myself led us to Stott Canyon approximately 3/4 mile from the main road. There in the fallen timber is the lone grave of Jamie Stott, no headstone or marker other than a pile of rocks outlining the grave. Jamie's grave is approximately 3/4 mile (in a direct line) from the other two graves. One and 3/4 miles if you follow the existing roads.


At this time there is no logical explanation as to why Jamie was interred in a separate location from the other two who were all hanged together on the same day. Our research continues for a possible explanation. We will post information as it becomes available.


Approximately 250' Northwest the grave of Jamie Stott was found a grave of an adult male sheepherder. Little else in known regarding this person.


Map and GPS tracking by: Neal Du Shane 


Edited: Neal Du Shane


Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project


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