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Pinacate Campmates

From: Journal of the Southwest
Volume 49, Number 3, Autumn 2007
pp. 323-356 | 10.1353/jsw.2007.0012

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Pinacate Campmates Bill Hoy and Bill Broyles As in great fiction and film, many of life’s supporting cast prove to be memorable in their own right. We may find Queequeg in Moby Dick, Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, the bandit leader in Treasure of the Sierra Madre, or Mammy in Gone with the Wind as interesting as we do the central characters. Here’s a second look at some of the role-players in William T. Hornaday’s Camp-Fires on Desert and Lava and Carl Lumholtz ’s New Trails in Mexico. Even though they had secondary roles in the expeditions, they were locally prominent, sought out for their knowledge, or selected for their abilities. Hornaday’s trip included Jeff Milton, Godfrey Sykes, Frank Cole, Rube Daniels, and John Phillips. Among others, Lumholtz met Juan Caravajales, Queléle, “Doctor” Pancho, Alberto Celaya, Clemente, Judge Traino Quiroz, and José Juan. Here, in hopes of according these characters a more respected place in Pinacate history, we share what we’ve subsequently learned about them, even though much of it remains fragmentary. Celaya has his own chapter elsewhere in this journal, and Sykes his in the summer issue. Hornaday Expedition Jefferson Davis Milton Jeff Milton may be the most revered lawman in the history of Arizona. Wyatt Earp may have been more famous, or infamous, but Milton was everything a model officer should be. Jeff once boasted, “I never killed Bill Hoy served the National Park Service for thirty-three years, including Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, where he interviewed many local people and chronicled their histories. He is now retired, living near Fort Bowie, Arizona, and studying Apache lifeways. Bill Broyles is a perennial freshman at the desert schoolhouse, where he has been educated by the spine of a cactus, the call of a quail, and the words of patient sages. His latest homework includes Sunshot: Peril and Wonder in the Gran Desierto, and he had a hand in Dry Borders: Great Natural Reserves of the Sonoran Desert. Journal of the Southwest 49, 3 (Autumn 2007) : 323–355 324  ✜  Journal of the Southwest a man that didn’t need killing and I never shot an animal except for meat” (Haley 1948:411). He was born November 7, 1861, on a Florida plantation to wealthy parents who traced their lineage to poet John Milton , but the Civil War reduced them to poverty, and at age sixteen Jeff wandered to Texas and drifted across the Southwest from job to job as a cowhand, Texas Ranger, deputy sheriff, livestock inspector, mounted customs inspector, railroad courier and special agent, immigration inspector , and Border Patrol agent. Jeff was forty-three years old when he undertook his strenuous desert patrols. In 1904 the U.S. Immigration Service set up “Chinese inspectors ,” hiring line riders who would patrol the border for illegal entrants, Jeff Milton. Pinacate, November 1907. (John M. Phillips stereo, Arizona Historical Society—Tucson, Photo Number 71879.) Pinacate Campmates  ✜  325 including the Chinese. The Immigration Service assigned Jeff to the job of “Chinese agent for the United States in a foreign country.” His border “beat” ran west nearly three hundred miles from Nogales, Arizona, to the Colorado River. His duty station would be “at large,” and he would work “entirely on his own initiative and responsibility.” Occasionally, he scrawled monthly activity reports to his supervisor—when he thought the events warranted. For twelve to fourteen hours a day or more, often seven days a week, Jeff and other line riders searched for tracks, chased violators, and apprehended them. Jeff Milton became the foremost of these men. He earned five dollars a day plus $3.50 per diem for himself and his horses. His transportation consisted of a saddle horse, pack animals, or sometimes a mule‑drawn spring wagon adapted to desert terrain. His arsenal was a shotgun, Winchester carbine, and two six-shooters, plus he carried three‑gallon canteens hung from either side of his mules. He felt comfortable in the wild. Milton possessed an uncommon respect for wild creatures. He tossed his food scraps to them. He never killed rattlesnakes and remarked, “If I was running the government, I’d make it a...