|John Taylor WALKER was born on 29 June 1845 in Nauvoo, Hancock, IL.26 He general info left home in 1867 in Cache Co., UT. Walker family account written by William Jesse Walker as told by his grandmother Elizabeth Ann Brown mother of John Taylor Walker.|
Account of J. T. Walker, son of John B. Walker, borned June
29, 1845 at Ill., mooved to Grantsville Utah with parents. At age about 18
worked for cow man by name of Ike Potter. Some time at about age of 19
Potter and one other man killed. John shot in hand (left) and knee. 4 days
later found by Indians and taken to his Mother a Grantsville, Utah. Soon
after this left home and after this was seen at Grand River, Utah by his
brother W. A. and he tried to get him to back home (but did not). Later
William A his brother went to Arizona (s/b Idaho) trying to find him and could not so
the Walker family mooved to Arizona in 1877 and settled at what is now
Just before mooving to Arizona a man by the name of Frank Mounts visited
near the home of the Walker family at Grantsvill and he claimed that he had
seen a young man by the name of John Walker up North on Snake River Idaho
and near the Black Hills and that he was killed by the Crow Indians and that
he (Mounts) and party went for the body and burried it near the Black Hills.
This would of been about the year of 1870.
Walker Family mooved to Utah betwen 1852 and 1855.
(The above story from W.J. Walker handwriting.)
Another little note in my Mother's (Vera Guymon Walker) handwriting says: John T. Walker, and the name, Sarah Wiggins. Stinson(that would be James from the Taylor-Snowflake area) claimed to have found and buried John Walker killed by Indians in Idaho. He could have been with Frank Mounts. Mounts is a brother of Celia, wife of Capt. Jefferson Hunt.
As told to Elsie Perkins by her Grandmother, Mrs. Ike Potter, in Coalville, UT
The Potter Family Story goes as follows:
John Walker, 10 years of age, was working for Ike Potter who was a cattleman and Indian interpreter at Coalville, UT. Some immigrants who had come to town discovered that their houses had been stolen, A group of men went to Potter and accused the Indians of stealing horses. He was asked to go and talk with the Indians, which he did. The Indians denied stealing them but said they knew where they were. Ike Potter and John Walker were arrested on the grounds of protecting the Indians, and were locked in the school house over night. Potter was killed outright by a renegade sheep man (1 Aug 1867). John Walker was wounded but jumped into a river and excaped. He was found by the Indians in a group of willows and was taken by them to his mother in Grantsville.
John's mother cared for him until the wound was healed, after which he left and was never seen or heard of again. The Indians said that he had been killed by the sheep men; that they had found his body and buried it but would not tell where.
Also see 8 Aug 1959 Church News.
General Information regarding Isaac Potter:
Starr Ranch--The ranching settlement, now known as Starr, was originally known as Cheney‘s Ranch, and is located about three and one-half miles north of Mona on the main highway. In 1858 the soldiers of Johnston’s Army established a ranch just north of the springs located here, built a livestock corral with mud walls and kept stock there until the following fall when the army left Utah. According to available information Ike Potter located a ranch near the springs sometime during the fifties. Elam Cheney bought Potter‘s ranch in 1859 and the ranch was then known as Cheney’s Ranch for many years.
The following excerpts are from various histories:
UTAH'S WILD WEST
Ike Potter and his gang attack the town. Potter and two of his men are
Ike Potter and his gang terrorized small settlements robbed, wagon trains
and farms in northern Utah during the 1860's. His gang was made up of
renegade Indians and deserters from Camp Floyed. In July of 1867 Potter
wrote a letter telling of his plans to attack Coalville. The letter was
delivered to the wrong man and the town prepared themselves for the attack.
On July 28 1867 Ike Potters and his gang attacked Coalville but was met by
Sheriff J.C. Roundy who had 13 deputies and many armed settlers waiting for
them. Potter and his two head men (Charley Wilson & John Walker) were
arrested and the rest of the gang run off. The 3 men were placed in the
Coalville school house as a jail but at midnight a group of vigilantes armed
with shotguns stormed the school and took the 3 men to the edge of town to
kill them. Potter was shot and killed instantly, Wilson and Walker ran off,
Wilson was shot and killed trying to escape. Walker was wounded but got
away. He was caught a few days latter in the mountains and the vigilantes
cut his throat and left his body for the coyotes.
History of Utah by Orson F. Whitney
See pages 57 and 768, Volume II.
Several well known citizens were indicted about this time for the Potter and Robinson murders, the latter of which was related at length in the preceding volume. The Potter case was one in which Ike Potter, a notorious horsethief and bad character in general, had been arrested with two confederates, Wilson and Walker, and placed in jail at Coalville. In attempting to escape, Potter and Wilson were killed by their guards. Walker escaped, found his way to Camp Douglas, and made affiidavit that his companions had been murdered. Judge Titus for it was in his day that the event occurred caused several parties to be arrested, but they escaped, and it was not until about ten years later that the matter was revived. Nothing came of it the second time, nor of the attempt to fasten the Robinson murder upon the persons arrested during Mr. Van Zile's tenure of office. He himself moved for the dismissal of the indictments.
Our Pioneer Heritage
The Indian and the Pioneer
About 4 o'clock p.m., on the 28th of July, news came into Coalville that Ike Potter, with fifteen white men and Indians, was camped at his father's place below the town. A warrant for the arrest of Ike and party was in the hands of J. C. Roundy, the county sheriff. His deputy, Mr. Hawkins, called on Captain A. Eldredge to assist him with a detachment of his company. In a very few minutes thirteen men were on the march with the deputy sheriff. The little force was so posted that the enemy were deceived as to their numbers, and the arrest was effected without bloodshed. About 9 o'clock in the morning of July 29th, some thirty warriors came into the town of Coalville and demanded the release of the prisoners. Soon comprehending that the citizens were all prepared for defense, they became more moderate and reasonable in their demands, and finally promised to cease their depredations and be the friends of the whites. The Indians were released and the white men, seven in number, were retained for trial. In an attempt to escape, Potter and one of his companions were killed. The remaining five white men were released on "habeas corpus" by Judge Titus of the United States District Court. These events practically ended the Indian difficulties on the Weber and the people began to resume the ordinary routine of life. D.U.P. History of Summit
Our Pioneer Heritage
The Indian and the Pioneer
As the spring of 1867 opened, raids were made on the stock of some of the settlements, and it became evident that the Indians were led by renegade white men. Captain Alma Eldredge of the Coalville cavalry visited them with an escort to feel out their temper in the interests of peace, but they were stubborn and hostile. Soon after this visit an attack was made on a sawmill on Chalk Creek, fifteen miles from Coalville, in which two Indians were killed and two citizens slightly wounded. Ike Potter, a notorious renegade white man, was the principal leader of these Indians. His father lived in a dugout about three miles below Coalville on the Weber. A letter from Ike to his father was intercepted by John Y. Green, a United States mail carrier. It was dated the 17th of July, and stated that Ike was camped on Bear River with a large party of Indians, among whom was Black Hawk, and that they were coming into the settlements in a few days. This report, with other incidents, made the people along the Weber doubly diligent.
Treasures of Pioneer History
Treasures of Pioneer History: Vol 3
Journal and Diary of Albert King Thurber
March 15. Sunday. .... John Barney and Benjamin came to see me, said it was reported that five or six Indians were blacked up. They thought they were seeking their or some other person's life in consequence of one Isaac Potter being arrested, and to have a trial for the murder of one T. T. Barney. The Indians were supposed to be his accomplices.
March 16. Today I was subpoenaed to go before the Probate-Court at 9 o'clock tomorrow to testify in a case where Isaac Potter was indicted for murder.
March 17. Wednesday. Thos. Robertson called with his team and took me to Provo where I gave testimony in the case of the people against Potter for the murder of Barney. My testimony consisted of a confession of Barney, the first Tuesday in September, that he was connected with a gang of thieves in Springville and that Potter was the Captain of the organization reaching through the Territory and that two horses delivered to him run off. I had advised him to get what property he could and go to work.
March 20. I hear that Isaac Potter was cleared of the charge of murder.
Treasures of Pioneer History
Treasures of Pioneer History: Vol 4
Indian Tribes and Their Dealings With the Mormons
Members of L. D. S. Church
At this particular time there was an established stage and mail station known as Kimball's Station located above Parley's canyon east of Salt Lake City. Also, at this time, there was a Utah man by the name of Isaac Potter, an outlaw, who had joined with the Indians and had caused a great deal of trouble to the Utah settlers in making away with their cattle, horses, etc. This outlaw, Potter, had made various threats against Kimball, the man in charge of Kimball's Station, [p.384]threatening to raid the station, to steal horses, etc. These threats caused Kimball some anxiety and he sent word East by pony riders for two plainsmen to act as scouts and guards. He also sent word to Governor Brigham Young to send him a good boy rider, one who was a good rider and not afraid. I, William E. Higby, was sent by Gov. Young to serve in this capacity, with headquarters at Kimball's Station and under orders of Mr. Kimball. I served here as a scout and guard during the summers of 1865 and 1866 and while thus engaged I assisted in saving property and lives of emigrants and freighters and stopping general indian depredations brought about by Ute Indians together with white outlaws.
