J. S. Lea Chaves County, New Mexico

J. S. Lea, or Smith Lea as he is familiarly known, the present treasurer and ex-officio collector, of Chaves County, New Mexico, was born in Johnson County, Missouri, January 18, 1856. He arrived in Roswell on the 3rd day of May, 1881, and has been identified with the growth and development of the county ever since. He was deputy sheriff under Pat F. Garrett and John W. Poe, when they were sheriffs of Lincoln County in the early eighties. During that time he was located at Lincoln, where he says he spent his happiest days despite the rough experiences he had, such as was incident to the sheriff's office in those times. Later he was receiver for DeLany & Terrell and wound up their large mercantile business at Fort Stanton, New Mexico, to the satisfaction of both warring partners and the court who appointed him. He was for a time manager of the Milne & Bush ranch, a director in the First National Bank of Roswell, New Mexico, cattle inspector, etc. Each position of trust he has held with credit to himself and the satisfaction of those who secured his election or appointment. He is well known 111 lodge circles, being a blue lodge, chapter, commandery and thirty-second degree Mason, also a member of the Mystic Shrine, an Odd Fellow, an Eagle and an Elk. He has always been an enthusiastic Democrat and a great admirer of Wm. J. Bryan.

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

©New Mexico American History and Genealogy Project 2011 - 2017
Created 1996 by Charles Barnum & 2016 by Judy White