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Buckskin Frank Leslie

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Buckskin Frank Leslie

Nashville Franklyn Leslie
Nashville Franklin
Nashville Franklyn "Buckskin Frank" Leslie
Born March 18, 1842
San Antonio, Texas
Died After January 27, 1920
possibly Sausalito, California
Nationality American
Other names Buckskin Frank Leslie, Nashville Franklyn Leslie, Capt. N. Frank Leslie
Occupation U.S. Army scout, gambler, miner, rancher, gunfighter
Known for Killing Mike Killeen and Billy Claiborne
Height 5' 7"
Weight 135 lb (61 kg)
Criminal penalty 25 years
Criminal status Pardoned in 1896
Spouse(s) Mrs. Mary Jane (Evans) Killeen
Mrs. Belle Stowell
Mrs. Elnora (Torbert) Cast
Conviction(s) Murder of Molly Edwards

Nashville Franklyn Leslie (1842 - ?) was a U.S. Army scout, gambler, bartender, rancher, miner, and gunfighter and con-man. He was known for his fringed buckskin jacket. He became famous in Tombstone, Arizona for killing two men in self-defense. He married the widow of one of his victims eight days after killing her husband. Following their divorce, Leslie later shot and killed a woman he lived with at his ranch while drunk and in a fit of jealousy. He was sentenced to life in prison but only served six years before he was pardoned. He was last listed in the U.S. Federal Census on January 27, 1920 in Sausalito, California. No public records of him have been found after this date and it's not known when he died.

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Imaginative Personal History 2
  • San Francisco 3
  • Tombstone, Arizona 4
    • Kills Mike Killeen 4.1
    • Marries Mrs. Mary Killeen 4.2
    • Shoots Billy Claiborne 4.3
    • Starts ranching 4.4
    • Becomes cavalry Scout 4.5
    • Divorce 4.6
    • Murders Molly Edwards 4.7
    • Sentenced to life 4.8
  • Later life 5
    • Marries Mrs. Belle Stowell 5.1
    • Fort Worth 5.2
    • Possible service in Spanish-American War 5.3
    • Mining in Mexico 5.4
    • Return to San Francisco 5.5
  • Marriage and death 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • Bibliography 9

Early life

"Buckskin Frank" Leslie, in an 1886 application for employment, wrote "I, Nashville Franklyn Leslie, was born near San Antonio, Texas on the 18th day of March 1842 and am now a resident of Tombstone, Arizona and have been a resident of Arizona for nine years."[1] A conflicting account, printed in the Tombstone Daily Prospector on July 15, 1889, stated that Leslie was born Galveston, Texas[2] in 1842 where he supposedly grew up. His father's name was alleged to be "Thomas Kennedy" while his mother was "Martha Leslie." This version goes on to say that he took his mother's last name as his after a falling out with his father.[2] So far no documentation has been found that would support the claims made by the Tombstone Daily Prospector.[3] Finally, Leslie gave information on November 6, 1913 stating he was born in Texas, that his father, "Bernard Leslie," was born in Virginia and that his mother, "Martha Leslie," was born in Kentucky.[4]

Imaginative Personal History

Nothing has been documented concerning Leslie's first 36 years, although he told some colorful and improbable stories concerning those missing years. On two separate occasions Leslie told writers his version of incidents from his early life. In 1880 Leslie said that "in 1861 he joined the Southern Army, and continued with it till April 9th 1865, when he was attached to General Gordon's division as a First Lieutenant, in the 10th Cavalry." He claimed he "was Deputy Sheriff of Abalene [sic]... under the notorious J.B. Hickock [sic] or 'Wild Bill,' " and that he was a "rough rider in Australia," and a [ship] pilot in the Fiji Islands and that "he has exhibited, as a fancy rifle shootist in different parts of the world."[5]

In 1893, he told another story to W.H. Cameron of the San Francisco Chronicle, in which it was claimed that "the story of his life is a romance. Born in Virginia [sic] in 1842 of a good family he went to Heidelberg to study medicine, his brother at the same time going to West Point for a military education. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 Frank returned to his old home in Virginia [sic] and entered the Confederate Army as a bugler, while his brother joined the Union forces."[6]

Leslie also claimed that he served as a scout for the U.S. Army in Texas, Oklahoma and the Dakotas during the 1870s, but no documentation has been found.[7]

San Francisco

Leslie was first recorded in San Francisco in 1878, where he was employed as a barkeeper in Thomas Boland's saloon at 311 Pine Street. He lived in San Francisco at 732 Howard Street.[8] In 1879 he was a "bookkeeper," which may have been a typo for "barkeeper," since he worked at Kerr & Jurado's Saloon & Billiard Room.[9] The next year he was again listed as a barkeeper in the same establishment and was living at 746 Folsom Street.[10] In mid-1880, he moved to Tombstone, Arizona.

