The Colfax County War Catalyst


Ironically, the death of a man of peace led to violence in Colfax County, New Mexico.  Methodist Pastor Franklin J. Tolby had taken sides in the dispute between the Santa Fe Ring and local residents, who the Ring was trying to force off the land. Tolby backed the farmers.

Tolby was found shot to death in a canyon near Cimarron on September 14, 1875.  Newspapers said it was an assassination, and it started the Colfax County War. A month later, a mob led by Clay Allison lynched alleged triggerman Cruz Vega—who was Cimarron constable.

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