The Story of Edward Meeks Dalton:

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Give it up you knaves!

Researched, complied, formatted, indexed, wrote, copied, copy-written, and filed in the mind of Rodney G. Dalton in the comfort of his easy chair in Farr West, Utah in the United States of America in the Twenty First-Century A.D.

Rodney G. Dalton

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The story of Edward Meeks Dalton, the first son of Edward Dalton & Mary Elizabeth Meeks is a long and sad story about the only Mormon polygamist killed for being one. His story is one all the Utah Daltons should read and think about.

 

The life of Edward Meeks Dalton ended in his death because of his practice of polygamy by an anti-Mormon deputy. There are many newspaper articles from the period when this event took place. The majority of the articles are from the Deseret Evening News. Unfortunately the articles wrote by the Salt Lake Tribune are of such poor quality that they are unreadable online. This work complied by Rodney G. Dalton from the web page; digitalnewspapers.org.

 

The major players in this event are; Edward Meeks Dalton, the murdered man; William Thompson Jr., deputy marshal and shooter; William O. Orton, deputy marshal; Frank H. Dyer;

chief marshal of Iron County; Judge Bormann, presiding judge. The people of Parowan and Beaver.

 

 

EDWARD MEEKS DALTON

 

 

 

Edward Meeks Dalton was born on August 25, 1852, in Parowan, Iron County, Utah.

 

Edward Meeks Dalton was a handsome man, 6 feet tall, weighs 190 pounds, brown eyes and black hair. He married Emily Stevens on 10 April 1871 and later Helen Delilah Clark. He was the father of ten children. They bought and lived in the Bishop Dame house on Main Street, Parowan, Utah. He was left-handed. During his teenage years, by accident the fingers of his right hand were partially cut off while cutting the tails off of young sheep with a knife. The Indians named him "Mat-tome" which meant man without fingers. In spite of partial loss of hisfingers he learned to play the banjo quite well and was known in Parowan and Cedar City as the jolly singing caller for the old-time square dances. Edward M. Dalton hauled salt from Salina, Utah, to the Silver Reef Mine. The ore was crushed, then mixed with salt and water to extract the ore. Thousands of tons of salt were hauled from Salina to supply the three big Stamp Mills. Edward Meeks was a counselor to President Thomas J. Jones of the Parowan Stake in Utah. In October 188, Edward Meeks Dalton and James J. Adams left Parowan on a L.D.S. mission to the Southern States Mission. There he labored in North Carolina.

 

In 1884 Edwards Meeks Dalton and others were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for a misdemeanor under the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Law. About 1884 the U.S. marshals arrested Edward M. Dalton at Parowan, Utah. They left him unguarded in front of the old Co-op store, while they went into the store to buy tobacco. While the U.S. marshals were in the store, Edward M. Dalton by the use of his toes slipped off his boots and ran barefooted and hid behind some big cottonwood trees. Waiting his chance, he made it to his father's home, got on a fast racehorse and left town. He made his way to Gila Valley, Arizona. In Arizona he found work on a big cattle farm. Emily, his wife, visited him in Arizona. He remained in Arizona almost two years. Edward M. Dalton had a mail contract in the Heal Valley, Arizona, but after so long an absence  he became very tired and lonesome to be with his family once again. About December 8, 1886, he returned unexpectedly to Parowan, Utah, to enjoy the holidays with his family.

 

First wife Emily Stevens Dalton Second wife Helen Delilah Clark Dalton

 

First wife: Emily Stevens was born on the 19th, July 1856 in Buckingshire, England to Robert Stevens and Mary Fower.

 

Emily Stevens sailed on the Ship "Amazon" with her family on June 4th, 1863, landing in New York and then traveled onto Florence, Nebraska where they outfitted for the trip to Salt Lake City. They then moved to Parowan. She had one brother and one sister. It is reported that her father and mother also lived and died in Parowan. She married Edward M. Dalton on the 10th of April, 1871 in Parowan, Iron, Utah.

 

She eventually traveled back to England where she died on the 9th, of Jan. 1942 in Buckingshire, England.

 

Edward and Emily Stevens Dalton had 7 children:

Robert Edward - 14 at the time of his father’s death.

Clayton Moroni - 12 years old.

Eugene Meeks - 10 years old.

Joseph Bartlett - 7 years old.

Mary Elizabeth - 5 years old.

Ada Cedenia - 3 years old.

John Stevens - 2-½ months old.

 

Second wife: Helen Delila Lound Clark was born on 27th June 1858 in Parowan, Iron Co. Utah to Daniel Porter Clark and Sarah Melissa Hakes.

She married Edward Dalton on the10th, April 1877 in St. George, Washington Co. Utah.

She moved to Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California where she died on the18th, of Nov. 1931.

Edward and Helen Clark Dalton had 5 children:

 

Collins Rufus - 8 years old at the time of his father’s death.

Clarence Edgar - 6 years old.

Marion Clark - 4 years old.

Ada Delilah - 3 years old.

Sarah Ethel 1 year old.

 

 

In 1861 construction was begun on a large church building to stand in the center of the public square. The pioneers envisioned a building of three stories, built from the abundant yellow sandstone and massive timbers in nearby canyons. Known as the "Old Rock Church," the building was completed in 1867 and served as a place of worship, town council hall, school building, social hall, and tourist camp. Our Dalton family attended this church.

 


Present day view of Parowan. On the day Edward M. Dalton was shot it was not nearly as big.

 

 

 

Next is the official story about his death by a Federal Marshal:

 

Unwilling Martyr: The Death of Young Ed Dalton: By Fee Decker Dix. (Edited by Rod Dalton) “On a cold November day almost twenty years ago I stood by the grave of Young Ed Dalton in the century-old cemetery that shields the dead of my little hometown. Snow lay across the quiet graves—melting here and there where the red earth and the green juniper trees converge. It made a gentle scene.

 

I remembered how the townspeople walked or drove to the graveyard to place May flowers and paper wreaths on the resting places of their loved ones. They would stop at family plots to visit friends and talk in hushed tones of those long gone—taking great care when they left not to show disrespect for the dead by stepping on the graves. Then they would walk to Young Ed's grave. Edward Meeks Dalton (called Young Ed to tell him from his father) enjoyed a special regard among the older families of our southern Utah valley, for Ed—a civic-minded Mormon and an idol of Parowan's youth—had been killed in 1886 by a federal marshals gunfire during the government crusade against plural marriage.

 

The mounded graves at Parowan's burying place, in the days before the red dirt was laid smooth in green lawn, were surrounded by a scattering of native wild flowers dominated by the purple blue of the stiff-stemmed iris which the people of our arid land called lilies. These flourishing plants, transplanted from town gardens, along with lilacs and wild yellow roses were a traditional part of the local landscape. Traditional, too, was the lore recalled on Decoration Day by townspeople as they strolled from grave to grave, stopping always by the headstone which was our valley landmark. This was the monument marking the burial place of Young Ed Dalton.

 

Someone would always recall the sorrow Parowan felt in losing this favorite son and point to the fine-chiseled words on the monument which reaffirmed that he "was murdered in cold blood."

 

The story was legend in our town. I had heard it often from my father who always spoke in grief of the memory; for father was one of those who helped carry Young Ed away from the old Page house as he breathed his last.

 

Father was eighteen at the time—an ardent worshiper of Young Ed whose athletic prowess and gay temperament fascinated young swains of the day. In relating the story, father would tell it to us from the beginning of the December morning when he was out in the corral doing chores. It was toward noon when he heard a gunshot ring out. The sound came from the south, and being young and curious he simply dropped his pitchfork and started out to find the trouble. Leaping the pole fence, he was crossing the quaint chip bridge which spanned the big ditch back of the corrals when someone ran by and cried out, "Run—we'll be needing you. They've just shot Ed Dalton!"

 

The dying Ed Dalton was carried into the nearby Daniel Page home. Temporarily reviving, he demanded to be taken from the house of a man he considered an enemy.

 

This was the home of Daniel Page, a disaffected church member and hotel owner who Collaborated with the federal marshal stationed in the area.

 

By the time father ran the block and turned the corner west, Ed had been moved first to the porch and then inside the home. Father burst into the room and bent over his friend asking, "What have they done to you, Ed?" The dying man replied, "They've got me this time." Young Ed, suddenly recognizing that he lay in the home of his enemy, cried out, "Don't let me die in this house." The crowd took up his plea, delegating my father and two others to carry him up the street to his mother's home. They lifted him gently but were only a short distance along the "path walk" when he died. This my father could never forget. Whenever he reached this point as he retold the story, his voice broke and his eyes blurred. A slain son's image lingers long in a little town. If you asked any of the elderly what they recalled hearing of Young Ed's death, they'd start you back at the "old Page corner three blocks west from Main Street, where the blood still stains the porch and the parlor floors." For sixty years and more, they used to claim the house was painted red "because no one could wash Ed Dalton's death-blood from its floors."

 

They would send you next to read the lettering on the tall monument in the cemetery.

 

Inscribed on the east panel is the scriptural passage:

 

“And they cried with a loud voice, saying How Long, Oh lord, holy and true, thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

 

The north side carries this poetic cry:

Here lies a victim of a Nations blunder, Which many to untimely graves hath brought,

It nature's holy ties hath torn asunder,

And, untold suffering, woe, and anguish wrought,

By ruthless hand this man crossed death's dark river,

His was the sacred blood of innocence,

The taker of his life will meet the giver,

Before the Tribune of Omnipotence.

 

On the West Side of the monument you read:

In memoriam

EDWARD MEEKS DALTON

Son of Edward & Elizabeth DALTON

Born, Parowan, Utah, August 25th, 1852

DIED December 16th, 1886.

 

And, on the south side are the words they always quote in Parowan.

 

“He was shot and killed December 16th, 1886, in cold blood by a deputy United States Marshal, while under indictment for a misdemeanor under the Edmunds Anti-polygamy law.”

 

Dalton family members say they did not put in writing their own version of his death ("Grandmother just couldn't bear to talk about it"). But there are bits and pieces: his first wife Emily's old diary, a letter here and there, and a plethora of town legends. They have read and reread the account of historian Orson F. Whitney and found it near to their family legends. A few excerpts give the tone of the times:

 

“It was between four and five o'clock on the morning of the fatal day—Thursday, December 16th that Daniel Page admitted Marshals Thompson and Orton into his domicile. [The two had traveled the thirty-two miles from Beaver under cover of darkness after learning that Dalton had come out of hiding in Arizona. About 8 o'clock, according to Page's statement, he went at Thompson's request, across the street to the house of John J. Winlock, from whom he borrowed a gun - a Browning rifle.

 

Page's teen-age son, Willie, was sent to look for Young Ed, and reported that he had seen him near Edgar Clark's corral. He had probably learned also that it was Dalton's design to drive a herd of stock to the range that morning, in doing which he would come from the east and pass Page's house, situated on the northwest corner of a block. Just as Dalton was passing the house, Thompson and Orton went out at the back door on the south side, while the Pages . . . stationed themselves at the north and west windows and watched Dalton as he turned the corner to go south. He was riding a horse, bareback, was unarmed and apparently un-suspicious of danger. That he had no weapon was plainly to be seen, as his coat was off.... As Dalton was riding slowly in a southwesterly direction, . . . he was suddenly hailed by voices on his left and ordered to halt. The order was twice or thrice repeated but the calls were so close together as to seem almost simultaneous. Immediately afterwards, a shot was fired from Page's backyard and Dalton was seen to reel and grasp his horse's mane. The animal reared slightly and its rider fell to the ground, writhing in agony. He was mortally wounded. Thompson declared that the gun went off sooner than he intended. Then stooping down and tapping Dalton on the shoulder, he said, "I told you to halt; why didn't you stop?" The wounded man made no reply.

 

Dalton, whose life was fast ebbing away, was carried into Page's house, where he temporarily revived. Recognizing Thompson, who was holding his hand, he ordered him to "let go." Dr. King examined the wound and pronounced it fatal.

 

Dalton now seemed sinking, and forthwith the cry was raised, "Why let him die in the house of his murderers? Take him to his mother's." Strong arms tenderly lifted the dying man and bore him into the open air; but it was too late for him to reach home alive. It was a quarter past The funeral of the deceased took place two days later. The principal speaker was John Henry Smith, who, with his fellow Apostle, Heber J. Grant, happened to be in that part of the territory attending Stake Conference. Every effort was made by these Elders, on hearing of the tragedy, to prevent any possible tumult that might arise. Two-thirds of the population of Parowan followed Dalton's remains to their last resting-place.

 

Although Marshal Thompson, who had been an officer since 1874 and was a former Mormon, declared he had fired the gun "with the intention of shooting over him" the stunned residents of the little town called it a likely story and pronounced the tragedy "cold-blooded murder." Their descendants for decades supported this belief and expressed indignation over what seemed to them the total injustice that followed in the court trial at Beaver. Some who were there left their version of the sad day. If others could not remember it, they again told what their fathers had told them. Although the Salt Lake Daily Tribune took up the cause to defend Thompson against his Mormon detractors, there was no voice raised in the marshal's behalf in Parowan. Residents could not accept the incomplete and thus to them insincere, explanation in the telegram dispatched to United States Marshal Frank H. Dyer in Salt Lake.

 

PAROWAN, UTAH, December 16, 1886:

 

This morning at about eleven o'clock I undertook to arrest E. M. Dalton of this place, he having escaped from the officers last spring. He was on horseback. Myself and W. O. Orton both hailed him, but he turned his horse and started to get away. I fired with the intention of shooting over him. Called his name before I called to him to halt. Write you further from Beaver tomorrow

W. THOMPSON, JR.

 

There were threats of lynching. One quiet woman stated she could remember that the school principal dismissed his class and joined several friends who went weeping down the dusty road avowing revenge. But calmer voices prevailed. The town sheriff was the respected church and civic leader Hugh L. Adams, Sr., and he, with Bishop Morgan Richards and Young Ed's father, joined in a stern warning not to "make a move toward retaliation." Ed's father kept saying, "Two wrongs won't mend one."

 

Sheriff Adams found Thompson at the Parowan telegraph office and placed him under arrest. Together with Orton, the accused was taken before a local magistrate where the two of them waived preliminary examination. A coroner's inquest, meantime, had declared the shooting "was feloniously done." Adams offered the two deputies the shelter of his own home for protection. His wife cooked the evening meal, but with the shadow of the day's events hanging heavily over them, they declined her hospitality, instead waiting anxiously in an upstairs bedroom until Sheriff Adams brought further counsel.

 

Armed with a writ of habeas corpus from the district court in Beaver, a posse was already on its way to Parowan. The group of four included Thompson's sons, Oscar and Edward, and was followed by R. H. Gillespie, a grand juror sent by the court attorney. After Gillespie's departure ten more jurors, ignoring Judge Jacob S. Bozeman's pleas, headed south. They were accompanied by the court clerk and six Beaver citizens. The first Beaver posse met no difficulty in securing Adams's hostage and were accompanied north that same evening by the sheriff and two Parowan men. This convoy soon met the party of grand jurors near Paragoonah and continued their nightlong journey to Beaver, arriving near eight o'clock the next morning. As the posse rode their horses through Parowan, the echo of hammer and saw followed them on the cold night wind. Ed Dalton's coffin was being finished at the old PUMI shop—Parowan United Mercantile Institution—where the coffin makers lined it with white muslin and trimmed the outside with black velveteen.

 

The funeral service was held on Saturday afternoon, December 18, in the muslin-draped chapel of the small rock meeting house. There were no flowers to carry to the church, but the women sent their houseplants to place against the draped pulpit. The men of the town rode their well curried saddle horses on either side of the hearse as an honor guard for Young Ed. The hearse itself was a new wagon box on a freshly cleaned wagon gear. The Deseret Evening News reported that "about 600 people, being three-fifths of the entire population of the entire town" turned out to pay homage to their fallen son. Those remembering back claimed that not a wagon or a riding pony was left in the corrals and fields of the town.

 

A single file of Indians came down from their homes in the hills to join the solemn procession— for they were Ed's friends and protectors on many a flight from the federal officers, and they grieved in their own stoical way. When the last stone was rolled onto Young Ed's grave at the foot of the red hill, which once served him as a lookout, the mourning town went back to its way of life with new wounds to heal and new prayers to repeat.

 

Edward M. Dalton had been in violation of the Edmunds Act, passed by Congress in 1882. It gave the United States government the right to arrest, imprison and fine men with plural wives. This law focused national attention on the Mormon Church whose members had sincerely obeyed "the principle" for almost fifty years before one was to die at the hands of a federal marshal. Indeed, it was the only known death over polygamy during the fateful years of the crusade. That it occurred in a remote town nearly three hundred miles south of Salt Lake City could have been due to the clash of personalities involved. Young Ed was no easy man to catch. He had fled the officers in several daring escapes before that day when he drove a herd of cattle past the home where the two deputies lay in wait. In a telegram to U. S. Marshal Frank H. Dyer telling of the shooting, Thompson referred to Dalton's escape "last spring." Dyer reacted by promptly revoking Thompson's commission and dispatching another officer to the Parowan area. He told the Deseret Evening News: "He [Thompson] had no right to shoot . . . the man was only charged with a misdemeanor, and an officer has no right to shoot in such a case." Thompson was restored to his post, however, following the trial which, was covered in great detail by newspapers in Utah and in the East.

 

The grand jury at Beaver, which included the men who had gone to Thompson's rescue, brought out an indictment for manslaughter, and trial was set for January 6, 1887, at Beaver. Twelve jurors, non-Mormons from mining towns in southern Utah (Silver Reef, Marysvale, Star, and Frisco) heard witnesses describe E. M. Dalton as a "hard man" who would be difficult to arrest. The prosecution told the story of the shooting and declared that Dalton was charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment in the territorial penitentiary. This was significant; the penitentiary under territorial laws was to house crimes classified as felonies, and arresting officers could fire on persons thus charged. The Tribune had already taken this position, which would justify the shooting. The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles S. Varian, was expected to follow the argument of the News that cohabitation under the Edmunds Law was only a misdemeanor. There were many surprised observers, therefore, when Varian argued that cohabitation was in effect a felony. The jury returned a verdict of "Not Guilty."

 

The Deseret Evening News, having prepared its case against Thompson by sending reporter George C. Lambert to interview witnesses, published their accounts before the trial commenced. In a January 10 editorial, following the jury's decision, the Mormon paper commented in language so fiery as to bring a $25,000 libel suit against it. But to avoid a trial the publishers effected a financial settlement, and Thompson accepted "a tithe of the sum, which the News Company paid, and thus the matter ended."

 

Young Ed had married two wives - Emily Stevens in 1871 and Helen Delilah Clark eight years later. His story was common to the times when hounded men sought means of flight as their places of refuge became places of fear. The Mormons, normally a zealous people filled with the secure sense of being "right," were by 1884 a harassed people haunted by the federal crusade to imprison and fine "religious law-breakers." Intense feelings gripped the  men who championed or discredited the plural marriage doctrine. And, while adherents found it hard to live by and only a few were willing to attempt it, many of these were among the territory's most respected and influential citizens. Many Utahan’s, both Mormon and non-Mormon, sought compromise. Appeals were carried to the church president, Wilford Woodruff, "to exercise the authority conferred upon him by revelation and suspend thereby the further extension of plural marriage."

 

But it was six more heart-rending years before the official declaration known as the Manifesto would abolish the marriage custom. Many ingenious ways of "safe-hiding" the men being pursued were devised by the Mormons. Some heads of households sought work in Colorado, Arizona, and old Mexico. Others found hiding places in their own valleys and mountains. Young Ed had vowed never to be taken prisoner nor to pay the fine. Others might languish for months in the territorial penitentiary, but it was not for him. Better he should use his own daring and stay free. Although some doubted the wisdom of this decision, he knew he could count on family and friends. And although out of this decision he became a martyr to a profound belief of his church, it can scarcely be said that he intended paying with his life. Full of wild abandon and good humor he was far more likely to make a quick getaway than to be caught in any marshal's trap. So he had made the decision to stay with his families and continue his ranching and livestock raising. He had finished homesteading a ranch in the lush "Chimney Meadows" northwest of Parowan and had dreams of breeding thoroughbred horses. He owned a home in the northwest section of town for Emily and their children, and he had purchased the Main Street home of Colonel William H. Dame for Delila and family.

 

Tall and dark and high spirited in his younger days, he would ride "hell-for-leather across the flats—whoopin' and hollerin,' his black hair flyin' for all git out," one old-timer told me. "There wasn't anything Ed wouldn't try. Once he broke a desert pony by clinging to it bareback with his legs wrapped 'round the trunk of a young sapling. Just let it buck itself out, and he got off fresh as ever.

 

Joseph E. Dalley, at ninety-four years of age, commented freely on the athletic prowess of Young Ed: "I remember Ed Dalton well, a large man, no coward, a brave man—good wrestler—good sport. They didn't give him a chance at all—he had eluded them so often."

