First Families of Lincoln County
First Families of Lincoln County
To list your family, submit evidence that your ancestors arrived in Lincoln County during or before 1912. Submit information in narrative form to our Research Specialist Janelle Foster or Charles Barnum. Limit your application to about three thousand words. Clearly state the name of your ancestor who arrived in Lincoln County, the date, and the proof upon which you based your assertion, such as census records, birth records, death/cemetery records, and land/legal records. Thereafter, your name and your ancestor's name will be added to the file with a short statement of the facts. Remember that it must be in narrative form and include all the facts. Otherwise, your application will not be considered. Please don't include names of living persons without their consent.
First Family: Thomas Alfred BRAGG. Jesse Bragg married Nancy WANEY in Alabama in 1807. They had ten children one of who was Alfred Colum Bragg. Colum married Susan Emiline Harris, nee Boggs. Colum served in the Texas C.S.A and moved to White Oaks, New Mexico in a family wagon train from Albany, Texas in 1887. Several other and related families traveled in the wagon train. Colum’s young grandson, Alfred Thomas Bragg, was a muleskinner who took care of the mules that pulled his father’s wagon. Thomas Alfred settled along Rio Bonito and made his living training mules and herding. He came to be known as Muloamo or mule trainer.
Thomas Alfred’s parents were Ben Bragg and Anna D. Stanphill. Ben was murdered in 1896 on the Eagle Creek trail as he brought supplies to Thomas who was herding sheep beside the creek. Thomas was later pursued by Sheriff Emil Fritz for taking revenge, but was never brought to trial. Ben had nine other children who grew up near White Oaks.
Thomas Alfred Bragg married Molly Delphora Goats, a Texas lady with German ancestry, 2 April 1898 in Nogal. They had three children, Charley Lee and Emzy Everett Bragg, and Bertha Fanny Bragg. Charley and Emzy were known as fist fighters, and Bertha once won a wood-chopping contest.
Several landmarks are named after Ben Bragg’s family near White Oaks such as Benado—Ben sin mas ni mas, meaning it’s Ben’s place, and Canon Del Bragg, and Canon Del Bragg Del Pequeno and Benado Gap and Bragg Canyon and Little Bragg Canyon. A Veterans Civil War headstone in the historical Cedarvale Cemetery of White Oaks was erected in honor of Alfred Colum Bragg. Ben Bragg was buried in Nogal Cemetery. Thomas Bragg was buried in Angus Cemetery beside relatives.
Sources: Texas and New Mexico marriage records; censuses Texas 1830 through 1880, & New Mexico 1900, 1910 & 1920. Bragg Family Bible; Oral history by E. L. Greer; the Ancestral File; book titled Cousins of Thomas Alfred Bragg, A Little Family Book; book titled The Saga of the Sierra Blanca & book titled The Bear’s Den both by H. L. Traylor. First Family contributed by Rianna T. Bishop.
First Families: BROWN, DALTON, HAMPTON, HUST, MAY: It's inaccurate to say everyone in Lincoln County is related, but many close families arrived in the 1880's from Missouri. One wagon train contained twenty-one wagons, said George S. Brown recalling he was six at the time. Mary Margaret Pfingsten, nee May, who was nine when the train left Missouri, said there were eighteen wagons. Others said forty wagons headed westward. Several wagons left the train and headed for Colorado after several weeks.
On 14 July 1890, Dea Richmond Hust said he lived south of Springfield, Missouri after the Civil War and went to Jefferson and Park Counties in Colorado and lived there from 1878 through part of 1880. Miles May, who had seen the area around Reserve, New Mexico returned home to Cedar Valley Missouri. He urged his family and others to move.
Miles thought the area around Reserve was so fine that he returned to his home in Cedar Valley, Missouri urging his family and the Browns to move. Abe May, a brother of Miles May, was Maggie's father. David and Almary May were the parents of Miles and Abe. Maggie's mother was Cynthia Ann May, nee Hust. They were part of the party that left the main group and went to Colorado when Dea Richmond Hust had lived earlier. Hannah Hust, a daughter of Dea Richmond Hust and Hannah Harriet Hust was also in the wagon train.
Cynthia's parents were Dea Richmond and Hannah Harriet Hust, nee Hampton. Dea and Hannah moved briefly from Colorado to Missouri. Hannah Hust was another daughter of Dea Richmond and Hannah Harriet. She later married Jeremiah Dalton. All of them--aunts, uncles, cousins, sons, and daughters, started West in June of 1883.
In later years, Maggie said, "Some of the party dropped out along the way and...my parents and my grandparents (Hust) went on to Colorado. The Browns and the Mays settled in Tortilito Canyon. It took us three months to get to Horseshoe, a little mining town near Leadville.... The next fall we left Colorado to come to Lincoln County. My grandfather (Dea Richmond Hust) and grandmother (Hannah) were with us and two of their young boys, George and Clark Hust."