Tombstone, Arizona

Leslie arrived in Tombstone, in July 1880 dressed in the buckskin attire of a scout.[11] He was 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m) tall and weighed about 135 pounds (61 kg). When he arrived in Tombstone, he traded in his frontier clothing for the gentleman attire like that worn in San Francisco. He complimented his city dress with a fringed buckskin vest that furthered his reputation as "Buckskin Leslie". In Tombstone, he partnered with William H. Knapp and opened the Cosmopolitan Saloon next door to the Cosmopolitan Hotel at 409 Allen Street.[12]

Kills Mike Killeen

Leslie became attracted to a chambermaid at the Cosmopolitan Hotel named Mary Jane "May" Killeen. He had attended her wedding on Apr 13, 1880 in Tombstone, by Rev. J.V. McIntrye, and was one of two witness listed on the Marriage Record,[13] the other being Louisa E. Bilicke. Her husband, Mike Killeen, was jealous of the relationship between the two and late in the evening of June 22, 1880,[notes 1] Leslie and May Killeen were sitting on the front porch of the Cosmopolitan Hotel, following a night on the town.

George M. Perine, a friend of Leslie's, saw Mike Killeen approaching and warned Leslie, but Killeen was able to fire two shots. The bullets grazed Leslie's head and stunned him. Killeen attacked Leslie and began clubbing him with his revolver when Killeen was shot. Killeen lingered for five days before he died on June 28, 1880. Before he died, Killeen told E.T. Packwood that he had been shot by Perine. Leslie and Perine were charged with murder but Leslie claimed he had fired in self-defense and that Perine had not fired his weapon. The court accepted Leslie's explanation and defense and dismissed charges against both men.[14]

Marries Mrs. Mary Killeen

Eight days after her husband's death, Mary Killeen married Leslie. For the second time, within 84 days, 13 year-old Louisa E. Bilicke [15]served as the bride's maid of honor.[16] The Tombstone Epitaph reported:

July 6, 1880 Wedding - Last evening, at 8 o'clock, Mr. N.F. Leslie (Nashville Franklyn) was united in holy bonds of matrimony to Mrs. Mary Killeen, (née Evans) by Judge Reilly. The wedding was a quiet one, only a few intimate friends of the parties being present. Miss [Louisa] Billicke attended the bride, Col. C.F. Hines supporting Mr. Leslie. There were present during the ceremony, which took place in the parlor of the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Mr. and Mrs. Bilicke, Col. H.B. Jones and wife, Mr. C.E. Hudson and daughter, Miss French, Col. Hafford, Mr. E. Nichols, Mr. J.A. Whitcher, Mr. Maxon, Mr. J.A. Burres, Mr. Geo. E. Whitcher, F.E. Burke, Esq., and Mr. Fred Billings. At the conclusion of the ceremony the bridal party and friends repaired to the dining room of the hotel, where a bounteous repast awaited them. The EPITAPH congratulates Mr. Leslie, un chevalier sans peur et sans reproche, {a knight without fear and reproach} and his most estimable wife upon this happy event, and earnestly wishes them a pleasant voyage over life's troubled ocean.

Shoots Billy Claiborne

A major fire swept Tombstone on May 26, 1882 which destroyed Knapp & Leslie's Cosmopolitan Saloon. The partners decided against rebuilding and Leslie took a job tending bar at the Oriental Saloon, one of the few buildings still standing.