 

In Young Ed's youth he had paid little attention to his church. Then he spent a year (October 1881 to November 1882) in the Southern States Mission field, returning early because of illness from chills and fever. Upon Ed's recovery, the ward bishop, it is said, called him to the superintendence of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association. This sparked his determination to teach the young people to come early to their belief. He would stride down the chapel aisle with his impressive gait, and the whole MIA was his.

 

"Ed had a way with him that made everybody want to cater to him," Sam Mortensen remembered:

 

We just liked him that's all. Wonderful speaking voice. Wonderful with the banjo—used to saunter out on his mother's front porch on summer evenings and start strumming. Pretty soon all the young folks in town would cross the town "Square" and they'd sit there singing all the old-time songs they knew. Later, many of these singers joined the stirring game of helping Young Ed outwit the United States marshals.

 

The most quoted tale of Young Ed's bravado is recorded by Orson F. Whitney:

In the spring of 1886 Dalton was arrested by Deputy Marshal William O. Orton, but made his escape from that officer, or rather from R. H. Benson, City Marshal of Parowan, to whom Orton had temporarily entrusted his prisoner.

 

The deputy marshal had gone to the telegraph office to notify his superiors at Beaver of the capture, and had left Dalton standing with Benson and others in the street. The prisoner, a fine manly fellow, brimming with health and good nature, six feet in height and weighing over two hundred pounds, was noted not only for strength and courage, but for activity and swiftness in running. As the shades of evening fell, and Orton delayed his coming, Dalton remarked jocularly to Benson that he wished the deputy would return as it was his intention to escape and he did not wish to get the city marshal into any trouble. He added with a smile, that if Orton did not come soon—he had been gone more than an hour—he would have to leave anyhow. Suiting the action to the word, he adroitly slipped off his boots, gave Benson a sudden slap on the shoulder, bade him "good night" and was off as on the wings of the wind. Benson, who was also fleet of foot, gave chase, in the darkness. He [Dalton] was seen about town the next day, but was not arrested. Young Ed left for Arizona soon after this incident and for several months helped on a mail contract. With the approach of winter, he returned to his family, reaching Parowan about December 10. "Warned of danger by friends, . . . [he] impulsively replied: 'I must see my mother if it costs me my life.' Within a week from his return, he lay cold in his coffin, shot through the back with a rifle-ball."

 

During that last week in Parowan the town again took pride in seeing Ed ride his favorite horse, Red Man, a part-thoroughbred which his mother kept saddled and bridled day after day in her own corral ready for her son's escape on a moment's notice. He could dart from her home, leap in the saddle, snatch the reins which his doting mother was already loosening from the post, and be off through the back lot to the foothills and safety, for Red Man was known as the fastest brush horse in the countryside. His spirited mother, Elizabeth Meeks Dalton, had already signaled their Indian friends to help make the getaway safe for her much-loved son. And the Indians—who called him "Mat-tone," meaning "man without fingers," since he had lost the fingers of his right hand in an accident—were not only willing but waiting for him to flee "the feds."

 

And what of his wives who waited out his maneuvers to safety and before that his year's mission service? First there was Emily, the only daughter of English converts, a shy violet of a girl who wore her hair in waist-length ringlets and often dressed in white through her youth and early marriage. She changed to black and to subdued prints after his death and even removed the gold earrings from her pierced ears. To be loved by the dashing son of the town mayor when she was scarce seventeen and he twenty was enchantment for her. As the mother of three living sons and a daughter and suffering a deafness which steadily worsened, she faced a heartbreaking test when Young Ed in 1879 had taken a second wife, tall and fashionable Delila Clark who was given to a "worldly turn of mind." Still the young wives got along well and held Ed in a common bond of love. In Emily's diary, written while their husband was on his mission, she recorded under the date of April 1, 1882: "Lila has got a baby boy this morning they are both doing well we have sent word to Ed the first thing for he will be so anxious to hear." Sixteen days later she wrote, "Lila's baby is dead, Father in heaven help us to bare [sic] the trials of this life in a right way." And in July (no date), "Oh dear how my heart does ache we have got a letter from our dear Husband he is very sick."

 

She cherished a letter he wrote her from the mission field under the date of April 28, 1882: "Dear Wife I received your kind and welcome letter of 11th inst. and read it with pleasure especially the part that referred to yourself." Mentioning that he had sent handkerchiefs to her and to Delila, he added that he had bought for himself a suit of clothes for $10.00 and had been to "every store in Farboro to get a coat that was large enough for me." He counseled her, "You must take good care of yourself and if you feel poorly get someone to come and do the work. Have Zina stay with you this summer if you go on the ranch and don't overdo yourself." The Tribune editorial of Jan. 11, 1887 saw the acquittal as a "foregone conclusion," and the shooting "a chance shot.... The officer had a gun with a hair trigger which was accidentally discharged." The Tribune also gloated over the libel charge in its February 25, 1887, edition. According to records of his youngest son, John S. Dalton. This home is remembered as the first post office and first telegraph office in Parowan, and when Dame was stake president it held the distinction of sheltering President Brigham Young on trips south. Later it became the home for both Emily and Delila, lending itself well to polygamous living, since the two north doors represent separate entrances divided by a picket fence which still marches across the lawn and up the porch to the dividing wall. The two halves of the home today are owned separately bydescendants of the two families. A gate on the porch provides the only access from one half to the other.

 

Delila, known locally as Lylie, had only two living children, a son and a daughter. Others were stillborn or died in infancy. She always carried her head high, wore clothes of the latest fashion, and was seen often at the racetrack and other "sociable places" in her well-remembered green velvet gown and sweeping plumed hats. After Ed's death she remarried and divided her time between southern Utah and California. For a time Delila ran an ice cream parlor on Sundays and holidays in her home on Main Street, serving ice cream with soda crackers at small tables in the parlor or, on sunny days, out on the lawn among the summer flowers of her yard. Young men of the day remember turning the freezer for a free dish of ice cream and a soda cracker.

 

Emily stayed on in Parowan, struggling against poverty, frail health, and her growing deafness which, she mentioned often in her diary. In later life she used an old-fashioned ear trumpet and was unable to hear except when friends and family bent to her ear and spoke loudly. Her skin took on a transparency and her figure such frailty that one wondered at her strength to work. She moved through out town softly as she worked at the tasks of her life.

 

Her four sons in maturity gave her love and respect. They were often seen at public celebrations walking her proudly down the church aisle or across the square, speaking tenderly into her ear trumpet—these men of the rough frontier who had known so much of life's grimness. When they were children they worried that she worked so hard. They knew she stayed up late into the night to braid the straw hat she would sell next day for a quarter. Often their only meal was water gravy and bread she had baked in the night. By day she took in sewing, wove carpeting, and pressed suits for the pittance with which she supported her six children, all under fifteen years of age when their father was killed. Through all this adversity, the ward bishop always knew she would contribute a tenth of her income for tithing.

 

In time, the Mutual Improvement Association of the Mormon Church began sending her money for a suitable monument to be placed at the grave of Young Ed. It came in dimes and dollars from wherever Mormon youth lived. She saved it all and solemnly placed the order when there was enough. The years moved on and sorrow still haunted her door, for both daughters died in childbirth—one at eighteen and the other at age twenty-nine—and a son's wife and baby died, leaving a two-year-old daughter. Emily wrote pitifully of these tragedies in her diary and ended each account by recording a prayer. And, to her way of thinking, there was still to come the ultimate grief, for Lylie died first. Emily had lived with an abiding trust that she, the first wife, would be the first to meet Ed in another world. How could it be that Lylie should have this coveted reward? Emily sank into deep, almost bitter, mourning, refusing at first to attend the funeral or even the viewing which was to be held in her own son's front parlor when Delila's body was brought home from California. But yielding to the kind persuasion of her sons, Emily went timidly to the coffin side, bent over Delila, bade her greet Young Ed with her love, and then she quietly attended the funeral. However, she stayed by a solemn decision made some days before, that she should not be buried on the left side of their husband as was customary in polygamous burials. She should lie far right with space saved for Emily by his side and between them when her hour came.

 

Irises cluster at the base of Young Ed's monument in the Parowan cemetery. The chiseled words summarize the town's view of his tragic death.

 

So the three martyrs lie together under the monument by the red hill, where the blue iris bends in the wind. The sorrow which rested so long over a whole town has softened with time and echoes now the memory of the man who reveled briefly in his own daring, the two women who loved him, the children who scarcely remembered him, and the parents who could not forgive his death.

 

Another story of this event:

 The Parowan Tragedy -- Edward M. Dalton

Slain by Deputy Marshal Thompson

December 1886

 

Source: History of Utah by Orson F. Whitney Vol.3 Page 525.

 

The close of the year 1886 witnessed a deed that thrilled all Utah with horror. It was the killing of Edward M. Dalton, a Mormon, by Deputy U. S. Marshal William Thompson, Jr. The tragedy occurred at Parowan, Iron County, on the 16th of December. The facts connected with the affair are as follows:

 

Edward Meeks Dalton, a native of Parowan, thirty-four years of age, and a man of many amiable qualities, had been indicted for unlawful cohabitation by the grand jury of the Second Judicial District, sitting at the neighboring town of Beaver. The indictment was found early in 1885. In the spring of 1886 Dalton was arrested by Deputy Marshal William O. Orton, but made his escape from that officer, or rather from R. H. Benson, City Marshal of Parowan, to whom Orton had temporarily entrusted his prisoner.

 

The manner of the escape was unique. The deputy marshal had gone to the telegraph office to notify his superiors at Beaver of the capture, and had left Dalton standing with Benson and others in the street. The prisoner, a fine, manly fellow, brimming with health and good nature, six feet in height and weighing over two hundred pounds, was noted not only for strength and courage, but for activity and swiftness in running. As the shades of evening fell, and Orton delayed his coming, Dalton remarked jocularly to Benson that he wished the deputy would return, as it was his intention to escape and he did not wish to get the city marshal into any trouble: He added, with a smile, that if Orton did not come soon -- he had been gone more than an hour -- he would have to leave anyhow. Suiting the action to the word, he adroitly slipped off his boots, gave Benson a sudden slap on the shoulder, bade him "good night," and was off as on the wings of the wind. Benson, who was also fleet of foot, gave chase, but could not overtake the fugitive, who soon disappeared in the darkness. He was seen about town next day, but was not rearrested. Soon afterward he went to Arizona, where he spent several months, assisting to conduct a mail service. At the approach of winter he returned north to visit and care for his family; reaching Parowan about the 10th of December. He had been warned of danger by friends while on his way home, but had impulsively replied: "I must see my mother if it costs me my life." Within a week from his return, he lay cold in his coffin, shot through the back with a rifle-ball fired by Deputy Marshal Thompson.

 

Preparations to retake Dalton were made by the officers as soon as it was learned that he had reappeared in Parowan; Deputy Marshals Thompson and Orton coming from Beaver for that purpose during the night of December 15th. Before daybreak they presented themselves at the door of Daniel Page, an apostate Mormon, who kept a hotel in Parowan. Learning of their errand, he entered zealously into the scheme for Dalton's arrest. Orton was the same man who had figured in the former capture. Thompson, who like Page had once been a Mormon, had won notoriety from having accompanied Deputy Marshal Gleason in a raid upon Greenville, near Beaver, when, according to report, they conducted themselves in a very reprehensible manner. Thompson, it seems, was addicted to the reckless use of firearms. Shortly before the event about to be narrated, he had sent a bullet after the retreating form of Mr. Peter M. Jensen, of Parowan, who slipped out of the back door of his dwelling, just as Thompson presented himself at the front door with a warrant for his arrest. Jensen stumbled and fell, and thereby saved his life; for Thompson, who was an unerring marksman, was preparing to shoot again, when the fugitive surrendered. Jensen's alleged offense was the same as Dalton's -- unlawful cohabitation. It being but a misdemeanor, the officer had no right to shoot. [Footnote: There is a very broad distinction between forcible opposition to an arrest, and attempting to flee from it. In cases of misdemeanor there is no rule of law that takes away from a man who flees from an attempted arrest the right to defend his life. An officer in such cases is not justified in shooting at a person whom he is attempting to arrest, because he will not stop.

 

Nevertheless it had been a practice with some of the U. S. Marshal's subordinates to make very free with their firearms, thrusting them into the faces of men and women upon the slightest provocation, or upon no provocation at all, and discharging them recklessly, to the imminent jeopardy of peaceable citizens. Deputies Gleason and Orton had been heard to say that they would shoot Dalton rather than permit him to again escape. It remained for their comrade, Thompson, to carry out the threat.

 

It was between four and five o'clock on the morning of the fatal day -- Thursday, December 16th -- that Daniel Page admitted Deputy Marshals Thompson and Orton into his domicile. About eight o'clock, according to Page's statement, he went, at Thompson's request, across the street to the house of John J. Wilcock, of whom he borrowed a gun -- a Browning rifle, .32 caliber -- telling the owner that "Bill" Orton had sent him.

 

Having secured the weapon, the next care of the officers was to ascertain the whereabouts of the man upon whom they intended to use it.

 

For this purpose, Mr. Page's son Willie, a boy of sixteen or seventeen years, who was "about to start up town," was asked by his father to notice if he saw Edward Dalton. Willie returned and reported that he had seen him near Edgar Clark's corral. He had probably learned also that it was Dalton's design to drive a herd of stock to the range that morning, in doing which he would come from the east and pass Page's house, situated on the north-west corner of a block. At all events, the deputies, instead of sauntering forth in quest of their man, remained indoors, evidently waiting for him to come their way.

 

"During the forenoon," said the boy Willie in his deposition, "I happened to be standing at the gate on the north side of my father's house, when I saw Dalton and others, about forty or fifty rods distant, driving a herd of cattle down the street toward me. I entered the house immediately and informed the officers, Thompson and Orton, that Dalton was coming."

 

Just as Dalton was passing the house, Thompson and Orton, went out at the back door, on the south side, while the Pages, sire and son, stationed themselves at the north and west windows respectively, and watched Dalton as he turned the corner to go south. He was riding a horse, bare-back, was unarmed and apparently unsuspicious of danger. That he had no weapon was plainly to be seen, as his coat was off; his robust health being ample, even on a winter day, to protect him from the cold. As Dalton was riding slowly in a southwesterly direction, intent upon caring for a calf in the herd, which his assistant, Collins W. Clark, had pointed out to him as being likely to "give out" before they reached the range, he was suddenly hailed by voices on his left and ordered to halt. The order was twice or thrice repeated, but the calls were so close together as to seem almost simultaneous. Immediately afterwards a shot was fired from Page's backyard, whence the voices had proceeded, and Dalton was seen to reel and grasp his horse's mane. The animal reared slightly, wheeled to the right and went westward a few steps, where its rider fell to the ground, writhing in agony. He was mortally wounded. His slayer was Deputy Marshal Thompson, who had shot him with the rifle borrowed by Daniel Page of Mr. Wilcock, near whose house Dalton fell.

 

The first person to reach the dying man was Mrs. Barbara A. Lyman, who, from her premises south of Wilcock's, had seen the two deputies at the south end of Page's house; Thompson bringing his gun into position, as if waiting for Dalton to get within range; she had tried, but in vain, to warn the latter of his danger. She now rushed to where he lay and asked him where he was hurt. He could only answer, "I am killed." Samuel T. Orton, brother to Deputy Marshal Orton, had witnessed the shooting from his residence across the street north of Page's. He was the second person to approach. Thompson himself was the third. After firing the fatal shot, he leaned the smoking weapon against the rail fence near which he and his comrade had stood -- Thompson with the gun, Orton with his revolver -when they ordered their victim to halt, and walked toward the prostrate man, saying: "I thought I would get you after a while." This remark was overheard by Mr. John H. Brown, a non-Mormon, who was outside the fence, a few steps south of Thompson and Orton, when the shot was fired.

 

The other witnesses to the shooting were Collins W. Clark, Dalton's brother-in-law; Brigham Brown, who, with John H. Brown and the two others, was driving the herd; Nehemiah Holyoak, and George S. Halterman, the last-named a non-Mormon.

 

Thompson, in reply to Samuel Orton, who said something about the shot being fatal, declared that the gun went off sooner than he intended. Then stooping down and tapping Dalton on the shoulder, he said, "I told you to halt; why didn't you stop?" The wounded man made no reply.

 

Dalton, whose life was fast ebbing away, was carried into Page's house, where he temporarily revived. Recognizing Thompson, who was holding his hand, he ordered him to "let go." Dr. King examined the wound and pronounced it fatal. The ball had entered the back, on the left side, had pierced one of the kidneys, and ranging upward, lodged in the vertebra. A large crowd had gathered, and there was some talk of lynching Thompson, but reason prevailed over passion, and no violence was offered. The whole town was stricken with grief and horror, but even the most excited exercised self-restraint.

 

Dalton now seemed sinking, and forthwith, the cry was raised, "Why let him die in the house of his murderers? Take him to his mother's." Strong arms tenderly lifted the dying man and bore him into the open air; but it was too late for him to reach home alive. When about a rod from Page's gate, he expired. It was a quarter past twelve o'clock when he breathed his last. He had lived in his wounded state just forty-five minutes. A weeping concourse of men and women followed the corpse to the home of Dalton's mother, where it was delivered to the heart-broken family.

 

A coroner's inquest was held the same day and a verdict rendered in which it was declared that the killing of Edward M. Dalton by Deputy Marshal Thompson "was feloniously done."

 

The funeral of the deceased took place two days later. The principal speaker was John Henry Smith, who, with his fellow Apostle, Heber J. Grant, happened to be in that part of the Territory attending Stake Conferences. Every effort was made by these Elders, on hearing of the tragedy, to prevent any possible tumult that might arise. Two-thirds of the population of Parowan followed Dalton's remains to their last resting place.

 

Meantime his slayer had been arrested by Sheriff Adams and taken before Justice Henderson, where he waived preliminary examination and was held to answer to the grand jury. At first he was angry at being interfered with, but finally concluded that he would be safer in the sheriff’s custody than out of it. He was arrested at the telegraph office in Parowan. Deputy Marshal Orton was also taken into custody.

 

The news of the bloody deed reached Salt Lake City in the afternoon of the 16th, several telegrams, giving different versions of the killing, being sent from Parowan and Beaver. Thompson's own account was contained in the following telegram to U. S. Marshal Dyer:

 

PAROWAN, UTAH, December 16, 1886.

This morning at about eleven o'clock I undertook to arrest E. M. Dalton of this place, he having escaped from the officers last spring. He was on horseback. Myself and W. O. Orton both hailed him, but he turned his horse and started to get away. I fired with the intention of shooting over him. Called his name before I called to him to halt. Write you further from Beaver tomorrow.

W. THOMPSON, JR.

 

Tidings of the affair being transmitted to Beaver, thirty-five miles north of Parowan, a posse of deputy marshals, with a writ of habeas corpus issued by Judge Boreman, set out for the latter place to rescue Thompson from the hands of the sheriff. The leader of the posse was Oscar Thompson, son of Dalton's slayer. His companions were James Hutchings, Edward W. Thompson, Jr. and John Nowers. After they had departed, Assistant District Attorney C. W. Zane intimated to Mr. R. H. Gillespie, a member of the grand jury, and a cool, conservative man, that he feared trouble between the people of Parowan and the hot-headed youths who had been entrusted with the writ, and suggested that he follow them. Mr. Gillespie did so, making the journey to Parowan in four hours. After his departure from Beaver, ten other members of the grand jury, with Clerk J. R. Wilkins, of the District Court, took it upon themselves to go also. The names of the ten jurors were James E. Forshee, foreman; George L. Harding, James Stark, T. Ferguson, A. M. Hunter, H. S. Martin, Al. Carpenter, M. Durkee, B. McCall and Sydney Burton. Six other citizens of Beaver accompanied the party. All were armed cap-a-pie.

 

The posse experienced no trouble in securing the persons of Thompson and Orton -- who were not in any danger -- and bringing them back to Beaver. Sheriff Adams and two other citizens of Parowan accompanied them. They arrived at the seat of the Second District Court at eight o'clock a. m., December 17th. A hearing was had before Judge Boreman the same evening. Thompson was admitted to bail in the sum of ten thousand dollars, and Orton in the sum of five hundred. Witnesses were summoned from Parowan and the case went immediately before the grand jury; a body of Thompson's own selection, and most of the members of which had displayed such a warm interest in his welfare that they had constituted themselves a portion of the party of rescue that met Thompson and escorted him in triumph to his home.

 

Meantime, Marshal Dyer, at Salt Lake City, horrified at Thompson's act, had revoked his commission as a deputy marshal and sent Arthur Pratt to Beaver to take charge of the district. In an interview with a reporter of the Deseret News, the marshal condemned Thompson's course unqualifiedly. He said that his orders to his men were that they should perform their duties strictly but impartially. They were never to resort to violence if it could be avoided, and were to deport themselves as gentlemen. He declared that if his orders had been adhered to in this case, Dalton would be alive. He also expressed the opinion that the investigation of the case should be left to the next grand jury, since "it would be unfair for Thompson's case to be handled by a jury of his own making."

