In 1850, the first official jail in San Elizario, Texas was built. Our travels through the El Paso Mission Trail took us to the now-abandoned jail, and our new friend George was kind enough to share the El Paso area story of Billy the Kid.
Apparently, the San Elizario jail is the only jail that Billy the Kid broke INTO to. (Who knew?)
Legend says Billy the Kid traveled from Las Cruces to San Elizario after learning that his friend, Melquiades Segura, had been arrested. Billy arrived in the middle of the night, posing as a Texas Ranger. When the jail’s guard opened the door, he found himself eye to eye with Billy’s 44 revolver. Billy quickly retrieved the guard’s guns, helped his friend out, put the guards in the jail, and threw away the key.
From there, the Kid hopped the river and headed into Mexico - which, at the time, was only about two miles away.
George also let it slip that Billy the Kid was “quite the ladies man.” If you ask around, there are plenty of residents in the area that trace their family tree back to the infamous outlaw.
San Elizario, Texas. March 2018.