Extracted Article Text (OCR)
THE BUFFALO COURIER 8 i 7 1 11 hardly have been found in all that region. Scarcely a dozen people went that way in the course of a year. The route there twisted among towering cliffs and pinnacles of granite. Patricio Maes and Manuel Malonado were appointed to look after the ranch, and to tell possible inquirers that it was Silva's property. It was smooth sailing for the band for several years.
Silva laughed and played the agreeable host at his saloon, and gave money for the church and for the orphans' home and the ioor old people about town. Hut almost every day he had reports from the members of his baud, and once a week or fortnight there was a secret meeting at night among the dark, heavy old adobe dwellings Las Vegas. Periodically there was a division of the proceeds from the recent sales of cattle, mules and sheep from Silva's mountain ranch to the buyers for the Eastern stockyards. The ranchmen were continually complaining of thefts of cattle and horses from their herds. The several sheriffs aud their deputies hunted the country over for the thieves.
fl 0 I I i IB i 5 1 1 II a 5 and the ranchmen banded themselves together to protect their property- Still the thefts went on. In July, 1S91, over seventy cattle were reported stolen, and three small postottices were robbed. There were mysterious disappearances also of miiiers and cowboys, who carried money about their persons and had no interested relatives in the Territory. For instance, Pedro Vejar was seen going to La Vegas one evening in May, lNIX), after he had sold his wool for $2lH). He was never seen alive again.
Then then-was Antonio Vasquez, who drew two months' pay from the Santa Fe Itaii-road Company one afternoon, and was last seen at Silva's saloon a few hours later partially drunk. His cuiimm and sister searched diligently for him, but not a clew could ever be had to his fate. Kamon Oberro disappeared in the winter of along with from his sale of mules. The Indians were given a good deal of credit for the crimes, but no evidence could be found against any JRUINED HOME OFrVICENTE SILVA ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF LAS VEGAS, WHERE MUCH OF THE GANG'S MURpERS AND MAURAUDINGS WERE PLANNED. IIAA'S RANCH AMONG THE MOUNTAINS, WHERE THE BANDIT SECRETED STOLEN HORSES AND CATTLE UNTIL THEY COULD BE SOLD AND TAKEN OUT OF THE COUNTRY.
i 1 FTHE PASSING Of VINCENTE SILVA5 Chaves and Juan Vnlpurdo one day la November, 1KJ2, when the roblers wrrt Mkinoing two beeve in a diatant canyon. The hides bore his brand and he start to Inform the sheriff. Valpardo shot him dead, and the two robbers burned th body to conceal their crime. Another ranchman saw the mnoke of the fire and went to the scene. II la teatlmony ecnrJ the hinging of Fellcio Chaves and Juan Valpardo in Santa Fe in March, IMKt.
In March. 1SSI3. the aherlffs of Han man's bands told the struggle she made with her bandit husband while be stabbed her- Thieves always fall out with one another. The Silva gang soon quarreled in their enforced hiding place. They were mad at the thought that while they had no money and were refugees, other partners in their crimes bad money aud were living comfortably elsewhere in New Mexico.
Hie men with Silva knew that he had made thousands of dollais stringer. When October lii, lS'J-. dawned the body of Patricio Maes, stiff, cold and covered with snow, swayed to and fro in the wind that was blowing over the Katon Mountains. The coroner's jury decided that -be had ben lynched for an unknown criifjc. Events moved swiftly Vfith the Silva gang after that.
Silva kitf-w that there were suspicions concerning his guilt atloat among the people of Las Veg.tsl He tied on October L'tith to a secret hid LI A I 5 of them. The people were shocked when the news came in the summer of that the ranch home of (Jeorge E. Payson (in San Harnalillo County), a young man just out from Cairo, 111., had been found broken into and the remains lay badly decomposed on the tloor, where the young man had fallen in a desperate encounter with unknown murderers. The house ing place among- the mountains near I Los Alamos. He, was indicted for horse and cattle stealing on November 7, l.SU'J, and became a refugee froiti justice.