Leslie was tending bar at the Oriental on November 14, 1882 when William Floyd "Billy" Claiborne, who was very drunk, began using insulting and abusive language. Leslie asked Claiborne to leave, but Claiborne continued his foul and abusive speech. Leslie grabbed Claiborne by his coat collar and escorted him out. Leslie later testified, "He used very hard language, and as he started away from me, shook a finger at me and said, 'That's all right Leslie, I'll get even on you.' [17]

Within a few minutes, two men told Leslie there was a man waiting outside to shoot Leslie. When Leslie stepped outside, he saw "a foot of rifle barrel protruding from the end of the fruit stand." He tried to talk Claiborne out of shooting but Claiborne raised his rifle and fired the weapon, missing Leslie. Leslie returned fire and hit Claiborne in the chest. "I saw him double up and had my pistol cocked and aimed at him again... I advanced upon him, but did not shoot, when he said, 'Don't shoot again, I am killed.' [18] Leslie had planned that day to travel to the Dragoon Mountains with [19] The coroner's inquest concluded that Leslie shot Claiborne in self-defense, which was "in the opinion of the jury, was justifiable."[20]

Starts ranching

At the end of 1882 Milton E. Joyce sold his share in the Oriental Saloon and he and Leslie partnered to build a ranch near Arizona's Swisshelm Mountains. The "Magnolia" was located 19 miles (31 km) from Tombstone in a very desolate section of southeastern Arizona. Milt Joyce sold Leslie his share of the ranch in 1885.[notes 2]

Becomes cavalry Scout

From May 20 to June 21, 1885, Leslie became a scout for the 4th Cavalry. In 1886, he applied for a job as a customs inspector and continued some work as a scout.[21] In the April, 1886 the San Francisco Chronicle reported:

The celebrated scout, Frank Leslie, known as Buckskin Frank, at present a mounted Inspector of Customs, arrived here this evening. Mr. Leslie was for many years Chief of Scouts, and is in the confidence of General Crook, and is personally acquainted with Geronimo and other leading chiefs. He has just arrived from the camp of the hostile prisoners, at White's ranch. He had a long conversation with the hostiles who have been on the warpath all summer; also with General Crook and staff."[22]

Divorce

Mary Jane "May" Leslie filed a divorce complaint and alleged that Leslie had had sex with "Miss Birdie Woods" between July 4–6, 1886. [notes 3] She also charged that Leslie had choked and beaten her on March 9, 1887. The divorce was granted on June 3, 1887. Judge William H. Barnes ordered Leslie to pay her $650 in cash and to convey title to a one-fourth interest in the Magnolia Ranch, including 13 horses and 150 cattle. Leslie was also ordered to pay all legal fees.[notes 4]

Murders Molly Edwards

After his divorce, Mollie Edwards joined Leslie at his ranch as his "wife,"[notes 5] but that relationship ended on July 10, 1889 when Leslie returned to his ranch drunk. He found Mollie Edwards sitting and talking with James Neil. The Tombstone Daily Epitaph reported:

Neil said that ... when Leslie returned ... he came into the room where Neil and the woman were talking and without a warning said: 'I'll settle this!' and fired at the woman who fell from the chair without uttering a sound. Leslie then turned and fired two shots at Neil, the first taking effect in his left breast, near the nipple, and the other hitting him in the arm. He was unarmed and got out of the way [escaped] as soon as possible."[23]

Neil was badly wounded and was brought back to Tombstone where he was treated by Dr.

  • Chaput, Don. "Buckskin Frank" Leslie, Tucson, AZ: Westernlore Press, 1999. ISBN 0-87026-107-X
  • DeMattos, Jack. "Gunfighters of the Real West: Buckskin Frank Leslie," Real West, September 1981.
  • DeMattos, Jack. Buckskin Frank Leslie Revealed, Wild West History Association Journal (Vol. VIII, No. 3) June, 2015.
  • Leslie, Nashville Franklyn. "Personal Experiences With the Late General Lawton Told by Captain N. Frank Leslie, His Chief of Scouts in the Apache Campaign," San Francisco Call, Sunday, January 7, 1900.
  • Martin, Douglas D. Silver, Sex and Six Guns: Tombstone Saga of Buckskin Frank Leslie, Published by The Tombstone Epitaph, 1962.
  • O'Neal, Bill. "Buckskin Frank Leslie vs Billy the Kid Claiborne," True West, March 1991.
  • Rickards, Colin. Buckskin Frank Leslie: Gunman of Tombstone, El Paso, TX: Texas Western Press, 1964.
  • Scott, Jay. "Buckskin Frank: Tombstone Lady Killer," True Western Adventures, April 1961.
  • Traywick, Ben T. Tombstone's "Buckskin Frank": Nashville Franklyn Leslie, Tombstone, AZ: Published by Red Marie's, 2013.

