This 1866 Model Winchester "Yellowboy" is known as a third Model, which means it was made in 1869. This is indicated by the serial number. It was purchased from Winchester by an unknown person. At a later date it came to be owned by an Apache Warrior. The knowledge of it's history, lives it may have saved, lives it may have taken, will forever remain silent, ghost of the past. A rifle such as an 1866 "Yellowboy" would be a prized and valuable weapon for anyone in those days, especially an Apache Warrior. If an Apache weapon needed repair, it was not discarded. Quite the contrary. Every effort would be made to repair, or replace, even construct any part, to assure it's vital continual usage. This "Yellowboy" that was found by the cowboy Joe Rice, was found with missing parts. It was well hidden, which suggest it was to be repaired, or perhaps used as parts to repair another 1866, as some of the parts will even fit an 1873 Winchester. ( I will add here that the great Apache Chief and medicine man, Geronimo, was known to possess an 1866 "Yellowboy"). It was a known fact that no cowboys or Calvary entered near or into the Dragoon, Apache Sanctuary during the Apache Wars, without loss of life. It was Apache territory only. Besides being a respite from raiding and a fortress of solitude, the Apache stored wares, water, food, weapons, etc. in various locations in the Dragoons, to be retrieved at a later date when needed. Because there were Apache arrows as well as other Apache items hidden with the "Yellowboy" rifle, it was determined, that the "hideout" was that of an Apache warrior. Why this Apache Warrior never returned to gather his possessions from the hidden crevice, is known only to him. It would be many years later that the cowboy Joe Rice would ride upon the spot where the rifle had been hidden for so many years. Years later, the cowboy Joe Rice needed some medicine. He traded the 1866 rifle for that medicine, to a lady named Christy Johnson, that owned the Johnson Drugstore, at the corner of Park and Speedway in early Tucson. This is noted in her "Trade" notation pictured above on the left. Sometimes, we believe around the late 1950's or early 60's it was acquired from her by a Mr. Black, and was added to his Winchester collection, which also included unique muskets from the Revolutionary War as well as the Civil war. Mr. Black made a notation, concerning his acquisition from Mrs. Johnson. His handwritten notation is pictured above on the right. Below is a handwritten note "Inventory of Antique Arms" written by Mr. Black indicating his collection. The Weathered 1866 Yellowboy is listed at the top as 1A. Mr. Black passed a few years ago and his collection of rifles are in the possession of his heirs.

Mr. Black kept the "Yellowboy" in his private collection of Winchesters, that he had proudly acquired over many years. When I first saw the collection, Tom said that he thought the "Yellowboy" should be in a museum, because of it's historical relationship, in general to Arizona, the Dragoon Mountains and in particular to the Apache Wars that ranged through the Sulphur Springs Valley for many years, as well as the Apache warrior that hid the rifle in a place for safe keeping and for some unknown reason never returned to claim it. Tom passed a few years ago and the collection is held by his heirs, in Tucson. In order to realize Tom's idea, it has been decided to display the 1866 "Yellowboy" Winchester to the public. The "Apache Yellowboy" is now on display at the Hotel Tombstone, in Tombstone, Arizona. Appropriately located, the famous/infamous town of Tombstone is next to the Dragoon Mountains, where the "Apache Yellowboy" was found.