Andrew Wilson Otero County, New Mexico

Andrew Wilson, a retired rancher living in Tularosa, Otero County, has resided in New Mexico since 1862, when he came with the California Column in the Civil war as a member of Company A, First California Cavalry. He was born in Champaign County, Ohio, January 8, 1839, and in his boyhood days went to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama, making the journey with an uncle in 1854 when a youth of fifteen years. He mined on the Michigan Bar at Placerville and in other places, residing there until after the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted on the 12th of August, 1861, becoming a member of Company A, First California Cavalry. With his command he fought the Mescalero Apaches from 1862 until discharged on the 31st of August, 1864. Following his retirement from the army he worked for wages until 1871 and in the meantime was married in 1868 to Natividad Duran in Tularosa.

In 1871 Mr. Wilson took up non-surveyed government land, which he finally entered, this being about twelve miles east of Tularosa. In 1875 he discovered copper on his ranch and for several years operated the mine. He continued in possession of the property until December, 1905, when he sold out, having in the meantime shipped large quantities of ore, while he still has much on hand and yet owns a mill. While engaged in mining operations he at the same time conducted his farming interests, using water from the Mountains for irrigation. The ranch lies on the Tularosa River and the soil is well adapted when irrigated to the production of all kinds of grains, vegetables and fruits. He has made a specialty of the cultivation of apples and for years has raised apples weighing a pound and a half. He was the first American to locate here and has done much for the substantial improvement and development of the County. To Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have been born four children: Mary L., the wife of Charles Anderson, of Otero County; Manoah, also of Otero County; Margaret and Andrew.

Mr. Wilson has served as County commissioner of Lincoln County. He is one of the most widely known of the pioneers of this part of the Territory and in the careful conduct of his business interests he has amassed wealth. His life has been eventful, fraught with many hardships and narrow escapes from the Indians in early days, and he is familiar with all the experiences and trials that come to the frontiersman, but as the years have gone by his carefully directed labors have brought him success and also contributed to the substantial improvement and up building of southeastern New Mexico.

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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Created 1996 by Charles Barnum & 2016 by Judy White