Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mojave Desert History - Pioneer of the Mojave
Outlaws on the Mojave

Mat Welch and John Doyle Lee

Concurrent with the McBride case was that of two other local Mormons, James Madison (Mat) Welch and Jacob Harris, both accused of horse thievery. The same July 1861 issue of the Star that reported there was "a plentiful crop of convictions for grand larceny of late," also mentioned the new defendants, saying that they had "heard of the name of but one of the latter batch -- one Mat. Welch, who is well known as an old resident of San Bernardino."

Welch had been in trouble before. He and two other men, Henry Roof and John D. Lee, had been involved in a criminal case that was heard before the grand jury in February. Henry Roof was a former San Bernardino County supervisor, and John D. Lee, if it was John Doyle Lee, was later executed in 1877 for the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the only one of the murderers brought to justice.

John Doyle Lee would not have shown his face in San Bernardino County in those days, but his home in southern Utah would have been ideal as a rendezvous for stolen horses coming from California. Several persons named in the subpoena were found guilty of horse stealing in a later case, adding to the likelihood that these men were involved in some criminal activity around the beginning of 1861. The suspicion that Lee was involved led to his indictment in California. Of Course, it is possible that the John D. Lee in the subpoena is an entirely different man. A John D. Lee does appear in Colton many years later.

In the case of Welch, Roof and Lee, the evidence was not strong enough for the grand jury to issue indictments.

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
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