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Safford Field Office
Release Date: 03/21/13
Contacts: Dave Arthun, 928-348-4428,    
  Diane Drobka, 928-348-4403,    

Next BLM Brown Bag Lunch Talk Set for March 29

Safford, Ariz. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Safford Field Office will host its next Brown Bag Lunch talk on Friday, March 29. The free talk will start at noon and is open to the public. Bring your lunch and learn something about Graham County history.

Chuck Smith, a member of the Graham County Historical Society, will share a rather gruesome aspect of southeastern Arizona history. Smith will discuss the life of Augustine Chacon and his death by hanging at the county courthouse in Solomonville on November 21, 1902.

Chacon was born in Sonora, Mexico, in 1861, and led a very colorful, and dangerous, life. He was considered both a Mexican outlaw and folk hero of the Arizona Territory.  In 1888 or 1889, Chacon moved across the international border to Morenci, where he worked as a cowboy. It wasn’t long before he had a disagreement with his boss, which led to several killings.

Chacon later led a gang of horse thieves and cattle rustlers that operated in Sonora and Arizona. They were considered “the worst gang of outlaws that ever infested the border.”

A self-proclaimed “badman,” he was well liked by settlers, who treated him as a Robin Hood-like character. According to Marshall Trimble, Arizona's Official State Historian, Chacon was “one of the last of the hard-riding desperados who rode the owl-hoot trail in Arizona around the turn of the century.”  He was considered extremely dangerous by authorities, having killed about 30 people before being captured by Burton C. Mossman, the first captain of the newly reestablished Arizona Rangers.

Join Chuck Smith on March 29 to learn much more about this significant character in our local history. The BLM office is located at 711 14th Avenue, the corner of 8th Street and 14th Avenue.

Smith will also speak about Billy the Kid at the Graham County Historical Society’s Spring Symposium in April.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

Last updated: 03-21-2013