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Meet Tom Jeffords: Tombstone Tips Issue 34
January 05, 2020

Insider Info Newsletter

January 2020 - Issue #34


~ ~ Tom Jeffords

~ ~ December Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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Captain Thomas Jefferson Jeffords
In His Later Years

#1 - Tom Jeffords: Do You Remember Him?

~ ~ Born Thomas Jefferson Jeffords in NW New York State, New Years Day 1832. The gold rush attracted him West when he was age 27. First to Pikes Peak CO, then New Mexico & Arizona.

~ ~ If you're a bit of the older generations, or you like watching old Western reruns - you may be familiar with Tom Jeffords. He was a regular feature of the show Broken Arrow. It ran on ABC prime time from 1956 through 1958. With 72 half-hour episodes. The TV show was sourced from a 1950 James Stewart movie. That movie was based on a 1947 book, "Blood Brothers."

~ ~ The actual historic man was most often called Captain Jeffords, as he had a boating career before moving West! That title stayed with him thru life.

TV Show Broken Arrow from 1957
John Lupton (center) as Agent Tom Jeffords & Michael Ansara (R) as Cochise

#2 - Courier Scout

~ ~ In New Mexico, he was recruited at Fort Craig to carry Union messages during the Civil War. That led to scouting in 1862. With the California Column as they made their way through Arizona.

Fort Craig Ruins, N.M.

Photo Credit: Plazak-Own work

~ ~ From 1867 to 1869 Tom Jeffords managed mail between Tucson Arizona & Socorro New Mexico. He likely met Cochise during this time. Possibly he enabled some safe passage en route.

~ ~ That's what he claimed. Subsequently he did seem to know enough about Cochise's personality to be a knowledgeable negotiator. He'd also learned to speak the Apache language.

From the Daily New Mexican (Santa Fe)
Mon., Nov. 9, 1868 - Pg 1

#3 - Tom Jeffords: Friend of Cochise

~ ~ In 1871, the U.S. President sent General Howard to seek a treaty with the Apaches. Howard spoke to Jeffords about getting negotiations with Cochise & Apache Chiefs. Tom knew Howard's reputation, felt he was principled. He was confident in bringing him to Cochise's encampment.

~ ~ Talks resulted in a treaty by 1872. The war with the Chiricahuas was done. Cochise requested his lands in the Chiricahua Mountains as the tribal reservation. He also said he wanted only Tom Jeffords as the Agent in that area. Cochise got his demands.

Foundation of Jeffords Indian Agent Office & Living Quarters
Still Seen Along Apache Pass Trail at Fort Bowie National Monument

#4 - Tom Jeffords Wife?

~ ~ White settlers weren't favorable to Jeffords acting on behalf of Cochise & other Chiricahua Apaches. He took much public abuse for his tasks with Indians. Jeffords didn't really even want to be Indian Agent, though he took the job.

~ ~ In the movie, they have Tom Jeffords considering marriage to an Apache woman. But in real life - did he ever marry anyone? Absolutely not! He always lived alone. In fact, he was considered a loner type.

~ ~ A nicely written overview of his life, plus Hollywood's take on him can be Found Here> However, all the abuse & inaccurate accusations led to his suspension in June 1876. In some descriptions, he's noted as resigned. The Chiricahua Reservation was eliminated that Oct.

#5 - Tom Jeffords Later Biography

~ ~ A man of few words, he moved along to make a living by mining. He had claims near Tombstone, at Dos Cabezas & in the Huachucas.

~ ~ He'd lived at Fort Huachuca, running a trading post. He became a Deputy Marshal in 1882 in Cochise County. Likely because of work searches, eventually he moved to the Tucson area.

Tombstone Epitaph - Mon., March 20, 1882 - Pg 3

Arizona Weekly Citizen - Sun., Nov. 26, 1882 - Pg 1

~ ~ He dabbled in a few other occupations, but as before found mining most useful. He found a place to live near Owls Heads northwest of Tucson. About 1892 he built a small house with a picket fence enclosing lots of saguaro cactus. His last residence.

Jeffords on his Owls Heads Property About 3 Weeks Prior to Death

From Original Photo by Thomas Farian in January 1914

#6 - Tom Jeffords Grave

~ ~ Tom had a few registered mining claims in the Owls Heads area. But he never deeded the land he lived on. After moving there he became friends with an offbeat couple: Author Alice Crane, who eventually married "Count" Victor Morajeski. The Jeffords-Morajeski bond was mutually beneficial.

