Eddy County is located in Southeastern New Mexico; bordered to the West by Otero County, the North by Chaves County, the East by Lea County and to the South, by the State of Texas. The county was named for cattle rancher Charles B. Eddy.
Long before Charles Eddy came along, the area was home to other groups and tribes of people. Around 25,000 BC, the people living in the area of Eddy County were relatives of "Sandia Man". Nomadic hunters wandered the area, hunting buffalo and other game, over the next several thousand years.
In the 1300's, a more sedentary group of people called "Basket Makers" settled in the caves around Eddy County and in pit houses, West of the Pecos River. In the early 1500's, Spanish Explorers Alvar Nunez, Cabeza de Vaca, Antonio Espéjo and Castaño de Sosa, traveled through present day Eddy County, following the life giving Pecos.
In 1866, Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving drove vast herds of cattle along the Pecos and set up "cow camps" in Seven Rivers and what is present day Carlsbad. John Chisum soon joined them and brought an estimated 100,000 head of cattle of his own through the Pecos Valley.
In 1881, Charles B. Eddy came to the area, and with his brother, John, and partner Amos Bissell, developed the Eddy-Bissell Cattle Company. In 1884 the Eddy brothers and Bissell broke ground on the Halagueno Ranch which encompassed an area from Seven Rivers to La Huerta (a suburb of Carlsbad). In 1887, Eddy built the Halagueno diversion ditch on the Pecos, 3 miles above the site of the Avalon Dam (which was completed in 1890) and incorporated the venture, calling it the Pecos Valley Land and Ditch Company. Eddy was looking to entice Europeans to settle the area and with the new Halagueno Ranch and the Pecos Valley Land and Ditch Company established, he sought funds from a Swiss bank to help attract them to the clean air and sunny climate.
During the 1890s, development was fueled by the arrival of colonies of immigrants from England, Switzerland, France and Italy. The original settlement bore the name of Charles B. Eddy, co-owner of the Eddy-Bissell Livestock Company. The cattleman recognized the value of diverting water from the Pecos River to the grazing lands on his Halagueno Ranch, which included present-day Carlsbad.
In 1888, Eddy arranged for the careful layout of streets in the new town and planted young cottonwood trees to line them.
the territorial legislature set the
boundaries of Eddy County, in 1889,
Seven Rivers was named the county
seat. (In 1889, New Mexico was not
a state yet. Statehood was granted
in 1911.) In 1890, Eddy was
now a competitor for county seat.
During an election that year for new
county commissioners, a referendum was
on the ballot to change the seat from
Seven Rivers to Eddy. The
referendum passed by a vote of 331 to
83. In that year, the census said
Eddy had only 278 people and they cast
241 of the winning votes. The
referendum also included the building of
a courthouse. Charles Eddy donated
the land which consisted of an entire
town block. The county
commissioners authorized a contract for
$30,000 to build a brick
courthouse. It was constructed in
the Victorian style of the day.
The courthouse was enlarged in 1914
(East Wing added) and again in 1939,
when it was also remodeled in the stucco
covered, Pueblo Style, which it is
today. In 1899, the town of Eddy
decided to change the name to Carlsbad,
after the famous European health resort,
Karlsbad, Bohemia (now the Czech
Republic), as both towns had identical,
mineral rich, springs. By
1892, the newspaper reported that the
town company had planted 12,000 trees.
Lots were sold for $50 to $400 each. Because the town’s benefactor was determined to create a model temperance community, restrictions against the manufacture or sale of alcoholic beverages were inserted into the deeds of each lot. A small satellite community of saloons and prostitutes flourished for a while in what was known as “Phenix,” south of the tee-totaling Eddy Township.
Former Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett (famous for gunning down Billy the Kid in 1881) first envisioned an ambitious development project to harness the valley’s water resources with a series of dams and canals for irrigation. He brought promoter Charles W. Greene to the Halagueno Ranch to meet Eddy, who soon recognized that more capital was needed for such a venture. Later, Robert W. Tansill introduced Eddy to millionaire James J. Hagerman, who became a principal investor in the Pecos Irrigation and Improvement Company. Unfortunately, Garrett was edged out of the new partnership.
Eddy, known as the “Pearl of the Pecos,” began as a company town for the massive irrigation and real estate development business. Hagerman and his partners soon formed their own corporation and took over the enterprise. Key to the growth of the area were special excursion trains that brought visitors from the east at reduced fares. Even before the railroad was completed from Pecos in 1891, travel parties were met at the railroad station in Toyah, Texas and driven by buggy 90 miles over a rough, dusty road to this small but growing settlement on the banks of the Pecos River.
By March 1893, the newspaper reported
that there were eleven visiting
millionaires in Eddy. All were attracted
here by the prospect of highly
profitable investments. Soon after the town of Eddy was
incorporated in 1893, a disastrous flood
swept away the Avalon and Tansill dams,
the original wooden irrigation flume,
and the Greene Street bridge. The
irrigation system was promptly rebuilt,
but the town’s boom period had ended.
By 1899, residents voted to change the
town’s name from Eddy to Carlsbad,
after the Karlsbad Spa in
Czechoslovakia. The inspiration for the
renaming was a large spring near the
flume which reportedly had mineral
qualities similar to the famous European
town constructed a first-class hotel to
provide lodging for the wealthy visitors
arriving by train. The Hagerman Hotel, a
two-story, 60-room lodging house, was
located on the southwest corner of
Canyon and Mermod streets, facing the
In 1918 Carlsbad officially became a city when New Mexico Governor W. E. Lindsay granted the town permission to incorporate, since the population had surpassed 2,000. Today, Carlsbad owes its world fame to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, which lies 20 miles to the southwest.
