An indictment for riot and a dismissal of charges

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Photo courtesy John M. Motter Made circa 1884, when the town of Pagosa Springs was platted into lots, this line drawing shows the hot springs in the foreground, Pagosa Springs in the background to the right and the buildings of Old Fort Lewis in the background to the left.
Photo courtesy John M. Motter
Made circa 1884, when the town of Pagosa Springs was platted into lots, this line drawing shows the hot springs in the foreground, Pagosa Springs in the background to the right and the buildings of Old Fort Lewis in the background to the left.

We wrote last week about the friction between Anglos and Hispanics for control of the government of newly formed Archuleta County. When the first elected county officials met to organize the new government in January of 1887, a group of armed men, all Anglo, broke up the meeting.

One of the men, Ethereal T. Walker, carried a hat box into the meeting. Once inside, he opened the hat box to display to the wide-eyed horror of the newly elected commissioners, all from the Hispanic faction, a brand new rope, neatly configured with a hangman’s knot.

The commissioners quickly adjourned and did not meet again until the end of September in 1887.

Meanwhile, a grand jury convened in Durango in October of 1887. Under indictment for riot from Archuleta County were the men who interfered with the January county commissioner organizational meeting. Indicted were: E.M Taylor, John Dowell, Frank Cooley, H.D. Bowling, John Kemp, Jacob Dowell, Charles Chambers, Walker, Tully Kemp, J.H. Hallett and R.J. Chambers.

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