Dea Richmond wrote in 1890, "...in the fall of 1885, I moved to Nogal..." Soon Abe May ran a blacksmith shop in Angus. A couple of years earlier he had homesteaded 160 acres. The family later moved to Nogal where Maggie married Fred Pfingsten on 1 November 1894. Fred, a son of Henry Pfingsten, called himself a freighter but went to work at the Vera Cruz mine in 1907.
George Brown wrote of his trip from Missouri to New Mexico in 1937, "My mother's father, David and Almary May, drove one wagon drawn by two white oxen. The rest of the crowd in the train were all uncles and aunts and cousins. They had their own covered wagons drawn by mules."
He also said at times there would be as many as fifty wagons in our train. "We would overtake some of them and some would overtake us, and we would all go along together for awhile and then those other wagons would drift off on their own way."
Originally, according to Brown, the intention was to go to Mesa, Arizona. But it took the group he was with six months to get to New Mexico. So, they went to White Oaks and camped at the Manchester Rock House, about three miles from town. The Browns lived there for two months, then moved in October 1884 to Tortolito Canyon, ten miles southeast of Carrizozo. These folks are gone now and many are buried in the Angus Cemetery and in the Nogal Cemetery.
US Archives, Washington, DC; 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 Missouri Censuses, 1885 NM Agricultural Census, 1900, 1910 NM Census; Civil War records and pension files, Carrizozo Newspaper and the May Family Bible. First Family contributed by Hal Taylor.
First Family: Lin Branum was born on a farm near Dallas on 9 August 1861 to Lindsey and Margaret Miller Branum. He died in Carrizozo, New Mexico 3 May 1925. Lin and Nellie Anne Henley--daughter of Thomas W. Henley and Nancy Melvina Williams Henley, were married in Nogal, New Mexico 6 June 1894. To this union were born five children, Alice May, Nancy Margaret, Rufus, Linza and Clinton. Lin was for many years were an outstanding figure in ranching and cattle circles of New Mexico with large holding in various counties of the state.
Lin started his career in west Texas where he worked on a cattle ranch in Eastland County. He then came to New Mexico around 1877 and was employed on the VV Ranch in Lincoln County, owned by James Cree. Lin, in the meantime, accumulated some cattle of his own and located on the Three Rivers. He worked for a year for the Goodwin interests. W. C. McDonald, first Governor of New Mexico after statehood, also employed him for several years. In 1897 he moved his cattle to the foothills of the Jicarilla Mountains at Coyote Canyon near White Oaks and established the Steeple M ranch. The Branum family remained at the Steeple M ranch for 24 years. He sold this ranch to the Warden brothers and bought the I-X Ranch near Carrizozo. He continued ranching until his failing health required him to sell his holding and retire.
First Family: Lewis W. BOURNE came to Lincoln County, New Mexico territory in 1880. He was the son of William and Mary Johnson Bourne in Knob Fork, Grayson County, Virginia. He married Julia Ann Fulton on March 13, 1857 in Grayson County as shown on Virginia marriage records. Their children were Pinkie Alice, born 1859; Cleveland was born in 1861; an infant was born and died in 1866; Robert was born in 1867; William Stephen was born in 1873 and Chloe was born in 1877. Documentation by the Lincoln County and Grayson County Census records. Lewis served as a Captain in the CSA, Co B, 37th Battalion VA Cavalry in Jackson's Brigade, Lomas's Division, Second Corp, Army Valley District. The Union Army near Lynchburg captured him on June 17, 1864. He was imprisoned at Camp Chase, Ohio and Point Lookout MD. He was wounded in the war and lost some of the bones in his arm, having to wear a splint wrapped in cloth. He called it his "corset". Records are from National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Lewis and Julia arrived at Bonita City after brief stops in Louisiana and Erath County, Texas. They quickly became involved in village life. Lewis became known as Grampa Bourne and was famous for his tall tales with his Virginia drawl. Julia became the area midwife and delivered more than 100 babies in the county. The Bourne family moved to Parsons, and Lewis became the Postmaster. After the death of his wife, he spent his remaining years with his daughter Pinkie Alice and her husband, John Henry Skinner, in Carrizozo. He died there at the age of 94, never losing his Southern courtliness of manner nor his zest for living. Both are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Carrizozo. First Family contributed by Janelle Foster.
First Family: Seaborn GRAY. It was because of none other than Pat Garrett that Nellie Gray Reily became a pioneer in Lincoln County. Pat Garrett and Nellie Gray's father, Seaborn GRAY, were first cousins. The Gray family lived in Grapevine, Texas having originally come from Alabama by way of Louisiana. In 1855 Seaborn Gray was suffering from tuberculosis. Pat Garrett had been out west and thought it was a good climate for him to come to. He persuaded Seaborn to come to New Mexico. It was good advice because in a couple of years he was perfectly well. He lived to quite an old man.
