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A Loyal Regulator

Benjamin Franklin (Frank) Coe and wife, Helen Coe, a wedding portrait, Feb 7, 1881

Frank Coe was born to Benjamin and Annie Coe in Moundsvile, West Virginia on October 1, 1851. As Frank grew older, he left his family to go West as a buffalo hunter. Frank ended up in New Mexico Territory, and his family soon followed. Frank and his cousin, Ab Saunders, started a ranch in Lincoln County on the Rio Hondo, near the small town of La Junta. In October 1876, Frank and Ab nearly killed Jaun Gonzales. They also were in the group of men that lynched horse thief Jesus Largo a few months later. Frank fought in most battles of the Lincoln County War and was the one who tried to talk Buckshot Roberts into a surrender at Blazer's Mills. He was also captured along with the wounded Ab Saunders at the Fritz Ranch by a group comprised mainly of the Seven Rivers Warriors. The Regulators later rescued Frank in Lincoln, possibly killing four Seven Rivers Warriors and wounding two more in the process. During the Five-Day Battle in Lincoln that concluded the war, Frank took a position in the Ellis house, but later vacated it when Col. Dudley arrived in town and threatend to destroy the building with his howitzer. He and his cousin George Coe left New Mexico for Colorado right after the war, but on a return visit, Frank managed to be arrested in Santa Fe for the murder of Buckshot Roberts. The charges were soon dropped though, once it was realized that Frank was mistaken for George (Frank wasn't indicted for the Roberts murder, whereas George was). In 1880, Frank was involved in another lynching. While Frank was gone from Lincoln, Selman's Scouts ravaged his ranch. Frank returned to Lincoln in 1880 and married Helena Anne Tully on February 7, 1881. Frank stayed in New Mexico after this and purchased the former ranch of Dick Brewer in 1882. He built a house near the Ruidoso and killed a boyfriend of his daughter's on October 4, 1898, but was acquitted of the murder. He died of pneumonia on September 16, 1931.

Frank Coe

This was taken in 1904.

Frank Coe and wife, Helen Coe

This photo of Frank and Helen was taken in the 1920s probably.