Saturday, July 9, 2011




Don Burns of Salina tells story of Menel.  Menel's mother Annie Peterson was Dan's grandmother, the Burns and the Taylors were relatives as well as friends.  The burns family has given us photographs of Jennie and Menel and some of his family.  The Burns Saddle Shop in Salina has a buggy whip on display that belonged to Butch Cassidy, the notorious outlaw.  This whip was given to them by Menel Taylor.

Horace Frank and Annie Peterson Taylor were early Utah pioneers.  They first lived in Levan where Menel was born in a house next door to where another boy lived, Matt Warner, who be came a famous outlaw.  Later the Taylor family moved to the Unita Basin into the heart of the Book Cliffs area.  They operated a ranch next to the Nutal Ranch.  This is still the most remote and roadless area of Utah.  During that period of time, outlaws as notorious as the Wild West ever knew road past the ranch - Butch Cassidy, the mean Elza Lay, Harvey Logan, Harry Lonabaugh, Song Thompson, Flat nose George Curry, Silver Tip, Blue John, Joe Walker, Matt Warner, Gunplay Maxwell and many others.  Their gun-blazed trail started in Hole-in-the-Wall, Wyoming through the Taylor ranch down to the Robbers Roost in Wayne County, Utah.

The Taylors were good hardworking people who had no part of this train and bank robbing as well as horse and cattle thieving bunch.  They learned to live in this land with these outlaws by minding their own business.  When the outlaws came to the house the were welcomed to eat but not to stay.  They wouldn't trade or buy horses from the Wild Bunch unless faced with either selling a horse or having it stolen.  The outlaws needing a place to eat and rest never bothered the Taylors and protected them and their possessions.

Matt Warner was born in 1864 to early Danish immigrants.  He married Rosa Rumel.  When Rosa died and Matt was sent to prison he asked the Taylors to care for his children, Rex and Hayda which they did.

When the Taylors sold this ranch, the parents moved to the Taylor home in Salina.  Menel moved to Roosevelt.

One day the rustlers stole about four hundred cattle from the Manti mountains above Ferron.  Nineteen of them belong to the Burns family.  Don said his father had to go barefoot that year because of this theft.  He hated those outlaws.

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