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Family History Stories Paraphrased
Page 30 of 38

Mrs. Mary E. Burleson
Mrs. Mary Ellen McMillan
Mrs. O.S. Warren, Indians
Mrs. Pinkie Bourne Skinner
Mrs. Sara Bonney
Mrs. Sarah Hughes

Begin Family Histories:

Mrs. Mary E. Burleson.
By Edith L. Crawford
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: Colfax
Surnames mentioned: Burleson, Chittenden, Boggs, Tipton, Stevens, Chittenden, Searcy

The Government train we came to New Mexico in had about one hundred prairie schooners in it. Of this number four belonged to my family. My grandfather and grandmother Searcy, with six girls and one boy and my father, O. K. Chittenden, with my mother brother Tom and myself. I was five years old and my brother was about one year old. My grandfather and my father sold their farms in West Fort, Missouri. We brought all our supplies along with us. We had our flour in barrels, our own meat, lard and sugar. We were not allowed to stop and hunt buffalo on the way out here on account of the Indians. The women made the bread out of sour dough and used Soda. There was no such thing as baking powder in those days. 

The men baked the bread in Dutch ovens over the camp fires. When we stopped at night the schooners with families were put into a circle and the Government schooners would form a circle around the family wagons. In between the two circles they put the oxen and horses, to keep the Indians from getting them. Every night the men took turns standing guard. All the soldiers rode horses. Every few days the train would stop and everybody would get rested. The feet of the oxen would get so sore that they could not go without resting them every few days. When the train stopped it was nearly always at water and the women would do their washing. The train used cow and buffalo chips and anything they could find to burn. The men did all this as the women and children were never allowed far from the schooners on account of Indians. We did not milk our cow as she had to be worked along with the oxen. Our schooners had cow hides fastened underneath and our cooking utensils were packed in them. Our drinking water was carried in barrels tied to the sides of the schooners. 

We had no trouble of any kind on our trip but we were always in fear of the Indians as other trains had been attacked by them. Mr. Tom Boggs, the foreman of the Government train, told us that there was a band of Indians just ahead of our train. The Indians had attacked a train not long before we came along and had killed the people, stolen the horses and cattle and burned the wagons. We saw what was left of the wagons as we passed by.

We left the wagon train on Raton Pass. Enoch Tipton who was a relative of my grandmother, and who had persuaded my grandfather and father to come out to this country, met us on Raton Pass. We stopped at his place at Tiptonville, New Mexico. Enoch Tipton had come out here sometime before from West Port, Missouri. I do not remember just when he came or how he happened to settle here. Tiptonville is the same place as Mora, New Mexico is now. My father and grandfather farmed a year at Tiptonville. When we found our new home hard dirt floors and a dirt roof my mother was so very homesick to go back to Missouri where we had a nice farm home. My mother had brought her spinning wheel with her. She spun all the yarn for our clothes and knitted all our socks and stockings. My father and grandfather made a loom for her and she made us two carpets for our floors to keep the baby from getting so awful dirty on the floor. We had brought some seed cane with us and my father and grandfather made a homemade syrup mill and made syrup, the first ever made in that country. The mill was a crude affair made of logs and drawn by a horse. The juice was pressed out with the logs and put in a vat and cooked into syrup. People came from miles around to see this mill.

We always saved all our beef and mutton tallow to make our candles. We brought our moulds from Missouri with us. We made our wicks out of cotton strings. We tied a large knot in the end of the wick, slipped the mould over the wick and poured the hot tallow into the mould. When the tallow got cold we cut the knot off and slipped the candle out of the mould. Our candle moulds were the first ones brought into that part of the country, and all the neighbors borrowed them to mould their candles.

My father moved to Ute Creek, New Mexico, in 1867, when they struck placer gold there, and he put in a country store to supply the needs of the miners and the people who were rushing to the gold strike.

A man by the name of Stevens, I can't remember any other name as everyone called him Steve, wheeled a wheelbarrow all the way from the State of Maine to Colorado. In this wheelbarrow he had his bed, his clothes and his provisions. He did not stay long in Colorado. He came on to Tiptonville and put in a toll road to Ute Creek and my father took care of the toll gate for him. They charged $1.00 for a wagon, fifty cents for a horse and rider and twenty-five  for a person on foot. Mr. Stevens made a lot of money as there were lots of miners rushing to Ute Creek looking for gold.

When my brother and I were old enough to go to school we had to walk three miles. My mother was always so afraid of wild animals and Indians. We had a big bull dog who used to go with us to school. When he got tired waiting for us he would go home and when it was time for us to get home he would come to meet us. We lived down in a valley and had to go over a big hill and he would wait for us on top of this hill. We went to school at Ute Creek. The Indians were not so hostile as when we first came to New Mexico. It was the Apache and Ute Indians who gave so much trouble and sometimes the Kiowas and Cheyennes would slip in and make raids on the settlers.

