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 James Lane Scott, III

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James Lane Scott, III

  • Birth 1861 Anderson, Grimes County, Texas, USA
  • Death 4 Aug 1888 Navajo County, Arizona, USA
  • Burial Heber, Navajo County, Arizona, USA
  • Memorial ID 19505760

James Scott hailed from Weatherford, Texas and had worked as a cowboy on the famed Hashknife outfit. James was small of stature, about 26 years old and distinguished by one blue and one brown eye. Joe T McKinney, an Apache County lawman, had known Scott as a cowboy in New Mexico and considered him to be agreeable, industrious, honest and principled. Why then was he so unjustly lynched in early August of 1888? One must look at his companions, Wilson, Billy and Stott, James Warren, on that fateful day to get even a partial understanding. The exact date of the hangings is somewhat in doubt, but surely not on August 4, 1888 as inscribed on the tombstone of all three men. The offense that caused his arrest was reported to occur on August 9, 1888 and their bodies were discovered on August 11 by one James E Shelley and it was the morning of the 12th before the hangings could be made known to the local communities. It has even been reported that Shelley was not the first, or even the second, to discover the bodies, only the first to report them. James made the hate list of one James Houck on a day when he forced Houck to back down in an argument in Holbrook. Then it was Scott's bad luck to be spending the night at Stott's ranch on the eve of the lynching. McKinney maintained that Houck seized the opportunity to settle an old grudge. McKinney grieved the loss of a dear friend.
These three innocent men were victims of the Pleasant Valley War, also known as the Graham-Tewksbury Feud, the only major feud in Arizona. But it was certainly big enough and bloody enough to gain national attention. The number of deaths in the war is probably not known for sure and estimates range fro 30 to 50, but not one conviction was ever made for any offense. Not even when the last Graham was shot by the last Tewksbury before several witnesses in broad daylight in Tempe, AZ.
For a complete history of the Graham-Tewksbury Feud read, A Little War of Our Own, The Pleasant Valley War Revisited, by Don Dedera. For a story on the arrest and lynching of the three men read, The Lynching of Stott, Scott and Wilson, by Jo Baeza, a well known historian in the White Mountains. Her story can be found on-line at http://www.wmonline.com/attract/lynching.htm. There are differences in dates and facts as the two sources relate to the lynching.


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  • Created by: Tom Todd
  • Added: 24 May 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19505760
  • Tom Todd
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Lane Scott, III (1861–4 Aug 1888), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19505760, citing Hangman Trail Burial Ground, Heber, Navajo County, Arizona, USA ; Maintained by Tom Todd (contributor 46900975) .