Elfego Baca (Law Enforcement Officer)

Elfego Baca

Elfego Baca was a gunman, lawman, lawyer, and politician in the later years of the American wild west. Baca was born in Socorro, New Mexico, to Francisco and Juana Maria Baca. His family moved to Topeka, Kansas, when he was a young child. Upon his mother’s death in 1880, Baca returned with his father to Belen, New Mexico, where his father became a marshal. In 1884, at age 19, Baca acquired some guns and became a deputy sheriff in Socorro County, New Mexico. His goal in life was to be a peace officer. He wanted, he said, “the outlaws to hear my steps a block away.” Southwestern New Mexico at the time was still relatively sparsely settled cattle ranching country.

Born: February 10, 1865, Socorro, New Mexico
Died: August 27, 1945, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Occupation: Gunfighter, sheriff, lawyer and politician
Political party: Republican Party
IMDb: Elfego Baca’s IMDb

About Elfego Baca

One of the last lawmen of the Wild West, he became part of the famed Frisco Shootout.

Before Fame

As sheriff of Lower San Francisco Plaza, he arrested a drunk cowboy, and shot several of his friends who tried to stop him; the ensuing standoff and shootout left his refuge house with hundreds of bullet holes.


Rather than arresting town lawbreakers by force, he usually sent them a polite letter, warning them that if they failed to turn themselves in, he would ‘feel justified in shooting [them] on sight when [he] come after [them].’

Family Life

He was born in Socorro, New Mexico in the closing weeks of the Civil War.


Robert Loggia portrayed him in them Disney miniseries The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca.

Information related to Elfego Baca

  • Baca Family of New Mexico – The progenitors of the Baca family of New Mexico were Cristóbal Baca and his wife Ana Ortiz. Cristóbal was a military captain from Mexico City who arrived in 1600 with his family in order to help reinforce the Spanish colonial Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico province in the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
  • History of Catron County, New Mexico
  • New Mexico sheriffs
  • People of the New Mexico Territory
  • New Mexico Republicans
  • People of the American Old West
  • United States Marshals

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Latest information about Elfego Baca updated on August 26, 2020.

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