Elfego Baca in Life and Legend
New Mexico's Elfego Baca earned a place in Southwestern legend in 1884 as a young deputy sheriff of Socorro County. In the town of Frisco he held off a gang of rioting cowboys for 36 hours, killed four of the gang, wounded eight others, and walked away without a scratch. But there was more to Baca than this incident. He rose in his accidental profession of the law to a political career that last a half-century. He served as sheriff of Socorro County, practised law, operated a detective agency, published a Spanish language newspaper, became associated with the Victoriano Huerta movement in the Mexican Revolution, and engaged in real estate and mining speculation. While a lawyer by profession, politics were Baca's ruling passion. He held numerious local elective offices but his hopes for a career in federal service were dashed with the disgrace of Secretary of the Interior Albert Bacon Fall.
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