- Alma, New Mexico
James C. Cooneywas transferred to Fort Bayard, near Silver City, New Mexicoin 1870. While scouting for the 8th U.S. Cavalrynorth of Mogollon and east of Alma, he discovered silver ore in the Mogollon Mountains. He began working the claim after leaving the Army in 1876. After laying out a town in the early 1870s, the town was bought by a Captain Birney, who named it "Alma" for his mother. In 1882 the U.S. Post Officeopened in Alma, lasting until 1931.
The town was home of
Butch Cassidyand the Sundance Kid's infamous Wild Bunchgang for a short period. They worked at the nearby WS ranch. Reportedly, the foreman and ranch manager were very happy with the Wild Bunch's work since the rustling stopped while they were employed at the ranch. [Gibson, E. (nd) [http://hometown.aol.com/Gibson0817/KidCurry.htm Kid Curry, the Wildest of the Bunch] . Retrieved 6/11/07.] Tom Ketchum, Harvey Loganand William Antrim, Billy the Kid's stepfather, also lived in Alma at some point. [(nd) [http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/nm/alma.html Alma] . Retrieved 6/11/07.] Artist Olaf Wieghorstonce worked on the Cunningham Ranch near Alma.
The "Alma massacre" involved a raid on United States settlers' homes around Alma on April 28, 1880. During the event
Chiricahua Apachetribal members were led by Victorio. They attacked a silver mine in the Mogollon mountains, killing 3 men including retired Sergeant James C. Cooney, the mine boss; a Mr Taylor was shot in the leg. The Apaches then killed 35 sheepers in a nearby area. The event was ended by the arrival of U.S. Army troops from Fort Bayard. [(nd) [http://www.huntel.com/~artpike/almamass.htm Alma Massacre] ] . Retrieved 6/11/07.] In April 1980, Earth First!erected a monument in the Gila Wildernessto honor Victorio's raid. [Wall, D. (1999) "Earth First! and the anti-roads movement: Radical environmental movements and comparative social movements." Routledge. p. 43.]
Alma has a cemetery with more than 100 burials dating from the 1880s to present. [(nd) [http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/nm/catron/cemeteries/alma.txt Alma Cemetery] . USGenWeb. Retrieved 6/13/07.] Catron County has been a site for the contentious re-introduction of the
Mexican Gray Wolfto the American Southwest. In 2000, a wolf was reported to have been seen "hanging around" a school busstop serving a local elementary school. [Miller, T. (2000) [http://epw.senate.gov/107th/mil20524.htm Statement of Ted Miller] . U.S. Senate. Retrieved 6/11/07.]
* Stanley, F. (1960) "The Alma Story".
* Reed, O. (2005) [http://www.abqtrib.com/albq/ne_columnists/article/0,2565,ALBQ_19852_4335282,00.html "In a remote cemetery, far from home, lie the soldiers killed in a Christmastime skirmish with Apaches,"] "Albuquerque Tribune." 12/22/05.
* [http://www.almanewmexico.com/ Alma, New Mexico] The town website.
* [http://www.wieghorstmuseum.org/history/history_index.htm Olaf Wieghorst Museum] website.
* [http://www.vivanewmexico.com/ghosts/cooney.html Cooney Mine] .
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