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Title: He Had Ten Wagons When He Came To New Mexico

Author(s): Richard Spencer (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Richard discusses how his grandfather, B. B. Spencer, came to New Mexico and started the first sawmill in the Manzano area.

As far as I know, he was the first Anglo that got here and he started the first mill in the area. The Kaysers, I think, were close behind him or right about that same time. He brought a boiler for the mill through Oklahoma to White Oaks. Supposedly i...

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Title: They Literally Danced All Night And Went Home In The Morning

Author(s): Richard Spencer (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Richard Spencer talks about how the community of Eastview functioned during his grandfather’s time and the importance of local churches and schools.

Shawn: What do you know about the community of Eastview or Cienegita or Cienega back in your grandfather’s time? What kind of community was it? Was it mostly a farming and ranching community with the mills there? Richard: Yeah, and again, if you...

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Title: El Velador del Cañon de Abo

Author(s): Eliseo R. Sisneros (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Eliseo R. Sisneros talks about working for the Santa Fe Railway in eastern New Mexico.

One night there was a rock come down in Abo Canyon and it hit the electric warning fence and knocked a hole in it. They called the Belen Section and couldn’t find a foreman. So I went up there with the assistant foreman and a bunch of men to help t...

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Title: Dad Had Charge of the Commissary There

Author(s): Tom Seery (Author); Randy Dunson (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Tom Seery talks about growing in Abo Canyon during the construction of the railroad.

We had a wood floor. I remember Dad had charge of the commissary and there was quite a camp. When I was a kid, they’d come in at night, feed the horses and get them ready, and then they’d eat and they’d go to bed. And they’d get up the next m...

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Title: The Railroad Made It, And The Railroad Destroyed It

Author(s): Bill Pohl (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

The railroad is what made this country. It revolutionized the world, especially the United States, and every part of it, everywhere it went. Well, the people that were here before the railroad came, undoubtedly it made the world smaller for them, bu...

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Title: The First Hispanic Telegraph Operator

Author(s): Felix Gabaldon (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Felix Gabaldon talks about being the first Hispanic to work in a depot on the Santa Fe Railway in eastern New Mexico.

My first job was in Abo, about three weeks, maybe, and then I bumped somebody in Mountainair. I was there three, four years, then I went to Fort Sumner, worked there another maybe six, seven months. From Fort Sumner, I went to Roswell then to Dexter....

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Title: Life At the Sais Crusher

Author(s): Bill Huckabay (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Bill Huckabay talks about life at the Sais Crusher where his father worked for the railroad overseeing quarry operations.

My dad was working as civil engineer for the railroad, and it was his job to make sure the contractor was doing what they were supposed to do at the crusher. My friend Albert McNeil’s dad (Louis McNeil) was the superintendent for the contracting co...

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Title: A Hundred And Fifty Dollars For A Section!

Author(s): Sylvestre Sisneros (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Sylvestre Sisneros talks about the way his family homesteaded south of Abo ruins during the Depression.

Okay, there was about five sections south of Abo near Chupadero Mesa that they couldn’t dispose of it under the original Homestead Act (which only allowed 160 acres), because the land didn’t have any water. It was good grazing, but it was far ou...

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Title: Navajo

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Navajo history: early migration from Alaska and Canada to encounters with the Spanish and war with the United States; concludes with an account of contemporary Navajo life.

Traditional Navajo, or Diné, stories tell that First Man, First Woman, the Holy People, and all the animals had to pass through three different worlds before emerging into the Fourth or Glittering World. Here, the People saw four rivers bounded by f...

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Title: Cattle-Rustling

Source(s): Horse-Breaking and Cattle-Rustling; Recollections of a Western Ranchman

Author(s): Captain William French (Author)

Recollections of ranching in southwestern New Mexico, near the town of Alma, 1883-1899.

About this time, in the year 1895, there was really beginning to be some demand for cattle. There were rumors of people being in the country and actually desirous of contracting for their purchase several months in advance of the date of their delive...

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