WPA John W. Poe
An interview with: Sophie Poe
By: Georgia B. Redfield
FEB 27 1837
John W. Poe the son of Nathan and
Louise [Harber?] Poe was born in [Mason?]
A fondness for descriptive literature lead to extensive traveling which broadened his views and visions and gave to him a very accurate knowledge of foreign and National affairs.
From the time, when as a youth he
stole away in the night from his
During the years [1889-70?] Mr Poe
engaged in farming in Jackson County
Missouri. In 1871 he was employed by a bridge contractor in construction work
on the Santa Fe Railroad near
Mr Poe was one of the deputies
under Pat Garrett-Sheriff of
After the killing of Billy the Kid
Mr Poe continued in the [?] ranching and cattle business in
Mr Poe spent the year 1886
traveling and prospecting in
As a peace officer Mr Poe experienced, perhaps, the most thrilling experiences of his life.
"He served as City Marshall
He was a member of
In 1908 became chairman (2years)
of the commision that built the
Mr Poe was a thirty third degree Mason of New Mexico and one of the most prominent representative of that order in the southwest, was a member of independent order of Odd Fellows, and of the Royal Order of Scotland.
Both Mr and Mrs. Poe were leaders
in all special social and cultural circles during the many years of their
Mr Poe died in 1923.
Mrs. Poe is the author of "Buckboard Days" published in 1936. This is a story of the life of her illustrious husband-John William Poe- and the interesting account of the early settlement of Roswell, and the exciting days during the period of lawlessness and many daring episodes of Billy the Kid. The account of those stories were given by Mr Poe himself who as deputy sheriff under Pat Garrett was active in bringing peace and order out of those terrorizing days of lawlessness.
Sources Of Information
Twitchill's History Vol V page 273.
Buckboards days - By Sophie Poe - 1936.
FEB 27 [1937?]
So We Were Married
From Buckboard Days
By Sophie Poe-Wife of J. W. Poe.
"One day in may 1882, Milo Pierce (Captain Joseph C Lea's partner in the sheep business) mentioned an important name in my hearing. The name was that of a man famous in New Mexico at that time - John William Poe - special officer of the Canadian river Cattle Association, and the deputy sheriff who-more than any other- was responsible for the killing of the outlaw - Billy the Kid in Fort Sumner by Pat Garrett.
"After hearing this
conversation (it was in praise of John Poe) one night, just at bed time,
Captain Lea called me into a back room of his home, where I was a guest. When I
entered the room I saw Pat Garrett sitting with his long legs stretched toward
the fire. Captain Lea walked up and down. These extraordinarily tall men (both
six feet four inches tall) were very solemn, and the Captain said slowly: 'Sophie
I've just had a letter from John W. Poe, our next sheriff, (Pat Garrett refused
reelection) and he is coming to
"I said 'Yes Sir' and waited".
'Poe has been down in
"Pat Garrett had not said a word but watched me out of one corner of his eye."
'Now Sophie, we, Pat and I, have talked all this over and we want you to like John Poe and not just like you like every body else.'
"He looked at Pat Garrett, who was studying his boots intently, so Captain Lea went on:
` "You see Sophie John Poe is going to be our next sheriff and he's going to be more than that: eventually he will be one of the really big men of this section, and Pat and I have decided you should marry him. That is wht I called you in-to tell you.'
"For a moment I was utterly dumb. I could only stare at the two amazing matchmaker. Then I exploded.
"What gave you the idea, I demanded furiously, that you could call me in and just tell me whom I should marry? Do you think you can dispose of me as if I were one of your prize short-horns? If you do I'll tell you right now - -"
"Well a few days later Captain Lea came in and said, "John Poe's in town, and will be over pretty soon. Better run and smooth up your bangs. I want you to look your very prettiest for him.'
"It was not hard to obey the order, I was interested & had n o objections now to meeting this famous John Poe.
"When I came down to the living room a few minutes later Captain Lea was letting in a tall wide shouldered man, and they turned to me.
'Mr Poe', Captain Lea said, 'this is Miss Sophie Alberding our guest.'
"I am sure that I looked up into the eyes of this handsome stalwart plainsman and realized, then and there, that the conqueror of the citadel had come. I realized that what Pat Garrett had said was true-that none of the men I had been thro'wn with stood on the same footing with John William Poe.
"So we were married in