WPA Daniel Carabajal


Writer: Edith L. Crawford,

Carrizozo, N. Mex.

Date: January 20, 1939.


Topic: Pioneer Story.


Source of Information:Daniel Carabajal, Lincoln, N. Mex.




I was born at Lincoln, New Mexico, December 12, 1872, and have lived in Lincoln County continuously since that time.

My father, Jesus Sanchez Carabajel, was born at Tome, New Mexico, which was just across the Rio Grande river from [Belen?], New Mexico, in the year 1819. My mother, Dolorita Aguilar, was born in Belen, New Mexico, in the year 1807. My father and mother were married in Belen, New Mexico. (I do not know the date.)

My father joined the army about 1862 and served part of his time at Fort Stanton, New Mexico. While a soldier at Fort Stanton father moved his family from Belen, New Mexico, to Lincoln County in 1870. They lived at the Torres Ranch, which is about three miles southeast of Fort Stanton, New Mexico.

I have heard my mother tell about the ox teams they drove from Belen to Lincoln County and how slow they traveled and were always on the lookout for Indians, as the Indians were pretty bad at that time. Soon after moving his family to Lincoln County my father was discharged from the army. He farmed on the Torres place and plowed his fields with ox teams and used a forked stick for a plow.

My father died about a month before I was born. I was the youngest of seven children, all of whom are dead except myself. My mother moved to Lincoln, New Mexico, soon after my father's death and I grew up there. I remember seeing Billy the Kid leave town the day he killed Bob Ollinger and J. W. Bell, his guards at the old courtho'use in Lincoln. We lived just below the old [Torreon?] in Lincoln at the time. I was up town playing with some boys just across the street when he killed the guards. We hid behind a picket fence and watched Billy ride out of town. We were too scared to go and see the two men that he had killed, we were afraid that he would come back and shoot us. All the people in Lincoln were afraid to come out for a long time after Billy the Kid rode away towards Fort Stanton. I wanted to go and see the men he had killed but I was afraid to go.

I was married to Lugerdita Chaves, November 3, 1898, in Lincoln New Mexico, by Father Jose. There were eleven children born to this union, Juan, Juanita, Yaa, Aurora, Rufine, (Aurora and Rufina were twins,) [Leborio, Baldimar,?] Regina, Adelia, [Bonny?] and Manuel. All of our children were born in Lincoln, New Mexico. Seven of them are still living and all live in Lincoln New Mexico, except Bonny, who is in the C. C. Camp at Carrizozo, New Mexico.

I have farmed, cut wood and herded sheep to make a living for my family.


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