The Odreal Larcena Pennington V2

[Music] howdy folks
I’m Hank Sheffer and welcome to another true life adventure right here with
Marshall Trimble on Mysteries of the Superstition Mountains all right Larcena Pennington the ordeal the the ordeal of or larcena
Pennington let’s start out with the the Arizona’s situation in Arizona
in in during the time the Penningtons were here the Civil War when the Civil
War broke out the army abandoned all of the military posts here in Arizona just
took what they could and set him on fire and so the this this was interpreted by
the Apache they knew there was something going on back east something big going
on back east but they really interpreted as now now now it’s our it’s our place
again and where they didn’t have the soldiers to worry about they roamed they
roamed and looted and pillaged it will and so it pretty dangerous in fact the
safest place to be was Tucson behind the walls and people outside of Tucson
either moved back to Sonora or California and just got out of here it
was it was it just really a no-man’s land for several years till the army
came back and so the Penningtons though a little bit before that
Eli Pennington was an interesting guy he was from Tennessee and into Louisiana
and Texas and he moved to Texas about in the 1830s and settle in East Texas but
he was a wayfarer and wandering he was a wandering soul and and he thought Texas
were getting too crowded so he decided to and his family was growing he now had
twelve kids eight girls and four boys and he decided to go out and check out
the Brazos River Country so was out there and he sees you know some
good country around the Brasil’s so he comes back to East Texas and his wife
julia has passed away so now he’s a single father and he’s got a huge family
and he decides let’s get a fresh start in California so they’re going to go to
California so they load him up all 12 kids and him and join a wagon train and
head across Texas across New Mexico they come into Arizona on the old Butterfield
Overland Stage Coach Road this is 1857 and they they cross that doubtful Canyon
come down through Apache pass Dragoon Springs Benson cross the San Pedero
river there and and then it turns south and go over down to Fort Buchanan which
is down on Sonoita Creek and it’s beautiful country it’s one of the
prettiest range countries in Arizona when they film the movie Oklahoma they
thought this looks like Oklahoma and and it is just beautiful and there was only
one problem watch out for these roaming Apache bands because they gave him to
cut no quarter and but he decides it wants to stay there’s the lay he starts
a ranch along the Sonoita Creek and Larcena is his oldest daughter and she’s
20 now and very pretty and she’s um all the soldiers that were all the soldiers
at the fort are just crazy about her but she takes a liking the one guy fellow
named John page big strapping handsome guy
but he was he was a hellion and he’d come in with a notorious gunfighter from
Texas Jeff ache and in 1857 also and he’s in Tucson well they fall in love
and they get married in Christmas on Christmas Eve of 1859 and it’s he we
believe it’s the first American All American wedding in the Old Pueblo
he takes a job working for Bill Kirkland who is another pioneer Arizona and
kirklands got a lumber mill and a ranch down on Kanoa and that’s just south of
Tucson a few miles on the way – on the way to Nogales and he’s he takes larcena
in the tutor his he has a ward child that this girl is
let’s see she’s 8… 8 years old 8 year old Mercedes Kiadolls and her mother is a
widow and Kirkland just took a liking to the kid and he’s going to get her he’s
going to ever learn English and so Larcena is down at Kanoa and they were
late and her husband John has gone up into the end of the Santa Rita Mountains
where they where Kirkland has a lumber camp so anyway she’s not in good health
and she decides the mountain they’re up into Santa ritas would be more healthy
for her so she takes Mercedes and the loaded up in an ox cart and they go up
Madera Canyon they don’t know it but they’re being watched by a band of just
five Apache who have just wandered in from clear up north of the Gila River
these are Tonto Apache and they’re watching and they see him coming to the
make a camp they move into a tent and the next morning her husband has gone up
to the Pinery where they’re cutting cutting timber and the other man that
came with him his friend was Randall and he’s out hunting deer and so she’s just
alone in the camp with a tent and the tent there with with little Mercedes
well she’s got her dog she’s curled up on a fit on a bed resting and Mercedes
is outside playing and all of a sudden the dog starts growling and and she
hears Mercedes scream and so she reaches under the bed covers for a pistol but
about that time camp the tent flap opens and in huh in comes this older Apache
big fella and knocks the gun out of her hand and takes
and then pulls her outside and there she sees for other Apache and they’ve got
Mercedes little Mercedes and so they’re holding them down they they just
pillaged the place they they cut open bags of flour and scatter them on the
ground just just regular trash just trash the camp they’re real young and