My father was from Connecticut originally and came to West Port, Mo., and married my mother there. She was Elizabeth Searcy. I am the last one left of the Searcy and Chittenden families. My brother Jap who was born after we came to New Mexico died in Gallup, New Mexico, in 1926. Source: Mrs. Mary E. Burleson.

Pioneer Story
By Edith L. Crawford
Source: Mrs. Mary Ellen McMillan
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: Lincoln
Surnames mentioned: Crawford, Thompson, Richardson, Dooley, McMillan, Johnson

I was born in Adamsville, Texas, January 15, 1880. My father, Frank Thompson, was born in Alabama, February 28, 1862. When he was quite young his parents moved to Texas. My mother was Elizabeth Richardson and was born in Hamilton, Texas, June 5, 1867. My father and mother were married at Adamsville Texas, in 1872.

My father owned a large farm and raised fine blooded horses and registered Jersey cattle. My mother and father had ten children, John, Fannie, Whit, Lonnie, Mary Ellen (me), Guy, Hattie, Thomas, Elizabeth and Belle, all born in Adamsville Texas. The five children that came to New Mexico, with my mother were my two brother Whit and Guy two sisters Fannie and Belle and my self. The rest of the children three boys and two girls were married and had homes of their own in Texas

When my father was about nineteen years old he helped drive a herd of cattle from Adamsville Texas, to some place in Colorado. He came back to Texas by way of Lincoln County New Mexico and was so much impressed with the country that he always wanted to come back to Lincoln County to live. His mother never would consent for him to move his family to New Mexico, as she thought it was such a wild country, but in May 1902 he decided to sell his place in Texas and come out to New Mexico.

My father and a friend of his, named Bill Lane, and Tom and Jack Dooley, who were my father's nephews, came out to New Mexico to find a place to locate. They stopped at Nogal, New Mexico. About two months after my father left to come to New Mexico I was married to Walter H. McMillan, on July 10, 1902. My husband and I wanted to come out to New Mexico too, but we stayed on with my mother until the crops were all gathered. My mother and my sisters and I put up around two hundred gallons of fruit and vegetables that fall. We were very busy getting ready to join my father in New Mexico.

On October 24, 1902, my mother, two brothers, two sisters, my husband and I started from Adamsville Texas, for Nogal New Mexico. We had three covered wagons, each wagon drawn by two horses. My mother and my youngest sister rode in one wagon, my brother Guy drove one, and my husband and I had our own wagon. My mother decided to bring out some of our fine horses and had about twenty head. My brother, Thomas, and my sister Belle, rode horseback and drove the horses.

The three wagons stayed together for about six days until we got to Texas, where my husband's father lived. We decided to stay there for awhile my husband and I but my mother decided that they would go on and so she, with my brothers and sisters took the two wagons and the twenty head of horses and went right on through to Nogal. They got there about the middle of November, 1902, and joined my father at Nogal. My mother and father stayed at Nogal about a year and went to Ancho, New Mexico, and filed on a homestead there and lived on this same place until their death, many years later.

My husband and I stayed with his father in Crews Texas, until January 1903. It had gotten so cold that we decided that we would wait until spring to go on to New Mexico. We left Crews Texas and went up to Guion, Texas, about twenty miles south of Abilene Texas, where we stayed until March 27, 1903, when we started out for New Mexico in our covered wagon. We had two horses, a gentle one and one that was not well broken. When my husband would get the team hitched up the unbroken horse would immediately start to run. I would always get in the wagon and hold the lines and my husband would have to run and catch the wagon as it moved off.

We had our chuck box on the back of the wagon and carried two water kegs tied on the side. We had a pair of springs in the wagon with our bed on it and we slept in the wagon. We used a lantern for light. We had a coop tied under the wagon with six hens and a rooster, pure blood white leghorns, that kept us in eggs all the way out to New Mexico. We used wood for fuel until we got on the plains and then we used cow chips.

We struck the plains at Gail Texas and the very first day on the plains we ran into the worst sand storm that I ever experienced in my life. The sand filled up the ruts in the road and made it very hard to travel. We were facing the wind and late in the afternoon we came to a large water tank. It was a dirt tank and full of water and while we were still about a quarter of a mile away from it we thought it was raining for we could feel the water, but it was just the wind blowing the water against the dam with such force that it threw the water up in the air. We stopped at the tank for the night and the wind was so very strong that we were afraid that the wagon would be blown over. We could not cook any dinner or supper that day but we had all our provisions with us. We had to open some canned fruit but it got so full of sand that we could hardly eat it at all.

