One of the last lawmen of the Wild West, he became part of the famed Frisco Shootout.
As sheriff of Lower San Francisco Plaza, he arrested a drunk cowboy, and shot several of his friends who tried to stop him; the ensuing standoff and shootout left his refuge house with hundreds of bullet holes.
Rather than arresting town lawbreakers by force, he usually sent them a polite letter, warning them that if they failed to turn themselves in, he would 'feel justified in shooting [them] on sight when [he] come after [them].'
He was born in Socorro, New Mexico in the closing weeks of the Civil War.
Robert Loggia portrayed him in them Disney miniseries The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca.