September 7, 2014

Hillsboro Declared Disaster Area - 1972

President Richard Nixon declared Hillsboro, New Mexico, a disaster area in September 1972.  Click here to learn why.

Two Hillsboro youths wade Percha Creek near the NM 152 bridge, built in 1972. The flood of 1972 destroyed the former bridge and much property, and killed four people. It was the third major flood to hit Hillsboro. The others occurred in 1887 and 1914.

August 19, 2014

Lee and Gilliland to be Tried again

They finally gave in the authorities.  Oliver Lee and Jim Gilliland will be tried for the murder of 8-year-old Henry Fountain in a creative reenactment, two showings on Labor Day weekend, at the Hillsboro Community Center.

Who will determine their guilt?  You.

Tickets are $10.00 and may be purchased at the Hillsboro Historical Society Gift Shop (credit cards welcome!), the General Store Cafe, the Barbershop Cafe and Black Range Vineyards Tasting Room, all located in Hillsboro, New Mexico. You may send a check to Hillsboro Historical Society, P.O. Box 461, Hillsboro, NM 88042 (be sure to specify which performance date you prefer); your tickets will be secured and available at the "will-call" desk at the Hillsboro Community Center the days of the performance. For further information, please call the Hillsboro Historical Society at 575 895-3321.

June 5, 2014

Belated Happy Birthday, Hillsboro

We're late.  Hillsboro celebrated a birthday on May 22.  You can read about the anniversary in this 1906 Albuquerque newspaper story, below.  You can read the entire page, here.

Stitzel stayed in the area, and is buried in Hillsboro's cemetery. Yankie returned to his natal lands to live out the rest of his life near Hillsboro, Ohio. Yankie survived not one, but two ambushes by Victorio in September 1879. His four-year-old daughter, Evangelina, was abducted by Apaches near Hillsboro in 1878, so said newspaper reports. If you know what became of Dugan, let us know. Comments are open to all.

January 17, 2014

Pat Garrett and Albert Fountain Murders Thread through Hillsboro

The February 2014 issue of True West magazine will surely be of interest to Hillsboro and Sierra County historians. The magazine covers Sheriff Pat Garrett and Albert and Henry Fountain's murders. 

Oliver Lee and gang are indicted and convicted in the magazine for murdering eight-year-old Henry Fountain. Jim Gilliland who slit young Henry's throat ranched in eastern Sierra County and is buried in Truth or Consequences. The connections to Garrett's murder a decade later are made clear in the magazine. 

Image: True West Magazine, Feb. 2014
The stories include Hillsboro judge, Frank W. Parker. Parker presided over the Fountain and Garret murder trials. Parker owned the three lots in town next to the courthouse, including the Miller House and the Union Church. In fact, he donated the lot to build the church in 1892. He later moved to Las Cruces then Santa Fe to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Hillsboro pioneer Nicholas Galles, a Fountain associate, and the father of Sierra County, was a business partner with Judge Parker. Judge Parker was the godfather to Galles' daughter Edith. She married Las Cruces lawyer Mark B. Thompson. It was Thompson who unsuccessfully prosecuted Garrett's accused murderer, Wayne Brazel. And Brazel had something in common with Lee: defense attorney, Albert Bacon Fall. When Fall got in hot water in the Tea Pot Dome Scandal, Thompson was part of his defense team. His grandson, Mark B. Thomson III, is a frequent contributor to this blog.

The True West pieces are compelling stories with compelling photographs that you won't see in the online versions.  These two stories are threaded through Hillsboro. You can read the part of the Garrett story, here, and some of the Fountain story, here.  Get the print magazine at the news stand for the whole picture.

--Craig Springer