We traveled the old Chisum Trail and there was not a store or a post office from Gail Texas, to Roswell New Mexico. We saw a lot of antelope, coyotes and prairie chickens. One day my husband decided that he would shoot some prairie hens as we had only bacon for meat. I stayed in the wagon and my husband got out to shoot them. He had a shot gun and when he fired at the prairie hens the team of horses got frightened and ran away with me. They ran for about a half mile before they stopped. We were so excited that we forgot to get the prairie hens, though we knew that he had gotten two of them, and we did not get any fresh meat after all.

After we left Gail Texas, we came to the Fish Ranch. This ranch was about twenty-five miles northwest of Gail. The cattle were dying by hundreds. It was very dry and grass was poor. When my husband went up to a windmill to see if he could water the team and get water for our water kegs, he found one of our old friends from Adamsville Texas, a man by the name of Virgil Piper. We were so glad to see him and he ate dinner with us that day. He worked on the Fish ranch.

From the Fish ranch the road followed up what was known as Sulphur Draw. The next place we came to was the L. F. D. ranch. The head quarters ranch house was at Mescalero Springs, near what is now known as Cap Rock, Texas. Not far from Mescalero Springs we came to some alkali sands which were twelve miles across. My father had already written us about these sands and did not think that we could make it across them with just the one team of horses and had told us that he would send one of my brothers to meet us at Mescalero Springs, with another team of horses, but when we got there my brother had not come so we decided to try to cross any way. The sand had piled up into ridges and was so fine that the wagon wheels sank almost to the hubs. It was very hard for the horses to pull and every time that they would get to the top of a ridge the horses would have to stop and blow. It took us one whole day to cross those sands and just after we got on the other side we met my brother coming with the extra team. He was very much surprised that we had made it across as well as we had.

Not very far from the Mescalero Springs we came to a small ranch where there was a big prairie fire. The man on the ranch. I have forgotten his name. asked my husband if her would take one of our team of horses and go round up a saddle horse for him as all of his horses were out in a big pasture and he could not get them on foot. The man had a number of baby calves out on the flats and he was afraid that the fire would trap these baby calves. My husband was glad to help him out by getting his horses for him and the man and his wife gave us some fresh milk and butter and eggs.

Not very much happened from this ranch on in to Nogal. I saw my first burros between Roswell and Nogal. They had water kegs strapped on their backs. I thought it looked very queer. We reached Nogal New Mexico on April 15, 1903. We stayed there for a short while with my parents and then we moved to Ancho, New Mexico, where my husband had work at the cement plant there. There was only one house in Ancho at that time. We lived in a tent. My first child, Ruth, was born on July 31, 1903. She was the first American child born in the town of Ancho.

While we were living at Ancho New Mexico, my father filed on a homestead near Ancho and moved there. In October, 1903, my husband decided to work for the rail road company and we moved to Carrizozo, New Mexico. My husband worked as pump man for the El Paso, Northwestern Railroad Company, and stayed with this company for about ten years. When we moved to Carrizozo there was one store, a saloon and post office, all in one long building under one roof. There were very few people in Carrizozo then and even as late as 1905 there were not enough children here to have a school. I had to go to White Oaks, New Mexico, for my dry goods. That was a real nice town at that time.

After leaving the rail road company my husband went to work for the New Mexico Light and Power Company and he stayed with this company for ten or twelve years. In 1929 my husband filed on a homestead eight miles south of Ancho, New Mexico. We lived there until 1937 when we traded our homestead to our son-in-law, Walter Burnett, for a house and two lots in Carrizozo, New Mexico, where we still live.

My mother and father lived on their homestead at Ancho until their death. My mother died in 1922 and my father in 1933. About five years before my father died he lost his eye sight. He lived with me while we lived on our homestead near Ancho. I have a sister Belle, Mrs. J. T. Johnson, who with her husband and two children live on their homestead about three miles from Ancho, New Mexico. Of all my father's family there are only four living. My brother Whit Thompson lives near Adamsville Texas. My sister Fannie, is Mrs. Carter, and lives at Hot Springs, New Mexico, and my sister, Mrs. Johnson, is at Ancho, New Mexico, and I am at Carrizozo.

Both of my parents are buried at Ancho, New Mexico. My husband and I have six children, Ruth, Bonnie, Euda, Walter, Mary Ellen and Corrine, all were born in New Mexico and all live in New Mexico now. For the past four years my husband has driven a school bus from Ancho, New Mexico, to Carrizozo, New Mexico. Source: Mrs. Mary Ellen McMillan.

