10c - Pipe Spring

Pipe Spring
Pipe Spring:
Water Source, Campsite, Ranch

In 1858, Jacob Hamblin and others traveling to the Hopi mesas, crossed the Arizona Strip with a Paiute guide. They stopped one night at Matungwa'va, which they renamed Pipe Spring. As a result of their stories of abundant grasslands and scattered springs across the Strip, by 1860 Pipe Spring was being used as a waterhole and campsite for ranchers.

James M. Whitmore, a Texas convert to Mormonism, received a land certificate for 160 acres around Pipe Spring in 1863. Whitmore and his ranch hand Robert McIntyre, established a ranch with approximately 400 longhorn cattle and 1,000 sheep. They built a small dugout for shelter, fenced 11 acres for cultivation, planted grape vines and fruit trees, and built corrals.

Pipe Spring:
Mormon and Indian Conflicts

During the winter of 1865-66 Mormons heard rumors that Black Hawk might raid settlements in southern Utah and that Navajo warriors intended to join him. Ranchers were warned to move their stock to safe locations. James Whitmore, however, left his livestock free-ranging at Pipe Spring.

In early January of 1866, reports reached St. George that Indians had stolen cattle and sheep from the Whitmore ranch at Pipe Spring.Whitmore and his hand Robert McIntyre rode out to check on their stock, but never returned.
Seventy-four Mormon militia searched for the men. Traveling through the snow for several days, the militia finally came upon two Kaibab Paiutes. After some degree of interrogation and threats, one of the Paiutes led part of the militia to the bodies of Whitmore and McIntyre about four miles south of Pipe Spring. Another group of militia was led to a Kaibab family camp. These Kaibab had some of Whitmore and McIntyre's clothing and other possessions. They claimed to have traded with Navajos for the items and said they knew nothing of the killings. Nevertheless, the arrow and bullet riddled bodies of Whitmore and McIntyre and the evidence of the clothing were taken as proof that they committed the killings. With emotions running high, the militia executed at least six Kaibab men that day.

James Whitmore
James Whitmore
The next day another old Kaibab man was killed. One militia member volunteered to do the deed - "Damned if I wouldn't like to kill an Indian before I go" and made haste to "blow his brains out." Others unsuccessfully protested the killings - "I never was so ashamed of anything in all my life-the whole thing was so unnecessary," stated Edwin D. Woolley, Jr.

Over the next four years periodic Navajo raids on Mormon settlements in southwest Utah continued along with Mormon reprisals. Kaibab Paiutes were increasingly used by the militia as guides and informants, however they were sometimes mistaken for hostile Navajos and killed. Pipe Spring served as a key outpost for the Mormon militia until the conflict with the Navajo ended.

A Paiute child orphaned by the killings was given the name of "Tuhdh'heets," a word meaning "desolate, barren, or naked." The name has been anglicized to "Tillahash," which modern Southern Paiutes say means, "the Beginning and the end of a Family."
1885 sketch of Pipe Spring made by Frenchman Albert Tissandier.
1885 sketch of Pipe Spring made by Frenchman Albert Tissandier.

The New Pipe Spring Ranch
and "Winsor Castle"

Brigham Young had observed the range of the Arizona Strip and the water of Pipe Spring on his trips to Kanab, Utah. He bought the Pipe Spring deed from Whitmore's widow, to establish a Church ranch.

In 1870 Young visited Pipe Spring and directed Church members to build a fort to enclose the "fine spring of good water" and "to accommodate a number of persons in case of an Indian attack..." Skilled masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, and some 40 other men worked on the fort. Wives cooked for the crews, and children helped haul rock and water. The fort came to be known as "Winsor Castle" after the first ranch manager, Anson P. Winsor.

Last updated: March 31, 2012

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Pipe Spring National Monument
HC 65 Box 5
406 Pipe Springs Road

Fredonia, AZ 86022


(928) 643-7105

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