 

While the News reporter was still in the marshal's office, in walked Colonel O. J. Hollister, chief secretary of the "Loyal League." He was very much excited as he informed the marshal that he had received a dispatch from C. W. Bennett, at Washington, stating that the death of Dalton was being heralded there as an outrage by U. S. deputy marshals. A dispatch prepared by the Associated Press agent at Salt Lake City had been suppressed, Hollister stated, and the Mormon side of the affair published. "Can't you give us something?" he asked. "Was there no justification for it?"

 

"No justification whatever," replied the marshal, "except what is stated in the telegrams to me. Thompson says that the man was trying to escape arrest, that is all. He had no right to shoot. Why, the man was only charged with a misdemeanor, and an officer has no right to shoot in such a case. The man had escaped twice before, but that is no justification. Thompson made a mistake; that is all there is about it."

 

Hollister urged the marshal to give some authoritative statement that would serve to palliate the deed in the minds of the authorities at Washington, but the latter remained firm, simply pointing to the latest telegrams from the south.

 

 

Hollister's next recourse was to the telegraph, which he used to defame the dead Dalton, in a desperate effort to justify "the deep damnation of his taking off." The slanders were promptly refuted by citizens of Iron County.

 

The Salt Lake Tribune said of the homicide:

According to the statutes of this Territory, made by Mormons, a homicide is excusable when committed by an officer when attempting to arrest a man charged with an offense punishable by imprisonment in the Penitentiary, if the killing is necessary to prevent the escape of the accused.

 

Answering this assertion, the Deseret News said:

The statutes of the Territory provide nothing of the kind. Here is the provision:

"Homicide is justifiable when committed by public officers when necessarily committed in retaking felons who have been rescued, or have escaped, or when necessarily committed in arresting persons charged with felony, and who are fleeing from justice or resisting such arrest."

 

Dalton was not accused of felony. He was not then fleeing from justice at all. Whether he was so fleeing or not, the statute does not justify the officer in killing him. It was not done necessarily in any case. There is no law of God or man that gives color of justification for the deed.

 

The Slayer Acquitted:

 

On the 21st of December the grand jury at Beaver found an indictment against Thompson for manslaughter. The charge against Orton was ignored. Thompson's trial was set for January 6, 1887

 

The trial began at ten o'clock on the morning of the 6th of January, in the District Court at Beaver; Judge Boreman presiding. Assistant U. S. Attorney Varian conducted the prosecution, and Mr. P. L. Williams the defense. The jurors chosen to try the case were all non-Mormons, residents of the mining camps of Southern Utah. Most of them admitted that all they knew of the case was from reading the Salt Lake Tribune.

 

The principal witnesses for the prosecution were those who had witnessed the killing. The substance of their testimony is contained in the foregoing narrative of the tragedy.

The first witness called by the other side was the defendant, William Thompson, Jr. He made a brief statement of his going to Parowan to arrest Dalton, who had been represented to him by Messrs. King and Page as "a hard man," against whom he must be on his guard. Daniel Page, he said, was eager for Dalton's arrest.

 

Willie Page was the next witness. His testimony was similar to his father's, which will be given later.

 

Presley Denney, David Pollock and E. W. Thompson bore witness of the defendant's "good character."

 

Ex-Deputy Marshal Gleason stated that he had been warned repeatedly of the risk he would run in endeavoring to arrest Dalton, for whom he once had a warrant. He produced a letter purporting to have been written by the deceased, warning him to "come heeled" if he came to arrest him.

 

Deputy Marshal Armstrong testified to receiving a letter from Dalton of altogether a different tenor to the one mentioned by Gleason.

 

Then came the testimony of Daniel Page, the principal witness for the defense, who, since the publication of his original affidavit, had had time to recollect some additional items. He had previously stated that just before the shot was fired, Dalton, on being hailed by the deputies, looked toward the south end of the house. He now added that Dalton did not stop when called, but continued reining his horse away from where the officers stood, and quickened his speed; that he was sitting upright until the summons was made, when he leaned forward and to the right. The witness had understood that Dalton, when in town, always kept a horse ready, in order to escape. The shot, he said, was fired three seconds after the third command to halt. The witness declared that he did not tell Thompson that Dalton carried arms and was a dangerous man.

 

Both sides now rested as to the introduction of evidence, and Assistant U. S. Attorney Varian, who was present to prosecute Thompson, addressed the jury. He held that Dalton's offense -- unlawful cohabitation, characterized by the Edmunds Law as a misdemeanor, -- was in reality a felony, because punishable by imprisonment in the Penitentiary. This being the case, the defendant, an officer of the law, was justified in shooting him if necessary to prevent his escape. This remarkable plea, -- more surprising even than Mr. Varian's refusal to prosecute the non-Mormon lechers a little over a year before -- left little for the defendant's attorney to do. That little being done, the Judge charged the jury and they retired to consider upon a verdict. A few minutes sufficed for this formality. The verdict was -- "Not Guilty."

 

The Deseret News, which had predicted just such an outcome, commented on it as follows:

 

Thompson has been acquitted by one tribunal, but there is another which pronounces a different judgment. Before the bar of the public he stands convicted on a flood of direct evidence of the crime of willful, deliberate and cowardly murder. The blood of innocence stains his soul. No sophistry or pettifogging will take it away, and no lying verdict will blot it out. It will show up red and gory through all the official and judicial white-wash that may be applied. The sound of that murderous bullet will ring in his ears, and the dying looks of his victim will not pass from his vision through life. The brand of Cain is upon his brow, and it is recorded on high, "He has shed innocent blood." There is still another tribunal before which William Thompson will yet stand arraigned. The Eternal Judge will be there to do unflinching justice. The victim will be present to confront the slayer. No specious plea of legal apologizer will avail. The bare and awful truth will strike conviction, and the murderer's doom will await the guilty. And when the assassin, set free on earth, is viewed with horror by the just, spattering of the blood with which he is dyed will be found upon the skirts of those whose duty it was to bring him to his right deserts, but who partook of his crime by palliating the deed. Thompson should not be molested. Vengeance will come in its time from the Hand that will surely repay. But henceforth, in the eyes of all fair-minded men, he will bear upon his brow the blistering mark of the crouching and cold-blooded murderer.

 

 

This was strong language, and it cost the publishers of the News a considerable sum of money. U. S. Marshal Dyer having restored to Thompson his commission as a deputy marshal, the latter, on the 24th of March, instituted legal proceedings against the Deseret News Publishing Company for libel, placing his damages at twenty-five thousand dollars. The News people were at a disadvantage. Whatever the facts in the case, Thompson had been officially acquitted, and had only to point to the record of his acquittal and to the charges made against him by the News, to convince any jury such as would have been selected to try the case, that his claim for damages was just. Everything being in his favor, he pressed the issue until the publishers, rather than risk a trial, proposed a compromise. In lieu of the large amount demanded, the damaged deputy consented to accept a tithe of the sum, which the News Company paid, and thus the matter ended.

The Thompson-Dalton Homicide

 

Popular history of Utah By Orson Ferguson Whitney

 

The close of the year witnessed a tragedy that sent a thrill of horror through Utah. It was the killing of Edward M. Dalton, a reputable citizen of Parowan, Iron County, by U. S. Deputy Marshal William Thompson, Jr., already mentioned in connection with the raid upon Greenville. Thompson, at the time of the killing, was endeavoring to arrest Dalton for an infraction of the Edmunds Law. The latter had previously been arrested upon the same charge—unlawful cohabitation—but had escaped. He spent several months in Arizona, and then returned to Parowan. For the purpose of apprehending him, Thompson, with Deputy Marshal William O. Orton, rode from Beaver during the night, and at Parowan put up at a hotel kept by Daniel Page, an apostate "Mormon." Some of the deputies had been heard to say that they would shoot Dalton rather than permit him to again escape. It remained for Thompson to carry out the threat.

 

It was the forenoon of the 16th of December, and Dalton, mounted, unarmed, and apparently unsuspicious of danger, was driving a herd of cattle past Page's place, which was on a corner, when, from the back yard of the hotel, he was hailed by loud voices and commanded to halt. Almost immediately a shot was fired, and Dalton fell from his horse mortally wounded. Friends rushed to the scene, and the dying man was carried, first into the hotel, and then toward his mother's home, but expired before reaching there.

 

Deputy Marshal Thompson, who had fired the shot, declared that Dalton, on being hailed, "turned his horse and started to get away." He also stated that he tried to fire over Dalton, but the gun went off sooner than he expected. Other witnesses disputed the assertion that Dalton attempted to escape, and the coroner's jury decided that the killing was felonious.

 

The whole town was grief stricken and burning with indignation. Dalton's slayer, arrested by Sheriff Adams, was taken before Justice Henderson, where he waived examination and was held to answer to the (Grand Jury. Most of the members of that body—which Thompson, it seems, had selected by the open venire process—accompanied or followed a posse of deputy marshals who rode in haste from Beaver with a writ of habeas corpus to take the prisoner out of the hands of the Sheriff. They had no trouble in securing the persons of Thompson and Orton, who were given a hearing before Judge Boreman and admitted to bail.

 

Marshal Dyer's Attitude.—Frank H. Dyer was then United States Marshal for Utah, having succeeded Mr. Ireland in the previous June. Thompson telegraphed to Dyer his version of the affair. The Marshal was horrified at the act of his subordinate, and at once revoked his commission. He declared that Thompson's course was "absolutely unjustifiable," since Dalton was charged only with a misdemeanor, and in such cases an officer had no right to shoot.

 

In Thompson's Behalf.— On the other hand it was contended that a homicide was excusable under the Territorial statutes when committed by an officer while endeavoring to arrest a person charged with an offense punishable by imprisonment in the Penitentiary, provided the killing were necessary in order to prevent an escape. Most of the people, however, stood by Marshal Dyer's interpretation of the law --that the right to shoot was limited to cases in which a felony had been committed by, or was charged against, the person attempting to escape, and did not apply to one accused of a mere misdemeanor. That Dalton's alleged offense was a misdemeanor, the Edmunds Law plainly stated.

 

Tried and Acquitted.—What the outcome would be was evident to the public long before the trial occurred. It was well understood that Thompson's course was justified by those who would prosecute and sit in judgment upon him. His acquittal surprised nobody.

 

MARSHAL DYER, U. S. Attorney, who went from Salt Lake City to prosecute Thompson for manslaughter—this being the indictment in the case—that his position in that unfortunate affair should be clearly understood. Dalton's friends asserted that the Prosecuting Attorney's statement of the case was virtually a plea for the defense, and that the same was true of the Judge's charge to the Jury. Mr. Varian, in a recently published account, says:

 

"It was the duty of the United States Attorney to state the law governing the case to the court and jury as he understood it, and it was the duty of the trial judge to direct the jury as to the law as he found it to be. In my address to the court, I reviewed the acts of Congress on the subject of crimes from the foundation of the Government, with the conclusion that there was no Federal statute defining felonies or misdemeanors, and that the distinction observed by the common law was not applicable and could not be made effective under our system." "I further contended that the Territorial law relative to arrests was not applicable, and was not the rule by which the acts of Government officers, executing the process of the United States courts, were to be tested." He affirmed that the United States Government had the power, through its officers, "to employ all means necessary to arrest and bring to the judgment of its courts offenders who had been indicted for violation of its laws," and "the presiding Judge (Boreman) so charged the jury." Mr. Varian claims that "the law, as asserted by the District Attorney and announced by the Court, was recognized and approved" at Washington.

 

The Opposite View.—The Deseret News denounced the whole proceeding as a "farce," and condemned the verdict in unmeasured terms. It went so far as to brand Thompson as a murderer. A libel suit followed, the slayer of Dalton, with Mr. Varian as his attorney, placing his damages at twenty-five thousand dollars. Having been acquitted, and his commission restored to him, the judicially exonerated Deputy had the News people at a disadvantage. The publishers, rather than risk a trial, compromised the case, and the matter so ended.

 

Next is the official daily reports from the newspapers of the day; The Deseret Weekly News and the Salt Lake Tribune. The News was the Mormon newspaper of its time and the Tribune was the Anti Mormon paper.

 

Please note that some of these newspaper articles are very long and the beat writers of the time has taken the opportunity to wax eloquently, as they say, to expand on the feeling of the people of the time.

 

Next you will read a day by day accounting of the shooting of Edward Meeks Dalton in Parowan, Iron Country, Utah on Dec. 16th, 1886. This was reported by the newspapers of the day. The photo below is a representation of a page from the newspapers that I have transcribed.

First report:

HOMICIDE IN PAROWAN

A U. S. DEPUTY KILLS A LATTER-DAY SAINT

Special to the Deseret News

Parowan, U. T. Dec. 16, 1886.

Edward M. Dalton, who has been indicted for unlawful cohabitation was passing through the streets here this morning, about eleven o'clock, when Deputy U. S. Marshal Thompson and Orton came upon him. Thompson, who had a gun, called upon Dalton to stop and fired. Dalton immediately fell from his horse and was taken to a house. He was found to be shot through the body, and expired at about a quarter past twelve.

Source: Deseret News 1886-12-22 Homicide at Parowan

 

Thursday, Dec. 16, 1886 - Beaver and Parowan

 

Bro. R. W. Heybourne and I got ready to start to Parowan. Word was just received that U.S. Marshall Thompson had shot and badly wounded E. M. Dalton. We drove through to Parowan and found that Dalton was dead and that Thompson was under arrest. I went and saw Marshalls Thompson and Orton and the latter told me in regard to the case. He says he called three times and Thompson twice for Dalton to halt, that he did not try to run but was shot without really any chance to surrender. Dalton had no arms and was in his short sleeves. He died in about forty five minutes after he was shot. He was shot in the side above two ribs and a little back, the shot ranging up.

 

I find my sister Mary quite well. The whole town is excited, but deliberate. A posse of about 25 men came from Beaver.

 

Friday, Dec. 17, 1886 - Parowan

 

The posse returned to Beaver during the night, taking Thompson with them. I bought a bolt of cotton cloth 14 yds. double width goods and 1 1/2 yds. Flannel for my sister Mary.

 

Saturday, Dec. 18, 1886 - Parowan

 

2 p.m. the people met and the funeral of Edward M. Dalton was opened by singing and prayer. Bro. Morgan Richards spoke and I followed for about forty minutes. After singing and prayer some 53 vehicles and about three hundred and fifty people followed the remains to the grave. Thus another Martyr is laid away in the tomb. Bro. Watson dedicated the grave.

Source: The Diaries of John Henry Smith

 

FROM MONDAY'S DAILY DEC. 20

Funeral of the victim - The funeral of Edward M. Dalton by U. S. marshal William Thompson, took place at Parowan, on Saturday afternoon. The remains were followed to their last resting place by about 600 people, being three-fifths of the entire population of the town. Source: Deseret News 1886-12-22 Local News

 

THE PAROWAN TRAGEDY

EDWARD M. DALTON - HIS HISTORY AND GENERAL CHARACTER - PARTICULRS OF THE MURDER - FUNERAL AND OTHER DETAILS

PAROWAN, Dec. 22, 1886

Editor Deseret News:

Believing it would be interesting to many readers of the News, I here with furnish you with a brief sketch of the life of Edward Meeks Dalton, who was shot down in cold blood at about eleven o'clock on the morning of the 16th of this month, by one William Thompson, a Deputy U. S. Marshal.

The subject of this sketch was born in this place, August 25th, 1853, is the son of Edward Dalton, who were among the earliest settlers in this valley, and ranked as a leading family from that time to the present.

The writer has been acquainted with the family, as a near neighbor, most of the time for over thirty-two years and can speak of them as being whole-souled, sympatric kind and upright

Like many other youths, E. M. Dalton, being possessed of a most vigorous body, full of health and vitality, and being precocious n mind, was through the influence of bad associated, older than himself, led into errors of conduct that were a source of regret to him in later years, making him a most excellent advisor of the young, with whom he had become a great favorite.

 

In October, 1881, he was at Salt Lake City, to attend General Conference, and while there was approached y one of the Apostles, John H. Smith, who asked him how would he like to go on a mission to the Southern States. He replied that he was poorly qualified for such a task, but if wanted would go and do the best he could to fill the mission.

Accordingly he was called at that Conference, and came home immediately to arrange his affairs, and started the same month on his mission.

 

He labored principally in North Carolina with great pleasure and satisfaction to himself, judging from his letters, and with some success among those to whom be bore his testimony.

 

After an absence of about a year, he took the chills and fever, so common in the South, and became greatly emaciated thereby, but still persevered, thinking that he would soon get better, and be able to remain and continue his labors. However he was released to come home, arriving here in November, 1882.

 

His great ambition, after his return was to stimulate the youth within his reach to refrain from all wrong-doing, and to work righteousness. He was made President of the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association of this place, and was well supported.

 

An indictment for co-habitation with his wives came next. Sometime last spring he was arrested by Wm. O. Orton, while engaged in hauling gravel to improve the water sect in front of his premises.

 

Orton being anxious to get word to the deputy in Beaver turned his prisoner over to our city marshal, who was on the streets, and went to the telegraph office. Meanwhile Dalton slipped off his boots adroitly and run away from the city marshal, making good his escape.

 

He appeared on our streets the next day again, working in front of his home. Getting an offer to help run a rail trail line in Arizona he accepted fitted up, and left us for a season. Not knowing how his family would e provided, he came in to arrange for their comfort during the winter, arriving here about the 10th of the month.

 

He kept quite close, but word spread that he had arrived. When cautioned by his good mother to be careful, he answered that she must not be too anxious about him, for the officers would not hurt him, and it would only be a few months in the penitentiary at the worst.

 

He carried no weapon for defense, and as false reports had been in circulation as to his intentions whenever he might be apprehended by a proper officer, he said to his friends on several occasions, that he would not resist an officer in the discharge of his duty, and that such a recourse would be wrong as well as foolish.

 

On the morning of the tragedy he said to a lady that he would rejoice to go on another mission to preach the Gospel to mankind, if necessary, with a cane in one hand and a valise in the other. These were his sentiments thirty minutes before he was shot.

 

He stood six feet high in his stockings and weighed 204 pounds, having no surplus flesh, but was muscular and a picture of health and manliness.

 

In conclusion, while riding bareback through the streets of his native city, driving stock in company with others, he was waylaid by Deputy U. S. Marshals Wm. Thompson, of Beaver City and Wm. O. Orton, of Parowan, who had heard of his approach down the street towards them, and had taken a position at the rear of Mr. Daniel Page's house (The last named is a bitter apostate) and the first named (Thompson) with gun leveled, and without due warning, shot and killed in cold blood.

 

The excitement which followed was intense and continued for some time, but good and wise counsel prevailed and the slayer of a just man has been turned over to judicial courts, on whom the responsibility now rests. One more striking example of law abiding qualities of the Mormon's" has been shown to the world.

 

The funeral of the murdered man was held on Saturday, the 18th inst. in our meeting house, which was well filed below and in the gallery. The principle discourse on the occasion was delivered by Apostle John Henry Smith, who came to attend our quarterly conference, which had been adjourned at 12 p. m. Saturday till 10 a. m. Sunday to give place for the funeral. he commended our community for their self control during this trying ordeal in allowing the law to take its course and not resorting to violence; dwelt eloquently on the Gospel of peace and administered words of comfort and consolation to the bereaved.

 

Forty-eight vehicles followed the remains to the grave, with some five hundred and sixty souls, not counting babes in their mother's arms.

 

Some of those who would have taken the law in their hands and administered summary vengeance on the murderer have been heard to say since that they were now thankful that they did not do so. Thus has been added to the list of those whose blood has been shed for the truth once more of those virtues we are justly proud.

Yours Respectfully

Morgan Richards Jr.

 

SLANDERS AGAINST THE DEAD AND LIVING REFUTED

BY A MAN OF UNIMPEACHABLE VERACITY

PAROWAN, IRON COUNTY, UTAH - Dec. 23rd, 1886

Editor Deseret News: The following from the Salt Lake Tribune of the 18th, inst., concerning Edward M. Dalton, who was shot and killed here on the 16th by U. S. Deputy Marshal Wm. Thompson, reached me by letter yesterday from a friend in your city:

"He was recently under arrest for stealing Church cattle, but when the county officials found that he was likely to be caught on the cohabit charge, they were notified by revelation to let him skip, and they did. His connections have been none of the best, several of his relatives having been in the penitentiary for various felonies"

To what terrible straits the Tribune men are put to find something to palliate the blackest and most cowardly deed ever committed in this place. The facts are as follows:

I have lived within a block of the Dalton family for 30 years, and know them well. Edward Dalton, father of E. M. Dalton has been a leading citizen of this place and this county all this time, and has done much to develop the country and help the people. He was Mayor of Parowan City for a number of years, also Probate Judge of Iron County four or five years.

