Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fox Burns, Laytonville Legend.

Well, I just received some news that takes me totally by surprise. Others may have known this, but I obviously didn't! Talk about Bullshistory run amok. This Fox Burns obit goes against everything that I thought that I knew. This is proof to me that we should tell our stories, whether we are sure of them or not, but look for the correct information. This Obituary is a totally different version of anything that I've ever heard. The date of death fits. The name fits, and his lifestyle fits. He was older than I thought that he was, and he was from a totally different place. I always thought that he was a survivor of "Bloody Run".

The following is from Joan (Bowman Family):
Newspaper article copied. The name of paper is unknown.

Fox Burns' Life Story Reveals Dead-
Past Humane Deed


Parents Killed During Indian Wars In This County...... 11/04/1942(date of obit)

Fox Burns, one of the oldest Indians in this district and the last of the old time Indians who survived the uprising in Modoc County, passed away in Talmage where he was taken several weeks ago. Deceased was known to be 90 years old but it was thought that he was nearing the century mark.
Adopted After Battle
His parents were both killed during an uprising and battle between white men and Indians. One of the white men in the party by the name of Burns found the little Indian boy after the battle and brought him to this district where he was raised by the Burns family, living with them until their death. In later years he made his home on the Rancheria west of Laytonville.He was highly esteemed by both his own race and the white population. It was not generally known in Laytonville he had passed away until after he had been interred with Indian ritual, in keeping with his work among the younger generation whom he taught the old tradition of their ancestors.(End Quote)

Talmage was the Mendocino State Hospital. Reagan closed it when he was Governor. Did anyone else out ther know this bit of history? Or were they victims of "Bullshistory" like me?


Kym said...

That clipping is from the Ukiah Republican Press November 4, 1982 page 8 col 5.

If someone has access to the Ukiah Daily Journal Wed Dec 15 1954 There is an article in there on the Fox Burns trial for murder that has Ed Branscomb as a witness. I think he ended up spending over 5 years in jail from 1914 on.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ed Branscomb, my great grandfather, was the sherrif of Laytonville at that time. (I think)

Ben said...


Anonymous said...

Ern: I asked Elizabeth Ferguson if Fox had been in a mental hospital and she said that she'd never heard that story about him. As she remembers he passed away at the reservation in Laytonville. People do get their facts or bshistory wrong, and I believe that whom ever wrote the article for the paper did not have the correct information. The old timers here can not all be wrong. Eliz said he'd ride his white horse to town; his police dog following. Lee Wilson remembered that Fox threw sugar candy to the kids as he rode by.
The last grandma Ruby remembered of him was the load of wood that she hauled to him like you said. That couldn't have happened if he'd been in a mental hospital.
I thought that Fox was Wailaki - not positive. I asked Elizabeth to write down all she remembers about the Indians. She's pretty sharp. She again mentioned the little boy in the granery today and said that he's buried on their property,

Robin Shelley said...

You mean I'm not the only one who knows it's bullshistory that Reagan closed the mental hospitals in California? Glory be! This is such an oft-repeated tale that most people think it's true!