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A Hispanic Perspective Birth of a Diversified Economy For the Love of the Game Renowned Roswell Residents Chamber Ribbon Cuttings & More!


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ABOUT THE COVER AT11 Kansas “Wichita Wobblers” from the Roswell Army Air Field do a flyover above New Mexico Military Institute in 1943. Photo courtesy of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Lajuana Martinez, Publisher - Staci Guy, Associate Publisher Adrian Martinez, Director of Business Development Molly Marley, Editorial Director - Johnnie Lujan, Marketing Director Photography by Contributors & Submitted Photos Special Contributors: Ben Mattice, Gabriella Sing, & the Roswell Chamber of Commerce FOCUS ON ROSWELL IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY AD VENTURE MARKETING

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from the editor


ou are moving to New Mexico? How exciting! Where will you be living? Albuquerque? Santa Fe? Taos?” “Actually, Roswell,” I would reply, only to

get the same response every time: “Oh.”

MOLLY MARLEY Editorial Director


This was a conversation I had countless times at social gatherings leading up to my wedding in January 2014. After the honeymoon, I would be joining my husband, who is a Roswell native, in his hometown to start our lives together. Prior to this, I had lived in the same neighborhood in Texas my entire life. The furthest I had ever lived from my parents was my college sorority house, which was about a half-mile walk from home. After college I even got a job teaching art in the same school district I had attended for thirteen years. Roswell was going to be a change for sure. Don’t get me wrong; I liked Roswell. My husband moved back home while we were still dating, and I got a taste of life here when visiting him on the weekends, but I still did not really know much about it. When I first moved to town, everything seemed a little backwards compared with growing up in a big city. Everything was just done a little differently.

Things seemed to move a little slower. We knew a handful of other young couples that had recently moved back to town, but I still felt like a fish out of water completely removed from my comfort zone. I knew this would be my home for the foreseeable future, so my mission was to do my part to help make it the best possible home it could be. When I first set out to get involved in different organizations in town, I was welcomed with open arms and blown away by the kindness of the other residents on the same mission working to improve their home. After three years in Roswell, I don’t know if I could ever go back. You get used to the cooler weather, the lack of traffic and the wonderful community involvement. This fall, after joining Focus on Roswell, I could not have been more excited for my first issue to be the History Issue. I have grown to enjoy living in Roswell, but I didn’t really know much about its history. In fact, I found that

in conversations with people who had no connection to Roswell, whether they were Wild West, military or UFO enthusiasts, they seemed to know much more about my new hometown than I did. It was a real treat for me to dig deeper into the rich culture that shaped us. If you are looking for something to do in Roswell, I have found that all you have to do is actually look. There is more going on here than you could possibly squeeze into your social calendar. There are so many wonderful businesses and organizations here, and if you are a history buff, most of them—or at least the buildings they occupy—have incredible stories to be told. I got to spend some time at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico gathering pictures for this issue, and I had the pleasure of visiting with the historical director, Amy McVay-Davis, who is a wealth of information. My only regret for this issue is that we were only able to include a small sampling of the incredible histories in Roswell. For those of you reading this issue of Focus on Roswell, I hope you are wondering how you can fit into our history. Like the hardworking men and women that shaped Roswell into the town it is today and those working hard now to continue making it great, I hope you are thinking to yourself, How can I contribute? The best place to start is by getting to know your neighbors. It is the people of this community and their history that make it a great place to live and call home. - Molly Marley, Editorial Director A B O U T T H E E D IT O R

Molly Marley is the editorial director of Focus on Roswell. She can be reached at PHOTO: The Historical Society for Southeast New



Mexico occupies the former home of Mr. and Mrs. James Phelps White built in 1912.

Meet the faces of Focus on Roswell A d Ve n t u re M a rke t i n g i s p l e a s e d t o i n t ro d u c e J o h n n i e L u j a n a n d M o l l y M a rl ey, t h e n ew fa c e s o f Ro swe l l ’s p re m i e r, f u l l - s e rv i c e, c re at i ve a d age n cy a n d yo u r l o c a l c o m mu n i t y m aga z i n e.


HERE TO SERVE ALL YOUR MARKETING NEEDS, IS ROSWELL NATIVE, JOHNNIE LUJAN. After graduating from Roswell High, he embarked on a journey that took him all over, traveling and living in places like Amarillo, Burbank, and Albuquerque. Along his journey, Johnnie began working in the Entertainment Industry, both behind the scenes and in front. Johnnie’s time working away from home allowed him to grow both as an artist and entertainer. When he joined the Screen Actors Guild in 2007, he quickly learned that self-marketing was a tool he was surely going to need to help him stand out. This is where his thirst for networking and marketing began to grow. His love for his hometown and its economic development make Johnnie a perfect match for Ad Venture Marketing here in town. Johnnie is ready to work hard to help the businesses of Roswell with anything from their simplest project to the most comprehensive full reach ad campaign. If you would like to talk to Johnnie about marketing your company, please give him a ring, and find out what Ad-Venture Marketing can do to grow your business, and don’t forget to checkout Focus on Roswell on Facebook and Instagram.

sharing the incredible stories of Roswell’s own citizens who make Roswell a great place to live, work, and play. Although she can’t claim it as her hometown, Molly is excited to be a part of a publication that celebrates all things Roswell. Molly was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. She earned her bachelor’s degree in studio art from Texas Christian University, and bleeds purple through and through. It wasn’t until she met her husband, a fellow horned frog originally from the area, that she became a New Mexican. Molly has enjoyed getting involved in and learning about her new city, and meeting all the wonderful people who make Roswell unique. She has previously worked as a teacher in the Roswell ISD, teaching art to hundreds of students, but now spends most of her time with just one kiddo, her daughter, Margot.

