William Morgan Reily
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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