Cipriano Baca, Frontier Lawman of New Mexico

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About the Book

This is the first biography of the legendary officer Cipriano Baca, scion of a prestigious Spanish lineage tracing their heritage to the first settlers in Nuevo México. Baca was well educated and a successful businessman before beginning a 52-year career as a peace officer. Tenderhearted by nature, he could be cold as steel, even lethal, doing his duty. He was a man of honor and principle in an age of greed and selfishness.
Baca was first an undercover range detective, next a deputy sheriff and a deputy U.S. marshal. In 1901, the territorial governor appointed him the first sheriff of the newly formed Luna County, and in 1905, the territorial governor selected him as the first man to become the lieutenant of New Mexico’s newly established territorial rangers. Written with the full cooperation of the Baca family and utilizing public and private records, this biography presents the truth about a complicated man. One revelation: Baca discovered who was the real killer of Pat Garrett and the motive behind the murder of the man who killed Billy the Kid.

About the Author(s)

Chuck Hornung was a member of the founding board of directors and vice president of the Wild West History Association. He is a member of the Historical Society of New Mexico, the English Westerners Society, the Western Writers of America, past president of the Western Outlaw-Lawman History Association and president of the New Mexico Mounted Police Historical Society.

Bibliographic Details

Chuck Hornung
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 296
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7332-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0153-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments  ix

Introduction  1

 1. The Early Years  3

 2. A New Life in Arizona Territory  12

 3. Diaper Days in Deming, New Mexico Territory  19

 4. Grant County Peace Officer  33

 5. The World Turned Upside Down  45

 6. A New Life in Mogollon  54

 7. Socorro, New Mexico Territory  63

 8. Miss Mary Ann Berry  75

 9. The Baca Boys of Socorro County  81

10. Baca Family Life  87

11. Life in Santa Fe  94

12. Return to Silver City  100

13. Luna County Sheriff  104

14. Deputy U.S. Marshal Cipriano Baca  132

15. The New Mexico Territorial Mounted Police  139

16. Lieutenant Cipriano Baca  142

17. Private ­Detective and Company Police Officer  180

18. The Mogollon Years  195

19. State of New Mexico vs. Cipriano Baca: Murder  206

20. A Broken Family  219

21. The Wartime Rangers  223

22. The Sunset Years  235

23. The Question of Eva Paiz  244

24. Crossing the Great Divide  251

25. Epilogue  256

Chapter Notes  259

Bibliography  273

Index  281

Book Reviews & Awards

“meticulously and comprehensively documented”—Wild West History Association Journal.