We're glad to hear from you! Was Mattie's father John Ball? Our records show that John Ball had two children with him, but no names are listed. (Henry, actually Samuel Henry Ball, lived, and returned to Iowa.)
There were 5 dead from the attacks. They were the two Ball brothers, Fred Heilman, one unidentified man, and my cousin Mary, who was three, and died six days later on the desert.
At least 36 people survived the attack. Several men fled from the first attack on horseback, leaving the rest to fend for themselves.
Our research has led us to believe that the train split up after the attacks. Some were taken west by another train, some were taken to Bear River, and were charged for their rescue. Others, including my great grandfather, Buchanan, and his father John Adam Smith, were found in the desert by a settler named James May. He took them to Call's Fort, today's Honeyville, for treatment of their wounds. Later, they went to Salt Lake, where they spent the Winter before going on to Sonoma County, California. May's Great grandson lives in Saratoga, Ca. We've met and had lunch with him and his wife, thanking him for the rescue so long ago.
We had no idea what happened to the remaining Balls, until now. We wonder if John's wife was with him too?
My wife Donna is writing a book on the Smith Family, from the German Schmidt, that was captured by Washington at Trenton, to the present day. She has been workinbg on it for twenty years, but still has a way to go.
If you are interested, there is a book published by the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, called "I Remember" stories and pictures of El Dorado County pioneer families. The first eleven pages are about the Smith family. It is mostly about Jonathan P. Smith's family that settled in Georgetown, but has some good information, including photos. Go to "eldoradocounty.org" and look at the very bottom of the page, and you'll see the book for sale. I'm attaching an article that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1908 that you may enjoy. If it doesn't come through, I'll have to send it to a regular e-mail address.
Mark and Donna Smith