Catron County, New Mexico

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Catron County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of 2000, the population was 3,543. Its county seat is Reserve.[1] Catron County is the largest county, by area, in New Mexico.[2]

Contents

History

Once located in the Santa Fé de Nuevo México and later in the Arizona Territory, the area forming Catron County was a part of neighboring Socorro County until 1921, when Catron was formed. Before that point the county had a history indicative of many places in the Wild West, replete with gunfights, shootouts, massacres, and gold mines.

Famous figures and events

The Mimbres culture was part of the Mogollon people who lived throughout the region where Catron County sits today. Their art is renowned for its beauty.

Sergeant James C. Cooney was the first person to find silver and gold ore in the mountains of Catron County. He was reportedly killed by Chiricahua Apaches led by Victorio in what became known as the "Alma Massacre". Cochise was another famous Chiricahua leader, while the infamous Goyaałé (Geronimo) had several hideouts in the county.

Cowboy legend Elfego Baca was the hero of the so-called Frisco Shootout in San Francisco Plaza in 1884, while Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch gang holed up at a ranch near Alma, New Mexico, around the turn of the century. Notorious outlaw Tom Ketchum also lived in Catron County.

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