The trip took about four months on the road from Texas to Little Creek. They drove 500 head of cattle and when they got to Ft. Sumner they had to lay over for ten days because the water in the Pecos was too high to ford. They had no drinking water, so the cowboys got an old barrel and dipped some water and got some prickly pears, beat them up and put them in the water to make it settle and be good enough to drink. The family went to Little Creek where Seaborn Gay filed on what is now the town site of Capitan. A Post Office naming the town Gray was established in 1894. Seaborn served as Postmaster until 11 October 1900 when the town was renamed Capitan. He also served as County School Superintendent and was a deputy sheriff. Seaborn Gray and William Reily sold their land to W. H. Eddy for the railroad into Capitan around 1907. Sources: WPA Interview 1935, newspaper clippings, History of Capitan. First Family contributed Barbara Branum.
First Family: Green Berry GREER was the son of George W. Greer. He married Julia Ann Wheatly in Johnson County Missouri. He was born 3 October 1852 and was married 28 December 1873. He moved to Pecos, Texas before 1900. From History of Johnson County Missouri, 1881; marriage records of same; family and Bible records of E. L. Greer; Texas Census records.
Green Berry Greer moved to Lincoln County after an expedition to find good land, about 1899. He settled in Bonito Canyon about 1902. From New Mexico Census 1910. His family consisted of these children: Arthur C.; Ella; John Franklin; Ethel Olive; Elmer; Ira Aten; William Randall; James Ralph; Lola B.; and Lester. From GREER family Bible. First Family Contributed by Janet Greer.
First Family: HENLEY: Health brought the Henley family to New Mexico from Missouri in 1879. Allen and Lucy Henley came to the Roswell area for health reasons, from a plantation near Jefferson City, and established a farm. Soon after they moved to New Mexico their son, Thomas, born in Missouri in 1841, developed asthma, and he and his family moved to New Mexico from Texas where he had been teaching school and practicing medicine with an older Doctor. Tom and his wife, Nancy Melvina Williams, born in Arkansas in 1855, and their children landed on the Bonito on the first day of November 1880. They filed on 160 acres five miles above Ft. Stanton.
The second year on the farm Tom got a job at Ft. Stanton as a blacksmith. After he left Ft. Stanton he got a job at the "V" ranch as a blacksmith for the Crees. Tom was a schoolteacher and practiced medicine. He wasn't a licensed doctor, but he had gone to medical school in St. Louis, Missouri, but because of finances, he was unable to finish school.
He also served in the Confederate Army during the War Between the States. In those days there were very few doctors, and most of the farmers in the area sent for "Uncle Tom." They paid him whatever they felt they could give. He never set a price. Mr. & Mrs. Pat Garrett lived on a ranch adjoining the "V" ranch and Mrs. Garrett gave birth to a baby girl and Tom attended her at birth. This baby girl was Elizabeth Garrett who wrote our state song, "O Fair New Mexico." After eleven years on their farm they sold it and moved to Nogal, where Allen and Tom had a store. There, Tom was the Preacher, Teacher, Post Master and had a saloon. By Barbara Branum
First Family HOFMAN: My great-grandparents were M. S. Hofman and Pherabe Wilson. They were the parents of my Grandfather, John Jacob Hoffman, whose son, John Henry Hoffman, was my father. Our great-grandfather, M. S. Hoffman, and his family may have came to the United States in 1809 from Germany and settled in Fredricksburg, Texas. M. S. Hoffman was born 6 March 1807 and married Pherabe Wilson, who was born 15 May 1818. They had twelve children. My grandfather was the seventh child born on 11 October 1848.
My grandfather, John Jacob Hoffman, married Mildred Rosella Shelton on 13 December 1891. They had four children: Guy, born 14 September 1892 died 20 November 1893; John Henry, my father, born 22 April 1894 died 19 August 1965; James Arthur, born 16 February 1897 died in Perris, California in 1979; Mary Ethel was born 17 May 1899 and died 21 December 1918.
John Jacob’s obituary stated: Mr. Hoffman was born at Tyler, Texas October 11, 1848, moved with his parents to Johnson County, Texas in 1855, where he made his home until 1893. He joined the Texas Rangers and served in Western Texas in the years of 1873 and 1874, where he rendered distinguished service as an Indian fighter.
On December 13, 1891 he married Miss Ella Shelton at Cleburne, Texas. To this union four children were born, three boys and one girl. The oldest son, Guy, died when fourteen months old. The daughter, Ethel, died when nineteen. He moved with his family to New Mexico, from Cleburne, Texas in 1907 settling near Carrizozo where they have continuously resided.
