Henry Lambert Colfax County, New Mexico

Henry Lambert, of Cimarron, Colfax County, was born in France, October 28. 1838, and when twelve years of age ran away from home, after which he learned cooking at Havre. He came to the United States in 1861, deserting from a French sailing vessel. For a year he was employed in working on a submarine boat in Pennsylvania, and thence sailed on a packet ship to Liverpool, but returned after three months. He afterward became a member of the northern navy as captain's steward. When he had beer, employed in that way for three months he deserted and went to Montevideo, South America. He traveled for some time on that continent, acting as cook with a circus, but returning to the coast he shipped to Portland, Maine, thence went to New York and afterward to Washington, D. C. He spent two months in the capital city cooking for the Fifth Army Corps, and for one month he cooked for General Grant.

Later he went to North Carolina, but returned to the army as cook for the Fifth Corps under General Warren. He afterward conducted a restaurant in Petersburg, Virginia, after which he came to the southwest, arriving in New Mexico in May, 1868. He located first at Elizabethtown because of the gold excitement and spent six months in placer mining. He conducted the second hotel in the town, remaining its proprietor until 1871, and in the fall of that year he went to Cimarron, where he purchased a place from Grant. In 1880 he built the St. James Hotel, which he completed in 1882 and has since been its proprietor.

He also owns an old ranch on Ute Creek of six hundred and forty acres, on which he raised cattle for a number of years, beginning in 1890. He also owns mining property in the Cimarron district. He has been identified with many important events which are epochal in the history of his section of New Mexico. He caught the desperadoes, Mills and Donoghue, in his house. Ponchoe's nephew, who carried the mail, was hanged until told who paid the money, and said that Mills, Donoghue and Longwell were the culprits, while a big Mexican did the shooting. They caught him in Taos, but the trial was never completed.

In 1868 Mr. Lambert was joined in wedlock at Petersburg, Virginia, to Miss Schmidt, who died in 1882. Mr. Lambert was again married in 1883 to Miss Mary Davis, at Liberty, Missouri, and their children are: William, now at Dawson: Frank. Fred. Eugene, and John, who died at the age of two years.

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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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