Jeff Kidder AZ Ranger Death Roscoe Wilson Republic 29 Dec 1968 b
X3OSCOE a- from every direction Jeff again got to his feet and staggered the remaining remaining 60 to 75 yards to the fence where, after a futile attempt to climb it, he again collapsed. As he lay against the fence, strangely unaided by anyone from the American side, he fired the last of his shells. Then, giving up hope, he called to the Mexicans that his "car- tuchos" were gone and to come and get him. Cautiously approaching, they finally finally discovered that he was helpless. They seized and dragged him to the juzgado (jail), about 100 yards from where Jeff surrendered. In one report of the affair it is stated stated that his captors beat him over the head with their six-shooters before they left him lying on the floor of the carcel. This story of abuse does not seem entirely clear and because of the subsequent consideration the Mexicans gave him in permitting his removal to a private residence it might be somewhat discounted. Early that same morning Deputy Sheriff Ells of Cochise County arrived arrived in Naco and was permitted to see Jeff. He obtained the services of two American doctors, Shine and Brandon, and arranged with the juez (judge) to remove Jeff to a private home. However, all efforts to save Jeff's life failed. Had he been given medical medical attention immediately after being shot he might have survived but his activities in trying to escape aggravated aggravated the wound to such a degree that he could not be saved. Jeff Kidder died at 7 a.m. April 5, 1908. Mexican authorities allowed the body to be taken out of Mexico and after funeral services were held in Bisbeei the body was shipped to the deceased's old home in San Jacinto, Calif. After Jeff's death, Captain Wheeler investigated and learned that many of the Naco officials and Mexican line riders had been looking for an opportunity to kill Kidder. They had been standing in with smugglers, of whom they were deathly afraid, and Kidder had been particularly active in breaking up the smuggling operations operations by which they benefited. Jeff, however, held a special officer's officer's permit from a general in the Mexican Army and a year or so before before he was killed had succeeded, with the aid of Ranger Foster, in capturing a smugglers' pack train going into Mexico with 10,000 rounds of ammunition and other revolutionists' revolutionists' equipment. He had killed one of the smugglers, while Foster wounded another and killed one of their horses. As a result of Wheeler's efforts the Mexican general apparently caused dismissal of practically all of the Naco officials who had anything to do with Kidder's killing and caused the Naco saloons and gambling houses to be closed for 30 days. It must be remembered that those were the days when Porfirio Diaz occupied occupied "the throne" of Mexico. The Madero revolution had not yet started started and Pancho Villa still was an unknown unknown quantity. "Black Jack" Pershing did not "go after" Villa until until several years later. I was living in Nogales when Jeff Kidder was killed and had met him occasionally both in town and on the trail. A tall, sinewy man with cold blue eyes, he was to my notion one of the most efficient and deadly of the old Ranger group. We heard marvelously marvelously melodramatic tales in Nogales of Jeff being shot to death in a Naco saloon and how he killed four Mexicans Mexicans while breathing his last, and of how Harry Wheeler got the news in Bisbee, 18 miles away, jumped onto his horse, dashed down to Naco and fearlessly stood off the Mexican Armv while he picked up Jeff's body, threw it over his shoulder and calmly walked across the line with it. I have always wanted to get and write the true story of Jeff Kidder's killing. D (John Redmond, the last survivor of the Arizona Rangers, who died recently, recently, reviewed this account with me and agreed that it is approximately approximately correct.) .'.*: , , T w , 3" «'v.-.;"J:;,i«^^>l-.lU'7\«iTT*'fci» l i "••-• ---i-v "•• • '• •• '•"-*•-»'«...—• *-••-> -*V -* ••..T^-^-'.-.-V.I-.*'-'. n»» —r^*«iv.'.« -?-*y:<?^- • •**-.' MM..:; ,^» ',. T-'"g-- y Tr*^* fc '~r" 1 Arizona Rangers at Morenci during 1908 strike, Jeff Kidder is ninth from right.