New Mexico is a farming and ranching
community 10 miles South East of
Carlsbad. It was first named Vaud
in 1893 by a group of Swiss Settlers who
imported Italian Laborers to work on
January 21, 1911 New Mexico voters went to the polls and approved a Constitution for statehood, the vote was in favor 31,742 to 13,399 .
February 24, 1911 President Taft asked for Congress to approve the Constitution for statedhood. The House passed it but the Sentate would take until August to approve the constitution by a vote of 53 -18 November 7, 1911 The State of New Mexico holds an election to elect the first officials.
Since 1891 the officers of Eddy county have been as follows :
1891-2: — Probate judge, ; clerk, Thomas Fennessey ; sheriff, David L. Kemp ; treasurer, W. F. Cochran ; assessor, J. D. Walker : county commissioners, Daniel H. Lucas (chairman), Bart T. Whitaker (Harry S. Church appointed to succeed Whitaker in May, 1891), C. H. McLenathan.
1893-4: — Judge, James A. Tomlinson ; clerk, Thomas Fennessey; sheriff, David L. Kemp; assessor, John D. Walker; treasurer, Harry P. Brown; commissoners, William A. Finley (chairman), Thomas Gardner, George W. Witt.
1895-6 :— Judge, Ananias Green; clerk, W. R. Owen: sheriff, J. D. Walker; assessor, W. F. Cochran; treasurer, S. T. Bitting; commissioners, R. S. Cameron (chairman; resigned in October, 1895), U. S. Batcman (appointed to succeed Cameron; elected chairman), Frank Reinholdt. George M. Monroe.
1897-8: — Judge, Ananias Green; clerk, W. R. Owen; sheriff, J. L. Dow; assessor, W. F. Cochran; treasurer, S. T. Bitting; commissioners, N. Cunningham (chairman), Frank Reinholdt, George M. Monroe,
1899-1900: — Judge, Ananias Green; clerk, W. R. Owen: sheriff, M. C. Stewart; assessor, W. F. Cochran : treasurer. John F. Matheson ; commissioners, N. Cunningham ( chairman), George Wilcox, N. W. Weaver.
1901-2: — Judge, 'Ananias Green; clerk, W. R. Owen; sheriff, M. C. Stewart; assessor, Joseph T. Fanning; treasurer, J. D. Walker; commissioners, J. H. James (chairman), George Wilcox, N. W. Weaver.
1903-4: — Judge, Ananias Green; clerk, W. R. Owen; sheriff, N. C. Stewart; assessor, John O. McKeen; treasurer, J. D. Walker; commissioners, J. H. James (chairman), George Wilcox, N. W. Weaver.
1905-6: — Judge, Ananias Green; clerk, W. R. Owen; sheriff, M. C. Stewart, assessor, J. L. Emerson ; treasurer, J. D. Walker ; commissioners, Allen C. Heard (chairman),- George Wilcox, N. W. Weaver.
The principal towns of the county lie in the rich valley of the Pecos, on the line of the Pecos Valley and Northeastern Railroad, and in the midst of a productive agricultural district. In fact, it is doubtful whether there is a finer agricultural country in the Territory than about Carlsbad (formerly Eddy), the county seat; Lake View, Dayton, Lakewood and the valleys of Black, Seven and Penasco rivers generally. Carlsbad is a well built and regulated town of about 1,500 people, its site being a rolling mesa. It contains substantial business blocks, graded streets, mile upon mile of shade trees and irrigation ditches, and a model court house, costing $30,000. When the town site company laid out the place the first pressing business was the location and building of school houses, and its several commodious structures devoted to the cause of public education indicate that practical interest in this municipal department has not flagged. Perhaps the greatest source of pride, after its irrigation and public school systems, is in the matter of shade trees. Seven Rivers, the oldest town in the county, was moved to McMillan, at the mouth of Seven rivers, in 1894. Later McMillan was rechristened Lakewood, which is also called the White Town. Among other attractions which it presents to visitors is a large artificial lake to the east, formed by damning the Pecos river, which abounds in fish, although its primary object is to irrigate the adjacent lands. About four miles from Lakewood is the old town and settlement of Seven Rivers, which was established in 1878. Seven Rivers is noted in the history of the Territory because of the Indian fights which occurred there in 1882-83, also of its connection with the notorious outlaw, "Billy the Kid." The raids of both parties were a great disturbance to the peace of this part of the country at that time. A militia company was formed for protection against them, and the ruins may yet be seen of the old adobe house which they used for a fort and for the storage of guns and ammunition. Three members of the company still live in the vicinity of Lakewood. Eight miles south of Artesia, near the confluence of the Penasco with the Pecos and on the line of the railroad, is the rapidly growing little city of Dayton. Although it was only three years ago that J. C. Day filed upon the tract of government land which is now the town site, the place has two churches, a public school, a good hotel, a weekly newspaper, and all the business and social accessories of a flourishing community. It is in the artesian belt, but the surrounding farms are not dependent upon its wells for irrigation, as the waters of the Penasco are already "ditched" and systematically utilized.
