On November 30, 1898, the Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner reported on the murder and robbery of William Segna, an Austrian saloonkeeper in Weaver, a mining town by then notorious for crime and murders. Approximately $440 of gold and cash were stolen, which translates to over $11,000 in today’s dollars. This particular murder caused several newspapers, even the Arizona Republican in Phoenix, to call for the town’s dissolution!
Other papers carrying the story noted a list of murders that took place in the town’s bloody history: “The murders of the Martin family, Stanton, Gribble, Verdier, and many others, the numerous stage hold ups, robbery and a general chapter of criminal lawlessness, has given Weaver a stain that time cannot wipe away.”
Five months later, no one had been arrested for the murder. Territorial Governor Nathan Oakes Murphy offered a $300 reward (roughly $8000 in today’s dollars) for the arrest of the perpetrator(s), which was published in the April 19, 1899 Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner.
Vicento Lucero would stand trial in Prescott for Segna’s murder in June of 1899, and was sentenced to natural life in Yuma Territorial Prison and later transferred to Florence. Petitions for his pardon began circulating in Maricopa and Yavapai counties in 1911 and he would eventually be pardoned in 1915. He possibly shows up in the 1930 census, living in Congress, having outlasted prison and Weaver.
Despite the demands to close up Weaver, a post office would still be established in 1899, but that lasted only 11 months until moving south to Octave. The town was originally known as Weaverville, but was later shortened. It was named for scout Pauline Weaver, and was east of Stanton and north of Octave, around Rich Hill. The ghost town of Weaver is located about 18 miles north of Wickenburg, Arizona. Weaver was deserted by 1900, and is one of several Arizona ghost towns. A few crumbling buildings remain unwiped by time today.
For more information Weaver and the surrounding towns, we have several books in our Arizona Collection.
Anderson, P. (2013) Cemeteries of Yavapai County. Charleston, South Carolina : Arcadia.
The Weaver Murder. (1898, November 30). Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner. Retrieved from the Arizona Memory Project: http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/sn85032938/id/3337
To Wipe out Weaver. (1898, December 2). The Arizona Republican. Retrieved from the Arizona Memory Project: http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/sn84020558/id/60569
Moving for Parole of Vicente Lucero. (1911, July 20). Arizona Republican. Retrieved from the Arizona Memory Project: http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/sn84020558/id/15572/rec/1
Ter-Nedden, D. (n.a.). Weaver, Arizona Ghost Town [Website] . Retrieved from: http://www.ghosttowngallery.com/htme/weaver.htm
Proclamation of Reward. (1899, April 19). Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner. Retrieved from the Arizona Memory Project: http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/sn85032938/id/3438/rec/11
Seeking a Pardon for Vicente Lucero. (1911, May 28) The Arizona Republican. Retrieved from the Arizona Memory Project: http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/sn84020558/id/14754