Richard Parr Strong Mora County, New Mexico

Richard Parr Strong, a retired rancher of Mora, New Mexico, is a native of the Emerald Isle. He was born in County Wicklow. Ireland, August 26, 1 83 1, and was reared and received his education in the city of Dublin. At the age of nineteen years he came to America, landing in New York City, where he remained a year and a half, employed in a furniture warehouse. October 21, 1851, he enlisted in the United States army. First Regular Mounted Cavalry; re-enlisted August 27, 1856, and served a term of ten years, until August 18. 1861, when he was honorably discharged. The latter part of his army life covered the first five months of the Civil war.

Mr. Strong first came to New Mexico from Texas, with Major Pope, to look for artesian water, and spent five weeks at Galisteo, Santa Fe County. In August, 1856, he again landed at Santa Fe, thence to old Fort Massachusetts, from there to the Presidio, ten miles south of Taos, known as Fort Canton Burgwyn, and thence to Fort Union, where he remained until the expiration of his term of service and was discharged.

After leaving the army Mr. Strong took claim to a tract of government land, on which he settled and where he has since lived, all this time interested in the stock business. Also for several years, from 1864 to 1875, he was engaged in freighting with his own teams, and in that time made seven trips over the old Santa Fe Trail to Kansas City and Leavenworth, the average time for each trip being three months. In the forty-nine years Mr. Strong has lived in New Mexico he has had trouble with the Indians only once. That was in August, 1864, when he was on his first freighting trip, and was attacked by a party of twenty-five renegade Indians who were encamped on Cow creek. The Indians stole all of his horses and killed two of his men. In referring: to his early experience in the west, Mr. Strong says that in 1866 he came over the plains alone with two wagons, and two hours after he crossed the Wankarusha bridge in Kansas it was burned by Quantrell.

In Taos, New Mexico, March 1, 1857, Mr. Strong married Miss Fanny Ryan, a native of Ladysbridge, County Cork, Ireland, Father Ortiz performing the ceremony. The children born to them are as follows: Jane, born in Taos, December 5, 1857, is deceased; Mary, born in Taos, May 25, 1859, is deceased; Charles, born in Fort Union, January 6, 1860, is deceased; William P., born in Ocate, May 25, 1862, is a resident of Garrett, Oklahoma; Daniel (and all the other children, natives of Ocate), born October 12, 1865, is deceased; Richard, born January 8, 1868, is deceased; Charles U., born January 19, 1869, is a resident of Mora; Ann, born February 2, 1871, is deceased; John R., born October 2, 1874, is a resident of Wagon Mound; Tulia C, born April 24. 1881, is the wife of W. L. Blattman of Ocate.

Charles Ulick Strong, clerk in the store of Dougherty & Cassidy, of Mora, New Mexico, and also deputy county treasurer and collector of Mora County, was born in Ocate, this county, January 19. 1869, son of Richard P. and Fannie (Ryan) Strong. His father, a rancher, Charles U., received his early training on the farm. He was educated in the Christian Brothers' schools at Mora and Santa Fe and his first business venture was in a store with his brother, William P., at Ocate, where he remained four years, until he reached his majority. He was then elected county clerk of Mora County on the Democratic ticket, and served a term of two years. After this he entered the employ of J. J. Smith, dealer in general merchandise at Wagon Mound. Four months later Mr. Smith was killed, after which Mr. Strong went to Mora as clerk for the St. Vrain Mercantile Company, with which he was connected in that capacity until 1896. In the meantime he served as county commissioner one term. From 1896 to 1898 he owned and ran a store in Mora, which he sold, and until 1903 he clerked for P. D. St. Vrain. Mr. St. Vrain was deputy county treasurer of Mora County four years, the work being performed by Mr. Strong, who, at the end of that time, was appointed deputy, and is now serving as such. And he has had a clerkship with Dougherty & Cassidy since the establishment of their business, May I, 1904.

The only lodge in which Mr. Strong has membership is the Fraternal Union of America, at Mora, of which he is secretary. December 4, 1892, he married Miss Julia Kahn, daughter of Louis Kahn, and they have six children: Daniel, Annie, Emma, Margaret. Julia and Josephine. 

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

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