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Regulator Leader

Dick Brewer

Richard M. (Dick) Brewer was born in St. Albans, Vermont on February 19, 1850 to Ransselaer and Phebe Brewer. In 1860, the Brewers moved to Wisconsin. Dick's father enlisted in the U. S. Army and left him to take care of his mother and sisters. By 1870, Dick's father had returned and Dick left Wisconsin. He left because the girl he loved married his cousin. He ended up in Lincoln County, New Mexico and went to work for L. G. Murphy & Co. After four years, he quit Murphy and bought his own ranch on the Rio Ruidoso, near the town of Glencoe. He became a very well liked and respected citizen and was known as honest, fair, and hardworking. In 1876, he became good friends with John Tunstall and eventually became the foreman on Tunstall's ranch, when not working on his own. Dick even led a posse to arrest members of the Jessie Evans Gang when they stole horses belonging to Tunstall and himself. On February 18, 1878, Tunstall was killed by a posse composed of known outlaws while he, Brewer, and other ranch-hands were herding nine horses to Lincoln. Brewer witnessed the murder of Tunstall, and thereafter felt guilty for his friend's death. After Tunstall was murdered by Murphy-Dolan-Riley men, Dick was made a deputized constable by Justice of the Peace John Wilson, under the suggestion of Alex McSween. Brewer was immediatly given leadership of the newly formed Regulators, a group organized for the purpose of serving arrest warrants on the murderers of Tunstall. He led the group that killed William McCloskey, William Morton, and Frank Baker, but was not one of Sheriff William Brady's assassins. On April 4, 1878, Dick led the Regulators to Blazer's Mills to eat. While they were there, Buckshot Roberts, a man they held a warrant for, approached and a wild gunfight ensued, with Charlie Bowdre firing a bullet into Buckshot, inflicting a mortal wound. Before Buckshot cashed in his chips, he wounded five Regulators and blew the top of Dick's head off. Thus ended the life of the Regulator's first leader.