Heart Throbs of the West
Heart Throbs of the West: Volume 9
Riders of the Pony Express
West of Salt Lake City
Stories of Pony Express Stations in the West
"Slade excused himself and in a few minutes was seen talking to three men that had ridden up from the south. The leader of the three men was recognized as Ike Potter, who held considerable influence over the red men. It was feared he was attempting to encourage a raid on the settlements along the Weber River. He was later shot and killed at Coalville, Utah, while attempting to escape guards on the night of August 1, 1867.
As Potter rode away, five men who had been watching from an old log building, went back to their card game that they had been carrying on for the past few days. Slade was the only person at the station that knew these five men were there. They were there for a purpose. The 'Racket Gang' was taking too heavy a toll on the company's money and he had been called in to stop it. Horses would disappear from the company's corrals, a sizeable reward would be posted and a few hours later the horses would be returned and the reward collected. There are a number of unmarked graves in Echo Canyon. No doubt, some of them hold the bodies of the 'Racket Gang' who found the Pony Express and stage horses a good source of income and walked into Slade's trap.
An Enduring Legacy
An Enduring Legacy: Volume Two
Events in Counties
In the 1850s, outlaws Charles Wilson and Isaac Potter, who were later shot near Coalville, used the cave as a hiding place for stolen grain. (38)
38 Stan Taggart, Salt Lake Tribune, 1961
The following is from:
Isaac Potter Research by Aletta Moore 2008
History of Isaac Smith Potter (Sr.):
There are well known stories regarding Isaac (or Ike as he was apparently known) and, depending on the viewpoint of the author, the stories differ: some view him as a cattle thief and criminal,some as a possible apostate, some as a possible government (US) agent, and some as an individual who may have been, at least partially, wronged by others. But, the general outline of what happened remains the same. The following are published excerpts describing the events surrounding his life and death. Also see the court records in a separate document.
From the Ogden Standard Examiner: Bandit Isaac Potter Held Early Day Settlers in Constant Fear By Hugh O’Neil
"Isaac Potter struck terror in the hearts of hardened pioneers of northern Utah in the early sixties far more than any gun-toting outlaw could have done. They not only had to contend with an outlaw but also constantly feared the savage Indians who accompanied Potter on many of his raids.
As no family was safe, heavy armed guard was maintained and continued until Isaac Potter and Charley Wilson were shot to death and John Walker wounded in an attempt to escape guards at Coalville, Utah, on the night of August 1, 1867.
According to D. Clayton, who recently unearthed the records in the case,several events led to the shooting of Potter and Wilson. His depredations and his known bitterness toward members of the Mormon Church probably had much to do with his eventual slaying.
He Hides Grain
Potter had contracted with the settlers, on June 10, 1867, to transport 4500 pounds of grain from Coalville to Fort Bridger, Wyoming. However, having gained possession of the grain he hid it in Cache Cave, intending later to sell it.The settlers, hearing of his plans, brought court action and recovered their grain.
During July of 1867 a group of men employed on the Springville Mining company property reported to authorities that they had been stopped by Potter, Wilson and Walker. Potter told these men that he was on his way to Fort Bridger to secure assistance against the settlers, whom he claimed were persecuting him. If he could not obtain help at the fort, he proposed to call on Black Hawk (a famous Indian war chef) for assistance in attacking the people of Summit County,Utah.
On receipt of this information Wiliam Cluff, the mayor of Coalville, placed heavy guard around the city, and notified the farmers in that vicinity to gather in town for protection. Cluff later testified in a court action that he had counted ten white men, besides a few Indians, in the Potter gang.
However, Potter never made the anticipated attack on the village. Having been unsuccessful in his attempt to influence the soldiers at Fort Bridger to accompany him, he and his men returned to Summit County. He encountered some Indians near Bear River, but they refused to follow his gang on the raid.
He did, however, stir up considerable unrest among the Indians. Mrs. James Bromley, owner of the famous old Weber Stage and Pony Express station, near the present site of Echo, Utah, reported general unrest among the Indians, a good number of whom were her friends.
On August 1, 1867, George C. Roundy, sheriff of Summit County, obtained a warrant for the arrest of Potter and his men, on a charge of cattle stealing. A posse was quickly organized and in the round up Isaac Potter, Charley Wilson and John Walker were captured.
On the return to Coalville they were lodged in jail and placed in the custody of Alma Eldredge, deputy sheriff. Eldredge placed the three men under guard of two special deputies: Joshua Wiseman and James Maloney.
That night the prisoners made an attempt to escape, under the mistaken impression that Maloney had gone home, and Wiseman was the only man on duty.Wiseman who was sitting near the door reading, was knocked to the floor by the men on their rush for freedom. Maloney, who was standing in the yard adjoining the jail, ordered the men to stop as they ran from the building. Seeing that they did not intend to heed his command, he opened fire on them. At the same time Wiseman fired from a window of the jail building.
Potter was killed as he ran from the building, while Wilson’s body was found about three hundred yards distant from the jail in Chalk Creek with his head and part of his body under water. His body was not located until the next morning. Walker, when located was so seriously wounded, that he could not be brought to the investigation later held against the sheriff’s force on charges of murdering Potter and Wilson. It was not known whether he died from his wound or recovered as he mysteriously disappeared after the shooting.
On the dead body of Potter was found a copy of a letter written by an army officer at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, to whom he had written for advice.The letter, dated July 25, 1867, read:
“I have just received your note. If you are charged with any crime and are prosecuted, the best thing you can do is come in and surrender yourself to Judge Carter and let the law take its course. No one shall do you any harm if I can prevent it.”
It was signed, Amon Mills, Brt., Lt. Col., U.S.A., Comp. Post, Fort Bridger.
Whether this letter was the cause of the immediate investigation is not known. At any rate an investigation was held on August 6 and several witnesses were called.Most of the town people claimed that they were asleep at the time the escape attempt was made and that the shooting awakened them.
Wiseman and Maloney, the two guards, claimed they were so excited at the time they were not sure whether their shots had taken effect. Wiseman stated that during the time he was in pursuit of Wilson he was nearly shot by bullets fired from unknown sources. From the testimony secured at this investigation it was found that neither Wiseman nor Maloney shot the prisoners, but they were shot by unknown persons.
An inkling of the true murderers was in later year gathered from old settlers of Summit county, who would say of Potter: “He was one of the Mormons’ most dangerous enemies on account of the influence he hold over the Indians.”
Thus ended the eventful life of Potter. The old jail at Coalville, is now a modern residence: the heavy walls of which are still as solid as the day they were built. A few miles north of Coalville in the narrow Grass Creek Canyon, is located the grave of Isaac Potter.
No word was spoken in his defense at the investigation of those charged with his murder with the exception of his wife remarking that: “He was a good father to our six children.” 
A burial record for Isaac Smith Potter in Provo exists which states that he was born in April 19, 1833 and died on August 1, 1867. He was buried on June 9, 1999 (after cremation when the body was recovered from another site and reburied).
Chalk Creek near Coalville.
Coalville, Summit County, Utah
Chalk Creek. Picture taken from the bridge in Coalville.
Fromthe Union Vedette: August 8, 1867:
"That Tragedy on the Weber
With all the pacific feeling manifested and displayed on some occasions, and hurled at the outside world by a miserable piece of paper here or there ARE some horrible murders committed still in this latter day of civilization. This new Jerusalem is not so quiet after all the saying and hewlings of that "great big smut machine." On Sat. last, 3rd inst., that piece of corruption published the following, ourselves not being able to publish it having a controversy with "bilk" No. 2.
"Weber,U.T., August 2
Ike Potter, Charles Wilson and John Walker, arrested last Spring for stealing,threatened the inhabitants of Coalville to bring Indians and clean them out. They left about two weeks ago, fearing arrest. They returned last night with ten Indians and were arrested, and the same evening had a hearing at Wanship.The trial was postponed and they were let out on bail, but were re-arrested yesterday and confined in the School House, Wiseman and Mahone guarding. About 11 P.M. one of the guard, having occasion to go outside, the prisoners attempted to escape. They were followed a short distance and the guard fired.Potter was killed instantly, and Wilson was killed, and his body was found in Chalk Creek. Walker was wounded but escaped. A coroner's inquest will be held today. A number of Indians were seen around here last night."
