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  Above: tiny hamlet of Ramah NM


Samuel E Lewis       Sarah Jane           Joseph T Lewis         Sarah Lavira                     Bertha    



On Sunday evening, (Born 30, June 1968) 26 October 1890, Joseph Tarlton Lewis, son of Samuel and Sarah Jane Lewis was murdered by James K.P. Pipkin and Joseph W. Hatch, forty miles west of here on the Zuni Reservation near the line of New Mexico and Arizona. The particulars and supposed cause for the commitment of the deed are as follows.

J.K.P.Pipkin, a resident of this part, some six years ago, married a sister of the above named Joseph Lewis, but through him robbing the Post Office Department of some $1600 or $1700, according to his own acknowledgment, threatening her life and otherwise abusing her she had become dissatisfied and written to her folks, who were living at Thatcher, Arizona, to come after her, stating she desired to leave Pipkin. This fall her mother, with her youngest son Joseph, 21 years old , came up to this place where her oldest son Samuel Edward lives to see about it.

She went to Pipkin's place, seven miles from Ramah, made arrangements with her daughter, with her two children, to leave and send for her son, Joseph to bring the team to convey them away. Pipkin's wife told him she was going to leave, packed up her things, consisting of her bedstead, sewing machine, trunk, etc. Put them into the wagon and drove on to Ramah to the residence of their oldest son and brother Samuel E. Lewis.

Pipkin then had Joseph Lewis arrested on a charge of grand larceny and had him taken before a justice at Gallup, some thirty-five miles from here, where he was acquitted.

On the evening of the 25 of October Joseph, with his mother, and his sister, Sarah Lavira, (Pipkin's wife) and her two children, and sister Bertha, started for Thatcher, Ariz. The following morning Pipkin and Joseph W. Hatch had been seen six miles west, following up , inquiring about the whereabouts of the wagon with the folks. Fearing violence Samuel E Lewis asked Brother Ernest E. Tietjen and H.W. Bond to go with him, and they went in pursuit of the family and rode continuously for forty miles, until about 8 o'clock p.m., when they suddenly came upon two saddled horses standing along the side of the road. Being under the impression that these horses belonged to the men who were in pursuit of the wagon, and that they were hid in the brush, they rode on ahead a few rods and halted. Brother Bond cried out, "Joe, Joe, Joe Hatch," and immediately heard the report of a pistol beyond them about a hundred yards, in the Zuni wash. Then two shots, followed by a scream, as though someone had been seriously hurt. Voices were then heard, profaning and shouting to "give up." Then two men were observed coming towards the saddle horses, to get at which they would have to pass the three Brethren. When the latter were asked by the two approaching men if they had come to interfere. Until then the three men were not positive as to who these two men were, and answered them, they guessed not. When within 15 feet of Brother Tietjen, the latter recognized Pipkin by his crippled leg.

Noticing that he had his pistol drawn Brother Tietjen demanded that he surrender, when J.W. hatch presented his pistol drawn upon Brother Tietjen, only two feet away, saying, "throw down your pistol," and Brother Tietjen did so, throwing it behind him . Then Pipkin shot at Brother Lewis, about twenty feet away; J.W. Hatch shot in the same direction. (Brother Lewis' horse had a blazed face, one of them shot the horse, but they both missed Brother Lewis.) This gave Brother Tietjen an opportunity to regain his pistol, when both sides fired back and forth until they had emptied their pistols and Pipkin and Hatch were seen to regain their horses and depart in the darkness.

Brother Lewis ran to where they had heard the scream and found his brother Joseph fatally wounded only two rods from the wagon camped in the wash, in which were his mother and sisters. Brother Tietjen immediately followed but Brother Bond had not been seen nor heard during the shooting. Brother Lewis' horse was dead and Brother Tietjen's slightly wounded.

The two Brethren then gathered up the effects and left with the family and the remains of the young man, who died within a half an hour after being shot. They started towards Ramah , going as far as the Zuni village that night. and returned to Ramah the following evening and learned that Pipkin and Hatch had been that day in the vicinity.

The following day, in the evening, Brother Bond returned, stating that being unable to make his gun to work, he, after witnessing the shooting, but not knowing the results, had started for St.Johns, a distance of forty miles, and notified the sheriff, who had immediately started in pursuit.

On Wednesday, October 29th (Joseph was buried at Ramah) about noon, just as the people were about to gather to attend the funeral of the murdered young man, word came in that the sheriff had shot and killed, through mistake, at the sawmill creek, in the Zuni Mountains, some sixteen miles from here, Ira Starn Hatch, oldest brother of Joseph W. Hatch, who had been seen there that day, and son of Ira Hatch, well and favorably known in Utah, especially in the southern part.

The funeral of Ira Starn Hatch took place this evening. R.

Samuel Edward Lewis is #2 on Chart 3



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