Molly Marley

Editorial Director, Focus on Roswell

Johnnie Hector Lujan Marketing Director



CAPTAIN J.C. LEA: The Other Men Who Shaped Roswell by John LeMay


hough Capt. Joseph C. Lea is known as the “Father of Roswell,” several men before him had a major part in cultivating the area, including James Patterson and Van C. Smith. A cattleman often relegated to the footnotes of history, Patterson was quite a trailblazer who drove a herd of cattle into New Mexico from Texas before even Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight. Patterson had previously been a beef contractor for Ft. Sumner Indian Reservation and Ft. Stanton during the Civil War. Nearly 150 years ago, Patterson recognized the spot where Pioneer Plaza now stands as an excellent place to build a small 15x15 foot adobe trading post. The reason the spot was “prime real estate,” as we would call it today, was its close proximity to the Hondo and Spring Rivers that used to flow abundantly through the area. Because of this, many cattle drives stopped to water their herds in this area. Patterson even had some close ties to John Chisum, the future “Cattle King of the Pecos,” before Chisum ever drove cattle into New Mexico.

The two knew one another in Texas, and among Patterson’s trail hands during his cattle drives was none other than John Chisum’s younger brother, Pitzer. In addition to this, it was Patterson who eventually sold Chisum some land north of Roswell called Bosque Grande (“Big Woods”), which was the cattleman’s first base of operations in New Mexico before moving to South Springs—also traded to Chisum by Patterson. After selling the trading post to Van C. Smith, Patterson disappeared from the pages of history for nearly all of the 1870s. He is next found in the middle of a gold mining venture and a murder in Georgetown, New Mexico in 1880. Patterson killed a man who supposedly owed him money named John Powers and was tried for the killing that July. So the story goes, Patterson had invited Powers to drink with him, but still drinking alone after several invitations, he became enraged. A shouting match followed, and Patterson soon shot Powers. Col. Albert J. Fountain, a famous lawyer (who would one day mysteriously vanish while crossing the White Sands in 1896), saved Patterson’s

neck from the hangman’s noose. Despite the fact that Patterson had shot Powers more or less in cold blood, Fountain managed for Patterson to be convicted of only fourth degree murder and thusly only had to spend one year in the county jail. Patterson is next found in Silver City in 1892 via his August 2 obituary. It seems Patterson owned a mine called Gold Hill with another man, Idus L. Fielder, when Patterson was attacked at his home by a drunken, disgruntled worker named Esequel Mena. The two had quite a gunfight. Patterson fired twice, hitting Mena first in the hand and then the heart. Mena fired three shots at Patterson, one of which ripped through his stomach. Patterson lived on for nearly an entire day before expiring, leaving behind a wife and two children. He was buried in the Gold Hill Cemetery. For more information on this pioneer of the area, see Morgan Nelson’s First Among the First: James Patterson 1833-1892, available at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico. PHOTO: Capt. J.C. Lea, known as the “Father of Roswell” All photos courtesy of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico



New Mexico Historical Review, although no photos of him are known to exist.

To digress, long before Patterson’s demise, he sold his trading post to Van C. Smith sometime around 1869 or 1870. Though for many years Smith had a nebulous history much like Patterson’s, Frederick Nolan managed to dig up quite a bit of information on Smith for his article “Van C. Smith: ‘A Very Companionable Gentleman’” in

Van Ness Cummings Smith was born to Roswell Smith and his wife, Harriett Cummings Smith, in Vermont on July 12, 1837. Smith’s very first scheme was to leave home at a young age to pursue the California Gold Rush. Though he didn’t strike it rich in California, Smith eventually made a name for himself in Arizona as one of the first settlers of Prescott. Though in his mid-twenties, Smith was already well-respected in Arizona Territory and even served as a guide for Joseph Pratt Allyn (an associate justice of the Territory) when he first entered the area. By 1865, Smith was the first man in the recorded history of Arizona to be appointed sheriff there, specifically in Yavapai County.

In 1868 Smith was in Omaha, Nebraska, where he cemented for himself the reputation of a gentleman gambler. By 1869 he was in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where he met Ash Upson (a future postmaster of what would become Roswell). At the rumored suggestion of Santa Fe Ring boss Thomas Catron, Smith meandered down to a place then known as Rio Hondo, where he bought Patterson’s old trading post. Smith wasted no time in adding onto the post and constructing an adjacent post office/general store. He was even more successful than Patterson at his endeavor, and soon Smith’s place became a notorious gambler’s haven. Upson provided the only known description of Smith and his place thusly in an 1892 article for the Roswell Record, “Van’s sporting proclivities could not be suppressed. He had a pack of beagle-hounds, and killed a yearling or two-year-old every day to feed them. He made a trip to New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, Va., and other cities and PHOTO ABOVE: Roswell postmaster Ash Upson PHOTO BELOW:

