Commodore Perry Owens
(July 28, 1852 - May 10, 1919)
Born in eastern Tennessee, Owens migrated to Texas becoming a cowboy. He then moved to Arizona managing a stagecoach station where he had skirmishes with indians. When the station was closed, he raised cattle and horses. The indians who attempted to steal his horses began to regard him as a ghost. Their bullets always missed Owens - Owens struck his target.
In November of 1886, Owens became deputy Sheriff of Apache County and Sheriff one year later. Perry Owens with Winchester in hand went to serve a warrant on Andy Cooper (Blevins). When Cooper refused to be arrested chaos ensued after Owens shot Cooper in the stomach. Other occupants of the house joined in. When the smoke cleared, Owens had killed two people, wounded two people and fired five bullets.
Commodore Perry Owens later worked for the railroad, Wells Fargo, became the first sheriff of Navajo County and opened a saloon in Seligman, Arizona.
Commodore Perry Owens was born on the anniversary of Commodore Perry's victory on Lake Erie and is buried in the Citizens Cemetery in Flagstaff, Arizona.
The TV movie To the Last Man with James Arness was based on the Pleasant Valley War and Commodore Perry Owens.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm
Drawing by Richard Florence