The first record of settlement here is that of a man of the name of J. T. Truitt, who was a Union soldier and had a homestead embracing the present town site. He proved up after a year's residence here and sold the property to Frank Rheinboldt, who afterward sold it to Mrs. Robert on the 18th of January, 1900. In 1901 Messrs. Richer, Hamilton Maddox and J. Mack Smith purchased eighty acres from J. R. Ray and later laid out the town of Artesia in January, 1903. The land was platted and the work of building the town and securing immigration was begun. There was an old siding on the railroad called Miller and the post office, when established, was named Stegman, but the town was called Artesia and later all took the last name. Mr. Richey was president of the company, suggested the name and is called "the father of Artesia." The newly organized company was known as the Artesia Town Site Company, with Mr. Richey as president, Harry Hamilton as treasurer and J. Mack Smith secretary. A short time after the organization of this company another company bought one hundred and sixty acres west of this property, operating under the name of the Artesia Improvement Company, the incorporators being E. A. Clayton, John Hodges, J. A. Cottingham and S. P. Denning. These two companies together drilled the first well of the town site, it being completed in July, 1903. This gave life to the town, which has steadily grown from that time forward until there is now a population of about fourteen hundred. Drilling for water was purely an experiment at that time and has proved not only a great boon to Artesia, but to the surrounding country as well, showing that water could be obtained in that way in this district.
A company known as the El Verde Grande Improvement Company, of which John Richey was president, had drilled a well in 1901 on Dr. fireman's land, seven miles northeast of Artesia. A large flow was obtained. A good portion of this flow was lost by losing the tools in the well. This well demonstrated that a large flow could be obtained in that portion of the valley. This well was nine hundred and seventy-two feet deep. The town of Artesia was incorporated in January, 1905, and the first town board elected was A. V. Logan, chairman, who later resigned and was succeeded by Mr. Richey ; J. C. Gage, George P. Cleveland and E. B. Kemp. This board was first appointed and in April, 1905, the election was held and the above named were chosen by regular ballot. The election of April. 1906, resulted in the choice of J. C. Beckham as chairman, while Messrs. Crandall, Enfield, McBride and Baskom became trustees. As has been indicated, Mr. Richey has been closely associated with the development and improvement of the town from its inception. He is president of the Pecos Valley Immigration Company, with offices in Artesia, which has done much for the building. of the town by setting forth the natural resources and advantages of the district and inducing immigrants to locate here. He has brought over twelve hundred people to the town on excursions since the fall of 1905 and is laboring earnestly and effectively toward making the country known, that settlers may be induced to locate here and develop its rich agricultural and horticultural resources and reclaim the once wild district for the uses of civilization.
H. W. Hamilton was one of the owners of the original town site of Artesia of eighty acres, having individually thirty acres, while John Richey owned ten acres and J. Mack Smith forty acres. On the 15th of January, 1903, these three gentlemen laid out the town of Artesia and before the plat had been completed they had sold lots to the value of one thousand dollars. Mr. Hamilton had previously been in Colorado as manager for the Carnegie Phipps works at Alamosa, where he spent nine years, and in 1896 he made his way to Carlsbad, New Mexico, to look at the country and determine upon its attractiveness as a place of location and investment. He settled at Roswell on the Cunningham farm, which was later purchased by George M. Slaughter, and in 1897 he invested near the present site of Artesia on what was then known, as the Miller switch. Ten men pooled interests and together sent to Chicago, purchasing a $3,500 well rig. They put down a well on Dr. Breeman's claim, got water, and after that the well rig continued to drill in the vicinity. Being assured of the artesian belt from indications already found, Mr. Hamilton and his associates determined to build a town here and organized the Artesia Town Site Company, with Mr. Hamilton as its president, John Richey vice-president, and J. Mack Smith secretary and treasurer. The Artesia Town Site Companv combined with the Artesia Improvement Company, which owned all of the city west of Rose avenue, in putting down the town well in 1903, and together they organized the Artesia Water, Power and Light Company. Mr. Hamilton acted as president of this company for some time, or until recently, when he sold his interest therein and became a leading stockholder in the Artesia Telephone Company, which was organized by the two town site companies and has the following officers: H. W. Hamilton, president; D. W. Runyan, vice-president ; and Floy Richey Hamilton, secretary and treasurer. The company has established a system throughout die city with one hundred and sixty 'phones and long distance connections with Carlsbad and Roswell. They also own a line to Hope, to be extended to Cloudcroft for El Paso connections. Mr. Hamilton was manager of the Slaughter ranch, near Roswell, for seven years, but since November, 1904, has resided in Artesia and has brought to bear the forces of an enterprising, progressive nature in the development of the town into which he and his associates are introducing every modern improvement and equipment, until the town vies in its conveniences and advantages with the old towns of the east. and. in fact, is in many respects superior to municipalities of long standing. Mr. Hamilton was married April 15, 1896, at Roswell to Miss Floy Richey, daughter of John Richey. Their children are : William R., Harry B., John C. and a baby.
