6) DEPOSITIONS ON BEHALF OF
JOHN M. JONES, NEWTON JONES,
About This Record
State of Arkansas
County of Carroll
Be it remembered that on this 24th day of October,
A.D. 1860, personally came and appeared before me, the undersigned acting and
duly commissioned, and qualified, Justice of the Peace, within and for said
county, Francis M. Rowan, to me personally well known, to be of lawful age, and
excellent memory, and who, after being duly sworn, according to law, to testify,
and the wish to speak in regard to the matters in relation to the amount,
quality and value of certain personal property owned by John M. Jones, Newton
Jones, Sebron Tackett, Pleasant Tackett, and others, in the month of April 1857,
when they left the State of Arkansas, bound for California, upon his oath of
foresaid deposed as follows, to wit;
name is Francis M. Rowan, I reside in the county of Carroll and State of
Arkansas. In April 1857, I was
residing in the county of Washington, in this state, and the said John M. Jones
and his brother Newton Jones, on their way to California, camped some 10 or 15
days within five or six miles of where I lived at that time. I had been acquainted with the Jones' boys for a number of years. Previous to that time, and when they camped there, I was frequently with
the boys; I was at their camp, and saw their property, and being well acquainted
with the boy's, Milam Jones, and Newton Jones particularly pointed out the
property that they owned, showed me their cattle and oxen, of course I did not
pay much attention to the property that I would have done, and I believed that I
would have ever been called upon to testify about it, but my recollection, and
belief is that the two Jones boys owned four yoke of work oxen, one large ox
wagon - John M. Jones was married and had his wife and two children with him, and
was moving to California. He had
with him the widow Tackett and three or four of her children. Newton Jones, John
M. Jones, his wife and two children, widow Tackett and three or four children,
and Sebron Tackett constituted one company in family groups. The Jones boys owned the wagon, oxen and outfit, and the others seemed to
be living with them and depending on the Jones boys for their support. The wagon was large and very heavily burdened; I suppose John M. Jones
had a gun and other fire arms but of what value or number I do not know.
Newton Jones had a fine rifle gun; they appeared to be all well supplied
with beds and bedding and wearing apparel for an excursion of that kind, and
also with provisions.I know that there was in the corral, sixty six or sixty
eight head of stock cattle, but how many they had, that is how many the Jones'
had I do not now remember, but according to the best of my recollection, Milam
Jones had only about 8 head of the stock cattle as near as I can now estimate.
The value of the property owned by the two Jones' boys I would say that
the large ox wagon was worth in cash:
yoke of work oxen at 65.00 per yoke
I would say that from my knowledge of the number
of persons along, that the beds,
wearing apparel, provisions, furniture,
camp equipage, etc was worth
head of stock cattle at 20.00 per head
had cash on hand but how much I know not. Newton
Jones had over twenty that
I know of
rifle gun was worth;
I have made the above statement according to my personal
knowledge, recollection and belief, and I can not say how much of the property
belonged to Milam, or how much to Newton, only as I was informed.
I think however that Newton Jones owned in his own right one yoke of
oxen, and one half the wagon, and his gun; John M. Jones owned the other three
yoke of oxen, the one half of said wagon and how the outfit was divided or owned
among them I do not now remember. There
were several other persons along, and who had separate wagons. There were 3 men by the name of Peleat, or Pilleats.
The oldest one of the Peleats was a married man, had his wife and
children along; they had a separate camp and wagon; there was an other man,
Pleasant Tackett, who had a separate wagon; and before they started George W.
Baker drove up and camped near the others.
The Peleats and Pleasant Tackett had oxen and other property but I can
not say how much. They had horses,
and camp equipage, provisions etc., and appeared to be well fixed for the
outfit, but it is impossible for me to separate the several claimants, or the
amounts that each one owned, only as I have above stated and I am well satisfied
that the amount of property that said parties were owners of was worth several
thousand dollars. I have no doubt
but what all the parties were murdered at "Mountain Meadows" in
September 1857, except a few children who have been sent back to the states - and
I further state that I believe that the property above described was lost or
destroyed at Mountain Meadows in 1857 and further this deponent saith not.
So help me God.
Submitted and subscribed to before me this
24th day of October, 1860.
C.C. Williams, J.P.
And at the same time and place came Fielding Willows,
a witness known to be of lawful age and memory, and who after being duly sworn
in, regard to the matters in the caption hereof mentioned upon his oath deposed
as follows that is to say;
I now reside in the County of Carroll, and State of Arkansas; I
was living near the Indian line in Washington County, Arkansas, in the month of
April 1857. I was personally well
acquainted with John M. Jones, and Newton Jones, Pleasant Tackett, and the widow
Tackett mentioned in the foregoing deposition of Francis M. Rowan, when the
parties above named, were on their way to California, and while they were in
camp in the Indian line in Washington County, Arkansas.
I was at their camp and stayed with them two or three days.
