The events leading to Garrett’s death started innocently enough in 1907, when Garrett’s son Dudley leased part of the property to Jesse Wayne Brazel. In reality, Dudley didn’t have the right to lease any property, because it was owned by Cox who held the lien. Cox, however, didn’t protest the lease, and, in fact, helped financed Brazel’s goat herd. The lease and goat herd, however, infuriated Garrett, who still thought of the land as his own.
In January 1908, Garrett was presented with a proposition that would pay off his mortgage and get him back on his feet financially. James B. Miller, a former Texas Ranger, now a cattleman an hired assassin (who by the way, didn’t smoke, drink or cheat on his wife), offered Garrett $3,000 to 1) sell part of his land to Miller, who would then fatten his newly bought cattle before driving them to Oklahoma and 2) have Garrett drive the cattle to Oklahoma.
There was, however, one small problem to this financial windfall: Brazel and his goats.
A February 1908 meeting between Garrett, Miller and Brazel settled the problem when Miller agreed to buy the 1,200 goats for $3.50 a head. A few weeks later, however, Brazel informed the duo that he had miss-counted. He had 1,800 goats and Miller would need to buy them all or the deal was off.
Miller didn’t want any goats, let alone an extra 600, but he agreed to a second meeting to see if things could be worked out to seal the deal.
On February 29th, Garrett and Miller’s brother-in-law headed out from the ranch to Las Cruces and the meeting. Somewhere along the road, Brazil met up with them and rode along side their wagon on horseback. Words were exchanged and later testimony would declare that Garrett was very enraged by the current situation and cussed at Brazil, as well as threatening to get him and his goats off the land.
Pat Garrett was buried in the Odd Fellow Cemetery in Las Cruces on March 5, 1908.
I found this story on Pat Garrett’s death interesting, because I lived in Las Cruces, NM and most likely travelled the road on which he was murdered. However, I don’t recall my family visiting Garrett’s grave or me being aware of the story during my time living there. AKL
What historical places have you visited? Or would you like to visit?
Resource: THE CALAMITY PAPERS: Western Myths and Cold Cases by Dale L. Walker
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