My great-great grandparents, William Abraham and Jane Crocker, were from England, met here in the US, and married in Missouri. Their first child, Willie, only lived to be one year old. Their second child, Annie, was born in Missouri in 1860. In 1861, the family packed up and moved "out west" to Colorado. There, my great-grandfather, George Ely Crocker, and his twin brother Frank were born in 1866. In 1871, the family moved again, to Cimarron, New Mexico, and settled there for good.
William opened a slaughterhouse and butcher shop at Cimarron. Cimarron at that time had only about thirty Anglo families among a larger Mexican population. Cimarron was a bustling community, partly because the mountain route of the Santa Fe Trail ran right down the main Street of Cimarron.
In the 1870s, Cimarron was quite possibly the wildest and most lawless town in the American West. Dodge City and Abilene had already been tamed, but New Mexico was still wild and wooly. Cimarron was the center of the old Maxwell Land Grant which was by then owned by the Maxwell Land Grant Company. There were many settlers who had been living on the grant land, some of them for a long time.
The Grant Company was trying to get possession of the land and the settlers were not giving it up. Add to that a great deal of dissatisfaction in the Cimarron area with the then-Governor S.B. Axtel and resentment of political corruption originating with a group known as the Santa Fe Ring. All of these forces converged and were challenged by citizens of Colfax county, resulting in what became known as the Colfax County War.
In 1892, my great-grandfather George Ely Crocker and great-grandmother Mary Walker married. Mary had been orphaned at a young age and was raised by the Crocker family. They had 6 children, 5 of whom lived to adulthood. Their daughter Josephine married my grandfather, William Albert Case, and my dad, George William Case, was born 2/2/1922. He will turn 90 in February 2012.