Chauncey Gilbert Webb

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Chauncey Gilbert Webb

Birthplace: Kirtland, Lake, Ohio, USA
Death: Died in Pearson, Chihuahua, Mexico
Place of Burial: Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Immediate Family:

Son of Chauncey Griswold Webb and Eliza Jane Webb
Husband of Georgiana Kate Webb; Almira Sofia Webb; Almira Sophia Webb and Georgiana Kate Webb
Father of Chauncey Gilbert Webb; Alice J. Webb; Wilford Taft Webb; Leslie Gilbert Webb; Milo Wise Webb and 32 others
Brother of Edward Milo Webb; Ann Eliza Dee Young; Helen Marie Webb; Lorenzo Dow Webb; Edward Milo Webb and 2 others
Half brother of Seth Taft Webb; Harriet Jane Miller; Helen Taft Webb; Henry Taft Webb; Ella Taft Webb and 17 others

Occupation: Worked with the railroad and lumber company in Pearson, Chihuahua, Mexico from November 1917 to Augusut 1919
Managed by: Stephanie Jeanne Olmstead-Dean
Last Updated:

About Chauncey Gilbert Webb

Remington painted the Wham Paymaster Robbery as shown above. One of the least known, least written about, yet most unbelievable crimes in Arizona territorial history. The accused were charged only with armed robbery, yet eight men, all U. S. soldiers, suffered gunshot wounds of varying severity. Shortly after midday on Saturday, May 11, 1889, a band of robbers ambushed U. S. Army Paymaster Major Joseph W. Wham and his military escort along the Fort Grant - Fort Thomas Road about 15 miles west of Pima in the Gila River Valley. Following a hard-fought gun battle, the bandits made off with more than $28,000 in gold and silver coins.

The daring robbery and the subsequent manhunt and trial of suspects in the heist created a sensation throughout the Southwest. Questions of guilt and innocence, and of what happened to the money, still linger more than a century later. Within days of the robbery, U. S. Marshal William Kidder Meade, with the assistance of soldiers and the Graham County Sheriff, had 11 men under arrest, most of whom were residents of the nearby village of Pima. After a hearing, seven of the prisoners were bound over for trial at the fall session of United States District Court for the First Judicial District Court, in Tucson. The defendants included Gilbert Webb and his son, Wilfred, Lyman and Warren Follett (brothers), David Rogers, Thomas Lamb, and Mark Cunningham. May 11, 1889.


The following information is from Find A

Chauncey Gilbert Webb was born December 15, 1836, in Kirkland, Lake County, Ohio, to Chauncey Griswold and Eliza Jane Churchill. He died in 1920 in Colonia Juarez, State of Chihuahua, Mexico and was buried in the cemetery in that area. Webb was a follower of the Mormon faith. He was a hardworking, enterprising man, and worked his way up into Brigham Young's favor. He was a self-professed member of Young's Avenging Angels. Whether he was in on the murders of the Mountain Meadow's Massacre is not known for certainty.

He and Brigham had a dispute over a contract and Webb left Utah in 1879 and went to work for a time laying track on the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad in Arizona. He soon moved to the Gila Valley in Arizona where he became a member of the first town Council, was Mayor of Pima and was active in the Graham County Democratic party. Webb did well for a time with his store, cattle ranch, stage line, and real estate operation. He helped build Pima's first school. He helped families in need (for a purpose) and was considered a later-day Robin Hood.

Many people began to owe him money that they couldn't pay. He became overextended and had no capital to fulfill several government contracts. At 52 years old, he was in debt and needed cash. Although no one was ever convicted of one of the most daring crimes to happen in Arizona, Chauncey Gilbert Webb was thought to be the Mastermind of the Wham Robbery.

The U.S. Army and Major Joseph Washington Wham lost $28,315.10 in gold and silver coin that was to have been used for payrolls at several Army Forts. Eight of Major Wham's men were wounded in the fight. U.S. Marshall William Kidder Meade and the Graham County Sheriff arrested eleven men. They included Webb, his three sons and eight other men. They were put on trial in Tucson, Arizona. After a lengthy trial, they finally were acquitted. The money was never recovered, but it was thought that Webb took it to pay off massive debts.

He and two of his sons left in 1891 for Mexico. He was ordered into exile there, never to return to the United States. His wife and other children stayed in the U.S. He sought work on the building of a railroad in Chihuahua and lived in Colonia Dublan. This is where my father knew the Webb's.

My father was a just a young man in his late teens and out of respect for older people, he always spoke of the old man as Uncle Gilbert. He said that Uncle Gilbert told him much of what went on in Utah and at Pima. He gave my father lots of good advice, telling him, "Son, don't ever do anything that will cause you to loose your family and your country. It just isn't worth it . I will never get to go back and I'll never see my wife and family again". I guess the old fellow had lots of time to reflect on the things he had done wrong. "Uncle Gilbert" died in 1920 in Colonia Juarez, Mexico.

The following letter was sent to me. I have not read the fictional book, "The 19th Wife", as I tend to enjoy truth more than fiction, but it was suggested I mention it here in case someone has read the book.

Hi: C.G. Webb is a fairly major character in the bestseller "The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, a novel that centers mostly around a highly fictionalized version of Ann Eliza Webb Dee Young. The "biography" of Gilbert in that book is far more fiction than fact (e.g. he's illegitimate, conceived by an interlude twixt a station conductor and his mother [who is portrayed as a teen-aged prostitute on the Mississippi River before converting to Mormonism when in fact she converted at 15 in upstate New York]).

There's a fairly lengthy section of purple prose in the novel that's supposedly written by Gilbert as a deposition, though the same book completely ignores his possible involvement in Mountain Meadows and the payroll robbery and other matters that are not only more probably but far more interesting.

Anyway, just wanted to mention this in case you wanted to put a "the namesake character in the recent novel by David Ebershoff is nearly complete fabrication," style disclaimer on Find-A-Grave. Even though it's fiction, many people who've read the book may assume it's true since Gilbert and his sister really existed.

Thanks for the photos and the bio.





Wilford Taft Webb (1864 - 1938)

Created by: Nancy E Brown

Record added: Jan 08, 2008

Find A Grave Memorial# 23855687


According to a Report of the Death of An American Citizen - American Consular Service, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, December 26, 1923, Chauncey Gilbert Webb, born December 15, 1836, in the United States of America passed away on December 11, 1923, in Pearson, Chihuahua, Mexico, of Old Age and Pneumonia. He was buried at Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. According to local law as to disinterring remains: Permission from Governor necessary and compliance with laws. Regarding disposition of the effects: The deceased's son, Percy, was present and took charge of what little effects he had at the time of death. Percy Webb was living in Pearson, Chihuahua, Mexico, at the time of his father's death. Remarks: The family originated in Pima, Arizona, and any mail addressed to a member of the family in care of the Bishop of the Pima Ward, Pima, Arizona, will reach them.

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Chauncey Gilbert Webb's Timeline

December 15, 1836
Kirtland, Lake, Ohio, USA
Age 17
Rush Valley, Tooele County, Utah, United States
Age 17
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
August 25, 1856
Age 19
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
August 25, 1856
Age 19
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
Age 19
Salt lake City, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
October 9, 1859
Age 22
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
October 9, 1859
Age 22
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
November 19, 1861
Age 24
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA