Hysterical Journey To Historic Places

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February 27th 2013
Published: February 27th 2013
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From Willcox take Fort Grant Road nortwestward about 25 miles to Hwy 268. The store is about 150 yards to the right of the stop sign. It is possible that Wyatt Earp and his vengeance killers shopped at this store to buy supplies with money that Wyatt swindled out of Henry Clay Hooker before fleeing from Arizona justice.

A soldier at a frontier post could not always get everything he needed from the sutler or from the commissary stores. The area of brothels and saloons that sprang up around military outposts was commonly called “Hogtown” by the soldiers that they were set up to serve. At Fort Grant in Arizona Territory hogtown thrived about three miles to the south of the post in what is now called Bonita. Henry Antrim was only 17 years old in 1877 but was already a well-known horse thief and shirker at Fort Grant. He was so slightly built that he could barely do an honest day’s work, and hated being put upon to do so under any circumstance. Being puny in stature had its advantage; he was adept at breaking out of jail. Henry was arrested in Silver City, NM for stealing a Chinaman’s laundry but escaped out the chimney, stole a horse and made his way to Arizona. He was arrested again at Fort Grant for stealing some cavalry mounts, placed in shackles by the post farrier, Windy Cahill, and taken to Globe for trial. He broke out of jail again and came back to Fort Grant, of all places, and got a job cutting hay. He used his first pay to buy a six-gun. On August 17, 1877 he got into an altercation at George Adkin’s saloon in Hogtown with Windy Cahill, and Windy was using him up badly. Windy was short himself, but he was strong for his size from blacksmithing. He had Henry on the ground and was slapping his punk face hard. When he wouldn’t let up Henry pulled the new gun from his pocket and gut shot his assailant. He then stole another horse and fled back to New Mexico. Windy Cahill died the next day. It was Billy the Kid’s first killing. Windy Cahill has come down through history as a bully for the way he used Billy the Kid in that fight, but it is an unfair distinction. Cahill was normally gregarious, hard-working, and well-liked among his peers, but he had little use for a known criminal. Any normal sized criminal would have been a target for Cahill’s wrath. It was just bad luck that Billy the Kid was a punk. The picture shows the Dubois Mercantile Store in Bonita. It is all that is left of Hogtown and was not yet even built at the time Cahill was killed.


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