Las Animas County, Colorado

Tafoya, Juan C. (1820 – 1872)

Juan Tafoya was a deputy sheriff in January 1868, when the infamous Trinidad War broke out. Following the murder of one John Dunn, Frank Blue was arrested and placed in jail. A group of Blue’s friends stormed the jail, apprehended deputy Tafoya and released Blue. Tafoya rounded up a posse and cornered the Blue group in a hotel on Main Street. The siege went on for two days. The military was finally called in to end the stand off.

Tafoya was elected sheriff in 1870, only to be removed in December 1870. In the election of 1871, he was appointed sheriff, after the removal of the elected sheriff, W. G. Rifenburg. Tafoya was re-elected, but was murdered in January 1872.

He is buried in the Old Section of Trinidad Catholic Cemetery.

From "From the Grave, A Roadside Guide to Colorado's Pioneer Cemeteries," by Linda Wommack, published by Caxton Press, Caldwell, Idaho in 1998

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