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Family History Stories Paraphrased
Page 5 of 38

Clayborn Brimhall
Cleve Hallenbeck
Thomas N. Pendergrass
Cowboy Hardships
John Richards

Begin Family Histories:

Clayborn Brimhall
By Mrs. Simpson
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: San Juan
Surnames mentioned: Brimhall, Stevens, Hinaker, Naupin, Walch 

Clayborn Brimhall was born in Idaho, in 1866, and with his Mother, came to Fruitland, New Mexico, in The spring of 1876, in a large covered wagon, drawn by four horses, and having aboard a thousand pounds of flour and enough provisions to last they for several months. Though a lad of only ten years, Mr. Brimhall remembers this journey distinctly, as he is, today a well preserved man, being very fit both mentally and physically, and of such a kindly disposition he lives in a world of friends. He says they traveled from the small town of Oxford, Idaho, down the Utah Valley to Salina, up the Salina Canyon to what is now Price City, and there turned south and east, crossed Green River, came to Utah, crossed Grand River and traveled to Montecello, Utah, then to San Juan River which they forded and found themselves in the tiny settlement of Fruitland, N. M.

They had seen no white people on the way except in settlements, but the Indians were friendly to them, fortunately. At this time there was no place named Farmington. No town at Durango, Colorado, which is today our nearest town of five or six thousand inhabitants.

And Fruitland consisted of a long low ell shaped building, made of adobe and of poles, which stood upright in a trench, which formed the walls of many a pioneer house, and one or two log houses, one of which is still standing, belonging to Mr. Walter Stevens. Here they found an abundance of tall grass. The grass and the timber extended to the rivers edge on both sides, in great contrast to the condition today, for today there is no grass or timber near the river, no, nor ever a sign that there ever was any at the rivers edge, the result of years of overgrazing which the U. S. Government is now trying to repair, and to bring back restore to this district its original condition. Mr. Brimhall remembers many ponds and creeks in the neighborhood, none of which remain today. In the spring of 1979 a number of new families arrived in Fruitland. They built an irrigating ditch, and they soon had a thriving settlement and raised good crops. An arroya could not be seen. Now there are hundreds.

Later he went, with his Mother, to the southern part of this state, and at twenty years of age, he married Evangaline and returned to Fruitland to live permanently. He always loved Fruitland. The years spent here in that early day brought him in constant contact with the Navajo Indians some of whom became his friends. Between him and the well known Navajo Indian, there was a real bond and the tie was never broken. He says Coatie was smart. He listened to you, and you could reason with him. He was short and stout, and he was outstanding and always commanded your admiration, and whether his mood was ugly or kindly, he managed to handle the situation.

On one occasion Mr. Brimhalls skillful handling of a delicate situation prevented trouble in Fruitland. This occurred one cold winter night, when a privileged character had discovered an open barrel with wine in it. The wine was frozen, except the very center, to which he helped himself freely, and shortly the effects of it showed freely. While he was still able to navigate, he wandered into a party which was in progress in Fruitland. His unsteady step was very evident, so some of the men gently requested him to leave the hall, as many of the women were getting so nervous that they began leaving, mostly through the windows. Of course he refused when the request was repeated, he drew his ever ready knife from his belt, and told them if they let him alone, he would do the same, but if not he would kill them. At this they thought it best to call a halt, while a couple of men slipped in the door behind him to get near enough to hold down his arms while the other men disarmed him. But Clayborn Brimhall, then a deputy sheriff, stepped up in front of him, motioned to the men to go back, and persuaded him to leave nicely, saying that he, Brimhall is a Washington man. Upon being convinced that Brimhall really was a Washington man and had authority, he was willing to yield to it. He was one of the very few Indians who seemed to be able to grasp the idea of the authority of the law and then submit willingly.

The Indians were constantly breaking the law of the white man, and one day the sheriff caught Costiana in a small cattle theft or about to make one. The sheriff had the drop on him, and told him what to do or he would shoot him, among other things he was made to crawl on the ground. Costiana did it, as usual recognizing the authority of the law. However, he had another no so good trait, he would get even, and not so long after that, he got the drop on the sheriff, and, in great glee, he made the sheriff crawl on the ground. However, he and the sheriff were good friends to the very last, for at Costiana's death the same sheriff, himself, took a coffin down to the reservation in which Costiana was laid, and is today taking his last, long sleep.