Today this statue of John Chisum, “Cattle King of the Pecos,” stands across from the Roswell County Courthouse where the first buildings in Roswell were constructed.

brought back race-horses, game chickens and an un-conquerable bulldog ‘Old Crib.’ He laid out two parallel half-mile racetracks, now plainly visible, from his store to the Rio Hondo, and built a fantastic judge’s stand near the store. His place was visited by dozens of sportingmen from Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and even from the States. Horse-racing, cock-fighting, dog-fighting, badger-baiting furnished daily amusement, whilst card-playing continued, often, throughout the night. Van was a jovial fellow, bighearted and generous. Whilst a dozen or two workmen were employed on his buildings, he would call them when a race, or other excitement, was about to take place, and, although they were working by the day, would insist that they quit work and see the fun. At this usually deserted, lonely, isolated place, a hundred men have assembled, on more than one occasion, and lingered, too, as long

as possible; for the temptation was great. The best whiskey and cigars that money would buy, faro, monte, poker and other short card games allured many, and toothsome viands many others. Van had a good housekeeper and a most excellent cook. There was no luxury that money could buy that could not be found at his table.” When it came time to name the place in 1872, Smith chose to call it after his father, Roswell Smith. Ironically, many concur that Roswell Smith never set foot in Roswell, though there is at least one report found by Frederick Nolan that states,”[Van Smith’s] father, ‘Old Man Smith’ lived in a choza on what the local people called El Loma de Viejo, ‘Old Man’s Hill’…about two miles Northwest of Roswell.” Van Smith neglected one important matter that eventually caused him to lose his property when he forgot

to secure a patent for his homestead entry on the land. And so Smith went off to Santa Fe where he continued his adventuresome life running a casino. In 1876, Smith engaged in a gun duel with Joseph Stinson in the streets, which he won. After this, Smith had several more adventures, such as serving as an Indian Scout on the trail of Victorio, though he spent most of the later portion of his life prospecting in Old Mexico. He died on August 29, 1914, at the Old Pioneer’s Home in Prescott, Arizona. So as one can see, though they never quite earned the moniker of the “Father of Roswell,” as Capt. Joseph C. Lea eventually did, both James Patterson and Van Smith lived adventuresome lives in the Old West. PHOTO ABOVE: The Roswell Store and Post Office, owned by Van Smith, were the first two buildings in Roswell. This is where Sherriff Pat Garrett bought the ammunition he used to kill Billy the Kid.




A Hispanic Perspective by Benjamin Mattice


hen driving today through what used to be the gates of the old Walker Air Force Base (AFB), you would never know you were even on an old air force base. Four lanes—two one way, two the other, both separated by a berm of sun-scorched grass and two rows of squat young elms—is all that remains of the official entrance. All of 18 years old when the base closed down in 1967, the local legend of humanitarian aid, Johnny Gonzales, recalled the guard shack and gates securing the official front entrance to Walker. “It was official. You had to have clearance to get through—not like today where all the fences are gone.” This last fall, Gonzales found himself in what used to be no-man’s land. He was helping deliver turkeys to those in need, and an address came up well beyond where it used to be safe to travel. “There are people out here?” He asked himself in surprise. The base used to be highly secure. He nudged his friend helping with the turkeys and said, “Hey, remember when we weren’t allowed back here? Who knew there were roads behind the base!” That day it took them ten minutes to even find the right road. Yet despite the inaccessibility of most of the land just south of Roswell because of the base, the land beyond those fences and guard shacks meant a plethora of jobs and opportunities for any lower income worker from Roswell. In Roswell during the 1960s, the only options for a young Hispanic were to either work in the cotton fields or find menial labor at Walker AFB. According to Gonzales, Roswell was a “cowboy town.” Few restaurants, a couple of bars, your local grocery was about it. The town relied on the base for its economy. And thus the typical worker relied on the base for work. “On the base,” he remembered, “there were laundries, mess halls. They needed dishwashers, cooks, maids, groundskeepers. They hired people from the community. They had a huge work crew. The people [at the base] really helped the economy, too. They all shopped here, right? And when the base closed, all those jobs went away.” Gonzales and his family were safe for a time. The cotton fields continued to grow as long as farmers had water enough to grow



the crop. Picking cotton, and later chili peppers, was a bountiful position. Migrant workers could pick crops much faster and more efficiently than the average American worker. But those who couldn’t or wouldn’t work in the fields were left with no choice but to leave Roswell for more fertile pastures. The closure of Walker AFB cut a massive hole in Roswell’s Hispanic population. “A lot of [the Hispanic population] moved because we didn’t have any McDonalds, Burger King. Levi Strauss came in ten years later, but we had no business,” pointed out Gonzales. Even he left town for a while. One of his friends was in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) at the time, and the government transferred him to Columbus, Ohio. He helped his friend move to the Midwest but returned to the fields of Southeast New Mexico as soon as he could. He talked about the property on the base. The USAF had built a large number of bungalows for the families of those stationed at Walker AFB. After the closure, ownership of the land and everything on it transferred to the city. These houses sat empty for 10 years as the housing market recovered after the mass exodus from the region. He recalled when he heard a rumor that the houses were going up for auction. Being the small time entrepreneur he then was, he jumped at the chance to buy up some land and turn a profit. Yet the base housing had not been well maintained since the closure, so the houses went for a pittance. Since the auction, housing on the base never truly recovered its economy. On land west of Walker AFB grew cotton, which was the crop he and his family picked when the base closed. He recalls a time when, a few years after