The The leader and organizer of the gaug was the last man the people of Las Vegas would have suspected of being the promoter of all the rapine and blood shedding in that region. Vicente Silva was a saloonkeeper in Las "Vegas. He was born in San Harnalillo County, New Mexico, in 1845, was tall and well built, and had an intelligent face aud agreeable manners. He once ran for Sheriff and had a large vote. He was reared a neighbor of the Navajo Indians, and is a youth he saw repeated wanton murders and knew all about robberies and rapine.
It is natural then that he was an outlaw at L'U. He went with a dozen other Mexicans to Wyoming in 1877, and was a vaquero there for about a year. One day he met the wife of a Mexican railroad laborer and together they started on bronchos across the country for Colorado. The husband. Felipe Aguilar.
came home the next day and started posthaste after the elopers- What took place was never fully known, but Silva and his new wife reached Las Vegas worn out and ragged, after weeks of horseback travel, and a month later the news followed after them that an American farmer in Southern Wyoming, near Cheyenne, had found the decomposed remains of a man, who resembled Felipe Au'iiilir, beneath a straw stack. The hv.nl was nearly cut off and there were mortal cuts through the chest. No one ever doubted that Felipe had come across Silva and the eloping wife, and that the had been robbed of the money l'ayson was believed to have had there, besides its valuables. A bunch of cattle had been killed and skinned on the ranch. There was never even the faintest (lento the murderers and robbers, except that several skins, bearing Paysoii's brand, were found year later alter Silva had been killed, among several hundred i secreted at the Silva ranch ar San Pedro.
is no doubt that the earth un- i i I Covernor of ttie Territory "and the sher- I iff in Northern Mexico together I offered fl.tKMJ for-his rupture, Suspecting that his wife- ami her youth-j ful brother, (Jabrjel Sandoval, were giv- ing information to the sheriff and the secret organizations of citizens that were slowly uncovering the crimes of his band, Silva must have them alo out of his way. So he s.et tiliinit planning how expeditiously andwith ik subpieion of guilt on himself. Jill his wife and her younger brother. The pl lns were tin- ished by lSli; and on the evening of that diV Silva and Cuadalupc Caballero rode stealthily iiito Las Vegas, Two policemen In the t-own, Julian Trugelio and Cha ezwChavez, who had been partially in leaVne with the robbers and murderers lrm the first, I were sought They ngreed to go 1 with Silva to his ow addbe home an I der Silva's old saloon over there across the plaza holds a number of bodies of men who have mysteriously disappeared from this locality," said a merchant at Las Vegas recently to the writer, as he talked of the crimes that the arrested v. 'i'- i i i nTlai i i fil I mi i rfi It a committee to go and bring the Indian to justice.
ranchmen were horrified at the critfie. It transpired two years ago, however, that the murder was one of the deels of Silva's gang, and that it was doje because Col. Adams had Las Vegas, N. Jan. 11 he had man of the Ix.rdcr land is ftst passing awav.
Apache Kid and his, gang of marauders and cutthroats, he murdered some tweiitv-two settlers, owners aud teamsters along the Itio Grande border betw.tn IV. and havegoue into lMiann nau oeen stanneo to death ami found fellow nit who was rot)l)ing him and his 1 his ho.lv concealed in the straw shetjjp growers and wan about to those were rude davs. Th. stack. West thiir "raves.
Hie i.tipez mum umi i 1U rorizt-d the ranchmen and liners expose theLrobbers-. All in all. the Silva gang was lis desperate and af the same Western Knt lw.ru Mexico and i' stand guard at th- door while Silva am fi- t.n ha bou put to was settling pushing acros springing up mail, who had been formally fast and railroads were the plains, cities were like magic, and the bad killed his man and never tried, was in evidence deliberately, riSher to death. Ca ba Hero went inside tab Mrs. Silva and her Last flight the1 ltio 1 nHt any baid of out-Territories.
