During the 1870’s L G Murphy and his partner James J Dolan operated the mercantile company L G Murphy & Co enjoying a monopoly in Lincoln County.
The store later became the Courthouse.
In 1876 John H Tunstall an Englishman arrived joining forces with cattle baron John Chisum and local lawyer Alexander McSween to open a store just down the street.
The Tunstall Store
There was immediate and intense animosity between the two factions.
Within 12 months L G Murphy had sold his interest in the store to Dolan and Tunstall had been gunned down by Dolan’s Sheriff’s posse.
McSween was dead, gunned down by Dolan’s men when he tried to escape his burning house.
Site of the McSween home, it was never rebuilt.
Dolan’s store went bankrupt, murder and ambush on both sides increased the violence.
Legend has it that this bullet hole was put in the wall by Billy the Kid escaping from the courthouse.
Eventually the army were brought in to clean up the county and the Lincoln County War was over.
Lincoln today is a quiet town, with interesting museums and friendly folk, a few of the historic places in Lincoln.
The Wortley Hotel, once owned by Sherriff Pat Garrett
The Torreon, one of Lincoln’s oldest structures, built in the 1850’s it provided protection against the Apaches and was used by Murphy’s sharpshooters during the Lincoln County War.
Have fun, we are!