Emberson Milum Tackitt was a deputy sheriff in Prescott when sent to quell the range war between the Tewksburys and Grahams in the Tonto Basin (Zane Grey stuff).
He is buried in the Citizens Cemetery in Prescott, Arizona. MMMF member Jim Fletcher placed a Foundation marker on his grave in Row B, Block 4, Plot 24. Jim Fletcher has done a banner job for our Mountain Meadow Massacre Foundation in finding and marking the final resting places of the massacre survivors. Emberson Milum Tackitt was born on May 29, 1853 and died June 12, 1912.
E.M. Tackitt is a quiet and unassuming man. Years ago he was a terror to evil-doers throughout Arizona and New Mexico. Some years ago he was attached to the sheriff's office in Yavapai County. He has been engaged for the past six years in hunting down moonshiners in northwestern Arkansas. Mr. Tackitt returned to Flagstaff Sunday night.
Mr. Tackitt has the distinction of being one of the survivors of the famous Mountain Meadow massacre in 1857. A little previous to this a number of families living in northern Arkansas caught the gold fever and concluded to emigrate to California. The older people will remember how this brave band of pioneers made their way westward, hoping to make their way to the gold field, taking their families with them and dreaming of happy lives on the western slope.
When they reached Salt Lake City it was with difficulty they procured food and supplies from the people, but at last succeeded by paying exorbitant prices. They again started on their way, and at Mountain Meadow they were met by John D. Lee and a band of followers. They had been attacked by what they supposed to be a band of Indians and several were wounded. Lee went to them with a proposition that if they would give them their arms and ammunition he and his followers would conduct them in safety through that part of the country infested with hostile Indians. The emigrants innocently delivered their arms to Lee. Lee then placed one of his men with a gun at the head of each of the emigrants and marched them to a heavily wooded section, and at a given signal Lee's men shot or brained the emigrant at his side. They then went back to the wagons and cut the throats of the sick and those wounded in the fight the day previous, making way with the plunder, taking with them all the children they thought were too young to remember the murder of their parents. These children were afterward ransomed by the government and turned over to relatives and friends in Arkansas, except young Tackitt and a boy named Miller, who were taken to Washington to bear witness to the terrible tragedy in case Lee was apprehended.
Lee then went to live with the Supai Indians, whom he learned to raise corn and fruit. Then years later he was captured, and after a lengthy trial, was convicted and executed in the spring of 1877, Tackitt and Miller being the principal witnesses.