TAFOYA, CARLOS - Apache County, Arizona | CARLOS TAFOYA - Arizona Gravestone Photos


St John's Catholic Cemetery
Apache County,

1865 - Sept 8, 1901
Carlos was one of the fourteen original Arizona Rangers that were commissioned in 1901. There was a Captain, Burt Mossman, and 13 enlisted. The first big battle that the Rangers were involved in occurred even before the 13 man roster was complete. Early in October of 1901 Carlos and fellow Ranger Duane Hamblin had joined a posse of civilians who had trailed notorious outlaw and horse thief Bill Smith and his gang into the area south of Big Lake on the Black River. There they enlisted the help of Bill and Arch Maxwell, noted trackers. On October 8 the posse trailed the gang into their camp on Reservation Creek. They crept within 300 yards of the outlaws and at sunset the two Rangers and Bill Maxwell advanced into the outlaw camp and ordered them out. Bill Smith came out dragging his rifle. At 40 feet he brought the rifle up and opened fire. Maxwell was shot in the forehead and died instantly. Carlos was shot in the torso but continued to fight. Two outlaws were wounded, but the gang escaped. Before losing consciousness Carlos pilled a dollar from his pocket and gave it to one of the posse members. “Give this dollar to my wife,” he gasped. “It and the months pay coming to me is all she will ever have.” He died at midnight. Burt Mossman took the dollar to the governor and asked for a pension for Aceana, his wife. The legislature approved a $25 per month pension. The next two legislatures cut it to $12.50 per month. The final territorial legislature increased it to $20. The Rangers were disbanded in 1909 and Carlos was the only Ranger ever killed on active duty.

Contributed on 6/5/09 by goldwing.traveler
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Submitted: 6/5/09 • Approved: 6/6/09 • Last Updated: 10/19/12 • R67314-G0

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