John R. Hodges, secretary and treasurer of the Artesia Improvement Company, has been an important factor in the work of general improvement and in Artesia and various localities are seen tangible evidences of his life of activity and the results of his business discernment and enterprise. In the fall of 1897 he came from Texas to New Mexico, settling at Roswell, where he entered the employ of R. L. Moss, a druggist, with' whom he continued for a year as a clerk, when he purchased the store and there developed a good business, which he conducted until 1903, when he sold to Daniel Brothers. He was graduated from the University of Texas in the pharmaceutical department in 18ij6. and was thus well qualified for his mercantile operations. On selling his store he became connected with the Artesia Improvement Company, which was organized July 25, 1903, and incorporated under the laws of the Territory. This company purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, constituting the former homestead of John F. Boyle, lying west of Ross avenue. After securing this land the company laid it off as a town site in conjunction with the similar work of the Artesia Town Site Company. They first subdivided forty acres into town lots, called the. Clayton and Stegman addition, but the rapid growth of the town caused them soon to lay off the one hundred and twenty acres as the Artesia Improvement Company addition. The officers of this company are : J. A. Cottingham, president ; S. P. Denning, vice-president ; John R. Hodges, secretary and treasurer; and E. A. Clayton, manager. They were all Roswell people, who came to Artesia when they saw the advantages of the country and recognized its possibilities for development. The two land companies in Artesia organized a company known as the Artesia Water, Power and Light Company and put down the town well, which was the second well put down in this part of the valley, which was a great boon to the entire countryside.
There was little promise for rapid or substantial development in the town before water was struck, but this gave great impetus to its growth. People flocked in here in great numbers and the town has enjoyed a rapid and substantial advancement. At the present time Mr. Hodges is engaged in developing Lake Arthur, a town nine miles north of Artesia. He went to that locality in the fall of 1904 and was one of the organizers of the town. The Lake Arthur Town Site Company was formed by Mr. Hodges, C. L. Higday, E. C. Cook, J. S. Venable, J. R. Blair and H. H. Sigman; the present members of the company are H. H. Sigman, Elizabeth Hodges and John R. Hodges. The work has been carried on at Lake Arthur in the same manner as it was in Artesia in. the early days of this town. The company first put down a town well, going down ten hundred and twenty-four feet for water. The town site was the original desert entry of Tillman Furr. Mr. Hodges is now successfully engaged in disposing of town lots in Lake Arthur, and as a promoter has done effective and far-reaching work for the Territory. He is also the secretary, treasurer and manager of the Artesia Water, Power and Light Company, of which J. Mack Smith is president and S. P. Denning vice-president. Mr. Hodges has made a close study of town building, has thoroughly acquainted himself with the natural resources of the country and its possibilities and his efforts have been directed along practical lines, producing excellent results.
George P. Cleveland, whose advent in the Territory dates from 1869, in that year drove to New Mexico a bunch of cattle from Blanco county, Texas, after which he returned to the Lone Star state. In 1893 he again came to the valley from Coleman countv, Texas, but found no sufficient water supply and so returned to Texas; but in 1900, after the artesian belt had been assured, he came again and located at Roswell. He was engaged in business in that vicinity until October 16. 1902, when he located at Artesia, one mile east of where the town now stands. He took up three hundred and twenty acres of land and began improvements there. In March, 1903, he established a real estate business under the name of the Cleveland Land Agency, and has since devoted his energies to the purchase and sale of property, negotiating many important realty transfers. He has five hundred and sixty acres of land six miles south of Artesia, which he is actively engaged in improving, and has already transformed it into a productive property, which is constantly appreciating in value. He has made a careful study of the artesian supply from a geological standpoint and has prepared an article showing the result of his studies, which is found on another page of this work.
Among Artesia's residents is numbered J. A. Bruce, who came to the Territory in 1898, locating first at Roswell, but soon afterward he removed to his present place, two miles east of the town of Artesia. On the 1st of May, 1901, he began drilling a well and struck water on the I3th of September, 1902. This was the first deep well in the Artesia country and was a visible demonstration to people of the fact that the artesian belt crossed this locality. After this well was found people began to flock in large numbers to the district and the country became thickly settled. When the well was struck there was only one little store and a house in Artesia, but now it is a thriving and rapidly growing town. Previous to that time Mr. Bruce had used the surrounding country as a range for his cattle and he killed antelopes as late as 1899 on the town site of Artesia. His wife and mother-in-law also took up eight hundred acres of land, two miles east of Artesia, and the family still own all of this property. At the time the artesian well was demonstrated to be a success Mr. Bruce ceased to engage in stock-raising and turned his attention to farming. He has seventy acres in orchards and sixty acres in alfalfa, while altogether he has two hundred acres under cultivation. It required seventeen months to drill the well, but no other element has proven so valuable a factor in the settlement and building of this district, and Mr. Bruce certainly deserves the gratitude of his fellow townsmen, proving that water could be obtained here and thus making possible the irrigation and fertilization of the arid soil.The many prosperous sites now found in the Pecos valley are the result of pioneering. Water was found beneath the surface in ample quantities, and then quickly followed a blossoming of the land with all the fruits of the clime. But the preliminary work involved sacrifice and toil, and the results of the present are the actual monuments commemorating what those still living labored hard to produce. It is of especial interest to find one of the so-called weaker sex among the hardy pioneer class.
