Frank Coe (Lincoln County War)

Frank Coe (Lincoln County War)

Frank Coe (1851 - 1931) was an Old West cowboy and for a time gunman in the company of Billy the Kid, as a member of the Lincoln County Regulators.

Coe was born in Missouri, and ventured to New Mexico Territory in 1871 with his cousin, George Coe, where they would work on the ranch of a cousin. For a time during this period, they live near Raton, New Mexico. In July, 1876, Coe and Ab Saunders tracked down and killed outlaw Nicas Meras in the Baca Canyon, it is believed due to the latter rustling cattle. On July 18, 1876, Doc Scurlock, Charlie Bowdre, Frank and George Coe, and Ab Saunders break into the weak Lincoln jail and free horse thief Jesus Largo from Sheriff Saturnino Baco, then they take Largo outside of town and hang him.

When the Lincoln County War broke out, Coe joined the Alexander McSween Faction, following the murder of John Tunstall, facing off against Sheriff William J. Brady, and hired gunmen from the Jessie Evans Gang and the John Kinney Gang. He would be present in the Gunfight of Blazer's Mills in which Buckshot Roberts was killed by the Regulators, and had attempted to convince Roberts to surrender before the shooting started. His cousin George was supposedly who fired the fatal shot, although that is disputed. George, Charlie Bowdre, John Middleton, Billy the Kid, and Doc Scurlock were wounded in that shootout, with the Regulators leader, Dick Brewer being killed. Coe was captured on April 29, 1878, by a posse led by Jessie Evans, and including members of both the Evans Gang and the Seven Rivers Warriors. During that capture, Regulator Frank McNab was killed and Ab Saunders badly wounded. It is unknown for certain as to when he escaped, but it was prior to the Battle of Lincoln.

After the Lincoln County War ended, Coe left New Mexico for Colorado, and Nebraska, but later returned, in 1884, buying a ranch where he would live the remainder of his life. He was arrested between his departure and return, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the murder of Buckshot Roberts, but it was later determined he'd been mistaken for his cousin George. Also, in 1880, he was suspected of having taken part in a lynching, but never charged. He and his cousin George became well respected and prominent members of the community. He and his wife, Helena Anne Tully, would remain together for fifty years, raising six children.

External links

* [ List of Gunmen]
* [ A Loyal Regulator]
* [ Lawmen, Gunfighters, Outlaws of the Old West]
* [ The Battle of Lincoln]
* [ Chronology, Billy the Kid]

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