|Birth: ||Oct. 1, 1851|
West Virginia, USA
|Death: ||Sep. 16, 1931|
New Mexico, USA
Benjamin Franklin Coe, partner of Billy the Kid, born Oct. 1, 1851, in Marshall County, VA, son of Benjamin Franklin and Annie (Kerr) Coe. Descendant of Robert Coe (1596-1689) of Boxford, Suffolk, England, and Newtown, Long Island, NY USA. Moved to the Ruidoso River, Glencoe, NM. Rode with Billy the Kid during the Lincoln County War. He and his cousin George Washington Coe were considered the Kid's best friends. Played by Charlie Sheen in the movie "Young Guns." His son Wilbur Coe wrote the book "Ranch on the Ruidoso, 1871-1968" (New York: Knopf, 1968), 294 pages.
Frank B. Coe, 79-year-old pioneer rancher of New Mexico, and once friend and companion of Billy the Kid, notorious outlaw, is in Denver on an extended "honeymoon" with his wife 69, whom he married fifty years ago, May 6. They are making the tour in their automobile; driven by a friend, Gustave Coutu, 23, Roswell. For months the two were constant companions, riding, working, and hunting together. "He was a very, pleasant boy," Coe recalled. "A better shot I never saw. He never fired twice at anything - once was enough. At that time he never killed anyone."
The Kid's career as an outlaw began in an unusual way, according to Coe. "An Englishman who had more money than brains, arrived in New Mexico with the intention of entering the cattle business. He had just inherited a rich estate in England. Hearing there were a lot of 'toughs' in that region, he hired the Kid as his bodyguard. Repeatedly the Englishman was warned to be on guard, but he was ambushed and killed. The Kid resolved to make every man connected with the murder pay with his life."
About that time, the Lincoln county, New Mexico war, a struggle for dominance in that region, came on. The Kid killed ten of the fifteen men he had set out to get. After thirty or forty men had been killed, the government took a hand in affairs. Coe, among numerous others sought by federal agents, surrendered. He was tried and acquitted on the first ballot.
"It made no difference about my acquittal," Coe said. "Gen. Lew Wallace, governor of the territory had promised to pardon me if I surrendered and was convicted on any charge. He made the same offer to the Kid, but the latter refused it, saying the minute he gave up his gun and entered a courthouse, he would be killed by some enemy."
The Kid was 19 years old then. Two years later he was captured. He was tried for the murder of Maj. William Brady and George Hinman on the streets of Lincoln, N.M., was convicted and, sentenced to death. "They were erecting the scaffold near his jail window," Coe said. "Ten days before he was to hang a guard with a spiteful disposition began to jeer him, evidently hoping he would start trouble and give him the guard, an excuse for using his weapon. He could then brag about having slain the Kid."
The Kid looked for an opportu1ity to escape and saw it. Catching another guard unawares, he grabbed his rifle, killed both guards and fled. A year later he was waylaid and slain - THE BOISE CITY NEWS, 6-25-1931
Benjamin Franklin Coe (1814 - 1893)
Annie Kerr Coe (1814 - 1899)
Helena Anne Tully Coe (1863 - 1947)*
Sydney E. Coe Bonnell (1882 - 1955)*
Anne Lee Coe (1885 - ____)*
Winifred F. Coe (1887 - ____)*
Agnes Belle Coe Bonnell (1889 - ____)*
Wilbur Franklin Coe (1893 - 1968)*
Edith L. Coe Boyce-Rigsby (1896 - 1986)*
Zebulah Helena Coe (1901 - ____)*
Lewis Wetzel Coe (1837 - ____)*
Mahala Coe (1839 - ____)*
Austin James Coe (1841 - 1903)*
James Austin Coe (1842 - ____)*
Albert M. Coe (1846 - 1912)*
Mary Ellen Coe (1846 - ____)*
Jasper Newton Coe (1848 - 1903)*
Zebulah Jane Coe (1848 - ____)*
Benjamin Franklin Coe (1851 - 1931)
George Coe Cemetery
New Mexico, USA
Created by: Smilydino
Record added: Nov 12, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61516825
Added: Mar. 16, 2014