“Who is it that sent that dispatch, or had it sent from Weber? There is no signature to it, and besides, the way station telegraphic dispatches used to be furnished to a certain paper through a kindness of a Mr. Somebody, while this one appears in the regular dispatches of the scavenger mentioned. We do not want to form a hasty conclusion in regard to that tragedy, but we will say that our suspicion was aroused at reading that particular dispatch on the morning of its publication, and that something was behind the scenes still. The dispatch says that the prisoners attempted to escape, were followed a short distance and fired at, killing Potter and Wilson, and seriously wounding Walker, who escaped. We heard a tale of horror connected with that affair which is terrible to contemplate. Yesterday morning two men who came in from the plains, passed by or camped near the place where the tragedy occurred. They represent the parties accused of stealing as having cleared themselves of suspicion, and that the ox, about whom the contention arose, was paid for. That they threatened to bring the Indians and clean them out was false, false as hell, as Brigham would have it. One of the three unfortunate victims, having heard that threats were made against him thought it necessary to seek the assistance of ten Indians to remove his family or his "duds" to Salt Lake City. He arrived with the Indians but was taken away from them by force. How was it that one of the victims had his throat cut from ear to ear? Was it done by a bullet from the gun of one of the guards? Do any such individuals as the above named two guardsmen (Wiseman and Mahone) reside in that neighborhood? Those two men also told us that they had a conversation with an aged man on the Weber the day after the murder, who said he was a Mormon, and told them that the affair was a horrible, cold blooded murder, that it was wholly uncalled for. An inquest,says the dispatch, was to be held that day (Friday), but no particulars have as yet come to hand. The man who was wounded got about two miles, when he came upon a conveyance, which took him to a place of safety. Are there no persons in this Territory invested with authority to investigate that affair? We want to come at the truth. We don't want any one-sided explanation. These two men who have been our informants are just in from Denver and could have no other motive than to tell the truth of what they heard. About fifty men are said to have been engaged in the affair. If any responsible person who knows anything about this affair, either in the affirmative of the negative of what we have said,and will make a note of it we will give it publicity. Without which we will regard it as another stroke of the pacifying hand, which has so often stricken the innocent in the past. The Indians from whom one of the men was taken, and who was a particular friend to them, is said to have made the following threat:"Me hab ten Mormon scalps for him; he good man" They are said to belong to Black Hawks band."
From Deseret News, September 11, 1867:
“Federal Judges in Utah
“We have carefully avoided, up to the present time, saying anything of the late homicides at East Weber. Our silence simply arose from the fact that we wished to see the matter assume a definite shape. But now that judicial authority has spoken on the subject it demands notice.
“A brief statement of the facts are as follows: Some time since Isaac S. Potter, commonly known as Ike Potter, is said to have stolen and killed an ox belonging to a person living on East Weber. He was arrested. He requested time for trial, which was granted, he giving bonds. Soon after he absconded, but in a short time returned in company with some Indians and others who bore the reputation of belonging to a band of desperadoes and thieves, of which he was the reputed chief. It is said, on good authority, that he threatened to"clean out" the settlement of Coalville with the Indians, but whether that is true or not, that, in connection with the fact of his having arrived in company with Indians, said to be members of the notorious Black Hawk's band, was sufficient to give much weight - in fact absolute certainty, to such a statement among people who felt themselves, in common with other parts of the Territory, in daily danger of Indian outrages.
“After his return, we understand, he stole a poor man's only cow, and for this,he and two others, named Charles Wilson and John Walker, were arrested. It is alleged by some that, after they were in custody they tried to escape, were followed, and two of them were killed, while one of them was seriously wounded.“On the other hand it is said that they were taken out and shot, a thing that is improbable on the face of it, because, if they had been, it seems that all three would have been killed, whereas one of the gang was mercifully spared to hear testimony in the matter. Our own opinion is that they were trying to escape, and that the citizens, terribly exasperated and despairing of obtaining justice from the Federal Courts, of which more hereafter, became summary executioners, and killed two, while the third escaped with wounding, and we think it highly probable, weighing all the circumstances, that they would have killed them if they had not tried to escape.
“To fully understand this subject, so as to be able to form a righteous judgment upon it, will require some investigation and explanation. In the first place we may safely say that this Territory, almost since its organization, has been afflicted with a class of Federal Judges who have striven with the most assiduous pertinacity to do everything in their power,under color of law, against the peace, happiness, safety and good order of the law-abiding citizens of the Territory. This is a matter of history, and we have the documents to sustain it. There have been some honorable exceptions, to whom we are willing, very willing, to accord all needful credit, and though some may think our terms rather strong, they are not so harsh as we may be compelled to use, and sustain, for if ever a community was cursed with a judiciary imbecile,corrupt base, unprincipled and vigorous only to do evil, the inhabitants of the Territory have been. This we design to show at a future date.
“In the next place, this Isaac S. Potter, who was killed, bears a reputation known to every man in the Territory of three years' standing in the community,as that of a desperado, thief, agent of Indian ravagers, and accomplice, if not the actual murderer, in at least one murder. He has been a convicted felon,tried, sentenced and confined for his crimes, and released from his confinement on a writ of habeas corpus, issued by Judge Drake, a Federal Judge, and tried by him in a most unusual and extraordinary manner. On the 10th of March, 1863, Isaac S. Potter was indicted for grand larceny, before the Probate Court of Utah County. He was found guilty, and fined four hundred dollars. On the 17th of the same month he was indicted for murdering Thomas Jefferson Barney.This Barney after receiving his death wound, admitted to having been a member of a band of thieves, of which Potter was declared to be the chief, and confessed that the band was leagued with Indians for the worst purposes. Potter, through informality in the proceedings on this count was acquitted, but was indicted on another charge of grand larceny, besides that for which he was convicted on the 18th. If we remember rightly, he was committed to the Penitentiary for five years. Now, this desperado, thief, accused murderer, and ally of Indians, was released by Judge Drake, in the knowledge of these facts,without the presence of counsel on either side, his greatness in the judiciary and in legal lore being, it is presumable, more than sufficient for the occasion.
“And here we would like to ask, in this connection, what scoundrel, thief,murderer or villain, has ever sought immunity for his crimes in this Territory,when convicted by a Territorial court, who has not been liberated by Federal Judges, and on some pretext or other, turned loose on society to prey on the industrious, peaceful and orderly citizens? We ask information on this point.Is it not a fact that a futile attempt was made last winter to punish some of the band of this same Potter and that they were released by Judge Titus by writ of Habeas Corpus? Has such not been the rule for the last thirteen years? And, weighing all the circumstances, viewing that such has been this rule,knowing that Judge Drake released this very Isaac S. Potter, who boasted of having escaped forty two times from the punishment to which he was justly entitled; and that Judge Titus released members of his band, on writ of Habeas Corpus, who had been convicted of crime, he well understanding their character,is it any wonder that the feeling should prevail in portions of this Territory,we cannot get protection from the Federal Courts; they constantly release upon us criminals, thieves and murderers, whose boast is, that the Federal Judges are their friends, we must protect ourselves, and administer monetary punishment in the guilty? We do not wonder at these men being killed; we do wonder that it has been borne so long; and we also wonder, sometimes, that an outraged and justly incensed people do not administer summary punishment to the legal and official protectors and a bettors of such criminals.
“We have in hand such a mass of documents and authenticated data concerning the outrageous acts of some of these Federal Judges, that we must postpone another dose until another number; giving it as our calm, unbiased opinion, that the history of the judicial proceedings in this Territory is unparalleled in the history of the world. We do not wish to be understood as including all our Federal Judges in these strictures. As we observed, there are honorable exceptions."
Union Vedette Newspaper, October 12, 1867:
"A Startling Confession.
“The Denver News of the 19th says that some one at Ellsworth is telegraphing Indian hoaxes to the St. Louis and Chicago papers for the purpose of driving travel from the Smoky Hill to the Central Railroad route. We strongly suspect that agood deal of that kind of work has been going on all the time. - Salt Lake Telegraph, Sept. 28th.
“The Montana Post, of October 5th, commenting on the above, says; "Indian hoaxes are now not new things, and we know of no one more competent, on the principle of "set a rogue to catch a rogue" to fathom such things than the Salt Lake Telegraph. That Mountain Meadow affair suggests itself at once. Three men - Charles Wilson, Isaac Potter and John Walker - not good Mormons - were arrested at or near Coalville, Utah, in August last, upon the charge of threatening to bring Indians and clean out the town.' They were put in jail. Two Mormons guarded them. 'That night sixteen men took them out. Here is the account given by the Telegraph: 'About 11 P.M., one of the guard having occasion to go outside, the prisoners attempted to escape. They were followed a short distance and the guard fired. Potter was killed instantly, and Wilson was killed and his body was found in Chalk creek. Walker was wounded but escaped. A Coroner's inquest was held to-day. A number of Indians were seen around here last night.' That last remark is intended to be very suggestive. The first assertion was sworn before Judge Titus to be false by Walker, who reached Camp Douglas three days afterward. He identified ten good Mormons as parties in the affair. They were examined and sent to prison in charge of a Mormon marshal; bid the marshal 'good bye at the gate' and - drove off. We look upon the affair precisely as the Telegraph does, ' that a good deal of that kind of work has been going on all the time.' But it is very indiscreet for the Telegraph to admit it."
Deseret News: May 11, 1870:
"Re-Captured- "Dave Lewis" of Ike Potter notoriety, who escaped from jail at Echo City, lately, where he was imprisoned on the charge of horse stealing, was recaptured in Ogden, the day before yesterday, and reconfined."
