Colonel Paschal Smith Luna County, New Mexico

Colonel Paschal Smith, a veteran of the Civil war, now engaged in the real estate business in Deming and one of the best known pioneers of Grant County, New Mexico, was born near Dyersburg. Tennessee, in November 1833. In his early boyhood days he went to Arkansas and subsequently to Texas, arriving in Guadalupe in 1844. His father had died in Arkansas and subsequently Colonel Smith returned to that state, becoming a student in Mine Creek College, now extinct. He early displayed the elemental strength of his character by working his way through college and thus, when equipped for life's practical and responsible duties, he entered into business. At the opening of the Civil war, however, he put aside all business and personal considerations and, true to his loved southland, became a private in the Confederate army. He soon won promotion, however, to the rank of second lieutenant, eventually becoming lieutenant colonel of the Nineteenth Arkansas Regiment and acted as its commander throughout the war, being commissioned colonel just before the close of hostilities. He served in Arkansas. Missouri and Louisiana, being first attached to the army under General McCullough later under General Holmes and subsequently under General Kirby Smith in Louisiana. Two months before the cessation of hostilities he was sent on a special secret mission to Europe for the Confederate government and there he secured arms, which were placed on shipboard ready to be taken to the Confederacy, but the war ended and he was recalled from England. He then sailed to Matamoras, whence he returned to the United States.

After the war was over Colonel Smith engaged in business in Bryant, Texas, for seven years, covering the period from 1869 until 1876. He was afterward connected with business enterprises in Chicago, Illinois, and because of ill health sought a change of climate, going to Denver, Colorado, in 1878. Two years later he came to New Mexico and entered upon business connection with the Valverde Mining Company in the Burro mountains, acting as general manager of that company and also becoming director in the Valverde Company, then operating in that locality. Subsequently Colonel Smith spent a few years in New York, but since 1890 has lived in Deming, where he is engaged in real estate operations. He is also president of the Deming City Water Company, which he organized. The works were successfully completed and put in operation May I, 1906. He is now thoroughly informed concerning property values in this part of the Territory and has negotiated a number of important realty transfers, having a good clientage in this direction. He has also promoted three successful mining sales since May 15, 1906, aggregating $600,000. Colonel Smith is a supporter of the Democracy who entertains liberal and progressive views. He has steadily refused office, having no aspiration in that direction, but keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, as every true American citizen should do. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons. His life has been one of intense and well directed activity and he is today one of the prominent and representative residents of Deming.

Colonel Smith has four daughters by his first wife, all now married. He was married again in 1869 to Miss Mattie G. Kendrick, of Kentucky, by whom he had one son and two daughters. The son, a graduate of Stanford University and New York Law School, died at the age of twenty-seven, a brilliant, highly respected young man, whom everybody loved and trusted. He was the idol and life of the home and his untimely death was the greatest sorrow of all. Lillian and Manda, recent graduates of Mills Collage, California, and Vassar College, New York, are both at home with their parents and are very intellectual and beautiful young ladies.

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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

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