Costiana spoke four languages, English, Spanish Navajo and Apache. Mr. Brimhall well remembers the time that a company of soldiers were stationed at Fruitland in The trouble started when in building a house for a man named Welch one of the laborers got into an argument with an Indian and the Indians arm was broken, and the trouble which occurred after there shot. Very shortly after this a small Indian boy of some twelve of fourteen years left his home and went to Fruitland. He, without saying anything to his family, remained there for two or three days, and the word was passed around among the Indians that the boy had been killed by the whites in retaliation for the death of the man who had been shot. But the boy returned to his home, unhurt, later. The residents of Fruitland were surrounded by over a thousand Indians, in a day or so, and the Troops were called out to protect them. They camped there for something like a month.

When it was thought best to call out the troops, a message was sent to the telegraph office in Durango, Colorado, fifty miles away, which was to be wired to Fort Defiance. These men Silas Hinaker and Bupe Naupin were driving a team of horses, to travel to Durango. After they left, Indians began gathering and threatening groups, the groups growing larger all the time, till it was estimated there was more that a thousand in Indians surrounding the settlement. This was alarming, to say the least, and at a meet of some of the men it was thought to sent a man on horseback across country by a shorter route would a better plan, and quicker. But, who to send? It was The time was one o'clock in the morning, and but few men were inclined to leave at that time of the night on such an errand, and to face a band of Indians who were all worked up and ready to fight at any moment. But they decided to ask Clayborn Brimhall to do it, and offered him $60.00 if he reached Durango in five hours. Clayborn accepted the offer. He drank a cup of coffee with his brother-in-law saddled his horse and was off. He made the trip within the prescribed time, bringing back his time from the telegraph operator, and the troops were arrived at Fruitland before any outbreak occurred.

The Indian who shot the man named Walch was called The Fat Man, was in a trial and sentenced to the jail for twenty years, and sent to Santa Fe to serve out the term. But he Broke out and escaped from the pen They put Blood hounds on his track. They found him in a tree where he had fortified himself with stones, and he beat the hounds down with stones and escaped and was never captured, and is living today not far from Shiprock. But he is not now known by the name of Fat Man. Mr. Brimhall is a public spirited man and one who stands very high in his community. He is liberal and generous in such a man as benefits a community by his enterprise and pluck.

Cleve Hallenbeck
By Georgia B. Redfield
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: San Miguel
Surnames mentioned: Hallenbeck, Schleuter, Cabeza de Vaca

Cleve Hallenbeck: Writer, Meteorologist Scientist, Artist, Author of Spanish Missions of the Old Southwest, Legends of the Spanish Southwest, The Climatic Factor in Ethnic Divergence, and numerous Other Scientific Magazine Articles. Undoubtedly no on has ever been more valuable from a scientific point of view to Roswell and Pecos Valley in New Mexico than Cleve Hallenbeck who has been head of the weather Bureau stationed in Roswell since 1915. During this year he was advanced to Scientific Rank on the bureau, in which he has remained continuously, with interests and activities being extended, not only in this work of his chosen profession but in other important scientific and cultural developments.

Mr. Hallenbeck was born at Xenia Illinois, February 4, 1885. His parents were Charles S. Hallenbeck, born at Franklinton, New York, and Frederica Augusta (Schleuter) Hallenbeck, born at Potsdam Germany, a descendant of the old German family. When an infant three months old Cleve Hallenbeck moved with his parents to a farm near Salem Illinois, where he lived until he was a young man eighteen years old until 1903. The next five years in succession, says Mr. Hallenbeck, he was a railway employee, a grocery clerk, a school teacher, and a Federal employee, thus going, rapidly, from bad to worse.

Even though Mr. Hallenbeck stood high in every subject in his completed high school course at Salem Illinois, and in the Valparaiso University in Indiana, and Armour Institute of Technology, Chicago, he says: I consider such as time wasted, and states that in his opinion the only education worthwhile is that gained in the best University of all the School of Experience.

Mr. Hallenbeck entered the service of the United States Weather Bureau in 1908. He gained his preliminary training and experience at Atlanta, Pueblo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Fort Worth, Chicago, Houston and Denver, after which be received his assignment to Roswell, where he has remained ever since and established his permanent home.