But in the history of the beginning and development of Artesia a singular record of tribute must be paid to Mrs. Sallie L. Robert, who was one of the first to reside on the town site of Artesia. She is a daughter of James Chisum and the niece of John Chisum, names well known in the Territory and inseparably connected with its annals. The first settler upon the land which she later owned was John Truitt, a Federal soldier. He sold it to Frank Rheinboldt, who sold eighty acres to J. R. Ray and eighty acres to Mrs. Sallie Robert on the 18th of January, 1896. On January 3Oth, in 1890, she filed on the homestead, which is now within the corporation limits of Artesia. In the fall of 1890 Mrs. Robert put down an artesian well one hundred and twenty-four feet deep. This was the second well in the entire valley and the first one in this part of the valley. She resided upon the place as her homestead property from 1890, and, as she prospered in her undertakings, bought much land in this vicinity. She was for some time engaged in entertaining travelers, as the old stage line from Carlsbad to Roswell passed by her home. In 1894 there was a cloudburst just west of her home and in a few moments her place was under water, the adobe house and all of its contents being destroyed. With great energy and determination — traits which have ever been characteristic of the Chisum family — she sent to Carlsbad for material and rebuilt her home on the same spot. In those days she had nothing to depend upon but her stock interests, but eventually she acquired property interests and is today disposing of her land in city lots and also selling farm property for one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre, her realty interests having greatly appreciated in value, so that she is now reaping a very gratifying financial return as the reward of her earlier labors and close application. She has lived to see a good town spring up here and has benefited by the rapid development of the district.
James Chisum, who is extensively engaged in raising goats, which has become one of the important industries of the southwest, is located at Artesia, Eddy county. He was born in Hardeman county, Tennessee, September 25, 1827, and for many years was closely connected with business interests with his brother, John S. Chisum, one of the distinguished pioneer settlers and stock-raisers of the Territory, now deceased. John S. Chisum, however, preceded his brother to New Mexico. James Chisum has devoted his entire life to farming and live-stock interests and in 1877 came to New Mexico at the request of his brother. He and his two sons remained on the ranch of John Chisum until the latter's death and then continued in charge of the ranch until 1892. In that year they disposed of the cattle raising interests and James Chisum turned his attention to sheep raising industry, from which he eventually worked into the business of raising goats, which has become an important business enterprise of the Territory in recent years. He has made his home continuously at Artesia, Eddy county, since 1892. and is regarded as one of the prominent and representative stock raisers and dealers in this part of the country. He has lived here from pioneer times and has not only been a witness but a participant in many events which have had direct and important bearing upon the history of the Territory, its development and progress. His daughter, Mrs. Sallie L. Robert, now lives with him.
James Chisum was married to Miss Ara Josephine Wright, who was born in Hardeman county, Tennessee, and with her parents came to New Mexico in the year which witnessed the arrival of the Chisums. Her father, Dr. Wright, was of a very prominent and wealthy family. Mrs. Chisum died March I1, 1875. The children of this marriage arc: Mary Branch, who died in 1873 ; Sallie L., who is the widow of William Robert and resides with her father ; Walter P.. a fariner of Roswell ; and William J., who is engaged in the real estate business at Roswell.
Walter P. Chisum, the elder son, was born in Denton county. Texas, September 25, 1861, and throughout his entire life has been engaged in ranching and farming, which pursuit has proved to be a profitable one. He came with his parents to Texas and for a number of years resided upon the ranch owned by his uncle, John Chisum, but now makes his home in Roswell. On the 15th of November. 1887. Walter P. Chisum was married at Dodge City, Kansas, to Miss Inez V. Simpson, and their children are: Jamie W., born February 28, 1889: and Ara B. and Oscar W., twins, born June 9. 1892. Walter Chisum is a stalwart Democrat, active and influential in the councils of his party, and has served as county commissioner of Chaves county. He is a prominent Mason, belonging to the Blue lodge, chapter and commandery at Roswell. to the Mystic Shrine at Albuquerque and to the Consistory of Wichita, Kansas, in which he has attained the thirty-second degree. His wife is prominent in the Eastern Star and for two years was matron of Roswell chapter, while from October, 1904, until October, 1905, she was grand matron of the grand chapter of New Mexico and was also a delegate to the general grand chapter at St. Louis. Missouri. William J. Chisum, the second son of James Chisum, is engaged in the real estate business in Roswell. He was born in Denton county, Texas, August 7, 1864, and is one of the most active of the second generation of pioneers in the Pecos valley, doing even-thing possible to develop the resources of the country and make the valley prosperous and a desirable place of residence as well. He belongs to that class who have followed those who have blazed the trail and have exploited the resources and riches of the district to its vast renown and their own profit, having the ability to plan and perform and to co-ordinate powers until success has been achieved and his position in real estate circles is one of prominence. On the 3rd of July, 1887, William J. Chisum was married in Dodge City, Kansas, to Lina Tucker, a daughter of Robert Tucker, now of Stillwater, Oklahoma, who served in the Mexican war. They have one daughter, Josephine Branch, born July 25. 1889.
J. C.Gage came to New Mexico in the spring of 1887, locating in the Sacramento mountains, with post office at lower Penasco. He came from Texas for the benefit of his wife's health, but shortly afterward was put in charge of church work as a circuit rider, preaching from White Oaks to El Paso in various school houses and churches throughout the mountainous district. He has traveled altogether for fifteen years in the Territory. He spent four years at James Canyon, one year at Weed and in 1892 located at Hope, where he continued his ministerial labors as a preacher of the Methodist church for ten years. He has been a most valued and important factor in the moral growth and progress of the Territory, especially in its southern section, and has planted the seeds of truth in many a desolate district. In 1902 he purchased a farm seven miles south of Artesia and in 1904 removed to the town. In 1905 he engaged in ministerial work there and at the same time became a factor in its business activity, purchasing the Artesia Hotel, which he conducted for some time. He was also one of the organizers of the Bank of Artesia, with a capital stock of thirty thousand dollars, and became its president, whatever he undertakes he carries forward to successful completion, utilizing the means at hand and bringing to his labors untiring industry, enterprise and determination. Mr. Gage was elected one of the aldermen of Artesia on the organization of the town and held the office until April 19, 1906. He belongs to Artesia Lodge No. 21, A. F. & A. M., also to Artesia Lodge No. 11. L O. O. F.. of which he is vice grand. During the early years of his residence in the Territory he devoted his time to preaching the gospel as a representative of the Methodist denomination throughout the eastern part of the Territory, and in later years has done effective service for his fellow men by planting the seeds of civilization and promoting progress in various localities. He is most highly respected and is loved by all who know him.
