WPA Sam Farmer


Writer: Edith L. Crawford,

Carrizozo, N. Mex.


Narrator: Sam Farmer,

Carrizozo, N.M.

JUL 25 1938




I have lived in Lincoln County 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::>