the base closure, the city challenged the water rights of the cotton farmers. Cotton was a large industry in Roswell at the time, and that land west of the base was fertile. Yet, where water goes, so goes fertility, and when irrigation ceased, the fields dried up and the cotton farmers shut down their operations. This left many more jobless in Roswell. Those who persevere through trials will be rewarded in their hardship. Gonzales left the fields and took advantage of an opportunity afforded by Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. Ironically, without the base closure, he might have missed that opportunity. When the base closed and the land reverted to the city, the city in turn sold the dorms and offices on the base to Eastern New Mexico University. The campus in Roswell was suddenly much larger than the main campus in Portales. Gonzales received an associate’s degree in welding and found work in Roswell working with metal. The Hispanic population began to grow again 10 years later when the economy picked up and companies like Coca-Cola and Levi Strauss moved to Roswell. What did Gonzales want the world to know? “We survived, and…Roswell survived.” PHOTO OPPOSITE PAGE: Five airmen salute in front of the guard shack of the original entrance into Walker Air Force Base. Photo courtesy of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell PHOTO ABOVE: The guard shack and gates that secured the official entrance to Walker Air Force Base; before all of the fences were torn down after its closure, one had to have clearance to get through the gates. Photo courtesy of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell BELOW: Johnny Gonzales poses after recounting how the closure of Walker Air Force Base affected him and the Hispanic community in Roswell.


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The Birth of a by Staci Guy


hen she was a young girl, Dr. Judy Armstrong moved to Roswell with her family into a house located directly in the flight path of the bombers that practiced at Walker Air Force Base (AFB). “They would come rumbling over, and it just shook the house!” she exclaimed. “They would fly so low that we could see the pilots, and we would wave at them.” In the 1950s, it was a common sight in Roswell to see Air Force bombers running practice flights, airmen strolling Main Street and $2 bills circulating through the retail shops—the government’s way of determining how much money the airmen were spending in the community. They were prosperous times in a bustling community. “I went off to college in 1964 and everything was fine,” Armstrong recalled. “But when I came back it was like a ghost town. It was sad, very sad.” The Roswell she knew had a Main Street that was full of retail shops, clothing stores, jewelry stores, drug stores; there were movie theaters downtown, three different men’s clothing stores and walkways filled with airmen and their families. That was then. Everything

changed one summer day in 1967. “My wife and I were both home with the flu when it came out on the news,” remembered Roswell resident Bob Plotter. “That’s how I found out the base was closing—from the news.” That might not seem like a very big deal—finding out about something shutting down via the media—but considering the fact that Bob was stationed at Walker AFB and had been for 10 years, it was a very big deal! In a matter of moments his entire life changed. He had a young family, a wife and a mortgage, and just like that he was forced to reconfigure. “I was devastated,” he admitted. “We didn’t know how it would affect us or when. We knew we would have to go somewhere…It’s tough on the whole family; we had two children, one in kindergarten and one in preschool…” That “somewhere” for Plotter turned out to be Charleston, South Carolina. Others from the base transferred to New Jersey or Spokane, Washington. Plotter was among the first wave of people transferred out in 1966. On June 30, 1967, the base was officially closed.

Command (SAC) during the early years of the Cold War. Everything seemed to be rolling along smoothly, or so everyone thought. The 1950s and ‘60s, however, saw the beginning and climax of the Vietnam War, which as we all know today would end up being a long and costly war to fight. When government officials announced the closure of Walker AFB, it was an unexpected move to locals, but the government’s reasoning seemed to make sense. An official statement alleged that a round of stateside closings and consolidations was necessary as the Defense Department struggled to pay the expenses of the Vietnam War with the budgetary limits set by Congress. However, if you ask folks around Roswell why the base closed, you are likely to get a different story. Those at the base during the closure said they

The Million-Dollar Question

Walker AFB opened in 1941 as an Army Air Corps flying school and was active during World War II and the post-war era as Roswell Army Air Field. It was an active base and even became the largest base of the Strategic Air

were told Roswell was “too dry and dusty” to maintain the planes and equipment at the base, but many believe

PHOTO ABOVE: With Roswell’s evolving economy, the town has seen days where all the storefronts were full and industry



was booming as well as days with empty shop windows and abandoned business ventures. In the spirit of rebuilding and preserving our town’s history, we have seen the base repurposed along with other historical sites. In 2015, the old Roswell Motor Supply building was saved from demolition by the Roswell Arts Council and eventually purchased by Madux Hobbs, who has since transformed it into an event space, the Hi-Q Venue. PHOTO LEFT: Downtown Roswell in the 1940s Photo courtesy of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico

once (which is no longer posted) PHOTO ABOVE: This sign s, home of the Farm y Valle n Ede to marked the entrance well’s “Roswell Incident” and Ros famous UFO crash site. The of tourists to town ons milli ght brou has h marketing of the cras in recent decades.