Edward M. Dalton the murdered man, never was under arrest for stealing Church cattle or any other cattle. No member of the family was ever in the penitentiary for any crime whatever.

How many relatives of the family, distant or more near, may have been in the penitentiary I do now know. Take that role all round, and we cannot tell where many might stand, not even excepting the immaculate Tribune men.

Dalton's tragic death is a terrible blow to his relatives and friends, and indeed to the people of the whole of this part of the county, causes as they understand, through the malice and ignorance of an officer who seemed to consider that his commission as a United States Deputy Marshal gave him the right to do whatever he pleased with perfect impunity. It is no longer back than October last that my neighbor, Peter M. Jenson, was arrested. he is as honest and peaceful man as lives in our community. When he heard the marshals were around he tried to get out of the way. Thompson saw him (by moonlight) and before reading an warrant or even telling him he wanted him, ordered him to stop, and almost at the same instant fired his pistol after him. You can hardly make Jensen believe Thompson tried to miss him.

I noticed by the Salt Lake Herald that Deputy Marshal Gleason s reported as saying that he had in his possession letters from Dalton of a threatening and defiant character. I think the people of Parowan will refuse to believe that Dalton ever wrote any such letters unless they are produced and the hand writing proven to be his. I do not say Gleason may not have such letters in his possession, but I think on examination they would be found to have been forged by somebody.

Our place has assumed its usual quiet and peace prevails, and through we have not yet got over the terrible affair, our citizens are glad the people have done as well as they have under the trying circumstances.

Very respectfully,

Wm C. McGregor

Editor Tribune:

 

Mr. George C. Lambert of the Deseret News was here yesterday, engaged the most of the in taking affidavits of ear and eye witnesses of the Parowan tragedy, which occurred here on the 16th, inst.

 

He interviewed non-Mormons as well as Mormons. Of course the affidavits will be published in the News immediately. In my statement to him I stated plainly that when the office called to Dalton to haut he did not stop, but continued on his course reining his horse away from the officer.

 

He (Lambert) omitted the above in my affidavit.

 

You can use this as you think best. I thought I would post you in this matter. As, ever very truly your old subscriber from Iron County, since 1879.

Daniel Page

Parowan, Iron Co., Dec. 29, 1886

 

Daniel Page's Statement.

 

Thompson and Wm. Orton came to my house about 5 o'clock on the morning of the 16th inst. and gave me to understand that their purpose was to arrest Edward M. dalton. About 8 a. m., at Thompson's request, I went across the street to the house of John J. Wilcock, and borrowed a gun, telling Wilcock that Bill Orton sent me. When Dalton and those who were with him were passing my house on the north side, I saw Dalton, and at that moment Thompson and Orton stepped out at the back door, on the south side of the house. I went to the north wndow on the west side of the house, where I could obtain a good view of Dalton as he turned the corner.

He had arrived at a point west of the house and about the middle of the street, and was riding slowly, with his horse headed in a southwesterly direction, when I heard a call which sounded like " Halt Mr. Dalton" "Halt Mr. Dalton" spoken as fast as a man could speak it distinctly, and about three seconds afterwards the report of a gun, and saw Dalton reel and fall from his horse.

 

I could not distinguish more than one voice in the calling, and did not know which spoke. I did not see the officers from the time they left the kitchen until they went into the street after Dalton was shot. On hearing the call and immediately before the gun was fired, I saw Dalton look towards the south end of the house. He did not appear before that to have suspected any danger. I had seen Dalton three times previously within a few days and he did not seem to be hiding. Never heard Dalton threaten to resist an arrest, and have no reason to suppose that he would have resisted an officer in the lawful discharge of his duty. I knew Dalton to e a peaceable man.

 

Subscribed and sworn to this 28th day of December, 1886.

(Seal) William Davenport, Clerk of the County Court of Iron County.

Source: Deseret News 1887-01-12 A Falsehood Refuted

 

THE MURDERER THOMPSON

 

He is Indicted for Manslaughter

The Coroner's Jury Charge Felonious Killing.

 

 

The Second District grand jury have found an indictment charging manslaughter against Wm. Thompson Jr., for the murderer of Edward M. Dalton, of Parowan, as shown by the following dispatch received from Deputy Pratt by Marshal Dyer last evening:

 

" After a thorough examination of seventeen witnesses, the grand jury indicted Wm. Thompson Jr. for manslaughter. I subpoenaed all the witnesses who knew anything about the case"

 

On Saturday evening we published a dispatch from Assistant District Attorney Chas. W. Zane, at Beaver, to Marshal Dyer, as follows:

 

" The Judge was opposed to it, but the Sheriff of Iron County and his friends wished the matter summated to this grand jury, and I requested the court to do so".

 

The charge of Judge Boreman to the grand jury flatly contradicts Mr. Zane's assertion. What object the prosecution had in misrepresenting the facts, unless it was to shield the murderer, is not apparent, He says that the Sheriff of Iron County and his friends "wished the matter submitted to this grand jury" Judge Boreman says:

 

"When we heard of the occurrence at Parowan, I concluded to hold the grand jury to investigate that matter"

 

he then goes on to administer a mild rebuke to the majority of the jury who were so anxious about Thompson's welfare as to go to Parowan to meet him, and then states:

 

I told the Sheriff to inquire, and if it would not do--if there was any feeling about the matter---I would not submit to this grand jury. He reports to me that he thinks it would be right to submit it to this grand jury, and let them investigate it thoroughly; and under these circumstances, feeling that we want justice done all round and nothing improper, and they agreeing to this, raising no objection to it, I have concluded to submit it to this grand jury" .

 

The Judge probably did what he thought proper under the circumstances, but the effort to make it appear that the friends of the murdered man "wished" a grand jury chosen by investigate his case is low business.

 

The friends of Thompson say that Mr. Dalton put his child of his horse when he was riding, and then started away, when he was shot at and killed. Other witnesses, one of whom was about six feet from the murdered man at the time he was struck, declared positively that the call to halt and the shot were almost simultaneous one, a non-"Mormon" says it was about three seconds from the call to the time of firing, and that the victim had no opportunity to resist, surrender or flee. A coroner's jury held an inquest, and from the evidence adduced gave the following verdict:

 

Territory of Utah, County of Iron

 

An inquisition holden at Edward Dalton's house in Parowan precinct, County Iron, on the 16th day of December, A. D. 1886, before F. W. Pendleton, coroner of said County, upon the body of Edward M. Dalton, there lying dead, by the jurors whose names are hereto subscribed; that said jurors upon their oaths do say that deceased came to his death on the 16th day of December, A. D. 1886, from a gunshot wound inflicted by a ball or slug fired from a gun by one William Thompson; and that said killing was feloniously done. In testimony whereof the said jurors have hereunto set their hand the day and year aforesaid.

(Signed) William Holyoak,

Hans P. Mortensen,

William W. Pendleton,

Jurors.

 

(Attest) F. W. Pendleton.

Coroner of Iron County

Deseret News 1886-16-12 The Murderer Thompson

OFFICIAL MURDER AT PARAWON.

 

Today it is our painful duty to chronicle a tragedy that was enacted in the usually quiet and town of Parowan, Iron County. A United States deputy marshal named Thompson shot and killed a found man named Edward M. Dalton, against whom an indictment has been found for unlawful cohabitation. The particulars of the bloody affair are necessarily meager. Assuming then to be correct, the officer who did the killing committed a murder. It does not appear the young Dalton

was in custody of the marshal, and the offence for which he had been indicted is a misdemeanor. In this convection, the following legal authorities define the crime that has been committed:

 

"Mere words spoken will not constitute an arrest; there must be something by way of physical restraint"

 

"In cases of a felony, when called to the defendant should stop, but if he does not, the officer is justified to shoot at him, but if a misdemeanor, he has no right to take this extreme measure:

 

"Generally speaking, in misdemeanors, it will be murder to kill the party accused for flying from arrest, though there be a warrant to apprehend him"

 

This murder is but the continuation of a series of the most revolting outrages perpetrated by U. S. deputy marshals in the course of the cruel crusade conducted against a long-suffering people during the last two years. Pistols have been drawn, flourished and pointed at old men and boys against whom no crime was even alleged. They have been thus threatened and bullied and their lives jeopardized when, in the exercise of their freedom, they were about to leave some locality where the officers were searching for persons whose custody they desired. This murder is also the natural outgrowth of the high handed, and infamous course taken by numbers of Federal officers toward "Mormons" Their conduct has inspired some of the lower grade of the same ilk with the idea that they could perpetrate and species of outrage upon the people with impunity.

 

The news of the murder has created intense indignation among the citizens of this locality. No wonder that it should have such an effect upon the people who have been exasperated by a series of outrages reaching nearly to a point of murder, for considerable time that has been almost past endurance. Well we might many of them exclaim, as they have frequently done, "When shall there be an end to such villainous proceedings, and how long shall we be compelled to suffer them?"

Source: Deseret News 1886-12-22 Official Murder at Parowan

 

OFFICIAL LAWLESSNESS

 

The news of the killing of Edward M. Dalton on Thursday by a deputy marshal at Parowan created a profound impression. When the particulars of the dastardly act were learned through the columns of this paper, all classes of the community denounced and deplored the occurrence. Only a few malignant of the Tribune stripe, who are filled with the spirit of murder and hate, had any apologies for the crime or excuse for the official assassin.

 

It is claimed by them that the murdered man had previously twice escaped from arrest, having been indicted for unlawful cohabitation. Supposing this to e true, it does not justify in the least the course pursued in this instance. All the reliable accounts received concerning the homicide agree in the statement, that the deceased was at the time of the shooting, peaceably passing along the street, and that able passing along the street, and that he was unarmed, that he was not escaping from the officers and that the call for him to stop and the firing of the shot that killed him were almost if not exactly simultaneous.

 

The indictment said to have been found against Brother Dalton was for a simple misdemeanor. It was not for a felony. He was not doing any unlawful act at the time of the shooting. If the officer had a warrant for his arrest, he had no authority to take the accused without informing him of that fact and showing him the warrant if required to do so. It is not claimed that he made any resistance. And even if he had attempted to escape after arrest for a misdemeanor. The law would not have justified the shooting. It was clearly an unlawful act on the part of the officer, W. Thompson.

 

The enemies of the "Mormons" will make no capital by the base attempt of their organ to palliate the act, and falsify the facts of the homicide and the comments made upon it. The proper course for all parties is to recognize the wrong and see that the law is magnified We are informed tht Marshal Dyer does not approve of violence on the part of his deputies nor any unlawful proceedings against persons accused of offences against the law. That he does not justify improper methods of arrest in the cases of "Mormons" and more than of other accused persons. We have every reason to believe this is true, and that here is no hesitation on his part in open deprecation of such acts of deputies as are clearly in violation of the law.

 

And the cause of anti-"Mormonism" in Utah will receive no support by attempting to screen the assassin from the legal consequences of his deed of blood. A desperate attempt will no doubt be made to save the deputies concerned in this cowardly and cruel act, from the just penalties of violated law. We express this opinion from the course pursued in times past, and the bios that is continually exhibited against everything "Mormon" and in favor of our enemies. But it will be found in due time that the policy was suicidal, and those justice only lives and endures in the administration of the law, and that it is sure at some time to claim its own, even of its official interpreters and administrators.

The pretended anticipation of violence on the part of the indigent populace against the perpetrators of the crime at Parowan, was but a manifestation of the wish that was "father to the though" Nothing would more delight the trouble-breeders in Utah, than a rising of the people to inflict vengeance upon some scrub official who committed an act calculated to goad an oppressed and harassed people into reckless fury. But we are happy to say there has been no sign of any disposition on the part of the people to take the law into their own hands, Grief and indignation swelled their bosoms, but the lawlessness which in almost every other part of this western region would have followed the murder, was not even hinted at by the populace in whose power and vicious deputies were placed when the deed was done. That is right, and will be found the wisest policy because it is right.

 

Both the officers who are entrusted with the execution of the law, and the people who are made subject to intrusion and discomfort, should learn their rights and neither should encroach upon the rights of others. We have not had occasion to denounce the doings of insolent deputies Marshal Dyer has been in office, as during the reckless reign of his predecessor. But there are some creatures who have been continued to subordinate office, who trained under the wretched and vicious Ireland school, and who are not fit to be entrusted with power nor to thrust themselves into the homes and presence of decent people. Deputies have come to think that they are as privileged class, not bound by the restrictions that govern ordinary members of the community. And feeling of this character, that have been fostered and encouraged have led to the desperate and unjustifiable act of fatal violence at Parowan.

 

Deputies have been permitted without rebuke, to stop people on the public highway for whom they had no warrant of arrest or other legal papers. That has threatened to shoot persons going from one house to another, if they did not submit to their interrogations. That they have no right to shoot a defendant, even if escaping from arrest for a misdemeanor has been show in these columns. Much less have they the right to shoot or threaten persons unexcused of crime. Neither have they the right to question men, women or children in the manner of which many have complained. People should understand that a deputy marshal is not a judicial officer in any since of the word. No one is compelled to satisfy his impertinent curiosity or to give him information concerning anyone's private affairs. Officers should not be obstructed in their lawful performance of duty, but they should not presume upon their position and try to scare the uninformed into admissions or and other evidence respecting themselves or their neighbors.

 

Excuses of duty is lawlessness. Every officer of the law is bound to keep within the limits of the law. When he transcends those limits he ought to be punished just as much, at least, as any private individual who transgresses. The majesty of the law cannot be maintained by winking at the unlawful acts of officials. And the people are not required to submit to any proceedings on the part of officers which are not required or authorized by law.

 

Resistance to lawful authority lawfully exercised is wrong and unjustifiable. But resistance to unlawful authority, or lawful authority, unlawfully exercised, is neither morality nor legality wrong. Still it is better to avoid the appearance of evil, and quiet submission to wrong for the time be submission to wrong for the time being is better than rashness and violence. A legal remedy ought to be had for every illegal act, and those in authority will do far more to establish and maintain respect for the law by dealing out justice to officials who disregard it, than by tacitly endorsing their wrong-doing because performed n excessive zeal against a people marked out for special severity.

 

The bloody deed at Parowan should serve to show the country the extreme methods which are being pursued in the senseless crusade against the "Mormons" and ought to suggest the propriety of a halt in the unwarranted pursuit of one selected class of offenders, whose act are not prompted by any criminal spirit, but have been performed by virtue of invincible religious convictions. At any rate let the law be vindicated in the case of official assassination at Parowan.

Source: Deseret News 1886-12-22 Official Lawlessness

 

THE MURDERER AT LARGE

 

The dispatch from Prowan, which will be found in another part of this paper, contains news which will beregretted by all classes of the community who are in favor of peace and good orde. It indicates that the procedings against the murderer of Edward M. Dalton are likelt to be little more than a shm. The murderour deputy is turned loose on bail, while his case is left to the grand jury which he picked out himself, and eleven of whom went forth as his personal friends, to carry him help and refrestments after he had gloried himself in their eye by shotting nd killing a "Mormon"

 

The legal quibbles which have been resortyed to that he might be set at liberty, are painfully appearent. Thompson, without doubt, shot down a man. who was not making and resestance or even fleeing from arrest. He had committed a murder, and tht offence is not bailable. Every consistent person will say he ought to have been kept in custody pending the action of the grand jury. His release on bail reflects no credit upon Judge Boreman nor upon the Assisting Prosecuting Attorney, a son of Judge Zane's. The indecency of sending his case to the grand jury which he selected, cannot fail to be recongnized by the public. It looks as through the desire is to inflame the popular mind already fred with intence indignation, so that some act may be provoked which all cool heads would lament.

 

But we feel ssured that our friends in the south will hold themselves in check whatever may happen, and let the consequences fall upon the wretches who glot over the murder of a "Mormon and who will bend all their energies to punish a man for taking care of his wives as honor demands, and then exert themselves to the utmost to shield and turn loose an assassin.

 

The plea tht Thompson intented to fire over Dltons head and thus mke it aooear that thw killing was not done with malice or even with intent, is so flimsy, in view of the locality of the wound, that any child may see through it. If the shot had been aimed above Dalton's head and was directed badly, in haste, he would have been wounded, if anywhere, about the head or shoulders. But he was shot just as lowdown on the body as he well could be without shotting the horse instead of the man, and the shot was evidenty aimed to kill.

 

We desiguate this crime as a murder, because the prepetrator of the deed had not one particle of right to fire his rifle at Mr. Dalton. The fact that the shooter was an officer is no palliation of the offence. It is rather an segravation, for an officer ought to be even more carelul to be law-abiding than an ordinary citizen. The intent to kill is shown in the position of the wound, and in the fact that at no time was given the deceased to surrender. But, murder or manslughter, the defentant was committed by the justice for the capital crime, and common decency would have suggested his imprisonment until the grand jury could take action on his case, seeing that is was in sesssionand read to tke testimony. And furture, considering that it was determined to let him loose, the least regart for the appearance of justice would have suggested the investigation of his case before a grand jury that was not selected by the defendant, and not composed of persons who had openly exhibited their partisanship for the accused.

 

The latest proceedings look like a determination to justify deputies in using fire-arms against "Mormons" accused of misdemeanors and to surround lawless officers with a haol of protection not afforded by the law and not favorable to the public peace. But as sure as the movement has been made, so sure will it bring discomiture to those who have promoted it.

Source: Deseret News 1886-12-22 The Murderer at Large

 

THE PAROWAN MURDER

 

That is What, it is, and Nothing Less

 

A COLD-BLOODED- COWARDLY DEED

 

The Assassin Almost at Large and Quite Indifferent

 

EXAMINATION WAIVED-NO EXCITEMENT

 

MARSHL DYER DISMISSES THOMPSON

 

FROM THE SERVICE, AND ORDERS

 

HIM PLACED IN CONFINEMENT

 

The bloody and uncalled for taking of a worthy man at Parowan y U. S. deputy marshal yesterday, was soon communicated throughout the more thickly populated districts, and has been the most exclusive topic of conversation ever since. There is no disagreement thus far as to the main facts, those which have occurred, even as to the conclusions, being merely differences of detail. That Dalton was mounted and engaged in driving cattle, that he was not in a menacing or threatening attitude, and that he was shot by Thompson so soon after the latter called that there was no time to attempt an escape, even if Dalton had though of such a thing, are facts well settled. The "damned spot" that will not out is-The victim was shot down in cold blood, not resisting, and Thompson deliberately and intentionally did the shooting.

 

The News was the first to publish the announcement of the tragedy, having received the special dispatch which appeared in these columns yesterday. About the same time, however, Marshal Dyer received the following, which discloses nothing of consequences except a disposition to compile justification with the announcement:

 

Beaver City, Utah, Dec. 16 1886.

 

Deputy Thompson under arrest at Parowan for killing a person attempting to escape arrest. Sargent over county east of here.

Chas. Zane.

 

Charles W. Zane is assistant District Attorney for the Second District, and as such will be called upon officially to Prosecute Thompson.

 

This may mean nothing and it may mean a great deal. Subsequently the following special arrived:

 

Parowan, U. T. Dec. 16.

 

E. M. Dalton, who was indicted about March, 1885, for unlawful cohabitation, was passing along the street on horseback, driving stock, and when just past Daniel Page's residence and apostate, William Thompson, with a rifle, came out of the house with William O. Orton, and creeping along the fence until behind Dalton, hailed him, and firing instantly, shot the latter in the back. He fell from his horse and was carried into Page's house and expired in about an hour. He was removed to his mother's house where he is now. Thompson and Orton are arrested. Dalton was unarmed. He was about 3 years of age. He had filled a mission to the Southern States. Was the son of Edward Dalton, of Manassas, Col. He leaves two wives and seven children. It is claimed that Dalton never ran, but turned and went near the marshal, where he fell. Crowds of people, weeping, followed the body to his mother's place. Public feeling is intense, but no danger s feared.

 

If anything, more were needed to enable the impartial reader to arrive at a conclusion from evidence, the following, received later, and ought to supply it:

 

Parowan, U. T., Nov. 16, 1886.

 

As Edward M. Dalton, indicted for unlawful cohabitation, was driving stock past the premises of Daniel Page, about 11 o'clock this morning, in company with others, Deputy Marshalls, W. Thompson and W. O. Orton, came out at the rear of the house and Thompson leveled his gun on Dalton, calling him to stop and as reported fired almost instantly; the ball passed through the body and causing his death in about an hour. Thompson and Orton were arrested by Sheriff H. L. Adams and taken before Justice Henderson. They waived an examination and are likely to be committed to await the action of the grand jury. Excitement ran high, but no overt act has been committed.

 

Take any other community in the United States similarly situated to Utah, and let one of the number who constitute the majority and are being raided upon and hounded day and night, and shot like a dog by one of the raiders and with no provocation or justification whatever, would the last paragraph of this dispatch have been appended? Hardly.

