Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Wade Albert Horton, Wealthy Mint Canyon Rancher, Slain in Botched Home-Invasion Robbery.

Webmaster's note.

In 1930, most of Mint Canyon was considered part of Saugus. Today this is probably either Canyon Country or Agua Dulce, depending on where in Mint Canyon the victim's ranch was located.

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Bandits Slay Saugus Pioneer.

Albert Horton, 68-year-old wealthy pioneer Saugus rancher, was shot to death on the front porch of his home about 9 o'clock Sunday night by three bandits whom deputies from the Newhall station of the Sheriff's office believe were attempting to stage a holdup raid.

George Horton, 90-year-old brother of the dead man, told investigators that they were sitting together in the living room when someone knocked at the door.

Albert Horton opened the door and stepped outside. According to the elder Horton, a scuffle ensued and an armed man entered the room and ordered him to remain quiet. Presently the bandit went outside where he was joined by two or three others. The men left and George Horton went to the porch with a shotgun and found his brother lying dead.

He had been shot through the body with a .32 caliber bullet, fired from an automatic pistol.

The bullet and empty shell were found near the body, according to Capt. Wililam J. Bright of the sheriff's homicide detail, who took charge of the investigation when George Horton summoned aid from the Catlow ranch, near by.

All news stories courtesy of Stan Walker.

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Horton Slayer Suspect Seen.

Hollywood, May 26. — Deputy sheriffs were sent today to the ranch of William S. Hart, former motion picture star, following Hart's report that a man answering to the general description of the slayer of Albert Horton had appeared on the ranch.

Hart reported to the sheriff's office that the strange action of a man aroused his suspicion on the night of the slaying of Horton. Hart reached for his rifle and went to the window of his room where he watched the intruder until he left the estate. Hart's description of the man led deputy sheriffs to believe the prowler was the man who shot and killed Horton, aged rancher in Mint canyon last Sunday night. Horton's brother, George gave officers a description of the slayer.

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Boys Confess.

The baffling mystery murder of Wade Albert Horton, aged and wealthy recluse, on his ranch in Mint Canyon, California, many months ago, has just been confessed by Floyd [sic] Dye, 22 (top), and Gordon Eugene Gauss, 20, (bottom). The boys were finally caught by deputy sheriffs on a tip resulting from observation of the automobile tire tread marks left by the car. Dye, who was the one to actually fire the fatal shot, still carries a bullet in his body from a shot fired by Horton in his attempt to defend his life. The boys assert that robbery was the motive of killing the old and wealthy man, but they did not attain their purpose because he kept his wealth elsewhere.

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Son in Appeal to Break Will.

Charles Albert Horton, only son of the late George B. Horton, Saugus rancher who left an estate value at between $150,000 and $250,000, today appealed to the State Supreme Court in an effort to break the will left by his father, which leaves the estate to be divided between Walter E. Hewitt and Della Maud Berryman, nephew and niece.

The son several months ago filed a contest in Superior court, but the court admitted the will to probate as it was written. The son charges his father was unduly influenced.

The elder Horton died June 24, 1931, approximately a month [sic] after his brother, Wade A. Horton, had been slain by a robber. Lloyd W. Dye of Long Beach was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting and tried and convicted of the murder.

He appealed to the State Supreme court, the decision was reversed, and the case remanded for a new trial, which is set for March 14.

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Youth Gets Life for Murder of Rancher.

Los Angeles, April 16 — (UP) — For the second time, Lloyd Dye, Long Beach youth, today was sentenced to life imprisonment in San Quentin for the murder of Wade Albert Horton, wealthy Mint canyon rancher.

Superior Judge Thomas P. White pronounced the second life sentence after denying a new trial. The youth filed oral notice of appeal.

Dye was convicted previously of second degree murder, but won a reversal on appeal. He was convicted at the second trial of first degree murder, with a life imprisonment recommended by the jury.

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Mint Canyon Man Declared Sane by Higher Court.

Holding that the superior court was correct in decreeing that George Albert Horton was of sound mind when he willed his fortune to his niece and nephew, instead of his son, Charles Albert Horton, the district court of appeal this week affirmed a decision of the lower bench.

The elder Horton was a brother of Albert Wade Horton [sic], who was slain May 18, 1930, in his home in Mint canyon.


3-Fingered Bob Slays Acton Rival 1889

Death in Newhall Pass 1906

Unruly Acton Boys 1909

Aqueduct Worker Beaten, Robbed by Cohort 1910

Trouble With Wobblies 1916

$20 Fine for CCW 1921

Manhunt 1924

Rancher Wade Albert Horton Slain 1930

Frances Walker Slaying 1935

More: Frances Walker Slaying 1935

German Enemy Aliens Arrested in Castaic, 12-8-1941

Hart 'Aces' Gang Busted 1950

Alpha Beta 1983

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