The Story of “One Nail” Bob Hale

As told by Inspector Hartman of the Colorado stock growers’ association in the Hastings Daily Gazette-Journal (Hastings, Nebraska), 23 Apr 1884:

“One Nail” Bob referred to a cowboy named Bob Hale, in some accounts called Bob Cole, on the John Chisum ranch near Roswell. The cowboy got the nickname from having one fingernail that was nearly two inches long. Hale was described as a desperate and quarrelsome character. Chisum is said to have warned Hale that he would get himself killed if he did not behave himself, but Hale continued in his ways. Hale is said to have had a penchant for getting drunk. When he was drunk, other cowboys stayed away from him which led him to believe that they were afraid of him. Eventually he stopped taking orders from the ranch foreman.

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James Joseph Dolan

“James J. Dolan Dead”

The Las Cruces Sun-News carried this headline in its issue of March 4, 1898.  It went on to state that it the Honorable Numa Reymond had received a telegram announcing the death of Dolan, referring to him as one of New Mexico’s prominent and old time citizens.  At the time of his death, Dolan was fifty years old, though the article gave his age as fifty-seven.  Dolan had resided in New Mexico since 1867 and had most recently been manager of the Feliz Land and Cattle Company.  It was noted that he had been a resident of Lincoln County for thirty years, the article said.

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White Sands and the Early Days of the American Space Program

As we come to the fiftieth anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 flight, it is nice  to recall that Dr. Robert H. Goddard had predicted in a report that he wrote one hundred years ago in 1919 that it should be possible to reach the Moon by rocket.  Some of the earliest research in rocketry was done in and around Roswell, New Mexico by Dr. Goddard (1882-1945).  Goddard contributed greatly to the technology of rocketry, although the United States government did not seem to get fully behind this work until the years immediately prior to World War II.  By then, Goddard was near the end of his life, although he was rightfully credited for many fundamental discoveries in this area including the use of liquid fuel, patents for gyroscopic control systems, the use of vanes inside the rockets to assist control, the development of gimbal steering and the use of multiple rocket stages, among many others.

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The Horrell War

Samuel Horrell, Sr. had married Elizabeth Wells in 1838.  The couple had at least seven children born from about 1839 to 1856,  six sons (Sam, John, Martin, Thomas, Merritt and Ben) and one daughter (Sarah).  The family had resided in Lampasas County, Texas before heading west in the late 1860s.  They intended to go to all the way to California, but were reportedly ambushed by the Apache in San Augustine Pass, Doña Ana County, New Mexico in January, 1969.  The father Sam and the son John were killed.  After a few weeks, Elizabeth and the surviving six children then returned to Lampasas County for a several years.

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Lincoln County War

The Lincoln County War was an armed conflict between two groups of people who were fighting over control of land and business.  The fighting and killing generally took place in and around Lincoln County, as it was configured in 1878.  The County was much larger back then.  Its area approximately included the entire southeastern section of what is now the state of New Mexico.  It is important to remember this, since some of the individuals involved would no longer reside in Lincoln County as it is configured today.

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The Cowgirl Who Passed Herself Off as a Cowboy

Samuel Dunn Houston told of his experiences on the cattle trails in the latter part of the 1800s.  He had worked his way up from being a hand on the trail to being a trail boss, having previously done enough cattle drives that he felt that he had made more trips over the cow trail from Southern Texas and New Mexico than “any man in the country.”  He had been engaged by the Holt Live Stock Company of New Mexico to head up a trail drive in the spring of 1888.

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The Death of Oliver Loving

A few miles north of the Texas-New Mexico border in Eddy County is a town named Loving, named for Oliver Loving, a co-founder of the old Goodnight-Loving Trail.  Before the ranges of the state became fenced, a number of cattle drives proceeded north along the eastern side of the state.  They generally followed along the Pecos River and once they went as far north as the headwaters of the Pecos, they continued north, exiting the state south of Pueblo, Colorado.  Oliver Loving and another cowboy were involved in a skirmish with Comanche Indians a few miles north of the current town of Loving.  Both were wounded and Loving later died of his wounds in Fort Sumner.

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When Texas Invaded New Mexico

In 1841, Republic of Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar had a vision to expand the borders of the young republic further west, perhaps as far as California.  Lamar had won the 1838 presidential election, following Sam Houston, the previous elected president.  Lamar was in various ways the ideological opposite of Houston.  He became the second of four elected presidents in the short life of the Republic and served from 12/10/1838 to 12/3/1841.  At the time, the Texas economy was suffering and Lamar acted on the supposition that he had authority to pursue trade that was currently operating along the Santa Fe Trail.

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