Mrs. Sallie L. Robert Eddy County, New Mexico

The many prosperous sites now found in the Pecos valley are the result of pioneering. Water was found beneath the surface in ample quantities, and then quickly followed a blossoming of the land with all the fruits of the clime. But the preliminary work involved sacrifice and toil, and the results of the present are the actual monuments commemorating what those still living labored hard to produce. It is of especial interest to find one of the so-called weaker sex among the hardy pioneer class. But in the history of the beginning and development of Artesia a singular record of tribute must be paid to Mrs. Sallie L. Robert, who was one of the first to reside on the town site of Artesia.

She is a daughter of James Chisum and the niece of John Chisum, names well known in the Territory and inseparably connected with its annals. The first settler upon the land which she later owned was John Truitt, a Federal soldier. He sold it to Frank Rheinboldt, who sold eighty acres to J. R. Ray and eighty acres to Airs. Sallie Robert on the 18th of January, 1896. On January 30th, in 1890, she filed on the homestead, which is now within the corporation limits of Artesia. In the fall of 1890 Mrs. Robert put down an artesian well one hundred and twenty-four feet deep. This was the second well in the entire valley and the first one in this part of the valley. She resided upon the place as her homestead property from 1890, and, as she prospered in her undertakings, bought much land in this vicinity. She was for some time engaged in entertaining travelers, as the old stage line from Carlsbad to Roswell passed by her home. In 1894 there was a cloudburst just west of her home and in a few moments her place was under water, the adobe house and all of its contents being destroyed. With great energy and determination, traits which have ever been characteristic of the Chisum family, she sent to Carlsbad for material and rebuilt her home on the same spot. In those days she had nothing to depend upon but her stock interests, but eventually she acquired property interests and is today disposing of her land in city lots and also selling farm property for one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre, her realty interests having greatly appreciated in value, so that she is now reaping a very gratifying financial return as the reward of her earlier labors and close application. She has lived to see a good town spring up here and has benefited by the rapid development of the district.

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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