JACOB SAMUEL FERRIN
Son of Samuel Ferrin and Olive Fidelia Coon
married: Janetta Ann McBride
Jacob Samuel Ferrin was the son of Samuel Ferrin and Olive Fidelia Coon. Jacob was borne June 1, 1830, at Olean, Catteragus County, New York. His mother died just eight days later, June 9, leaving him and a sister just older, Julia Fidelia, with the father, Samuel. Two and one-half years later Jacob's father married Sally Powell March, a widow, whom Julia and Jacob knew as "mother" during their lives. Other children were born to this marriage.
Young Jacob's father, Samuel joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints February 15, 1840. Four years later Jacob was baptized, April 15, 1844, at age thirteen.
Moving from New York, the family lived successively in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Iowa. In 1852, after much preparation, they crossed the plains and mountains by team and wagon into Utah to join the Saints, first to Salt Lake City, then to Ogden City, Weber County, Utah. Shortly thereafter, in 1855, Jacob's step-mother, Sally Powell Ferrin died. At this time Jacob was twenty-five years of age, unmarried, and along with other members of the family, helping his father to get established on a small farm.
However, events of far-reaching import loomed on the horizon for young Jacob. Just a year later, in December of 1856, young Janetta Ann McBride entered his life. The McBride family, survivors of the ill-fated Martin Handcart Company were brought to the Ferrin home for temporary assistance. Brother Ferrin supplied them with a small house to live in for the balance of the winter and otherwise contributed to their welfare.
Very quickly romance bloomed between Jacob and Janetta, she then seventeen. They were married March 29, 1857. Soon thereafter, May 3, 1857, the father, Samuel, married Janetta's mother, Margaret.
After many years in Utah, a health problem of Jacob's, brought on by the severe weather conditions, prompted their move to Arizona. His untimely death, July 19, 1882, at the hands of Indian renegades on the San Carlos Indian Reservation, is one of the infamous atrocities of early Arizona history. Jacob's gentle and trusting nature, which allowed desperate men to take advantage of him, is seen as a contributing factor to his murder.
The following is a statement made by Oliver Lewis, close friend and business associate of Jacob Ferrin, Made many years after the event of Jacob’s death. Residing in Bear River City, Utah, Oliver was said to be the last survivor of those who witnessed the killing by the Indians.
A few days before Jacob Ferrin, my dear friend was murdered by the Apache Indians, near Globe, Arizona, he and I left our homes in Smithville (Pima) and went to Bowie Station, loaded our wagons with coke and started for Globe where we were to deliver our load. We traveled together, slept together and ate together all the way.
When we arrived at our destination we helped each other unload our wagons and were ready to start back as I supposed, but Jacob ran into Joseph Roseberry, John Nuttal and Heber Maxham all from Smithville, and was delayed about an hour, so I went on alone.
About a mile out of Globe, I saw about twenty Indians, all huddled together talking it seemed quite seriously. I thought little of it. I drove down to the first bend in the river and camped, (About five miles above San Carlos) took care of my horses, gathered wood and made a fire. By that time my dear friend drove in, the other three fellows with him. While I was preparing supper for the five of us, they took care of their horses. About that time three Indians appeared in camp. I tried to buy their guns, in that way I managed to inspect their fire arms so I could see where they put them. I called "Supper", they formed around in a circle by the camp fire and just as I sat down the last frying pan, someone hollowed "Look out boys." We all sprang behind the wagons just in time to see the three Indians spring from the wagons with our three guns in their hands. Two of the Indians ran for the brush and one commenced shooting and telling us to leave.
Brother Ferrin, no doubt believed the Indians were mad because we didn’t invite them to supper. He followed them, telling them to bring back the guns and eat supper. I begged Jacob to come back before the Indians killed him. The Indian raised his gun and shot him through the heart. (Some 16 years after burial, Charles Ferrin, helped dig up his father’s body and bury it in a new cemetery in Pima. The body, still intact, revealed a bullet hole in the skull. He may have been shop in the heart also.) They continued shooting at us and telling us to leave.
Someone said, "Let’s hide in the brush," but they (the other 3 white men) didn’t stop until they got to Globe. As soon as we had gone they rounded up our horses and drove them off.
Not being sure that Jacob was dead, I crawled back close enough that I could see that he was dead for sure. I ran down to the river and was going to cross, a beaver plunged into the water. I thought it was Indians throwing rocks at me and I ran further up the river and crossed. I had trouble getting through the willows, was bewildered, lost my bearings, found a trail, followed it, hadn’t gone far when I met a squaw. I was within a few feet of her before she saw me, she seemed to be as badly frightened as I was. She plunged into the brush and was lost in the thicket. I crossed the river found the road and started for Smithville (now Pima). I don’t know but I think it was about noon the next day, when I got to Matthewsville, (2 miles west of Smithville)
I found Charlie Matthews and rode with him to where we found Robert Ferrin. I told him of his father having been killed, he told me not to tell his mother but to let Uncle Peter McBride tell her. Charlie loaned me a horse to ride to town, I found Peter and he broke the news to the widow and children.
Those three men (those who escaped from the camp) went to Globe and got more men to come back with them, they found Jacob had been killed instantly. They found my horses, all the rest had been stolen. They hooked the horses onto my wagon, put Jacob’s body in it and all rode home. Only one Indian did all the shooting, he was said to be the meanest Indian on the Reservation.
This is the whole story as I remember it after all
Oliver Lewis- Bear River City, Utah
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