In 1930 Mr. Hallenbeck was married to Miss Juanita H. Williams, who was born February 2, 1905 at Vincennes, Indiana, and graduated at Vincennes University in 1925. The couple have one child, a daughter named Pomona, age six years. Mrs. Hallenbeck, who is also a writer, contributing to New Mexico Magazines and historical articles to periodicals throughout the country, collaborates with Mr. Hallenbeck in historical works. As stated by Mr. Hallenbeck: She is my most uncompromising and therefore, most helpful critic.

Mr. Hallenbeck's hobby is the Spanish history of the Southwest. He is the author of Spanish Missions of the old Southwest published in 1926, and in collaboration with Mrs. Hallenbeck, of Legends of the Spanish Southwest published in 1938. Many of the splendid illustrations of this book were done by Mr. Hallenbeck.

Among his outstanding scientific contributions that have received National interest and praise are: The Climatic Factor in Ethnic Divergence, published in 1920, and Types of Thunderstorm Circulation, published in 1922, which was prepared by request for the Pilot's Handbook for Transcontinental air lines. Shorter scientific articles, receiving flattering notice, were, Sensible Temperatures, 1924 and The Temperature of Civilization in 1925.

At present Mr. Hallenbeck is collaborating with Dr. Carl Sauer, of the University of California upon a volume entitled, The Journey and Route of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, which is practically completed and will probably appear before the end of 1939. He is also preparing a volume on the history of the old Spanish road from Mexico City to Santa Fe, which he states will terminate his researches into the Spanish history of the Southwest.

Mr. Hallenbeck is a member of the New Mexico Historical Society, and is a charter member of the Advancement of Science and American Meteorological Society to which he was elected a fellow in 1920, with the distinction of being, at that time, the youngest of thirty-two fellows in a membership of about 1100.

Outstanding characteristics of Mr. Hallenbeck are frankness and sincerity. He can be depended upon absolutely in advice and cooperation given by him in important business and industrial developments in which his scientific knowledge, and meteorological in training and experience, are invaluable.

He likes a quiet life, is unassuming in manner, and cares nothing for society and education. When he is convinced that a cause is worthy, he is generous and kind, and is firm in his decisions amounting almost to stubbornness, on any subject whereon his scientific training has to bear.

Mr. Hallenbeck states that his is a free lance in thought, word and deed. Twice he has refused to enter into contracts for periodical supplies of historical material. He belongs to no secret organizations, for the reason that, such affiliation might restrict my freedom to say, or write, what I please. The scientific and cultural contributions of Mr. Hallenbeck have indeed proved of great value to the community around Roswell and to the State of New Mexico.

Thomas N. Pendergrass
By Mrs. Belle Kilgore
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: Curry, Otero, Lincoln
Surnames mentioned: Pendergrass, Lewis

I was born in 1900 near Weed, New Mexico, not very far from Artesia. It is very mountainous there and the New Mexico Boy Scouts summer camp is located near Weed. We lived there and at Artesia until about 1906, when Dad moved to Texico. Early in 1907, he decided to move to Clovis which had been made the division point of the Santa Fe railroad. It was a shack town then and it took Dad three months to get us a house built so we could move there. The first week I was in Clovis I couldn't find any boys of my age to play with. One day I was away down the railroad track where the underpass is now at the end of Prince Street in the southeastern part of town, and I met a boy. We had a fight. I do not what we fought about or which one got licked, but we just quit I suppose. He asked me if I wanted to ride. Where is your horse? I asked.
There, he said, and pointed to an old red bull with a rope on his head. The boy who's name was Pat, threw the rope reins over the bull's head and we crawled on. The rope was fixed just like a bridle, and Pat guided Pete, the bull, just like you would a horse. Pete was very old and gentle. We rode him all over the town, and later we found some more boys and they got on behind me. When Pete got tired, he would just start out in a jog trot and off would come the boys, for it was the roughest riding I ever tried to make. Pete was very old and I don't remember how long he lived but we missed him very much. A traveling photographer made pictures of us boys and Old Pete, and I suppose he sold a thousand of the postcards. I would be glad to got one, but no one in Clovis has a postcard picture of Old Pete.

The first nickels I ever made was by selling the Fort Worth Record, Fort Worth, Texas paper. The agency was in the hands of a man who ran a pool hall. I went down to get his papers one morning, and the boys told me that the old man was found dead in bed. The employees refused to tell me what to do, so I just took the papers and sold them. Dad was running a confectionery and he helped me take over the agency. I also sold the Saturday Evening Post and the Ladies Home Journal. At one time I had 300 subscriptions of both of these paper or magazines, and peddled them all myself. Dad then put in the news stand and I still delivered papers. I am sure that I have the honor of being the First Clovis News Boy in Clovis, and I am proud of it. I think that a boy should always have something to do.

Yes, I had lots of fun. The old marble grounds were where the Hotel Clovis now stands. All the little tikes in town would meet there and play marbles. Sometimes some one would want me to do something, and if we they did not see me around they would come to the marble grounds and call Snooks, and I would have to run for I knew it was some kind of business. One day a man came in town and wanted to get some one to collect for him. I guess we had been here several years, for he was a club subscription agent, a man who was paying his way through college, and he wanted some one to help him collect. He came to the marbles grounds and called Snooks, and so I went to see what he wanted. I did not like it much when I found he was horning in on my business, but I went with him and told him where his subscribers lived. Sometime we would have to go up the same street twice, and I said, Give me your list and I will collect them for you. He let me have the list and I soon showed him that I knew the town. At first, he was afraid to let me do the collecting for him, but I never failed to make of the people come across, so he wanted me to go in with him. I told him that selling magazines and papers was my business also. He sure did look funny about it.

My dad was too busy to collect, so he sent my sister out with the bills, but she was so timid, that she would not present them. Snooks, do you think that you can collect for me? Dad asked, I said that I would try, so I went out after the bills and collected every one of them. I think that was before the magazine man had me to do work for him. Everybody laughed at me and asked me if I could read. Dad had the bills made out and their names on each slip and I soon learned the names, and of course I know where they lived.

There was lots to amuse a boy in Clovis then. We had an old swimming hole, up near where the Athletic Field north of the Junior High school. We had to wade through the mud before we c could get to deep water, and when we got out there in the middle was an island. We would stay out there through the long hot days and come back with blistered backs, and oh, so tired.

The first hook and ladder fire department was the greatest excitement for me. I would ride on the hose cart to keep the hose from falling off. Many a fire have I gone to riding that cart. I remember when there were several fires right close together, and the men in Clovis thought there was a fire bug in town. Sure, enough there was and what they did to him was a plenty. I think they intended to hang him, but the law took hold of him and he was run out of town.

Mr. Jack Lewis used to drive the fire horses, Bob and Bill was the names of the smartest and finest horses that were ever in Clovis. They were always ready to go at the sound of the fire whistle. When the horses were getting too old to be used, they were put in a pasture about two miles, from town. But when they heard that whistle of alarm, they would break through any kind of fence and come to town and go right to where the fire was. I do not know whether they are still living or not. Mr. Lewis could drive them through the parked cars, and at a run too, and never hit a hub or make a mistake. That has been a long time ago.

I have grown up with this town and many things that interest me have been forgotten by the older people. I graduated in high school about 1917 and wanted to join the army then, but Dad wouldn't let me. But later when the war got so hot, Dad tried to get in the army and couldn't and he told me that I could go, but the war closed before I got to enlist. I went to the Military university one year but dad wasn't w well so I had to come home. Dad died early in 1922, and I did not get to go to school much more.

I am now brake man on the passenger run, from Amarillo to Belin on the 12,910 and am at home on Tuesdays and Sundays. The roads are in much better condition then when I first began to go on the run. There was not any ballast on the road bed, and the rails holding the train to prevent derailment. I like dogs very much, he said as a man brought him a dog that had been given to his little boy four or five years old. This was Boston Screw Tail. And he and my boy are inseparable.

Mr. Pendergrass is a very pleasant talker, and he loves the past of Clovis, but he is just as interested in the growth now. But Clovis is his Old Home Town. This is a very scattered sketch of Mr. Pendergrass, but I do not think that any one could be a better booster of his own than this railroad man who started out as a Newspaper Boy.