PHOTO ABOVE: The Plains Theater was part of a bustling Main Street in the 1960s. The building is now home to the Internationa l UFO Museum and Research Center. Photo courtesy of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico

that the conservative community of Roswell, New Mexico didn’t jive well with the more liberal views of Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson and believe it was a form of retaliation, so to speak, against the Republicans. Regardless of why it closed, the fact remained that the community of nearly 60,000 residents was about to undergo a drastic transformation. Census numbers indicate that in 1960 the population of Chaves County totaled 57,649, a large segment of which could be attributed to Walker AFB. In the 1970 census, however, the county saw a nearly 25 percent decline in its population; only 43,335 residents remained. “It was devastating to our community,” Armstrong reiterated. But while the base closure certainly had an enormous impact for this community, fortunately for us, the story does not end there. Thanks to the vision and tenacity of city leaders at the time, the void left by the base closing was filled with rich diversity ranging from manufacturing to education to agriculture. “When we came back in 1977, we still saw some of the effects of the base closure,” Plotter shared. “A lot of Main Street wasn’t filled up yet, and there were a lot of houses on the market.” Even so, Armstrong was present to witness the quick response by city leaders immediately following the closure and was impressed that after 10 years, the community had already begun to bounce back and was on its way to becoming stronger than ever. “I think the base closure taught us that we need to be diversified, because at the time, everyone was counting on the base,” she reckoned. Armstrong said city leaders like Mayor Bill Brainerd and the city council worked tirelessly to reinvent the community and bring in other sources of revenue. After closing, the land was divided up with portions going to the City of Roswell, some to Eastern New Mexico University and a third portion earmarked as a residential sector. The city utilized much of their portion for aviation and manufacturing; the college for expansion; and the residential sector for housing.

an Cothran lowers the last PHOTO ABOVE: Sgt. Furm Force Base personnel on Air er Walk over fly flag to courtesy of Eastern New to Pho 7. 196 27, er Novemb ll swe y-Ro ersit Univ Mexico

“You really have to give so much credit to our mayors and counselors that had the vision to utilize the facility for aviation, because that’s made all the difference,” Armstrong stated. “And of course Dr. (Loyd) Hughes and others from the college who had a vision for expanding the college out there, too.”

Today, the “old base” is used for storage, manufacturing and aviation, education and housing. The community as a whole has continued to diversify and now credits agriculture and local dairies with assisting in the rebound as well. Still other areas where the community has seen an increase in numbers include tourism and the retiree segment. With the warm, dry climate, access to medical facilities and the relatively low cost of living, Roswell has proven to be an ideal destination for people like Plotter who are looking for a nice place to retire. “After the base closed we moved to South Carolina, then I went to Vietnam, back to South Carolina, and finally Scott Air Force Base in Arizona, where I retired from the Air Force after 40 years,” he shared. “After I retired, we decided to move back to Roswell. It’s probably the best place we’ve ever lived. We really do like it here.” After moving back in 1977, he embarked on a second career and spent the next 20 years working for the United States Post Office in Roswell, retiring in 1997. And what Roswell growth story would be complete without at least a mention of the famous—or infamous, depending upon who you are and to whom you’re talking—“Roswell Incident” and the subsequent alien culture that has accompanied it? The numbers, though, summarize the story best: in 2010, the United States Census Bureau reported the total population of Chaves County at 65,764. That’s a nearly 52 percent increase from the devastating numbers reported in 1970. When asked what he is most proud of in terms of his adopted hometown, Plotter didn’t hesitate. “I’m most proud of the way this community has continued to grow and hasn’t gotten stale. My wife and I travel a lot, and since 2008 when the stock market fell, we see car dealerships and strip malls abandoned and towns just really hurting, but not Roswell. We continue to flourish, and I think it’s because we are so diversified now. That would have never happened if the base hadn’t closed!”

PHOTO LEFT: Bob Plotter proudly stands next to the Veteran’s license plate of his car, which designates him as a Bronze Star Award recipient. Bronze Stars are awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement or meritorious service in a combat zone.

e e t t i m m o C The O SWE LL R D E V A TH AT S

ice by Benjamin Matt


he story of the Walker Air Force Base (AFB) closure in 1967 doesn’t begin in 1967. To understand what happened, you have to go back 26 years further to 1941 when the City of Roswell bought ten sections of land south of town and gifted the land to the U.S. Army. Before 1941, the Army used the land out at the old municipal airport that is now Cielo Grande Park on College Avenue. They flew B-17s out of the old airfield, and the noise as each bomber landed and took off was horrendous. Residents complained. The City’s solution was genius: move the Army south of town. When the land south of Roswell transferred to the Army, the city placed a reversionary clause in their contract with the Army that transferred all land back to the City of Roswell if the U.S. Army were to ever abandon the land. Thus, when the U.S. Air Force (USAF) announced the closure of Walker AFB in December of 1965, the City of Roswell faced two challenges: a sudden outflow of both jobs and capital, and the acquisition of 10 sections of land now fully developed for use as an air force base. This ruined Christmas for a lot of people in Roswell, but the city wasn’t about to roll over and let unfortunate circumstances sink it. The mayor of Roswell asked USAF General Curtis LeMay if anything could be done to allay the closure of Walker AFB. Roswell was the general’s favorite base. Yet the general had no good news. The order had come straight from Washington. Apparently, Walker AFB wasn’t the only base closure at the time. Three other bases closed at the same time: Amarillo in Texas, Clinton-Sherman in Oklahoma and Schilling in Kansas. Official sources say these base closures were due to a need for war funds during the Vietnam War. But according to former Mayor Bill Brainerd, each base was located in an area that heavily voted against Democratic President Lyndon Johnson and for his Republican challenger, Barry Goldwater. And the official reason for the base closure was suspicious in its own right. The B-52 bombers—the 509th Enola Gay and the 6th Bockscar—were moved to North Dakota and Maine. What were the reasons given for each move and for the base closure? The weather wasn’t right. Whatever the real reasons were, the closure of Walker AFB was inevitable. In the face of such dire circumstances, the mayor put together a small, tight committee of a few prominent community members to oversee the

