Posts Tagged ‘Thompson’

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 Milan Company Arrives in Gold Country

April 29, 2009
Placerville, CA (Image from http://bancroft.library.ca.gov)

Placerville, CA (Image from http://bancroft.library.ca.gov)

According to an article I will be posting at a later date, the Milan Company consisted of the following men:

Ebenezer B. Atherton, (Captain), Martin Smith, Harvey C. Page, Robert Smith, Samuel Wickham, Jno. G. Norton, Hiram Allen, Snow Edison, Geo. C. Choate, Chas. Goodrich, J. Gregory and Wm. Jennings.

Good News.

We have been favored with the following interesting letter from E.B. ATHERTON, Esq., the Captain of the Milan Company of California emigrants, which conveys the gratifying intelligence that they had all nearly arrived at the end of their journey, in good health and spirits: — Milan Tribune.

SACRAMENTO CITY, Aug. 25th, 1849.
MESSRS. H. CHASE & Co., — Dear Sirs:

I arrived here on the 23d, in advance of the Company, who are perhaps five or six days behind. They thought best that I should come through in advance of them, and examine the different mines, means of operating, and get such other information as would be of advantage to the company. I left them on Carson river, and made the journey here in eight days, with a small Indian pony, (distance, 242 miles,) packing my provisions, one pair of blankets, one buffalo robe and cooking utensils, over the California mountains. The distance over the mountains is about 70 miles. The road is difficult. There are several places to ascend, where a good team cannot more than draw up an empty wagon, and going down require the wheels all “locked” and the utmost caution, to prevent accidents. This route is a new one, and is called the Southern or Left-hand route, which is taken three miles west of the sink of Mary’s river; it strikes the Carson river 45 miles from that point, and 20 miles above the sink of Carson river. —

Carson River

Carson River (Image from http://nevada.usgs.gov)

This route is preferred to the northern one, on account of the pass over the mountains; the emigrant being obliged to pack his goods and wagon some seven miles over the summit, on the northern route. In descending the mountains, I struck Pleasant Valley, which I followed about 60 miles, and struck the American river 10 miles above this city.

When I arrived here I found myself and horse nearly “used up,” he having traveled several days without food, except weeds or browse, Grass may be found in the valleys, by going away from the road, from one to three miles. I was obliged to descend into one of these valleys on one occasion, after 10 o’clock at night, having traveled 34 miles over the worst portion of the mountains without grass, and sixteen miles without water. —

The whole distance from St. Joseph’s, Missouri, to Sacramento City, 2,000 miles. The teams will make the journey within four months’ time. We have found much on the route that has been interesting and pleasant to us while the whole journey is one of continual hardships and privations. Our company have enjoyed good health generally, except slight attacks from colds, and excessive fatigue, being in several instances obliged to travel all night to pass long stretches of sand without grass or water — a distance of from 20 to 45 miles. I have seen the men so much worn down with fatigue and loss of sleep, that they would sink down on the road and fall asleep.

These were hard times, but none murmured. Fording and ferrying the streams, is both hard work and dangerous; the water being generally cold, deep and rapid, requiring the utmost care, and frequently getting wet, beside the trouble and risk of swimming our mules and horses over these streams, there being no other mode of getting them over, the ferry boats being made expressly for wagons and packs.

Fording a River (Image from www.journal.forces.gc.ca)

Fording a River (Image from http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca)

We made the journey up to the time I left he company, without accident, except breaking a wagon hound, which did not hinder us more than two hours to repair.

The Indians have killed and stolen many horses, mules and cattle on the route; but we have lost none, our mules and horses have been strictly guarded to prevent such difficulties.

I have visited some portions of the mine, and think they fully meet my expectations. An industrious man can dig an ounce per day, ($16) and sometimes much more. I think it safe to say that a man can average from $10 to $20 per day, by working hard. The wet “diggings” are thought to be the best until the wet season, say until the 1st of December next; when the miners will go further into the mountains.

This city is on the Sacramento river, about 100 miles from its mouth. It has come into existence within the last three months, and now contains about 7,000 inhabitants. The buildings are principally built of canvass or cotton cloth, which is drawn over stakes and poles. In many instances common tents are used for stores and dwelling houses; the goods being mostly outside. Lots sell from $500 to $10,000 each.

These canvass houses are filled with the choicest goods, while the sides of the streets and river banks are covered with every variety of goods that our eastern cities can furnish. The utmost order and regularity prevail here; crime and thefts are punished with the rifle, pistol or bowie knife. Common labor is $10 per day; mechanics get $16. Flour is worth $16 per bbl.; Mess pork $40; fresh beef 25 cents per lb.; lumber $450 to $500 per M.; sugar 16 cts per lb.; baker’s bread 50 cts. per loaf; horses, cattle and mules are comparatively cheap. Money is plenty; any one can have it by digging after it.

Gold Rush Town (Image from www.buyteachercreated.com)

Gold Rush Town (Image from http://www.buyteachercreated.com)

I think our company will be here in time for us to commence operations within eight days, after which I will try to give you a less confused, and more particular description of matters and things here.

The Scipio and Norwalk companies will be here within two days; I passed them on the mountains; they were all well. Mr. J.V. Vredenburgh and son are some distance behind; they travelled in company with Captain Newton, of Norwalk, as far as Bear river. Dr. Thompson, (Dentist,) from Mansfield, Ohio, is here. Mr. Baker, of Monroeville, Cook, of Bellevue, and George Goodhue, will be here to-morrow.

The Milan company wished Mr. Waggoner to publish, for the benefit of their friends, the fact of their good health and highest expectations of success. I shall be glad to hear from you, and all others who will be kind enough to write to me, and will answer such letters with pleasure. You will please to remember me to your families, my friends in Greenfield, and others generally. We wish all letters sent to any member or members of our company, to be directed to Sacramento City. The next steamer sails from San Francisco on the 1st Sept. I am obliged to send this letter to that place by messenger, to be mailed in time, which gives me twenty minutes to write what I don’t believe you can read.

Yours sincerely,
E.B. ATHERTON.

P.S. Don’t fail to write often, and send papers frequently. Recollect I am a great distance from you — and bound to make some money before I see you again. I will try to give you a more full description of our route, and of this country in my next letter. I hardly know what I have written in this. E.B.A.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Oct 30, 1849

**For more articles about the Gold Rush and some of the men mentioned here, click on my “Gold Rush” category on the right.