William Holmes’ songs may not have soothed the Apache prisoners.
William Holmes was a true Arizona pioneer. He helped found the town of Safford, served in public office there, and was a representative to several territorial conventions. In 1889, Holmes was a deputy to Gila County Sheriff Glenn Reynolds; the two were charged with taking nine prisoners, including the Apache Kid, to the prison at Yuma. Reportedly, Holmes sang songs along the way, most of which he’d written himself. One of them provided his nickname: Hunkydory. The prisoners must not have been music lovers; they broke away and killed both their captors along the road.