I can give you the following information concerning David Crockett (born ca 1853, died 30 Sep 1876 in Cimarron, NM) who was the son of Andrew Jackson Crockett and Mary Danley.My husband is the great grandson of David Crockett's sister, Eliza Jane Crockett.We searched the newspaper archives of New Mexico and found the following stories.We also visited the graveyard where David Crockett is buried.
Saturday, 25 Mar 1876, The Daily New Mexican.A Cimarron dispatch dated today says:"Last night after taps, about nine o'clock, as three of the colored soldiers belonging to the detachment under Capt. Moore stationed at this place, were entering Lambert's saloon, they were fired upon by a party of cow-boys, names unknown, and killed instantly.From what we can gather from the bartender there was no provocation whatever.No arrests have been made, but the guilty parties are being searched for."
Wednesday, 16 Aug 1876, The Daily New Mexican:"David Crockett and Gus Hefferon, who have been charged with being implicated in the shooting of the soldiers at this place last March, had a hearing before Justice Phelps on Wednesday.The evidence failed to show any reason for holding them, and they were accordingly discharged.News and Press, 11th Inst.
Wednesday, 4 Oct 1876, The Daily New Mexican:Cimarron Affairs - As this interesting town has no newspaper, and items of interest but very seldom come over the telegraph line from way stations - unlike the management of the Southern Military line - we depend mainly for our information from Colfax county on private letters.A letter received by a gentleman in this city dated at Cimarron, October 1st, gives us the facts of the killing of one desperado and the wounding of another by Sheriff Rinehart and posse on the day previous.Although all good citizens must deplore the resort to such extreme measures to preserve the peace of a community, yet had the plan been more frequently adopted in the county a greater prosperity would have attended the efforts of its law-abiding citizens.The writer says:
"Two noted desperadoes, Crockett and Heffron, who have long been a terror to this community, and who were implicated in the killing of three colored soldiers at the St. James Hotel last spring, have been "running the town," for the past week, poking six-shooters and shot-guns in the faces of whom they met.Last evening, Sheriff Rinehart and two others started to arrest these fellows, armed with double-barrel shot-guns.The Sheriff's posse went out in the western part of town in the neighborhood of Sebwenk's barn, and found Crockett and Heffner on horseback, starting for the Urac [sic], and were halted just opposite the barn well and told to surrender.Instead of throwing away their arms, Crockett and Heffron at one placed themselves on the defensive, when the Sheriff's party fired one volley and as the horsemen started off toward the river on a run, let loose the other barrels of their guns.Crockett was found dead on the other side of the river, a few hundred yards off, and Heffron was arrested, having been shot in the wrist and in the head.No one has many tears to shed over the living or the dead, as they have been a terror here for the past week and often previously.Things will now take a change for the better, as there are plenty here now who say they will stand up for Sheriff Rinehart in enforcing the law against all evil-doers."
"It gives us pleasure to hear that "a change for the better" is about to take place in
Cimarron, and its citizens are to be congratulated on ridding themselves of roughs and murderers who come there to glut their appetite for blood on inoffensive people.Mr. L. Rinehart, has made a most excellent Sheriff, and deserves a unanimous re-election as well as the united support of the order-loving citizens, in his efforts to uphold and enforce the laws."
Tuesday, 10 Oct 1876, The Daily New Mexican:We have had quite a lively time in and around Cimarron for the last two weeks, caused by two men, Dave Crockett and Gus Hefron, undertaking to "run the town," which they did until last Saturday night, when they were brought up in a short time, by one of them being killed and the other wounded and lodged in jail.This trouble appears to have commenced last March when the three negro soldiers were killed at this place in a row in which these men were implicated:Before that time these men had been looked upon as two of the quietest persons in town, but since have become insane from whiskey, but as a general thing have conducted themselves so as to avoid any conflict with the authorities until lately, when Crockett drew a pistol on the Indian Agent and threatened to kill him for some imagined wrong; this matter was settled somehow and nothing was done to him.
"During the past two days these two men have defied arrest, threatening to kill any one who should attempt it; have rode their horses into saloons, stores and offices, and with their double barreled shot guns cocked have compelled persons to comply with their demands no matter what they were.On Saturday they baited the sheriff, and with their shot guns, loaded, cocked and armed at his breast told him he only lived at their pleasure, and politely informed him that when he made any attempt to arrest them to be sure to have "the drop," or his time on earth would be short.Things went on this way until no one was safe in town, about 9 p.m., on Saturday the sheriff (Rinehart) and Deputy (Holbrook) made an attempt to arrest them.He ordered them to hold up their hands.They responded by going down for their arms, at which the sheriff and his deputy let into them with shot guns.After receiving the fire they turned and fled but did not succeed in getting further than the north side of the river where Crockett soon died from his wounds.
"The general opinion among the people here is that the sheriff did right, and the only complaint I hear is that he allowed the thing to run as long as he did before killing these men.""Justice."
19 Apr 1879, Weekly New Mexican:"The Court in Taos County.The leading criminal case tried was that of The Territory vs. Joseph Holbrook, accused of the murder of David Crockett at Cimarron, of which the venue had been changed to Taos county.The trial of this occupied two and one half days, Frank Springer acting for the Attorney General.It will be remembered that Holbrook was a deputy sheriff, and shot Crockett while the arrest of the latter was being attempted, in September 1877 [sic, should be 1876].The evidence included a good deal of interesting matter relative to the condition of Cimarron in those troublous times, with a narrative of Crockett's actions in riding into hotels, stores, dining rooms, etc., forcing merchants to perform menial services, stirring up his drinks with a revolver, etc.The jury acquitted Holbrook, thereby justifying his action in the capture of this desperate man."