Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Make your travel reservations here! Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop

 

Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!

 

Content Categories:

American History

Destinations-States

Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Travel Center

Treasure Tales

 

   Search Our Sites

Custom Search

Google

 

About Us

Advertising

Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information

Blog

Facebook Page

Guestbook

Links

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits

 

We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us

 

Legends' General Store


Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items

Books/Magazines

CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals

Personalized-Engraved
Postcards

Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!

 

  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View

 

Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads
 

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!
 

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View

 

Family Friendly Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old West Legends IconOLD WEST LEGENDS

Lawrence Murphy - Behind the Lincoln County War

Old West Books For Sale Here!

  Bookmark and Share

 

Lawrence MurphyLawrence Murphy, a Civil War Veteran, cattleman, and businessman, would be one of the primary instigators in New Mexico's Lincoln County War.

Born in Wexford, Ireland in 1831 or 1834, Murphy immigrated to the United States sometime before the Civil War. In 1851, he enlisted in the United State Army in Buffalo, New York and re-enlisted in 1856. When he was discharged in 1861 from Fort McIntosh in Laredo, Texas, he traveled to New Mexico, where he enlisted in the First New Mexico Volunteers at Santa Fe.

When he was mustered out again at Fort Stanton, New Mexico in 1866, he partnered in a business with another veteran named Emil Fritz. L.G. Murphy & Co was a store and brewery established at Stanton. Immediately profiting from their military contacts, they were awarded government contracts to supply beef, vegetables, and other supplies to Fort Stanton and the local Mescalero-Apache Reservation Agency. The pair then began a scheme to sell land that didn’t own to aspiring farmers and ranchers. Selling the land on credit, many were unable meet their payments, resulting in Murphy and Fritz foreclosing on their land, cattle, and/or crops. It was these cattle and crops that fulfilled the contracts with the fort. The scandalous pair also developed a number of contacts with a group of crooked Santa Fe politicians called the Santa Fe Ring, who protected their illegal interests.

  

In April, 1869, Murphy hired another veteran named James J. Dolan, who had mustered out of Fort Stanton and worked as a clerk for the L. G. Murphy & Co.

 

Lincoln County was formed that same year, and Murphy had political ambitions. He soon was commissioned a District Probate Judge in the new county seat at nearby Lincoln, New Mexico.

 

In May, 1873, a hot-headed James Dolan attempted to shoot and kill a Fort Stanton Captain named James Randlett. This would be just one of the reasons for the demise of the profitable L. G. Murphy & Co. store at Fort Stanton. In the meantime, Murphy’s partner, Emil Fritz, was diagnosed with kidney disease, sold his interest to Murphy and returned to his native home in Germany. On September, 1873, L. G. Murphy & Co. was evicted from Fort Stanton, partly due to Dolan's confrontation with Captain Randlett, but due to accusations of price gauging and scamming the local Mescalero-Apaches of the supplies they were supposed to be providing. Amazingly; however, Murphy did not lose his government contracts and quickly made plans to establish a new business in Lincoln, New Mexico.

 

Lincoln County New Mexico Courthouse, 1930

The Murphy & Dolan Mercantile in Lincoln, New Mexico  would later

 become the Lincoln County Courthouse. Photo around 1930.

 

Construction soon began on a massive, two-story building for the new L. G. Murphy & Co. Store, which took on the nickname of "The House.”  In April of 1874, former clerk, James Dolan, bought into the business and the store, now called "Murphy & Dolan Mercantile and Banking,” officially opened for business. Murphy was once again able to obtain lucrative government contacts, this time with Fort Sumner, and continued his crooked business practices. In an area thriving with cattle, land speculation and mining, the business was immensely profitable, and with its political ties, the "House” monopolized the region’s economy.

 

For obvious reasons, Murphy and his allies were disliked by the small farmers in Lincoln County, as they were forced to pay high costs for their goods, while at the same time, accepting low prices for their cattle.

 

James J. DolanIn November, 1876, Dolan and Murphy took on an additional partner named John H. Riley. The next year, things come full circle for Murphy; however, when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in March, 1877. He sold his interest to Dolan and Riley and the business’ name changed to Jas. J. Dolan & Co.

The very next month, a rival store was set up by Alexander McSween and John Tunstall called H.H. Tunstall & Company near the Dolan Store, which soon spawned what became known as the Lincoln County War. The feud between the two factions for political and economic control of the area would last for the next two years, fought sometimes in courtrooms, but more often through cattle rustling, gunfights, and murder. When the gunfights and battles were over, nineteen people had been killed in the conflict.

However, Lawrence Murphy, the scoundrel who was behind the whole affair, would not be present to witness the violence he had spawned. Spending most of his time in Santa Fe getting treatment, he succumbed to his cancer on October 20, 1878.

 

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated October, 2012.

 

Tunstall Store

The Tunstall Store now serves as a post office and a museum in Lncoln,

New Mexico, Kathy Weiser, February, 2008.

This image available for photographic prints and  downloads HERE!

 

Lincoln County, New Mexico Courthouse today

Murphy & Dolan's Store later became the Lincoln County Courthouse, which today serves as a museum, February, 2008, Kathy Weiser.

This image available for photographic prints and  downloads HERE!

 

Legends' Photo Print Store

Vintage Old West photo prints and downloads.Vintage Photographs of the Old West - From Legends' Photo Print Shop, you'll find hundreds of vintage images of the Old West that can be ordered in prints or downloaded for commercial use. Providing dramatic glimpses into the rich heritage of the American West, see famous characters including notorious outlaws and lawmen, cowboys and trailblazers, and more; transportation including covered wagons and stagecoaches; Saloons, Gambling & Women; Westward Expansion, and everything in between.

Old West People Prints and Downloads   Westward Expansion vintage prints and downloads   Old West People Prints and downloads.   Old West photo prints and downloads   Old West Cowboys and Trailblazers prints and downloads   Painted Lady of the Old West

 

                                                            Copyright © 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com