Old West Lawman’s Hearse Finds Home
LAS CRUCES, NM — A hearse that is believed to have carried the body of the lawman who killed Billy the Kid is now on display at a museum in Las Cruces, N.M., after being passed from hand to hand for over a century.
The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum’s history curator, Leah Tookey, recently told the Associated Press that the horse-drawn wagon was the only available hearse in Las Cruces at the time of lawman Pat Garrett’s death in 1908—a murder resulting from a leasing dispute between Garrett and a neighbor. “The chances are if his family decided they wanted to put him in a hearse, they put him in this hearse,” said Tookey.
The curator also admitted that historians have been unable to confirm the story, however. “The odds are just as good they probably put him in the back of their farm wagon and drove him to the cemetery,” Tookey said.
The hearse—which may or may not have carried Garrett—has had a number of owners over the last 112 years. It was rented to local residents for $10 by the Women’s Improvement Association of Las Cruces between 1894 and 1912. Most recently, the hearse was on display at the Historical Museum of Lawmen in the lobby of the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Department office until the museum closed.
Tookey told reporters that the hearse’s current caretakers plan to display the names of important figures who died in Las Cruces while the vehicle was in use.
Town of Swastika Votes to Keep Name
SWASTIKA, NY — The board of a small town in New York has voted unanimously to keep its original name: Swastika.
According to CNN the Town of Black Brook’s board supervisor, Jon Douglass, told reporters that the town’s founders named it in the 19th century after the Sanskrit word meaning “well-being.” At the time there were no negative connotations associated with the word.
Last week Black Brook’s town board—which oversees Swastika—voted to maintain the moniker after deliberating over a name change to address the modern context of the word. “We regret that individuals from out of the area that lack the knowledge of the history of our community become offended when they see the name,” said Douglass. NPR reports that the board’s deliberation lasted less than five minutes.
“I think that’s probably, maybe some viewpoint that it’s associated with hate. But then I believe there are others that do not associate it with hate,” Douglass told reporters. “Did the Hindus and the [Buddhists] and all them, did they erase it from their religious history because of the Germans?”
The swastika is a holy symbol that was used by a number of Eurasian cultures before it was bastardized by the Nazi Party in the 1920s. The group’s adoption of the symbol has led many in the Western world to associate it with white supremacy.
Woman’s Remains Lost In Mail
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — A woman is searching for her mother’s lost remains after they were mailed to the wrong address.
The Florida Times-Union reports that Kentucky resident Amy Redford is asking for help finding her mother’s cremated remains. On Sept. 9 Redford reportedly mailed the remains to what she believed was her sister’s address in Jacksonville, Fla. The box bore a label warning that human remains were enclosed.
The package was delivered to an apartment at The Club housing complex, where it was reportedly received by the apartment’s new tenant. Unbeknownst to Redford, her sister had changed addresses.
Redford said the tenant was in a hurry while taking an online test and placed the box aside without examining it. The tenant later placed the package outside her door in the hopes that the mail carrier would retrieve it when she realized that it wasn’t meant for her.
In an attempt to track the lost remains down, Redford reportedly sent emails to both Florida U.S. senators, the governor of Florida, the mayor of Jacksonville and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell. She also sent emails to trash companies in Jacksonville.
Redford told reporters that she isn’t blaming anyone for the loss but is hoping that someone will hear her story that knows what happened to the package.