LONG LIVE THE KID
William Henry McCarty, Jr., better known as Billy the Kid, has been subject of numerous songs, legends, movies, books, and controversies, and had as many aliases (Bonney, Kid Atrim, William, Henry) as occupations (horse rustler, outlaw, gambler, cowboy). Despite his brief lifespan (he was only twenty one when shot by lawman Pat Garrett in the vicinity of Fort Sumner in New Mexico), McCarty has since managed to acquire a timeless reputation as both gun slinger and folk hero. And although he was born in New York City his namesake museum survives in Hico, Texas. Visitors to the Billy the Kid Museum in Hico can explore the mythology surrounding the young man’s life story as well as the history of Hico’s past. The museum also features a well-stocked gift store where shoppers may pick up a variety of items including a reproduction of the famous McCarty ferrotype (an early form of photography printing). The original ferrotype remained in the family of one of McCarty’s horse rustling partners for decades and ended up at auction in 2011, selling for 2.3 million dollars. McCarty, known for his sense of humor but engaged in a lifestyle in which abundant financial reward was likely never an outcome, would probably appreciate the irony.
Billy the Kid Museum
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m.-3 p.m.