Robbers Roost

Robbers Roost
Filming for the Documentary

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gunshot, Camp fire and a wedding

It is winter 1891 in Wayne County Utah, Luzernia Morrell, her crippled husband Silas and their 4 children leave the bitter cold in search of a warmer climate for Silas. His health has been getting worse since the accident a few years ago at the Fremont, Utah saw mill. A log was set loose on the saw table prior to Silas being ready for it...the log crashed into Silas mid section breaking his back.

                    "Photo of Saw Mill as it looks today "just below current day "Mill Meadow Reservoir"

 From that day on, he relied totally on his wife Luzernia for his care. The Morrell Family loaded the buck board wagon and left Fremont Utah, headed to old mexico. A major twist of fate was about to come upon Luzernia....This is how she meet and eventually married Bill Long aka The Sundance Kid. While in route to, what the family was expecting to be a new life in old Mexico a small detail had to be handled. Ernest Morrell was born along side the buck board wagon. Can you imagine being the mother of 4 children, caregiver to your husband, traveling across country in a wagon and then on top of all that being pregnant!!
                                                "Luzernia and the children sitting under a tree"

 Luzernia was traveling with her brother and brother in law, good thing cause she was bout to give birth to young Ernest. The men found a suitable place to turn the wagon on its side, there among the sage brush, cactus, and junipers Ernest was born. No doctors, no sterile room, no nurses, just life as the Morrell family struggled for survival. The family continued on to Cortez Colorado, here they were out of money and in a desperate state. Silas health was getting worse, the mental situation had to be extreme. Luzernia decides that the family is going back to Fremont, they just cant make the long trip! Before turning back, they needed supplies. Clara at the age of 9 yrs old was sent into town to "find work" she was the only one in the family that was able to work. Young Clara secured a house keeping job at a residence in Cortez. One evening while the family was camped outside Cortez, a young cowboy stumbled into camp, stumbling because he had a bullet wound to his right knee.

The cowboy stated that some men were after him and he needed to hide. Luzernia took care of the cowboys wound, bandaged and stopped the bleeding, then hid him amongst her supplies at the wagon until it was clear the next morning. Clara left camp that morning to tend to her duties at the residence in Cortez, upon arrival she discovered a shocking site for any 9 yr old girl. She walked into the kitchen to discover that someone had tried to clean up blood. There were smears of blood across the kitchen floor and out the back door. She followed the blood trail to the back yard where she discovered two freshly dug graves, then she remembers the wounded cowboy that came into her families camp the night before, was he involved? Did he kill the two men that buried in the back yard? Is this his blood that is all over the kitchen? Who is this cowboy that hiding with my family? Yup, this is how Luzernia meet her future husband, Bill Long, aka The Sundance Kid! Bill traveled along with the Morrell family on their return to Wayne County as far as Moab. Luzernia, Silas and the kids made it back to their homestead in Fremont. Silas died just two years later due to the injuries he suffered at the saw mill.

Silas headstone as it appears today in the Fremont City Cemetery.
Headstone quote..."The Best the dearest favorite of the Sky, Must Taste that cup, for man must die."

Bill later worked at "Paradise Ranch"(shown above) bustin broncs for the cattle outfit. Paradise Ranch is a days ride north of Fremont, located along hi-way 72 just north of Hogan Pass. Stories tell that Bill would ride his horse all the way to Fremont every few weeks to get his "hair cut"...wonder who was cutting his hair??? I'm bettin Luzernia was pretty handy with a pair of scissors :) Bill and Luzernia were married shortly after Silas's death in 1893.

                                                Bill and Luzernia posing with a giant pumpkin

 It was well known that The Sundance Kid had a gunshot wound to his right knee. During the forensic reports of Bill Longs remains, the right knee of Bill Long had a gunshot wound that matched the description of the the gunshot wound of The Sundance Kid. This along with the matching photos is part of the story of discovering The Sundance Kid.

For more information a book is about to be released and you can get it at Outlaw Stories of the Wild West. A Documentary on the whole project is being created by Mike Karr of Scene by Scene Productions and the Horses and riders were all supplied by Extreme Outlaw Rides here in Utah. If you would like to support our endeavor check out our Kickstarter Project

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