Owens-Blevins Shootout (1887) – In the 1880’s Navajo County, Arizona was home to the Pleasant Valley War, a bitter range war between the cattle-herding Grahams and the sheep-herding Tewksburys. In September, 1887, members of the Graham faction surrounded the Tewksbury cabin and killed two men. A few days later, a man named Andy Blevins, a member of the Graham faction, was overheard in Holbrook, Arizona, bragging that he had killed both of the Tewksbury men. Holbrook Sheriff, Commodore Perry Owens, got wind of the confession and having a warrant for Blevin’s arrest for cattle rustling, decided it was a good time to pick up the lawless man. When Owens went to the Blevins family home on September 4, 1887, the family was in the midst of Sunday dinner and Andy refused to come out. Within moments, Andy’s half brother, John, opened the door and took a shot at the sheriff, who quickly drew his six-guns, sending bullets into both John and Andy.
A gunfight inevitably erupted and Sam Blevins, just 15 years-old, ran out the door firing at Owen, who returned the shots. A friend of the Blevin family named Mose Roberts also fired upon the Sheriff. The melee, lasting less than a minute, left Andy and Sam Blevin, as well as Mose Roberts dead. John Blevins was wounded.
By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, August, 2017.