MAYFIELD-L ArchivesArchiver > MAYFIELD > 2000-07 > 0963982548
From: "J. Hoyle Mayfield" <>
Subject: Re: [MAYFIELD] Thomas Jefferson Mayfield (& Hoyle #1)
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 21:55:48 -0700
I found this subject matter interesting, and somewhat familiar (tho' I
never could have repeated all such stories correctly). I couldn't do any
more with this topic than what Hoyle provided.
Now that story about Mary Mayfield Copeland is one of my favorites. Hoyle
and I spent most of one vacation at our time-sharing cottage writing and
editing that story. Not sure where he's filed it but I could find it
sometime -- whenever I get time to get through his many files and books.
Besides the fun of writing the story, we had fun twice in Overton Co.
talking with people who knew something about that story, and we were even
taken to the crossroads in the country where the fight occurred. The
girlfriend had gone there to take the life of Mary, but Mary had the
audacity and strength to steal the girlfriend's weapon. It went to the
State Supreme Court so Hoyle had no problems gathering data; but the
homespun local spins on the story made it more interesting to learn and
I keep looking at Hoyle's files and books and call them goldmines. But I'm
having trouble finding the top of his desk because that's where I've been
working for over 6 weeks now. My problem is I have too much to think about
and too little to think with.
At 08:30 PM 7/18/00 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi Susan and All,
>I've never had the opportunity to read that book, but appreciate your
>sending it in so that I can order it on interlibrary loan. I recalled it
>being mentioned before and that it was a subject that Hoyle had written
>quite a lot on, so I found some of his old posts to share that may help in
>filling in additional information. It may take more than one post to get it
>all in, but I'll send it in two if necessary.
>On another subject, we were moseying around Greenwood yesterday drove up and
>down quite a few streets - but never found the graveyard. We had been to
>the Wildlife Sarari as I was in dire need of a stress relief break. Where
>is the cemetery? I had a hard time finding Riverview also, so guess they
>get tucked away wherever I won't happen to go looking. <G>
>Here's the first post I found from Hoyle on "Uncle Jeff".
>Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 16:05:31 -0700
>From: Hoyle Mayfield <>
>Subject: Story of William Mayfield
>I don't expect anyone to have the answers to the questions I ask, but I
>thought you may be interested in this story since it is about the
>Mayfields. As the story developed I kept asking myself why I was working
>on it, since it was not my direct line. Then I'm always reminded of the
>man who ask the mountain climber why he climbed the mountain and his reply
>was "because it's there."
>Thomas Jefferson Mayfield died in Tulare County, CA in 1928. He was called
>"Uncle Jeff". In his later years he was interviewed by a man that wrote a
>book about him, He had been raised by the Indians and the writer was more
>interested in the Indians and their culture than he was about the life of
>Jeff. The book covers all the stories about robberies, murders, ghost
>On the 1850 census in Mariposa Co., CA is listed William Mayfield, age 40,
>born in TN; his wife Mary Ann age 20, b. in TX. Two sons who was born in
>Illinois, John age 21 (b. 1829) and Benjamin age 16 (born in 1834. Also
>listed was S. Willson, age 2, no birth place shown. I went immediately to
>the Ilinois 1830 census to find William but no luck.
>William is shown is shown in Washington Co., TX in 1837, as a man with a
>family. There is also a Sutherland there at the same time. This must be
>the Sutherland b. 1787, married Sarah Parks in 1813 and died in Navarro
>Co., TX in Feb. of 1848. If this is correct this Sutherland was the son
>of Isaac who was killed by Indians in Davidson Co., Tn on July 7, 1794.
>Isaac was the son of James, son of Isaac, son of Robert. Both William &
>Sutherland were in Brazos Co., TX later. There must be some relationship
>between Sutherland b. 1787 and William b. 1810. Sutherland would be old
>enough to be Williams father, but he married Sarah Parks in 1813. Was this
>Sutherland's second marriage?
>William is in Brazos Co., TX where he married Maria (Mary) Curd in 1837.
>His first wife must have died. Jeff said his father fought in the Mexican
>The family started for California but were turned back by Indians, William
>did not to endanger his family. So the boarded a ship and went around Cape
>Hope, So. America. It took them swix months to reach California. They
>landed at Yerba-Buena, later called San Francisco. What seems so
>incredible is that Jeff describes the journey, etc. yet he would have been
>two years old.
