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

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