From: Life in Utah;Or, The Mysteries And Crimes Of Mormonism. Being An Expose Of The Secret Rites And Ceremonies Of The Latter-Day Saints, With A Full And Authentic History Of Polygamy And The Mormon Sect From Its Origin To The Present Time. By J. H.Beadle, Editor of the Salt Lake Reporter, And Utah Correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial. 1870
"Soon after,three apostates named Potter, Wilson and Walker, were arrested at Coalville in Weber Valley, on a trumped up charge of stealing a cow. This Potter was a brother of those murdered at Springville in 1857, and had been pursued with unrelenting hatred. Several times he had been arrested on various charges and as often acquitted. His death was now determined upon, and one " Art"Hinckley, a "Danite" and Salt Lake policeman was sent for. Evidence afterwards obtained shows that he was accompanied by another policeman, and joined by parties at different points on his way. They proceeded to the school-house where the three men were confined, and took them out. Walker suspecting foul play, saw two of his guards level their guns at him, when he dodged down and the shots only slightly wounded him in the neck. At the same instant the contents of a heavily loaded shot-gun were fired into Potter's body. Walker being an agile man escaped by jumping a near fence, receiving another slight wound in so doing, and made his way through canyons and ravines to Camp Douglas. Wilson also ran a little way, but was shot dead. On the evidence of Walker the assassins were arrested, but by the connivance of Mormon officers escaped from the Territorial Marshal, who had them in charge. The Mormon papers labored to explain the affair, stating that the prisoners were shot in attempting to escape from custody; but it is the testimony of all who saw the corpse of Potter, that the gun must have been almost touching his body when fired, and that his throat was cut after death. This was no doubt in fulfillment of the penalty in the Endowment oath. Walker remained about Camp Douglas for some time, then suddenly disappeared, and has since never been heard of.”
Deseret News, December 3, 1879:
“The Sixth Article of the Amendment to the Constitution provides that, "In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury." But there is a class of prosecutions peculiar to this Territory in which this constitutional right is entirely ignored. These cases may be properly called Anti-Mormon accusations. They are presented, not in the interests of justice nor of the common welfare, but in the spirit of persecution, springing form a malicious desire to harass and annoy certain individuals because of their connection with the "Mormon" Church.
“Of this class of prosecutions is the indictment against a number of gentlemen for the killing of Ike Potter and Chas. Wilson, two notorious thieves and lawless desperadoes, while attempting to escape from the officers of the law,more than 12 years ago. The indictments were found August 3, 1877, and the trial has not yet taken place. It is now postponed until next February. Why are the accused not guilty of the crime of murder? Simply because there is no evidence against them that is all. This being the case, as is well known, why should they be subjected to the annoyance, trouble and expense of this procrastination? Because the prosecution hates to see them cleared from the shadow of the charge, and this because they are understood to be connected with the "Mormons." If it were not for this their cases would have been settled long ago. Indeed if they had not been "Mormons" it is not at all likely they would ever have been indicted. If the officers who prevented the escape of two notorious ruffians that defied the law, and, backed by Indians, shot down cattle and appropriated them without leave of the owners,threatening death to any who interfered, had been "Gentiles," the deed would have been applauded by those who now seek to fix the stigma of crime for this act upon men against whom there is no evidence to be found. But because they are "Mormons" they are to be harassed and badgered and put to great expense, time after time, so that there may be some shadow of pretext for the charge that the "Mormons" are murderers, and for keeping up the old and stupid bugaboo of "Danites," and"Destroying Angels," fictions of a defrayed press and a hireling,shameless sectarian priesthood.
“The counsel for the accused will no doubt press for a settlement of their cases next February, and the last of these vexatious prosecutions, originating in bigotry, malice and falsehood, will be cleared from the calendars of our District Courts,. They are a shame and a disgrace alike to the attorneys who concocted them and the judges who encouraged them."
Deseret News: February 11, 1880:
“Another Bubble Burst
“The old Potter murder case has, at last, been disposed of. After being harassed for years, the defendants Jacob Hoffman, Jackson Redden, William Smith, Alma Eldredge, James Livingston and Joseph Brim, charged with killing the horse thief, Ike Potter, have been set at liberty. On the case coming up in court, this morning, for the 'forty eleventh' time, it was ascertained that the plaintiffs had no testimony to offer, whereupon, the jury consulted and returned a verdict of not guilty, and the defendants were discharged.”
Ogden Standard Examiner, July 15, 1884
“A Criminal's Corpse Caught-A Critical Case in Court-Chronicles of Chalk Creek.From our Correspondent. Editor Herald - The body of a man was found in Weber River, near the confluence of Grass Creek, about 10 o'clock, this morning,which proved to be that of young Riley, indicted for horse-stealing by the late Grand Jury of this District and committed to the County Jail at Coalville to await his trial. About two weeks ago, he was permitted by the Jailor to go down to the river to wash, and escaping into the bushes, he swam across Chalk Creek, plunged into the foaming Weber to get into the mountains and, as supposed took the cramp and WAS DROWNED. Some year or more since, on account of his youth, being but 16 years of age, Judge Hunter discharged him when brought before him for a similar offense; but instead of reforming he returned to his favorite pursuit, hankering after horse-flesh, was apprehended again with the result already stated. His widowed mother, a respectable lady residing at American Fork, Utah County, has been deeply distressed at his course of life and, though grief- stricken at this untimely death, will doubtless prefer the tidings thereof to a knowledge of his life of crime.
“A Coroner's inquest was held upon the body at Grass Creek Precinct, at 5 o'clock, this afternoon, resulting in a verdict of accidental drowning while endeavoring to escape from the custody of the law.
“Chalk Creek, from the earliest settlement of the Territory has been a favorite rendezvous for horse-thieves and other characters. It was here that the notorious Ike Potter attained his eminence in horse shading; here that the Potter bandits became the terror of stock-owners; here that he and several of his gang were immolated upon the altar of a long-suffering community.”
From United States Congressional Serial Set 1868:
“Of the other class, the killing of apostates, sanctioned by the teachings of Young and Grant, I refer to the murder of the Parrishes and Potter, in 1857, at Springville; of Forbes and of Jones and his mother, and of the deaf and dumb boy, Andrew Bernard, in 1858; the murder, by a Mormon bishop, of one of his wives, during the winter of 1858-59; the killing of the new prophet, Joseph Morris, with Banks and four women of his followers, who, having resisted those seeking to arrest them, were shot in cold blood, after surrendering, June 13,1862; the killing of negro Tom, a Mormon, in the fall of 1866, who was found in the outskirts of the city, with his throat cut from ear to ear; and the murder on the 3d day of August, 1867, of Isaac Potter and Charles Wilson, at Coalville. This Potter was a brother of the two who were put to death in 1857. He had been pursued with implacable vengeance. More than forty criminal charges had been brought against him in the courts, from all of which he had been honorably acquitted. On the 2d of August last he was arrested with Charles Wilson and John Walker, charged with stealing a cow, and confined in the jail at Coalville. Toward the succeeding midnight they were all taken from their place of custody by 15 armed men, Potter and Wilson shot dead and Walker wounded. Potter's body was perforated by a number of bullets, and his throat cut.
“None of the perpetrators of these crimes have been brought to justice. In the last case referred to, the men who committed the crime were arraigned before Chief Justice Titus, and committed to prison for trial, in October, 1867. They were permitted by the Mormon territorial marshal to escape, without any effort to retain them, and subsequently published an insolent and threatening letter to Judge Titus, in the Telegraph and Deseret News. At the same time a series of editorial articles appeared in these papers, abusing the federal judicial officials in Utah, warning the chief justice to leave, and menacing him with death if he remained.”
Deseret News, August 29, 1877:
“Released on Bail.- This afternoon Alma Eldredge, Jacob Huffman, James C. Livingston and Return J. Redding, against whom the grand jury found a true bill of indictment for the killing of"Ike" Potter, a notorious cattle thief, a good many years since,appeared before U.S. Commissioner Sprague, and were released on $10,000 each till the 27th of September next.
“The first two of the accused named were arrested some time since and confined in the penitentiary, and the others voluntarily appeared, without arrest.”
Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 25, 1879:
“TRIAL OF DANITES. A Day Set for the Trial of a Batch of Them.
“Particulars of the Murder of Potter and Wilson.
On the third of August, 1877, the Grand Jury of which Martin Harkness was foreman, found a true bill against Jacob Hoffman, Jackson Ridding, William Smith, Charles Livingston,Dick Eldridge and James Brime. The indictment charges these parties with the murder of Charles Wilson and Isaac S. Potter, on the 1st of August, 1867.
“Yesterday the reappeared on the Clerk of the District Court's book so an entry showing that the trial was set for the first day of the February term, 1880.
“The facts in the murder of Potter and Wilson have long since been forgotten to the vast majority of our readers. Few persons here can recall the atrocious incidents connected with that outrage, and doubtless a rehearsal would be acceptable.
“Isaac S. Potter was once a Mormon. Living in the days of the Danites, he reprobated their midnight murders and apostatized. Thus was the signal for persecution of every manner. Charges were brought forward of every description, and in Coalville these were tried. The jurors were ever packed with Mormon zealots, and invariably he was found guilty. On every occasion he appealed his case to this city, and as often an acquittal awaited him. The Danites finally became persuaded that he must be done away with at any cost, and by the evidence which subsequently transpired, two of their number were sent from here to Coalville as a committee on ways and means to devise his death. These two were R. Hinckly and Charles Livingston, both living today and in this city. After their arrival in Coalville, a new charge was brought against Potter. They said he and a Gentile named Wilson were inciting the Indians to incendiary deeds against Mormon settlements.
