Wednesday, August 23, 2017

“She packed two six-shooters, and they all said she shore could use ’em....”

(Paul Andrew Hutton) In late August 1890, a detachment from the U.S. Army Quartermasters Department began the arduous task of exhuming the bodies of the soldiers in the long abandoned and overgrown Fort Yuma cemetery to be reburied at the Presidio in San Francisco, California.
Of the 159 bodies disinterred, only one was that of a woman, yet it was the largest of all the remains. Around her neck was an oversized Catholic medallion. This was the body of Sarah Bowman—the Great Western. Continued

The Things You Find on Google Maps

Abandoned airfield, De Baca County, NM (Google Maps)
Such as this abandoned airport, some miles north of Taiban, along Route 252. It was built during World War Two, and was officially known as Fort Sumner Auxiliary Airfield #5. Sumner trained bomber pilots, B-17's and B-24's. I imagine #5 was a bit nerve-wracking for those trainees to land on as it sits out on a finger of the Caprock. Today, it just sits, a weird squiggle on a satellite map.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book Review: The Three Battles of Sand Creek

Depiction of the Sand Creek Massacre by Cheyenne eyewitness and artist Howling Wolf, circa 1875
(Wild West) Sand Creek never seems to run dry on paper, as words keep flowing about the controversial Nov. 29, 1864, clash along its banks in eastern Colorado Territory. Most historians and authors deem it a massacre, as Colorado Volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington attacked and destroyed a peaceful village of Cheyennes and Arapahos, slaughtering women and children in the process. But soldiers died there, too, and some historians prefer to label it—if it must be labeled—a fight or a battle. Continued

Quay School

Quay School was built in 1929 and closed in 1955. Quay County had a lot of schools, back in the homesteading days. It seems like too many, until you consider the size of the place, 2,882 square miles, a good deal bigger than the state of Delaware. If one was to place a 160 acre homestead on every square inch of Quay County, you'd have 11, 528 of them. A lot of farms and a whole lot of kids.
Over the years, there were little schools in Obar, House, McAlister, Norton, Lesbia, Glenrio, Montoya, and Ima, to name a few. There were larger schools in Tucumcari, Logan, Nara Visa, Quay, San Jon, Forrest, and Wheatland.
Eastern New Mexico, a hundred years ago, was booming: crop prices were through the roof (because of the war), and the rain was plentiful. An Albuquerque Newspaper referred to the Quay Valley as "The garden spot of New Mexico." There was a saying back then, coined by Charles Dana Wilber, "The rain follows the plough," that many people took as gospel. And why wouldn't they? That part of the west, formerly known as The Great American Desert, was blooming like it never had before. It seemed like the good times would go on forever.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bill Standifer: The Protection Man

(Old West) An important employee of the ranchers during the days of the great open, unfenced cattle range was the "protection man," a fellow known for his fearlessness, skill with guns, and willingness to use them.
          The protection man, as one early rangeland chronicler put it, "carried his only authority in his holsters," but he was paid "to patrol the ranges, find as many rustlers as he could, and kill them where he found them."  How he accomplished his mission was rarely questioned in the early days, and the protection man was responsible for many a lonely unmarked rustler's grave on the prairie.
          At roundup time when cowboys from the various ranches hunted down the cattle, wild as deer, and drove them to a central location for sorting and branding, the protection man represented his employer and protected his interest.  Later, when the ranchers formed associations, they shared range-riders' expenses and carried them on their books as "cattle detectives" or "association men."  Small ranchers and settlers, who were frequently harassed as suspected cow thieves by the association men, often referred to them by other, less polite names; they called them "scalpers" or "hired killers." Continued

Country Churches: First Baptist, House, New Mexico

Sunday, August 20, 2017

How to Make a Pinhole Camera to Safely View the Eclipse

Eclipse, Tucumcari, New Mexico 2012.
(Sierra Sun Times) You don't need fancy glasses or equipment to watch one of the sky's most awesome shows: a solar eclipse. With just a few simple supplies, you can make a pinhole camera that lets you watch a solar eclipse safely and easily from anywhere. Continued

Also: NM State parks provide chances to see eclipse

Demi Lovato

(Wikipedia) Demetria Devonne Lovato is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. After making her debut as a child actress in Barney & Friends, Lovato rose to prominence in 2008 when she starred in the Disney Channel television film Camp Rock and released her debut single "This Is Me" which peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
The success of the film and its soundtrack resulted in a recording contract with Hollywood Records. Her debut album, Don't Forget (2008), debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200.
... Lovato was born on August 20, 1992, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to engineer and musician Patrick Martin Lovato and former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Dianna De La Garza (nee Dianna Lee Smith). Continued

"Our Father's Friend"

Farwell, Texas

Saturday, August 19, 2017

John Selman kills John Wesley Hardin

(TDbD) On this day in 1895, Constable John Selman killed the notorious John Wesley Hardin at El Paso's Acme Saloon.
Hardin was born in 1853 in Bonham and revealed a violent personality at an early age. In 1867 he stabbed another youth in a schoolyard squabble, and at age fifteen he shot and killed a black man during an argument.
In the fall of 1868 he claimed to have killed three Union soldiers, and within a year another soldier. He killed at least ten others as he made his way up the Chisholm Trail, and then four more upon returning to Gonzales County. Continued

Nara Visa Lodge 61 AF&AM

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Great Wagon Train Heist

(America's Civil War) On a bright moonlit night, Confederate Brig. Gen. Richard M. Gano, a former physician and respected Indian fighter from Grapevine, Texas, advanced his troopers toward the Union post of Cabin Creek in northeastern Indian Territory. Under the moon’s glare, they could see hundreds of covered wagons. Captain Patrick Cosgrove, commander of the Union pickets, noticed a line of dim shapes approaching. After one of his pickets fired a warning shot, Cosgrove, in a distinctly Irish brogue, barked out a command to halt. Continued