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Deputy Sheriff William Phineas Brown | Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Arizona Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Arizona

Deputy Sheriff

William Phineas Brown

Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Arizona

End of Watch: Wednesday, August 19, 1914

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 32

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Hung in 1915

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Deputy Sheriff Phineas Brown was ambushed and killed in Ray, Arizona, while trying to arrest four men for stealing a horse.

Deputy Brown and a seventeen-year-old were going to a camp where the suspected horse thieves were. The seventeen-year-old was along to identify the horse. As the approached the camp, they were ambushed and killed, launching the bloodiest manhunt in Arizona history.

After news of the ambush reached town, a large posse road toward the camp. As they approached the camp they saw a group of men off to the side of the trail and began firing, killing four of the would-be ambushers. The rest retreated to the camp. The next day the posse assaulted the camp where two posse members were killed and two additional gang members were killed. The rest of the gang scattered to the hills. One gang member was shot as he tried to re-enter the town. Another was killed and two captured near Sacaton. The last member of the gang was captured and confessed and was hung on December 10th, 1915.

Deputy Brown was survived by his wife.

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We are looking for all family survivors from Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, Florence Arizona. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office holds an annual memorial service the first Thursday in May, and we would like to mail surviving family invitations to be able to view the service via live scan or in person. Please contact me at Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

Admin. Assistant Deborah Lopez
September 2, 2016


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