Bertha Wahl Shooting
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member leadhiker
N 34° 07.962 W 109° 17.900
12S E 656909 N 3778178
In 1899, 14 year old Bertha Wahl was murdered here by a shepherd. Just south of here was the original Becker Store. Beyond lie the graves of the Becker family. Due west stood Henry Springer's Mercantile.
Waymark Code: WMBQ69
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 06/12/2011
Views: 4

Source: The Pistols, Plows and Petticoats Historic Driving Tour Brochure. John C. Wahl was a major cattleman in Round Valley and his wife, Caroline was a major sheep owner. She jokingly told Eujenio Matas, a young sheepherder, that if he worked for them for seven years he could marry their young daughter Bertha. Everyone knew that Caroline was joking, but now Matas was upset that at age fourteen, Bertha was preparing to leave and attend boarding school in Albuquerque for her high school education. He was angry and wanted to get even so he shot and killed her in her bedroom with her mother and sister witnessing the event. Matas was taken to jail, tried and found guilty of murder. He was to be hanged on December 1, 1899, but for some reason the then Governor of Arizona Territory, Nathan Oakes Murphy, commuted his sentence to life in prison. Matas spent fourteen years in the Yuma Territorial Prison when acute tuberculosis won him a medical discharge. He returned to his former home in New Mexico, married and had two children before succumbing to TB after five years of freedom.
Marker Name: Bertha Wahl Shooting

Type of history commemorated: Event

County: Apache

Name of any agency/ agencies setting marker:
Round Valley Positive Action Tourism Committee and Springerville-Eagar Chamber of Commerce

Year placed: 2002

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T2D visited Bertha Wahl Shooting 06/11/2022 T2D visited it