John Henry and his family came to New Mexico ca. 1904 and settled in the Hondo Valley. He made his living as a carpenter. Our dad told us that his father helped construct the large water wheel in Ruidoso. They stayed around Hondo for three years and moved to Carrizozo where they homesteaded the ranch. I remember as a child riding into town from the ranch in my grandparent’s buggy. Grandpa died when I was five years old, but my mother often told us stories about him. After he died my brother spent a lot of time at the ranch staying with daddy's mother and doing chores while daddy was on the road. My brother rode his horse into town to go to school. When I was young, I helped work at the ranch. After both his parents had passed away, my Dad keep the ranch, because he had purchased land himself adjoining the original parcel that had been homesteaded by grandpa. Daddy raised Black Angus cattle using the brand H LAZY H. After my dad's passing in 1965, my mother sold the ranch to Brack and Catherine Cornett of Carrizozo.
The following was taken from a Southern Pacific Railroad bulletin in 1959:
Mr. J. H. Hoffman, engineer, holds assignment on the Golden State run between El Paso and Carrizozo, New Mexico. Mr. Hoffman started his railroading career working during school vacation in 1909 and 1910. His first job was assisting in laying the Bonita pipeline between Nogal Lake and Coyote Pump Station. In 1911 he was given a regular assignment as boilermaker helper in Carrizozo Roundhouse, promoted to locomotive engineer in June 1925.
Prior to my parents marrying, my mother ran a small boarding house in El Paso. She rented a room to dad and fellow railroader, Ernest Dingwall. They married 1 January 1931 in El Paso, Texas. They moved to Carrizozo, New Mexico in 1932. In 1948 they moved back to El Paso and stayed until Daddy retired from the S. P. Railroad Company in 1962. Daddy passed away in August of 1965.
The following was taken from my dad's obituary:
Henry Hoffman, age 71, passed away early Thursday morning in the local hospital after a brief illness. Mr. Hoffman has been a resident of Lincoln County since 1907. He joined the Navy in 1918 and served through World War I and was discharged September 30, 1921, returning to Carrizozo where he went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Mr. Hoffman was a retired railroad engineer with the SP Co. He is survived
by his wife, Mrs. May Margaret Hoffman, Carrizozo; three daughters, Mrs. Mildred Hust, Alamogordo, Mrs. Anna Belle Burrow, Roswell, Mrs. Dorothy Van Deren, El Paso and one son Harold Hoffman of Dayton, Ohio; one brother, Arthur Hoffman from Modesto, Calif. and several grandchildren.
Mr. Hoffman was a member of the Carrizozo Masonic Lodge No. 41. Funderal services were held August 21 at 3 p.m. in the First Baptist Church with Rev. Milford Misener and Rev. Harold Ely officiating. Masonic Lodge No. 41 held services at the graveside. Interment was made in the family plot in Evergreen Cemetery, Carrizozo. Casket bearers were: Elmer Hust, Roy Harman, Brack Cornett, Elmer Eaker, Roley Ward and Don Means. Honorary bearers: Frank English, Albert Snow, Elvin Harkey, Byrl Lindsay, Bob Ashmore, Tom O'Rear, Otho Lowe, Cliff Zumwalt, Vernon Petty, W. H. Rickerson, Lewis Huffman, Roy Shafer, Troy Sadler, Pat Withers, John McCollum, Johnson Stearns, Frank McBride, Mark Sloan, Joe West. Services under the direction of Chapel of Roses. First Family Submitted by Millie Hust.
First Family: Henry Richard HUDSON came to Lincoln County in 1878 from Kerr County, Texas, possibly the son of Henry Randolph Hudson. He was born 27 February 1823 in Monroe or Montgomery County Alabama. He married Hulda Joy--daughter of Wiley Joy and Hulda Elizabeth Frazier, at Little Rock, Arkansas on 7 September 1853 according to LDS records. Daughter, Alice Alabama, was born 24 November 1854 at Ft. Smith, Arkansas. H. R. Hudson was on the Sebastian County, Arkansas 1855 Tax list. His son, Columbus Bradley, was born 23 September 1856 at Kerrville. Wiley Steven was born 12 October 1858, and George Bellmore on 3 July 1860. The HUDSON’s were listed on 1860 Gillespie County, Texas census. Last child, Edward Felix Lincoln Hudson, was born 6 April in Kerrville. Henry Richard Hudson was a 5th Sgt. for the Third Frontier District of the Texas State Troops of the Confederate States of America at age thirty-nine. Hulda Hudson's mother, Hulda Elizabeth Joy, and sister, Alwilda McDonald, were killed by Indians in 1865 near Harper, Texas.