Bibliography

  1. ^ Register of Customs Employees at Small Ports, Vol. 4, No. 6. Letter from the Collector of Customs, El Paso, Texas to Secretary of the Treasury, enclosing Nashville Franklyn Leslie's application for employment dated March 10, 1886. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C
  2. ^ a b "Leslie's Hearing". Tombstone Prospector. July 15, 1889. 
  3. ^ DeMattos, Jack. Buckskin Frank Leslie Revealed, Wild West History Association Journal, Vol III, No. 3, June 2015, pp. 4-5 and 19
  4. ^ a b California State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. Certificate of Marriage No. 14014938 - Nashville F. Leslie to Elnora Cast, November 6, 1913.
  5. ^ Arizona Quarterly Illustrated, July 1880, p. 11. Copies of this rare publication can be found at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California and the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson
  6. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, December 2, 1893.
  7. ^ Rickards, Colin. Buckskin Frank Leslie: Gunman of Tombstone, El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1964, p. 3
  8. ^ 1878 San Francisco City Directory, p. 515
  9. ^ 1879 San Francisco City Directory, p. 527
  10. ^ 1880 San Francisco City Directory, p.546
  11. ^ Arizona Quarterly Illustrated, July 1880, p. 11
  12. ^ DeMattos, Buckskin Frank Leslie Revealed, p. 6
  13. ^ Certification by Rev. J.V. McIntyre, dated May 15, 1880, that he married Mary Jane Evans and Michael Killeen, who were both from Virginia City, Nevada,at Tombstone on April 13, 1880. The handwritten document is in the collections of the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, Phoenix, AZ.
  14. ^ DeMattos, Buckskin Frank Leslie Revealed, pp. 6-7 and 19
  15. ^ Louisa Emma Bilicke (1867-1930) was the daughter of Carl Gustave "Gus" Bilicke (1831-1896), the owner of Tombstone's Cosmopolitan Hotel.
  16. ^ Docket "A", p. 159, Precinct 17, Pima County, Arizona. Records of the Justice's Court of James Reilly, Cochise County Recorder's Office, Bisbee, Arizona
  17. ^ Leslie's testimony was reported by the Tombstone Epitaph, Saturday, November 18, 1882
  18. ^ Tombstone Epitaph, November 18, 1882.
  19. ^ Diary entry, George W. Parsons. November 14, 1882. Arizona Historical Society
  20. ^ Tombstone Epitaph, November 18, 1882
  21. ^ Register of Customs Employees at Small Ports, Vol. 4, No. 6, March 10, 1886. Application for Employment from Nashville Franklyn Leslie to Collector of Customs Joseph Magoffin. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C
  22. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, April 4, 1886
  23. ^ Tombstone Daily Epitaph, July 12, 1889
  24. ^ O'Neal, Bill. Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters. p. 181.  
  25. ^ Arizona Weekly Citizen (Tucson), July 20, 1889
  26. ^ "Verdict of the Coroner's Jury," published in the Tombstone Daily Epitaph, Tuesday, July 16, 1889
  27. ^ a b Sacramento Daily Record-Union, Tuesday, January 7, 1890
  28. ^ "The High Chapparral-"Buckskin Frank" Leslie". The High Chaparral. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  29. ^ Arizona Daily Citizen (Tucson), March 31, 1890
  30. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday, December 2, 1893
  31. ^ Hind, Andrew. "Buckskin Frank Leslie: The Tombstone Connection". Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  32. ^ Proclamation of Pardon, November 17, 1896. Governor Benjamin J. Franklin Papers, Arizona Department of Archives, Phoenix
  33. ^ Stockton Daily Independent, Wednesday, December 2, 1896
  34. ^ San Francisco Call, Wednesday, April 28, 1897
  35. ^ San Francisco Call, March 19, 1903
  36. ^ Dallas Morning News, Tuesday, January 18, 1898
  37. ^ Florence Tribune [Florence, Arizona], April 2, 1898
  38. ^ San Francisco Call, Sunday, January 7, 1900.
  39. ^ Arizona Republican (Phoenix, Arizona), August 10, 1898
  40. ^ The Border Vidette (Nogales, Arizona), December 1, 1898
  41. ^ The Oasis (Nogales, Arizona), September 2, 1899
  42. ^ The Oasis (Nogales, Arizona), Saturday, January 19, 1901
  43. ^ The Oasis (Nogales, Arizona) Saturday, March 15, 1902
  44. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday, November 26, 1902
  45. ^ 1910 United States Federal Census for Berkeley, Alameda County, California
  46. ^ Seattle Daily Times, Sunday, May 21, 1916.
  47. ^ 1920 United States Federal Census, January 27, 1920. Sausalito, Marin County, California. Enumerated by Harry J. Thomas.