transition of land from the U.S. government to the City of Roswell. The four men met once a week for breakfast, tasked with monitoring the base closure and helping the city transition the land into its possession. These four men were Dr. R.J. Marshall, ENMU-R Dean John Gillis, abstractor Liman Sanders and lawyer Bill Brainerd. According to Brainerd, Washington sent their own man as a liaison between the city and the federal government in order to have “as few hitches as possible.” Marshall was in charge of the hospital transition between the USAF and the city. One morning as the committee was having breakfast, Marshall mentioned that he had attended medical school at Baylor University with the surgeon general. The committee decided to send Marshall on a plane to meet with him. “It must have been a pretty good meeting,” noted Brainerd, “because when the Air Force left, they just turned off the lights and left the hospital intact.” The USAF left the hospital fully supplied with surgical tools, clothing, beds and monitors, and was in such good shape that the State of New Mexico bought the facility from the City of Roswell. John Gillis, dean of Eastern New Mexico University at the time, was tasked with overseeing the dorms, offices and other buildings useful for education. Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell occupied the Old Post Office downtown and had spilled over into the classrooms of Roswell High School. The university needed more space and bought the dorms, office buildings and Officers’ Club. The dorms were so numerous on the old base that the city had to winterize and preserve many of the unused buildings until the university grew large enough to need them. Brainerd praised Gillis’s efforts, saying that he did an excellent job of “pickling” the dorms. So well, in fact, that very little had to be done once the university finally needed those buildings. The main Air Force office became the main offices for the university, and the Officers’ Club became the Student Union.

PHOTO LEFT: William (Bill) Brainerd was appointed to a transition committee by the mayor and was in charge of the flight line and the transition of the 801 bungalows on the base to civilian use. Photo courtesy of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico



Brainerd was in charge of the flight line and the transition of the hundreds of bungalows on the base. One of the reasons Roswell was so successful in reclaiming the land at the base and utilizing it was partly due to the city hiring every master sergeant to work on the flight line. The Air Force had installed fuel lines and fueling stations along each runway, and the master sergeants knew where each line went and how to maintenance each line. The city brought in Pan Am and later Boeing to test their airplanes on Roswell’s runways. “We didn’t charge a landing fee, but we did charge a refueling fee. We were basically coining money out there,” Brainerd laughed. The city decided to preserve the 801 houses on the base as the housing market in Roswell received a significant blow when the base closed. Brainerd said he wishes the Housing Authority had handled the housing on the base better than they had. The city sat on that property for 10 years hoping to see the housing market rise. The market did rise, but by the time the houses went up for sale, the properties were in such poor condition that they went for a pittance. Some in Roswell are still disappointed with the city’s actions in this area, saying the property could

have been used more productively, building such things as light manufacturing and warehouses. Roswell went through an extreme downturn during the years following the base closure. Before the closure, Roswell’s population sat at about 48,000. Afterward, Roswell’s population dropped to 33,000, about a third cut in economic wealth. Near the end of my interview with Brainerd, he chuckled as he revealed that after the Air Force vacated the land south of the city, Roswell did see growth in groceries and liquor. Apparently, military personal could purchase groceries and liquor tax free on the base, and the liquor was cheaper than in the city. Sergeants would set up small side markets in their homes and take orders from Roswell citizens, running goods up from the base and making a side profit. When this activity ceased, grocery and liquor stores in Roswell found their profits rising. Roswell survived the closure of Walker AFB, and the brave little committee Bill Brainerd served on can be credited with a very large part of why Roswell survived.

PHOTO OPPOSITE PAGE: After the closure of the base, ownership of the land reverted back to the city, some becoming the new home of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. The new campus in Roswell awarded young men and women the opportunity to pursue higher education and new career paths that otherwise might not have been possible with the base still in existence. Photo courtesy of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell




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ixty years ago, a group of 12-yearold boys traveled from Roswell to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. What they would accomplish in that journey would be cherished and remembered for years to come. “We went from a dirt field in Roswell to an actual field with grass,” said the team’s left fielder, Harold Hobson. “I remember how the humidity in Pennsylvania made the grass wet and dewy. After we won and arrived back in Roswell, it finally set in what we had accomplished. Thousands of people were waiting to greet us, and it was then we realized that what we had done was a big deal.”

