University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Frank Coe Narrative, 1927

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Coe, Frank
Title: Coe, Frank, Narrative
Dates: 1927
Abstract: Photocopies of a typed reminiscence compose the Frank Coe Narrative, 1927, chronicling Coe’s life in the New Mexico Territory.
Accession No.: 91-013
Extent: 1/4 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Frank Coe (1851-1931) was born near Wheeling, Virginia, but grew up in Schuyler County, Missouri. On the advice of his brother Lew, Coe moved to Lincoln County, New Mexico, in 1875 where he worked as a farmer and ranch hand. Frank and his cousin George, also his fiddling partner at local dances, jointly invested in the county’s first thresher. Just as their finances began to improve, the Lincoln County War, a five-month fight over the local dry goods trade, broke out. Both fought with the Lincoln County Regulators, including Billy the Kid, and George was killed in an April 1878 shootout. Following the war, Coe moved to San Juan County in 1878, then left New Mexico, marrying the woman with whom he would have six children. Coe eventually returned to Lincoln County, buying the ranch where he would live the rest of his life.


O’Neal, Bill. “Coe, Frank.” Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters. University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.

Scope and Contents

Photocopies of a typed reminiscence compose the Frank Coe Narrative, 1927, chronicling Coe’s life in the New Mexico Territory. Coe describes his experiences with horse thieves, gunfights, and participation in the Lincoln County War, among other topics.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Coe, Frank -- Archive
Coe, George
Frontier and pioneer life -- New Mexico -- Lincoln County
Gunfights -- New Mexico
Horse stealing -- New Mexico
Violence -- New Mexico -- Lincoln County -- History -- 19th century
Lincoln County (N.M.) -- History -- 19th century

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[The Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library holds the original narrative. When citing the narrative, you must cite the original.]

Robert N. Mullin Collection, Nina Stewart Haley Memorial Library and J. Evett’s Haley History Center.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2.325/A130 The Life of Frank B. Coe as told to J. Evetts Haley, 1927