1. Luther P. Wilmot was born in 1839 in Freeport, Illinois. His father took the family west to Oregon and eventually settled near Fort Walla Walla, Washington. Luther married Louisa Haworth on October 4, 1863, and in 1866, they moved to Idaho. The couple had four children at the time of the outbreak and they were expecting a fifth in a matter of days. Ready was born in Detroit in 1849. After spending some time in the goldfields in Colorado and Montana, he migrated to Idaho and settled on Camas Prairie in 1870. Norman B. Adkison, Nez Perce Indian War and Original Stories (Grangeville, 1966), pp. 20-21; "Peter H. Ready," North Idaho, p. 564.
2. Luther P. Wilmot, "The Norton Massacre," in Original Stories, p. 21; W. A. Goulder, "Northern Idaho," Idaho Tri-Weekly Statesman, March 4, 1876, p. 2; Hear Me, fn. 19, p. 221. Letter from J. G. Rowton to McWhorter, packet 179, item 4, McWhorter Collection.
3. Named for the lumber used in its construction, Cottonwood House was built in 1862 by a man named Allen. In 1874 it became the possession of Norton, an experienced carpenter and former miner. Norton married Jennie Bowers in 1864, and their only child, Hill, was born in December, 1867. Lynn Bowers had been living with the Nortons for several years. She was a great help to her sister, who appeared to be saddled with enough chores to distract any woman. In addition to being a stage station proprietor, postmaster hotel keeper, bartender, and merchant, Benjamin Norton was also a livestock raiser and dairyman. He had a special love for horses and bred some of the finest animals in the country. Norton also had political ambitions but had been unsuccessful in his quest for elective office. Defeated for co-auditor in 1864 and probate judge in 1868, he appeared to have won election in the Territorial legislature in 1866 but soon found himself disqualified for failure to measure up to the requirements prescribed by law. Account of Jennie [Norton] Bunker in D. W. Greenburg, "Victim of the Nez Perce Tells Story of Indian Atrocities," Winners of the West 3 (February 15, 1926), p. 8; Statement of Jennie Bunker, July 20, 1898 and statement of Lynn [Bowers] Schafter, July 20, 1895, claim of Jennie Bunker, no. 7816, RG 123; D. W. Greenburg, "Old Luna Clock Rich in History," Lewiston Morning Tribune, May 3, 1936; Twenty-Seventh Biennial Report of the Secretary of the State of Idaho, 1943-1944, (Boise, 1944), p. 71; Elsensohn, Pioneer Days, 1, p. 297.
8. Accounts conflict concerning the number of men on horseback and the number of men in the wagon. The Teller of June 30 reported that only Norton rode a saddle horse, but in a letter written on July 17, Mrs. Norton indicated that all the men except Chamberlin were mounted. In an interview in 1926, she specifically mentioned the horsemen and discussed the fate of each. See copy of letter from Jennie Norton to her mother and sister, July 17, 1877, Mount Idaho, packet 188, item 36, McWhorter Collection and the statement of Jennie Bunker in Winners of the West, p. 8.
10. Statement of Jennie Bunker, July 20, 1898, Bunker 9816; Bunker in Winners of the West, p. 8; Norton Letter, July 17, 1877; Lewiston Teller, June 30, 1877; Kirkwood, Nez Perce Indian War, pp. 52-55; Poe, "Beginning of Nez Perce Hostilities," Lewiston Teller, April 13, 1878, p. 2
11. Hill Beachy Norton, "Hill Beachy Norton Speaks Out of the Past," in Original Stories, p. 39; Statement of Hill Norton, Lewiston Morning Tribune, December 18, 1938, reproduced in part in Elsensohn, Pioneer Days (Caldwell, 1947), 1, p. 299; Statement of Lynn Schafter, July 20, 1898, Bunker 9816; Norton Letter, July 17, 1877.
14. There may have been a seventh man in the party. Elias Darr claimed to have been present, but he is not mentioned by Adkison or any of the others who wrote about the affair. According to Darr he fell behind in the retreat to Grangeville due to a poor horse and took shelter in some rocks. See his statement in Hear Me, pp. 219-21.
22. Yellow Wolf, pp. 49-50; Account of Chief White Hawk in Hear Me, p. 273; Yellow Bull and Three Eagles in North American Indian, 8, fn 1, pp. 24-25, 165. Francis Haines, "Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Warriors," Pacific Northwest Quarterly 45 (1954), p. 2; Statement of Arthur Chapman, November 23, 1886, Claim of Arthur Chapman, No. 1102, R6 123.
White Bird, Chief of the Lamtamas, was about 70 years old. In his youth, he had been a famous buffalo hunter and fighter. Sound was the leader of the Pikunans. A gifted orator, his influence spread beyond his little band of followers. McWhorter, Hear Me, pp. 181-84.
Last Updated: 09-Mar-2003