How attributed to the ou The crimes Mine. as sagacious as laws yet known in the litany crimes may be gang will rtever.f ki: Ollt- tent a hi Jose havez havez was month the Hutch Cassidy gafcg of I 'tut! w.is forever dispersed. of id to home und every here a im uig tin ountai spy out the situation at tie Silva ra nge went there. before Sil a and X'ab the ader shot and killed iMti hides south Of Salt Lake City. Close upon this new has come the information thirl the last of the horrible Silva gang of Northern members of the Silva gang had confessed in court, and the findings of the detectives.
I 1 1 1 the men who disappeared were persons without friends and relatives here, and no one wants to pull up the tloor and dig. Hesides, what good will it do now anyway Sev en people quite well known in San Miguel County dropped out of sight here from 1SS.S to The sheriff-: of Santa Fe and San Miguel counties had a tlow of reports of robberies of cattle and horses, and burglaries of ranch houses and isolated stores, and they and their deputies were ceaselessly vigilant. There was not a clew to be had to the offenders, search as hard as they could. Silva himself joined an organization and contributed money towards detecting the robbers, and for finding what had become of the men who had so strangely disappeared." The gang grew bolder and the secret of the frequent crimes came suddenly at last. Itefugio F'squibel.
the wealthiest ranchman in San Miguel County, found New lias gone to uw 't nt Sntitii Fe for a ith the doings of this list-aiamed or exico A NEW ItllAT (IF M.l!Vi;i,(il SPEEh. The Tiirbinia is without doubt the stenmboiit of the future. It is the Invention of an Englishman, a Mr. Par-ons, who is a on of Lord Kohm the constructor of the gigantic telescope that bears his name. Mr Parsons' long, narrow craft of peculiarly proportioned di menina.
Tliese are one hundred feet in length and nine feet in width. When with these figures it is also taken into account that the bow of the Tiirbinia is edged like a veritable knife. It may easily be seen that the whole means ieed. and speed hitherto unattained. The screws of the Tiirbinia make about revolutions a minute (the Inventor claims that even lO.tHN) revolutions a minute is not an inironible thing) audi the screws have b.t-n run up to a rate of no less than twenty-eight knots In the same number of seconds.
A recent trip, however, marked the upeed attained at forty miles an hour. of Mexicans r.r- their atrocious deeds that this Chavez came bacjf and jreporteil that Mrs. Silva had company, (and that tie had reconsidered wouh not be party to killing a womaV who ha4 been frieud ly to him. The deed must 0 done thht night, anyhow, so the plan of procedure was iiuh k-ly altered. Young iabriel Sandoval wis to be lured from bis sister's home and then quietly When Uiat was over Silva was to go btHiiv to lis wife as if he had just com-e' in secretly and hurriedly from his refuge in tile mountains, to force the wife tlee wHth him back to the mountains, where her murder might be accomplished mAc at leisure and with no witnesses, to ttv crime.
Th.it plan suited Jose Chavez 'linvci, who. tide deals- The old-timers who have ben ou the frontier of the Southwest for a generation and more, and have knoVvn scores of bandits and all-round bad'-iiien, who r.ver hesitated to go on a raid where he taken, -ft-hone sole ur of his best bred horses missing from Li 1 1 1 11 ni- 'kilT when tbmiL'lit for years was to run tlie hunted, utiii loved the range, hunting imals. He With his ranchmen lie went the mountains for the an-came upon them in the little restless, hiding career or a nnsauu, i. i h.i thu Stihin trnntr hi that the Silia gang of by their system of brigandage, while they were yet poor with prices ou their heads. It is natural that covetousness overcame them and plans were not slow for the murder and robbery of the chief himself.
Who killed Silva and where it wan done ban never beeD exactly learned, but (ioniales de Boca and Guadalupe Caballero each testified that Silva was tdiot in the head while be was cooking a meal early in February, 1H1W, and that from his body about was taken. At the time that the body of Mrs. Silva was dug up the husband was also found Miguel and Santa Fe eiuintiea had got abundance of evidence as to the men. who composed Vicente Milva's (ana. Twenty arrevts were rasde In few weeks.