“Potter and Wilson had a young friend, of the Mormon Church, named John Walker. He was an athlete and joined his companions on account of his disapproval of the means adopted by the Church for its furtherance. Before many days had passed after the Danites' arrival, all these were arrested on a charge of stealing cattle.They were lodged in a school house in Coalville, on the plea that an escape was planning, and over them the strictest surveillance was maintained.
“On the night of August 1, 1867, a body of twelve men marched to the school house, and proceeding to arrest the prisoners, gave Walker permission to escape. Walker's reply was, "I don't want to escape. I haven't done anything, and what should I want to escape for?" The three were then seized by the Danites,and all, a guard of four being placed over each victim, proceeded down Main Street.
“Arriving toward the outskirts of the place, it flashed through Potter's mind wherein the object of their abduction consisted. Turning to Walker, who was walking immediately behind he asked: "John, do you know what they are going to do with us?They are about to kill us! Wouldn't you like to see your mother before you die?" Before a reply could be given, Livingston, one of Potter's guards,threw forward the gun he was carrying into Potter's face, the end of the barrel striking him in the mouth. Potter gave one scream, the prophetic word for the next act, the word whose terror still resides in many an orphan's heart, and in the breast of many a woman made a widow by the terrible deeds of the Danites. It was the piercing cry of "Murder!"
“The word had scarcely escaped his lips before Livingston discharged the contents of his gun into its utterer's side. The load of buckshot literally tore a cruel hole into the apostate's side, and he fell. Wilson leaped from his guards and ran for the river. At its banks he too was killed, being murdered by a shot from one of his fanatic pursuers. Walker fared better. He was, we have said, an athlete, and at the discharge of the gun, he planned his escape. His guard, however, took immediate steps to thwart his measures, and one of them brought to his should era gun to fire. Young Walker noticed the intention, and at a time when he calculated the trigger would be pulled, threw himself backward quick as a cat.His calculation was not amiss, and the charge passed over his bosom, scraping the skin from his chest and setting fire to the shirt front. Quickly he sprang to his feet, and made for the river's banks. Springing in, he swam to the opposite shore, and hid in the thickets. Hiding there for days, he was forced out by famine, and fortunately found aid in the occupants of a neighboring house.
“The inhabitants of Coalville on the following morning found Potter's throat cut, the act being done after his fall, as evinced by the flow of the blood.
“The murderers were held for indictment by the Grand Jury, which in those days being Mormons,failed to indict. Not till 1877 was this act done. Since then evidence has been wanting, Walker never having been seen since a short time after the murder. All of the above was his testimony in the preliminary hearing. Now, it seems, the trial is set. Has John Walker been found? "If so," said one of our best lawyers, familiar with the case, "he will hang twelve men, as sure as fate."
Deseret News, November 26, 1879:
“A Procrastinating Prosecutor.- About twelve years ago,a horse thief, named Ike Potter, was killed in this Territory, and in the year 1867, at the time Judge Titus sat upon the bench here, six men, namely: Jacob Hoffman, R.J. Redden, Alma Smith, Joseph Brim, and a Mr. Livingston were arrested for the alleged murder. The grand jury at that time failed to find a bill and the defendants were discharged. During Judge McKean's administration,the parties were again arrested and indicted by the celebrated "Englebrech Jury," which was afterward declared by the United States Supreme Court to have been empanel led illegally, and have their acts therefore null and void. In 1877, while Judge Schaeffer sat in the Third District Court, another indictment, for the same offense, was found, accused parties again taken into custody, held in bond, and the case set for trial. Since then, at every term of the court, this case has been pending, but through lack of time, convenience or on some pretext or another, on the part of the prosecution, has never been disposed of. At the last term of court, the cause was dismissed as to Hoffman,but the other five were still held to answer. Two weeks ago, it came up and was again continued until to-day. This morning, another delay was asked by the District Attorney, on the plea that he was not yet ready with his evidence. The counsel for the defense, Messrs. Sheeks & Rawlins and Williams & Young,however, being tired of this "to be continued" style of action, and not desiring, if it could be avoided, to wade through another tedious chapter,arose in their might and protested against further dalliance, representing with force and logic the injustice and annoyance to which their clients had been subjected for two long years, to say nothing of the heavy expense of coming and going at the beck and whim of the prosecuting attorney. A warm debate arose,and on Judge Beatty's asking for further continuance, his Honor Judge Hunter declined to grant it. Judge Beatty then moved for the dismissal of the suit;this the court was about to grant, when the counsel for the defense objected,as such a step would render their clients still liable to further prosecution.They demanded trial at once and it was finally agreed that the case should come up on the first day of the February term and be tried, whether the prosecution was ready with its evidence or not. The sureties were discharged and the defendants released on their own recognizance.”
Deseret News, February 11, 1880:
Local and Other Matters (two separate but related articles):
“Another Bubble Burst.- The old Potter murder case has, at last, been disposed of. After being harassed for years, the defendants Jacob Hoffman, Jackson Redden, William Smith, Alma Eldredge, James Livingston and Joseph Brim, charged with killing the horse thief, Ike Potter,have been set at liberty. On the case coming up in court, this morning, for the"forty eleventh" time, it was ascertained that the plaintiffs had no testimony to offer; whereupon, the jury consulted and returned a verdict of not guilty, and the defendants were discharged.”
“District Court.- Preceedings on Wednesday morning,Feb. 4, 1880, before Judge P. H. Emerson: [...] People etc., vs. Jacob Hoffman,Jackson Redden, William Smith, Alma Eldredge, James Livingston and Joseph Brim;2 cases, indicted for murder in the first degree, jury trial; people have no testimony to offer, jury consult and return a verdict of not guilty. Defendants discharged.”
From Tullidge’s Histories, Volume 2, Containing the History of all the Northern, Eastern and Western Counties of Utah, 1889.
“As the spring of 1867 opened raids were made on the stock of some of the settlements,and it became evident that the Indians were led by renegade white men. Captain Alma Eldredge of the Coalville cavalry visited them with an escort to feel of their temper in the interests of peace, but they were stubborn and hostile.Soon after this visit an attack was made on a saw-mill on Chalk Creek, fifteen miles from Coalville, in which two Indians were killed and two citizens slightly wounded. Ike Potter, a notorious renegade white man, was the principal leader of these Indians. His father lived in a dug-out about three miles below Coalville on the Weber. A letter from Ike to his father was intercepted by John Y. Green, a United States mail carrier.It was dated the 17th of July, and stated that Ike was camped on Bear River with a large party of Indians, among whom was Black Hawk, and that they were coming into the settlements in a few days. This report, with other incidents,made the people along the Weber doubly vigilant.
“About 4 o'clock p.m., on the 28th of July, news came into Coalville that Ike Potter, with fifteen white men and Indians, was camped at his father's below the town. A warrant for the arrest of himself and party was in the hands of J.D. Roundy, the county sheriff. His deputy, Mr. Hawkins, called on Captain A. Eldredge to assist him with a detachment of his company. In a very few minutes thirteen men were on the march with the deputy sheriff. The little force was so posted that the enemy was deceived as to their numbers, and the arrest was affected without bloodshed. About 9 o'clock in the morning of July 29th, some thirty warriors came into the town of Coalville and demanded the release of the prisoners. Soon comprehending that the citizens were well prepared for defense,they became more moderate and reasonable in their demand, and finally promised to cease their depredations and be the friends of the whites. The Indians were released and the white men, seven in number,were retained for trial. In an attempt to escape, Potter and one of his companions were killed. The remaining five white men were released on habeas corpus by Judge Titus of the United Stated District Court."
From: Reminiscences of Early Utah With "Reply to Certain Statements by O. F. Whitney" by ROBERT N. BASKIN, 1914
“The incident following took place in the year 1867. Isaac Potter, Charles Wilson and John Walker, residing at Coalville, were apostate Mormons. Walker was a boy about nineteen years of age. These three persons had previously been arrested for alleged thefts, and in every instance had been discharged by Judge Snyder,who at the time was probate judge of Summit County. In August of this year,they were again arrested on the charge of having stolen a cow. While they were under guard in the schoolhouse at Coalville, ten persons, armed, appeared about twelve o'clock at night at the building and ordered the prisoners to leave.Upon reaching the street they were placed in single file, a short distance apart, and in each intervening space two of the armed persons placed themselves. The others took positions at the front and rear of the procession thus formed. In this order they marched along the principal street of Coalville, through the mainly inhabited part of the town. Arriving at the outskirts, and their captors continuing to move on, Potter turned around and said to Walker: "John, they are going to murder us! Wouldn't you like to see your mother before you die?" Thereupon one of the armed men marching behind Potter thrust the muzzle of a shotgun against Potter's mouth. Potter in terror, shouted "murder!" Whereupon the armed man discharged the gun against the body of Potter at a range so close as to cause his instant death.At the discharge of the gun, both Wilson and Walker broke away and ran for their lives. Wilson was overtaken and killed at the edge of the Weber River. As Walker made his escape, a charge from a shotgun grazed his breast and lacerated his hand and wrist.He was wearing neither coat nor vest, and the charge set his shirt on fire and as he ran he extinguished the fire by the blood from his wounds. He was an athletic youth and soon distanced his pursuers. Although a number of shots were fired at him in the pursuit, he reached the river without further injury, swam across, and thereby escaped assassination. After numerous hardships he succeeded in reaching Camp Douglas, where the commanding officer, upon hearing what had taken place, gave him support and protection.