David W Runyan, of Artesia, was born in Indiana left home when thirteen years of age and went to Texas with Buffalo hunters, undergoing the usual experiences of such a life on the plains. He came to the Territory from Mason county, Texas, in the fall of 1885 with the firm of Shriner & Light, owners of large cattle interests. He drove cattle to New Mexico and continued with the company for several years. This was the first firm to locate on the Penasco, the date being the fall of 1886, at which time they filed the first land on this stream, where the town of Hope now stands. Prior to this period the Penasco did not flow through to the Pecos river, but since that year, 1886, because of the cattle tramping down the bed of the stream, the Penasco has flowed on until it has reached the larger body of water. About 1890 Mr. Runyan engaged in the cattle business on his own account on the Penasco near Hope and has been thus engaged to the present time, covering a period of sixteen years. He located three and a half miles below the present town site of Artesia in 1895 and had cattle all over the country. He now makes his headquarters at Hope, twenty miles southwest of Artesia, and his old ranch, which cost him eighteen hundred dollars and which was located three and a half miles south of his present location, he sold for ten thousand dollars. He has today two hundred and eighty acres of land adjoining the town of Hope, which he owns in connection with J. C. Gage and which constitutes a splendidly improved farm. He is a very popular and prosperous stock man, thoroughly familiar with the development of his section of the Territory, and his business activity and energy have been resultant factors in making him one of the prosperous citizens of this locality. This is an era of town building in New Mexico and with marvelous rapidity the unsettled districts of a few years ago have been transformed into populous villages and cities and thriving agricultural or horticultural communities. With this work E. A. Clayton has been associated in recent years. He came to the Territory in 1899 and located at Roswell, whence he removed to Artesia, October 6, 1903. He then purchased one hundred and sixty acres from John Boyles, who had homesteaded and commuted from the government this land, all lying west of Rose avenue. It was first owned by Clayton & Company and later the Artesia Improvement Company was organized with J. A.' Cottingham as president, S. P. Denning secretary and treasurer and E. A. Clayton as manager.
The company first laid out forty acres in town lots and after the town well was completed people came in such large numbers that the remainder of the tract was subdivided into lots. At this time Mr. Clayton is engaged in locating people on the government land around Artesia and the country is becoming rapidly settled. He has a farm two miles south of Artesia, where he has one hundred acres planted to alfalfa and forty acres in orchards. He is president of the Upton Lake Town Site Company, developing a town fifty-five miles north of Roswell, the district having been platted and the town laid out. Mr. Clayton is a very successful and vigorous promoter, towns springing up under his guidance as the corn springs from the fields which have been cultivated by the farmer. His labors are of a most practical nature and always accomplish results. Moreover he is a public-spirited citizen, and while promoting individual success also advances the general welfare. The town of Lakewood was originally known as McMillan. It was just a siding placed at the time the railroad ,was built through in 1894. At that time or shortly afterward a store was established by T. J. Scott. The next building was a saloon put up by L. W. Holt and G. M. Hogg. This was followed by a drug store, the property of Dr. Shedloski. The post office was removed from Seven Rivers to McMillan. In 1905 a town site company was organized, purchased the land from J. M. Coburn and E. C. Cook, and the town was laid out, being called Lakewood. The discovery of artesian water here was the motive factor in laying out the town. D. H. Burditt came to the Territory iii 1884, located at Seven Rivers and was connected with business firms in that historic old town for two years. He then turned his attention to the stock business in this valley, in which he continued until 1904, when he located in Lakewood and engaged in the real estate business. He bought out and has since conducted the Seven Rivers Real Estate Company. He is engaged in immigration work from the middle states and has been largely instrumental in securing many families to establish homes in this part of the Territory, his efforts being not only a source of income to himself but of direct and permanent benefit to this section. In addition to his realty operations he is also engaged in the stock business.
M. W. Fanning, who came to the Territory from Texas in October, 1879, and served for four years as a Texas ranger in the employ of the Lone Star state. In 1880, with Peter Corn, he located a place in the Seven Rivers country and started to improve property there. They began business together and both have since figured in the material development and progress of this portion of the Territory. Mr. Fanning has six hundred and forty acres of good land near Lakewood, where he is engaged in the raising of cattle, sheep and horses. He is one of the oldest of the pioneer settlers of the Pecos valley and has remained in the Seven Rivers country since coming to the Territory more than a quarter of a century ago. He is now well known as an extensive stockman of large and profitable business interests. Peter Corn, of Lakewood, who came to the Territory in the fall of 1879, located a place two and a half miles southwest of the old town of Seven Rivers in the spring of 1880, at which time there were but four families living there, and this was the only settlement between Roswell and the Texas line on the west side of the Pecos river. In 1882 Mr. Corn engaged in the sheep business, in which he continued until the spring of 1888, when he removed to Hope. There he resided until 1896 and was connected with stock-raising interests until 1903, when he began farming here. He has five hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land and his labors are demonstrating the possibilities of the locality for successful farming operations. Mr. Corn is well known as a pioneer settler and one highly respected.
