AND THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN SHALL TURN TO THEIR FATHERS
This prophecy is certainly coming to pass in these the
last days. We have seen many examples of people coming to Mexico and
the different colonies to see where their parents or grandparents or
great grandparents lived. Some come to find their graves others to see
where they lived and still others to see the places they heard talked
about or see the places mentioned in journals and histories. Many were
members of the church seeking out their Ancestors histories others
were not. The spirit of Elijah has touch the hearts of people
About 15 years ago I received a phone call from a man
in El Paso asking me if I would take him to find the remains of a
plane that had crashed in the mountains during World War II. He said
that his father had been the pilot of that plane and he wanted
to come down and find the place where it crashed and talk to the
people who found the plane if that was possible. I told him that I
would be glad to take him and that I would get permission from the
Rancher who owned the Ranch where the plane crashed.
I went and talked to Isidro Payan and he said that he
had seen the pieces of the plane many times and that he had heard the
story of it's crash. He told me to go to the ranch and get horses to
ride to the site and that one of the cowboys would take us and show us
the remains of the plane .
The young man came down and came to our home to
set up our trip. As we visited he explained that he was not a member
of out church but that he had friends in El Paso that were members of
the church and someone had given him my Name and phone number and said
that I would be willing to take him to the site. He also said that he
was very anxious to see if he could clear up in his mind the
circumstances of his father's death. He said that the armed forces had
cast a shadow of doubt over his father's name because he had been
coming down with the pay roll of the mine and the money had never
He then told the following story: During the war the
armed forces of the United States were seeking a place to get a supply
of natural crystals that they used in the Bomb Sights of their planes.
Some how they got word of a big cave down on the Rio Aros that
contained big amounts of the big crystals like they needed. They sent
some experts down to investigate and found a huge amount of the best
crystals that they had ever encountered. They sent down a crew to
begin mining the crystals but found that the cave had been flooded
from the river. They began the work of pumping out the water and
preparing to mine the crystals. The young man said that his father was
the pilot of the plane that they were sending down regularly with
provisions and money to pay for the mining operation.
On one of these trips his father did not come back and
they sent search planes to find him but could not find him or the
plane. They concluded that he had crashed in the mountains and sent
men to inquire and find the plane and investigate what had happened.
They found the plane where it had crashed and the pilot was found dead
still sitting in the closed cabin of the plane. They put his
body in a body bag with his personal belongings that were in the plane
and brought it down to the Train and shipped it on a flat car with a
guard to El Paso. The men claimed that they had found no money or
provisions of any kind.
The next morning we went up mountain to the Terrazeño
Ranch. I guess the name Terrazeño came from the fact that Don
Luis Terrazas used to own all of this country. When we arrived
Isidro's cousin saddled up some horses for us and we rode up
along the high ridge and down to the site of the plane crash. We had a
hard time finding the scattered pieces of the Airplane. We finally
found enough pieces to help us to find the spot of the crash.
Apparently the Yong Man's father had flown over the high ridge into
the river valley and had come back was not able to make it over the
high ridge and had crashed just under little saddle on the high
Terrazeño ridge. Apparently he had
been killed instantly for he was still sitting at the controls of the
plane when he was found. It looked like he had misjudged the high
ridge and the young man commented that there must have been a cloud
obscuring the height of the mountain.
The next day after returning from our trip I took him
to see and Talk to Don Timoteo Guillén. We asked Don Timo about the
plane that had crashed on the Terrazeño. He was eager to talk
and told us that he had been the Comisariado Ejidal at the time
and that they went to him as the Authority to go with them to find the
plane and recover the body. He said that when they had arrived at the
place of the crash that the pilot was sitting in the plane with the
doors tightly closed. He said they had trouble opening the doors to
get the body out. He authorized them to go ahead and move the body as
he was the authority to give that permission. He said that he could
still remember the stench as they opened the doors of the cabin of the
He said that he had gone with them to Casas grandes and
had written up the Acta and the permission to move the body. He said
they had put the body in a heavy canvas bag and had placed it on a
flat car on the train and had taken it to El Paso.
We asked him if he knew why the plane had crashed. He
told us that he had been outside that sunny morning when the plane had
flown over Strawberry where he lived. He said the plane was flying
quite low but the engine was running very well.
We asked him if there might have been a fog on the high
ridge he said that he didn't think so because it was a bright sunny
day. He said that he could find no reason in his mind that would cause
the plane to crash. He thought that maybe the pilot had fallen
asleep or fainted of something that would cause him to crash.