By Mrs. W. C. Totty
Information: Mrs. O. S. Warren
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: Socorro
Surnames mentioned:  Warren, La Ferra, Broahmans 

Early Days Around Silver City
In 1882 when I came to Silver City the stage coach had to be guarded as the Indians were at that time on the war path. I saw many exciting events. Every women carried a pistol not to kill Indians but herself in case she were attacked by the Indians as they were greatly mistreated. One of the first things I saw in Silver City was the hanging of two men. I stayed at the Southern Hotel when I first landed in Silver City, the Court House and jail at that time were then next to the Hotel.

Two men were tried and hung in the court yard. The unique way of keeping the prisoners from escaping was when the wall was made bottles were broken and stuck up in the wall, but once in awhile a break was made. There was a break one time when four prisoners escaped. Jackson who drove a livery wagon saw the escape, so he cut his horse loose from the wagon and called back to a fellow to keep him in sight and he would keep the escaped prisoners in sight. He followed the men to the old cemetery where they were surrounded by the collecting posse.

One of the men escaped but was later captured on the Membres. The other three were captured two were hung at the cemetery, but brought the other in as he proved to the posses that he hadn't fired a shot. He was brought back to town and on examining his gun it was found that it looked, and that was the reason he hadn't fired.

Joseph La Ferra a prominent citizen of that time was killed in the capture of the prisoner's. In 1884 when a prisoner escaped and any one was killed the law dealt in a hurry not by trial, but by a moose and a nice large limb. One afternoon we heard a woman holler out in front of the place when we went out to see what she wanted she told us the Indians had attacked the Silver mine.

Ranch where Cottage Sand now is. There were two Spanish families living out there. The woman had gotten her brother-in-law in the buckboard and brought him to town where he died a few hours later. A posses was formed to go in search of Geronimo's Apaches but they were never seen.

About nine o'clock I was called to the door there stood a nine year old boy with a red scarf tied around his neck and waist. He had his baby sister under the shawl. The youngster had been in the cornfield when the Indians attacked. He knew his little sister was up in a shed asleep. He crawled back to the cornfield then after the fight with his baby sister, and later walked into town carrying his little sister.

The survivals of two large families
One small baby was found hung up by a meat hook. The Indians were very cruel to the people they captured especially women and girls. They liked to take white boys to raise.

Another time we were going to John Broahmans flour mill on the Membres. On this side of Ivanhoe the soldiers from Ft. Byard stopped us and told us the Indians were out, but we were safer to go forward as the Indians were behind us.

We stopped at a farmhouse to water the team. My three children and I was sitting on the steps. We thought the family was away when one of the children accidentally pushed the door open and a horrible sight we did behold. There were bodies lying around and the entire place was wrecked.

General Miles who was in charge of the soldiers of the district went out after the Indians. They finally overtook them and found that they had taken a small boy with them who General Miles recaptured and returned to Ft. Bayard.

My husband was an insurance agent having one of the largest Companies in the Southwest. Mr. Warren died in 1885 and I took the company over, and at the same time to collecting real estates. We needed sidewalk's but couldn't find any clean sand. Contractors came from Albuquerque and El Paso to put down the sidewalk, but as all sand had to be washed, and the expense was proving to great.

One day one of the contractor's noticed some clean sand in front of the old Elks building. We couldn't find the man that had placed the sand there. We soon learned he was in California. Upon his return I asked, "Where did you get that nice sand," The reply was "That's my secret."

"I'll make it worth your time to tell me and let it be my secret also." I replied.

"I will for all of your forms." To this I quickly agreed. We went to the place and I took the bearing in hopes of buying the property. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I owned the property. Now that I had the clean sand I decided to build my own sidewalks. When I finished my walks my neighbors wanted their sidewalks laid. I liked the work and was soon in the contracting business.

I have build many of the larger dwelling's, remodeled the business houses, and many of the old land marks. When the flood came and ruined so many of the buildings on Main Street and started the street to sinking I started the Rock wall which the W.P.A. finished. The flood isolated the Hotel in such a way there wasn't anything to do, but tear it down thus losing $40,000, and the best hotel in Silver City with the tearing down of San Vicente.

Most of the business has been taken up as a step to improve what I had so to be able to make a living. I used to say a woman to be a success not only must do as well as a man, but much better.

L. W. Bourne
By Edith L. Crawford
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: Chaves, Lincoln
Surnames mentioned: Bourne, Skinner, Mackey, Netherlan (Netherton?) Zumwalt

I was born in Independence, Virginia in the year 1858. On October 21, 1938, it will be fifty seven years since I came to Lincoln County, New Mexico, and I have lived in this county ever since.

My father was L. W. Bourne, and my mother whose maiden name was Fulton, were born in Richmond, Virginia. Father was a farmer. He wanted to go to Texas so he sold out and we left Independence, Virginia in 1869. My father, mother and their six children, three boys and three girls, traveled by train to Memphis, Tennessee and from there we went by boat. We went down the Mississippi River on a boat named the "The Great Mississippi" to the Red River where we changed to a boat named "Erie No. 9" and traveled up the Red River to Shreveport, Louisiana. From there we went on an old stage coach to Jefferson, Texas, in the eastern part of Texas, just across the line from Louisiana. While at Jefferson father met some cotton freighters who were going to Black Jack Grove, Texas, which was our destination. Father had a brother who lived there. We traveled with the freighters and had a hard dry trip but we did not have to worry about the cooking as the men folks did all the work. We traveled in big old freight wagons drawn by mules.

After arriving in Black Jack Grove father went into the store business, we stayed there about a year and a half then moved to Stephenville, Texas. While living in Stephenville I met John H. Skinner and married him in December 1873. I was fifteen years old. We rode horse back out to Squire Jonathan Belcher's house and he married us while we sat on our horses. Mr. Skinner was living on a farm when we married. He farmed and also raised a few cattle and horses. Soon after I married, my father and mother left Stephenville and moved to Oak Creek, Texas, about forty miles east of Big Springs, Texas. The Texas and Pacific Railroad Company was building through there to Big Springs and father and my two brothers went there trying to get work, as wages on the farms in those days were not very much. A married man with a team was paid fifteen dollars a month and single men only ten dollars, working from sun up to sun down.

They staid here only a short while. They heard of the gold strike on the Bonito River in Lincoln County, New Mexico, and father, mother, three brothers and two sisters left Oak Creek, Texas, in the spring of 1881. They reached the Bonito sometime in May and found plenty of work. They wrote back for Mr. Skinner and me to come out as they found work plentiful and such a beautiful country to live in.

When we received this letter we were living about ten miles east of Colorado City, Texas, on the Jim Ned River, so we loaded up what few clothes, and bedding, and provisions we had in our wagon drawn by two horses, and left for New Mexico in September, 1881. We had one boy and one girl at this time. A young boy by the name of Milburn Mackey came down to see us the night before we left and wanted to come with us so we brought him along. Mr. Skinner and Milburn slept on the ground and the two children and I slept in the wagon as we were afraid of snakes. We made our sour dough biscuits and cooked them in a Dutch oven, using soda as there wasn't any baking powder in those days. We used buffalo and cow chips to cook with and the only light we had was the camp fire as we had no candles. Some nights when we camped where there was a lot of cactus growing we would gather the dried cactus stalks and burn them.

The first town of any size that we stopped in was Ballinger, Texas. We stocked up on provisions there. We crossed the Colorado River at Ballinger at a ford. The water was so swift we came near getting drowned in making the crossing. It was a very hot dry trip from there to San Angelo, Texas, where we struck the Concho River and laid over a day to rest. After leaving the Concho River we struck the plains country and it was so dry and hot that we drove late into the night to get to water for our horses. We carried our drinking water in kegs tied to the out side of the wagon and always had plenty from one watering place to the next. The only fresh meat that we had on the trip was wild ducks that we killed in the rivers and fresh fish that the men caught when we camped on the Concho and Pecos Rivers. We saw quite a few buffalo and antelope but they were always too far away for us to shoot at. We were always on the lookout for Indians and robbers for we had been warned on leaving San Angleo that there was a lot of Indians on the plains. When we got to the Netherlan Rancho they told us to look out for robbers up the Seven Rivers country and we were scared to death. We didn't have a bit of trouble though and didn't see an Indian until we reached the Bonito, in New Mexico.

We crossed the Pecos River at Pecos City. It was up so high that we crossed on a ferry boat pulled across by a rope. We left Pecos and traveled almost due north, we passed Roswell, New Mexico to the north and came by the Netherlan Rancho, which was just below the Cottonwoods and also by Seven Rivers, New Mexico. All of theses places were in Lincoln County in those days. After leaving Pecos City, Texas, the road was nothing more than a cow trail all the way to the Bonito River. We crossed the Hondo River just below the Border Hill and when we came down the Border Hill, Mr. Skinner and the boy who was with us had to stand on the upper side of the wagon to keep it from turning over and I had to drive the wagon down the hill. I was so scared and I wondered what kind of a country we were coming to. We came on up the Hondo River to what is now the town of Hondo , New Mexico, where we struck the Rio Bonito and on up to Lincoln, New Mexico, where we saw our first adobe houses.

The Lincoln County War had not been over very long and Billy the Kid had been killed only about three months before. We went through Fort Stanton, which was a military post in those days, passed by the old Brewery, which was between Fort Stanton and Angus, and on to a mining settlement which was later called Bonito City. I was so glad to get to where my mother and father were. When we landed on the Bonito Mr. Skinner had only thirty-five cents in his pocket and that was every cent we had. The

first job he got after arriving there was hauling some supplies for some miners. The miners had gone to White Oaks for supplies with a burro team and on the way back the burros got away from them and they were left a foot so they came for Mr. Skinner to haul their supplies about ten miles and they gave him five dollars. We thought that was a lot of money for a little work.

There was plenty of work in the mines and lots of miners coming in every day. It soon grew to be a big camp and they named it Bonito City. we got our mail at White Oaks, New Mexico, about once a month. Later on we got our mail at Fort Stanton and got it oftener. One of the miners would ride horse back to the Fort and get the mail for the whole camp. My mother, one other woman, and myself were the only women in camp the first winter we were there. Just before Christmas in 1881, father, my two brothers and Mr. Skinner went hunting and killed fifteen wild turkeys and took them to Fort Stanton and sold them for twenty five dollars, we had such a happy Christmas.

We lived in a little old log cabin on the Bonito and it was chinked up with mud. When the mud dried some of it fell out and left holes between the logs. One day while I was cooking dinner I felt some one looking at me through one of these holes, when I went over to investigate, I found several Indians had been peeping through the holes at me. They never did molest anyone around the camp, but we were always afraid of them for we didn't know when they would go on the warpath. Soon after landing on the Bonito River we took up a homestead near the camp, proved up on it and got our patent. We lived on this homestead until 1906 when we sold out to the Railroad Company and moved to Carrizozo, New Mexico. Mr. Skinner died in Carrizozo in 1925 at the age of 72 years. I am now living with my daughter, Mrs. A. B. Zumwalt at Nogal, New Mexico. I have thirty five grandchildren and thirty eight great grandchildren now living, counting the in-law and all we have over a hundred members in our family. Source: Mrs. Pinkie Bourne Skinner.

Mrs. Sara Bonney
By Georgia B. Redfield
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: Chaves
Surnames mentioned: Bonney, Lunk, Fletcher, Rogers, Stone, Ballard, Sherman,  Miller, Corn, Garret, Poe, Black, Shedinger

Soon after coming to Roswell Miss Sara Lund met C. D. Bonney, the interesting young, early day, Indian scout, who was also a successful merchant and stock man, to whom she was married December 18, 1888. This happy event ended her career as teacher of the first Roswell District School. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bonney, two boys Cecil who lives in Roswell and Don who died in 1921 and two girls Elsie, who married Dr. J. J. Black and lives in New Jersey, and Doris, who is Mrs. Gerald Shedinger living in Abeline, Kansas.

Mrs. Sara Lund Bonney, wife of C. D. Bonney, was the first person to implant the idea of a Roswell Museum, in the minds of the members of the Chaves County Archaeological and Historical Society.

Since the first day the idea was instituted, and actual building of the museum had begun, Mrs. Bonney has been a continual inspiration in the achievement of new plans, that have gradually developed onto one to the finest cultural institutions in Southeast New Mexico.

The fine Pueblo style building, that has materialized from Mrs. Bonney's original modest plans, of a one room inexpensive structure, now stands as a memorial to the early settlers, and is dedicated to the "Pioneers and Builders of Roswell".

Mrs. Bonney herself, is one of the pioneers and outstanding builders, to whom a large share of honor is due. She has been treasurer of the Archaeological and Historical Society that sponsored the building of the museum, through all of the years since its organization in 1930. As one of the members of the building committee she worked untiringly with other faithful members, until the plans for the building were set in operation.

Mrs. Bonney realized that the valuable archaeological collection which she assisted in collecting some of which were donated by the State Museum now cared for and housed in the Roswell Museum, will be of much educational value for the citizens of Roswell and for future generations.

As the first teacher in the Roswell district, Mrs. Bonney, who was Sara Lund, besides implanting the seeds of knowledge in the minds of the children of the early settlers, encouraged their expression in the cultural arts. In music, drama, writing, and especially in painting the art in which she has showed a master's hand, as proved by her fine work in portraiture and Indian life, that would grace the art collections in any private home, or be a credit to art exhibits in large eastern cities where fine art is recognized and appreciated.

Sara Lund, who is now Mrs. Bonney, was born in Canada in 1868. When a young child she moved with her parents, R. E. Lund, and Sophronia Ranous Lund, to Greenville, Michigan, where she received her early education in the Greenville Public Schools and graduated in the Greenville Normal School.

After graduating, Sara Lund, with her parents and a sister, Maude and three brothers Fletcher, Bert, and Robert moved in 1886 to White Oaks, New Mexico for the benefit of her brother Bert. Shortly after the arrival in New Mexico of the Lund family, a new, large, one room, adobe school building having a stone foundation, wooden floors, and a shingle roof, was completed nearly a half a mile southeast, across the Hondo Rover from the village that is now the City of Roswell. This building replaced the first small sod covered, dirt floor, adobe structure erected in 1885, which was taught by Asbury C. Rogers, an attorney.

A new teacher was needed for the larger and better school building, which was planned to serve as Sunday school, church, dance hall, and community gatherings of all kinds.

Judge Edmund T. Stone who settled in the Berrendo River district in 1878, on hearing of the arrival in New Mexico of Miss Sara Lund, "recently graduated", went to White Oaks, and secured her acceptance of the position of teacher of the new school. She accompanied him on his return to Roswell on the old Roswell Lincoln stage. Sara Lund, happy and excited over the thoughts of the responsible and important position that awaited her at the end of what she hoped would be a journey of thrilling adventures, could eat no breakfast.

Arriving about noon, somewhere near Picacho, Judge Stone approached a man at a camp fire and asked if he would cook a few bites to eat for his young lady companion. The obliging camper consenting, placed a frying pan on a bed of hot coals, took a soiled red bandanna handkerchief from his pocket and with it carefully wiped out the frying pan before placing in the meat. Needless to say, the hungry young traveler ate no lunch. Later, some food was obtained at the home of a widely known and respected

old German man, August Cline, whose kindly hospitality and generosity, caused many travelers to stop and enjoy a meal in his humble adobe home, presided over by a quiet, dark eyed, little Mexican housewife. Another adventure of the journey to Roswell was caused by Judge Stone dumping the loudly protesting, drunken driver into the back of the stage coach, which he then drove into Roswell himself.

Miss Lund as the attractive and talented young lady teacher soon made many conquests and became a leader in all the pleasures and social gatherings in the Roswell community. She boarded in the home of Pat Garrett who had become famous as the sheriff who in 1881, rid the country by shooting the young desperado, William Bonney, who was better known as Billy the Kid.

Miss Lund and three Garrett children, her pupils, rode horseback to school from the Garrett ranch home, which was about three miles northeast from the new school house. Some of the pupils taught by Miss Lund who grew up and became prominent Roswell citizens were: Will and Dick Ballard, Berta Ballard, Mrs. Jim Manning, Ann Ballard, Mrs. Jim Johnson Sherman, Monte, and Fred Miller, Robert and George Corn, and Mintie Corn who married Charlie Ballard and the three Pat Garret children, Poe, Ida and Annie.

Soon after coming to Roswell Miss Sara Lund met C. D. Bonney, the interesting young, early day, Indian scout, who was also a successful merchant and stock man, to whom she was married December 18, 1888. This happy event ended her career as teacher of the first Roswell District School. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bonney, two boys Cecil who lives in Roswell and Don who died in 1921 and two girls Elsie, who married Dr. J. J. Black and lives in New Jersey, and Doris, who is Mrs. Gerald Shedinger living in Abeline, Kansas.

Mrs. Bonney is one of the popular leaders in the social life of Roswell. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church and belongs to the Roswell Woman's Club, Southwestern History Club, and Chaves County Archaeological and Historical Society. Mr. and Mrs. Bonney who live at 406 South Pennsylvania Avenue, enjoy the comforts and conveniences of a modern home and are surrounded by treasures and mementoes they have collected during the many years of their continuous residence in Roswell.

Many beautiful paintings created by the brush of Mrs. Bonney, hang on the walls of her home. Painting as an expression of her artistic temperament is a hobby enjoyed by her, and is appreciated by her Roswell friends and especially by her pupils, whom she taught in the first Roswell District School. Source: Mrs. C.D. Bonney.

By Edith L. Crawford
by Mrs. Sarah Hughes
Paraphrased by C. W. Barnum
Counties: Chaves
Surnames mentioned: Crawford, Hughes

I was married to George Madison Hughes, October 22, 1882, in Junction City Texas, ten children were born to this union two girls and eight boys. We lived on a ranch seven miles north of Junction City on the north Llano river, we raised hogs for the market and had a few head of cattle. Our ranch home was in the woods on the Llano river, where there was plenty of feed for our hogs and cattle.

The country was wide open in those days, there were no fences, our hogs fattened on pecans and acorns. All of our children were sick most of the time, so Mr. Hughes decided to move to New Mexico, as we had heard about the wonderful climate, and that it was a wonderful cattle country.

In the spring of 1902, we sold our ranch and hogs, kept eighty head of cattle ten horses and three hound dogs. We loaded our bedding clothing and provisions into three covered wagons, and left Junction City Texas, the twenty second day of August 1902 for New Mexico.

One wagon had a chuck box in the back and where we kept our dishes and food, we had a cow hide stretched under the wagon to carry our cooking utensil's and our water kegs were tied on the side of the wagon, this wagon carried our provisions and bedding. The other two wagons were for the family, I drove a spring wagon and had a pair of bed springs in the back of the wagon for the smaller children to play and sleep on during the day. 

The three oldest boys were the cowboys and drove the cattle Mr. Hughes and one of the other boys drove the other two wagons, we traveled very slowly on account of the cattle, we slept out in the open at night as the weather was very warm when we left Texas and it was awful dry, we spread a wagon sheet down on the ground and made our beds on this and had another wagon sheet to spread over us in case it rained at night, it only rained on us twice during the whole trip.

I did all the cooking with the help of the oldest girl we made biscuits and corn bread and baked them in Dutch ovens I used cream of tartar and soda to make my bread with, we had three cows in the herd with young calves the boys milked the cows and we had plenty of fresh milk for the children to drink. We brought all of our meat that we had smoked before leaving Texas, we also brought a ten gallon keg of home made syrup that we traded hogs for we lost a lot of our syrup while crossing the plains it got to warm and boiled over.

The only two towns that we stopped in between Junction City Texas and Eddy New Mexico which is Carlsbad New Mexico now was San Angelo and Garden City Texas, we stopped to stock up on provisions the boys drove the cattle around the towns.

When we stopped to camp at night the children would run wild on the flats, we were always afraid they would get bit by a rattle snake, as we saw so many on the road during the day. Our stock suffered quite a bit for water and feed while we were crossing the plains, one day in particular I remember the cattle were badly in need of water we noticed a ranch house in the distance with a wind mill and tank we drove by with the wagons to see if they would let us water the cattle, but when the horses smelled the water they made a run for the tank we just couldn't hold them back and about that time two women came out of the ranch house and ordered us off of the place they said, "they only had water enough for their own stock."

We couldn't get the horses away until they got enough to drink, we didn't even ask them to let us fill our water kegs after they acted so rude towards us the children all got a drink and we drove on, I thought those were the meanest two women that I ever heard of.

We drove on and found a watering place that night it was the Concho river and we camped on the banks of the river for two days and let the cattle rest and get all the water they wanted. We drove on across the plains with the cattle when we struck the line between Texas and New Mexico they quarantined our cattle on account of ticks, and we had to leave them in a pasture. We came on to hunt a location before the weather got to cold.

As we crossed the line into New Mexico we met a family by the name of Turk, and they traveled with us as far as Roswell New Mexico, we struck the Pecos River at Eddy New Mexico we camped on the river several days and rested our selves and teams and I did the family washing. There was lots of hard work and responsibility for me on this trip looking after ten children keeping them clean and fed.

But the trip was well worth all the hardships that we had as the children became healthy and tan. One evening while we were camped on the Pecos River we were cooking supper, I heard a shot and a woman scream I told Mr. Hughes, "to run quick as I just knew some one had shot Mrs. Turk." Mr. Hughes went over to the Turk camp found that one of the Turk boys had shot a big rattle snake that had coiled and was just ready to strike his mother on the ankle when he shot. We moved our camp that night for we were afraid there was another rattle snake around.

We left Eddy and came on to Roswell New Mexico. where we camped for a few days, we decided we had rather be in the mountains than on the plains so we we followed the Hondo River until we came to the Capitan Mountains so we crossed over to the north side of the mountains and camped for the winter. Mr. Hughes and the three oldest boys went back to the state line after our cattle and brought them back to the Capitan Mountains and turned them loose for the winter.

Mr. Hughes began to look around for us a place for us to live he found a place on the Bonito River three miles northeast of Angus New Mexico, which is located twenty six miles southeast of Carrizozo New Mexico, we moved our cattle over to this place and turned them a loose as the ranges were wide open in those days. We did some farming and sent the children to school at Angus we also got our mail at Angus, the children rode horse back to school. We landed on the Bonito May 12, 1903. We lived on this place about four years.

We needed better schools for our children so we sold our place and cattle and moved to Carrizozo, New Mexico in 1907, where I have lived ever since. I was born twelve miles north of Dallas Texas, on farm January 22, 1857. Mr. Hughes was born in Ashville North Carolina October 27, 1851, died in Carrizozo, New Mexico November 7, 1916. Source: Mrs. Sarah Hughes.