Hobson recalled traveling with his teammates by car, bus and train to their destination for the Little League World Series. They first had to win the district tournament, then the state tournament in Los Alamos. After these wins, they headed to the Southwest Regional Championship in Lubbock, Texas, followed by the area championship in San Antonio. For many of the boys, it was their first time traveling outside New Mexico. They stopped in Chicago and watched the Cubs and the White Sox play. Dick Storie, the first baseman and the team’s “youngster,” as he put it, recalled watching Ernie Banks of the Cubs, another fellow first baseman. The excitement in his voice even now was evident. “It was an amazing feeling, as you could imagine.” Hobson added, “It was a real treat for 11- and 12-year-olds to watch the professional teams play in Chicago. It was fun and exciting for us boys to travel together and play baseball in front of about 10,000 people.”

PHOTO ABOVE LEFT: The field in Williamsport was very different

than their practice field back in Roswell where, according to catcher Blaine Stribling, the bases were not very secure and would slide around when you stepped on them. PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT: The 1956 team posed in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the “Birthplace of Little League Baseball.”PHOTO BOTTOM RIGHT: A pennant from the summer of 1956 decorates the Roswell Convention and Civic Center.



Despite the dirt field, wooden benches, ragged uniforms and chicken wire backstop, these boys had one aim on their agenda, and that was to play ball. In retrospect, they were probably not supposed to win the Little League World Series. Not only did they overcome adversity and prove that it does not matter where you come from but where you are headed, these boys did it with humility and grace. Catcher Blain Stribling

remembered often having to throw tumbleweeds out of the way so that they could play. “The bases weren’t all that secure. They would sort of slide around when you stepped on them. It kind of felt like we were just playing in an empty lot back home, so when we got to Williamsport, that field was like heaven to us.” Throughout my interviews with the players, one thing was evident. The aim of these boys was ultimately to have fun. “Our coach made sure we knew the fundamentals, but other than that, we were just encouraged to go out there and enjoy the game,” Hobson remarked. “We didn’t feel too much pressure or nerves when we played. We just had fun.” This attitude and perspective differed from those of the East Coast teams, who were trained with the sole intention of winning. Eight other teams were competing in Williamsport during the Little League World Series. The boys defeated

Players from ns Hondo Lio the 2016 pleasure e th d ha am te of the w fe a g tin ee of m their re wo o men wh ers m m su ty uniforms six had the en ev d an re fo be get their opportunity to ned by sig lls ba se own ba pions. the world cham



Delaware Township, New Jersey 3-1. Perhaps Roswell’s most notable player was pitcher Tommy Jordan, who was nearly impossible to hit off of. He ended the championship game with 14 strikes, two walks and just two hits. Despite the impressive skill set of Delaware Township, who beat their California competitor in the previous game 2-0, they simply could not hit off of Jordan. Although the win 60 years ago is permanent, the game of baseball and the attitude towards it has evolved. “Back then, all that mattered was the game. That’s all we wanted to do was play ball,” confided Stribling, the sincerity apparent in his voice. “My grandchildren are playing ball now, and it is all competition. The mentality is different now than it once was.” Victory was achieved and the boys made their mark on not only Roswell history, but also on baseball history. Along the way, lifelong friendships and bonds would be created. “It was a special group of boys,” Hobson stated. “We definitely developed some great friendships and stayed in touch with each other throughout the years.” Five of the men attended a dinner hosted by the Historical Society for Southeastern New Mexico in August, where they reminisced of their Lion days back in the late 1950s. After the cheers and celebration subsided, the boys went on with their lives. Life happened, death happened, and everything in between. Somehow along the way, the trophy from that moment in history vanished. No one is sure of its whereabouts now or who may have it, but in the scheme of things, it was merely a tangible reminder of what was accomplished. The men today are the true testament to the victory of 1956.

yed in When they pla PHOTO ABOVE: front of in s rie World Se

Little League ns Hondo people, the Lio thousands of m the runfro y wa g lon a team had come ere they in Roswell wh ribed sc down dirt field de g lin rib e St practiced. Blain ying on the field in pla of the feeling us.” “like heaven to Williamsport as

of every ciety thought

So The Historical PHOTO ABOVE: of 1956. er m m su e pture th detail to ca

RIGHT: The world champions were welcomed home to Roswell with a downtown parade to celebrate their victory.


Editor’s note: We were informed by the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico that dynamic team member Bill Turley, who had been in touch with historical director, Amy McVay-Davis, and had been looking forward to reconnecting with his old teammates at the Heritage Dinner, was unable to attend the event, and passed away on November 8.

PHOTO ABOVE: Lions Hondo Little League players from the teams of 1956 and 2016 stand together for the Pledge of Allegiance at the annual Heritage Dinner on August 30 celebrating the 1956 team’s victory. PHOTO LEFT: Lions Hondo players sixty years apart posed for one large team photo at the Heritage

Dinner including five players from the 1956 world championship team: (top row) Harold Hobson, Jimmy Valdez, Blaine Stribling, Ferrell Dunham and Tommy Jordan, Jr.




