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Tales of Law and Order in Globe

“Former Sheriff in Trouble While out on Parole”

In July 1905, former Gila County Sheriff W.T. (Tom) Armstrong was arrested for stealing cattle while on parole.

Armstrong had been sentenced to five years in Yuma for stealing cattle just a year before. Then, during his parole (granted to visit his daughter, who was dying), he was arrested for cattle stealing yet again in Globe.

His arrests stirred controversy. Armstrong had a long history in the cattle business in Gila and Pinal Counties. Armstrong had initially been charged for having unlawfully branded cattle belonging to people in San Carlos. He was tried, but found not guilty. Soon after he was arrested in Pinal County on similar charges, and convicted.

The Arizona Silver Belt, however, claimed, “It begins to look as if somebody was determined to land W. T. Armstrong behind the bars at any hazard.”

[Sourced from the Arizona Republican, June 1, 1904, and the Bisbee Daily Review, July 30, 1905.]

Woman Says Murderer is her Husband

What a horrible thing to discover. On July 30, 1919, Sheriff Shute receives a letter from Amarillo, Texas, written by Mrs. Myrtle King. She wrote to find out information about her husband, who had been taken to the Florence penitentiary days earlier to serve a life sentence for murdering two young boys in Gila County about 15 months prior.

The Coconino Sun called the crime “one of the most horrible in the history of the state.”

In her letter, Mrs. Myrtle King said that her husband was the father of ten children, and that he deserted the family in Amarillo six years before.

It was the first the authorities had heard of King’s family.

[Reports/clipping from: The Coconino Sun Oct. 25, 1918; and The Bisbee Daily Review, June 27 and July 31, 1919.]


In 1917, Graham County Sheriff McBride spots a heavily-loaded Jeffery Six passing by, carrying three suspicious-looking men inside. He hijacks a passing car and beelines to the constable’s house. McBride and the constable then follow the Jeffery Six as it heads to Globe.

1916 Jefferey

McBride catches up to the three men, who try unsuccessfully to turn the car around. He fires a shot beneath the Jeffery Six, and the three men jump out and try to make a run for it, without their guns. McBride and the constable catch them. As McBride suspected, the trio was up to no good.

The three men were brought back to the courthouse and placed in custody. Meanwhile, McBride examined the Jeffery Six, and uncovered 20 cases-worth of whiskey, priced at $2,000.

[Original story told in the Graham Guardian, June 29, 1917.]

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