Society of the Old West

From early westward expansion through the early 20th Century.

Southwest Territory
(Zenogalache, AKA: The Crazy One)

He was born on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona and grew to be the
fiercest of all Apache, except for Geronimo. Named
Haskay-bay-nay-natyl, "the tall man destined to come to a mysterious
end," the pronunciation was too much for the citizens of Globe, who
simply called him "Kid." He was never known by any other name to
whites, but some give his Apache name as Zenogalache. Already we have
two versions.

Learning English at an early age, he worked at odd jobs in Globe and was soon befriended by the famous scout, Al Sieber.
At an early age the Kid was taken in at the San Carlos Indian Agency,
New Mexico. Here the famous cavalry scout, Al Sieber, educated the boy
and taught him the use of firearms and the codes of the military, later
getting the Apache Kid an appointment as the first sergeant of the
Apache Government Scouts. The scouts served as agency policemen who
made arrests among their own people, thus keeping the troops from doing
all the dirty work.

In May, 1887 the Apache Kid was left in charge of the Scouts and guardhouse at San Carlos when Captain Pierce
and Al Sieber, an anglo scout, were both gone on business. Though the
brewing of tiswin, a beverage made of fermented fruit or corn was
illegal on the reservation, with the white officers gone, the Scouts
decided to have a party. When the liquor had flowed freely, a man named
Gon-Zizzie killed the Apache Kid's father, Togo-de-Chuz. Kid's friends,
in turn, killed Gon-Zizzie. However, the killing of Gon-Zizzie was not
enough for the Apache Kid, who then went to the home of Gon-Zizzie’s
brother, Rip, and killed him.

Following the murder of the old Indian who had killed the Kid's father, Sieber ordered the Apache Kid
into San Carlos. He appeared with ten of his heavily armed men. When
Sieber told other Indian policemen to take the group to the guardhouse,
the kid ordered his men to open fire as they fled.


When the Apache Kid and the four other scouts returned to San Carlos on June
1, 1857, both Captain Pierce and Al Sieber were there ahead of him.
Captain Pierce ordered the scouts to disarm themselves and the Kid was
the first to comply. As Pierce ordered them to the guardhouse to be
locked up, a shot was fired from the crowd who had gathered to watch
the display of events. In no time, the shots became widespread and Al
Seiber was hit in the ankle, which ended up crippling him for life.
During the melee that followed, the Apache Kid and other Apaches fled.
Though it was never determined who fired that shot that struck Sieber,
it was sure not the Kid nor the other four scouts ordered to the
guardhouse as they had all been disarmed.
There was a price on the Kid's head ever after. Several scouts and gunmen joined in the hunt for
the Kid, including the famous Tom Horn. The Kid had about thirty men in
his gang. They headed for Mexico, stopping only to steal horses, kill
a trapper, and torture/murder rancher Mike Grace.

For two years the Kid and his men eluded capture, but then were captured and
sentenced to death following a quick trial. The kid insisted that he
was innocent of the Diehl and Grace killings, that others in his band
had done the deeds, (after all, he was only the ringleader). His plea
reached President Grover Cleveland's ears and the chief executive
granted him a pardon. (Another case of poiticians not enforcing the
law) As soon as he was released the Kid led another band on bloody
raids through the territory, stopping freight wagons, murdering the
drivers and taking the goods. Sheriff Glen Reynolds of Gila County,
Arizona, led a huge posse after the Kid and managed to capture him.
This time the Apache Kid was sent to prison for seven years. However,
en route to the Yuma Prison, on November 1, 1889, the guards and their
six prisoners camped near Riverside in the Pinal Mountains. The Kid and
his men broke free and murdered his guards, Reynolds, and Bill Holmes.
Another guard, Eugene Middleton, badly wounded, survived the Kid's
wrath and limped into Globe, Arizona, to tell authorities how the Kid
escaped after murdering the guards while they slept.

Six of the Kid's band were captured and two were hanged. It is said the other
four committed suicide by strangling each other with their loin cloths
while in their cell the morning before the execution. (Editor note:
None could explain the strangling of the last one left after the first
three had been strangled.) The Kid now went on a rampage, killing
several settlers. He attacked a prairie schooner in which a woman, her
young son, and an infant were traveling to meet the woman's husband.
The Kid stopped the covered wagon, shot the woman and boy to death but
oddly spared the infant. This crime incensed the military and civilian
population and hundreds set out to hunt down the killer Indian. One
scout named Dupont abruptly came across the Kid on a trail in the
Catalinas. Both men had single shot rifles and paused, staring at each
other. Neither wanted to waste one shot and be at the mercy of the
other so they dismounted, sat on rocks through the long day, glaring at
each other while the sun beat down upon them. At dusk, the Kid stood up
and grunted, "Me leaving." With that the killer mounted his horse and
rode off while Dupont heaved a heavy sigh of relief.

For several years the Kid and a small band of renegade Apache followers raided
ranches and freight lines throughout New Mexico, Arizona and Northern
Mexico, hiding out in the Mexican Sierra Madre Mountains. A price of
$5,000 was placed on the Apache Kid's head but no one ever claimed the
reward. Edward A. Clark, who had been the partner of Bill Diehl,
continued to live on his horse ranch which the Kid raided several
times, the last attack occurring in 1894 when the Kid and his men
surrounded the ranch house and lay siege to Clark, his new partner,
John Scanlon, and a visiting Englishman named Mercer. When night fell,
Clark slipped out of the house and worked his way to the corral where
he saw two Indians leading away his favorite horse. He fired two shots
and at daybreak found the body of a squaw, the Kid's wife, and a trail
of blood leading from the spot where the woman's corpse sprawled. Clark
followed the trail of blood but it petered out in the rocks of the high
hills. "It was the Kid all right," Clark later claimed. "He crawled
away to die somewhere, I know." Supporting Clark's theory was a sudden
silence from the Apache Kid. No more ranchers were raided or settlers
and freighters killed. The outlaw's trail ceased to exist.

One account by Mrs. Tom Charles insists that a posse led by Charles
Anderson trapped the Kid near Kingston on September 10, 1905, and shot
him dead. Some later reports had it that the Apache Kid simply retired
to his mountain hideout in Mexico and lived well into the twentieth
century, dying of consumption sometime around 1910. This claim has
never been substantiated. Though the questions are many regarding the
death of the Apache Kid, a gravesite memorial can be found high in the
San Mateo Mountains of the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico. Here
is yet another place that the Apache Kid was said to have been killed,
after having been hunted down by local ranchers angered by his
relentless raids. Reportedly, to mark the site of the site of the Kid's
undoing, the vengeful posse blazed a tree, the hacked remains of which
you can see to this day. The grave is one mile northwest of Apache Kid
Peak at Cyclone Saddle.

There are so many different variations of the crimes committed by the Apache Kid, all with the purpose of
exacting revenge for the treacherous way in which the Apache Scouts had
been treated by the army, that even historians cannot agree on exactly
what he was responsible for, nor when he died. Seemingly, his namesake
"the tall man destined to come to a mysterious end" was a prophecy.

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I've read reports that there was a $15,000 reward for the capture of The Apache Kid, dead or alive. That was a hefty sum back in the day. Also it is rumored that The Kid lived in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico where he was reportedly seen on a few occasions. I don't recall all the details but it is cause for further research.


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