“No steps having been taken by the authorities of Summit county to arrest any of the participants in the homicides mentioned, Judge Titus, whose judicial district included Summit county, upon the affidavit of Walker, issued a warrant for the arrest of the persons accused of the crime. They were arrested, and at the hearing before Judge Titus, at which I was present, what I have here stated respecting the murder of Potter and Wilson and the assault upon Walker, appeared from the testimony of Walker, who was a witness. Several of the residents of Coalville testified that they were awakened by the shots fired, and rushed out to learn the cause of the disturbance; that they saw Potter dead upon the ground, with his throat cut from ear to ear. Walker, when on the witness stand, identified the prisoners severally, and stated what each had done up to the moment Potter was killed. Judge Titus committed the accused to the penitentiary to await the action of the grand jury. John T. D. McAllister, who under the territorial statute before quoted, was the executive officer of the district court, took charge of the prisoners and conducted them in wagons to the penitentiary. Upon arriving there, the prisoners gently lifted the marshal out of the wagon occupied by him and drove away. No effort was made to rearrest them, and a short time afterwards, over the signature of all of them except Arza Hinkley and John C. Livingstone, the following insolent letter appeared in the Salt Lake Daily Telegraph. This newspaper was owned and edited by one Stenhouse, then a zealous member of the Mormon Church, but who afterwards apostatized and published a book, and in which he mentioned the murder of Potter and Wilson.
“The aforesaid letter reads:
"In the Pines, Elk Ranch District, Rocky Mountains,
September 7th, 1867.
Editor of the Daily Telegraph, and to all whom it may concern:
"After arriving here we thought it due to judge, warden and marshal that they should know the reason for our refusing to accept the proposal of his honor, Judge Titus, to take up our abode in the penitentiary for the period of forty days to await the action of the grand jury then to be assembled.
"Firstly: On our arrival at that beautiful mansion in the delightful neighborhood of the Sugar House ward, we were astounded to learn that mine hosts' penitentiary larder was but sparsely supplied, and his stock on hand but limited, no appropriation having been made by nation, territory or county for the entertainment of guests whom the fates may send in that direction.
"Secondly:Not wishing to tax the warden's hospitality unnecessarily, and it generally being our custom to maintain ourselves by the sweat of our brow.
"Thirdly:The atmosphere of warden's boarding rooms was slightly impregnated with a bad influence arising from being occupied by individuals of the Potter, Wilson and Walker stamp, which is decidedly offensive to our olfactory nerves.
"Lastly:We concluded to sustain ourselves until the memorable fourteenth day of October, 1867, free of expense to the territory and county. On that day we will appear at the court house, G. S. L. City, individually and collectively. (His Honor may put that down)."
“The only excuse ever claimed by any of the accused was that Potter, Wilson and Walker attempted to escape, and were shot while running away. In the light of the fact that Potter's throat was cut and his clothes scorched by the charge which killed him, and that Walker's shirt was set on fire by the shot which wounded him, such a claim is absurd. It was shown by the testimony that Arza Hinkley was in command of the participants in the affair and directed their movements. He was not a resident of Coalville at the time, his home being in Salt Lake City. He went to Coalville shortly after Potter, Wilson and Walker were arrested. After Potter and Wilson were killed he moved permanently to Coalville, was soon installed in the office of probate judge of Summit county in place of Judge Snyder, and served in that capacity for many years. Walker remained for some time at Fort Douglas after the, accused parties were committed, but before the time set for the grand jury of the district court to convene he left the fort to visit his mother at Coalville. He did not visit his mother, but mysteriously disappeared, and has neither been seen nor heard of since that time. No doubt he was assassinated before reaching his home. His testimony was necessary to make a case against the accused, and his disappearance gave them perfect immunity.
“The deportment of these men at the hearing, notwithstanding the evidence, showed beyond a reasonable doubt that they were guilty. What subsequently transpired at the penitentiary, and their insolent letter, convinced me that their crimew as one of that class of homicides which like the Mountain Meadows massacre, the murders of Brown, Arnold, of Potter and Parish, of Hartley, Brassfield, Dr.Robinson and others, could be committed with perfect impunity under the conditions then existing, and that the accused were conscious of security from punishment.”
Utah’s Black Hawk War by John Alton Peterson
“The conflict between the church and the government was actually driving the Indians from both groups of whites. Left on their own,individual bands were forced to play both ens against the middle, stroking for the moment the side from which they expected to get the most sustenance.
“Sometimes it was a dangerous game. In the spring of 1863 Black Hawk himself led several attacks against gentiles and apparently directed the plundering of government property within gunshot of large numbers of armed Mormons, who reportedly watched gleefully as the natives despoiled their enemies. Patrick Connor, now a brevet brigadier general in consideration of his victory at the Battle of Bear River, sent troops up Spanish Fork Canyon after the offenders. But Mormons, including one Isaac Potter, a cattle thiefwho would later figure prominently in encouraging and even planning some of Black Hawk’s raids, alerted the Indians and thus thwarted Connor’s plan for a surprise attack.” 
“The Indian Office did not have a corner on this sort of dishonesty. Isaac Potter, also known as Ike Potter, along with Richard James, provides one of the best-documented examples of a white outlaw associated with Black Hawk’s raiders. Potter was a Mormon polygamist with five wivesfrom Springville, Utah. In the mid-1850s he served as an Indian interpreter at the Spanish Fork Indian Farm and won the natives’ friendship by his determination to look out for their interests.In 1857, however, his brother was mysteriously killed by Springville churchmen in what was called the “Parrish-Potter murders”; this undoubtedly played a role in Isaac’s disaffection from the Mormon faith. By the early 1860s he was using his influence to employ Indians in a well-organized cattle-rustling ring. The leader of “a gang of thieves” based in Utah Valley, Potter was believed to be “the Captain of an organization reaching through the Territory.” Potter and Indian accomplices were arrested frequently before the opening of the Black Hawk War and accused of murder and grand larceny for cattle theft. “More than forty criminal charges had been brought against him in the courts,” but because the disaffected Mormon held the sympathy of gentile federal judges, he was“honorably acquitted” from all of them. When “Potter the horse and cattle thief, and confederated of Indians [and] thieves” was released fro such charges in 1863, church authorities considered it an attempt on the part of gentiles“to involve the settlers in bloodshed with the Indians.” That same year, Potter warned Northern Utes of a planned surprise attach on their villages in Spanish Fork Canyon and foiled the designs of Connnor’s troops, furthering his reputation of being one of the few whites, Mormon or gentile, in whom the Indians had full confidence.
“Sometime after the beginning of the Black Hawk War,Indians told Mormons that Potter and his men instructed them to go down to Sanpete,and gather up a large lot of Horses and cattle there and drive them down East,and they would be there, and trade the Horses and Cattle to Emigrants, and get them money, Tobacco, Whiskey, and Horses, that would be their own, So they went and got the Horses and Cattle, and drove them where the men wanted them, and the men sold them the say they said.
“The following summer, Potter was described by whites at the Uintah Agency as having been drafted as “war chief” by angry Utes, and along with a handful of white ruffians he was frequently seen with Black Hawk’s brother Mountain and sometimes with Black Hawk himself. That same year, the extent of Potter’s involvement with the raiders began to come clear,as Mormons learned that “four whites” were “coleaging” with the raiders. By 1867 Mormons living nearest the Uintah Reservation were convinced “the notorious renegade” Isaac Potter was the leader of a band of Ute raiders who were assisted by fifteen whites.
“Like James, Potter more than likely funneled his stock through Fort Bridger, or perhaps even through Brown’s Hole. Located on the Green River north and east of the Uinta Mountains, Brown’s Hole was a well-known refuge for outlaws, and in the 1860s and 1870s an enormous illicit stock trade flourished there. White its boom years occurred after the arrival of the transcontinental railroad, the Hole’s superb cattle country, close proximity to the Overland Trail, and early reputation as an outlaw “den” made it a natural outlet for stolen Mormon stock. Fort Bridger, Brown’s Hole and similar spots on or near the Overland Trail provided lucrative markets for stolen stock.Describing “a small trading settlement on ‘Ham’s Fork,’a stream emptying into [the] Green River,” one gentile wrote:
A few white men, and a larger number of Indians and half-breeds, all living in lodges, earn a livelihood at this place by buying and selling cattle. When an ox becomes foot-sore and exhausted on his long journey, the alternative with the owner lays between abandoning his animal or selling him for what he can get, and under these circumstances such traders purchase for a mere nominal sum, and after a few weeks’ rest the ox is sold again for a high price. The Amount of money made in this way on the plains isby no means insignificant. These men also trade with the Indians, after they return from their yearly hunts, for robes and skins, which they obtain at amere trifling cost, and then sell them on the spot for a higher price than the same articles would command in St. Louis.
