Fred Waite (shown left) and Henry Newton Brown (shown right) were both members of the Regulators during the Lincoln County War in New Mexico in 1878. The Regulators consisted of cowhands employed by John Tunstall including Billy the Kid and other local citizens. They were formed to avenge the murder of Tunstall perpetrated by Sheriff Brady’s posse on February 18, 1878.
Fred Waite was part Native American and a member of the Chickasaw nation born at Fort Arbuckle in present day Garvin County, Oklahoma on September 28, 1853. Waite rode with Billy the Kid including his involvement in attempting to arrest the killers of his employer John Tunstall.
Justice of the Peace John B. Wilson issued arrest warrants for the men allegedly responsible for the murder of John Tunstall. On February 20, 1878 Constable Atanacio Martinez and two recently appointed deputies namely Billy “the kid” Bonney and Fred Waite accompanied him. Sheriff Brady prevented the execution of the warrants and he arrested Bonney and Waite and held them both in jail for thirty-six hours.
Additionally, Waite was allegedly present when William J. Brady, Sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico and his Deputy George W. Hindman were assassinated on April 1, 1878. Three days after the murders of Brady and Hindman Waite and other Regulators killed Buckshot Roberts, a suspect in the murder of John Tunstall at Blazer’s Mill.
In 1880, Waite returned to the Chickasaw nation in Oklahoma where he was worked as an officer for the U.S. Indian Police. Finally, he became active in politics and succeeded in becoming a delegate to an Inter-tribal conference. Later, Waite was elected to several offices including representative and senator in the Choctaw government from his home district. He was elected Speaker of the House three times and was named Attorney General of the Chickasaw Nation. While in this position, he died of rheumatism on September 24, 1895.
Henry Newton Brown, born in 1857, was raised by relatives in Rolla, Missouri after becoming an orphan at a young age. In 1877 Brown arrived in New Mexico and soon thereafter became employed by John Tunstall. After Tunstall’s murder Brown became a member of the Regulators and participated in the killing of Sheriff Brady and Deputy Hindman.
In the fall of 1878 Brown accompanied Billy the Kid and a few other Regulators to Tascosa in the Texas Panhandle where they rustled and sold stolen horses. With two active arrest warrants for murder in New Mexico, Brown remained in Texas when Billy the Kid returned to New Mexico. Ironically, Brown became a lawman in Texas and later in 1882 became an Assistant Marshal in Caldwell, Kansas. There he was promoted to City Marshal.
On April 30, 1884 Brown reverted to his outlaw ways and attempts to rob the bank in Medicine Lodge, Kansas. His accomplices were his deputy Ben Wheeler, William Smith and John Wesley. Brown shot and killed Bank President E. W. Payne when he reached for his gun. Also wounded was Chief Cashier George Geppert who staggered to the vault and closed the door before dying.
Brown and the others surrendered after being trapped in a box canyon near Medicine Lodge after a two-hour gun battle. The four suspects were confined in the Medicine Lodge Jail. Brown was killed by two blasts from a shotgun when he attempted to escape from the jail trying to avoid a lynch mob. Reportedly, Brown was nearly torn in half.