JAMES V. PARKS
By Chuck Smith
©2007

This is a synopsis of a book that I am writing about James V. Parks life as a lawman and rancher.

James Vernon Parks was born March 3, 1867 in Hood County, Texas, to W. J. Parks and Louisa Ann Epley Parks. The family lived at Williams Ranch, Brown County, Texas, until 1879, when they decided to move to Ralston, New Mexico.

Before reaching Silver City, New Mexico, their wagon train was attacked by the Apache Victorio. They fled to safety. When it became safe to travel again, they arrived in Silver City October 1879 in a destitute condition.

They purchased and operated the Knights Ranch stage stop between Silver City and Lordsburg.

W. J. Parks ran unsuccessfully for Grant County, New Mexico Sheriff in 1882.

The family moved briefly to Lordsburg, New Mexico and then to Duncan, Arizona in December 1882.

W. J. Parks runs unsuccessful for Graham County, Arizona sheriff in 1884.

In 1885 during Apache outbreaks, W. J. Parks becomes Captain of the Duncan Militia/Rangers, with sons, Jim and Will Parks, also serving. On June 5, 1885 the militia pursues a band of Apaches into Doubtful Canyon, where they kill two of them and capture a child.

W. J. Parks is appointed Undersheriff to Billy Whelan in 1888. The family moves to Solomonville, Arizona. W. J. Parks arrests “Cyclone Bill” Wm Ellison Beck as a suspect in the 1889 Wham Robbery.

Jim Parks kills Kirk Espy in a shootout at the Whitlock Cienega over a disagreement about a card game November 1890.

In 1892 Jim Parks is appointed a Deputy Sheriff under George Olney for the Clifton, Arizona area.

Jim runs unsuccessfully for Graham County Sheriff in 1894. He serves as Deputy under Arthur Wight.

Jim Parks is appointed as U S Deputy Marshal in September 1895.

After Horatio Merrill and his daughter are killed at Ash Peak by the Apache Kid, December 1895, Jim Parks takes up the pursuit. He encounters the Apaches at Doubtful Canyon and has a running battle with them. However, they escaped.

Jim Parks accepts a position as Deputy Sheriff of Grant County, New Mexico at Carlisle in 1896. He shoots a drunk and roudy assayer named A. W. Hand, who dies a few days later.

Jim returns to Graham County as a Deputy in Clifton, Arizona 1897. He again runs unsuccessfully for Sheriff in 1898 but is elected as Sheriff of Graham County in 1900.

Sheriff Jim Parks with his posse raids a rustlers camp, where in a shootout kills a rustler in 1902. He is re-elected in 1902 and hangs the outlaw, Augustine Chacon, in November 1902.

In June 1903 there erupts a labor strike and riots erupt in Morenci, Arizona. Sheriff Parks and a handful of deputies try to maintain law and order. The Arizona Rangers and Army from Ft Apache are called in to assist.

Jim Parks is re-elected in 1904. The great Orphan Abduction affair occurs in Clifton and Morenci in 1904. Parks deputies keep the peace, but Jim maintains a low profile in the affair. The case goes to the US Supreme Court.

Jim Parks retires as a peace officer in 1906 after his term expires. He resorts to ranching the rest of his life. He died in Clifton, Arizona in January 1955.