|Death: ||Aug. 5, 1859|
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Frank McNeil was murdered by fellow outlaw Joe Rhodes, who also received a violent end the following January. Frank had come to the Salt Lake Valley to spy on the Mormons and cause them havoc at the request of Johnson's Army. However, Frank spent quite a bit of time in jail.
Utah Digital Newspapers
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The Deseret News, 10 August 1859, page 4 "Another Man Killed"
Deseret News 1859-08-10 Another Man Killed
Another Man Killed—On Tuesday night last, [2 August 1859] a man named, or commonly called, Frank McNeil, was shot at the California House in this city, by some unknown person, but supposed to be by a man known as Joe Rhodes, with whom he had a quarrel the night previous, and who has not been seen here since.
It appears from report that McNeil had previously had some difficulty with one of Rhodes' particular friends at or near Camp Floyd, where such men do mostly ‘congregate,' growing out of some violation of the ‘code' that had been adopted by a gang of government stock thieves of which McNeil, as well as Rhodes and his friend, were reputed members, the result of which was a fight, in which McNeil was the victor. Rhodes, espousing the cause of his friend, threatened McNeil with Summary vengeance if he should chance to meet him. On Wednesday evening, they met at the California House, kept by Sterritt; some words were passed between them, Rhodes accusing McNeil of perfidy in connection with the ill treatment to his friend; a scuffle ensued, pistols were drawn and, in the melee, there was one shot fired, the ball passing through the collar of McNeil's coat; Rhodes struck McNeil with his pistol, cutting his head and cheek badly. They were then parted by the bystanders.
McNeil, though severely hurt, was about most of the time on Thursday [4 August 1859], but imbibing too freely, he was obliged to keep in doors in the after part of the day. In the evening about eleven o'clock, on stepping out at the door, he was met by some person who shot him with a pistol loaded with two balls, which took effect near the navel, but did not pass through the body. The assassin immediately fled. McNeil firing at him twice as he ran before he knew that he was wounded. He then went up to his room without assistance, but soon began to feel sick, sent for a surgeon who, on examining the wound, pronounced it mortal. [Died Friday, 5 August 1859].
How much exertion has been made to find the murderer we do not know, but have been informed that but little or no disposition was manifested, that night, to look after him, by those whose duty it is, as understood, to arrest offenders and bring them for justice. Lot Huntington, a resident of this city, who happened to be near by at the time of the shooting, was arrested the next day on suspicion and underwent an examination before Judges Eckles and Sinclair but, no evidence of guilt appearing, he was discharged and there, so far as we have been informed, the matter rested.
A Coroner's Inquest was done on Saturday, 6 August 1859, one day after the dealth of Franklin E. McNeil. The transcript of the inquest is included in the Court Transcript file attached to Mr. McNeil's page on the Kenneth Elbert Hacking Family Tree on Ancestry.com.
Frank married Jane Hacking King (McNeil O'Brien) as her third husband about 1858 and they had a daughter Josephine McNeil about 1859. She died before the 1860 Census.
Frank's burial record has not been found, but some researchers suppose that he was buried at the Camp Floyd Cemetery since he was not a Mormon. However Park records do not show his burial there. He may have also been buried at Cedar Fort since that is the home of his wife, or he may have been buried closer to where he died in one of the Salt Lake County cemeteries. Until proof has been found of his actual burial location, the most credible research is showing him to be in an unmarked grave at Camp Floyd Cemetery.
Jane Hacking O'Brien (1833 - 1901)
Josephine McNeil (1859 - 1860)*
Camp Floyd Cemetery
Plot: Not marked
Created by: Eileen Lentz
Record added: Jul 05, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28048157
Added: Oct. 20, 2010
Added: May. 19, 2009