On December 16, 1912, an unknown outlaw attacked a 16-year-old girl near Irvine Station in the area known as Tomato Springs and later held off a small army of deputy sheriffs, militiamen and citizens in a desperate gun battle that lasted six hours. In the exchange of gunfire, Undersheriff Robert Squires emptied his revolver, wounding the suspect, while receiving six rifle wounds.
After killing Undersheriff Squires, 44, and seriously wounding three others, the outlaw was finally shot and killed by the pose.
Undersheriff Squires formerly served with the Canadian Mounted Police and had done scouting in Montana before joining the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. He was popular in the community and his funeral service was one of the largest in Santa Ana history. He was described in his eulogy as “one of those men with a heart as big as a water bucket.”