We thanked him and explained that the young man who I
was translating for was the son of the Pilot of the plane. He very
solemnly shook hands with the young man and said he was glad to meet
him and that he was sorry about his father's death.
We then asked him if they had found any money or
provisions in the plane. He said very definitely that they had not
found anything but a little bag that belonged to the pilot. We then
asked Don Timo if he thought the plane was returning from the Aros or
just going. He answered that he could not explain why the plane, when
it passed over his home, was flying east and not North or South.
While we were returning from talking with Don Timo he
thanked me for helping him settle in his own mind that his father was
not guilty of any wrong doing and that now he could understand why he
had crashed after seeing the high rugged place where the Airplane had
crashed. He said he could now console his mother and put her at peace
concerning his father's death.
Among the many groups that came down were some that had
interesting histories that we had heard about and had heard different
versions all our lives. For example the Joe James story, the Thompson
family Massacre, the Stevens family story. Many others came such as
the Rowleys, the Hursts, the Hardys and the Farnsworths to name a
When the granddaughters of Joe James came they had a
rather complete history of him written by their mother. Naoma and I
loaded up the van and took them up to seek out the places mentioned in
the history. As we came to the spring I pointed out that here was
where Joe James had the saw mill. They got out the history and read
about when he was killed at that site.
That morning as he left the house to go check the log
chute his little boy wanted to go with him but he told him to stay
home today that it was too dangerous. As he walked along by the chute
the boys were up on top of the mountain sending down logs. The logs
came smoking down the chute that Joe James had built. The logs would
splash into the pond that they had made to receive the logs from the
chute and to prepare them for sawing in the mill. This chute made
available all of the timber on the top of the high mountain country.
The history explained that as Father was walking along the steep trail
by the chute one of the logs jumped out of the chute and killed him.
Word was immediately sent to Hop Valley of Father's death and the
family came down to prepare the body and attend the funeral.
As we climbed higher just where the cut off joins the
old original grade I showed them where the log chute had come down
from the top of the mountain. Years ago we could see plainly where the
clearing had been made where the chute came down. We were always told
that the cleared strip up the steep mountain was where the Joe James
chute had been built.
After going to the caves in Cave Valley we stopped to
talk to Don Miguel Lopez. We told him that these people were
grandchildren of the man that had built the log chute down the
mountain. He said that his father had told him the story and that his
father's brother in law was killed along with him. He said that
he remembers the houses that Don Diego built in Hop Valley and that
the grandson of the man that was killed with him was still living in
the two story house in Hop Valley that Don Diego had built. Don Diego
is what they called Joe James in Spanish. He Also said that in those
days they had Telephones in all of the Colonies and that Don Diego had
a phone at the saw mill and they had called to Hop Valley to tell of
the death of the two men. He also said that Don Diego was much loved
by all of the people in the mountains. He said that the house that Don
Diego built was the only two story house in Hop Valley and that it had
blue doors and windows.
In Hop Valley the ladies got out their history and told
us that Father James had built three houses for his three wives. Two
rivers join in Hop Valley and that he had built one house on the North
side of the rivers, one in between the two rivers and one on the south
side of the two rivers. That way when the rivers were flooding he
could have a home to come to no matter from which direction he came.
He had very good gardens and farms in Hop Valley and he and the
boys supplied the families with most of their food from those farms
I began to tell them some of the stories that I grew up
with about Joe James and his sense of humor and practical jokes. They
lived in Hop Valley but they all attended church in Pacheco. Every
fast and Testimony meeting Brother James would get up and bear his
Testimony about how wonderful Hop Valley was. He would say, "Brothers
and Sisters the Lord has really blessed us in Hop Valley. Things grow
so fast that when we plant Squash and Water melon seeds they come up
so fast that they flip the dirt right up into your eyes and the vines
grow so fast that we have to shoe the little squashes so the vines
don't drag them to death".
During the dry season he would get up in Church
and say. " Brothers and Sisters we have surely solved the problem of
watering our gardens in Hop Valley. We plant a row of Potatoes then a
row of Onions. The onions get in the eyes of the Potatoes and they cry
and water the whole garden.
