WPA Sam Farmer
Writer: Edith L. Crawford,
Carrizozo, N. Mex.
Narrator: Sam Farmer,
JUL 25 1938
I have lived in Lincoln
sixty-eight years, which is all my life. I was born two miles west of Lincoln
New Mexico, on a ranch called
"Henry's Ranch", named after my father, Henry Farmer. He filed on
this place in 1865 and raised a few cattle and sheep and did some farming.
He was married to Cavina Aguilar
in 1865. Ten children were born to this union, seven boys and three girls. My
oldest brother, Teodoro and myself are the only ones left of the Farmer family.
Father was born in Missouri
in 1842. His parents moved to Little
Rock Arkansas when he
was very small. He left home at the beginning of the Civil War at the age of
eightee, he roamed around for awhile and then came to [?] New Mexico. After staying there for a short
while he came to Lincoln County in 1862 and
lived on the Hughes place, which is located about one and one half miles below
what is now the town of Tinnie, New Mexico. He worked
for Mr. Hughes for quite some time and then he filed on a homestead two miles
west of Lincoln New Mexico.
His place was on the Rio Bonito and he used the water for irrigating a small
farm. He used to freight some and during the years that Murphy and Dolan and
McSween and Tunstall and their stores in Lincoln he hauled freight
for them and also for J.C. DeLaney of Fort
Stanton New Mexico.
He had two teams of oxen, six to a team and two big freight wagons. He hauled
from Las Vegas to Lincoln and Fort Stanton.
He was never bothered by the Indians but once. He was coming from Picacho to Lincoln
New Mexico, driving two mules and
a band of Indians attacked him. He was shot three times with arrows. Once in
the upper left arm, in the left shoulder and leg. The mules got frightened and
ran away and Father always said that is the only thing that saved his life.
Father always used the oxen in freighting and took them from twenty-eight to
thirty-five days to make a round trip from Lincoln to Las Vegas and return and
that depended on the weather.
We were living on our ranch during
the Lincoln county war but our family took no part in it. We all liked Billy
the Kid and would do anything that we could for him. Once my father took myself
and my two older brothers to one of the trials of Billy the Kid. He wanted to
impress upon our young minds that no one can break the laws as he did and not
pay the penalty.
The day that Billy the Kid killed Bell and Olinger, my
father, two brothers and myself were irrigating our wheat field when Billy came
riding by on a black horse. He stopped and hollered, "Hello Henry,"
Father looked up and said "Hello Billy, what are you doing here?"
Billy replied, "I am going, I don't think you will see me any more."
I killed two men at the Courthouse and I am on my way, good-bye." He
kicked his horse and went off up the road as fast as he could go. I remember
distinctly seeing the schackels on his legs. That was the last time we ever saw
Billy the Kid so much for he always took time to talk and play with us when we
saw him. Billy was killed at Fort
Sumner about six weeks
later by Pat Garrett.
My father lived in Lincoln county until his death in 1898, and
was buried in Lincoln. My mother was born in Manzano
mountains at a place called Chato in 1848. She died in 1893 and was buried in Lincoln.
Father was a very quiet un-assuming man and a good law abiding citizen.
Pasted from <http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?wpa:24:./temp/~ammem_DBXg::>