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“Silver City Days and Billy’’s Mother”

by Louis Abraham

The narrator was a childhood friend of Billy the Kid (then Henry McCarty) in Silver City. Here he describes the good food and good times he had in the home of Billy's mother, Mrs. Bill Antrim, in the 1870s.

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Mrs. Bill Antrim was a jolly Irish lady, full of life, and her fun and mischief. Mrs. Antrim could dance the Highland Fling as well as the best of the dancers.

There were very few American boys in Silver City when the Antrims lived here, therefore the few American boys that were here ran together all of the time. The Antrim house was the place where the boys gathered most of the time.

Mrs. Antrim always welcomed the boys with a smile and a joke. The cookie jar was never empty to the boys. From school each afternoon we made straight for the Antrim home to play.

My mother was dead, and my father had a Spanish woman for a cook, her food never tasted as good as the meals that Mrs. Antrim cooked. I ate many meals in the home of Billie the Kid and I know that I was welcome.

Mrs. Antrim was as good as she could be, and she made every one welcome in her home. When she died in 1873, she was buried in the City Cemetery. There was not a hearse in Silver City then so my father's Surry was used to carry the body to the cemetery.

Billie and I as well, soon learned we had lost a dear ally and friend, as well as his mother. A cousin of Mrs. Antrim came back from the East a few years ago and placed a monument at her grave.

I have often been thankful that she never had to know of the trouble Billie became involved in for it would have broken her heart. How thankful I am to know that that good woman never had to face that heartache.

Billie's home was an ordinary good American home. Good parents, and a good environment in the home. Billie's father came to Georgetown and settled. There he died.

Mr. Antrim, Billie's stepfather, was a mining man at Georgetown. Billie Bonney's mother married Mr. Antrim and the family moved to Silver City in 1870. Here Billie lived until he was arrested by Sheriff Whitehill.

The story of Billie the Kid killing a blacksmith in Silver City is false. Billie never was in any trouble at all, he was a good boy, maybe a little [more] mischievous at times than the rest of us with a little more nerve.

When the boy was placed in jail and escaped he was not bad, he was just scared. If he had only waited until they let him out he would have been alright, but he was scared and he ran away.

He got in with a band of rustlers at Apache Tejo in the part of the county where he was made a hardened character.

Ed Moulton, a miner and friend of Mr. Antrim, was like a father to Billie for he had known the family for a long time and was in their home but Billie never did kill anyone over Mr. A. Moulton.

Mr. Antrim was a man of good character, and was highly respected here until his death. Joe Bonney, Billie's brother, left here and was thought well of until he turned gambler, and went to his death in Colorado with his boots on. These two boys of a good and happy family, good boys when they were youngsters came to a tragic end for what reason no one knows.