Several men were brought back from Terns and from the northern Part of the Territory. Four made eipllcit confessions and three more told parts of the details the long series of crimes, Silva was dead and there was no longr fear of vengeance from him. The mills of Justice in the government courts of New Mexico Ing an to grind. Tbfjr ground very slowly, and they hate no 1 1 1 A a it Acf if) 1 1 I III old-timers all say cutthroats and thieves was Upmost perfectly organized ever known inbe boutn-west. Vicente Silva was several years planning a gang for brigandage in Northern New Mexico.
He chose hw men one by one after he had studied hem carefully. His purpose was to htfve followers who would pluuderr-kill, if actually necessary and do it all so q'Uietly that the plundered would never suspect his plunuerer. although they miQt meet a dozen times a week. Silva did not believe in the open raids of ofher gangs bandits. That involved ajlife in secret hiding places remote froSn civilization and Silva wanted to do business in town, apparently like other iem Very few bandits on the frontier have family or other ties.
Nearly all ia; the Silva gang were men of families, and passed for persons of some repute Jvhile they were deep in brigandage. vhey weut freely among their neighbors find friends without a suspicion that the' had anything to do with the crimes sit frequent occurence in that vicinity. A few even joined the citizens in trying ferret out the bandits. The gang regular meeting nights at Silva's saj-on, where no one suspected the members were there for anything but drinkj and gambling in a quiet upstairs room; probably no other organization of murderers and robbers was ever so established on business principles. There was an estaD-Ushed order of business amonft the members of the Silva gang, andv a general manager and treasurer.
SilviC organized the gang and he had those Jwo offices. Reports were made him of how robberies were progressing, and a committee decided on plans for new roLberies and the conduct of those in progress. The proceeds from robberies p4ssed into Silva's hands, and be made statements of the business and divided t)je proceeds from stolen property among tlie members of the gang, according to their participation. At times the gang sat as a Jury to decide the punishment to bt? meted out to a member who had disobeyed the lawB of the gang. Silva always presided, and once this self -organized court decided the death of one of ifa members mod the awful decision was forthwith put into execution.
For the five years that thexSilva gang was in existence in Las 'egas, the ranchmen, merchants and tracers in that part of the territory were In constant dread that their property might be robbeo rhotograpbs by BtlmlU. Cincinnati. O. WM. RANKIN GOOD.
HARRY J. PRICE. MRS. VICENTE SILVA, who was jinrdered by her hnsband on January 23, 1893, Silva having suspect-i. ed her of riving Information to the authorities.
ew battleship to be named The American Boy will be built to rervlac 7 th nd energy of these two young men. The strirtly speaking. Oood s. hot he is being helped ont In the enternris by 1 rice. Both are Ohio boys, and are being seconded In their efforts by the President.
Senators and many pn bile men. Nearly bave been alr-ady raised, but the battleship will cost 3 (KW.OOO. Everybody hopes that the Ides will successfully carried out. especially as no salaried officers are allowed to eat op. any of the contributions.
fl 5 a bullet hole in the back of Lb- with head. Vicente Silva and his new wife were not bothered with disagreeable inquiries by police officers. By a lucky find of a small silver mine in Southern Colorado, Silva had some capital. He opened a saloon on the old plaza in Las Vegas and did a good business from the first day. His winning ways, his big mahogany bar and his gorgeous gambling rooms upstairs, made this place a center of attraction.
The cattle and sheep herders and silver miners made money fast those days, and his place became the most frequented in San Miguel County. There was always a crowd of cowboys, sheep herders and wool and cattle buyers at Silva's, and the old-timers say that some of the most exciting moments they have ever known ground so fine after all. For four year the cases of the Silva gang have been in every term of the United Spates courts, in New Mexico. The whole Territory, especially the Mexicans, has watched the cases with deep Interest. Three men were not convicted.
Four were sentenced to death, and their sentence commuted to imprisonment for life. Three have been hanged. Five are serving sentence varying from four to ten years In the Territorial penitentiary. Two served at The last crime committed by the Silva gang before the flight of the leader and his chief assistants with him. was that by Fellcio Chaves snd Juan Valpardo.