W. P. B. Willburn has been closely associated with the history of the Territory and deserves mention by reason of the fact that he and his brother. Frank Willburn. brought one of the first droves of cattle to this country in 1867. Mr. Willburn returned in 1872 and with his brother located on a ranch where the town of Roswell now stands. They had an old adobe dwelling, a storehouse and shops across from the present location of the court house and they remained here in the cattle business until 1878. when the "Lincoln county war" was waged, when they left the Territory and returned to Texas. In the days of their early residence in the Territory there was not a ranch between Roswell and St. Angelo, Texas. In 1895 W. P. B. Willburn returned to the Territory from Texas and located near Hope, where he now lives, his place being about four miles east of the town. He has a good property, which he has brought under a high state of cultivation and improved with many modern equipments and good buildings'.
" Linn" J. C. Richards came to New Mexico in 1898 from Texas and located in Hope settlement below the town of Hope, where he engaged in the stock business. In 1903 he removed to his present place, a mile and a half west of Hope. Here he has an excellent farm property, owning altogether five hundred and sixty acres of valuable land, which responds readily to cultivation. He has ninety acres devoted to various crops and in addition fifteen acres is planted to alfalfa, while a fine orchard covers twenty- four acres. Mr. Richards, Mr. Riley and Mr. Read were the first men to ship apples by car-load from Hope, making the first shipment in 1904, and in 1905 the shipment reached fourteen car loads. Mr. Richards is doing much to demonstrate the possibilities of this locality as a fruit-producing center and is thus contributing to his own success and at the same time leading the way that others may follow and enjoy the benefits of horticultural development and progress in this part of the country. Joseph T. Fanning, one of the oldest and most substantial citizens of the Territory, now farming near Hope with a property embracing three hundred and twenty acres of land, came to New Mexico from Texas in 1880 and located at Seven Rivers. He engaged in business there for about fifteen years and was also prominent and influential in community affairs. He was serving as deputy sheriff under Pat Garrett at the time when Billy the Kid was leading his band of lawless followers in many depredations, only to be ultimately apprehended by Garrett.
In 1900 Mr. Fanning came to the Hope settlement and located at his present place, which he purchased of W. F. Daugherity. He has three hundred and twenty acres of land, which he is bringing under a high state of cultivation. While in Texas he served for two years as a Texas Ranger. He was county assessor of Eddy county in 1901-02, and is one of the oldest and most substantial citizens of the Territory, working toward those ends which are of permanent benefit in the Territory's development. W. P. Riley came to the Territory in the fall of 1887 and spent the winter at La Luz. In the fall of that year the Penasco went through to the Pecos, and in 1888 the first ditch was taken out of Penasco by John A. Beckett.
It was also in the fall of 1888 that Mr. Riley filed on his present place, two and a quarter miles west of Hope. He has four hundred acres here, including a large orchard and fine fields of alfalfa. The orchard covers fifteen acres and he produces some excellent fruit. He has raised some pears weighing two pounds each. Mr. Riley is a very progressive citizen, constantly seeking out new methods for improvement and advancement, and is one the prominent and influential men of the community. Recently he has established an automobile line from Artesia to Hope, with two machines. He is in touch with modern advancement and has conducted his interests along lines of improvement which make him a leader in the movements.
Robert Weems Tansill, who was very active and prominent as a promoter of the Pecos valley, his business enterprise, capacity and diligence contributing in substantial measure to its development and settlement, made his home at Carlsbad, where he passed away December 29, 1902. He was born August 2O, 1844, in Prince William county, Virginia, and was the only child of Robert and Fanny (Weems) Tansill. In the maternal line he was a direct descendant of Mason Lock Weems, a well-known historian of the Revolution and the author of the Life of Washington. It was he who wrote the hatchet story. He was also an Episcopalian clergyman, having charge of the church at Alexandria, Virginia, near Mount Vernon, of which General Washington was a communicant. Robert W. Tansill was educated at Alexandria, Virginia, and in Georgetown University, at Georgetown, District of Columbia. In the spring of 1861 he accompanied his maternal grandparents to Illinois, and shortly afterward went into business at Clayton, engaging in the confectionery trade and the jobbing of cigars. On the list of January, 1867, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Motter, and in 1868 they removed to Chicago, where he continued successfully in business until the disastrous fire which swept over the city in October, 1871. He lost everything but his determination and enterprise, and he soon afterward resumed business, confining his attention exclusively to the cigar trade. Shortly afterward he originated the "Punch" cigar, which won him fame and fortune. It proved to be a ready seller and the demand for it was so great that he had to increase his working forces in order to meet the call of the trade. He was the originator of the premium method of advertising. Through the conduct of his cigar business he accumulated a large fortune, but overwork and an inherited tendency to pulmonary disease undermined his health, so that he had to retire from business in 1887.
