Lincoln County New Mexico AHGP Genealogy
Smokey Bear

Lincoln County, New Mexico was once the largest county in the United States. In the late 1870 the so-called Lincoln County War broke out between ranchers and the owners of the county's largest general store. William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid, became involved on the side of the ranchers after his friend and employer was killed. In the end, Bonny killed the deputy that killed his friend, another deputy, and the county sheriff. Several other people were slain in the conflict, which included the other leader of the rancher faction. His death ended the conflict. In 1878, the new territorial governor, retired Union General Lew Wallace, offered an amnesty to the combatants in order to bring a long-lasting truce between the factions. Enough of Billy Brat. The Real hero of Lincoln County is Smokey Bear.
Friday, July 13, 1956, Story by Ted Turner:
Saturnino Baca may be called the father of Lincoln County. As a member of the Territorial Legislature from Socorro in 1869 he introduce the bill which created Lincoln county. The County comprised all the territory which now forms Lincoln, Chaves, Eddy, Roosevelt, Lea and part of Otero Counties. Friends wanted to new county named Baca but he insisted upon the name Lincoln in honor of the martyred President.
Baca was born in Valencia County in 1830. In the early days he was sent to California with a party of government surveyors who were to survey a road from Arizona to California. His job was to keep account of the miles traveled each day. At the beginning of the Civil War, Baca offered his services to Gov. Henry Connelly, and in 1861 was made a first lieutenant in Company E. First New Mexico Cavalry, which regiment commanded by Kit Carson, government scout and Indian fighter. Before the was was over, Baca was promoted to Captain of Company E and remained at its head until his discharge in 1867. He took part in the battle of Val Verde on the Rio Grande.
Following the war, Captain Baca served at Fort Stanton, Fort Wingate and Fort Bascom in New Mexico and at Fort Defiance in Arizona.
Captain Baca became the first probate judge in Lincoln County. In 1875 he was elected sheriff and served for three years. Later, he was a member of the New Mexico County Commissioner. In 1897 he was appointed a member of the New Mexico Penitentiary Commission. He was in the midst of the Indian fighting in the early days and was also active in the Lincoln County War during the days of Billy The Kid. Captain Baca lost an arm during the summer of 1889 as a result of a bullet wound in an elbow in a dispute over cattle and sheep range. His wife died in 1914. Had she lived a few more months longer, they would have celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. They had 11 children. Baca died at the age of 94 in Lincoln in the home of a daughter, Mrs. Frank Salazar. He was buried in Lincoln County. Transcribed by C.W. Barnum. Note: Saturnino Baca was buried in Lincoln Cemetery.
Baca Saturnino 1830  -- 3/7/1925.

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