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BECAME A HASSA YAMPER-MEMBERS OF THE
OF MONTGOMERY MINE. Charles B. Genung was born in Yates County, New York, on the 22d of July, 1839. When about sixteen years old he came with his family to California, and from there came into Arizona in 1863. He married in Arizona and raised a large family. He is still living on a ranch in Kirkland Valley, and will figure quite extensively in this history, as it progresses.
The following, from the pen of Mr. Genung, will give the reader a general idea of conditions in the Territory at that time:
“HOW I BECAME A HASSAYAMPER.
“On July 27th, 1863, with a weak lung and bad cough, I left the fogs of San Francisco and went to Sacramento, and stayed long enough to contract a good strong case of chills and fever, which sent me back to my home in San Francisco, where I contracted a bad cold, which, with a chill every other day, and a bad cough every night and morning, soon had me confined to my room and bed most of the time.
“My mother realized that I had to get away to some better climate, so when Dr. John R. Howard, a friend of ours, suggested a trip overland to Mexico, we both, mother and I, concluded that this was the best thing that I could do. It was soon arranged that Dr. Howard and I should
go to Los Angeles by stage, there to outfit for the trip to Mexico.
“A prospector named Jack Beauchamp, whom I knew, called on me one day after I had decided to go to Mexico. I told him of my plans and he said he would go with me if it was agreeable. In two days we started by stage, Beauchamp and my mother helping me to get to, and into, the stage. We stayed the first night at San Jose; the next morning we started, and did not stop only to change horses and eat till we got to Los Angeles, five days and nights travel.
“I was entirely worn out, but felt better than I did when I left San Francisco. We, the doctor, Jack, as we called Beauchamp, and I, had arranged to buy saddle horses and a pack horse, and go via Yuma and Tucson to Hermosillo, but in Los Angeles we met the news of a big find of placer gold at Rich Hill. So, after
, getting all the information we could, we decided to go via La Paz, take in the new strike, then on to the Pima Villages, where we would strike the Tucson and Yuma road.
“We soon had our outfit ready and at San Bernardino two more men joined our party, Cal Ayers and Ben Weaver, a half-breed son of Pauline Weaver. We were very glad of the company of these men, as Weaver had been over the road and knew all the water. The second day from San Bernardino we camped at a spring in a cave of the San Jacinto Mountains, called Agua Caliente. There my horse took a run on his rope and broke it, and started back to the settlements. I tried with the doctor's horse to head him off, but could not. There I was on foot and thirty miles out in the desert
from Hobles ranch, the last white man's place in California at that time.
“I offered twenty dollars to any one who would get the horse and return him to me. Weaver undertook the job, and started right back, after instructing us to go ahead next day twenty-eight miles to an Indian ranch called Toros, where there was grass for our stock, there being none at Agua Caliente.
"I was to wait for Weaver to come up with my horse. I remained at the spring till about nine o'clock next morning, when a party of men rode up from the east, one of whom I recognized as a Dr. Webber whom I had met several years before at Webber Lake in the Sierra Nevadas. I made inquiry about the new gold field, and after telling me something about the new country, Dr. Webber walked me off a few steps from his party, and told me that he had on his pack mule, forty thousand dollars in gold, which he had taken out of his claim on Rich Hill since May, he being one of the eight original locators.
"He also told me that he was afraid of his companions, as they were a bad lot, but he intended to get to Dr. Smith's ranch that night, and then to San Bernardino. I guess he was right about his companions, for 'Boss Danewood,' one of them, was hanged in Los Angeles shortly after that by a mob.
“Dr. Webber also told me that there was a water hole at a point of the mountain, which we could plainly see about eight miles from us. After what Webber had told me about the gold and the nearby water, I became uneasy and anxious to get on, so I filled my gallon canteen with the warm water, hung my saddle, bridle and other equipment in a mesquite tree where
Weaver would be sure to see them, and started to make the twenty-eight miles to Toros on foot. I drank all my water before I got to the point of the mountain that Webber had pointed out to me, and was getting very tired, and what made it worse for me, the soles were beginning to rip from my boots, a pair I had had made in San Francisco, and they were old and thread rotten. The hot sand would work into my boots and scour my feet until I would have to sit down and empty it out. This was drifting sand, such as formed the sand hills that once stood where Market Street, San Francisco, now is.
“Well, I trudged on as best I could, with my tongue perfectly dry. I finally reached what was then called Indian Wells, which the Indians had dug, and which in wet seasons had plenty of water, but at this time there was just a very little water in it, and that thick with insects. However, I got some of the stuff, and with a tin cup and handkerchief strained it into my canteen, and managed to swallow a little of it. It did not stay swallowed very long, still it put a little moisture into my mouth and relieved my thirst a little.
“I realized that I was in a bad fix, as I had heard Weaver say it was ten or twelve miles from Indian Wells to Toros. I pulled myself together, and after emptying the sand out of my boots, I started on. I had travelled something like a mile, when turning around the point of a sand hill, I came on a hole of water that had settled in the road from a recent rain. I was down on my hands and knees drinking like a horse in less time than it takes to write it. Although the water was as hot as a hot sun could make it, it tasted good to me.
I drank until