Jeffords Helps Alice Crane With Her Research
From the Arizona Daily Star - Fri., Nov. 1, 1895 - Pg 4

~ ~ While living near Tucson, Jeffords became a member of the Pioneer Society. Yet, he was reclusive & didn't like to talk of his time dealing with the Apaches. Over the years, he had friends, but only once he knew & trusted them. His speech was straight-forward, yet he had a sense of humor.

~ ~ He'd developed asthma, which led to his death on Feb. 19, 1914 - 82 years old. He's buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Tucson Arizona. In 1964, a monument there was dedicated to him.

Jeffords Obituary Published in the Arizona Daily Star
Sun., Feb. 22, 1914 - Pg 16

~ ~ There are often historical events that make one want to know the true facts for people who roamed the Tombstone area & the Old West. What was their true story? And what happened to them - do we even know? Can we discover the authentic history?

~ ~ And we enjoy sharing what we find with you.

We hope we'll see you in town sometime, seeing areas where they spent time - back in the 1800s.

Let us know if you'll be going to an upcoming event! Tell us how you liked any of them, or what you visited here! Just reply to this newsletter for easy input! (Let us know if we can use your comments - & how to credit you.)

~ ~ , can we mention one thing:

Newsletter Order Page



~ ~ 1ST - Christmas Holiday Week

~ ~ Very busy this year, more people in town than we've seen for this holiday week than in recent years. Of course Christmas Day was very quiet, except for the usual goings at Ringos!

~ ~ This Year's Tombstone Business Holiday Decorating Contest winners were: 1st Place to Mario's Bakery Cafe. 2nd Place was to Shady Lady's Closet. Both are right on Allen St. Be sure to visit when you're in town!

~ ~ 2ND - Native American Event

~ ~ Amazingly for the 1st Time - this event was planned for Sat., Dec. 18th. It must have been somewhat last minute development, as it seems all the "ducks weren't in a row" - quite. Afterwards there was a bit of controversy.

~ ~ The organizer was Navajo, Dennis Nofchissey, a jewelry maker who's apparently opened a shop on 4th St. (haven't stopped in yet). Other area businesses were sponsors, including U Scream 4 Ice Cream owner. Didn't attend the event, but saw it on FB live & it looked wonderful from what we viewed. Dancers & other performers on Allen St. & booths in the park. The Mayor welcomed it as an annual event.

~ ~ Immediately afterward, some FB posts criticized it. They said a few vendors were "kicked out." That led to others wondering who did that. And further posts.

~ ~ Someone did their own investigation & said this was a misunderstanding, as those vendors were in the Farmers Market area & were kindly asked to move across the street to the Emporium. With all this to-do, I asked someone who used to be Mayor. He said it was because these out-of-state vendors didn't have their tax license. But it was all solved & everyone would be back next year.

~ ~ Finally the Mayor published an article with a Statement in his Newspaper. So I think all is solved, & it will now be an annual event. It was probably lack of effective advance planning, coordination & local knowledge that was the commotion's cause. Phew!!


~ ~ A Milestone Birthday!

~ ~ Carol - Proprietor at Crazy Annie's had her 80th birthday on Monday, December 30th. She celebrated with all her friends at Wyatt's Oriental Saloon. She was out the day before, inviting people & spreading the word!

Carol - aka "Crazy Annie"
At the Crystal Inviting All to Her 80th Party!

~ ~ Who Would Steal a Sign??

~ ~ Found out, courtesy Tombstone Bob, that the Four Deuces Saloon recently experienced a robbery! What?? Well, what was taken was what made us say "What!!!??"

~ ~ It was the little sign that hangs in front. Just telling you the place is open - or reversed for Closed! Somebody took it. Well, it's not even historic. Jeez!!

Four Deuces - With Its "Open" Sign

~ ~ Announcing All our Old West Photo Contest Winners!

~ ~ So last month - With Issue #33 - we announced our Grand Prize Winner:

Stacy with her photo:
"Couple of Wranglers - Watch Out!

+Honorable Mention in Cowboys And/Or Cowgirls

Click Here to Have a Peek!

Again, we appreciate all who participated. We had some terrific entries! We had some who achieved winning points, but never answered their email to acknowledge winning & to provide their address to receive their prize. So we moved along to the entry who had the next highest amount of points, as it stated in the rules.

2020 Tombstone Arizona Calendar

~ ~ 3 Style Choices
~ ~ ~ See all the details: Tombstone Calendar

~ ~ ~ Or just go right to the Secure Order Page! Watch for Coupon Codes! When you Browse Tombstone Calendars>

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Have a Very Happy, Healthy & Safe 2020

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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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