By Kristen Kauffman

 

Today you would never know that Lynx Creek was once one of the most dangerous districts in Yavapai County, its secretive and rolling ridges serving as the backdrop for murder, kidnapping and theft.

 

Captain Joe Walker discovered the area and began gold panning in the creek in 1863 (and became the namesake for the township currently seven miles south of Costco). In no time, the vicinity was being mined by about 200 men with gold fever. At the time, the closest major settlement was Prescott about twelve miles away, which meant that these gold panners were removed from civilization–and the eye of the law. By 1868 things were out of hand; a band of thieves had stolen two mules from a Mr. Stanebrook, two horses from a Mr. Fredericks, and when the gang had not yet been caught, they murdered Juan Yeps, a passerby, for reasons unknown.

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