Patrick Coghlan Otero County, New Mexico

Patrick Coghlan, of Tularosa, one of the most widely known of the living pioneers of southeastern New Mexico, was born in Ireland, March 15, 1822, and was educated in his native country. In 1848, at the age of twenty-six years, he crossed the Atlantic to New York City and in 1849 came to Texas, since which time he has been largely identified with the pioneer history of the southwest.

He fought the Apaches and Comanche in the Lone Star state. He had extensive cattle ranches in Texas and in 1872 drove his first cattle to New Mexico. In 1874 he located on a big ranch in Lincoln County, twenty-five miles north of Capitan, known as the Block ranch. He was a witness of both the Harrold war and the Lincoln County War. He has experienced all the hardships, trials and privations incident to the settlement of this section of the country.

At Tularosa he established a store, which cattle thieves and Mexicans repeatedly robbed, and they also frequently stole his stock, but he persevered in his efforts to establish and conduct a profitable business and aid in the reclamation of the district for the uses of the white man, and is numbered among those who have laid broad and deep the foundation for the present development, prosperity and advanced civilization of this section of the country. The raid of the notorious Apache chief, Victorio, began on the Coghlan ranch, the Indians stealing seventeen of his best cattle and horses in 1879. He knew the chieftain well and Victorio was at times very friendly with him.

When Mr. Coghlan first came to Texas the nearest house was one hundred and ten miles away, there being not a single habitation between Mason and Chadbourne. The Indians protesting against the advance of the white men, many fights occurred, in a number of which Mr. Coghlan participated. In 1866 he lost three hundred head of cattle through the Indian depredations in Texas. He has, however, persevered in his purpose to establish a home and has aided in extending the frontier and converting southeastern New Mexico into a district where all of the advantages of an advanced civilization are now found.

As the years have gone by he has continued his livestock interests and in more recent years has given considerable attention to horticultural pursuits, which he has carried on successfully. The splendid results that have attended his efforts may be indicated by the fact that he won the first prize, a gold medal, for peaches exhibited at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904.

Mr. Coghlan is a splendid type of the pioneer, and well does he deserve the honor and gratitude of residents of New Mexico for what he has accomplished for her up building and improvement.

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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