Cowboy, army guide, farmer, peace officer, and character in his own right, John P. Meadows arrived in New Mexico from Texas as a young man. During his life in the Southwest, he knew or worked for many well-known characters, including William "Billy the Kid" Bonney, Sheriff Pat Garrett, John Selman, Hugh Beckwith, Charlie Siringo, and Pat Coghlan. Meadows helped investigate the disappearance of Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain, and he later bought part of downtown Tularosa, New Mexico, where he served a term as mayor.
The recollections gathered here are based on Meadows's interviews with a reporter for the Alamogordo News, a partial transcript of his reminiscences given at the Lincoln State Monument, and a talk he gave by invitation in Roswell, New Mexico, to refute inaccuracies in the 1930 MGM movie Billy the Kid.
John P. Wilson is also the editor of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid as I Knew Them: Reminiscences of John P. Meadow and When the Texans Came: Missing Records from the Civil War in the Southwest, 1861-1862.