 

The organ of extermination and plunder, published in this city this morning comes to the rescue of the assassin, of course. It pronounces Dalton a hard character, a desperate man, and not to be trusted, etc; tells about him when "he was at his door talking with his concubine," and a lot more

irrelevant, unfeeling trash, thus putting in a perhaps, to one of self-protection, for Thompson. If

this is to be the line of defense, it will have to stand alone, as nothing can be shown in justification of the act at the time and place it was committed. It will do, perhaps, as well as any other; it would, however, be cheaper to not prosecute at all.

 

In a land where the law mean one thing for one class and another thing for another class - where the walking over the dead or alive body of a "Mormon" is not only excusable, but commendable. The same sheet attributes the absence of violence to fear of the effect its application would have at Washington; it must be in desperate straits, and its fund of falsehood has became most woefully poverty-stricken. Those who have a disposition to resort to lynch law do not usually stop to count the cost; they act first and deliberate after, for fear that the sober second thought might deter them from a consummation immediately wished; so there could have been none of the class there; nothing but law-biding people (excepting the murderer and his accomplice) and the miserable lie falls flat to the ground.

 

THE MURDERER'S TALE.

 

Thompson sent the following dispatch to Marshal Dyer yesterday evening:

 

Parowan, Utah, December 16, 1886

 

This morning, about 11 o'clock, I took to re-arrest E. M. Dalton, of this place, he having escaped from the officers last spring. He was on horseback. Myself and W. O. Orton both hailed him, but he turned his horse and started to get away. I fried with the intention of shooting over him. Called his name before I called to him to halt. Write you further from Beaver tomorrow.

W. Thompson, Jr.

 

The reader can form his own conclusions from the above. For a man whose hand is still moist with of his victim, he indicts in a very business-like mater-of-fact style; not the slightest trace of trepidation or regret. The substance of it is "Dalton turned to get away and I shot at him, hitting him. He is dead." There is nothing like presence of mind and nerve!

 

The following special dispatches received by the News this morning, give the latest particulars in relation to the tragedy, and clinch the charge of murder so definitely and conclusively that further controversy is idle:

 

Parowan, Dec. 17.

 

The examination of the deputy marshals in the justice's court show the killing of Dalton to be simply murder. The testimony of three witnesses, one non-Mormon, G. Halterman, S. T. Orton and Barbara Lyman, shows that only about three of four seconds elapsed from the call to halt to the to the gunshot. Dalton did not run but looked around, raised his hand toward the marshals, his horse turned around to the right and Dalton fell of on his back. When the witnesses came up they found he had turned over on his knees with his face on his hands; they found him un-conscious, and conveyed him to the house, where he came to, but seemed to suffer severely, spitting blood, and said he would not live. Doctor Kink found that the shot, from a Winchester rifle, had entered the back of the left side, passing through the kidneys; about noon he appeared sinking, amid much sorrow and weeping of friends and relatives, when the cry was raised, :Why let him die in the house of his murderer's? Take him to his mother's" and immediately strong hands took hold of his couch and he was conveyed outside on the way to his mothers house, followed by crowds of angry people, with threats of lynching Thompson. Dalton expired a rod or so from Pages gate. Thompson came to the telegraph office and was arrested by Sheriff Adams; he was, but seeing the angry crowds of people gathering around, felt safer in charge of the officers.

 

HE SEEMS UNCONSERNED,

 

Said he know hat he was about, etc. The city marshal went out and dispersed the people, and the sheriff escorted his prisoner before Justice Henderson, where he waived an examination. The sheriff was to take him to Beaver during the afternoon. A crowd of his friends came from Beaver with a writ of Habeas corpus, taking him to Beaver.

 

Apostle H. J. Grant telegraphed from Cedar to the authorities here to keen here to kept order and not allow Dalton's friends to take the law into their own hands, as one wrong did not justify another. Apostle J. H. Smith is here now.

 

Beaver, Utah, Dec. 17.

 

Yesterday afternoon a posse was ordered from Beaver to Parowan with a writ of habeas corpus for Thompson, followed by eleven grand jurors with the district clerk and others in three vehicles and horseback, all armed. The advance posse from Beaver, with the sheriff and a small posse from Parowan with the murderer, met the jury party in the night Paragoonah and Parowan and arrived at Beaver at 8 a. m. today.

A short time ago this Thompson shot at Jensen in Parowan, an inoffensive Scandinavian, accused of unlawful cohabitation, because he skipped out of his back door.

The people are as calm as the summer morning.

 

Subsequent advices report Thompson as being very much at large about the court house; he walks around it in an unconcerned manner and views the curiosity of those who appear in the neighborhood to get a glimpse at him with the upmost sang….. Having accomplished an object he seems to have sought, he can now look down upon the ordinary mortals who edge him round about, and content himself n the temporary inconvenience through which he is now passing with the thought "I too have murderer a "Mormon."

 

THE LATEST

 

is a dispatch from Beaver, dated 12:25 p. m. and is merely conformity, to some extent, of the above. It is as follows:

 

Beaver, U. T., Dec. 17.

 

there was no examination. Witnesses are arriving from Parowan and the case will go before the grand jury. Thompson spends part of the time at his father's and part of the time at the court house. He seems to be in no one's charge. There is no excitement, and all are anxiously awaiting the actions of the powers to be.

 

We are also able to publish the following:

 

Parowan, Dec. 17.

 

F. D. Richards:

 

I came here last evening. People somewhat excited but quite deliberate. Dalton had no arms and offered no resistance in any form. he was driving cattle to pasture. He was about forty yards from the officer, and on horse-back, in his shirt sleeves. He was ordered to halt three of four times in

rapid succession. The witnesses say that not more than three seconds intervened between the command to halt and the firing. A large posse came from Beaver, for fear of lynching but there was no necessity for this move, as the people were not wild. Dalton had no opportunity to surrender, the firing followed so quickly the command to halt. The all struck the left side a little back to centre, above the two lower ribs and ranged up. He only lived 45 minutes.

J. H. Smith

 

TTHOMPSON DISMISSED AS DEPUTY

 

The position assumed by United States Marshal Dyer with reference to the occurrence is shown by his action last night. he promptly revoked Thompsons commission as Deputy Marshal, and dispatched Arthur Pratt to take charge of the district.

 

A News reporter called on Marshal Dyer this afternoon to obtain expression of his position in regard to the tragedy. In the interview which followed the Marshal's condemnation of Thompsons course was unqualified. he says his orders to his men are emphatic that they shall perform their duties strictly and impartially. They are to refrain from the use of violence under all possible circumstances, and to deport themselves as gentlemen as well as officers. he further says that had his orders been adhered to in this case the deed would never have been committed.

 

Upon being informed that Thompson was being allowed more liberty than was customary in similar cases, Marshal Dyer immediately telegraphed to the sheriff of Beaver to have him placed in confinement, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

 

It is also the wish of Mr. Dyer that the investigation of the case be left for the grand jury of the next term. for, as the Marshal expressed it, it would be unfair for Thompson's case to be handled by a jury of his own making" The next jury will be summoned on regular retire, and are therefore more likely to be impartial.

 

HOLLISTER ON THE RAMPAGE

 

Col. O. J Hollister is one of the Republican Federal officials in Utah. he is assistant Internal Revenue Collector for this district. He is also Chief Secretary for the infamous political organization known as the "Utah Loyal League." This afternoon he called on Marshal Dyer (while the News reporter was present) in a very excited condition. He said that he had received a dispatch from C. W. Bennett, in Washington, in which the latter said the deed was being heralded there as an outrage by a deputy marshal. The dispatch sent for the Associated Press by Col. Nelson, said Hollister, had been suppressed, and the "Mormon" side published. Continued O. J. H., Wm. Henry Smith, the Associated Press man in New York, is the G-dd-dest sticker in America! I know him. I was agent here for a number of years, and Colonel Nelson has been for three years. Col Hollister kept on to this strain for some time. He wanted the Marshal to make a public matter of the dispatch sent to Governor West regarding the case, but this was refused, the Marshal replying "The dispatch was a private one. The Governor may do as he pleases with it"

 

"Can't you give us something?" cried Hollister. "Was there no justification for it?"

 

"No justification whatever." replied the Marshal, "except what is stated in the telegrams to me. He says the man was trying to escape arrest, that is all. He had no right, no right whatever, to shoot. Why the man was only charged with a misdemeanor, and an officer has no right to shoot in such a case. The man had escaped twice before, but that is no justification. Thompson made a mistake; that is all his excuse"

 

Hollister further urged the Marshal to give some authoritative statement which would palliate the case in the estimation of the authorities at Washington, but was referred to the telegrams received as the fullest information at hand.

Source: Deseret News 1886-12-22 The Parowan Murder

WHO DOES THE DIRTY WORK

 

Here is a specimen of the doings that make men lose their patience. The chief incendiary of the “Loyal League,” and the literary blather smite of the vandal element in general; we mean O. J. Hollister, of course - dispatches the following to lobbyist Bennet in response to the latter’s telegram asking for something to “White Wash’ the news of the murder of Dalton.

 

“The father of the deceased anticipated in the Mountain Meadow massacre. In 1885, Dalton himself was first arrested on a indictment for unlawful cohabitation, and escaped. He was arrested again in April, 1886, for the same offence, knocked the guard down and again escaped. He has been a terror to the officers in Southern Utah for Years. Last May he sent threatening letters to the Marshal’s office, at Beaver, notifying the deputies that if they expected to arrest him they had better came armed. Thompson has been connected with the Marshal’s office in Southern Utah twelve years, and has always been regarded as a good discreet officer.”

 

The author of this budget of infamy has had long experience in the class of usefulness; to which it belongs. He has been notorious for years as the most irrepressible and ready falsifier of the whole carpetbag combination. It is this qualification that renders his desirable to the “League” as their chief secretary, Master scavenger, grand dispenser of funds and principal plotter and calumniator for their Washington outpost. It is well for the people to know it is that is soliciting in behalf under the pompous assumption of loyalty.

Source: Page 2 - The Provo Daily Enquirer 1886-12-21

 

THE DALTON MURDER

Beaver, Utah, December 17, 1886.

Editor, Deseret News:

As I presume you have been posted as to the circumstances of the murder of our beloved brother Edward Dalton Jr., of Parowan, by Deputy Marshal William Thompson, I need not repeat them. In the first place everybody who knows anything of law, knows that an officer has no right to kill a man charged with a misdemeanor, although he may be escaping from said officer, much less a man who had not been examined or tried, and whom the law holds to be innocent until proven guilty. The extent of the offense of which Brother Dalton was charged was six months imprisonment and a $300 fine. Still be must be shot down by a man clothed with a little brief authority, simply because he did not how down to his dictum. There is not a shadow of law to sustain the murderous deed. As well might a policeman of your city shoot a man who had been boisterous, thereby disturbing the peace of the community and trying to evade arrest. In fact, the case would be more aggravated, for everyone knows that to disturb the peace is wrong, whilst the man killed was merely indicted on a charge of having obeyed the dictates of his conscience in living with his wives, whom it is understood he married before passing of the ex post facto Edmunds law.

That the case is clearly one of willful murder, to my mind, does not admit of a reasonable doubt. Now as to this "Mormon" apostate and deputy U. S. marshal, nothing need be said about him where his character is known, His and Gleason's raids upon the premises of citizens of Greenville, in this county are still fresh in the minds of the citizens of that place and the public. it will also be remembered that this same man, then a guard, but now a deputy marshal, deserted his post a few years ago and thereby permitted the convicted murder, the notorious Ben Taser to make his escape. George Tracy was placed at the north and front of the Court House and Thompson at the south and rear; the only possible places of escape. The night was a little cold and Tracy build a fire, while Thompson, better known as "Bill Thompson" left his post to warm at Tracy's fire. During his absence the murderer made his escape through the rear of the building, where "Bill" should have been on look out. A little of that vigilance he has recently been using towards his once "Mormon" brethren would have held the notorious Tasker for the atonement of his crimes and saved the suspicions that there was money in the job.

Cannot our government, the best on earth, find better material to execute its inundates? If not its cause must be exceedingly degrading, or we are drifting to anarchy and ruin as fast and as surely as the sun rises and sets. Will the law for once be enforced against assassins of a Latter0day Saint? We shall see.

Daniel Tyler.

Source: Deseret News 1886-12-29 Correspondence

 

SLANDERS REFUTED

 

THE MEMORY OF THE DED VICTIM VINDICATED.

 

the villainous attempts to palliate the murder of a peaceable citizen and save the assassin from the conquences of his crime, by slandering the dead and the living have drawn forth the following refutation:

Parowan, Dec. 20, 1886.

 

Editor Deseret News:

 

The statement made against Dalton and his father are false. The father was not with the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Dalton himself did not nock down the city marshal of Parowan

(R. H. Benson) who had him in his charge when he made his escape. he was not a desperate character. He was followed to this grave by nearly six hundred persons. This number from a community of only one thousand people speaks for itself.

 

W. C. McGreger, Probate Judge.

 

 

Parowan, Dec. 20, 1886.

 

Editor Deseret News:

 

I had Edward M. Dalton in charge when he escaped some time since. We were standing in the street at dark when he suddenly bade me good night and at once ran away and I after him, but could not overtake him. he did not nock me down nor offer any violence.

R. H. Benson, City Marshal of Parowan at that time.

 

 

 

THE JURY PROTECTS THE ASSISSIN

 

The following was received today.

 

Beaver, December 21, 1886.

 

Editor Deseret News:

 

Fourteen Parowan witnesses were examined before the grand jury in the murder case. Their testimony strongly points to willful murder, but Thompson is indicted for manslaughter. The bond are unchanged. Orton was discharged, as the grand jury dismissed the case against him.

Source: Deseret News 1886-12-29 Slanders Refuted

THAT GRAND JURY AND THEIR ACTION ON LEARNING OF THE MURDER OF DALTON BY DEPUTY THOMPSON.

The reader of the News have already been informed of the sensation produced at Beaver on the receipt of the intelligence there that Deputy Marshal Thompson had killed E. M. Dalton at Parowan, and of the anxiety which was manifested by the grand jury and Clerk of the Second District Court to rescue the murderer from the Iron County officers. The following extract from a communication just received from a reliable correspondent of Beaver, will, however be read with interest as containing some additional particulars:

"On the afternoon of the homicide, Oscar Thompson, son of William Thompson the murder, who accompanied his father on many of his raiding exploits among the people, along with James Hutchings, a sort of deputy marshal and bailiff to the court, were entrusted with a writ of habeas corpus, to bring Thompson to Beaver. They were accompanied by Edward W. Thompson Jr., and John Nower, as a posse and being well armed with missiles of death, and two or three bottles of whisky, started for Parowan. Shortly after the had left Beaver, C. W. Zane, Assistant U. S. Prosecuting Attorney, was rather impressed that from the temper of these youths that night, under their present condition, act imprudently towards the citizens of Parowan, and make the matter worse. Mr. Zane indicated to R. H. Gillespie. (one of the grand jurors) a cool, conservative man, that he desired him to follow the party to Parowan, which he did, making the distance in four hours.

The following are the names of the grand jurors who followed the before mentioned parties:

GRAND JURORS.

James E. Forshee, foreman; George L. Harding, clerk; James Stark, T. Ferguson, A. M. Hunter, H. S. Martin, Al Carpenter, M. Durkee, B. McCall, Sidney Burton; also J. R. Wilkins, clerk of the District Court.

There were six others, citizens of Beaver, who accompanied said grand jurors and clerk as a posse, including one Robert Keyes Jr., who fell off his horse while reroute to Parowan, he being under the influence of liquor and it at present under the necessity of using crutches as a result of the fall. Most of said grand jurors and posse were under the influence of liquor, while on their way, going or returning.

The sheriff of Iron County, accompanied by two citizens of Parowan, together with the aforesaid Oscar Thompson, Jas. Hutchings, E. W. Thompson, Jr., John Nowers and R. H. Gillespie, started for Beaver with the prisoner and met the grand jurors and their escort between Parowan and Paragoonah. Before coming to the black volcanic rocks on the outskirts of Paragoonah they called a halt and put out two scouts to reconnoiter the black rocks, lest they might be ambushed.

 

They arrived in Beaver at 8 a. m. on the morning of the 17th inst., the horses and men being jaded, especially the grand juror squad, who rode 33 miles and met the other party and of course had a return to Beaver, thus making 66 miles of a continuous ride.

Source: Deseret News 1887-01-05 That Grand Jury

THE ACQUITTAL OF THE MURDERER.

The shameful proceeding in the sham trial Wm. Thompson, who killed Edward M. Dalton at Parowan without provocation and without excuse, came to the expected conclusion on Saturday at Beaver. Thompson was acquitted and the red-handed murder goes unpunished.

It was not believed by the public that there was any intention to bring the slayer of E. M. Dalton to justice. Every step in the pretended prosecution gave evidence to the contrary. When his case was handled over to the grand jury whom the defendant had selected, and the majority of whom went out to take him from the officers who had arrested him, it was understood that the purpose was to let the assassin go free. The indictment for simple manslaughter when the testimony proved deilberate and malicious intent to kill, indicated that the proceedings were to e a mere pretence. And when the character of the jury was learned, and it was told that one of the very grand jury that found the shameful indictment and went out to recue the prisoner from the regular officials, was actually put on the jury that was to try him. Public Predictions as to the outcome were expressed without dubiety.

The alleged prosecution was conducted by District Attorney Dickson's chief assistant C. S. Varian, the U. S. official whom in open court, refused to proceed against the fhilty and debauched persons who had been caught by the police in acts of the most flagrant and criminal indecency in vile resorts in this city. Notwithstanding the direct and unmistakeable evidence against the accused, which was similar to the testimony before the coroner's jury and contained in the affidavits published in this paper. Mr. Varian took the side of the defendant and practically the pleas of the prosecution and the defense were in the same direction and with the same object - the acquittal of the prisoner. The murdered man was a "Mormon" his assassin a "Gentile" Need anymore be said? Yes, there is another feature in this tragedy that needs pointing out. The murderer was a deputy marshal and his victim was charged with infraction of the third section of the Edmunds law. The impression sought to be conveyed is that a deputy has the right to shoot and kill a "Mormon" whom he supposes or pretends to suppose is attempting to avoid or escape from arrest. The claim is false, and is in direct conflict with law and precedent.

 

The only ground on which the attorney who should have prosecuted proceeded to defend the accused deputy was that he fired the fatal shot when attempting to arrest a person charged with felony. Let us examine this a little and see how untenable it is: The law provides that homicide is justified when necessarily committed by an officer, in retaking felons who have escaped, or when necessarily committed in arresting persons charged and who are fleeing from justice or resisting such arrest. We will not stop to discuss the question whether Mr. Dalton was fleeing from Justice or resisting arrest, through the evidence was clearly to the contrary, nor whether the shooting of the person to be arrested was necessarily committed" though the entire testimony showed it was not. We will take up the word "felony" on which the argument mainly turns.

 

That Mr. Dalton was not a felon need not be debated; he had not been convicted of any crime and was not therefore in fact or in the eyes of the law, either a felon of a misdemeanant. But is the offence with which it is alleged he was charged a felony. Mr. Varian says it is, we say it is not. Let the law decide. The third section of the Edmunds law , for alleged violation of which Mr. Dalton was arrested, provides:

 

"That if any male person in a Territory of other place over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction, hereafter cohabits with more than one women, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of more than three hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both sais punishments, in the discretion of the court" Nr. Varian is an officer of the United States. Yet he denies the definition given in the statute of the Unites States which he is chiefly engaged in enforcing.

A misdemeanor is not a felony. The Edmunds law says unlawful cohabitation is a misdemeanor. It matters not what Mt. Varian may say, whether in pleading for a defendant whom he was sworn to prosecute of for any other purpose. The United States statute is above either Mr. Varian or Mr. Dickson his principle. It also supersedes any definition that may be woven from the fabric of a territorial statute. The law that creates the crime defines it as a misdemeanor and that virtually settles the controversy! If Mr. Varian is right the Edmunds law is wrong and vice versa. But the penal code of Utah provided that "A felony is a crime which is or may be punishable with death or by imprisonment in the penitentiary. Every other crime is a misdemeanor."

Now note the pettifogging to shield a criminal! Person convicted of unlawful cohabitation are confined in the penitentiary, therefore, argues the public prosecutor, pleading for the defense, that which the law says is a misdemeanor may, for the purpose of the case, be deemed a felony! A misdemeanor, under the laws of the Territory, is an offence punishable by imprisonment for six months and a fine of three hundred dollars. In exceptional cases, where special penalties are a affixed, the imprisonment for misdemeanor may reach one years imprisonment. But under the territorial laws, persons guilty of the offenses that comes under the head of misdemeanor are to be imprisoned in the county jail, and only to be put in the penitentiary for the higher grades called felony.