By this time the people were beginning to complain to
the Bishop about Brother James coming over and telling these big lies
in church. Sure enough next Fast and Testimony meeting Brother James
got up and bore a solemn Testimony of the Lord's goodness to their
family. Brothers and Sisters the Lord has surely favored us in Hop
Valley. "We have stocks of corn over there with as many as thirteen
ears on them". A gasp went up from audience. This was the biggest lie
yet. After the meeting some of the Brethren went to the Bishop and
demanded that the Bishop do something about Brother James and his lies
in the house of the Lord. The Bishop went out to find Brother James
and found him waiting for them. When confronted Brother James
countered with, "they are not lies you can come and see for
yourselves". They all got on their horses and went over to Brother
James home to prove that he had been telling lies in church. Out
behind the house in brother James' garden, there for all to see were
several stocks of corn with thirteen ears tied in them.
Ken Rowley had been with us on pack trip into the
Sierra Madre so he wanted to take his brothers on a family trip. He
called me and arranged to come down and bring his three brothers and
their boys. He wanted to go by Pacheco and show his family where both
of their grandfathers had lived and were buried. When they came
they were a big bunch of them. I don't remember the exact number but
they came in two four wheel drive pickups prepared to go into the
Sierra Madre mountains.
We loaded the saddles and Pack outfits and camp
equipment and provisions into their trucks. Some of the people came to
ride with us in the Volkswagen Van. We left early Monday morning and
traveled to Pacheco via Cave Valley. When we got to the graveyard we
all piled out and went to find Grandpa Rowley's grave and Grandpa
Grandpa Rowley's monument was easily found for it was
very distinctive. They had good stone masons in those days and some
one had carved a trunk of a tree out of a stone that stood about six
feet high. On this replica of a tree was carved the inscription of
Grandpa Rowley's name, date of birth and place plus his death date.
That distinctive monument is still there in the Pacheco graveyard and
is one of the very few left there.
Grandpa Haws' grave stone was more conventional but we
found it down in the north corner of the graveyard.
As we entered the town of Pacheco Ken came to me and
wanted me to find the house where grandmother Haws lived. He said that
as they left during the revolution grandma Haws had carefully buried
her beautiful china dishes in the backyard of their home. Ken said
that he had a steel search rod that he could use to find the exact
spot if he knew the backyard in which to look. I explained to him that
I did not know where grandma Haws had lived and that I didn't know of
anyone that did know since it was so very long ago. I also explained
that after the people left that the Mexicans came in raided all of the
houses and surely they would see the fresh earth where something
We went on up to Chuhuichupa and on out to the
Toro ranch where our horses and pack mules were waiting. We camped
down on the Chuhuichupa River below the Toro where the river gorge
widens and forms a beautiful park like area. The river runs around
this area and makes it a beautiful place to camp. As soon as we set up
camp ken asked me if I knew of any Indian ruins around. I turned and
walked about twenty paces from camp and showed him the mound of a big
ruin about 200 feet in diameter. He took his steel rod and began to
sink it down into the ground in different places around the ruin. He
declared that he could tell with his rod exactly where there were
Burial Sites and where he could find the ollas that had been buried
with the people.
I got busy cooking supper for the bunch and getting all
of the tents and beds set up for the night. Yagui, my cowboy, had
taken the animals down river and hobbled them out he had put bells on
the mare and some of the horses so we could find them in the early
The next morning after breakfast we saddled up the
horses and mules and got everyone mounted ready to take them on a ride
up to see some ancient Cave Dwellings. Ken was over in the
Indian Dwelling digging with my shovel and a pick that he had brought
with him. He was already waist deep in his hole and would not go with
Before mounting up I noticed a little boy wandering
around close behind the horses and mules. I took him aside and told
him carefully that he should not go behind the animals because they
might kick him. We mounted up and traveled up the Toro Canyon. Two of
the Rowley brothers began to run their horses up and back. I finally
told them that their horses would not last at that pace and to save
them for the long ride we had ahead of us. They seemed disappointed
but fell in with the rest of our bunch. Soon the trail became very
steep as we climbed high up under the cliffs at the top of the high
mesa. We went through a narrow pass between the huge rock cliffs of
the saddle and there before us was the big cave filled with rooms and
dwellings. The afternoon as we got back to camp we could see a big
mound of dirt with more shovel fulls coming out to add to the pile.
Ken was still digging He was now so deep that we had to go help him
get out for supper. He was very dejected since he not found
anything not even broken pieces of pottery. I fixed a big stir fry for
supper and everyone was hungry so it didn't last long.
