John W. Terry Socorro County, New Mexico

John W. Terry, engaged in the real estate business in Socorro, is a native of Illinois, born in Jersey county, on the 12th of October, 1836, his parents being Jasper M. and Mary Ann (Waggoner) Terry. He supplemented his early educational privileges by study in Shurtleff College at Alton, Illinois, from which he graduated in 1861 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Later he became a student in Colgate University at Hamilton, New York, from which he won the Master of Arts degree in 1865, but in the meantime he had rendered active service to his country as a soldier in the Civil war, enlisting in August, 1862. He was largely instrumental in raising Company C of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Illinois Infantry, of which he became first lieutenant. He was with Grant in Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi until after the capitulation of Vicksburg, having participated in the entire siege of the city, his brigade being in the center of the line which took formal possession.

Following his graduation from Shurtleff College, Mr. Terry was ordained to the Baptist ministry, and subsequent to the close of the war he continued his studies in the theological department of Colgate University. He engaged in preaching at Madison, Indiana, and at Centralia, Illinois, and for six months was associated in church work with Professor William I. Knapp in Madrid, Spain. This was in 1871. In the meantime he had spent one year, 1869-70, in travel in Europe. In 1873 he went to Trinidad, Colorado, and having retired from the active work of the ministry he formed a partnership in the banking business with Colonel George R. Swallow. In the fall of 1879 he went to Kansas City, Missouri, where he conducted a real estate office, and in December, 1881, he came to Socorro. In the spring of 1882 he established a bank here, which he conducted for three and a half years, and has since given his attention to the real estate business and to dealing in livestock and alfalfa farms. He organized a large stock ranch in connection with the firm of Liggitt & Meyers, of St. Louis, Missouri, under the name of the Magdalena Land & Cattle Company, but after about a year disposed of his interests, in 1887. His attention is now given to real estate operations.

In 1874 Mr. Terry was married to Mary A. Bascom, a native of Rock Island, Illinois. Their children are: Paul J., agent for Wells-Fargo Express Company at Ciudad Juarez; John Bascom, a graduate of the University of California of the class of 1905. and now chemist for the Standard Oil Company at Point Richmond, and Helen, who is attending school in Painesville, Ohio.

Mr. Terry has been prominent in community and territorial interests in New Mexico. He has served as county treasurer of Socorro County and a member of the city council of the city of Socorro. He was a Lincoln Republican in earlier days, stanchly upholding the administration during the period of the Civil war, and he now entertains liberal political views, but has never been an active partisan. He has, however, served as chairman of the Republican county central committee and of the county executive committee. For one year he served as justice of the peace and has been president of the board of regents of the School of Mines of New Mexico. He was made a Mason in Trinidad, Colorado, but is not affiliated with the craft at the present time. 

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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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