 

But the offence of unlawful cohabitation is one created and punished by a law of the United States and is therein, as we have shown, designated by name as a misdemeanor, and therefore not a felony, although offenders under it are placed n the penitentiary because the U. S. Marshal has no other place of confinement under his control. The county jail, under the Territorial laws, is the place of imprisonment for whose offence is punishable by the penalty prescribed for unlawful cohabitation. Therefore neither under the laws of the territory nor of the Unites States nor of any country on earth, is the offence for E. M. Dalton was to be arrested anything more or less than a misdemeanor.

 

The specious subterfuge, then on which Thompson's felonious act was claimed to be justifiable, disappears in the light of the law, and nothing remains but a transparent endeavor to save a bloodstained criminal from the legal consequences of his cowardly deed. That such an effort was made by the prosecuting officers proclaims the farcical character of the proceeding, and would remove any cause for wonder if a shadow of it, remained at the verdict of acquittal by a jury "in sympathy with the prosecution."

 

Thompson has been acquitted by one tribunal, but there is another which pronounces a different judgment. Before the bar of the public he stands convicted on a flood of direct evidence of the crime of willful, deliberate and cowardly murder. The blood of innocence stains his soul. No sophistry or, pettifogging will take it away and no lying verdict will lot it out. It will show up red and gory through all the official and judicial whitewash that may be applied. The sound of that murderous bullet will ring in his ears, and the dying looks of his victim will not pass from his vision through life. The brand of Cain is upon his brow and it is recorded on high, "He has shed innocent blood."

 

There is still another tribunal before which William Thompson will yet stand arraigned. The Eternal Judge will be there to do unflinching justice. The victim will present to confront the slayer. no specious plea of legal apologizer will avail. The bare and awful truth will strike conviction and the murderer's doom will await the guilty. And when the assassin ss…… free on earth is viewed with horror by the just, splattering of the blood with which he is dyed will be found upon the skirts of those whose duty it was to bring him to his right deserts but who partook of his crime by palliating the deed. Thompson should not be molested. Vengeance will come in its time from the Hand that will surly repay. But henceforth in the eyes of all fair minded men wherever his course is known, he will bear upon his brow the blistering mark of the crouched and cold-blooded murderer!

Source: Deseret News 1887-01-19 The Acquittal of the Murderer

DALTON'S DEATH

Details of the Horrible Tragedy

at Parowan, showing that it

was Deliberate, Cold-blooded

Murder.

Sworn Statement of Eye-Witnesses.

 

Believing that the truth had not been fully told in regards to the killing of Edward M. Dalton, and convinced that many of the statements concerning the affair published by the organ of slander in this city were malicious libels, inspired by the same murderous spirit the prompted the cowardly perpetrator of the black deed when he slew his victim, we have been at some trouble to ascertain the real facts in the case and lay them before our readers.

 

The people of Parowan almost universally are of the opinion that the killing of Dalton was the result of a conspiracy concocted in the house of Daniel Page, an apostate of that place, whose home has been a rendezvous for deputy marshals and spotters for some time past. They further believe that Dalton was waylaid and murdered in cold-blood before he had time to surrender of attempt to escape, and not as has been slanderously asserted, shot while trying to flee from the officers of the law or while resisting them in the discharge of their duty. Whether the citizens are correct in their opinion or not, the public will be able to judge after reading the following statements of eye-witnesses to the tragedy, which have been made under oath and subscribed to before William Davenport, the County Clerk of Iron County.

 

JOHN B. BROWN'S STATEMENT.

 

On the morning of the 16th, of December, inst. I rode with Edward M. Dalton, assisting him to drive a herd of cattle, a distance of three locks before reaching Page's house. Dalton had no coat or vest on, and appeared to be unarmed and without suspicion of danger. When the herd turned the corner I was riding near page's fence, and when opposite the south west corner of his house saw Wm. O. Orton running from the corner of the building to the fence, about 22 feet distant with a pistol in his hand. I heard him call "Halt! Halt!" in quick cessation, and immediately afterwards heard the report of a gun. On looking westward in the direction of Dalton a moment afterwards saw him about 5 rods distance in the act of falling from his horse. After seeing Dalton fall, I looked towards the house and saw Thompson lean his gun against the fence, let down the bars and walk coolly into the street, remarking as he did so, as if soliloquizing "I through I would get you after awhile!" He approached Dalton, who at that time was resting upon his knees and elbows, as if in the act of trying to get up, his body quivering as if in great agony. Thompson tapped Dalton on the shoulder when he reached him and said something which I failed to hear. I never heard Dalton make any threats of resisting arrest, but have heard him upon several occasions say he would keep out of the way of the officers if possible, but if ever arrested by them he would quietly submit.

 

COLLIN W. CLARK'S STATEMENT.

 

On the morning of the tragedy I assisted E. M. Dalton to drive a herd of cattle from E. L. Clark's house. He rode bare-back, was in his shirt sleeves and unarmed. After we turned Page's corner to go southward I called Dalton's attention to a calf in the herd which likely to give out before it reached the range, and he was in the act of looking at it and riding in a south-westerly direction, and about the middle of the street, when I heard the sound of a voice from the direction of Page's house, but without distinguishing what was said. I turned instantly to look that way and saw Thompson in the act of firing. He stood about half way between the southwest corner of the house and the fence and appeared to be taking deliberate aim. When the shot struck Dalton he reeled and almost fell from the horse, but caught the mane and held on until within a rod of the west fence when he fell. There was no boy on the horse with Dalton during the morning. I was familiar with Dalton, but never heard him make any threat in regards to resisting arrest and have no reason to suppose that he would have done so. On the contrary, I have reason to believe that he would have quietly submitted to the officers if they had served a warrant upon him.

 

MRS. BARBARA A. LYMAN'S STATEMENT.

 

About two minutes before I saw Dalton turn Page's corner, and while the herd was passing along the street southward, I noticed Thompson and Orton standing at the south end of Page's house, Thompson being nearest the street and having a gun in Position as if waiting for Dalton to come within range of the weapon. When Dalton turned the corner, I called to him and motioned with my hand for him to turn back, but he evidently did not see me, nor did I see him look towards the house. I heard a cry of "halt!" once, and immediately afterwards, before a person on a horse would have time to turn his animal, the shot was fired. Dalton at the time was riding n a southwesterly direction on the walk, his eyes fixed upon the animals he was driving. After being shot I noticed him reel sidewise as if about to fall, then seize the horse's mane and hold on while his horse went a couple of rods, when he fell on his side and afterwards turned over on his elbows and knees. I rushed to him immediately, and asked where he was hurt and he replied that he was killed. Thompson then came up and tapping Dalton upon the shoulder, remarked, "I told you to halt; why didn't you stop?" Dalton made no reply. Thompson, Orton and Brown then carried him into the house. I was well acquainted with Dalton, knew him to be a peaceable man and never knew of him making any threats.

 

NEHAMIAH HOLYOAK'S STATEMENT.

 

I was about seventeen rods south of Page's house on the morning of the 16th inst, when my attention was attracted to a head of cattle turning the corner and coming southward. When the drivers of the herd riding westward had reached a point about due north of the northeast corner of Page's house, I saw Thompson and Orton emerge from the back door of the build, which opens toward the south, and walk to the southwest corner of the house. I noticed distinctly that Thompson had a gun in his hands, heard the click of the hammer as he cocked it just after coming out of the door and saw him ring the weapon partially into position as he advanced in a wary manner as if looking for game. I walked out into the street, and in doing so lost sight of the deputies, they being hidden from my view my intervening trees. Dalton was riding southward when I heard two calls of "Halt!" and a shot without any perceptible time between them, and saw Dalton reel and fall from his horse. I did not see Dalton look towards the deputies although I was looking at him when the shot was fired. I have been acquainted with him to be a peaceably man and never heard him make any threat of resisting an officer; nor had I any reason to suppose that

he would do so.

 

SAMEUL T. ORTON'S STTEMENT.

 

I live across the street north of Page's and at the time of the herd passing noticed Dalton, keeping my eyes upon him, realizing the danger he was in, as strongly suspecting the deputy marshals were at Page's house. At he time of the shooting Dalton was riding on the walk a little west of south, when there was a single call of "Halt!" and Dalton turned his head to the left, so that he could see Thompson, and raised his left hand, as f to ward off the shot, The gun was fired immediately and the horde reared slightly and whirled to the right. Dalton clutching the mane until his feet reached the ground, and then his shoulders dropped. I spring over the fence and ran to Dalton, being the second person to reach him. Thompson came up immediately after, and remarked, in answer to something I said about the shot being fatal, that the gun went off sooner than he intended. Did not see the deputy marshals previous to the shot being fired, and heard but one call of "halt!" without recognizing the voice. After Dalton was carried into Page's house and revived, he recognized Thompson, who had hold of his hand, and ordered him to take his hands off him, as did not want to be touched by him. I was well acquainted with Dalton and knew his to be a peaceable man.

 

 

GEORGE S. HALTERMAN'S STATEMENT.

 

I rode down the street behind the herd which Dalton and others were driving on the morning of the 16th inst. When I was about to turn Page's corner I saw Thompson and Orton behind the house and the fence and heard the name of "Ed" or "Edward" and two or three calls of "halt!" apparently from the two persons, and then the report of a gun, all in very rapid succession, there not being more then five of six seconds between the first call and the shot. By the time Dalton had gone about 12 paces south of the northwest corner of Page's lot and about midway of the street west of Page's lot. The horse wheeled from the southwest when the shot was fired and went north about six steps, when Dalton fell of on the west side of the street, within ten or twelve feet from the fence on the west side of the street, the horse still going north.

 

DANIEL PAGE'S STATEMENT

 

Thompson and Wm. O. Orton came to my house about 5 o:clock on the morning of the 16th, inst. and gave me to understand that their purpose was to arrest Edward M. Dalton. About 8 a. m. at Thompson's request, I went across the street to the house of John J. Winlock and borrowed a gun, telling that Bill Orton sent me. When Dalton and those who were with him were passing my house, on the north side, I saw Dalton, and at that moment Thompson and Orton stepped out at the back door, on the south side of the house. I went to the north window, on the west side of the house, where I could obtain a good view of Dalton as he turned the corner. He had arrived at a point west of the house and about the middle of the street, and was riding slowly, with his horse headed in a southwesterly direction, when I heard a call which sounded like "Halt! Halt, Mr. Dalton! Halt , Mr. Dalton1" spoken as fast as a man could speak it distinctly, and about three seconds afterwards the report of a gun, and saw Dalton reel and fall from his horse. I could not distinguish more than one voice in the calling, and did not now which spoke. I did not see the officers from the time they left the kitchen until they went into the street after Dalton was shot. On hearing the call and immediately before the gun was fired I saw Dalton look towards the south end of the house. He did not appear before that to have suspected and danger. I had seen Dalton three times previously within a few days and he did nit seem to be hiding. Never heard Dalton threaten to resist an arrest, and have no reason to suppose that he would have resisted an officer in the lawful discharge of his duty. I new Dalton to be a peaceable man.

 

STATEMENT OF WM. W. PAGE

 

I am between sixteen and seventeen years of age. On the morning of the 16th, of December, 1886, I was about to start u town, when my father, Daniel Page, asked me to notice if I saw Edward Dalton. On my return I reported that I had seen him near Edgar Clark's corral. During the forenoon I happened to be standing at the gate on the north side of my father's house when I

saw Dalton and others about forty or fifty rods distant, driving a herd of cattle down the street toward me. I entered the house immediately and informed the officers, Thompson and Orton that Dalton was coming. They waited until Dalton was about opposite the east end of the house, travelling westward, when they went out the back door and I walked to a window on the west side of the house where I could see Dalton after he turned the corner to go southward. I heard a cal which sounded like "Halt. Halt Me. Dalton," and within two or three seconds afterward a shot, but without seeing who fired it. Just before the shot was fired I noticed Dalton look towards the house. I never heard Dalton make any threats that he would resist an officer who might attempt to arrest him.

 

Four of the persons whose statements are here given, namely, Samuel T. Orton, Nehemiah Holyoak, John H. Brown and Barbara H. Lyman, testified substantially the same before the coroner at the time of the inquest held over the remains of the murdered man. Upon the same occasion (Dec. 16, 1886) the following testimony was obtained under oath from another eye-witness:

 

BRIGHAM BROWN'S STATEMENT.

 

I was in the street below Page's this morning between 11 and 12; was going south; was north of Page's house; was helping drive a herd of stock; saw two men come from behind Page's house; they were Mr. Thompson and William Orton; heard them shout "Halt!" and the report of a gun. "Halt! and the report of a gun was almost together. Was looking at the two men. Mr. Thompson had a gun pointed towards Mr. Dalton and Mr. Orton had a pistol. Mr. Thompson was close the porch. I was

 

Mr. Thompson was close to the porch. I was on horseback riding south. Mr. Dalton was at my left hand. Looked at Mr. Dalton; his horse started west, went five or six steps when he fell off. His horse did not turn before I heard the report of a gun. Did not her the word "Halt" but once; did not hear any name mentioned at that time. I was about two rods south and west of Mr. Dalton when he fell. We were going slowly. I started toward the fence to hitch my horse. Saw Mr. Thompson put down his gun, get over the fence and go to where Mr. Dalton was . Dalton was on his hands and knees with his face in his hands. He was packed into Mr. Page's house. Am not sure which fired. Saw Mr. Orton point a pistol at Mr. Dalton. Did not see any smoke from either of the weapons. I think the report came from the gun.

 

The following diagram of the locality will enable the reader the better to understand the relative positions of the various witnesses to the tragic scene. (Not shown)

 

Brigham Brown evidently made a mistake when he said Mr. Dalton was at his left hand, as the other witnesses assert that he was at the left of Dalton, and this would account for his being two rods south and west of Dalton when he fell. Had he been on the right of Dalton his progress southward would have been intercepted by Dalton's horse whirling to the right after the shot was fired.

 

The testimonies of the witnesses agree as to the main facts in this case that Dalton was riding down the street, bare-back on his horse, without coat or vest on, so that it could be seen plainly that he was not armed, that he apparently had no suspicion of danger and that he was hailed and shot without time being allowed him to either surrender, resist or make an effort to escape. The disparity in the statements as to the number of calls made is not so very material in view of the extreme brevity of the time elapsing between the first call and the shot, even according to Daniel Page's statement, which is more favorable to the murderer than that of any other witness. The extreme limit of time, according to his statement would not exceed six seconds, and according to most of the witnesses it did not amount to more than half that time.

 

Persons are apt to differ in their ideas as to the duration of a second when considering it in the abstract, while by illustration of comparison they might be found to agree. Knowing this, the coroner's jury required two of the witnesses - Holyoak and John H. Brown, to illustrate by clapping their hands the calls and shot as they heard them and the length of time intervening between. In one case the time from first to last amounted to three seconds and in the other to two and a half seconds.

 

At least four of the witnesses whose testimony is here given - George S. Halterman, J. H. Brown, Daniel and Wm. W. Page are Non-"Mormons" and possibly one other is of that class also, so that they could not consistently be accused of being in sympathy with the deceased because of their religious belief being similar to his; in fact, if they have any leaning or as in either way one would naturally expect it to be against rather than in favor of Dalton.

 

All of the testimony here presented was availably to the grand jury who investigated the charge against the murderer, whether they drew it out or not, and after reading it and weighting the evidence carefully the public will be in a position to form a fair estimate as to the justice of the grand jury's action in finding an indictment only for manslaughter.

 

When it is known that Thompson and Orton traveled from Beaver to Parowan during the night, having doubtless been notified by some of the spotters in Parowan that Dalton was there; that they secreted themselves in Page's house before daylight and remained there until their victim unsuspectingly rode into their ambush; that they sent Daniel Page during the morning to borrow a Browning rifle of 32 caliber, carrying a conical ball, with which to do their deadly work more effectively than they could with their pistols; that young Page was required to spy out Dalton in the town and that he reported on his return having seen him on the street, where he was making arrangements to drive a herd of stock out to the range; that the same youth watched the doomed man drive the herd of cattle down the street and when he was 40 0r 50 rods away reported to the assassins that he was coming; that Thompson and Orton watched through the north window of the house the approach of Dalton and could plainly see that he was unarmed; that they waited until he had just got far enough along the street for them to slip out at the back door unperceived by him of his companions; that they then stole not and hid behind the house until Dalton had turned southward, when, darting suddenly from their convert, one armed with a gun and the other with a pistol, a yelling "Halt!"

 

Thompson Shot his Victim in the back before he had time to obey the command; that the murderer manifested the utmost san-froid and deliberation as he calmly set his gun down, lowered the bars and walked into the street; that he remarked in a chuckling manner, "I thought I would get you after awhile!" and again after reaching the body of his victim quivering in the death throes on the ground, exclaimed, "He belongs to me now!" and afterwards walked about with a swaggering air as if he thought himself quite a hero on account of what he had done - when these things are known, the public can scarcely have but one opinion-that it was a heartless, cold-blooded murder, deliberately planned and fiendishly executed.

 

And when it is also known that on the news of the tragedy reaching beaver, a writ of habeas corpus was immediately issued and that four drunken individuals started out with it to rescue the murderer; that most of the grand jurors followed on a pell-mell race towards Parowan to meet and greet their idol who had immortalized himself by killing a "Mormon" and whom, when they afterwards failed to unite for manslaughter in the face of the overwhelming evidence of his guilt here presented; that the red-handed assassin was immediately turned loose on $10,000 bail and that his trial s set for the 6th of next month, with a special open venire jury-when these things are known, the public will probably conclude that William Thompson, the reckless deputy marshal who held human life so cheaply as to slaughter a fellow being without the slightest provocation or justification, is not the only person who is reprehensible in this connection. It has been asserted by way of paliation of sauguinary deed that Dalton was in the act of excaping when shot, ut this theory s effectually disproved by testiniony of the wittnesses.

 

Samuel T. Orton (Brother of Thompson's accomplice) who witnessed the tragic scene from a point 16 rods northward, testified at the coroner's inquest that Dalton made no effort to turn his horse before the shot was fired, and further said, "between the word "Halt!" and the firing of the gun I think it would have been impossible for a man to have exhihited one effort to run away or turn and surrender."

 

Holyoak, who stood about the same distance to the south, and therfore had a better chance of noticing any movement to excape, if one were made, than a person would looking from the side, and especially through a window, testified also that DAlton did not turn his horse after the cry of "Halt" was heard and that he neither had time to turn nor surrender.

 

Mrs. Barbara A. Lyman, towards whom Dalton was rding at time of being shot and who was watching him intently, said she did not see him make any turn to the right of left and she certainly would have done so had made any effort to excape.

 

Such also was the testimony of Collins W. Clark, who was at the right and in the rear of the murdered man when the fatal shot was fired. Indeed, no witnesses, so far as can be learned, have testified positively that Dalton did make a movement to escape, and only two have admitted that he possibly might have turned his horse's head to the right with a view to escaping the instant before he was shot.

 

Wm. O. Orton, the companion of Thompson, admitted to a reliable party on the evening of the tragedy that Dalton made not the slightest effort to escape, but was shot just as he (himself) was shouting "Halt!" for the third time, and after Thompson had only called "Halt!" only twice.

 

It is also been claimed by those who are anxious to find execuses for the murderous deed that Dalton had threatened the officers and that he was a dangerous man, but whle there is no proof whatever in suopport of such an assertion, there is ample proof to the contrary. A braver man than E. M. Dalton is perhaps not living today, but he was as peaceable as brave, and the cowardly miscreanis who acted under the authority of the U. S. Marshal in the region had asurances enough that he would not resst them before the tragic meeting. The folloeing statent made under oath, is proof in point, and will also tend to establish the fact that at least one of those now seeking justifiction on the plea of Dalton having indulged in threats was thus guilty himself, and made a remark months ago which foreshadowed the dastardly crime that deprived Edward M. Dalton of his life.

 

PETER WIMMER'S STATEMENT

In My last, while on my way from Beaver to Parowan in company with Wm. O. Orton and Wm. H. Curtis, a conversation started upon the escape of Dalton from Heber Beuson, during which I asked Orton why he did not re-arrest Dalton if he wanted him, stating that it was my opinion that he would never resist an officer who had a warrant to serve upon him; in fact that I had talked

 

with him upon the subject and been assured by him that he might escape if he got a chance, or elude the officers, if they ever got "the drop on him" ne would quietly submit. Orton remarked that he would have Dalton when he wanted him, and if he could not get close enough to take him with papers he could with a Henry rifle. I understood the remark to mean that he would shoot Dalton if he ever attempted to, not taking the matter lightly, evidently not believing that Orton would have the courage to shoot.

 

I had evidence of Orton's treachery in his arrest of me on a charge of unlawful cohabitation, after having helped to secrete me when there was a prospect of arrest and his repeated assurances that he would do all he could to screen me from Prosecution. He also sent several messages by me to Dalton to the effect that he would protect him from arrest and assist in hiding him up, but Dalton would never trust him.