“Horace Greeley, who visited the area a few years before the Black Hawk War, described the stock trade in the Black’s Fork and Ham’s Fork areas of southwestern Wyoming near Fort Bridger: “On these streams live several old mountaineers, who have large herds of cattle which they are rapidly increasing by a lucrative traffic with the emigrants, who are compelled to exchange their tired, gaunt oxen and steers for fresh ones at almost any terms.” He described on trader, who “is said to have six or eight hundred head,” and another one, “who has been here some twenty-odd years, began with lttle or nothing, and has quietly accumulated some fifty horses, three or hour hundred head of neat cattle, three squaws, and any number of half-breed children. He is said to be worth seventy-rive thousand dollars.”(pages 205-7 of Peterson’s Utah’s Black Hawk War)
In discussing the Battle of Thistle Valley, Peterson says: “According to whites at the Uintah Agency, Mountain and Isaac Potter played key roles in this decision. Hailed as “War Chief” by large numbers of reservation Utes, Potter himself evidently accompanied the raiders at this time; that he certainly did later will be shown.”
(p. 342-5): “The Death of Isaac Potter. Not long after Black Hawk’s band returned from Colorado near the end of June 1867, Isaac Potter and Mountain requested “some 10 or 15 Beeves, and a lot of Flour” from Coalville’s bishop, William W. Cluff,claiming they represented Tabby, Sowiette, and other reservation Indians. Aware of Potter’s reputation, and convinced he was somehow tied in with Black Hawk,the bishop andother Coalville settlers rejected the petition out of hand. The bishop wrote Brigham Young that Potter was part of an “organized band of thieves who steal stock from the residents, travelers and …. coal haulers.” The band, which had “infested” the are for a “long time,” all apparently “call[ed]themselves Latter-day-Saints” and, according to Cluff, had “frequently been arrested by hitherto thro’ their craft and cunning they evaded the law.” The bishop viewed the request for supplies simply as “a Scheeme of Potters, to give him greater influence” with the Indians. About this time, Potter allegedly led Indians in a raid on a sawmill fifteen miles from Coalville, “in which two Indians were killed and two citizens slightly wounded.” Charges lf “Grand Larceny” were subsequently filed against potter and two white associates over the seemingly insignificant theft of a single cow.The local sheriff, who had had considerable trouble with Potter in the past,obtained a warrant and attempted to bring the outlaw in. The apostate Mormon refused to be taken and threatened to “call on Black Hawk to [wipe] out Coalville.”
“Taking the threat seriously, the settlement’s militia leaders put their men on alert. Meanwhile, they intercepted a letter from Potter to his father (who lived in the area) claiming the younger man had secured a promise from the commander at Fort Bridger that if the Mormons “hurt him [the troops] would come down and clean out the G-d Damed Mormons, and expecialy Coalville.”
“On 27 July Mormon scouts learned of Potter’s whereabouts, and the following day the militia, in a stroke of luck and strategy, captured the rustler, two of his partners, and sixteen native accomplices. The Indians were placed under guard in Coalville’s rock fort while the three whites were incarcerated in the local schoolhouse. After dark on the night of 1 August, Potter and his two partners allegedly attacked their guard and broke out of their makeshift prison. In a tragedy that later caused much friction between Mormon Utah and her gentile judges, unknown gunmen filled Potter with buckshot and slit his throat “from ear to dar.” One of his associates escaped with a wound while the other was found the following morning face down in a nearby river, his body riddled with bullets.”
“The exact nature of the relationship between Isaac Potter and Black Hawk will probably never be known. Some sources indicate that before his capture, Potter “was camped on Bear River with a large party if Indians, among whom was Black Hawk.” Leading Mormons were well aware that whites were furnishing the raiders with arms and ammunition and “even planning their expeditions and aiding to execute them” As has been shown, before the war Potter employed Indians in an organized stock-rustling operating, causing the Mormon hierarch to brand him as a “horse and cattle thief, and confederate of Indians.” Having lived near and worked on the Spanish Fork Indian Farm in the late 1850s and early 1860s, Potter was well known among the very Indians Black Hawk was most closely associated with during that period. Because of his use of Indians in stock theft, his release form the territorial penitentiary by federal officials in 1863 was seen by some Mormons as an attempt “to involve the settlers in bloodshed with the Indians.”
“By 1866 gentiles and Mormons employed at the Uintah Agency confirmed that Potter was still “meddling” with the Utes and that certain Indians went so far as to draft him as the “war chief” in raids against the settlements. Mormons living near the reservation were constantly harassed by Potter’s thefts and believed he was the leader of “an organized band of thieves” that inspired raiding throughout the entire territory. Some of these settlers were allegedly even told my Indians that Potter inspired the Black Hawk War in the first place by promising Indians “money, Tobacco, Whiskey, and Horses” for driving off Mormon cattle, which were in turn sold to emigrants. In light of these charges, the fact that Potter was frequently seen with Black Hawk’s brother Mountain is significant.”
“While Brigham Young’s vigilance policy and the war chief’s failing health played major roles in Black Hawk’s capiulation, it may nonetheless be a significant fact that within ten days of Potter’s death, the Ute raider appeared at the Uintah Agency announcing to whites there that he was ready to make peace.”
There has also been a novel written around the character of Isaac Potter: The Black Hawk Journey by Lee Nelson. While the Isaac Potter character has some relationship to the events of the time, it has been greatly embroidered on and amended. Much is make of Ike Potter’s supposed Indian heritage, which we know not to be true.
From: Lava: A History. Tom McDevitt. Pocatello, Idaho: Little Red Hen, 2002. (Footnotes are from the book)
“THE SAGA OF IKE POTTER
ISAAC SMITH POTTER 19 APRIL 1833 - 1 AUGUST 1867
“Much credit for the history of Ike Potter goes to the meticulous research of his great-granddaughter, Helen Wilson Swim, of Melba, Idaho. In June 1986 Mrs. Swim wrote a privately printed work entitled “Isaac Smith Potter, Terror or Terrorized? The Rest of the Story.” Helen, comfortable in her Mormon religion, would show that, contrary to established belief, Ike Potter was not an apostatized Mormon and an outlaw, but was in good standing with the Church. According to Helen Swim, most if not all of Ike Potter's problems were due to a lustful and revengeful Bishop Aaron Johnson who used religion as a pretext for his misdeeds.
“Isaac Smith "Ike"Potter was the father of Lava's founder, Charles Franklin Potter. On a bloody August morning of 1867 in Coalville, Utah, the boy, Charley Potter, looked down at the body of his murdered father and swore vengeance. They shot his father. He would shoot them. As he grew, Charley Potter, when not working to support his mother and sisters, would practice marksmanship. He would become the best shot in southeast Idaho. He could "pound nails" with bullets.
“The story of how Ike Potter came to lie dead on the main street of Coalville, Utah, his throat slashed from ear to ear in "blood atonement" is more than one tale. It was the struggle between two strong men. One of the men was Ike Potter, to his family a hard-working and beloved husband of four wives and a faithful member of the Mormon Church. To others he was an apostatized Mormon, the outlaw leader of the Ike Potter Gang and a Ute Indian sub-chief during the Black hawk War.
“The other man was Aaron Johnson, friend and counselor to Brigham Young, Mormon bishop of Springville ,Utah, and general in the Nauvoo Legion.
“Near the time of the murder of Ike Potter, two other Potters, brothers William and Garner (George)"Duff' Potter, were murdered by Mormons. William Potter was a scout with the Gunnison survey team at the time of their Massacre (1853) by Mormons/Indians. William, who signaled for the attack, was most likely mistakenly killed. Brother Duff also died while acting as a decoy in the murder of two Mormon apostate brothers, Warren and William Parrish(1853). Potter is a common English name. I cannot find any reliable consanguinity between these Potters and Ike Potter. So in this work I will make no further reference to them other than the deaths of both Duff Potter and Ike Potter were from the hand of Aaron Johnson.
“The murder of Ike Potter,it could not be other than murder, rent a onceunited Mormon family down the middle. Those strong in their religion yet loyal to the memory of their ancestor shake their heads in disbelief that fanatics used their beloved Mormonism as an excuse to commit a heinous crime. Others, disillusioned with Mormonism, would blame the Church not only for the murder of their father but for most crimes both great and small committed in frontier Utah and Idaho.Where lies the truth? Let the reader judge.
 It is important to keep in mind that probably none of these published accounts are free from bias of one sort or another. For example, it is certainly accepted that, at the time, the Deseret News paper had a strong pro-Mormon inclination, while the Salt Lake Daily Tribute was anti-Mormon. Similarly, the judiciary system at the time did not have the neutrality that we have come to expect. Juries or local officials were usually strongly pro-church, while the federal officials were anti-church.
 It seems strange that, if Ike Potter was so disliked by his neighbors, they would have contracted with him to transport the grain.
 Other accounts indicate that they were held in the school house.
 In court documents, this name appears to be Mahoney.
 From court records, it is not clear that a copy of the letter was found on Potter’s body.
 Note that the wife speaking here would have to have been Asenath Annette Lawrence,the only wife with whom Isaac Potter had six children.