In 1878, The Hudson family and a small band of wagons made its way to New Mexico. It took three weeks to reach the Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River. From there they went to Seven Rivers, New Mexico. While camped at Seven Rivers, Ike Teeters tried to rob the wagon train but was killed by Bell Hudson. Later, Bell Hudson raced a stranger on horseback for the stranger's bridle. Bell lost the race and after the stranger departed, Bell was told he was Billy the Kid. Ed & Bell worked for John Chisholm and Bell was part of Pat Garrett's posse. Ed and Bell played instruments, sang and called for square dances. H. R. Hudson died 2 April 1901. His wife, Hulda, died 11 November at Alma, New Mexico. H. R. and sons Wiley Steven, Columbus Bradley and Ed Hudson were buried at Reserve, in Catron County, New Mexico. First Family contributed by Janet Hudson Samuels.
First Family: Martin Benevides LUCERO was born in Lincoln, New Mexico in 1902. His father was Francisco Lucero, and his mother was Juanita Benevides Lucero. My father Martin Lucero was the youngest of three children. The oldest of the daughters was Felicita Lucero and the second one was Otillia Lucero. All three attended elementary school in Lincoln. My father often spoke of his early life in Lincoln before getting married and later moving to the Ancho and Carrizozo areas. My great grand parents were Jose and Marita Lucero. They arrived in the area in the 1800’s. My father’s family had a cattle farm and trained horses at one time. They last lived in Lincoln County about 1920.
First Family: Antonio MONTOYA and Petra Garduņo RIVERA were from San Miguel County and had eleven children. Their second son, Adonio Rivera Montoya (1885-1973) was baptized in Picacho in Lincoln County. Adonio's baptism 19 August 1885 is registered in the Carrizozo Santa Rita Catholic Church records, as are those of his wife and children.
Adonio married Antonia Vigil, (1889-1957) born in in Lincoln County to Daniel Trujillo Vigil and Elfida Fresquez Chavez. Antonia's paternal grandparents, Manuel Vigil and Maria Polinaria Trujillo gave eighty acres off the Pine Lodge Road on the north side of the Capitan Mountains to Adonio and Antonia. Valued members of their community, Adonio worked for the Block Ranch as a cowboy. He was also a carpenter and a brick and rock mason. Antonia, a religious woman, was the epitome of a country wife known for her generosity and hospitality. She grew and canned her own food, raised chickens, and was a good cook. Adonio and Antonia had eleven children. Mary taught at the Richardson School, married Ruben Sanchez and raised four children. Claudio married Juanita Chaves, bought property at Encinoso, and raised eight children there. "Chonita" married Damacio Chavez, lived in Capitan, and raised six children. Elfego lived in Capitan until his death in 1993. Elvira, currently living on the family property in Richardson, married Anatalio Lucero Sanchez and raised four children. Cleotilde married Daniel Vargas and raised three sons in California. Delia married Ray Lucero and is the mother of two sons. Flora married Evaristo Lucero Sanchez of Arabella and currently resides in California with their three daughters. Ben, who never married, died in 1957 in a car accident just outside of Capitan. Rosa died at the age of four. Tony, who married Mary Guillen and had four sons, died in a 1966 automobile accident. Submitted by: Flora Montoya Sanchez--daughter of Adonio and Antonia, and her daughters, Martha Sanchez Wilson and Edythe Sanchez Machado.
First Family: Henry Pfingsten was born in 1840 in Germany and came to the America as a stowaway in 1855. He first settled in St. Clair County, Illinois. In 1861 he joined the army, probably to avoid deportation. He was in Company C, 16th Illinois Cavalry, serving from 18 April 1861 to 16 July 1864. A pension claim notes that he had a severe saber cut on his head. He married Sophia Bahe on 27 Nov 1866 in Chicago. The 1870 Nebraska Census, lists Henry and his wife, often called Sophia, Sofia, or Sophie as ages 30 and 23 respectively.
From 1865 to 1870, Henry and Sophia lived in Illinois and Nebraska while Henry worked on the courthouse in Omaha and for the Chicago Sash & Door Company. By 1880 Henry and Sophia had moved to Del Norte, Colorado. They arrived in New Mexico soon after and were listed in the 1885 New Mexico Agricultural Census. Henry was injured in the Old Soldier Mine near Bonito City, New Mexico in 1886. He had set off a blast of dynamite then hurried into the mine while the dust was still in the shaft and the air was bad. He signaled to be brought back up on a windlass, but either he fell off a rope or it broke, for he dropped 60 ft. to the bottom. Sophia's pension claims indicate that he had contracted a disability while in the service. He died 29 May 1887 at Bonito City and was buried at his home site. After Bonito Dam was built and Bonito Lake was formed, Bonito City was no more. Henry's remains lie 50 or more vertical feet above the Bonito Lake overflow and out of sight of the lake, next to a daughter, Minnie.