 

L. D. Watson, Dalton's brother-in-law, states that when he was being taken to Beaver in March last, after having been arrested on a charge of cohabiting with his wives, and while in the custody of Deputies Gleason, Thompson and Sergeant and in the present of several witnesses, he informed the officers that Dalton never would resist arrest, as he had talked with him upon the subject and been so assured by him. He further told them that Dalton never carried and weapons-not even a pocket knife. To this he says Gleason replied: "It would not matter if he did; I think I could wing the boy before he got very far."

By the way, the same charge of having threatened to resist the officers was brought L. D. Watson

also, also on the occasion of his arrest last spring, as a justification for the extra-ordinary conduct of deputy Gleason, but it was emphatically denied and there was no proof to support it. Gleason at that time is said to have found his prisoner prostrated and helpless from sickness, but that in fact did not deter the deputy from drawing his revolver and pointing it at and within a few inches of the sick man's face, t the same time ordering him to get out of bed. When Mrs. Watson entered the room and protested against such treatment the pistol was turned towards her and she was informed that she was getting her pay for her insolence to the deputy-another false charge, for the lady afterwards asked Mr. Gleason to look her squarely in the face and say if he had ever

seen her before, he acknowledged that he had not.

 

The fact that Edward M. Dalton, though a powerful, muscular man, standing six feet high in his stockings, weighing 203 pounds, and really knowing no such feeling as fear, was not a dangerous man or one likely to take the law into his own hands, might easily be proven by the testimony of those who were acquainted with him. He was rather noted throughout his life for his peaceable and peace loving disposition, and the wonderful faculty he possessed of quelling trouble among others, without engaging therein himself. He was never arraigned before a court in his life upon any charge. The fact of his having once been arrested and escaped is pointed to n justification of the cowardly manner in which his life was taken, but it only shows to what a traits the murderer's apologists are reduced in there efforts to palliate his crime. Dalton was arrested last spring y the treacherous spotter, Wm. O. Orton, who found him in the act of hauling gravel. Orton was so overcome with trepidation that he could scarcely read the warrant, and Dalton asked to be allowed to finish reading it himself. After doing so he took occasion to tell Orton calmly but emphatically what he though of him, reminding him that not more than two weeks previously he had offered to hide him up or do anything else he could to screen him from the prosecution to which he was liable because of having two wives. Orton appeared to be chagrined at the scalding rebuke to which he was subjected, and calling upon Heber Benson, the city marshal, who stood near by, to take charge of the prisoner and promising to be back in a minute and a half, as he only wanted to go to the telegraph office, he left them and was away for more than an hour and a half. In the meantime quite a crowd of acquaintances gathered about them in the street and commented freely upon the new sensation of a deputy sheriff serving as a deputy marshal. Dalton, in the hearing of others, told the custodian that he did not want to get him into any trouble, and therefore wisher Orton would return, as he intended to escape, but if he did not come back soon he should be under the necessity of leaving anyhow. Benson, was determined not to let his get way, as he felt his honor and reputation as an officer were at stake, but after waiting fully and hour and a halt, and while standing beside Benson with his hand resting upon his shoulder, Dalton quietly and adroitly slipped his boots off without his custodian noticing it, and clapping Benson upon the shoulder with a parting "Good night Heber!" sped off like a deer. Benson, who is very fleet footed, followed in an instance, but had not run more than one block before he lost sight of the fugitive in the darkness. Dalton, as afterwards acknowledged to a friend, made his way across a block or two, and then when emerging onto the street discovered a

horseman riding past. He ran straight towards him and as he approached, the rider, who evidently recognized him, slipped off the horse on one side while Dalton sprang upon it from the other and that, without discovering who had befriended him. He immediately began to congratulate himself on securing so good an animal to escape upon, for he found the horse to evince excellent speed and mettle. There seemed to be something familiar too, about the gait and actions of the animal, and this led him to notice it more closely, when, to his surprise and pleasure, he discovered that he was upon his own favorite "Red Bird" which had been borrowed shortly before by the friend who met him so opportunely. Dalton made his way out of town to the west, and then circling around to the north for a short distance, halted, and kneeling upon the ground, offered a prayer to God and thanked him for his escape. Within an hour after escaping he was in the house of one of his friends, singing "The prisoner's release," and playing an accompaniment on the organ.

 

This one incident illustrates the character of the man - a master spirit among his fellows, possessing as fine a physique as one could find in a month's travel, and vigorous intellect; he was not less remarkable for his kindness of heart, for his strong friendship, his keen dense of honor and his faith in God. He was a genuine favorite among his acquaintances, and while there is general morning among them at his untimely and cruel death, it is universally acknowledged that he was well prepared to die. He remained at home but a short time after his escape, and then, in order to secure greater freedom, and be able to work for the support of his family, went to Arizona, where he remained for six months and had only returned a few days when he was killed. While on his was home, and when traveling between St. George and Washington, he was met by a couple of acquaintances who warned him against returning, but he impulsively replied, "I must go home and see my mother if it costs me my life!"

 

The murdered man was born and reared in Parowan, and at the time of his death was thirty-four years of age. Previous to being disqualified by the Edmunds law he held at various times the offices of county clerk, sheriff and constable, and filled all of them with marked agility. He also labored as a missionary in the Southern States, chiefly in North Carolina, for a period of fourteens months, returning in the latter part of 1882, being released sooner than otherwise would have been, and much to his own regret, because of his being affected with chills and fever.

 

In going back to the story it will be noticed that one of the witnesses testifies that Thompson offered as a pretext for shooting that his gun went off sooner than he intended, such a claim can have but little weight with those who are aware of his former recklessness, as well as the fact that he is thoroughly experienced in the use of fire-arms and one of the best marksman in the southern country. When he went to arrest Peter M. Jensen, of Parowan, on the evening of the 11th, October last he found him darting out his back door and running through the garden. Without knowing that he was the man he wanted or taking time to ascertain, he fired his revolver at him, the bullet whistling most uncomfortably close to Jensen's head. In fact, it would probably have struck him if he had not been partially obscured by the shadow of the trees. Jensen stumbled and fell and before he regained his feet Thompson was close upon him, in fact, almost touching him with his pistol, which the fleeing man heard him cocking as if about to shoot again, when he concluded to stop and give himself up.

 

The shot which caused the death of Dalton entered the back of his left side and probably passed through one of his kidneys. He lived only about forty minutes afterwards, and, though

uncounious part of this time, was unable to say anything to comfort his aged and grief-stricken mother and heart-broken wives and children, who surrounded him as his life ebbed away. He leaves two wives and eight children, who, y the assassin's bullet, are at once deprived of a most loving and devoted husband and father and their only means of support. They are, however, surrounded by many sympathizing friends, who will, we feel sure, see that their wants are supplied as far as possible, and the God to whom they trust will not fail to administer to them the healing balm of the Holy Spirit.

 

The following extract from a letter written by the murdered man to his father shortly before he started from Arizona, and probably the last he ever penned, will serve to illustrate the nobility of his character, and certainly breathes anything but a vicious or retaliate disposition:

 

"I received your kind and welcomed letter of the 2nd, inst., and was very thankful to hear from and know that all were enjoying peace and prosperity. May the Lord continue his mercies upon you, and guard and protect you from all who are laboring against the cause of truth. I am in good health, for which I am very thankful. It is a hard trial for me to have to be absent from home and those that I love, and when I think of my family and how they are situated, that my boys are growing and need a father's care. It is a hard matter for me to content myself, and I feel sometimes that I will go home and stay as long as I can, and when I am forced away by Uncle Sam's minions of the law, all right, let them be answerable for it. I feel that it is only a matter of time before all Saints will have to meet the issue and have the privilege of saying yes or no. It is

natural for us to shrink from persecution and keep out of trouble as long as we can, but the time

will come when there will be no shrinking for the Latter-day Saint, and when the fearful and unbelieving and those that love and make a lie will have no room in Zion, then the Saints will be permitted to enjoy the fruits of their labors and the society of honest and true of all ages, and with those that we love, rest in the kingdom of God, where none can molest or make afraid."

Source: Deseret News 1887-01-12 Dalton's Death

 

 

THE THOMPSON "TRIAL"

No Conflict between the Prosecution and Defense.

ALL ACT IN CONCERT AND THE VERDICT IS "NOT GUILTY"

A Vile Proceeding and a Shameful Conclusion.

Special News Correspondence

Beaver, Jan. 7th, 1887.

The District Court of the Second Judicial District met at 10 a. m. on the 6th inst. to try the case of the People vs. William Thompson Jun., for the killing of Edward M. Dalton. Thirty petit jurors were subpoenaed from Marysvale, Silver Reef, Star and Frisco, and 3 from Beaver, all non-Mormons, who put in their appearance. The witness were called and all answered to their names.

MODEL JURY TIMBER

Joseph Hoag, a juror, a citizen of the Reef and an ex-deputy marshal of Nevada, who is considered a tough customer, states he had made up his mind from what he had read and heard of the case, and no evidence that might be added in the trial could change it. He was excused.

Mr. Martin, from Shaunite in Sar district, Beaver County (and, by the way, one of the grand jurors who found the indictment against Thompson, also one of the party who met him beyond Paragoonah) was subpoenaed as juror on the trial of the defendant. When his named was called he walked up to the box like a prince. The Court, taking in the situation, asked him if he was on the grand jury; he replied in the affirmative and was excused.

 

Mr. Cuss an ex-soldier, and resident of Beaver, who had recently served as a petit juror, passed for cause, but was challenged peremptorily.

 

Alexander Keyes, brother to Robert Keyes, who went to meet the prisoner, passed for cause, but was challenged peremptorily; also. J. M. Bolter passed for cause and was challenged as above. Thus disposing of the three jurors from Beaver.

One juror was excused on account of being sick. Two others were biased and were excused. Twelve out of the nineteen names called answered satisfactorily all the questions put by the prosecution and defense and were sworn in as jurors to try the case.

 

The "Trial"

Doctor King, of Parowan, was the first witness. He testified that about fifteen minutes after the shooting, he found Dalton lying on a lounge in Page's front room. Before he died he vomited blood and froth. The prosecution asked the cause of the vomiting, if it was not evidence of his bowels being shoot. The doctor thought not; stated it might have been caused by the fall from his horse. The wounded man was carried from Page's to his mother's residence, but expired between Page's house and the bars leading to the street. He lived forty-five minutes. In the evening he probed the wound. Mr. Varian stripped off his coat and vest, and had the doctor show the jury where the bullet entered the body, which was between the second and three ribs on the left side, ranging a little up and to the back. Held no autopsy, but was satisfied the ball lodged in the vertebra. In the cross-examination, nothing was elicited conflicting with the foregoing.

Collins Clark was the next witness. He testified that he started from E. L. Clark's corral with 75 head of cattle to take onto the range. Dalton put a cow and a calf into the herd, then rode to his mother's for a cow belonging to her. Dalton caught up with the herd on the street near Page's barn. After turning the corner going southwest, Dalton remarked that his calf was weak and not to earmark it till it got to camp lest it might give out. I showed him a calf that I though would give out; this was on or near the centre of the street headed in a southwesterly direction. I was a little north and west of Dalton and opposite the north line of Page's house; slightly turning my body round to where the shot came, saw Thompson and Orton inside of yard on the south line of Page's house; saw gun in hands of Thompson. taking aim at Dalton and immediately fired. Dalton fell on the horse's neck, holding on to the mane until the horse went five yards, when Dalton fell to the ground. Brigham and J. H. Brown were along driving the stock also.

In a rigid cross-examination he did not deviate from the above points. After the shooting rode up town and told four in individuals that deputy marshal had shot Dalton. Gave his affidavit before the County Clerk of Iron County; George C. Lambert of the Deseret News office, obtained it to published, and testified now as he did then.

Brigham Brown was driving cattle from Clark's corral; the parties driving were Ed. Dalton, Collin Clark, J. H. Brown and M. Hailterman. When in front of Page's house, Dalton was riding a little head and to the right of him; heard the shout of "halt, halt" then the report of a gun; saw Thompson and Orton in the yard of Page's; Thompson had the gun up to his shoulder. On cross-examination he stated that when Dalton fell, his horse was loping in a westerly direction. Dalton raised on his hands and knees. Did not give affidavit to George C. Lambert. Dalton had no coat or vest on; nobody on the horse with him.

John H. Brown started that he met Dalton at his mother's corral; helped him drive his mother's cow to the herd, which we overtook east of Page's barn. I took the south side of the herd and did not notice Dalton until after he fell from his horse. After turning to the south towards Page's house, my attention was attracted by Barbara Lyman, who was waving her hands and shouting, "Oh, Ed." I turned and looked to the east to Mr. Page's horse and saw Wm. Orton running with a pistol in his hands from Page's porch to the fence, shouting, "Dalton, stop!" Dalton stopped, when heard the report of a gun. I looked to see if any one was hurt and saw Dalton fall from his horse, wondering who had fired the shot, as I kept my eye on Orton. Then saw Thompson setting his gun against the fence. he came through the bars to Dalton, putting his hand upon his shoulder and speaking to him, but did not know what he said. Thompson called for help to carry the wounded man into the house. Myself, Thompson and Orton carried him through the bars into Page's back door. Dalton's horse was loping in a westerly direction when Dalton fell; was on his knees and elbows.

Court at this point adjourned till Friday at 10 a. m. when the so called "Trial" was resumed.

J. H. Brown, who testified yesterday, was recalled and cross-examined.

Was introduced to Geo. C. Lambert by Edger Clark or L. D. Watson. Went to Page's where the homicide occurred, to show the positions of the parties. made affidavit of the facts; was sworn to before William Davenport, count clerk. Lambert wrote as I stated; never asked if Dalton ran. Dalton would have submitted to arrest. He was not evading the officers. I know the horse he was riding when he was shot.; it was an average saddle horse.

Collins Clark recalled and cross-examined: Knew Dalton had been arrested of cohabitation, Saw him when under arrest. Did not take any interest in Dalton's escape from the officer. Did not render Dalton any assistance to have him get away. Did not know that Dalton meant to get away. Did not assist him to a horse. my sister is Dalton's wife. I refuse to answer whether she is the first or second wife.

Here the attorneys argued the point of witness' answering the question. the court rules that he need not answer; it was not material.

I was excited on the day of the homicide; did not threaten Thompson's life.

The prosecution objected to such questions; they might tend to criminate the witness. The objection was sustained. Being excited, my brother caught hold of me telling me to be quiet. Other questions were plied by the defense of similar nature, which were overruled by the court as not proper.

Barbara Lyman testified. She was first shown a diagram of the streets and houses in the locality, also the distance from her house to Wilcox' Knew Dalton; was acquainted with his family; knew Thompson by sight. Was in Parowan on the 16th of December. Saw Dalton about 11 o'clock near Page's corner turning south; he was on horseback, driving stock Collins Clark was with him and others. Saw them make the turn at the corner of the street, coming south toward Page's-saw this from my door; saw two men standing at the south end of Page's house; recognized them to be Thompson and Orton; saw Thompson with a gun in position as if ready to shoot; parties on the street could not see defendant for the corner of Page's house; I called out to Dalton and waved my hands for him to go back, but he did not observe me; the horse was on a walk moving southwest; when Dalton came opposite Page's house, I heard the word "halt," Dalton did not appear to observe it; Clark was not far from Dalton, on his right on the west side of the street, a little behind; Don't recollect seeing Brigham Brown. When the shot was fired the horse wheeled and made a short distance on a walk. Dalton fell on the left. The horse travelled on the walk. I ran to Dalton, found him on his hands and knees. I asked where he was hurt, he replied "I am killed"

Thompson came through the bars and tapped Dalton on the shoulders, saying "why did you not halt?" Dalton made no reply. Thompson, Orton and Brown carried Dalton into Page's house. There was no child with Dalton. Don't recollect seeing Brown at the bars. When I come to Dalton I rubbed his face with my hands. Did not look around when hailed by Thompson; did not seem to notice him. Cross-examination-Saw Thompson and Orton in Pages lot. Knew Orton was a deputy U. S. Marshal. Pointed on diagram where she first saw Dalton. Showed where Dalton was shot, which did not vary from her former testimony. Dalton was nearer the west when he fell off. Was anxious about Dalton; heard the Orton threatened to kill Dalton. "I heard it five or six weeks ago in Parowan. My husband told me; did not know where my husband heard it. Knew there was an indictment for Dalton. Saw him four days before he was killed. Did not know that Dalton had been gone. Knew he was arrested once. Knew he was indicted and that Orton was at Page's to kill Dalton. Did not watch Page's house. Heard "halt" once. Did not wish to see him killed. Would not help Dalton to escape arrest. I watched merely to save his life; I feared he was to be killed. Thompson and Orton were the first to come to Dalton. Thompson placed his hand on his shoulder, saying, "I called you to halt; why did you not?" I have talked to my husband about this affair, and talked to George C. Lambert about it. I made affidavit before Davenport; Mr. Lambert was present. This was before New Years. He asked me for affidavit and I gave it to him. Lambert wrote the affidavit and I signed it. Have not seen my affidavit in the Deseret News.

Charles Lyman sworn. Had three shirts of deceased that were on Dalton when killed. (Here a hole made by the bullet was shown to the jury) Received the garments from Dalton's wife; recognized the same shirt on Dalton the day before the homicide. Was at Minersville on the day of the killing. Heard from several parties that if Orton could not arrest him would reach him with his gun.

Cross-examination-Was not interested in posting Dalton of the whereabouts of the deputies.

G. S. Halterman sworn. Know Dalton; have seen Thompson a few times; knew Orton, Daniel Page and Wm. Page; met the cattle herd on the street and helped the parties drive them; when we came to Page's corner the drives were more or less together; Dalton was ahead of me; I was hugging the fence, not in the middle of the road, making around the corner going south to Page's when I heard the call-"Ed., halt! halt!" It sounded as if two voices called; could just distinguish the "halt" in succession when I heard the report of a gun about four or five seconds from the first call of halt; Dalton was near the middle of the street, a little to the west when he fell; the horse was on a fast walk; we all cheeked up when the shot was fired; the horse went north three of four steps and west toward Wilcox' fence; when the gun was fired the horse jumped, landing Dalton's feet north and head south; he then turned on his hands and knees; Thompson was first to reach Dalton after he fell; he spoke to him, but I do not know what he said.

Cross-examined - Did not help to carry Dalton in; several gathered about; Orton asked me to go to the telegraph office with him.

Samuel T. Orton sworn. Knew Dalton; he was about 0 years of age; know Thompson by sight and reputation. Orton is my brother. Saw Dalton on the street traveling towards the west in company with Brigham and J. H Brown and Clark. Halterman was a little behind, was inside my fence looking at the cattle pass; turned towards the south toward Page's; was watching Dalton, aware that was in danger; heard the word "halt" and the report of a rifle; Dalton fell from his horse; the report of the rifle came from Page's; Dalton seemed to turn his face toward where the voice came from; he was in the act of raising his hand when he fell; the horse turned slightly to the west; he was sitting straight on his horse when shot; the horse was walking, was excited and wheeled about, and Dalton fell three or four feet from where shot.

Cross-examined. Witness was shown the diagram; he showed his residence and where he stood when the affair occurred. Did not know Dalton was coming till I saw him; thought he was in danger as he was a fugitive; suspected the officers were at Page's; Don’t think I would help Dalton to get away from arrest, but was not in favor of his being shot; heard "Halt" only once when he fell; I went to where the body lay; could not say who was the first at the body; saw Mrs. Lyman there; I was raising him up when Thompson came; I said to him "here is a dead man" and went for Dr. King; Thompson called for help to move him into the house; told my statements to the coroner, also gave my affidavit to Geo. C. Lambert, which was sworn to before Davenport.

 

Hehemiah Holyoke sworn. Was on the south of Page's house, about 17 rods distant; saw a herd of cattle heading south; Dalton came in sight on South Street; saw deputies come out of Page's house, Thompson, with a gun in position; heard the word "Halt" twice, said instantly; Dalton's horse was moving on a walk, headed south, with his left side to the deputies; did not think they would shoot; was looking to see the arrest; after Dalton fell to the ground, Mrs. Lyman came to the body; Dalton was on his hands and knees; Thompson touched him on the shoulders; Samuel G. Orton ask if he was going to be left to die like a dog; Dalton was lying a little north of Wilcox's house and four rods from Page's bars; saw other parties on horseback.

 

Cross-examined. Dalton was in his shirt sleeves, no coat, no vest, no suspenders. Saw Dalton the day before the homicide at a tannery on the southwest corner of Page's lot; I went on the 16th December with Hugh L. Adams, where I made affidavit before County Clerk for George C. Lambert; have not seen the published statement. The horse did not move over three feet after the gun report. Know Thompson by sight; when I saw him with a gun and saw Dalton, was aware something was up; saw Thompson and Orton come out of the south end of Page's door; saw Dalton when the shot was fired.

 

Peter Wimmer sworn. Was at Parowan on the 16th of December; saw Dalton alive on that day; was not present at the killing; saw the body after death; saw a wound on the body on the left side, between the second and three ribs in the centre of the side, ranging a little back and upward; probed the wound and took his undershirt off. Dalton was a muscular man.

