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John Adam Deffebach
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Birth: Nov. 4, 1842
Death: Apr. 20, 1880

John Adam was the son of Jeremiah D. Deffebach & Priscilla Catherine Seltzer. Husband of Elizabeth Jane Westover. Born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania; Died Rozet, Campbell, Wyoming (Devil's Tower)

From the "Crook County Monitor" Sundance, Crook, Wyomimg, August 21, 1895, page 1


Rehearsal of Events on the Frontier of Crook County.

The following account of an early day incident is taken from a late issue of the Spearfish Register, and will be read with interest by the pioneers of Crook county, and especially by the boys who were employed on the upper Belle Fourche range at the time of Mr. Deffebach's death. A small creek in the vicinity of his fate bears the name of the unfortunate Deffebach. The Register says:

Erasmus Deffebach of Dickinson, N. D., Tom White of Crow creek, and John R. Wilson of Hay creek, Wyo., have been in the city this week, giving in their testimony before R. F. Spearman, United States Indian claims agent, in the matter of John Deffebach, who was killed by the Indians in western Crook county, Wyo., on April 20, 1880. These gentlemen were perfectly familiar with the incidents connected with the killing of John Deffebach, who was the husband of Mrs. Deffebach, now living in this city, and the evidence as given in was full of interest, and if we had the room to publish it, would awaken the memory and recall many incidents of the early days on our cattle ranges.

The Deffebach brothers had been buying stock on western Wyoming and driving it to the Hills, selling the cattle in the mining camps for beef. In February, 1880, John Deffebach with an outfit went to Powder river, there purchasing 300 head of cattle and about 180 head of horses, starting for the Hills as soon as the grass had started slightly. On the way up, in February, the outfit had seen a number of cattle that belonged to Driskill brothers a few miles this side of where the T 7 ranch is now located, and on the return trip, just before going into camp for the night, on April 20, 1880, Jon Deffebach saw a few head of cattle a short distance back, and telling "Russ" Wilson, who was with the outfit, to go ahead and camp the outfit, starting back saying he would bring the stock if it belonged to the Driskill's.

That was the last ever seen of John Deffebach alive by the whites. A large fire was built to aid Deffebach in finding camp that night, but he did not appear. The next morning it was found that the horses were all gone, so "Russ" told the boys that he would first round up the horses, then he would go back and look for Deffebach. He accordingly set out, having no difficultly in following the trail of the horses, in the direction of the Powder river. He did not overtake them, however, and the horse he was riding becoming exhausted, he was unable to get back to camp that night. Meantime the boys in camp had gone back on the trail, discovered moccasin tracks, and were not long in arriving at a conclusion regarding Deffebach's fate, which occasioned no little uneasiness, as there was but one gun in the party, and not a white settlement in miles. As "Russ" did not get back that night, the boys naturally concluded he had fared a fate similar to that of Deffebach, and resolved to make a hasty departure for the white settlements. They were all ready to move the next morning when "Russ" Wilson arrived. He had discovered the camp of two trappers, who were well armed, a few miles away, and accompanied by the trappers, "Russ" went back on the trail a few miles and found Deffebach's body, near where the C Q ranch was afterwards located. The remains were given burial, and the party started for the Hills.

A party of typical pioneers was at once formed and started in pursuit of the marauding band, intent upon avenging the death of Deffebach, and if possible, recovering the stolen stock. The party soon got into country infested by Indians, and saw them on all sides, but the redskins kept out of range, and the party was too small to divide and head them off. The main body of Indians was discovered in camp about sixty miles north of Pumpkin Buttes, but the whites had been observed and the Indians hurriedly cut tent and lariat ropes, moved on to the mouth of Crazy Woman, on Powder, changing their direction towards Little Powder again, and were here surprised in camp by the whites, who rushed in and captured every loose horse, after which came a fierce battle, in which a man named Rhodes was killed, and it is thought, several Indians, but the reds managed to get away with their dead. Fifty head of Deffebach's horses, besides a number belonging to Driskills and others, were recovered, but the balance of a bunch of 176 head were never recovered.

This is the first time that depositions have ever been taken in this matter.

Contributed by Carl Steiger #47175561

Family links: 
  Jeremiah D Deffebach (1815 - 1902)
  Priscilla Catherine Seltzer Deffebach (1815 - 1901)
  Elizabeth Jane Westover Deffebach (1852 - 1917)*
  Arthur Deffebach (1871 - 1949)*
  Thomas George Deffebach (1873 - 1954)*
  Charles Levi Deffebach (1875 - 1957)*
  Harriet May Deffebach Hamilton (1877 - 1906)*
  Anna Diechie Deffebach Hall (1879 - 1974)*
  Mary Ann Deffebach Whitmire (1841 - 1872)*
  John Adam Deffebach (1842 - 1880)
  Edward Deffebach (1849 - 1933)*
  Erasmus Deffebach (1852 - 1931)*
*Calculated relationship
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Lawrence County
South Dakota, USA
Created by: Earl Munday
Record added: Sep 09, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58406565
John Adam Deffebach
Added by: Sharon Deffebach
John Adam Deffebach
Added by: Sharon Deffebach
John Adam Deffebach
Added by: Kathy Margrave
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- lovemeep
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- Judy Blacksher
 Added: Mar. 23, 2013

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