Henry's obituary in the 3 June 1887 edition of the New Mexico Interpreter of White Oaks: "On last Sunday morning, at the residence of Pete Lanham, Henry Pfingsten [sic] died very suddenly. Mr. Pfingsten was at work on Saturday on one of his many claims, in the evening he complained of a severe colic and thought that he would not live long, at four o'clock next morning he breathed his last. He leaves a wife and seven children, who live near Bonito City. They have the sympathy of the entire community."
His seven children were: Edward Lee Pfingsten married Maggie Robinson; Fredrick George Pfingsten married Mary Margaret May; Josephine Pfingsten married Robert Bourne; Albert Henry Pfingsten married Eva May; Emma Pfingsten married Ed Peters; Minnie Pfingsten married Mac McKinney; Agnes Pfingsten married Willis Hightower.
Information from US Archives, Washington, DC, (Census, Civil War Records, Pension files) Newspaper clippings, May Family Bible. First Family contributed by Charley Terrell.
First Family: Andrew McNeely RICHARDSON (1843-1905), Melvin Emyor Richardson (1851-1923), and Granville Addison Richardson (1860-1937), sons of John Richardson and Louisa DeLany, were all born in Hopedale, Ohio and all came to Lincoln County in the late 1800's. Granville was the first to travel to the New Mexico Territory, reaching Lincoln, New Mexico in September of 1886. He set up his law practice there and remained for two years before moving to Roswell and becoming its pioneer lawyer. (An Illustrated History of New Mexico, The Lewis Publishing Co: 1895). He helped write the New Mexico Constitution by which the Territory became a state in 1912. He was elected District Judge of the Fifth Judicial District in 1914 and again in 1927. He served as mayor of Roswell from 1908 to 1910, and the citizens of Roswell recognized him for his many achievements by naming Richardson Avenue in his honor. (Little Town West of the Pecos, C. S. Adams: 1909) He was born in Hopedale, Ohio on January 5, 1860. He married Miss Nina Evert on November 22, 1893.
They had one son, Donovan McNeely Richardson, born in 1894. Granville passed away on July 26, 1934 in Boston, Massachusetts. Nina Richardson died on September 14, 1940. Andrew McNeely Richardson arrived in Lincoln County in 1878, having traveled from his family's farm in Pettis County, Missouri. He settled at the foot of the Capitan Mountains in Lincoln County and worked as a sheepherder. Two years later, his brother Melvin followed him from Missouri to Lincoln County and joined him in the sheep raising business. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol.II, The Lewis Publishing Co.: 1902)
Both brothers are listed in the 1880 New Mexico census with Andrew residing in Rio Penasco and Melvin at Las Tablas. Melvin married Miss Alice DeLany of Hopedale, Ohio in 1884. On March 21, 1885, the two brothers, together with Melvin's father-in-law, John C. DeLany, Charles S. Thurber and Horace K. Thurber, associated themselves as a body corporate under the name of El Capitan Land and Cattle Company of New Mexico. (Articles of Incorporation dated 3/21/1885). The main headquarters was located at the Block Ranch in Lincoln County. Andrew married Benina Maria Lucero of Las Tablas in 1887. He was elected Justice of the Peace for Precinct 6 of Lincoln County New Mexico and on 3 February 1890 posted bond for this office. (Peace Bond dated 2/3/1890).
On Christmas Day of 1893, Melvin and his family moved to Sterling, Kansas but continued his association with the sheep business. On November 8, 1894 Andrew, Melvin, and Horace K. Thurber formed a second association by the name of The Capitan Sheep Company. (Articles of Incorporation dated 11/8/1894). On April 3, 1895 the Richardson Post Office was established with Andrew Richardson serving as one of its postmasters. (Old Timer's Review, fall 1979) An agreement made on the 6th day of June, 1900 between the associates of El Capitan Land and Cattle Company sold the shares to Nancy Thurber. Andrew and his family remained in Lincoln County where he was appointed postmaster of the Arabella post office on 15 February 1901. (Old Timer's Review, fall 1979).
Andrew had changed the name of Las Tablas to Arabella in honor of the daughter of one of the townsmen after his appointment. There, Andrew and Benina raised a family of 7 children: Jose, Bonefacia, Edward, Thomas, Granville, Lavenia, and Melvin. The family is listed in the 1900 and 1910 New Mexico Census living in Agua Azul. Andrew died in December 1906 and is buried in Sterling, Kansas next to his brother Melvin, who died in 1923. (Cottonwood Cemetery records) Andrew's son, Granville began raising his own family in Arabella before moving to Hondo, New Mexico. He was a lifelong resident of Lincoln County who died in 1963. Many of his descendants have remained in Lincoln County settling in the villages of Ruidoso, Capitan and Hondo. First Family contributed by I. J. Richardson.
