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Another Corrupt Sheriff

Sheriff George Peppin, 1871

George Warden Peppin was born in either Mountville, Vermont or in Ohio. He was probably born in 1841. At age twenty, Peppin joined the army at Alleghany, California. As a soldier, he went to New Mexico and left the army at La Mesilla on November 30, 1864. He became a mason and eventually went to Lincoln. In the 1868-69 winter, Peppin worked as a mason at Fort Stanton and after that began building at Roswell and Lincoln. A lot of the houses in Lincoln Peppin built, including the McSween house. He ran for sheriff in 1869, but lost. He was the one that probably had his friend Jimmy Dolan kill Hiraldo Jaramillo. After his wife died, Peppin married Jaramillo's widow. He became a Murphy-Dolan-Riley henchman and was deputized by Sheriff Brady. Throughout the Lincoln County War, Peppin fought in several battles. Peppin was one of the deputies that was with Brady at his assassination, but Peppin was not harmed. After the next sheriff, John Copeland, was removed from office, Peppin was appointed sheriff. He became one of the Regulators' biggest foes, deputizing most of the other Dolan gunmen, most of whom were known killers and thieves. Peppin led the attack on the Regulator forces during the Five-Day Battle at Lincoln. After the Five-Day Battle, Peppin constantly asked for military protection at Fort Stanton and did not act the role of sheriff at all. He eventually resigned as sheriff and testified at Lt. Colonel Dudley's court of inquiry in the Colonel's behalf. He then became a butcher at Fort Stanton for a short time and likewise worked as a butcher for rancher Pat Coghlan, before turning to masonry again. He also testified against Billy the Kid at the Kid's trial for the murder of Sheriff Brady at Mesilla in 1881. In 1885, he was elected director of the school board. He was a Lincoln jailer in 1893 and served as a deputy again. On May 8, 1901, Peppin was charged for assualt with a lethal weapon, but nothing came of the charge. He died on September 18, 1904 of bowel trouble.

George Peppin, 1904

This is Peppin's last known photo.