They had been appointed to rob the cattlemen in Santa Fe County. Therefore they were not at so many meetings vt the gang as the others wbo lived In and about Las Vegas. Among the ranches they robbed was that of Thomas Mar-tines, a young man and a political leader among the Mexlcana at Santa Fe. Mar- -QiA- were so far apart and committed by different groups of men. So many of them, also, were thought at the time to have been committed by Indians or drunken cowboys, fcjilva himself was killed several years Cgo, and with him went the secrets of much of the outlawy.
From about February, 1890, to 1895, Vicente Silva and bis sixteen secret followers held the people of Northern New Mexico and Southetn Colorado in constant terror for their lives and property. Nearly ail that time no one outside of the gang had an idear of the Identity of the men who were stealing and killing their cattle, robbing their storehouses of wool, burglarizing, stores and postofflces, and occasionally? assassinating a man on a ranch remote from any community. The fearful dread that the Silva gang created in that region is still manifest. The significant sltrog of the shoulders by the sheep and cattle herders at a casual mention of SHvr's name, the anxiety of settlers In desolate mountain places for assurance thaj the last remnant of the Silva gang had been punished, and the frightened interest that little children have in all tales about the doings of Silva and hii followers, show what dread VICENTE SILVA. BANDIT.
This is the only picture of the bandit chief in existence happened "to corne" upon Fe lido 1 re A finr rZTZV ih the members of his own gang near Las Vegas, New Mexico; in February, 1893. rock corral at Silva's lonely ranch, and forthwith he went, and notified the sheriff as an officer of the law, ild not wish quite such a wholesale, murder as was at first proposed Trugelio was sent to ...11 1 I. n.A k. that at last a clew had been had to the any time by the unknown tnieves, ana the people who lived on lonely" sheep and cattle ranches out in the foothills were afraid to go abroad at night lest they, too, would be found dead atthe hands of an unknown murderer. Afl the cattle ranchmen were at their wifs' ends to know how their herds had lessened.
The stock ranchmen suffered severest and many found their best blooded animals gone. When Col. W. A. Adtfms ta cousin, by the way, of George Af Pullman) and his two stalwart sons vere found dead at the ranch home on their sheep range thirty miles south of Lgis Cerillos, and the gory bodies had bullets in their heads and stabs in their cheats, it was generally believed the PuebJo Indians Had again revenged themself.es on th white man.
Vicente Silva hifoself went about declaring that he woul( one of thieves that had so long been robbing th; It' rancnes for miles around. Patricio home of a sick friend in another part of Las Vegas. The young msn responded Maes, who was at the corral, was arrest ed, and, fearful of lynching, he secretly iu me erriLones were tnose in Vicente Silva's saloon of an evening, when the Mexicans from the ranges had become drunk and ugly. The cattle and wool business rapidly declined in 1887 and 1888, and custom at Silva's bar fell away fast. Hard times and an extravagant taste quickly bred in Silva the old-time spirit for outlawry as an easy means of livelihood, and while he laughed and joked with patrons at his bar.
and gave ostentatiously and generously to charity, he was secretly and at night organizing the most thorough band of marauders yet known in the region- He had been In offered to tell all about the robbers. He the people who live among the Raton Mountains, iemote from towns and from any association with human beings, have held for theand of outlaws now broken np and brought to justice. was accordingly let go for a week In which time he was to get more accurate information for the police officers. That was in October, 1892. A secret report was made to Silva at his saloon that Maes was about to teil all.
An order that the gang only knew went forth for a business meeting at mid night at the saloon. It was believed to the call. Just as he was hurriedly passing along a narrow, dark street lined with one-story adobe Silva leaped from a dark retreat and Itabbed him. Sandoval uttered a shriek and Jose Chaves Chavez, fearing thevnoise would rouse the neighbors, poundu the youth upon the head with a revolver until the skull was fractured. All tfce party fled but Silva and Caballero, wb carried the body to a cesspool atearby where it was thrown among the filttf, wfcere It was dug out two years later whei the details of the crime were ronfessel.
