H. W. Hamilton Eddy County, New Mexico

H. W. Hamilton was one of the owners of the original town site of Artesia of eighty acres, having individually thirty acres, while John Richey owned ten acres and J. Mack Smith forty acres. On the 15th of January, 1903, these three gentlemen laid out the town of Artesia and before the plat had been completed they had sold lots to the value of one thousand dollars. Mr. Hamilton had previously been in Colorado as manager for the Carnegie Phipps works at Alamosa, where he spent nine years, and in 1896 he made his way to Carlsbad, New Mexico, to look at the country and determine upon its attractiveness as a place of location and investment. He settled at Roswell on the Cunningham farm, which was later purchased by George M. Slaughter, and in 1897 he invested near the present site of Artesia on what was then known as the Miller switch. Ten men pooled interests and together sent to Chicago, purchasing a $3,500 well rig. They put down a well on Dr. Breeman's claim, got water, and after that the well rig continued to drill in the vicinity. Being assured of the artesian belt from indications already found, Mr. Hamilton and his associates determined to build a town here and organized the Artesia Town Site Company, with Mr. Hamilton as its president, John Richey vice-president, and J. Mack Smith secretary and treasurer. The Artesia Town Site Company combined with the Artesia Improvement Company, which owned all of the city west of Rose Avenue, in putting down the town well in 1903, and together they organized the Artesia Water, Power and Light Company. Mr. Hamilton acted as president of this company for some time, or until recently, when he sold his interest therein and became a leading stockholder in the Artesia Telephone Company, which was organized by the two town site companies and has the following officers: H. W. Hamilton, president; D. W. Runyan, vice-president; and Floy Richey Hamilton, secretary and treasurer. The company has established a system throughout the city with one hundred and sixty phones and long distance connections with Carlsbad and Roswell. They also own a line to Hope, to be extended to Cloudcroft for El Paso connections. Mr. Hamilton was manager of the Slaughter ranch, near Roswell, for seven years, but since November, 1904, has resided in Artesia and has brought to bear the forces of an enterprising, progressive nature in the development of the town into which he and his associates are introducing every modern improvement and equipment, until the town vies in its conveniences and advantages with the old towns of the east and in fact, is in many respects superior to municipalities of long standing.

Mr. Hamilton was married April 15, 1896, at Roswell to Miss Floy Richey, daughter of John Richey. Their children are: William R., Harry B., John C. and a baby.


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

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