John I Eiland Family


John I Eiland Family

Husband: John I Eiland

Born: 14 May 1865at: , , Al
Married: at: 
Died: 09 Mar 1921at: 
Buried: at: 
Father: Charles Daniel Calvin (C D C) Eiland
Mother: Jerusia Winifred Tolbert

Wife: Mary Ellen Harris

Born: Abt 1877at: , , Tx
Died: at: 
Buried: at: 


Name: Bennie B Eiland
Born: Abt 1893at: , , Tx
Died: at: 
Buried: at: 

Name: Nellie Roy (Hewes) Eiland
Born: 30 Oct 1894at: , , Tx
Died: 06 Jan 1966at: 
Buried: at: Garrett Cemetery, Cimarron Co, Ok
Spouses: John Austin Atkins  James T Hewes  

Name: Mary Mildred Eiland
Born: 11 Jun 1909at: , , Tx
Died: 29 Aug 1959at: 
Buried: at: Garrett Cemetery, Cimarron Co, Ok

Name: Jerusha W Eiland
Born: Abt 1913at: , ,/, , NM
Died: at: 
Buried: at: 

Name: Gordon B Eiland
Born: Abt 1917at: , , NM
Died: at: 
Buried: at: 

More Information:

About John I Eiland:

Burial: South Park Cemeter
Roswell, Chaves Co, NM

1910 District 103, Cleveland, Cimarron Co, Ok
John I (G) Eiland, 43, M 19, al, al, al, Stock Farmer
Mary E, wife, 34, m 19, 3, 3, Tx, Pa, Tx
Bennie B, daughter, 17, Tx, Al, Tx
Nellie B, daughter, 15, Tx, al, Tx
Mildred, dauther 2/12, Ok, Al, Tx

1920 District 4, Roswell Ward 2, Chaves Co, New Mexico
John Eiland, 54, Al, Al, Al, Policeman, City
Ellen, wife, 45, Tx, Pa, Tx
Mary M, daughter, 9, Oklahoma, Al, Tx
Jerusha W, daughter, 7, New Mexico, Al, Tx
Gordon B, son, 3 9/12 New Mexico, Al, Tx
Martha A Harris, mother-in-law, 66, wd, Tx, Unk, Ky

Washington Post, Dec 4, 1904
Tortured By Bandits
Banker Caught by Brigands in New Mexico
Held Him for Big Ransom
John Eiland Founder of Bank of Portales, N. M., Starved, Whipped, and Stoned by His Captors--Finally Effects His Escape While They Are Drunk--Extraordinary Experiences

No stranger story has ever come out of the West than that of John Eiland, founder and president of the Bank of Portales, New Mexico.
That Banker Eiland is alive to-day is owing to the strategy he employed in extricating himself recently from a bank of desperate brigands, who, under most exciting circumstances, captured and held him for ransom in the mountains of New Mexico for a period o nearly four weeks, during which time he was tortured and nearly starved to death.
While on a business trip in the State of Sonora, Eiland had traveled about three-fourths of the distance, when on the evening of October 6, he was surrounded by a band of bandits and robbed of him money, watch, and other valuables.
The Thieves tied their victim securely with one end of a long rope, attaching the other end to the saddle of the leader, a pompous descendant of the Aztecs, who could speak broken English. This wretch rode Eiland?s horse and gave his almost worthless animal to another member of his band. When his unfortunate follower showed signs of displeasure and suffering the bravo would twit him in many ways and call him a ?good American? in Spanish
Starved and Tortured.
They traveled a short distance in an easterly direction the first evening and then camped. It was evidently their intention at first to take the victim to their rendezvous in the mountains southeast of Oputa, but they changed their plans. This Eiland learned from their conversation, as he understands some Spanish. Eiland was given little water to drink and practically nothing fit to eat during the twenty-four days of his captivity.
When he murmured and begged for food or water they would whip him, throw stones at him, and even spit on him. They had an object in this, and that was to torture their captive to the last degree of endurance and thereby compel him to write a letter asking for a large ransom.
It was probably about the time they first camped near Oputa that they compelled Eiland to write a letter to his wife, at Portales, demanding ransom for his release. Several letters were outlined by Eiland, with the muzzles of rifles pointing at him, but it was some time before one was written to please the fastidious leader of the band of thugs.
Forced to Write for Ransom.
Under the threat that he would be instantly killed, Eiland, starved, worn, and almost crazed by their insults, labored away at the message, which he had little hope would bring about his release, but finally succeeded in producing the following, which was accepted:
?My Dear Mrs. Eiland: Your husband has been captured and is now held for a ransom of $10,000 in gold, which you must draw from the bank and send by a trusty messenger. There must be some friend upon whom you can depend. Tell him to leave that money in sacks at the ruins of an old house on the main trail about two miles west of Oputa. Instruct him to cover it up in the southeast corner of the house with stones. You had better not interfere with these plans or try to rescue him in any way, as those who have him in charge are dangerous and desperate men, and unless both of you strictly obey instructions you may never see him again.
To this letter he was compelled to sign the name of his friend, George Reese, and misspell it. The letter was posted at Oputa and was duly received by Mrs. Eiland.
The outlaws changed positions each day after the letter was mailed, but evidently stayed near enough to the house for one of their number to visit it each day.
Usually the leader would leave and be gone several hours, but he would always return to camp during the night. At times he would come back well under the influence of mescal whisky and was cruel to every one. Despite his evil habits, he was a dandy, wearing a gorgeous sombrero and dressing the gaudy colors common among Mexicans. He ruled his men in military fashion, and had absolute authority and control. They obeyed every order from him, no matter how severe the task, without a murmur or complaint.
Effects His Escape
It was in the night of October 30 that the leader returned more intoxicated than usual and in a rage. The money had not arrived and he was furious. Eiland believed that his time had come, and that they would kill him before morning. They kicked, cuffed, and beat him more severely than usual. He was tied, as they perhaps thought, more securely than ever this night, being bound with a rope, which was fastened to a tree, permitting him to lie on the ground.
The men were all under the influence of liquor, and were abusive and insulting in their language even among themselves. They gambled and drank until about midnight, and left as usual one of the number on watch while the rest slept.
Liquor was a boon to Eiland. The sentinel fell asleep at his post and the prisoner obtained a sharp edged stone, with which he sawed the rope that held him. It was perhaps, after two hours of tedious labor that he succeeded in freeing himself. He wandered away, almost dazed, into the night.
He started West, using as his guide the polar star, and traveled until dawn; then he hid in the underbrush. He slept soundly most of the day and traveled a part of the next night. He was four days wandering westward, hoping to reach the railroad and make his escape. He lived on berries, seeds, young birds, and anything he could find to sustain life, finally reaching the railroad after traveling sixty miles.
This he followed to a small station, where he boarded a freight train and beat his way to Douglas, Ariz, and from there to El Paso, where he borrowed money from a friend, finally reaching home.

About Mary Ellen Harris:

1930 census District 1, Boise City, Cimarron Co, Ok
Mary E Eiland, head, 49, wd, 17, Tx, pa, Tx
Gordon B, son, 14, NM, Al, Tx

Revised: 16-Aug-16  05:40 PM