What happened to Mart “Old Man” Blevins of the Pleasant Valley War?
I wrote about the fate of Mart “Old Man” Blevins in my new book, Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen. He disappeared during the range war fought between two feuding ranching families, the Grahams and Tewksburys, that history has recorded as the Pleasant Valley War. Here is an excerpt:
“In June, 1887, Andy, Charley and Hamp [Blevins] left the Canyon Creek ranch and rode to Holbrook for supplies. The morning they left, Old Man Blevins rode out to look for some horses that had been turned out to graze in the canyon. The horses were gone and he suspected they’d been stolen. He rode back to the house and told his son John he was going in pursuit while the trail was still warm. On the trail he met a neighbor and the two went searching for the missing horses.
“The neighbor returned four days later and told Mrs. Blevins that Old Man was still trailing the animals. Blevins never returned and his body was never found but it was suspected that Tewksbury partisans had killed him. It was also claimed they fed his body to the feral hogs that roamed the Rim country. These were not ordinary hogs as they were wild as deer, big as black bears and mean as badgers. The Blevins boys returned from Holbrook and searched the area but found no trace of their dad.”
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official state historian and the vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen.
If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org