Northeast New Mexico - Early History Timeline Legends and Lore
Black Jack Lost His Head
About four miles from Folsom, near Twin Mountain, Black Jack Ketchum held
up a train. He was wounded and the next day he was captured. He was taken
into Folsom and kept overnight at the Folsom Hotel, then taken to Santa Fe.
His arm had been shattered and had to be amputated. Black Jack's trial was
held in Clayton about a year later. He was found guilty and hanged with
such force he was decapitated. He was buried in the Clayton Cemetery.
The hanging of Black Jack Ketchum was Union County's only judicial hanging
(for the capital crime of "felonious assault upon a railway train") and was
conducted on April 26, 1901, against the north wall of what is now the
sheriff's office on the courthouse grounds. Black Jack's grave is located
at the Clayton Memorial Cemetery. Enter at the main gate by the flag pole.
At the mid-point into the cemetery, the grave is located between the two
roadways. It is probably decorated with a few flowers. Who sees to this has
never been made public.
Clayton/Union County Chamber of Commerce
1103 South First Street
P.O. Box 476
Clayton, NM 88415
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