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Apache Kid’s Cave


{music] howdy folks
I’m Hank Sheffer and welcome to another true life story right here with Jack
San Felice on Mysteries of the Superstition Mountains I had read where some folks had gone up there and there was a story in one of
the papers they visited the wave cave they called it and I said wait a minute
how old are these kids I started looking at the story and went back and found a
newspaper they were only 19 or 20 they don’t know any better they don’t know
that that cave was one of the most famous caves and the largest cave I’ve
ever found in the Superstition Mountains I didn’t find it first it had been found
in the time of the Indians probably and it’s time of the ancient Indians and so
I said you know I got to do a little more research about these guys and
straighten these guys out that’s the Apache kids cave it’s not not
a wave cave although the you could say it look like a wave from outside from
looking at it or outside or inside now a little description of the cave is well
it’s about 150 feet long it the opening is about 70 feet and it goes back about
35 feet and I’m gonna say it’s probably 20 feet high inside of there if you if
you’ve never gone into an opening like this in the Superstition Mountains you
got to go to this one because I’m sure the outlaws of the old days oh by the
way on my way up to the Apache kids cave the first time I found an old running
iron right at the bottom the base right at the base of the trail before we take
the trail in I found an old running iron and that’s used to put your brand over
somebody else’s brand but that’s a story for another day
well it seems that two newspaper reporters in the 1890s was we’re doing a
search of the apache kid and where he could have been well they so they’re
looking in some stories and looking in tales and said there was a cave and they
said that he visited Jim bark and bark had bark was one of the first Cowboys in
the mountains it was called barks ranch before it was called the quarter circle
u ranch that’s a tongue twister offer all the road so dig some more dig some
more find it and lo and behold not only is there the newspaper article from 1897
on the Apache kids cave but there is a sketch of the outside and then from
looking in outside in that 1897 paper so I make a copy of that and off I’m
running we’re going to find this place you can see the quarter circle u
from it it’s elevated you got to go past an old Cardy mine spring that’s in the
directions I’ve been that corny mine spring is many times matter-of-fact you
pass right by it now on the lost gold mine trail and that’s a story for
another day how that thing was laid out so we get down and they said it’s on the
side of three sisters rocks well we get up there you can’t see it you can’t see
it on a bright Sun late day you can’t see an opening to a cave because you’re
way down at the base by the boundary line of the wilderness and it’s up there
by three there’s holes everywhere how do you know which one it’s going to be well
I looked and I saw shadow among some big boulders Boulder area up there all rocks
I saw shadow and I got my newspaper article out and I
looked at it I said you know that shadows weird we’re going to go up there
and if there’s nothing but at least we’ll have a great view so we climb up
there as we’re climbing up we go past an ancient Indian ruin there’s some ruins
were in in a small cave there some old stones have been laid over and we found
some old ancient pottery up there so you know first pottery that was an ancient
Indian place probably eight hundred- thousand years old who knows the Ancients
lived there I believe that was a hiding place so they more maybe even a living
place because the roof had a lot of the cave had a lot of smoke smoke signs were
soot was on the top so we’re climbing up and as we’re climbing toward it we want
to keep it in our vision all the time because in the mountains if you don’t
have the vision of something you go into one little you channel off into one
little Canyon you lose vision of it so we’re taking the vision tour here and
we’re going straight to it this is the nose test you follow the nose and right
in write-ins little walking up and so we’re following a little ravine up and a
little ravine is all decomposing granite okay all decomposing Dacite, rhyolite
whatever and so and when you’re going up the last 500 feet you’re going at an
angle like this okay hard climb hard climb so we finally get up and there’s
the cave and it’s huge the dark spot I saw all the way down by the wilderness
line from the old trail to Kearney mine son of a gun that’s yet it’s got to be
it so we go up and we finally get inside of it and we look out and that’s it
matches the sketch and the outside matches the sketch from looking at it
from the outside we’re here and I was amazed I was amazed and the story says
that the deer would come in there there’s a spring were water leaks in
there you could stay there and at the base of
of the back there’s this crystalline formation they said it contains salt
okay salt somehow salt was in the rock so and that leaks out leeches out so the
deer and other animals come to that they know where that place is and if you were
the Apache kid you could certainly hide in there because you had water you’ll
put your horse in there you could put a horse in there and you could not be seen