I was well acquainted, and on intimate terms with the Jones boys, and saw
their property. I have had hearing
of the tabulation statement of the amount, quality, and value of property as
deposed to by said witness Rowan, and from my knowledge recollection and belief,
I am satisfied that the estimate therein made is very nearly correct.
It may be even or under the real cash value of what the real cash value
was in the market of Washington County at the time said parties left Washington
County. But my best judgement is
that the estimate made is not an unreasonable one either way.
John M. Jones and his brother had to my own knowledge; one large good ox
wagon, 4 yoke of first rate work oxen. Their
wagon was very heavily laden with clothing, beds and bedding, provisions, etc.
The fine stock cattle they had some six or eight in all were good cattle,
and were all no doubt worth the prices named in the annexed evidence of the
witness Francis M. Rowan. I know
that there was about sixty head of stock cattle over and above the amount owned
by the Jones Boys, but to whom it belonged I cannot say.
The widow Tackett, Pleasant Tackett, Peleats, and several others were in
the crowd and all left the State of Arkansas, for California, together.
They left sometime in the month of April 1857.
The Peleats, Basham, and Tacketts had three wagons, several yoke of good
oxen to each wagon, and had one horse. Had
apparently plenty of provisions, clothing and a general outfit to make the trip
comfortable, and further this deponent saith not.
Subscribed & swornto before me this
24th day of October 1860
C.C. Williams, J.P.
And at the same time and place came, Felix W. Jones, a
witness known to me to be of lawful age, and who after being duly sworn
according to law in regard to the matters in the caption hereof mentioned
upon his oath, as aforesaid, deposed as fullows;
I now reside in the county of Marion, and State of Arkansas, where
I have resided for about nine years last past.
I was well and intimately acquainted with John M, and Newton Jones who
left Arkansas in April 1857, for California.
They were my brothers. John
M was married and started with his wife and two children.
He was moving to California. Newton
was a young man, and was going with his brother, to California.
I only knew the wagon and one yoke of oxen.
I believe they had all the property mentioned in the statement of witness
Rowan. The wagon was worth at the
time the parties left here, in cash, one hundred and twenty five dollars.
The yoke of oxen I knew were worth sixty five dollars.
The steers I mention, and one half the wagon belonged to Newton Jones.
The other half of the wagon belonged to John M. Jones, and the other
oxen, and cattle etc, spoken of by witnesses Rowan, and Wilburn belonged to John
M., I suppose and believe. I do not
know how much money the boys had when they left but Newton had thirty dollars or
upwards. Newton also had a rifle
gun and John M. Jones had a shot gun worth perhaps fifteen or twenty dollars
each. I do not know what the
provisions, clothing and general outfit was worth, but from all the information
I have been able to get in relation to the provisions, tents, clothing and
outfit, I would say that it was worth in cash between five and six hundred
dollars, and further this deponent saith not, so help me God.
Felix W. Jones
Sworn to and subscribed to before me this
24 day of October 1860.
C.C. Williams J
State of Arkansas
County of Carroll
I, C.C. Williams, an acting Justice of the Peace within and
for the county of Carroll and State of Arkansas, duly commissioned and qualified
as such within and for said county, do hereby certify that the annexed
and foregoing deposition of Francis M. Rowan, Fielding Willows, and Felix W.
Jones were sincerely taken before me in the
county of foresaid, on this 24th day of October 1860, and that the
statements, responses, and answers of each of said witnesses were reduced to
writing in their presence and read over to them in their presence and hearing,
and by them sincerely subscribed and swornto before me.
I further certify that I am well acquainted with said witnesses, Rowan,
Willburn, and Jones, and that they are all reputable persons, and worthy of
credit. In witness whereof, I, as
such Justice of the Peace as aforesaid, have hereunto set my hand this 24th day
of October 1860.
C.C. Williams, J.P.
State of Arkansas
County of Carroll
I, Sam W. Peel, as the clerk of the circuit court,
and ex officio clerk of the county court of the county of Carroll, and state
aforesaid, do hereby certify that C.C. Williams, whose genuine official
signature appears to the annexed, and foregoing certificate, was at the time of
taking said depositions, and the making of said certificates, and now is an
acting Justice of the Peace duly commissioned, and qualified as such within, and
for said county, and that his clerk certificate is in due form of law, and by
the proper officer. That his
signature, thereto annexed, is genuine and in his own proper hand writing, and
that full worth and credit are due all his official acts as such Justice of the
Peace. In witness whereof, I Sam W.
Peel, as the clerk of said court as aforesaid, have hereunto set my hand and
affixed my private seal (The public seal of this court having been destroyed by
fire). This 25th day of October,
Source: Territorial Papers of the United States Senate 1789 - 1873, Roll 15,
Utah, December 31, 1849 - June 11, 1870.
These records were discovered by Paul Buford Fancher during the course of his
research for Richard Fancher (1700-1764) of Morris
County, New Jersey: Richard Fancher's descendants 1764-1992:
Fancher-Fansher-Fanchier-Fanshier, which was published in 1993.