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From: <>
Subject: The Death of Nephi Bemis (1842-1866)
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 15:22:31 EST


Thought this may be of interest to the list. Following is a verbatim copy of
a story told by Jerusha Hancock Tyler. (Daughter of Joseph Hancock and Nancy
Augusta Bemis (1829-1908). It was told to and written by her daughter, Mary
Tyler Bright in 1951.

Enjoy.........Katy
.................................................QUOTE........................
......................................

THE DEATH OF NEPHI BEMIS
(An Uncle of Mrs. Jerusha Hancock-Tyler)

This story was told by Mrs. Tyler to her children, Mollie Tyler-Bright and
Charles Tyler February 28, 1951, when she was 96 years of age.

Nephi Bemis, Sam Bemis, Mr. Parish and Mr. Whiteside, with several other men,
went to the Mojave Desert to round up their cattle. Some of the cattle had
strayed, so the two Bemis brothers, Messrs. Parish and Whiteside started
after them. Sam Bemis' mule was too slow to keep up with the horses, so he
said, "Nephi, my mule is too slow, and I am only holding you back, so I'll go
back to camp." Nephi said, "Sam, I have a five dollar gold piece in my
pocket, and there is a hole in the pocket and I am afraid I'll lose it--you
take it and keep it for me."
Sam returned to camp and the others went on. Later in the afternoon the
Indians set upon Nephi Bemis, Mr. Parish and Mr. Whiteside, and all three
were killed by arrows shot from bows. Nephi was shot through the jugular
vein. His horse turned and headed for camp. Bemis clung to the saddle until
weak from loss of blood. He then fell from the horse, leaving bloody finger
marks upon the saddle. The Indians stript him of his clothing, using a dull
knife to slit the leather boots, looking for socks which the Indians could
wear. The boots were not taken, as their feet were too large to wear them.
Parish and Whiteside fought until their ammunition was gone. Parish was
killed and Whiteside retreated to a clump of wild squaw-plum-bush, shooting
until all loads were exhausted, then fought by throwing rocks. He fell dead
while trying to defend himself.
Nephi Bemis' body was found shortly after he was killed, but, as darkness
was approaching, the bodies of Mr. Parish and Mr. Whiteside were not found
until the following day.
The three men were brought to San Bernardino, a joint funeral was held
and the three were laid to rest in Pioneer Cemetery.
Nephi Bemis left a young wife, Annie McGinnis-Bemis, and later she gave
birth to a baby boy who was born dead.
Jurusha and Lucina Hancock and their cousin, Frances Bemis, went with
Joseph Hancock, Senior, several years later to Holton's Ranch and visited the
spot where the three men were killed. Mrs. Holton acted as a guide. Holton's
Ranch is now known as Las Flores Ranch.
Nephi Bemis was born at Kirkland, Ohio, April 25, 1842, and was killed by
the Indians on the sight of the present Las Flores Ranch, March 25, 1866, age
23 years, 11 months."
................................................. END
QUOTE.....................................................

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