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“Fountain for the Defense of the Notorious Billy the Kid and Bronco Sue Dawson,” by Dr. Jeff Schwehn

Join us for our monthly History Notes lecture, as Dr. Jeff Schwehn presents “Fountain for the Defense of the Notorious Billy the Kid and Bronco Sue Dawson,” on Thursday, October 11 at 1pm at the Branigan Cultural Center.

Dr. Schwehn will highlight the biographical background of one of New Mexico’s legendary citizens of the Territorial Period, Colonel Albert J. Fountain of Mesilla, a defense attorney for the most infamous New Mexico criminals of the 1880s, Billy The Kid and Bronco Sue. He will discuss their criminal trials in the context of the American cultural imperatives driving the settlement of the western frontier and explain how the “rule of law” and “the code of the West” overlapped to create a landscape of ambiguity that could all too often only be cleared through deadly violence.  He will conclude by considering just how infamous Billy The Kid and Bronco Sue deserve to be.

Dr. Schwehn obtained his Psychology graduate degrees at New Mexico Highlands University and the University of New Mexico; he’s worked as a practitioner and administrator in mental health clinics in Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Alamogordo, and Las Cruces; he was also a college Psychology instructor at NMSU-Alamogordo.

He has an immense interest in the New Mexico Territorial Period that includes the influence of religious outbreaks, social movements, political figures, and frontier myths in the development of New Mexico.

“History Notes,” monthly lectures on historical topics, takes place on the second Thursday of each month at 1 pm. Lectures are free and open to the public. Please check our webpage at, or, for a full listing of these and other public programs hosted by the Branigan Cultural Center and the City of Las Cruces Museums.

Admission is free to the Branigan Cultural Center, located at 501 North Main Street. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 4:30pm, and Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. For addition information call (575) 541-2154.

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