First Family: William Morgan Reily. Many years before New Mexico was admitted to the Union as a state, William M. Reily of Tunica, Louisiana, came to the territory of New Mexico to establish his ranch headquarters where the present town of Capitan in Lincoln County now stands. He came to Lincoln County in 1892 at the recommendation of his cousin Governor George Curry, who had spoken and written to him many times relative to the great possibilities of the livestock industry in the territory. The Reily ranch comprised thousands of acres in Lincoln County with ranch headquarters in Capitan.
The Reily brand was one of the early registrations in old Lincoln County. Running more than 3,000 sheep and 800 head of cattle, Reily made a great success in the ranch business in New Mexico. He lived in Lincoln County from 1892 until his death in March of 1931, and during that time did much to develop the country and civic improvements in the county. He served as County Tax Assessor when the town of Lincoln was the county seat. He served as President of the Board of Regents of the New Mexico Institution for the Blind in Alamogordo for more than twenty years prior to his death. He also served on the committee that proposed moving the county seat from Lincoln to Carrizozo.
Shortly after arriving in New Mexico he married Miss Nellie Gray, who came to the state in a covered wagon with her father, S. T. Gray, from Grapevine, Texas. Two of their daughters continued in the ranching business, Jack, Mrs. Will Ed Harris, and Kitty, Mrs. Truman A. Spencer, Sr. In 1907, he and his father-in-law, Seaborn Gray, sold their ranching interests to the Eddy Brothers, who were going to build a railroad to Capitan. The Reily's went to Picacho after their marriage, where they bought a store. He became Postmaster and took care of the stage horses. They then sold and moved to Roswell, where he worked in the land office. They later moved to Alamogordo where Reily became territorial land commissioner. In 1907 they moved to Carrizozo and lived until his death in 1931. Submitted by B. J. Branum.
First Family SENA: The late 1800’s were times of great adventure, change, lawlessness, and growth for the city of Lincoln. Among those who settled in the town during this vibrant time was a teenager named George SENA (b. 23 Apr 1863, d. 20 Mar 1927) who would prove to be an upstanding citizen dedicated to public service. He was as much at ease with Anglos as with his own people, and could speak and write eloquently in both English and Spanish. If he is mentioned at all in the Lincoln County history books, it is as a footnote to the stories of law enforcement in the Wild West era. But to read contemporary accounts of his life is to begin to discover a complex individual who likely played a role in the society of Lincoln village and the early history of the state of New Mexico. In the early 1880’s, George moved with his parents, Ignacio SENA and Agapita ORTIZ, from Las Vegas in San Miguel County, New Mexico to Lincoln. Ignacio was a blacksmith as his father Henriques had been. Ignacio could read and write, which was unusual for an adult in this time, and most likely was involved in law enforcement in Las Vegas; the 1870 census shows two men whose occupations were listed as prisoner in jail living in the Sena household. It was in Las Vegas that George received his formal schooling. Although it’s not certain when the Sena family moved, they were living in Lincoln by the time Billy the Kid escaped from the Lincoln County Jail in 1881. Family legend had it that George was a deputy sheriff at this time. What the family failed to mention was that Sheriff Pat Garrett had deputized every male in Lincoln County old enough to carry a gun. In July of 1885, George married Teresa CARRILLO (b. 16 Aug 1867, d. 1911).
Teresa had arrived in Lincoln with her family during the 1870’s. Her father, Jose CARRILLO and her mother, Nicanora MONTOYA MARQUES had traveled to Lincoln from Manzano, Valencia County, New Mexico. George and Teresa started their new family soon after they married and by their twentieth anniversary Teresa had given birth to nine children. In naming their children, they gave them one set of names at baptism but then called them by nicknames, usually anglicized versions of their Spanish nombres de pila. Use of the nicknames was so ingrained in them that years later one of the children declared the name on her baptismal certificate to be completely wrong. She continued to use her nickname as her legal name for the rest of her life. Their children were: Manuela called Mela; Vicenta called Bessie; Soraida called Zora; Ignacio whose nickname Nacho does not appear on official records; Martina Agapita called Anna or Annie; Maria Adela called Avie; Jose Candido called Joe; and two unnamed twin girls who died soon after their birth. The family claimed that the twins had been born alive, but that the doctor who delivered them was drunk at the time. In his excitement over having birthed twins, he drowned them while bathing them. They were buried in the front yard of San Juan Church. The Sena’s home was across from the church, where the children sang in the choir, and next to the Torreon, a place where the children would often play. In the early 1960’s, Zora returned for Old Lincoln Days and noted that only one room of their house remained standing; all the rest had fallen. To read Sacramental records of the Hispanic Catholic Church in New Mexico is to discover the names of extended family and close friends among the witnesses and sponsors. The Sena family records included many surnames you would expect--Chavez, Lucero, Baca--and a few you might not--West, Norman, Moeller.