Cowboy Hardships
By Mrs. Belle Kilgore
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: Lea
Surnames mentioned: Beale, Rogers, Cook

I was teaching near, Ranger Lake in Lea County, New Mexico during the first part of 1917 and boarded with Mr. Boss Beale's family. It was a severe cold winter, and the cattle men were having a great deal of work to do to keep the cattle from drifting in to the hills south and west. The cattle were weak and the grass was short, so it was necessary to keep them where they could be fed. Of course, now since there are so many fences, he said, and smaller pastures, we do not have the trouble that we had in the country twenty or thirty years ago. Ranger Lake had been headquarters for a ranch operated by the Beal Brothers.

The first drift fence that was built by the XIT syndicate company operated by the company that built the Texas Capitol building in 1886. This fence was built west from the State Line Fence and built to keep the cattle from drifting into the southwest of New Mexico. Every year thousands of range cattle from Colorado, Kansas and Northern parts of Texas and New Mexico would go as far south as they could. These herds were great by the time they reached the cap rock between here and Roswell.

Joe Cook and Jim Rogers were cowboys from one of the headquarters of the LFD Ranch, which was located south of Littlefield Texas. These boys were sent out to New Mexico with others to turn their cattle towards the southeast course into Texas. But they could not handle their herd, with the straggling cattle that came and there was no way to turn them against the north and east winds, and the driving snows and rains. Tim took a bad cold and Joe had to care take of him and so on the cattle drifted. Joe and Tim housed up in a small shack that had been built by some trappers near Portales Springs. At nigh night Joe sat by Tim expecting every breath to be the last. fearing to leave him for fear he would come back and find Tim dead. So for several days they stayed in the cabin with out food and medicine.

Tim said, Joe, you are starving, and I am dying, so you go and see if you can find something to eat, and get help. Joe refused at first, but Tim when in his rational moments, begged so hard that at last Joe consented to go for help. The day was cloudy, but the snow was not so thick in the air as it had been for the last three days. Joe placed all the fuel he could find in the cabin near an old stove and put water where Tim could get it.

So long, old chap, Joe said, I'll be back with something to chaw, and leaving his partner whom he did not expect to find alive again, he headed due east, as he rode the snow came thicker and the wind blew harder, but one he, went as fast as his hungry horse could travel. When night came on he stopped in a clump of bushes and slept. He had no idea where he was, he had lost all sense of direction.

He tethered his horse on the windward side of the bushes and huddled up in the center of the thicket. He passed the night nearly froze and in his dreams he could see Tim's white face, and dream of good things to eat and warm fires. He was awakened by the loud whinnying of his horse, at early dawn. The horse was throwing his head around and looking in the direction of the northeast. What is it? Blue. asked Joe. Well, if you know where we're going, you know more than I do. The horse started in the northeast direction and seemed to be anxious to go. They traveled perhaps about five or six miles, when Joe notices tracks in the snow, horse tracks and a cattle tracks, as if they were being driven. In a short time he knew by the increased number of tracks that some cowboys must be not far away. At last, he saw smoke in the distance The horse which was nearly past traveling headed that way, but staggered. Joe dismounted and led the horse, staggering as he went, but he was set on reaching that camp fire. He began to halloo and he sighted some cowboys, who had heard his calls. The boys came lopping towards him.

Hi, there, Joe Cook, you old man, we've been hunting fur you and Tim for a week. Where did you hide yourself? By, josh, boys, he's dead, and Will Green ran up to him and picked him up. He's starved and froze to death. They carried him to the fire and put him down on some saddle blankets. Get him some whiskey, boys, and they poured all the whiskey that they could get down him. Get some of that hot coffee and something to eat. The boys worked on him until he was fed and warm. He told them that Tim was awful sick. He is probably dead by now, and dropped his head in his hands and sobbed. Now, Joe, tell us where we can find him and we'll bring him back sound and you get some sleep your self. Two cowboys went for a doctor, and several of the boys, took food and blankets to bring Tim. When they got there Tim was unconscious. They revived him soon and gave him hot food and the next morning, they put him on a horse and rode twelve miles each one them holding him. They did not expect him to be alive when they reached the camp, but he did not seem any worse, and soon the doctor from the ranch had him and Joe doped out and they were put in a chuck wagon and taken back to headquarters.