The next morning after a big breakfast of Hot Cakes,
Scrambled eggs and herb tea we got every one mounted on saddled mount
and rode off to find a big dwelling that Yagui knew about. Ken was
eager to dig some more and find a pot. We found this enormous ruin on
a mesa overlooking the river. While the Rowley Brothers were busy
digging Yagui and I sat in the shade of a big Oak Tree waiting for
them to get tired of digging. We heard a sound and looked around and
saw the little boy lying on the ground behind the little mule
Cantador. We rushed over and found that he was finally getting his
breath back and was coming around. He had been wandering around behind
the horses and had come to close too Cantador's heels. Cantador had
kicked him in the his middle and knock the breath out of him. Luckily
he was not seriously hurt. I did not have the heart to say anything to
him. I figured he had learned the hard way. They never did find
anything in all of their digging so they gave it up.
The next day they all just wanted to ride the horses
around the river close to camp so they could gallop up and back. That
evening one of the brothers came into camp with a big Metate that he
had carried on the saddle horn and the pommel of the saddle from way
down river where he had found it. That poor saddle was scratched and
worn so bad in places that I would have to replace the leather on the
pommel to repair it. He asked his brothers to come and lift the Metate
down and it took two of them to lift it down. They asked him how he
had gotten it on the horse. He said that he had lifted it into the
saddle and then got on behind the saddle and then held it on the horn
while he got into the seat of the saddle. He was the tallest and
strongest of the brothers so I could see that he would be able to do
that. His hands were worn almost raw from handling the rough rock of
the Metate. I didn't dare say anything about the ruined saddle. I
didn't want to spoil his happiness of his find and accomplishment of
bringing it back with him.
We arrived home in Dublan late Saturday afternoon. The
Rowleys insisted on continuing on to Phoenix that night. The said,
"the boys can sleep on the way home and we can be home for Sunday".
They thanked me profusely for the wonderful trip they had enjoyed with
their family and were on their way.
. Some Stevens ladies
came down and we took them up to the little town of Stevens to see
where their grandparents had lived and where their mother had told
them so much about. We left very early so when we got to Cave Valley
we fixed breakfast after we had been up to explore the big Olla Cave.
The cave valley creek is a pretty place to camp and eat and the water
is good and clear from a spring up the canyon. After breakfast we went
on to Stevens. There the ladies exclaimed that it was just as their
mother had described it to them and they said, "and there is the creek
where mother and her sister were picking blackberries".
They told us their version of the Stevens story. They
said Grandfather Stevens decided that they would not leave when all of
the rest of the people of the Colonies left in the Exodus of 1912. He
thought that if he treated the people that came well and fed them that
they would be all right. One morning when the girls were down by the
creek picking Blackberries the father looked out and saw two men
watching the girls from back in the timber a little ways. He took his
gun and went to investigate. When the mother and the oldest son heard
a shot they ran down and across the creek to find the Father lying in
his blood still bleeding profusely from a jagged stab wound near him
was a dead Mexican man who had been shot with the father's shot gun.
They carried the father to the house but he soon bled to death. The
whole family were filled with grief and fear but they managed to bury
the father and prepare to leave. They took their dishes and kitchen
utensils and a pistol and a rifle and with a few other things put them
in a little cave down on the river and sealed up the cave with mud.
They expected to come back but they never did, until now these ladies
came to see where their mother had lived and had experienced that
terrible tragedy. I guess no one will ever know exactly what happened
but apparently when Brother Stevens approached the two men they
attacked him. He apparently shot one of them and killed him but was
stabbed by the other one who fled after his victim fell to the
I told the ladies about what Trinidad Artalejo's
wife told me. She said that when she was a little girl living in
Stevens that she was present when they found the cave that the Stevens
had sealed up with mud.
She said that a boy from the little village had
gone hunting along the river with an old 22 rifle. When he didn't come
back the mother got the whole town to help her look for him. They
searched all along the river and finally found him dead. He apparently
had stopped and put his gun down butt first on a rock. It had fired
and the bullet went in under his chin and into his brain killing him
instantly. While they were looking for the little boy some one had
found the walled up little cave and they all gathered around to open
it up. She said that they had found dishes and kitchen utensils and an
old pistol and an old rifle among other things.
Once when Cuauhtemoc Lopez and I were riding down
the river he showed me the little cave where the Stevens family
had hid there things and had been found by the people who lived in
Stevens. I showed that cave to many of the Girls when we were riding
down the river from Pacheco to Cave Valley on one of the Girl's
We returned home that same day through Pacheco. I
showed them the places of interest along the way and they were very
happy to have come to be on the site where their mother had lived when
she was a girl.
I will not go on and relate other stories because this
is getting too long. However we took many groups of people to
the mountains to find the places where their ancestors had lived.
Naoma and I have really enjoyed going with these people and helping
them satisfy their hunger to know about the places where there roots