When Barbara Hill began researching her family history twenty years ago, she had no idea that her great, great grandfather, Levi McCoy, was part of the posse to track down the most notorious outlaws in San Juan County, Porter, and Ike Stockton. By Donna K. Hewett. Sponsored by Boon’s Family Thai Barbeque and Distill Beer Wine and Spirits
The story of two of San Juan County's founding families was presented at the civic center in Farmington by Barbara Hill, a descendant of the infamous McCoys and the prosperous Hoods. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Boon's Family Thai BBQ and Distil Beer, Wine, and Spirits. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. Sponsored by the San Juan County Historical Society, The presentation was a result of many years of research by 84 year old Hill. Her great, great grandfather, Levi Allen McCoy, arrived at Cedar Hill in 1878. That put him squarely in the path of the county's most notorious outlaws, Porter and Ike Stockton. McCoy took part in the Durango shootout in which Ike was mortally wounded. Shockingly, Hill learned all this colorful history secondhand.
The strangest part about the whole thing is what I know now. It's not from my parents or my grandmother. There was so many really interesting things that went on that, until I started really digging in the history, that I had no idea. Like my grandfather was in the big shoot-off with Ike Stockton in Durango. The one that we portray every year in Dining with the Dead. My grandfather was involved in that. You'd have thought my grandmother would have said something.
How was he involved in it?
With a gun. He was with the posse.
On the other side of her family, Hill's grandfather, George Silvens Hood homesteaded the Flora Vista area in 1888. The Hood family became so prominent that it had its own community named the Hood Settlement with a post office and school. Again, she had no clue.
Okay, now we're going to do the Hood family. The more I worked on the Hood family, the madder I got at my family. My oldest son was 16, and he came home from school one day and he started asking me about the Hood Settlement and the Hood school and the Hood post office. And I said, "What in the world are you talking about? I've never heard of anything like that." I said, "Where did you see this?" And he said, "It was a book at school."
Hill couldn't believe the Hood side of her family had so much property.
Another thing that none of them had told me is the grandmother and grandfather also own property down by Ricketts park. And they had a place there and they raised 26 varieties of fruits. And I think it probably was on what's now Fairgrounds Road. Probably a lot of you have wondered why that street's called "Fairgrounds." Well that used to be where the fairgrounds was.
The San Juan County Historical Society was formed in 1988. After a group of people looking for maps could find none. An archive of all local historical documents was formed so that the history of this county would be preserved for generations.
And so what we're able to do, is help our speakers look into their backgrounds and then bring it to the whole community as a presentation. We do five of these a year and we focus strictly on local history.
To become a member of the San Juan County Historical Society go to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.
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