Cross-examination. Helped take shirt off body; did not incite parties to avenge the death of Dalton.

 

William C. Mitchell Sworn. Did not see Dalton alive on the day of the homicide; was present when the body was washed; found a wound on the left side; when the body was lying on the side could not see the wound; when turned to the righe couls see it.

 

Cross-examined. Have no desire to locate the wound otherwise than where it was.

 

Edward Ward sworn. Did not see Dalton alive on the day of the 16th; saw Dalton dead at his mother's house, laid out; found a wound on the left side. back of the centre, five inches from the back one; saw the doctor probe the wound, which ranged toward the back bone, a little upwards.

 

Cross-examined. Dalton was 34 years old last August; was a powerful man.

 

Dr. Kind was recalled, and the prosecution asked if a ball struck the spine and it caused paralysis, could he in this position be able to walk of could he raise on his hands and knees? Answer- He may by spasmodic action; however, it would not last long. Am not mistaken in the track of the ball, which lodge in the most vital part of the body. Here the "Prosecution" rested.

 

 

THE DEFENCE

 

Wm. Thompson, the slayer of Dalton was first called to the stand in his own defense. A synopsis of his testimony has already appeared. It was brief, and went mainly to the point of preparing a foundation for what was to follow in the dreary drama that was being enacted, the outcome of which all had began to understand by this time as well as through they had seen the same farce played before. "Farce" is not exactly an adequate term, but it has a ghastly fitness here, following as it does so closely upon the enactment of a bloody tragedy. Thompson retired from the witness' rostrum with that imperturbable countenance which he has worn from the first, and then others took his place and were sworn.

 

 

Willie Page, a son of Daniel Page, the chief witness for Thompson (whose evidence appears further on) testified similarly to his father.

 

Presley Denny, David Pollock and E. W. Thompson swore that Thompson was a good man.

 

Ex-Deputy Gleason testified that he had been many times warned as to the risk he would incur in attempting to arrest the deceased for whom he once had a warrant. He showed a letter purporting to have been written by the deceased to the witness, warning him to come "Heeled" when he came to make the arrest.

 

Deputy Marshal Armstrong testified to having had a letter from the deceased which was altogether of the opposite tenor to the one purporting to have been received by Gleason.

 

Daniel Page, the chief witness for Thompson then took the stand. He said in substance, that on the 16th of last December the defendant came to his house in company with William Orton between 4 and 5 o'clock in the morning. Defendant stated the object of his visit town, which was

to try and arrest Dalton. he asked my advice and if I had seen him in town. I sais "Yes" and that I thought Dalton was at his mother's house. I required of several persons, but got nothing definite. My boy Willie came in and said Dalton was coming down the street on horseback driving stock. I said to the officers that was about as good a time as any. They went out and looked through the window. I heard the officers cry "Halt" three times; then a shot; could not see the officers, but saw Dalton look in their direction; Dalton did not stop, but continued reining his horse away from where the officers stood, and quickened his speed. He was sitting upright until the summons was made, when he leaned forward and to the right. When he was shot, he fell off. Thompson assisted to carry the deceased into the house. Witness, at the request of Orton, borrowed a rifle for the defendant to made the arrest. he then identified the gun as the same. He understood that when Dalton was in town he always had a horse with him ready to get away. The shot was fired three seconds after the third command to halt. When Dalton lay wounded in the house he regained consciousness and said to the defendant. "You d-s-of a b-, I don't want you to touch me." I did not tell Thompson that Dalton carried arms and was dangerous to arrest.

 

C. S. Varian, supposed to represent the prosecution, took the floor and made a argument for the defense. He said Dalton's offense was a felony (the law of the United States to the contrary notwithstanding), and that being the case Thompson was justified. This left P. L. Williams, attorney for Thompson but little to do and he did it. Judge Boreman then, and quite unnecessarily, contributed his quota to the defense fund in the way of a charge, the jury as matter of form went to their room and returned in a few minutes with a verdict of not guilty.

 

Thompson was discharged and went forth from the court room doubtless a proud and happy man.

Source: Deseret News 1887-01-19 The Thompson "Trial"

 

Next is a report on this trial from the Salt Lake Herald.

 

THE INNOCENT MAN

 

Conclusion of the Testimony in the Alleged Trial.

 

A PREMEDITATED KILLING

 

And Yet Mr. Varian and a Jury Say the Fellow Thompson is Not Guilty.

 

Correspondence of The Herald.

 

This morning, John H. Brown was recalled; witness acknowledged to making affidavit for Mr. Lambert, reported for the Deseret News: dictated statement contained therein. Did not tell Lambert that Dalton would not run away if his arrest was attempted. The horse rode by Dalton at the time he was shot was a good average riding animal, and did not have a saddle on at the time.

 

Collins Clark recalled: Saw Thompson at the time the latter was under arrest, subsequent to the shooting. Witness did not assist Dalton at the time of his escape a year ago; did not then furnish him a horse on which to get away. Witness is Dalton's brother-in-law, but declined to say whether or not his (Witness) sister was Dalton's plural wife. Court rules that questions in relation to alleged polygamous connections was irrelevant to the case now on trial. Declines positively to state whether he (Clark) made hostile demonstrations towards the Defendant Thompson or not, at the time the latter stood by Ed. Dalton's prostrate form in Page's house.

 

Question by defense: did you not say to Mr. Thompson at the time referred to, "You d-d s-of a t-, I might as well die now as not," and then start towards Thompson with hostile intent? Witness declined to answer.

 

Question: Do you now entertain just such hostile feeling towards Mr. Thompson? Witness replied that he did not know that he had and was excused.

 

Barbara Lyman: Lived at Parowan; knew Edward M. Dalton, saw him on the 16th of last December in the street above witness; house in Parowan; he was on horseback in company with some other men driving a herd of stock. Saw two men standing at northwest corner of Page's house; recognized Wm. Orton as one of them. One of the two men alluded to had a gun at his shoulder, aiming towards the street. When Dalton got nearly opposite the man with the gun, I heard the word "halt" and a shot, all at about the same time. Witness hollered "Oh, Ed.!" and motioned him to go back; but to late. His horse was on a walk. Dalton did not turn and look at the man that fired, but the men whom Dalton was assisting to drive appeared to look towards the two men inside Pages fence. After the shot, or as soon as the shot was fried, Dalton's horse's head was turned partially around, in a northwesterly direction, when Dalton feel off. Witness then went up the where deceased lay on the ground; he was on his knees, with his head in his hands, bending over, and resting them on the ground. He said, "I am Killed." Did not see anything of a little child with Dalton at the time of the occurrence. I am positive that Dalton did not turn around or try to get away. Witness heard about six weeks previous that it was Orton's intention to kill Dalton. Witness husband had told her so; Don't know where he learned it. When witness saw Orton and the other man that morning at Page's fence, she naturally concluded that they were there to kill Dalton

 

Question by defense: Would you not have warned Mr. Dalton and assisted him to escape, had you known the officers were there simply to arrest him?

A. Don't think I would.

Q. Why then did you throw up your hands and motion Dalton back,?

A. Because I didn’t didn't want to see him shot. After Dalton had fallen, Thompson walked to where he lay, and placing his hand on Dalton's shoulder, said: "Why didn't you stop when I told you.? Have not spoken to anyone about this affair, only my husband and Mr. Lambert of the Deseret News; made an affidavit for him before County Clerk Davenport. Mr. Lambert wrote it and I swore to it. Don't know that my husband made it his business to warn persons accused of unlawful cohabitation of the coming of officers to arrest them.

 

Charles Lyman testfied that he knew Dalton; told my wifr and also Dalton that it was Orton's intention to kill Dalton; heard that Orton had remarked that if he could not get Dalton to listen to a warrant, he would fetch him with a Winchester rifle. Produced and identified a flannel undershirt with what was demed to e a ullet hole in one side of the back of the shirt worn by Dalton at the of the shooting. Never heard Mr. Dalton make any threats in regard to Thompson.

 

Geo. S. Halterman testified that he was one of the prty of men driving stock past Page's house on the day in question; heard calls as I came round the cornor of the block; heard the word Ed" or "Edward called, followed by the words "Halt!, Halt!" and followed again by a shot.

 

(Witness here illustrated the period of time by mimicking the calls and signifying the shot, the illustration showing that the calls and report of the gun were all heard inside four seconds.)

Dalton at the time of the shooting was six or eight steps behind what would be a direct line across the street to Thompson's position, and his horse was walking fast. Dalton was in the act of wheeling his horse around at the time of receiving the shot. Dalton fell; then saw Thompson walk up to the prostrate man and spoke to him.

 

S. T. Orton testified to hearing the call of "Halt!" and then the report of a gun, and seeing Dalton fall off his horse. Witness was the first man at Dalton's side as he lay on the ground. Thompson got there next and made some kind of a remark about his gun gong off sooner than he expected. Thompson called on some of the bystanders to assist in carrying Dalton to Page's house.

Hehemiah Holyoak - Live at Parowan; am a tanner and currier by trade; work in the tannery north of Page's house on the same block. On the 16yh of last December I was going to work at 11 a.m., when my attention was directed to a herd of stock which the two Brown boys, Collins Clark, Halterman and Dalton were seemingly driving stock along the street. At that moment I saw two men come out of the rear door of Page's house; one of the two men had a gun raised in his hand; and going towards the fence to the west. I heard the words "Halt! Halt!" and then a shot. (the words and shot were illustrated by wtness clapping his hands; the time occupied being about 3 seconds of time) I recognized Thompson as he came out the rear door with the gun in his hand. Witness was distant about seventeen rods from Dalton when he heard the shot.

Peter Wimmer and Wm. Mitchell testified to washing body of deceased. and to examining the wound, which was over the left kidney about three inches to left of spine.

Edward Ward testified to facts substantially as the two preceding witnesses.

Dr. King recalled, said that paralysis did not always result when spinal column was injured by gunshot wound.

Prosecution here introduced in evidence a 32 calibre "Marlin" rifle, with which counsel alleged, the shooting was done. Prosecution then rested their case.

James. Beaver, January 7th, 1887.

ANOTHER WITNESS.

Testimony as to Dalton's Real Feelings Concerning His Capture.

HAMILTON FORT, IRON COUNTY, January 3, 1887.

To the Editor of The Herald.

Having been a subscriber to your valuable paper, from the first issue, and knowing your promptness at all times in vindicating the right, and giving space in your columns in the cause of justice and right. I take this opportunity of writing you in relation of the terrible affair, now so prominently before the public, I should have done so before, but I did not wish to force myself before the public. I have read two communications from Mr. E. L. Clark, of Parowan in our paper, pertaining to the Thompson-Dalton affair. In regard to those communications, I will say that you and the reading public may place full confidence in every statement made by Mr. Clark, as being correct in every particular, as he is a man of truth and moral worth. I myself, will state that I have heard several reliable parties say that they conversed with Dalton, when he was returning from Arizona, and they say he told them that he was tired of running around to keep away from the officers of the law, and he would rather be taken and go to the Penitentiary and serve out a sentence, than to be forced to live like he had been, away from his friends all the time. I, myself, talked with him, as he passed my house on his way home. It is looked upon by all classes of our community as one of the worst cases of cold-blooded murder that was ever happened-nothing more or less, than to shoot down a man like a dog. The fears of all classes seem to be that justice will be a farce in this case, from the first act of the Grand Jury going out to meet the hero of the battle, and the second act, in indicting for manslaughter, after the statement of so many eye-witnesses to the affair. I think if ever a case was returned back to a jury again. This is a case of that class, and should be investigated by the next Grand Jury, so as to give full justice to all parties concerned in the horrible affair.

One who would like to see justice administered in the land. Independent of creed or color.

Source: The Salt Lake Herald. 1870-1909, January 11, 1887

 

BOZEMAN'S CHARGE

To Thompson's Twelve Friends.

NOT MUCH OF IT, BUT PLENTY SUCH AS IT IS.

Varian and Williams, for the Defense.

PULL HIM BACK WHEN HE BECOMES DERAILED.

A Literary and Legal Gem.

JUDGE BOREMAN: I intended to write out my instructions, and I have got them partially written out and partially not. You have heard gentlemen of the jury, all the evidence in the case, and it how becomes my duty to declare to you the law applicable to this case.

The defendant, William Thompson, Jr., is accused in the indictment of the crime of manslaughter, alleged to have been committed by him on the 16th day of December, A. D. 1886, at the town of Parowan, County of Iron, in this Judicial District and Territory of Utah, by shooting one Edward M. Dalton with a gun; and by means of the shooting inflicting a mortal wound on the body of said Dalton, of which wound said Dalton instantly died. The particulars of the charge are set out more fully in the indictment which will be placed in your hands. To this charge the defendant pleaded "not guilty."

This plea puts in issue every material allegation of the complaint and throws the burden of proof upon the prosecution to make out the case in the manner and form as charged.

The defendant is presumed to e innocent until the contrary is proved; and if you have a reasonable doubt from the evidence whether the defendant's guilt is satisfactorily shown, he is entitled to an acquittal.

A reasonable doubt is such a doubt as naturally arises in the mind of a reasonable man-a man of common sense.

To convict the defendant of the crime charged, the facts must not only be consistent with his guilt, but inconsistent with his innocence. The evidence must exclude every other hypothesis but that of the guilt of the defendant.

the section of the statute under which the defendant was indicted, is I believe, section 1921. It reads as follows:

"Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice; it is of two kinds: First-Voluntary upon a sudden quarrel of heat of passion; Second-Involuntary act, not amounting to felony; or n the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner. or without due caution and circumspection."

If therefore you believe from the evidence that the defendant killed the deceased unlawfully and in the heat of passion, it was voluntary manslaughter, and you should find; but if you believe from the evidence that the defendant in the commission of an unlawful act, which might produce death in an unlawful manner or without due caution and circumspection, shot and killed the deceased, he is guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and you should so find.

The word "unlawful" as used in this charge and in our statutes, in regard to murder of manslaughter, means without right of without excuse and in violation of the law and against the law.

Homicide is excusable in following cases, all of which are not necessary for me to read.

It was lawful for the defendant to endeavor to arrest the deceased, if you believe that the defendant was an officer and had the warrant alleged. As to homicide when committed by an officer, the language of the statute is as follows, so far as it is applicable to this case:

"Homicide is justifiable when committed by public officers and those acting by their command in their sais and assistance." When necessarily committed in retaking felons who have been rescued or have escaped, or when necessarily committed in arresting persons charged with felony; and who are fleeing from justice, or resisting such arrest." It therefore, you believe from the evidence that the defendant was a public officer, and was seeking the arrest of the deceased on a charge of unlawful cohabitation, and that he killed the deceased at the time and place charged; and that the offence with which the deceased was charged was punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary and that said killing was necessary to accomplish the arrest of the deceased, your verdict should be not guilty.

 

The punishment of unlawful cohabitation under the laws of this Territory could be imprisonment in the penitentiary. A felony s a crime which is made punishable by death, or by imprisonment in the penitentiary.

 

If you believe from the evidence that the defendant was at the time specified in the indictment, a deputy United States Marshal, then I instruct you that he was a public officer; and if you further believe that the defendant was at the time specified, acting under the authority of a warrant for the arrest of the deceased on the criminal charge of unlawful cohabitation, and seeking to arrest deceased at that time, and that deceased had been informed of the intention of the officer to arrest him, and that the deceased was in the act of fleeing when defendant was attempting to arrest him, then the defendant was authorized to use all necessary means to effect the arrest.

I think that is all.

Source: Deseret News 1887-02-02 Bozeman's Charge

 

(I imagine that after listening to this long winded unintelligent mass of words the jury didn't care at all and just wanted the judge to finish so they could meet and declare the defendant Not Guilty!)

 

WHO DOES THE DIRTY WORK

 

Here is a specimen of the doings that make men lose their patience. The chief incendiary of the “Loyal League,” and the literary blather smite of the vandal element in general; we mean O. J. Hollister, of course - dispatches the following to lobbyist Bennet in response to the latter’s telegram asking for something to “White Wash’ the news of the murder of Dalton.

 

“The father of the deceased anticipated in the Mountain Meadow massacre. In 1885, Dalton himself was first arrested on a indictment for unlawful cohabitation, and escaped. He was arrested again in April, 1886, for the same offence, knocked the guard down and again escaped. He has been a terror to the officers in Southern Utah for Years. Last May he sent threatening letters to the Marshal’s office, at Beaver, notifying the deputies that if they expected to arrest him they had better came armed. Thompson has been connected with the Marshal’s office in Southern Utah twelve years, and has always been regarded as a good discreet officer.”

 

The author of this budget of infamy has had long experience in the class of usefulness; to which it belongs. He has been notorious for years as the most irrepressible and ready falsifier of the whole carpetbag combination. It is this qualification that renders his desirable to the “League” as their chief secretary, Master scavenger, grand dispenser of funds and principal plotter and calumniator for their Washington outpost. It is well for the people to know it is that is soliciting in behalf under the pompous assumption of loyalty.

Source: Page 2 - The Provo Daily Enquirer 1886-12-21

 

My personal opinion about what I have read of some of the witnesses testimonies is that this was a premeditated cold-blooded murder. When Barbara Lyman yelled at Edward Dalton to stop and waved her hands to go back, his instinct told him what was about to happen and he turned his horse around and was shot in the back. He probably also heard Thompson yell at him to stop, but he really thought he could get away, for after all he had done so before. Thompson had in his mind already that he was going to shoot Dalton and he was not going to get away because he did not want the repetition of letting him escape. He and Orton had said that if they ever got Dalton in sight they would shoot to kill. Also it was testified by witnesses that Dalton never carried a gun and they had seen this when they looked out the window of Page's house and seen that Dalton was not armed so they were not worried about being in a gun fight.

 

So it was a pure and simple murder of a "Mormon" They knew they would never be sent to prison because of them killing Dalton, because they had all their friends on the grand jury and they were all non-Mormons. Rodney Dalton.)

 

CARD FROM THE FATHER OF E. M. DALTON

 

Editor Deseret News:

 

Please allow me to gratefully present to you, and, through your columns, to all others who have assisted in the hour of sore affliction, the heartfelt gratitude and thanks of the grief stricken parents and family of the murdered Edward M. Dalton; for the indication of the true character of the deceased; and for the unwearied pains and noble efforts in bring to light and publishing the facts in regard to his assassination in Parowan at the hands of Deputy Wm. Thompson, Jr., and his associates. Also the manly and well-deserved rebukes that have been administered to the apologists of murder and rapine. And for the timely and truthful refutation and demands of the falsehoods and slanders published against the living and dead, growing out of the occasion to whitewash the murderous deed.

 

My feeling are now and have been from the beginning that Thompson will not be brought to imprisonment, and that ostensible efforts being made in that direction will amount to a very little, if anything, more than a mockery of justice under the present legal rule. From the sworn statements made, my conviction is that the murder was planned and designed from the first, else why the borrowing and use of a rifle from a covered position? that the deputies intended to kill their victim, not giving him any chance to surrender or escape, and that they did it in malice, and for an effect and a boast, they might have it to say; "I too have killed a Mormon" and then take shelter under the official pretence of making an arrest.

Edward Dalton

January 7th, 1887.

Source: Deseret News 1887-01-19 Card from the Father of E. M. Dalton

 

 

Marshal Dyer has re-appointed the murder of E. M. Dalton, deputy marshal at Beaver.

Page 3 Provo Daily Enquirer 1887-2-18

 

The very end of this story!

 

William Thompson, the deputy marshal who slew E. M. Dalton, at Parowan, has by his attorney, C. S. Varian, planted another libel suit against the Deseret News. The amount of damages sued for in this case is the same as in the former one - $25,00.

Source: Another Libel Suit - The Provo Daily Enquirer 1887-05-10

TT

And so ends this sorry episode of the murder of our relative, Edward Meeks Dalton in the newspapers of the time.

 

Sources:

Pamphlet published by the Deseret News, Murder by a Deputy U.S. Marshal. E.M. Dalton

Waylaid and Assassinated in Cold-blood. Sworn Testimony of Eyewitnesses.

Interview with Barbara Matheson Adams, daughter-in-law of the sheriff, November 1953.

Deseret Evening News, December 20, 1886; interviews with Mortensen, Barbara M. Adams, and

John Benson, November 1953.

The Salt Lake Daily Tribune of December 23, 1886 called it the "only account of a Mormon

killed by a gentile!"

Diary extracts in the possession of Shirley Dalton Mercer, a granddaughter. Location of the

original diary is not known.

Interviews with Myra Dalton and Blanche Hammond, March 29, 1973; and Mark Ardath Dalton.

The John Dalton Book of Genealogy. (Salt Lake City, 1964)

Interviews with Martha R. Dalton and Barbara M. Adams, November 1953.

History of Utah by Orson F. Whitney Vol.3 Page 525.

Popular history of Utah by Orson Ferguson Whitney

Digitalnewspapers.org.