Filley's Death - Wounds of the Wild West

The Latest News Received From Mount Reno - Story told Sept 11, 1894 by The Arizona Republic


The Murder Occurred in Gila County and Sheriff Thompson and Posse are in Pursuit


No additional light had been thrown upon the perpetrator or perpetrators of Horace Filley’s murder. M. H. Davenport was deputized on Sunday morning as an officer and was sent over to Tempe where he was j_____ by the messenger, Crabtree who brought the news of the murder down on Saturday night. They left for Mount Reno to join in the hunt for the murderers.


Yesterday morning, D. L. Murray, for whom Filley formerly worked, ________(bought?) a box and coffin from _____ and ____ in which the dead man will be brought either here or to Tempe and given proper burial. He also sent a messenger to Bloody Basin to notify Filley’s cousin of his death.


A cattleman named Curry from Tonto Basin arrived at Tempe on Sunday afternoon and furnished a slightly more accurate information concerning the finding of the body than Crabtree brought. He said that when Filley was shot he was evidently on horseback fleeing from a pursuer, This was indicated by the stride of the horse and further by the fact that the ball entered his back on the right side, slightly above the hip, and came out on the left side of the breast below the shoulder. He believed that Filley was lying down on the horse trying to conceal himself and had his arms clasped about the neck of the animal. There was blood along the track for a short distance, showing that he had retained his hold a little while after being shot. The crushing of the skull reported by Crabtree, Curry says, must have occurred when at last the hold of the murdered man gave way and he was dashed against the rocks along the trail.


Three of the horses Filley had with him wandered back to a ranch fifteen miles this side of Mount Reno. The horse he was riding had not been found.


The body was found on the farthest slope of the mountain and the murder therefore occurred in Gila County. Another matter which Crabtree did not report, but must have known if he was at the burial of Filley as he says, was that Sheriff Thompson of Gila County was there. The sheriff happened to be in the vicinity with a posse hunting for a man who had held up the Tonto Stage. Immediately after the discovery and burial of the body, he set out with his posse upon what appeared to be the trail of the murderer.


The only clue so far as Curry knows is furnished by a rancher who lives some distance this side of Mount Reno. He said that last Wednesday a man answering Filley’s description passed his place accompanied by a man whom he can only describe as being of light complexion.


The motive for the murder is as much a mystery as ever. A ten dollar bill was found in the dead man’s pocket among a lot of papers. This, however, might have been overlooked. A pocket knife which he is known to have carried is gone.


The theory that Filley became a victim of the Tewksbury-Graham feud is not considered probable. None of the Tewksbury adherents were likely in that vicinity and if they were they would hardly have shot down an unarmed and unoffending man for no other reason than he was engaged in gathering the Graham cattle.


It is regarded as much more probable that he fell in with Apaches who had wandered from the reservation and whose cupidity was excited by his horse and what arms might be in his possession. Curry also believed he might have encountered the Tonto stage robber who killed him for his horse.


It is possible that additional word will be received today.


From The Arizona republican Tuesday Morning Sept 11, 1894


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