References

  1. ^ Mrs.May Killeen was born in Kentucky as Mary Jane Evans on May 25, 1856. Her first husband, Michael D. "Mike" Killeen was born in Illinois in 1848. Killeen was then employed as a bartender at Lowry and Archer's Saloon in Tombstone. DeMattos, Buckskin Frank Leslie Revealed, p. 19
  2. ^ According to his obituary in the Dec. 2, 1889 San Francisco Bulletin, Milton E. Joyce was born in Missouri during 1847 and died in San Francisco on November 29, 1889. His partner, James W. Orndorff, was born in Ohio on April 7, 1834 and died in San Francisco on February 16, 1923
  3. ^ On May 17, 1886, a the Daily Tombstone reported that "the Crystal Palace has secured the services of Miss Birdie Woods of San Francisco, who will make her first appearance this evening as a vocal and instrumental musician."
  4. ^ Mary Jane "May" Evans Killeen Leslie married a third husband, Alexander Durward (1854-1922), in Tombstone, on October 12, 1889. She died in Banning, California on March 27, 1947 at the age of ninety
  5. ^ Mollie Edwards was most likely her real name. Other contemporary newspaper accounts identified her as "Mollie Williams." She was also known as "Mollie Bradshaw," when she was living in Tombstone with a man named Bradshaw
  6. ^ Leslie once again spelled his middle name as "Franklyn," rather than "Franklin" on his marriage license. He also repeated his false claim of a Virginia birth on the form, as he had in the San Francisco Chronicle profile of December 2, 1893. Most likely he repeated it on the license for the benefit of his bride, who first became aware of Leslie because of that San Francisco Chronicle article, and may have found a Virginia birth part of his appeal
  7. ^ The full page article was headlined, "Personal Experiences With the Late General Lawton Told by Captain N. Frank Leslie, His Chief of Scouts in the Apache Campaign."

Notes

Leslie married Elnora "Nora" Cast in Napa, California on November 6, 1913. When he was married, Leslie gave his occupation as miner.[4] At age 74 on May 20, 1916, Leslie was in Seattle where he was interviewed by a reporter from the Seattle Daily Times about a trip he was planning to Mexico.[46] Leslie was living in Sausalito, California on Water Street on January 27, 1920. He was 77 years old and single. No public records of him have been found after this date and it's not known when he died.[47]

Marriage and death

Leslie remained in San Francisco and managed a grocery story until the 1906 earthquake, when he moved to Berkeley, California, and he remained there through 1910 when he was recorded on the census. Age 65, he was employed as a servant.[45]

Frank Leslie fell a victim to his own pistol early yesterday morning. Up to a recent date he had been engaged in mining in Mexico, and is in the habit of carrying an automatic pistol in his inner vest pocket. Yesterday morning while in a saloon at Market and Ellis streets, he stooped over, the weapon fell out of his pocket, fell to the floor and was discharged. The bullet struck him about four inches above the knee, passing through the fleshy part of the leg, tore his right ear and cut a gash in his scalp. He was taken to the Receiving Hospital and treated by Dr. Weyer.[44]

On November 25, 1902, Leslie had returned to San Francisco when his pistol fell out of his pocket, discharged, and wounded him. According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

Return to San Francisco

Leslie briefly returned to San Francisco, but in 1900, he went to Mexico to work for the Mulatos Mining Company.[42] Leslie wrote about the mining company's activities for a Nogales newspaper on March 14, 1902.[43]

If Leslie actually served in the Spanish-American War, he then traveled to Tombstone early in August, 1898 serving as a guide for a geological survey party looking for coal deposits. An Arizona paper reported that "since leaving Arizona Leslie has been in Cuba and returned wounded. After recovery he joined this surveying party and it is expected they will be engaged hereabouts for several months."[39] The geological survey party was led by Professor Edwin Theodore Dumble. According to one Arizona newspaper "Prof. Dumble and his right hand man, Capt. Frank Leslie, have been in Nogales several days making arrangements for a month's stay in the field."[40] Leslie was in the vicinity of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico during the late summer of 1899 when he had a close call. According to one report, "Captain Frank Leslie, well known all over Arizona, was held up by Yaquis and robbed. They took all his arms, mount etc., and turned him loose."[41]

