THE EVIL BEGINNING OF THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE
This story, better described as an evil secret, was uncovered during an investigation by the Cold West Detective Agency. This hidden murder was purposely buried, not in the ground but deep in Deed records and discovered during a title search.
The evil was confirmed by an old-timer, one that remembered the 1950s court case. This case will not be dealt with here but showed us evil last for generations. However, we wanted to tell you of the secret beginning of the old Lincoln County Courthouse. This secret does not appear in even one history book. This darkness has not seen the light of day in over a century.
On May 20, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which granted Americans 160-acres of public land for a small filing fee. Between 1866 and 1868, the land along the Rio Bonito and Rio Hondo was surveyed, allowing settlers to own the land. Up until that point, ownership was proven by merely living on the land.
In 1876 L.G. Murphy wanted to build a store at the end of town; this store would later become the old courthouse. The only thing that held up his plan was the Maes Brothers controlled the land; they lived on it. Murphy instructed the Lincoln County Sheriff to obtain a warrant for the Maes' for horse theft. Murphy then ordered the Sheriff to Fort Stanton, where the Army had thrown the brothers in jail on Murphy's bogus charge. Murphy had one other order, the sheriff was not to come back to Lincoln with the brothers.
About two miles out of the Fort, on what is now US Highway 380, the Sheriff hung the Maes'. The Sheriff was told to put the murders off on Frank Coe and Ab Sanders. It's Frank's brother, Geroge Coe in the inset photo above.
Murphy continued building the store. Then Karma bites him. While he was building, on land stolen behind the double murder of the true owners the Maes Brothers, a slick attorney, John D. Bail from Mesilla patterned the land.
Outmaneuvered by Bail, Murphy was forced to buy the land for the sum of $500. The sale was recorded on December 20, 1876. Some of the biggest names in the Lincoln County War appear on the deed to this property, along with more shocking dark secrets.
Outmaneuvered maneuvered by Bail, Murphy was forced to buy the land for the sum of $500. The sale was recorded on December 20, 1876. Some of the biggest names in the Lincoln County War appear on the deed to this property, along with more shocking dark secrets.