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 • Cimarron Cemetery
 • Cimarron
 • Colfax County
 • New Mexico
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Rev Franklin James Tolby
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Birth: Sep. 26, 1841
Hendricks County
Indiana, USA
Death: Sep. 14, 1875
Colfax County
New Mexico, USA

Methodist minister whose martyrdom sparked the "Colfax County War," a series of violent events culminating in President Hayes' removal of the New Mexico Governor for corruption and incompetence.

Sent to New Mexico in 1874, he served churches in Cimarron and Elizabethtown and traveled often between them, alone, on horseback.

A group of Railroad investors and politicians called the "Santa Fe Few" were aggressively pursuing Maxwell Land Grant holdings. Tolby had been outspoken against the Railroad's land-grab and had instigated the private purchase of acreage to keep it out of the Railroad's hands -- and for the benefit of the Ute Indian tribe.

When he was ambushed, shot twice in the back, and left in a thicket in Cimarron Canyon, outraged citizens formed a vigilante group. Five persons or more were shot or hung in the following weeks. The county seat and courthouse were ordered moved from Springer to Raton in attempt to maintain the rule of law.

Tolby was married and had several small children. A local mountain, canyon, creek, meadow, campground and hunting cabin have been named in his honor.

Also spelled "Taulby," he was born as Ben Franklin and renamed Franklin James. The local masons erected a formidable stone in 1913 to replace the broken original, which now resides in the historic St. James Hotel.

It says "Assasinated."
Family links: 
  Mary E. Russell Smith (1849 - 1922)*
*Calculated relationship
Aged 33 Years
Cimarron Cemetery
Colfax County
New Mexico, USA
Created by: Athanatos
Record added: Aug 24, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29269199
Rev Franklin James Tolby
Added by: Athanatos
Rev Franklin James Tolby
Added by: Jakekop
Rev Franklin James Tolby
Added by: Tim
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- H. Amy
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