A website gives this information on Thomas Jefferson Barney: “He ran with Ike Potter's Castle Rustling Gang in Utah County. He later repented and confessed to his Bishop. On December 9, 1862 he was murdered by the gang.” See One Side By Himself by Robert O. Barney, pgs. 1887-8. : “T. J. Barney was shot while sitting near a window holding his oldest daughter, Melissa on his lap. The twins were asleep, Lucinda, his wife, was by the stove making flour mush for their supper. The shot shattered the window and a piece of glass cut his wife's hand or arm. He said "My God, I've been shot, take the baby and move me away from the window." Lucinda's brother around 12 years or so was staying with them. It frightened him so, he rolled under the bed. Lucinda put a pillow under her husband's head and tried to get her brother to go for help but he was too frightened to go. By that time the snow had covered the tracks.
 The Union Vedette was a newspaper started by Col. Conner and was, in general, a mouthpiece for the viewpoint of the federal government’s point of view.
 This article raises the very interesting question of whether this could be our David Lewis, the father of Weighty Celecta Lewis. No one has been able to locate him in the 1870 census, after the death of his first wife, Mary Gibson. The children of that union are scattered among relatives. No one has located his second wife, Ellen Gibson, and their children in the 1870 census either. It is possible that David Lewis and Issac Smith Potter (Sr.) may have known each other. We know that Isaac Potter traveled, or planned to travel, several times to the Fort Bridger area, where we think David Lewis was. Isaac Potter’s grandfather, Ransom Robert Potter, moves to Cassia County after the death of Isaac. There were other members of the extended family in Summit County at this time, as we know that John Alma Lewis knew Mary Gibson prior to her death, and that this meeting must have happened in Coalville. We also know that James Stapleton Lewis’s son, Joel Lewis, is mentioned in the court documents related to the theft of a cow that preceded the death of Ike Potter. There is apparently a court record on David Lewis in Salt Lake. Need to research this.
 This is where some of the confusion in the court documents may arise from. It the letter referred to in court the one from the commander at Ft. Bridger, or is it this letter, intercepted by John Y.Green? And, how did a mail carrier legally intercept a letter?
 This would indicate that in addition to Potter, Wilson and Walker there were four other individuals arrested. Could two of these four men be those referred to in the article from the Union Vedette on August 8, 1867?
Information about this book: It has been said that in late 1866, when Salt Lake City attorney Robert Baskin looked down at the mutilated body of a client, he resolved he would do all in his power to increase federal authority in Utah to ensure that perpetrators of such crimes would not go unpunished. He became the Assistant U.S. Attorney, Salt Lake City mayor, and a Utah Supreme Court justice. Through all this, he was seen as a thorn in the side of the Utah establishment. Some do believe that he exhibited objectivity and provided documentation. After Reminiscences was published in 1914, Baskin sparred with prominent Mormon writer Orson F. Whitney, who suggested that “doubtless the fear,well-founded it seems, that judges would be sent to Utah as an engine of oppression” was the reason for excesses. Baskin countered, “Yes, without doubt it was ‘fear’ that inspired disloyal acts—fear the federal government woulds end judges here to execute impartiality as the law of the land.”
 Note that the location of wounds received by Walker vary from report to report.
 I have not found in the court records I have so far obtained, any testimony given by Walker. In fact, several of the other accounts state that he vanished after the incident.
 p. 38.Sources given include Don Carlos Johnson, History of Springville, p. 61-2,Stephen S. Harding to William H. Seward, 15 April 1863, State Department Territorial Papers, and U.S. Department of War, War of the Rebellion, series 1,vol. 50, pt. 1, pgs 204-8.
 I have never found any indication that Isaac Potter had more than four wives.
 Source given: Historian’s Office Journal (17 June 1863), Church Historical Department,Salt Lake City, Utah. I have not seen this.
 I have no information that makes me believe that the Gardner Potter who was killed in the Parrish-Potter murders in Smithville in 1857, was a brother to Issac Smith Potter. Gardner Godfrey Potter’s father was apparently Thomas Potter. Although they are almost certainly not brothers, there is a possibility that they were related, as they are a couple of interesting overlaps of people in two episodes. Gardner Godfrey Potter had a brother named Lemuel Potter, which wasthe name of Ransom Potter’s father. Gardner Godfrey Potter was born in Essex, New York, where David Lewis was born. Simmon Curtis, who would later marry one of the widow's of Issac Potter, was apparently present at one of the meetings regarding tracking of the Parrish men in Springville. Springville had been settled inn 1850. Aaron Johnson was the Bishop since the founding of the town. Get: Don Carlos Johnson. A Brief History of Springville, 1900. pgs. 48-9. Also Alan Johnson: Aaron Johnson:Faithful Steward, 1991.
 Source given: Utah County, Utah, “Probate Docket A, 80, 87-91; William E. Higby“Affidavit of William E. Higby,” DUP, Treasures of Pioneer History, 4:383-4;Thurber, “Journal,” 302-3; U.S. Congress, House Committee on Elections,McGrorty vs. Hooper, 21; George A. Smith to John L. Smith, 24 June 1863,Historian Offices Letter Book, 2:242; Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 11 September 1867, 2; and U.S. Department of War,War of the Rebellion, series 1, Vol. 50, pt. 1, p. 207. I have only seen the Probate Docket.
 Source given: Eldridge, Alma. A Biographical Sketch of the Life and History of Alma Eldridge written with his own hand. Church History Department. p. 103-4.
 Sources given: A.F. MacDonald to William B. Pace, 24 May 1866, William B. Pace Collection, Church Historical Department; : Eldridge, Alma. A Biographical Sketch of the Life and History of Alma Eldridge written with his own hand. Church History Department. p. 96-100, 105,108-9; Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 11 September, 1867, 2; Aaron Johnson to Daniel H. Wells, 3 July 1866, Territorial Militia Records, #1536; Aaron Johnson to Brigham Young, 3 July 1866, Brigham Young Collection, Church Historical Department; and Summit Stake Manuscript History, 1867, no pagination. I have seen none of these sources.
 Source given: Charles Kelly, Outlaw Train, 61-8. I have not seen this. Inter-library loan.
 Note that this is where the David Lewis family was.
 Source given: William E. Waters, Life Among the Mormons, p. 54. (1968). I have not seen this. Inter-library loan.
 Horace Greeley, Overland Journal, 194-5. I have not seen this.
 Horace Greeley, Overland Journal, 194-5. I have not seen this.
 John Alton Peterson, Utah’s Black Hawk War, p. 301.
 Source given: William W. Cluff to Brigham Young, 2 and 30 July 1867, Brigham Young Collection;and Brigham Young to William C. Cluff, 5 July 1867, Brigham Young Collection. I have not seen these.
 Again,some confusion on which letter said what and whether it was the Indians or the troops that Potter was threatening the inhabitants of Coalville with.
 Notethat this account does not mention the other four white men who were possible arrested.
 Sources given: The People Vs. Isaac S. Potter, John Walker and Charles Wilson for Grand Larceny” in Summit County, Utah, Probate Court Records. Offenses, Book A,186601880 (Family History Library), p.28-42. For other cases and information regarding Potter and his gang see also Summit County, Utah, Probate Court Records. Offenses, Book A., 3, 21-25, 45-56; William W. Cluff to Brigham Young,2 and 30 July 1867; Eldridge, “Biographical Sketch” 84-113; Journal History ofthe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 11 September 1867, 2; DUP,Treasures of Pioneer History, 4:383-4; Summit Stake Manuscript History; Tullidge, Tullidge’s Histories, 2:133; Jens C.A. Weibye, “Jens C.A. Weibye 1st Daybook from September 26th 1824 to July 19, 1871” Church History Department, 11 August 1867; Salt Lake Union Vedetter, 23 August 1867; and “The People etc. Vs. Jacob Hoffman, Jackson Redding, William Smith, Charles Livingston, Dick Eldridge (Whose real name is to the Grand Jurors unknown) and Joseph Brim, Indictment for Murder in the First Degree.” Secretary of Utah Territory Papers, TEP, reel 6, #6195-6201. Of these I have seen most of the court documents, Tullidge’s Histories, and the newspaper account. Try to get copies of the others.
Tullidge, Tullidge’s Histories, 2: 133. I have seen this.
 Sources given: Orson Hyde to Daniel H. Wells, 9 August 1866; Historian’s Office Journal, 17 June 1863; George A. Smith to John L. Smith, 24 June 1863,Historian’s Office Letter Book, 2:242; A.F. MacDonald to William B. Pace, 24 May 1966; Aaron Johnson to Daniel H. Wells, 3 July 1866, Territorial Militia Records, #1536; William W. Cluff to Brigham Young, 30 July 1867; Eldridge,“Biographical Sketch,” 103-4; and DUP, Treasures of Pioneer History, 4:383-4. I have not seen any of these.
 While,yet again, it is likely that Peterson’s book, Utah’s Black Hawk War, has its own unique perspective, it is the only scholarly treatment I have found on the war, and is especially useful in that it portrays just how complicated events and alliances were at this time.
Fielding, Robert Kent, The Unsolicited Vhronicler, 1993. p. 165. I have not seen this.
 Swim,Helen Wilson. Isaac Smith Potter; Terror or Terrorized, Personal Manuscript,1986. I have not seen this. He died after 1 August 1867 at the age of 22 in UT.