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 William “Billy The Kid” Bonney

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William “Billy The Kid” Bonney

  • Original Name Henry McCarty
  • Birth 17 Sep 1859 New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Death 14 Jul 1881 Fort Sumner, De Baca County, New Mexico, USA
  • Burial Fort Sumner, De Baca County, New Mexico, USA
  • Memorial ID 94

Legendary Outlaw. He was born in New York City as Henry McCarty. His mother's name was Catherine McCarty. Not very much information is known about his father except that he died when the Kid was young. Eventually, Catherine moved with the Kid and his brother Joseph to Wichita Kansas. After his first brush with the law, Catherine was diagnosed with tuberculosis and decided to move to New Mexico, where she remarried and died in 1874. When he was arrested for theft of laundry the Kid escaped from jail and left town, fearing his stepfather's reaction. He worked in Arizona doing odd jobs until 1877 when he killed his first man. This occurred when an ongoing feud with a blacksmith named Frank P. Cahill fatally ended when the Kid shot the much larger antagonist. He was arrested and broke out of jail and fled to Mesilla, New Mexico and began to use the alias William H. Bonney. After riding with the Jesse Evans gang, he eventually drifted to Lincoln, where he became associated with John Chisum, who was challenging the New Mexico government beef contracts. The Kid's association with Chisum led the Kid to become employed by Chisum associate John Turnstall. When rivals murdered Turnstall, the Kid and several associates formed the Regulators and were responsible for tracking down and killing those responsible for Turnstall's death including Sheriff William Brady. These activities were part of what eventually became known as "The Lincoln County War". The Kid agreed to turn himself in when Governor Wallage promised the Kid a full pardon in exchange for testimony in several murder cases in 1879. After several months, the Kid lost patience and eventually left town. When Chisum refused to pay the Kid for service in the Regulators, the Kid decided to help himself to some of Chisum's livestock. Two years later, he was eventually captured, tried and sentenced to hang for the death of Jim Carlyle in 1881. Sheriff Pat Garrett shot the Kid to death after the Kid escaped from prison three months later.

Bio by: Jip


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 94
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William “Billy The Kid” Bonney (17 Sep 1859–14 Jul 1881), Find A Grave Memorial no. 94, citing Old Fort Sumner Cemetery, Fort Sumner, De Baca County, New Mexico, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .