Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

The Hunt for Harriet Farmer's Killer.

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Not Captured.

The Murderer of Mrs. Farmer Still at Large.

Major George E. Gard, United States marshal, returned yesterday from his search for the Indian who murdered Mrs. Farmer at Mint cañon, near Acton, on Friday last. The murderer is being closely pursued and will probably be captured.

The Indian is described as follows: A Chimahuaia [Chemehuevi] Indian from Fort Tejon, 25 years old, 5 feet 8 inches in height, medium build, face smooth, not full nor exactly thin, complexion medium light for an Indian, cheek bones not very prominent, wears dark-colored sack coat and vest, buttons on vest of different colors, pants mixed grey, badly frayed at the bottom and much worn on inside nearly to the knee, black slouch hat, sharp pointed laced shoes, about number 9, with three nails on outside of the sole of the left shoe.

He is well acquainted with the country near Calico; speaks good English; carries a 44-calibre Ballard rifle.

Coroner Weldon returned yesterday after having held an inquest on the body of Mrs. Farmer. The verdict of the jury was that she came to her death from the hands of some unknown person.

News story courtesy of Tricia Lemon Putnam.

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The Farmer Murder.

The Indian Fiend Not Yet Captured.

Return of United States Marshal Gard Sheriff Aguirre and His Deputies Still Following the Murderer's Trail.

United States Marshal Gard returned last night from the scone of the Farmer murder in the Mint Cañon, and furnishes the following description of the murderer, as given him by Henry Thomas, the rancher, at whose house the Indian stopped on Thursday night preceding the murder.

The man is a Caimahueva [Chemehuevi] Indian, 25 years of age, five feet eight inches in height, smooth face, neither full nor thin, cheek bones not very prominent, medium build, complexion medium, for an Indian. He wore a dark sack coat, vest of same color, and buttons of variegated colors; pants lighter, mixed gray, very much frayed at the bottom, also much worn inside up to the knee; black slouch hat, pointed laced shoes, about No. 9. There are three nails on the outside of the sole; flat heels. The Indian does not talk Spanish but speaks fair English. He claims to be well acquainted about Calico.

Marshal Gard, after looking over the ground and gaining all the information possible, is of the opinion that the murderer is making for Calico, or some point in that vicinity, but that owing to the start which he has, and the rough country through which he is traveling and with which he is evidently familiar, it will be some days before he can be overtaken. Telegrams covering his description have been sent in every direction, and if he makes his appearance in any settlement he will be at once apprehended and turned over to the Los Angeles authorities.

At this writing Sheriff Aguirre and his deputies are in the mountains, and are working in connection with a party of woodsmen who are thoroughly familiar with the country. They have found and are following the trail, and as the party contains two brothers of the murdered woman, they will not give over the hunt while a chance remains of overtaking the murderer.

In and around Acton where the family are well and favorably known, the excitement is at fever heat, and it will go hard with the Indian fiend if any of the searchers from this neighborhood run across him. N.M. Melrose, who was at the recent county election elected Justice of the Peace for the new township of Acton, is a brother of the murdered woman, and is the leading spirit in the search which is being made. Mr. Melrose is a keen sportsman, and has no very friendly feelings towards the Indians, who in stray bands of six or eight have been slaughtering the deer in open violation of the game ordinances, during the last two years. He has been active in driving them out, and so far as he was able preventing the indiscriminate slaughter of does and fawns, of which they have been guilty. At first it was suspected that some of the these roving parties might be the guilty ones, but subsequent investigation reveals the fadct that the murderer is of another tribe, and is a stranger in these hills, and traveling alone. One theory, and a plausible one, is that he is connected with a band of half-breed horse thieves who have been operating in and around the Soledad country for some months past. A rancher in the Mint Cañon, Jack Talbot by name, recently lost ten head of young horses stolen from his ranch, and the man Clark, who was shot by the murderer, lost two head from his place about the same time. These two men have been very energetic in running down the thieves, and it is just possible that the murder of Mrs. Farmer and attempted murder of Clark may have some connection with this gang.

News story courtesy of Tricia Lemon Putnam.

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On the Trail.

Sheriff Aguirre Still Following the Indian Murderer.

Deputy Sheriff Abila, who started out with Sheriff Aguirre on the trail of the Mint Cañon Indian murderer, returned to the city yesterday. He says that Melrose and Mitchell, brothers of Mrs. Farmer, the murdered woman, were on the trail all day Sunday, on foot, and that Sheriff Aguirre and Deputy Hammel followed on horseback. Melrose is Justice of the Peace at Acton.

The followed the trail from Mitchell's trail south to Capitan and Placeritas Cañon to a sheep camp. Here they found in a cabin a tin can half full of flour, supposed to have been left by the Indian. They gave up the chase at 8 o'clock and went back to Regmer's place. From there they started at 5 o'clock Monday morning to Mitchell's place, thence over the mountains east of Saugus to the first cañon east of newhall, thence back to Taylor's ranch to camp. They lost the trail at the sheep camp in the mud or dust, and it is supposed that the Indian got sacks or sheepskins and tied them over his shoes.

They could find no tracks, but they heard that the Indian was seen in Dead Man's Cañon and Mint Cañon, where the murder occurred, with the intention of going north to Elizabeth Lake, then make their way over the ridge to the Castaic Cañon, and thence south to San Francisquito.

Further word will be received today. Every effort will be made to find the murderer.

News story courtesy of Tricia Lemon Putnam.


William & Harriet Farmer Family Pre-1890

Wanted Poster for Hattie Farmer's Killer 1890

Farmer Murder Questioned 1903

Pollack: Harriet Farmer Murder

The Hunt for Harriet Farmer's Killer

Reynolds: Fights & Feuds

Pollack: Revisiting the 1903 Acton Feud

Graves of Hattie Farmer, Nancy Melrose

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