Mining in Mexico

Leslie apparently didn't stay in Mexico long. He claimed that he enlisted, fought, and was wounded in the Spanish-American War. The San Francisco Call later published a lengthy story written by Leslie in which he claimed that "when Roosevelt commenced his recruitment I enlisted in one of the first companies formed in Arizona, and after arriving in Cuba was transferred by my own request to Lawtons's command and remained with him until the end of Spain's dominion in the western hemisphere. At the end of the War I returned to Arizona."[38][notes 7]

Possible service in Spanish-American War

In April 1897, Leslie arrived in [37]

Fort Worth

When he was released, Leslie took a train to Stockton, California. Belle Stowell was waiting for him and on December 1, 1896, they went to the San Joaquin County Clerk's office and obtained a marriage license. Leslie identified himself as "Nashville Franklyn Leslie, native of Virginia [sic], age 55," and stated that he was a "resident of San Carlos, Territory of Arizona." His bride described herself as "Mrs. Belle Stowell, native of Warren County, Illinois, age 39, resident of Warren Co., Illinois." [notes 6] The Stockton Daily Independent reported that "their wedding trip was to be to China, the start to be made by the next steamer,"[33] but, they never made it to China. Four months later, the San Francisco Call, reported that "Mrs. Leslie is at present in this state, but it is said that her husband cannot be located... It is not known whether they have separated or not, but it is believed that they have."[34] The marriage was not legally ended until March 19, 1903, when it was reported Belle was granted the divorce from "Leslie for failure to provide."[35]

Marries Mrs. Belle Stowell

Later life

After reading the story in the San Francisco Chronicle, a 36-year-old San Francisco divorcee named Mrs. Belle Stowell began writing Leslie. On November 17, 1896, Governor Benjamin J. Franklin of the Territory of Arizona granted Leslie a full and unconditional pardon.[32]

His lot in prison is not a hard one. He does not wear the prison garb and is not confined to a cell at night. His conduct is perfect. Superintendent [Thomas] Gates said that he was the best-behaved prisoner, as well as the most useful in the penitentiary. In case of sickness the physician is called in and diagnoses the case, while Leslie fills the prescription and administers the medicine. His drug store is the acme of neatness."[30][31]

Leslie was in prison less than three months when he joined five other convicts in an unsuccessful escape attempt.[29] Leslie was sent to solitary for his part in the escape attempt. When he was released from solitary, he became a model prisoner and worked as a pharmacist in the prison infirmary. W.H. Cameron, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, interviewed Leslie in late 1893.

Leslie was sentenced to life in prison. Sheriff John Slaughter delivered him to the Yuma Territorial Prison on January 9, 1890, where he became convict number 632.[28] The Mohave Miner, on January 18, 1890, reported "The eleven convicts who were brought here from Tombstone yesterday, arrived in an intoxicated condition. One of the number, a life prisoner, Frank Leslie, was so drunk that he could scarcely walk."

Sentenced to life

It is expected he will receive a life sentence at Yuma. Leslie was noted for his bravery during the Custer massacre, when he was in the employment of the Government as a scout, and rendered valuable services to the Government under Crook and Miles in this section during the campaign of Geronimo and his band of cutthroats. He was a partner of the late M.E. Joyce, of the Baldwin Hotel, in a large cattle ranch in this country."[27]

Leslie's plead guilty "to murder in the first degree" on January 6, 1890. The Sacramento Daily Record-Union reported:[27]

After inspecting the body of the deceased and hearing the testimony we find that the person killed was formerly known as Mollie Edwards; that at the time of her death Frank Leslie claimed her as his wife; that on Wednesday, the 10th day of July, 1889, at a place in Cochise County known as "Leslie's Ranch," she came to her death by being shot with a pistol and by criminal means; and that she was, on the day aforesaid, shot and killed by Frank Leslie."[26]

After a two-day preliminary hearing, he was ordered held without bail until his trial in Tucson. Four days after killing Edwards, the coroner's jury reported: [25] Leslie was arrested the same day and jailed.:97[24]

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