|Birth: ||Nov. 25, 1879|
|Death: ||Mar. 30, 1966|
Remembered today by Western History Buffs and Historians as the young man who shot and killed the West Texas gunman Barney Riggs, Buck Chadborn was one of the few men of the law who saw frontier times and the jet age.
Daniel Joseph "Buck" Chadborn was born November 25, 1879 in Bastrop, Texas, the second of the five children born to Joseph Randolph and Frances A. "Fannie" Boggan Chadborn.
Little is known of Buck's early life and there is no record of difficulties involving him until the age of twenty three, when he was forced to shoot and kill Barney Riggs. Riggs' reputation as a man killer was well deserved since he had killed a number of men and was considered a bully in Fort Stockton. A jury acquitted Buck Chadborn on October 17, 1903, just three days after the trial began.
His experiences in West Texas not withstanding, he lived a far more adventurous life after he moved to Columbus, New Mexico and experienced a lifetime in law enforcement.
The legacy Buck left speaks for itself. The esteem in which he was held in New Mexico is best reflected by this letter from D.A. Downs, of Alamorgordo, N.M., printed shortly after his death:
"To the editor: A notice in the papers of Buck Chadborn's death in Columbus, N.M. drew very little comment. He passed away March 30 at the age of 86. Buck Chadborn was the best of the best American-Americans. In these modern times an American-American is a throw back from the ice age. Buck Chadborn risked his life and fortune time after time to uphold the rights of property, the boundaries of states and this United States. Human rights and property rights were one and the same thing. Each depends on the other. Without either one, the other is impossible.
Highly respected on both sides of the U.S. and Mexican boundary he operated for years in both countries. He was in Columbus, N.M. when the commanding officer made the tragic mistake of ignoring the warning of Juan Favela, a highly respected Mexican-American, that Pancho Villa was gathering his men for an attack on Columbus. Favela risked his life to deliver that message. Many lives were lost, millions of dollars in property were destroyed. Mexico was invaded at the cost of more lives and more millions. A generation passed before the effects of this tragic blunder was forgotten. Both in the U.S. and Mexico. Mr. Chadborn could relate all this and much more without the slightest hint of bitterness. He was there, Charlie, he burned the powder, heard the bullets whine and saw men die.
A sullen resentment is building up in the hearts and minds of the true Southwesterner. He resents the Pancho Villa Park in Columbus, built with Federal and State money, to commemorate the villain of the peace. Just where does somebody plan a monument to men like Chadborn, Simpson, Thomas and a long list that can't be enumerated here? Has it come to pass that the American-Americans must go unhonored and unsung, while the liberals spend all the money on the robbers and murderers? When you think of the miles on miles of boundary still considered the dividing line between two countries, and maintained as such, think of the men that made that possible; think of Buck Chadborn.
Buck Chadborn considered the Pancho Villa Park a harmless effort to pick up a few fast bucks, but we who knew Buck Chadborn think it is an insult to men like him and the many more who could and did risk everything, to maintain the limits and the boundaries of these United States.
If nothing more, a salute to you Buck Chadborn wherever you are."
Source of information: Buck Chadborn Border Lawman by Bill C. James.
Neita Riggs Chadborn (1883 - 1952)*
Vera Chadborn Massey (1900 - 1937)*
Dan Chadborn (1901 - 1985)*
Mary Lee Chadborn Gaskil (1905 - 2003)*
Daniel Joseph Chadborn November 25, 1879 - March 30, 1966
Note: Border Lawman, Rancher, Deputy Sheriff, Cattle Inspector, U.S. Customs.
Mountain View Cemetery
New Mexico, USA
Plot: Grave site GPS: 32.26756 N. 107.72051 W.
Created by: C. Fahey
Record added: Feb 14, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17931408