May 17, 2021
Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok - These are the names of legends. Names I think most people – even those with no interest in old west history – will find familiar. But for every one of these guys there were a dozen others who were every bit as deadly and capable with a firearm, if not more so. Men who didn’t flinch in the face of death. Men who knew the smell of the black powder smoke and the crack of a bullet snapping past their heads.
Men who for whatever reason are largely lost to history. Or at very least just not that well known.
Men like Elfego Baca. The young store clerk who pinned on a fake mail order badge and single handedly took on an overwhelming force of gunmen. The over 30-hour gunfight that ensued is considered, by some, to be the most lopsided of the wild west. All at the tender age of 19! And don’t you worry your pretty little head, the rest of Elfego’s life was chock full of excitement as well.
The man would go on to be tried several times for murder. Work as a sheriff, a lawyer, a detective, a district attorney, a prohibition era speakeasy bouncer, dip his toes in the Mexican Revolution and hell, even become a school superintendent. And yes, his life would inspire a Disney TV series not too long after his death. According to one biographer Elfego Baca was "controversial. He drank too much; he talked too much; he had a weakness for wild women; he was often arrogant; and, of course, he showed no compunction about killing people.”
And when it came to killing Elfego made no bones about it saying “If a man had it in mind to kill me, I made it my business to kill him first.”
Sounds like the kinda guy we like around these parts! Who was Elfego Baca? Find out on this newest el gato nueve el vides I can’t speak Spanish worth a damn episode of The Wild West Extravaganza!
Check out my website for more true stories from the wild & woolly west!
The Life and Truth of Elfego Baca - Richard Duree
The Legend of Elfego Baca - True West Magazine
Following Elfego Baca - True West Magazine
The Frisco War - Legends of America
Elfego Baca: A Very Brave Man - Dr. Joe Sweeney