she said they were just kids except for the for the one man it was older and we
believe he is the was the chief of the era viper tribe but a very reliable
Kenyan fella by name of s commencin and it’s kind of a scoundrel anyway but they
they they do the damage that they want to and take take the stuff they want and
and and they head out they go up in a northeasterly direction out of out of
the scent of the Madera Canyon and she’s a but she is a veteran frontier woman
larceny is and she’s now 22 but she she knows what to do
she starts tearing off pieces of her dress and leaving him along the trail
and breaking twigs and they’re so occupied with getting getting away they
not they don’t they don’t even notice that she’s leaving a trail for the
follow for her husband to follow and but off they go and they meanwhile Randall
comes back into the camp he sees has just been playing torn up and so he
rushes back down to Kanoa and they get word down to Fort Buchanan for the we’re
the first United States and ruins are stationed and they send a party out her
husband is going to organize a rescue party to go after him and so they’re on
that they’re picking up the trail and it they follow the trail well they get way
up on a high ridge and along the way you know they’re they have a rearguard
watching to see if they’re being pursued and they get up on the they get up on a
high ridge and little Mercedes hear him speaking Spanish she spoke
Spanish and she hears him speaking that they’re going to kill our Senna and and
so they get him up on it they get up on the ridge
the mclarson I take off her dress and she’s wearing just now a shamisen
petticoat and then they demand to take her shoes and and then they brought her
up towards the edge of the canyon of the cliff and they jabber with a with the
spear Lance and and and then they push her off and she goes tumbling down the
hill and and they’re throwing rocks at her at the same time and and so she
lands at the bottom and she hits a tree and she’s kind of dazed by it all then
one of them comes up and takes a rock and smashes her head and but when she
comes to they’re all gone and then she hears the
but she badly badly injured she hears the search party come and she hears her
dog barking and and the dog the dog knows she’s down there but it’s almost
Twilight and so her husband nobody can see and she is unable to speak because
she’s so badly beaten and so she can’t help call for help and they then they
see footprints shoe prints and these Apache had been wearing high high high
high rising moccasins and so see so the figure there’s a large Senna’s tracks to
follow her shoes that you want them was wearing her shoes and that’s what throws
them and so they go on and and she’s she’s now gone I’m gonna have to make it
on her own somehow so but for about three days she just lies lie lies there
waiting to get recovered taking it taking melted snow and
whatever else she can find grass or whatever she fight on the
ground to eat and she’s battered pretty badly so she decides she she she looks
off to the distance there towards him a derrick
and she realizes there was she gone about 12 miles that’s gonna be her mark
to go to work for she can’t walk she’s too badly beaten to walk so she has to
crawl on her hands and knees and that’s the only way she can travel but she
knows she keeps that Clair funnel in in view and she goes along and she’s doing
the best she can even melting snow take a melted snow for water whatever else
what berries or whatever she could find along the way to eat and subsist on and
finally she finds a place to bed down and she realizes she’s in a bears den so
she figures better get out of here so she crawls away she keeps crawling ever
ever crawling towards where funnel Butte and she finally gets there and gets to
the edge of the canyon that the ridge that looks down on the road to Madera
Canyon and she sees an ox cart down there and but she can’t yell so she
takes part of her clothes and waves and makes a flag and waves and they don’t
see her so she’s still got a ways to go and it’s been two weeks now she’s been
out there two weeks and so she crawls down and she gets down to the road and
then crawls up to where the lumber camp was and there’s nobody there
and so she’s but she does she does see the ruins of where you know what was
left she finds some of the flour that they scattered on the ground when they
cut up on the flour Saxon and she she goes stick it takes him over to the
creek and she soaks it and builds a little fire and she she’s able to make a
little bread pick herself a little bread to eat and she has some water from the
creek and and the next morning she goes to sleep
next morning she hears voices off in the distance and it’s the it’s the lumber
camp and so she crawls and crawls over there and when she gets there’s a man
named Hampton is a black man from Texas and
he’s the cook and he hears a sound and he looks over there and he and at first
he thinks it’s an apparition he thinks it’s somebody who’s rent come back from
the dead he got kind of spooked about it and he he says oh he but he he he gets
closer and she says I’m Larson a Pennington or blurr sent a page
she’s now Larson a page she says unless sent a page so he picks her up and he