from the bed from down off Peralta Road you could not be seen but when I got up
there we looked out you could see Jim barks ranch so the story is that after
the Apache kid became an outlaw and I’ll tell you a little story about that the
Apachi kid was a first sergeant of scouts for Al Sieber back in 1870s 1880s during
Apache Wars he was said to have uncanny vision and when he was with Sieber he
could say horses are coming out there they’re about three miles away and
there’s so many of these and so many of that he could count the numbers of
people through the dust and tell you what they had hats on or not if they
thought there were soldiers or Indians he had uncanny vision and he was a
superb rifle shot and he was an excellent physical health so one time
while the Apache kid is awful with Al Sieber but he wasn’t called the Apache
kid then he was just called the kid okay he had hung around all the soldiers as a
young man and he was taken liken to by Al Sieber like I say a famous Army’s scout
under General Crook and him while he was out on a for a chase and renegade
Apaches his father’s killed he’s murdered by another Indian the father
was murdered because he had had stolen away not really stolen but he
took the affections away of a beautiful young woman who was his mother and for
that this other man this other Indian Apache had so much hatred for 20 years
he carried his hatred came back and he killed the Apache kids father
so the Apachi kid he the kid I’ll call him then because he was just called the
kid then so he takes some of his Indian friends and they go down they have a
tizwin party and that bolter their spirits he gets them that he gets them
all drunked up and then they go down to where the killer of his father is so
they had it was kind of like a code of honor if somebody kills your father and
you know it you’ve got to go you’re the son the oldest son you’ve got to go kill
that man and that’s what he was doing so he gets these guys drunked up on tizwin
which is kind of like an Indian homemade beer alcohol made out of agave plants or
even other plants anyhow they get all drunk they get down and they kill this
guy and didn’t war and kill him you know they stuck their spears in them and do
all kind of stuff and that and then they’re still drunk
when Al Sieber sends for him they want they wants him to go lead him to
another area and go out to some more renegades when he get back there his
guys are all drunked up and they’re all carrying rifles one rule in the army is
the Indian scouts no drinking no carrying rifles while you’re drinking and no
riding horses while you’re drinking well they had violated all of that and no
murders by the way no vendetta murders we’ve done it all so not only three
strikes you’re out four strikes you’re out
so they said he told the kid put yourself in the guardhouse while he’s
putting him in the he gets voluntarily goes and goes to put himself it sets his
rifles before Al Sieber and he goes to where the guardhouse is
and as he’s headed that way there’s a fight between the other Apache scouts or
the Apache police trying to take the D weaponize so take the weaponize the
weapons off of other Indians that went with the kid there so they were fighting
over weapon the gun goes off and Al Sieber is shot in the ankle and he’s
ruined as a hiker for his life for life he’s ruined for life as a hiker then
so the Apachi kid is blamed by Al Sieber because he was First Sergeant and charge
them and he violated his duty on four counts so therefore he became a renegade
they put him in the guardhouse and they had to serve their time and when that
happened that shooting happened he was court-martialed by the way
well the Apachi kid became an outlaw when this occurred the kid was with a group
of other people that were at the Old Globe jail in Globe and they were being
transferred by stagecoach from globe to Riverside and Riverside to Florence
so between Riverside and Florence the Apache kid and it’s it’s a story of the
kids escape and he was never ever captured after that but on that old
trail by the way which I found that old stagecoach trail and the exact spot that
happened was I was taken there by an old cowboy he’s gone now but many years ago
gosh he was an old man then he was in his 80s then so he’d be about a hundred
and ten now and he passed away a long time ago
but in any event he took me where the old stagecoach trail went and showed me
the spot because he was told the legend by his father of where that that eight
about seven or eight Indian prisoners were being taken from
globe by way of Riverside and then taken from Riverside to Florence and then they
were going to be taken to Yuma and going to the Yuma prison and while this is
happening and and while they stopped at Riverside one of the interpreters had
was it just happened to be there and he said to the Indians he was a he was a
Mexican and he said to them you’re going and and in their language he could speak
Apache fluently he said you’re going to you’re going to Yuma no Indian ever
comes out of their life so they were looking to make their escape from
Riverside through the mountains before they got the Florence because then they
were going to be a lot of a lot more people were going to accompany it was
mostly flat lands and they were going to ride stagecoach through so and they
