Death by Association

Charles Cooper Clay Allison true west magazine
Chunk Colbert and Clay Allison.

For Charles Cooper, being a friend of Chunk Colbert didn’t turn out well.  The two were eating with Clay Allison at Cimarron, New Mexico Territory’s Clifton House on January 7, 1874.  Colbert and Allison finished off a disagreement with gunfire; Colbert died (see above illustration). Allison left Cooper alone—for the moment.

About 12 days later, Cooper disappeared while riding near Cimarron.  The body was never found. Allison was charged in his murder in 1876 but there was no real evidence and he was released.

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