carries her in they didn’t even recognize her she had changed he was so
emaciated and blistered their shoulders have been bare and blistered from the
Sun and the nights were freezing cold and today’s were blazing hot while she
was Carling crawling all that way must like to say about 12 miles and and it
took her they took her into the camp and they didn’t think she was going to
make it but somebody rushes into Kanoa and lets Kirkland know that mrs. Paige
has been found and alive and and her husband’s I’m getting ready to go on
another search he would never gave up the Apache grapevine said that she was
dead that she’d been killed but he refused to believe it and this is a
great love story that you would think would go on and on and I would hope it
would and but he comes back and they bring a doctor out and the doctor thinks
she’s not going to make it but he he believes she can and he knows his wife
and so uh he puts her in a wagon ox cart and takes her to Tucson where she gets
medical medical care and she pretty soon she’s back to normal again
well what about little Mercedes well the Apaches kept Mercedes for a while and
the the the the commander at Fort Fort Buchanan now is is determined to get her
back and so he starts out you know their their connections with Indian tribes
around they’re like we want kind of like if you remember from the searchers
the other people who give you information and so Mercedes is believed
to be a round PNAU air viper Canyon and so so he starts negotiating with this s
commencin s commence and denies that he was the person that kidnapped her but he
maybe can make arranged to have little Mercedes ransomed and it just happens
that the Army has as twenty captives from a battle or in the Dragoon
mountains Pinal Apaches and maybe maybe you can give us a one little girl for
twenty captives and the major knew it was a it was a it was a major Steen it
was it as a unequal trade but he wants the girl do you to go back the little
girl back so so they they give him the captives back returned to captives and
they’ve returned the little girl and he Kirkland gives them a horse to bring it
take her back to Tucson and so she’s returned to Tucson and they said ring
the bells at st. Augustine and the whole town is celebrating the return of this
little girl and and so she’s back with her mother and her mother’s just beside
herself with you know and and and fast forward now a few years
Mercedes grows up to be a beautiful young woman and she marries a man named
Charlie Scheible Charlie Scheible is later sheriff of Pima County and and he
in fact when Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral and all this all this Cochise
County war was going on Charlie schaible was was the sheriff at that time so but
anyway this was unfortunately while giving giving birth to her fourth child
little Mercedes now 26 years old passes away that was in 1875 so she did not
live to see her husband become sheriff of Pima County
but anyway that was that was Mercedes story and lar Sena things didn’t go too
too well for the Penningtons and and the pages two years later John page is
ambushed by Canyon de Laurel and he’s ambushed and killed and they buried him
on the spot she never got to see the body or say
goodbye and so now Larsen is a single woman
again and she had she would soon give birth to a baby and she went back with
her family they were down on the Senate Santa Cruz
River and with her dad and and they’re moving about because of the Apache is
still you know c18 early 1860s and the Apaches are the Apaches ruled all up and
down the Santa Cruz Valley and so they’re moving a lot and he has to be
away a lot and when he’s away it’s up to the girls to fight off vitam off with
guns these girls these you can see these girls four four sisters taking him on
well then then another sister dies of of the mountain fever or the malaria and
and then two boys die of an Apache attacks two of her brothers died Apache
attacks and then her father Eli is killed in an Apache attacked and so now
they’re five five of them had now died either with malaria or Apache attacks
and so a brother from Texas comes out and he rounds up his sisters he he’s
going to hurt them all back to Texas he said this place is too dangerous and it
was like gosh it wasn’t until the 1870s well into the 1870s that it was really
safe and so but Larson I won’t go she’s staying at Tucson she’s gonna stay here
now this is this is where she wants to be
so she two years later she marries again Lan’s has four children she’s now in her
30s and she has a productive life there in Tucson and lives until 1913 died did
I believe it was 76 so she’s an amazing this amazing story of survival and an
amazing story of a woman just with it with a will to with a will to live and
what she overcame but the other tragedy is what all her family you know they’re
her dad and and her brothers and her sisters and so but anyway she’s the
remaining Pennington but if you go to Tucson today there’s this big Main
Street they’re called Pennington and it’s named for the family thank you for
watching this episode of mysteries of the Superstition Mountains

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