Pioneers had a way of bringing speedy justice to those
accused of crime. Their way probably was not always best,
but it brought the same certain results that the vigilantes got in their day.
The murder of Bill Noyes goes down in Lost River
history as one of the most gruesome. Noyes and a "friend"
of his whose name we were unable to learn, had spent a day in Arco. Enroute to Noyes' home, now the
L.L Thompson ranch near martin, they got into an argument. They got out of the wagon and fought. Noyes had his friend on the ground in front of the wagon wheel and beside beat'ng him up in a most barbarous manner, he called to the team to move and the wagon ran over the man. He "came to" in a short time and when he had collected his senses he openly threatened that he would kill Noyes for the way he beat him up.
When they got out on the road a ways the men parted. Noyes went to his home and everything in connection with the fight seemed to have been forgotten. One sight Noyes was aroused from his sleep by a noise at the window. In answering when his name was called he raised up in bed and a charge of buckshot met him, killing him instantly. A grave was blasted out of the rocks above the ranch and the murdered man was buried there in. No effort it seems, was made to apprehend the murderer.
A man named Bill Lee was another citizen of the community accused of a cold blooded murder. Lee was a squaw-man and lived at the mouth of Antelope on what is now known as the Judd ranch. his family consisted of his squaw-wife and her daughter, age 16. On the Fourth of July, 1880, the girl wanted to attend a celebration at Houston. Lee would not give her permission to attend, so she decided to run a bunch of horses to the corral, saddle one and go anyway. Lee was determined that she wouldn't and in a fit of anger, not only killed the girl, but her mother as well. Several months later people began to get suspicious over their disappearance. To inquirers. Lee claimed the two women had left the country with Indians who were in the valley about the time of their disappearance. In the meantime Lee was worried. He sold his ranch to Marsh and Madison and left the country. Bill Ledford, who worked for marsh and Madison, the next spring discovered what appeared to be a grave in the creek bed. The mound looked suspicious to Ledford, Marsh and Madison and they drove to Lost River and told Wm. Mathews. Sr. of their suspicions. He returned with them and a coroner's jury was impanelled. A verdict of murder accusing Lee was returned. He was apprehended in Nevada and returned for trial, was found guilty and sentenced to the Idaho pen for life. The bodies of the murdered Indian women were interred in a grave dug on the hill site opposite the present ranch house of Wm. Jones.
In March, 1905, martin Nelson, a sheep herder, dropped in at the T. J. Wyley ranch on Champaign Flats and asked for permission to stay all night. The Wyleys were in Arco, but Frank Willliams was at the ranch that night and invited Nelson in. Two other men, James Watts and Sidney Brown were there and it was proposed that a game of poker be played. During the evening an argument arose and Nelson stabbed Williams to death. Nelson was sent to the penitentiary for life.
In 1888 a man named Paul Clubert was killed on what
is now known as Dead Man's flat by W. Armstrong. The latter had been employed as a herder, and was discharged. In cold blood he
pretended to be a friend, asked for lodging, was invited in and during
the night killed the man who had befriended him, but after 5 or 6 years
was pardoned by Governor Hunt.
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