>They must have arrived just before the 1850 census. William took his
>family to the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, then Monterey Co.,
>now Tulare Co. Jeff says that within a year his mother had died. Jeff
>does not mention a sister but there is a 3 year old Miran (Mary Ann) on the
>mortality schedule in 1850 in Maricopa Co. and there are no other Mayfields
>there. After the death of Williams wife, he left Jeff with the local
>Indians. He and his sons were busy in the mines and with cattle and he
>said he saw his father less and less. He states that at one time it had
>been two years since he saw his father and then it was three years after
>that that he saw him again.
>William was in the militia and he was called to duty because there was
>Indian trouble in Inyo Co., this is on the eastern side of the Sierra
>mountains. William was killed by the Indians in Owens Valley on April 9,
>1862. There is a canyon off the valley named Mayfield Canyon.
>When Jeff was 18, he states that he was sent to an academy in Visalia for
>an education. It must have been by his brothers for his father would have
>been dead by this time.
>He tells the story of the death of his brother, John, but he does not give
>any dates but it appears to have been in the 1870's. John was on a cattle
>drive to Arizona. He had an argument with the Mexican cook and the cook
>poisioned him. (I learned a long time ago, do not argue with the cook.)
>Brother Ben was working for a man in Tejon Canyon, which is just south of
>Bakersfield but in Los Angeles County. There was a famous outlaw that came
>by quite often. He tried to get Ben to join his gang, but Ben refused.
>The outlaw announced one day that he was going to have to kill Ben for he
>knew too much. They set eyeing each other all night and finally at day
>break the outlaw pulled his gun from out under the covers and Ben shot his
>dead. The outlaw had some friends and they persuaded the law to arrest
>Ben, he was tried and convicted of 2nd degree murder. His lawers appealed
>it, and the higher court ordered a new trial. At the retrial he was
>accquited. Jeff said he was a bitter man after this and he did not live
>Jeff does not mention any wife or children by any of the three boys and I
>have not been able to find any. Now to the 1850 census and the two year
>old boy named Willison. This has to be Jeff because everthing else falls
>into place including Jeff's story of him trying to get his inhertence from
>the Curd family in TX. Maria had a brother named Wilson, it must be that
>Jeff changed his name sometime along the line. However, he went by an
>Indian name during the time he was living with the Indians. I tried to
>locate him on the 1860, 1870 census but did not find him because I did not
>know his Indian name. You would have thought he would have put that in
>the book. In the history of Brazos Co., TX on the Curd family, it says
>that Mary Ann married William Mayfield and died about 1850.
>I found this to be an interesting story, hope you enjoy it. If you are
>interested I will write up a condensed story of Mary Mayfield Copeland who
>killed her husband's girlfriend in Overton Co., in 1838. I wrote an 18
>page article that was published in the Upper Cumberland Genealogical
>Society Quarterly. They published it in two articles, the editor said had
>several calls from people who wanted to know how it came, they could not
>wait for the next issue.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Susan Hoesche" <>
>Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2000 12:27 PM
>Subject: [MAYFIELD] Thomas Jefferson Mayfield
>> I found a really interesting book by Thomas Jefferson Mayfield called
>> Adopted by Indians a True Story. He was born ca 1843 and died in 1928.
>> It is a really interesting true story about how he spent about ten years
>> growing up with the Choinumne Indians. It says in the book his father
>> was born in Kentucky and met and married Miss Maria Curd in Brazos
>> County, Texas. They had three children, John Mayfield abt 1826, Ben
>> Mayfield abt 1831 and Thomas Jefferson Mayfield about 1843. They
>> traveled to California and his mother died there while he was a child.
>> I don't know if he connects to anyone one the line but I think that it
>> was really interesting. It is more about life with the Indians but it
>> has some more details about his family. The call number on the book is
>> 979.4 Mayfield. Let me know if any one wants be to go over it for more
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|Re: [MAYFIELD] Thomas Jefferson Mayfield (& Hoyle #1) by "J. Hoyle Mayfield" <>|