J. J. Leeson Socorro County, New Mexico

J. J. Leeson, a prominent merchant of Socorro, was horn in New Orleans, Louisiana, September 2, 1845, receiving his education in the schools of that city and also attended the State Military School. He entered the Confederate service as a member of Company C. Eleventh Regiment of Louisiana Volunteers, and after the close of the Civil war he went to Mexico, there spending two years, on the expiration of which period he went to Colorado on a prospecting tour. In 1879 Mr. Leeson arrived in Socorro, New Mexico, but shortly afterward returned to Colorado, hut in 1880 came again to this city, induced by its bright prospects. Since his arrival here he has been engaged more or less in mining pursuits, and in 1 88 1 he established his general mercantile business in Socorro. During the Indian outbreak of 1882 Mr. Leeson served as First Lieutenant of Socorro Rangers under Colonel E. W. Eaton. In his political affiliations he is a Democrat, and has served as president of the Immigration Bureau, under Governor Thornton, and as commissioner and manager of the exhibits of the Territory at the Nashville and Omaha Expositions. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias order, and instituted the Rio Grande Lodge, No. 3, at Socorro in 1881, and later instituted nine lodges in the Territory. He is past supreme representative to the Supreme Lodge, and filled all the chairs in the subordinate and Grand Lodge of the Territory.

Mr. Leeson was married at Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1869, to Miss Rosa E. Neal, of Kemper County, Mississippi. Their only child is Lulu, the wife of William O'Gara, and they also have one daughter, Lavina.

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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