Then came two weeks of severe weather, the cowboys could do nothing but take care of the cattle and horses at the headquarters. When the storm broke, Joe and Tim were about recovered and they went on the roundup below Springs. A rider from below Tatum came up and told them that the drift Fence had been out and thousand of cattle had fallen off the cap rock and cowboys could make good money skinning the frozen cows. Cowboys and men from all over the country went down and as hides were bringing better money that steers, the wholesale skinning began. The brands were some of them well known and some of them were traced back up in Colorado and Kansas and Oklahoma. But to the skinner belonged the hide, thought he had to have a bill of sale to the hide. This caused considerable trouble for some brands were not located. Well that was a spring when all the boys had a little money even if the cowman did lose.

Cruz Richards Alvarez
By Marie Carter
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: Dona Ana, USA
Surnames mentioned: Alvarez, Richards, Scott, Trias, Lemon, Baylor, Carleton, Fountain, Bradey, Heinman, Maxwell, Garrett

Cruz Richards Alvarez, of Old Mesilla, is a man who takes great pride in his ancestry. So when I requested him to tell me something about his family history he complied, and began:

My great grandfather, John Richards, was a prominent London physician, who took a notion to embark for America. His two sons, Ruben and Stephen, accompanied him. Their mother was dead. While they were at sea the crew mutinied. John Richards must have been a game old boy. For he took charge of the ship and brought it to Galveston, Texas. At a later date, however, he was beheaded by the Indians, consequently, the boys were left orphans in the wilds of Texas. Ruben, who was destined to become my grandfather, joined the American Army under General Scott in Mexico. On returning from the Mexican war he stopped at Precido, Texas, which was Mexico, and met my future grandmother.

Love at first sight, followed by a prendorio, or engagement announcement, I suggested. According to the old Spanish custom there should have been a prendorio, but in this case, everything went haywire. The girl's father, Francisco Hernandez, he explained, as a rich old guy with lots of money and cattle and thought Ruben was an adventurer with designs on the family fortune. So he told him to be gone or he would shoot him. Did he go?

Si Senora, muy pronto. But he came back. Then what do you think happened? he asked. I can't Imagine.
He kidnapped the girl.

Reuben Richards, the man who kidnapped his sweetheart and married her, was also a soldier in the Civil War. He joined the Federal Army, and his brother Stephen joined the Confederate army. Cruz Richards Alvarez, the grandson of Reuben Richards, was in the Diplomatic Service of the United States during the World War was attached to the American Embassy at Madrid Spain. At the present time he is an Attorney of Old Mesilla Park and the President of the Chamber of Commerce.

When I asked Cruz Richards Alvarez to tell me something about Old Mesilla, he replied: Thrilling national history and romance are imprinted an the placid tree lined streets of Mesilla. On November 20, 1854, the official confirmation of the Gadsden Purchase Treaty, wherein Mesilla and Southern Arizona were purchased for ten million dollars from Mexico, took place in its picturesque plaza.

Do you happen to know the names of the officers who represented the United States and Mexico on that eventful day? I inquired.
Yes. General Sam Garland represented the United States, and General Angel Trias represented the Mexican Government. Have you seen the Spanish pavilion which marks the site where the two flags floated during that international adjustment? he asked. Yes, I replied. What is its history?

Well, it is modeled exactly an the lines of a bandstand of the period of the Gadsden Purchase, when Mesilla and all the territory south of the river to the present international boundary came into the possession of the United States. The pillars of the grandstand have a history, too. They were carried to La Mesilla by ox team before the Civil War and used in building the first flour mill. It was dedicated June 24, 1932. After the pillars of the Mesialla grandstand were discarded by the flour mill, they were bought by John Lemon and used to form rafters in his home. Incidentally, Mr. Lemon, was killed in a battle between Republicans and Democrats about 1875 in the rear of the bandstand's present location.

The Republicans, who were parading on the streets of La Mesilla, were suddenly attacked by the Democrats. The attack was followed by a fierce battle. During the gun fight some of the bullets struck and tore holes in the brass instruments carried by the Republican's band.

Mr. Alvarez, I said, How did Colonel John R. Baylor factor in the history of Old Mesilla? Well, in 1861, when Mesilla became the capital of Arizona, Colonel Baylor appointed himself governor and selected his Supreme Court and other territorial officials with headquarters southeast of the plaza. Baylor liked Mesilla, and treated the natives in a friendly manner. He was very liberal with his confederate money, which was paper. And the following year, when General Carleton, commanding the California Volunteers, captured Mesilla for the Union cause, the merchants almost went bankrupt, trying to exchange Baylor's paper money for sound currency.