After washing hisThands i Policeman fh.vpi'. hniiso after the murder cf JS Mi, A vJ. 1 Colorado and he saw how cattle and horses might be driven there through the unfrequented passes in the Rockies, and how they might be sold in small bunches for large prices per head at the numerous mining camps in Colorado, without exciting comment and investigation. Then, I 3- Sandoval, Vicente Silva hastened to ols wife. He protested his love nd devotion to her, and told bow he ha-d risked hla very life to come to see ner again, iie rf 4 r' soon induced her td leave once with him for his hiding place, among tbe mountains.
No one Itnows wlat occurred on that ride along the loneI.v trail from -1 0 Las Vegas to the Katon Mountains that another dividend was pending and every member of the band was there. Silva shut up his saloon, barred the doors and darkened the windows, when the last man at the bar had gone. Then the gang assembled, coming one at a time and being admitted by a sign at the rear door. Silva presided. Maes sat there unmindful of the purpose of the meeting.
A member rose and charged Maes with perfidy to the gang, and told what he knew about Maes' agreement to reveal the gang to the officers. A brief trial was held. Maes denied, and other members of the band told what they knew about Maes' perfidy. Silva called for a vote on the guilt or Innocence of the accused. Everyone voted "guilty." Death had been agreed upon as the punishment for perfidy, when the gang had been organized.
Silva had prepared for the decision of guilty, and he had a rope and noose hidden behind his saloon. In the partial darkness Maes was bound and gagged by his companions, and dragged along the streets of Las Vegas an hour before dawn to the bridge over Gallinos Creek. There amid a blinding snow storm he was hanged from a cold, January night. Wtirt Silva returned to his half-dozen marauding followers the next day he said that be had too, tils long association with the Mexican vaqueros in Northern New Mexico especially in San Miguel, Santa Fe and San Barnalillo counties made him familiar with men most suitable for an organization for robbery and plunder, and he made few errors in his choice of followers. The meeting place was the Silva saloon at night after the lights had been put out and the business closed.
No band of Molly Magnires were ever bound with such secrecy and oaths as were the men who joined the Silva gang. Robbery of horses and cattle and sheep from the numerous lonely ranches of Northern New Mexico, with an occasional burglary and a murder, if it became necessary in the course of operations, was the purpose of the banc Silva bought for a mere song a ranch thirty-two miles from Las Vegas (near San Pedro) among the Raton Mountains, as the base of operation for his secret band of robbers. A more isolated and uninviting spot could finished the job and there would be no more "sauealing down in ls Vegas." Two months later, when th gang was linnvn and several men In were tum bling over one another in their eagerness to tell all they 'knew anl save their necks from hanging, the body of Mrs. KUii was dug from a shallow grave MRH. a JONES' HUNTING WAGON AURORA, In this novel conveyance Mr.
Jones, his two sisters. Miss Kittls snd Hiss Maud, and Mr. and Mrs. Jsmes Nicholson, recently made a novel hunting trin through the hunting and fishing gronnds o' Pennsylvania. Tbe great covered wsgon Is tight ss boose, sd provided wit' wlsdows, SMts, dining tabio, bunks f.or cPclty for provisions, stove and cookis utenslls.
BrU-'P Jf ootside snd inside ss th wagon was by night. Its appearance was aH revsUtkw to the satlves oftW eoontry P4-, At erery stopping pUee It attracted mocb. attsntkm. tript "bundance and returned bona delighted with their an arroys in a God-forsaken region nesr San Pedro. A dozen mortal tabs about the chest told the ftory ofvber death.
RANCH HOME OF GE0RGB E. PAYSON IN.SAN HARNALILLO. i CODNTT. Payson is sitting In the hammock In the picture. Hewent to New Mexico from Cairo, I1L, bat was murdered by Silva's gang Jott as he began to prosper.
Frightful laceration on tn aeaa wo- ft!.
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