When Alexander McSween came to Lincoln County, NM in the early 1870s, he went to work for the Murphy-Dolan company. That outfit controlled mercantile and banking in the region—at least until John Tunstall came to the area. McSween took a liking to the young Englishman and partnered with him in his effort to challenge the Murphy-Dolan House. It was a fateful decision. Tunstall was murdered by a House-backed posse in February 1878. And McSween was shot down in the Battle of Lincoln five months later.