Hysterical Journey To Historic Places

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December 29th 2012
Published: December 29th 2012
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From Hwy 191 in Safford turn northwestward onto Hwy 70 and proceed about 25 miles to Fort Thomas. Turn left across the railroad tracks to Elementary School Rd. Go up the hill past the school. Follow the fencelins around past the ball field. Cemetery is in the southwest corner. You will have to bring your own whiskey.

A fellow named “Maxey” was a confederate brigade commander during the Civil War and the community of Fort Thomas was originally named in his honor by the community founder who served under him. The military, however, fell short of naming their fort after Maxey and that name gradually fell out of use. In March of 1881 a group of rustlers had just delivered a herd of stolen Mexican cattle to the army and were enjoying their leisure over cards and whiskey in Jack O’Neil’s saloon in Maxey. Among them were Curly Bill Brocious, John Ringo, Joe Hill, and Jim and Nick Hughes. There were of course some others of less notable repute. A local cowboy named Dick Lloyd was an acquaintance of Curly Bill from earlier days in New Mexico. He was known to have ridden with the Murphy/Dolan faction in the Lincoln County War. Lloyd was generally hard working and good hearted but he was too fond of mean whiskey. He was a contentious drunk and had such a good snoot full that Brocious would not let him enter the card game. When he left O’Neil’s he went to shooting his gun in town on his way to Mann’s Saloon. Mann was a justice of the peace in Maxey and would not tolerate rowdy behavior. When he intervened Lloyd shot him in the neck. As an encore Lloyd stole a horse belonging to Joe Hill and rode it into O’Neil’s and began shooting again. The card players calmly rose and shot him through the heart. Curly Bill chose not to fire on his friend and induced the others to round up all of the other good citizens in town for a decent burial. They took the body to the cemetery, scraped a shallow hole in the ground and lay Dick Lloyd to rest in it. After a few kind words the merry bunch dropped their empty whiskey bottles into the grave and returned to their card game. Dick never should have stolen Joe’s horse. The photo shows the sad little neglected cemetery in Maxey where Dick Lloyd rests in an unmarked grave full of empty whiskey bottles


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