There is a current story in Old Mesilla about a certain Yankee of the early days who had a habit of serenading dark-eyed ladies. There is still considerable double as to how he mixed his drinks, but none whatever regarding the way he mixed chili con carne with his English and Spanish. For this gallant Yank's favorite ditty accompanied by the strum, strum, of an old guitar, went something like this:

Te quiero, te quiero because you
are the dream angel of mi vida,
Y mi amor that you control
Makes my very timid soul
Sing with highest joy, mi querida,
Ah! when I see your star lit eyes,
Beaming with mucho come hither,
Mi corazon muy furioso beats
And performs many romantic feats
For you, for you only, mi querida.

Mesilla, New Mexico, a historic town with a quaint Spanish atmosphere, has about 1200 inhabitants. It is situated in the heart of the Mesilla Valley, on State Highway No. 28, two miles west of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and U. S. Highway No. 80. It is the center of the Mesilla Colony Grant, containing twenty-four square miles of the richest land in the valley. Mesilla is forty-five miles from El Paso, Texas, the metropolis of the southwest.

A few days ago, while nosing around the streets of Old Mesilla, I had the good fortune to meet Cruz R. Alvarez again. He called my attention to the old jail where Billy the Kid was incarcerated, saying:
He was a tough customer, ruthless with his enemies, but generous to his friends, the native rancheros. His good looks, charming personality, and find dancing won him the admiration of the younger set, who considered him a gay caballero. But he was a desperado, a gunman and a killer, who was sentenced to be hung, April 15, 1881. In Dona Ana County?
No, in Lincoln County. Colonel A.J. Fountain, who organized the New Mexico Militia, was Billy the Kid's defense counsel. He said. Perhaps I had better tell you something about the old stage coaches, Mr. Alvarez said. South of the plaza, adjoining the Valley Mercantile Company buildings it the station site of the Butter Field stage coaches, which used to carry steel-nerved passengers in quest of adventure and fortunes. Traveling from San Antonio, Texas, over a rugged, Indian and bandit infested route to San Diego, California. The Hospitality and gayety of early Mesilla appealed to the California gold hunters much as an oasis appeals to the tongue parched nomads of the Sahara.

Mesilla was also the county seat of Dona Ana County until the latter part of the 19th century, when the railroad entered this Apache infested region. In those days the railroads were an valuable asset to any town, and would have helped advance Mesilla to a great extent. But the early land owners emphatically refused to donate sufficient land to the A.T.S.F. railway for a right of way through Mesilla. Hence, the railroad, was built two miles east through Las Cruces, where the county seat is now located.

A large percentage of the tourists, visiting Mesilla, invariably want to know where to find the old Chihuahua Santa Fe Trail, Mr. Alvarez said. When we tell them it is right here, they seem surprised. The famous Chihuahua Santa Fe Trail is the route over which De Vargas with his soldiers and Franciscan friars entered New Mexico in 1692, To the south, within a distance of twenty-five miles on this historic trail, there are several quaint Spanish pueblos with their typical mission churches: San Miguel, La Mesa, Chamberino, and La Union, formerly called Los Amoles.

There are several good stores in Old Mesilla. E. V. Gaboa's Valley Mercantile Company, where the U.S. post office is located, Patio Cafe, Mesilla Garage, Gadsden Museum Art Gallery (In the Albert Fountain family home) and Billy the Kid museum. Guerra's Theater Building, Bermudez Mission Grape Nurseries, Locke's Asparagus Farms, St. Albinus, a French, Roman type of church, modern public school building and an active Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Alvarez, I said, I always thought Billy the Kid was shot.
He was, but that occurred after he escaped from the Lincoln jail.
Escaped?
Yes, killing both of his guards. Prior to his incarceration, April 1, 1878, he killed sheriff William Brady and George Hineman. On July 15, 1881, Pat Garrett, the sheriff of Lincoln County and two deputies, discovered Billy the Kid at the home of Pete Maxwell near Fort Sumner. The outlaw walked into Maxwell's bedroom and was shot by Garrett.

2005