In later years, George would play host to future statesmen Octaviano Larrazolo (New Mexico Governor, 1919-1921) and John Nance Garner (United States Vice President, 1932-1940). His social circle clearly encompassed the Hispanic- and European-American communities, political leaders as well as cherished relatives and neighbors. It seems that George was a man of many talents. Various documents recorded his occupations while living in Lincoln as bookkeeper and clerk in Andrew Richardson’s General Merchandise Store, court interpreter, County Clerk, and Sheriff. His tenure as sheriff, which began in 1895, was cut short in March of 1896. Governor William Thornton removed him from his position for failure to enforce the law. This occurred during an era when many local New Mexico lawmen refused to pursue a known criminal unless the governor posted a reward for his capture. Following this practice could be what cost George his job. Despite this apparent ignominy, George reveled in his role as Wild West Lawman. A studio photo of him circa 1915 shows a beefy man in a suit and ten-gallon hat holding his six-shooter. The gun is pointed at the forehead of a young man playing the hapless outlaw. The criminal’s left hand reaches for the sky while gun-holding right hand is grasped firmly at the wrist by the sheriff. What remains of his writings shows a man who could display pride, religious fervor, pathos and righteous anger all on the same page. In a letter to his grown daughters Zora and Avie, this stern disciplinarian scolds them saying their disobedience is like a blow that splits open his soul, and tears and saddens his heart. He admonishes his daughters that life is very short, very burdensome and sad at times.
To live in harmony, to give and take, is the best motto for life, he tells them. In about 1906, George moved his family to Santa Rosa, in Guadalupe County. While he lived there, he served the county as County Clerk, Court and Senate Interpreter, and Superintendent of Schools. Though his professional life was very successful during these years, he also suffered much personal tragedy. In 1911 his wife Teresa died of unknown causes at the age of 44. George then married Matilde Tillie HENDERSON in 1913 and they had two children together: George Coronel and Antonio Louis called Louis or Pershing. But even as these children came into his life, three of his daughters--Mela, Bessie, and Anna--died in the 1918 Flu Epidemic leaving behind husbands and small children. Not long after that, George began to experience the symptoms of pernicious anemia, a painful, fatiguing disease. Then in 1923, George’s son Ignacio was killed in a car crash while he was en route to visit his ailing father. Finally in March of 1927, George succumbed to his illness just one month shy of his 64th birthday. On the day of his funeral, schools and businesses in Santa Rosa were closed. His obituary said his funeral procession was one of the largest ever seen in the city, citing it as proof of the popularity he enjoyed from his fellow citizens and neighbors. The article concluded, “With the death of George Sena the state of New Mexico has lost one of its finest citizens and the Hispanic American people one of its most illustrious and noble defenders.” Sources: New Mexico Census 1870-1920; New Mexico Parish records for Santa Rita in Carrizozo, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Tome, Santa Rosa de Lima in Santa Rosa; Las Nuevas Newspaper, Santa Rosa; United States Marshals . . . and Desert Lawmen . . . books by Larry D. Ball; Shaking the Family Tree, an unpublished paper by Elizabeth Clements Mooney. Submitted by Annette Mooney Wasno.
First Family: John Henry SNELL. John Henry SNELL was born 30 January 1864 in Wilcox County, Alabama. He moved with his parents and siblings, William, Joseph, David, Edward, Annie and Mary to Falls County, Texas. He married in Falls County to Benola Kirk also from Wilcox County, Alabama. John's brothers and sisters remained in Texas. After a short while in Cottle County, Texas, John his wife and family traveled in a covered wagon pulled by mules named Bill and Maude to Lincoln County in 1908. At that time seven of their ten children had been born in Texas. They homesteaded land on the Mesa above Nogal. A photo of John and children, Bernard and Alice, with the mules pulling a plow in the field is dated 1911. John raised and sold cattle and farmed. Benola raised chickens and milk cows.
She sold eggs and milk. They took a photo of the chicken house that a tornado demolished. Benola died at the homeplace in 1937. Alice Beneter Snell married Albert May. Walter 'Buddy' Snell and Alice Beneter Snell remained in the area, while the other children moved away to other counties and states, they took a nice family photo before Benola died, and the children moved away from home. Tommie to WWI then Texas, Bernard to WY, Ernest to WWII then CO. while Olive lived in Roswell and Lizzie Mae in northern New Mexico. My mother Annie Kirk Snell married Gean Dickey of Amarillo. The land John Snell homesteaded was sold to his son Buddy, upon John's death on 30 May 1948 in Texas at the home of his daughter Bernice. John and Benola Kirk Snell and many of the family members are buried in Angus Cemetery. Submitted by Louise Wiles.
Copyright October 2007