A Guide to the Frank Coe Narrative, 1927
Frank Coe (1851-1931) was born near Wheeling, Virginia, but grew up in Schuyler County, Missouri. On the advice of his brother Lew, Coe moved to Lincoln County, New Mexico, in 1875 where he worked as a farmer and ranch hand. Frank and his cousin George, also his fiddling partner at local dances, jointly invested in the county’s first thresher. Just as their finances began to improve, the Lincoln County War, a five-month fight over the local dry goods trade, broke out. Both fought with the Lincoln County Regulators, including Billy the Kid, and George was killed in an April 1878 shootout. Following the war, Coe moved to San Juan County in 1878, then left New Mexico, marrying the woman with whom he would have six children. Coe eventually returned to Lincoln County, buying the ranch where he would live the rest of his life.
O’Neal, Bill. “Coe, Frank.” Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters. University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
Photocopies of a typed reminiscence compose the Frank Coe Narrative, 1927, chronicling Coe’s life in the New Mexico Territory. Coe describes his experiences with horse thieves, gunfights, and participation in the Lincoln County War, among other topics.
This collection is open for research use.
[The Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library holds the original narrative. When citing the narrative, you must cite the original.]
Robert N. Mullin Collection, Nina Stewart Haley Memorial Library and J. Evett’s Haley History Center.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers