A. S. Neff Colfax County, New Mexico

A. S. Neff, for the past eight years engaged in the grocery business at Raton, New Mexico, has had an eventful life in many respects. Mr. Neff was born in Ohio. July 11, 1844 and passed his boyhood on a farm, receiving his education in the district schools. At the time the Civil war broke out he was a youth of seventeen, ambitious and patriotic, and when the call was made for volunteers he was not slow to respond. Enlisting as a member of Company B, Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, he served until the close of his term, when he was honorably discharged. Afterward he re-enlisted, becoming a member of Company B, Fortieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, the fortunes, of which he shared until the close of the war. His army service took him into many states, on hard marches and in numerous engagements, among them being the Arkansas campaign. Fort Donelson, Gainesville, siege of Vicksburg and capture of Little Rock. Three times he was wounded. To present a detailed record of his army life would be to write a history that would cover many pages and include much that has been written of the Civil war. Suffice it to say in this connection, that Mr. Neff proved himself a brave, true soldier from the time he entered the ranks until he received his final discharge at the close of hostilities.

Until 1873 Mr. Neff's occupation was farming. That year he went overland to Arizona, following the old Dick Wootton trail, and for seven years he was a prospector. During this time he had many wild and interesting experiences. In 1873, while on a trip from Amarron to Fort Wingate, he and his party rode with guns in their hands as protection against the roving Indians. The authorities at the fort would not let them proceed from that point without an escort. As a result of his prospecting, he returned to Kansas with some money, and there he again settled down on a farm; but on account of bad crops and bad luck he lost all he had accumulated. Afterward he assisted in building the first railroad line through Indian Territory; in 1883. as a grading contractor, he was located at Catskill, New Mexico, employed on a branch of the Santa Fe railroad, from the main line to Catskill; next was engaged in stock raising, in Spring Canyon, near Colfax. New Mexico, and not far from the Colorado line, where he remained three years, after which he sold out and spent the next two years in the same business in Indian Territory, also doing some farming at the latter place. He returned to New Mexico in 1894 and located at Raton, where he carried on freighting business till 1897. Since the latter date he has conducted a grocery business, meeting with prosperity here and acquiring valuable real estate in the town.

Mr. Neff is a member of the Raton Commercial Club, and politically has always been a Republican. He was married at Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 1865, to Miss Sarah C. Wright, and they have four children, namely: Anne E., wife of W. P. Graham, of Oklahoma; Wynona Leona, wife of Abe. Hipenbaugh, of Dawson, New Mexico; and Arthur S. and Wyatt T., both of Raton.

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

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