He visited the most celebrated health resorts of America and of Europe, and in 1888, while in Colorado Springs, he met C. W. Greene, of Chicago, and through him became interested in the Pecos valley. He was one of a large number of Chicago people Mr. Greene piloted to the valley in September, 1888, and from this visit resulted the original Pecos Irrigation and Improvement Company. It was Mr. Tansill who first interested J. J. Hagerman in the Pecos valley. When the money shortage of 1893 to 1897 irretrievably embarrassed the old irrigation company, Mr. Tansill was appointed receiver, July 19, 1898, and it was almost wholly due to his efforts that the affairs of the company were straightened out successfully and put upon a paying basis. In 1888, when the party of Chicagoans arrived in this country, there was nothing here but prairie dogs, jack rabbits and wild, open country. The party camped at the Eddy Brothers' ranch, the- rock house, which was located about two miles north of Carlsbad.
At that time C. R. Eddy, who afterward became a promoter of this country, was engaged in the cattle business. While talking to Mrs. Tansill he told her that it was the intention of several people of the locality to start a town, and she suggested that the proposed village be called Eddy. This was done, but in later years Mrs. Tansill suggested that the town be called Carlsbad, from the fact that some springs had been discovered near the town, and they were called Carlsbad from the famous springs of Germany. Mrs. Tansill agitated this change until it was finally adopted by a vote of the people. A circular, " To the Citizens of Eddy," by R. W. Tansill, furnishes the following historical facts and arguments: named 'Eddy.' The desirability of changing the name has been discussed ever since the curative properties of our springs have been demonstrated. " About a year ago the name of 'Carlsbad' was proposed for our city. It struck me at once as being not only appropriate, but suggestive as well, op to that time our celebrated 'Carlsbad Springs' had been known as 'Tansill Springs.' No, I will not say known, for as 'Tansill Springs' no one ever gave them a second thought. I suggested applying the name of 'Carlsbad' to the springs, owing to the resemblance of the waters to those of their German namesake. It was done, and the effect has been electrical. I certainly meant no reflection upon the name of Tansill by removing it from the springs, to which it did not apply, any more than do I mean any reflection upon the name of Eddy by favoring the name of Carlsbad vs. Eddy. But before forming a definite opinion I tested the name of 'Carlsbad,' as explained, and the results have thoroughly convinced me that the name of Tansill as applied to the springs was as great a mistake as it would be, in the light of experience, to continue the name of Eddy for our city. " What has been our experience? Briefly stated, since September, 1888, more than $10,000,000 have been invested here, approximately as follows : Over $5,000,000 in the railroad, over $2.500,000 in the P. I. & I. Company, and the remainder in other companies and by private individuals.
Give us people and our prosperity is assured. If any one will tell me how we can secure them, except through united effort and advertising, I shall be glad to learn. Since our town was named, the curative properties of these springs have been demonstrated. I believe this fact to be worth millions of dollars to this town and valley, if properly advertised. Such a boon rarely falls to the lot of any community, and certainly no people inheriting such a valuable curative agent should, for one moment, hesitate about giving it the widest publicity possible. With these facts before us, I ask, do you consider it wise to continue for our town a name that has neither meaning or significance, and one which we do not and can not advantageously advertise? Personally, I would distinctly say no. The major portion of my life has been devoted to practical advertising, and after a most thorough and exhaustive investigation I am convinced that the proposed change of name will bring with it inestimable benefits and support which will greatly stimulate every business interest of this town and valley." Since the death of Mr. Tansill his wife has conducted the business affairs left by him, and has continued in the work which her husband began of promoting the Carlsbad country, inducing immigration and advancing its interests through the development of its material resources.
Will H. Merchant, living in Carlsbad, is deputy county treasurer of Eddy county. He is a son of Clabourn W. Merchant, a pioneer cattleman of New Mexico and Arizona, who resides in Texas. The son was born in Denton county, Texas, November 1, 1874, and was reared in the Lone Star state. Having acquired his education, he spent five years in the cattle industry in the Indian Territory, and since February, 1897, has resided in Eddy county, save for the brief period of one year spent in ranching in North Dakota. In his political views Mr. Merchant is an earnest Democrat, and since February, 1904, has filled the office of county treasurer, in which position he is found to be prompt, methodical and reliable. He is a Mason, belonging to Carlsbad Lodge No. 21, A. F. & A. M., and in the community where he resides he has a wide and favorable social acquaintance.
F. Daugherity, engaged in farming, with three hundred and sixty acres
of good farming land near Dayton, and also owning a half interest in a
forty-acre addition to the town site, is prospering in both branches of
his business. He came to the Territory in 1883 from Texas and located
at Las Vegas, where he remained for a year. In 1884 he removed to
Lincoln county, settling on Benito, near Fort Stanton, while in 1885 he
removed to James canyon, on one of the heads of the Penasco. He was the
first man to put a board roof on a house in that canyon. In 1892 he
removed to Hope and built the third house in that settlement. Making
his headquarters there, he had sheep over the valley and was
successfully and extensively engaged in the sheep-raising industry
until the fall of 1900, when he sold out. In 1901, however, he again
engaged in the sheep business as a partner of George Beckett, with whom
he continued until he disposed of his interests in January, 1905. In
1897 Mr. Daugherity took up his abode upon his present place near the
town of Dayton and purchased the property in 1901. Since disposing of
his sheep he has been engaged in farming here, having three hundred and
sixty acres of cultivable land, from which he is now producing good
crops. He is also interested in the Dayton town site, owning a half
interest in a forty-acre addition thereto. His property is valuable and
is being rapidly developed. He has great faith in the future of this
country, and that his trust is well placed is indicated by the rapid
rise in realty values and the substantial manner in which the work of
agricultural and horticultural development and of stock-raising is
being carried forward.
[Source: History of New Mexico; Pacific States Publishing Company, 1907]