Archive for September 27th, 2009

Hank Parish: A Royal City Desperado

September 27, 2009
Boarding House - El Dorado Canyon

Boarding House - El Dorado Canyon

Image from Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years, on the UNLV website, which has quite a  collection of digital images.

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Hank [P]Farish and one Taylor, of El Dorado Canyon, had a row over a game of cards. Taylor upset the table and drew a knife. Farish whipped out his revolver and shot Taylor twice, wounding him badly.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Sep 9, 1879

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Murderous Desperado at Large in Lincoln County.

A letter from Pioche, under date of March 6, to a prominent gentleman of Eureka, gives the partial particulars of a desperate shooting scrape, which occurred at El Dorado, Lincoln county, in which two men were wounded, one slightly and the other fatally.

The letter reads as follows:

El Dorado has just had an extensive boom. Three days ago Hank Parish and a man styled Ni**er Clark were playing poker in Greenwood’s saloon. The former was drunk and lost $100. The loss incensed him and he pulled his pistol and shot Clark, wounding him, though not very seriously. Parish then opened fire on Greenwood and shot him in the stomach, inflicting a mortal wound. He then left. Shortly after the shooting Andy Fife, the Coroner, appeared on the scene, and was proceeding to take Greenwood’s deposition, when Parish again put in an appearance with a pistol in each hand, and demanded that Fife take $100 from Greenwood’s pocket, which he (Parish) had lost, or he would kill both of them forthwith. Of course Fife was obliged to comply in order to save his life at the hands of such a desperado. Parish defies arrest, and says he will kill the first man who attempts to arrest him. At the latest accounts he was still at large.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Mar 11, 1881

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The Pioche Record says that Greenwood, the man shot by Parish, in Lincoln county, is not dead, and is now considered out of danger. Clark, shot at the same time, is recovering, and it is thought that his wound will soon heal.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Mar 26,  1881

Royal City/Jackrabbit (Image from http://americanhistory.suite101.com)

Royal City/Jackrabbit (Image from http://americanhistory.suite101.com)

A LINCOLN COUNTY HOMICIDE.

A Drunken Brute’s Bloody Work at Royal City.

The Pioche Record of the 9th inst. says: At Royal City Sunday morning about 4:30 A.M. Hank Parish stabbed and mortally wounded P.G. Thompson, aged 31, a native of New Jersey, and lately from Aspen, Colo. As nearly as we can ascertain, the facts of the cutting are as follows: Bob Martin, H. Hill, P.G. Thompson and a Chinaman were engaged in playing poker at Jimmy Curtis’ saloon on the morning in question. Hank Parish was present, and being intoxicated, persisted in leaning on the shoulder of Thompson, although the latter remonstrated with him, claiming that he could not play poker under the circumstances.

Parish repeated the act a few times and returned to the bar, when the laughter of the poker party attracted his attention.It seems that the players were laughing at the Chinaman for passing out a “club flush,” but Parish seemingly thought that they were laughing at him, and advancing to the table, he addressed some foul language to the party, mainly addressing himself to Thompson, the latter replying that he did not give a d–n for him.

Upon this Parish struck him in the face with his right hand, and upon Thompson rising from the table, Parish struct out with his left hand and stabbed him with a large pocket knife a little above and to the right of the navel. Upon receiving the wound, Thompson cried out that he was hurt, and hurriedly left the saloon. Jimmy Curtis at once secured a team and brought the wounded man to town, arriving at McFadden’s Hotel at 8 A.M., and Dr. Nesbitt was summoned immediately.

Sheriff Turner at once secured a team and repaired to Royal City, where he arrested Parish, unaided, and he lost no time in jailing him on his return to town.

The wounded man did not seem to have a chance for recovery from the start, for previous to his death, Dr. Louder was called in and performed an operation at Thompson’s request, the same having shown an advanced stage of decomposition and that the bowels were badly cut. The deceased died Thursday evening about 9 o’clock, and although a stranger in the community, the citizens mourn him as an old resident, from the fact of his pleasing presence and fortitude under great bodily pain.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Aug 15, 1890

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PARISH HUNG.

He Dies Protesting His Innocence, But Claims To Have Killed Three Men.

The White Pines News contains the following account of the hanging of Hank Parish at Ely on Friday last:

Hank Parish, for the murder of A.G. Thompson at Royal City last July, was hung in front of the jail yesterday at noon. The death warrant was read by Sheriff Bassett in the jail, and at two minutes to 12 o’clock the solemn procession wended its way from the jail to the scaffold, Parish ascending the steps without the least apparent fear. There were quite a number of spectators within the inclosure, and Parish stepped to the front railing and addressed them. He said:

“I have been charged with a great many crimes; I killed three men, and I was right in doing it. The last man I killed (Thompson), he assisted in stringing me up three times. They say I have a wife and family that I have not treated right. My wife has been dead thirteen years; I have two children in Oregon, well fixed. I am an ignorant man, have always been persecuted, and am innocent of crime. All this will appear in Mr. Murphy’s book of my life, and I want you to believe it.”

These words were spoken calmly and with ordinary coolness. He made no reference whatever to the Unknown Realm into which he was about to be launched, nor expressed any regret for anything he had done.

He then stepped back on the trap door, shook hands with the Sheriff and his attendants, the black cap was pulled over his head, the rope adjusted about his neck — and the News reporter hurriedly walked into the Court House to prevent witnessing the final act in the drama of life and death.

Sheriff Bassett sprung the trap; the fall was a little over six feet, and the doomed man’s neck was broken. There was not a move or a quiver of the body, and as soon as Dr. Campbell could get to feel the pulse he pronounced life extinct. The whole time occupied in the execution was but 12 minutes. Parish went on the scaffold at 2 minutes to 12 and was cut down at 10 minutes past 12.

Dr. Campbell examined his pulse before he left the jail. It was beating at 99. When the black cap was pulled over his head it ran up to 142. That Parish was a bad man, and met the fate he deserved, is the general sentiment of this community.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Dec 16, 1890

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The News says:

Lincoln county has responded to White Pine’s call to the tune of $588 on account of the little job it did for that county, namely: the hanging of Hank Parish.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Mar 25, 1891

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LETTER FROM NEVADA.

Colorado Difficulties — The Nevada Big Mine — Aligold – Bryonic.
[Excerpt]

While Mr. (D.) Turner was sheriff he proved himself of such nerve that desperadoes did not care to face him. In 1890 it became necessary to arrest a fellow named Hank Parish, who had 17 notches on his gunstock. He had left a bloody trail all the way between Arizona and the coast and made brags that he was good for a few more. The record of the murderer was so bad and he was known to be so quick with his gun (in fact, shooting was a pastime with him) that no officer would accompany the sheriff to make the arrest. Hence he went to the cabin of the murderer alone, and getting the drop on him, arrested his man, who in due time was hanged.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Oct 12, 1896

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You can read about Hank Parish’s ghost in the following book on Google:

Haunted Nevada By Janice Oberding (page 104)

More on Hank Parish HERE

The Emigrant Train – continued

September 27, 2009

Highlights of History –  By J. Carroll Mansfield

On the Way to California

On the Way to California

Low Food Supply

Low Food Supply

Herds of Buffalo

Herds of Buffalo

Music and Dancing

Music and Dancing

The Davenport Democrat and Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Jul 28, 1927