would be guarded more closely where they were being guarded by the sheriff and
his one of his deputies and one or two other people but the deputies name was
called his last name was Holmes he wasn’t related to dick homes of the
Dutchman frame he had a nickname and his nickname was hunky-dory and he was a
prospector miner he was a deputy sheriff at times a guard wherever he could get a
job he would do it hunky-dory Holmes even made up a song about himself and it
went and had it rhymes it rhymes with camptown races the old song camptown
races okay and whenever he walked into a place he’d be singing that song
bah bah bah dah dah dah dah and hunky-dory Holmes and that see how did
it ended hunky-dory Holmes was filled the great guy or whatever he had some
people with him and one of course is hunky-dory but it was cold and it was
real if they left early a daylight from Riverside they went up the
the big hill coming out of Riverside to stoled stage route and then they dip
down and they went up past the wash and as they’re going up the hill they they
had all the Indians first hill they all got out and now the Indians are looking
that’s it huh white man dumb we are going to get we’re going to jump the
sheriff not only was the sheriff riding a horse out there behind it behind the
stagecoach the Indians were behind him and he was wearing an overcoat because
of the cold and his revolver was underneath the coat what they did when
they got to this place right across the ripsi wash and ripsi is a long wash that
goes to an old gold mine and we can go there well as they get out there walking
behind and sheriff Reynolds is there and they move these guys were all in chains by the way they’re in hand and feet chains okay they grab Middleton as
they’re going up they shot and killed got his gun shot and killed honky-dory
Holmes then they shot and killed the sheriff so then they get the keys and
they unlocked themselves and they’re gone
do you know that there were about eight of them and I have the whole story of
this seven of them were all recaptured and executed or they were killed or
executed the for murder Apache kid got away it was never ever
captured never and that’s that makes the story of the Apachi kids cave that much
more interesting and and a price had gone on the kids head for five thousand
dollars and there were always sightings of him here or there but the kid kept on
the move and he would go back to San Carlos reservation from time to time to
steal a woman he didn’t like being alone and he would still two young women
usually two he would have as his squaws in those days okay
because the squaws did that cooking.. clean and all that stuff it was unmanly
of him to do this so he always went stole but so did then they take off into
the mountains and you never know where he was going to show up he was accused
of many many crimes he could not have committed but nevertheless one of the
one of the places that he would hide when he went up there was North they
never thought he would go north into world the soldiers were that in depict
that particular area but he had a supply of food because from there you can see
Jim Barks ranch and you could see the Cowboys leaving the ranch he said when
the Cowboys left he would get down and take food now Jim bark knew the Apacei
kid and he kept made kind of a deal with the Apache kid and he said look I leave
it unlocked you don’t destroy the things and they’ll be food for you take what
you need you don’t take it all but you take what you need and don’t ever accost
any of my cowboys and so he did and year and that as time went by the there was
another person a known Apache kid and he said if Jim had called tried to called
him Jim he called him gene G EEM Jim would I have passed him many times in
the mountains if he had ever betrayed me I could have killed him you tell Jim I
could have killed him at any time but he never did
but that cave was so secluded and hard to see because was in the shadows
beneath three huge rock formations nicknamed by somebody the three sisters
and there are three points that stick up huge I’d like to see a rock climber
climb up those but you know that cave was fantastic because I’d heard about
all these caves in the mountains were faded they could not hold a candle to
the Apache kids cave that was a fascinating place to be if you ever have
a chance to do it I’ll show you the my way that I learned of going laterally
rather than going vertically you got a boulder a little bit but then
you’re right there at the kids can thank you for watching this episode of
Mysteries of the Superstition Mountains [Music]

13 thoughts on “Apache Kid’s Cave

  1. This man could probably tell stories for days and not repeat himself. Thankyou for these gifts of history.. all the stories not told too..they’ll be lost when these old timers pass on.

  2. Rich in history are real and old stories! Thank you! People hiding out in a wilderness are very careful of fires! 1st they can be seen. 2nd one can smell most fires. Just saying.

  3. My mother was raised in Pacheco, Mexico near the Pratt Ranch where The Kid and his two wives killed Mrs. Pratt…The two children hid in a chicken coop and were not found…The women stoned Mrs. Pratt to death while she was sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of the home…One Kid story that can be verified

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