Did you know that as a resident of Roswell you are in some pretty good company? Though the town has been put on the map due to the “Roswell Incident” and resulting interest in alien culture, our alleged visitors from outer space aren’t the only famous folks who have, at some point, called Roswell home. These are just a few of the many pioneers, scientists, athletes, stars and artists whose place in history includes time spent in Roswell, New Mexico. by Molly Marley















[1] Billy the Kid

[2] John Chisum

Henry McCarty, better known as Billy the Kid, is perhaps Roswell’s most notorious inhabitant. If you talk to anyone with roots in the area that go all the way back to the late 1800s, chances are their family lore includes an encounter with the outlaw who was a leading player in the Lincoln County Wars. He eventually met his fate after Sherriff Pat Garrett trailed him to his hiding spot and shot him dead.

John Chisum was one of the first cattle barons from what was then the Republic of Texas to send his herd to New Mexico in the 1850s. He established his headquarters on the 40acre South Spring Ranch, where he ran his cattle empire and supported Sherriff Pat Garrett in his endeavor to stop Billy the Kid and the stealing of cattle that had become a problem in the area.

[3] Guy Kibbee

Roswell’s open spaces, agreeable weather and relatively small, quiet population made it the perfect location for “the man who ushered in the space age” to work and run his experiments. Goddard created the first liquid-fueled rocket and engineered the groundwork for modern space flight and rocketry.

Though he began his career at a young age to became a successful and prolific screen actor with Warner Brothers, Guy Kibbee got his start in Roswell, where he was raised. His first job was working for his father, James, who published the Concho Times and Burnet Bulletin papers in West Texas and New Mexico.

[5] Roy Rogers Leonard Franklin Slye, aka Roy Rogers, was married in Roswell in 1936 after meeting his wife, Grace Arline Wilkins, at the local radio station in town. Rogers was a cowboy actor and singer. His son, Roy ‘Dusty’ Rogers, Jr., followed in his father’s footsteps as an entertainer, recently returning to Roswell this year to perform in his mother’s hometown

[7] Lefty Frizzell William Orville Frizzell, who picked up the nickname “Lefty” after punching a schoolmate with his left hand, was a country music singer and songwriter. Shortly after moving to Roswell in 1946, his antics landed him in the county jail for six months. While serving his time, he wrote several songs to his wife as an apology, including his first big single, “I Love You a Thousand Ways.”

[9] Nancy Lopez Professional golfer Nancy Lopez is not only a role model for hard work and dedication, but she is also a graduate of Goddard High School. Before playing in the U.S. Women’s Open, Lopez won the New Mexico Women’s Amateur as a pre-teen.

[11] Demi Moore One of Roswell’s better-known locals, actress Demi Moore, was born here in 1962. She did not have the most stable childhood, and though her family moved away, she often spent time here living with her grandparents. Several retired teachers in the area can still remember her as a student in their classes.

[4] Robert H. Goddard

[6] Peter Hurd & Henriette Wyeth Hurd Peter Hurd was born in Roswell. As a young man Hurd moved to Pennsylvania to study painting under N.C. Wyeth. While a student of Wyeth’s, he fell in love with Wyeth’s daughter, Henriette, a fellow painter. The couple married and eventually relocated back to Roswell in 1939. Drawing inspiration from the beautiful landscapes, their love of New Mexico is reflected in their work. Peter Hurd’s 1954 painting, A Ranch on the Plains, captures the beauty of the Roswell area that he loved to portray.

[8] Roger Staubach Roger Staubach is probably best known for his 11 seasons playing football with the Dallas Cowboys. Before his rookie year in the NFL, he served in the U.S. Navy after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he won the Heisman Trophy. What prepared Staubach for a career in the Navy and professional football? His year attending the New Mexico Military Institute couldn’t have hurt.

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[10] Joel McCrea Famous western actor Joel McCrea had interests outside of Hollywood. He used his paychecks from his films to purchase lots of ranch land including land outside of Roswell. His family still carries on his passion for ranching in the Hondo Valley.

[12] John Denver Better known by the stage name John Denver, Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. was the son of a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and was born here in Roswell in 1943 while his father was stationed at Roswell Army Air Field.


A Community of Learning: THE GROWTH OF ENMU-R by Molly Marley


hen you think of the late 1950s, a pair of rose colored glasses might bring up images of well-groomed women in poodle skirts vacuuming the house to the music of Frank Sinatra while their perfectly behaved children play outside with their hula hoops and tiddlywinks. We tend to idealize the 1950s as simpler times, but the truth is, the Eisenhower recession was in full swing, unemployment was up and many families affected by World War II were just beginning to find their new normal. The 1950s was a time of rebuilding in the United States, and when the Soviet Union set Sputnik, the first artificial Earth satellite, into orbit in 1957, the space race was on. It also became a time to grow, starting with education. To keep up with the Soviet Union, the United States needed better science and math programs and more specialized teachers, resulting in more jobs and higher graduation rates as well as more students pursuing higher education. In a rural area like Roswell, less than 35 percent of students received a high school diploma in the 1950s, and even fewer earned a college degree. With the new demand for education, even the small ranching towns were about to see an influx of students seeking institutes of higher learning. Following World War II, the national junior college movement began to grow and slowly made its way to New Mexico. After almost a decade of attempting to start junior colleges in the state, House Bill 325 was finally passed by the state legislature and in 1957 became Public Law 143, which “enabled the establishment of community colleges as branches of existing colleges and universities.” Under the new law, Roswell Community College (RCC) was established in 1958 as a branch of Eastern New Mexico University. The college began its first semester in the fall of 1958 with 157 part-time students taking classes in the evenings in the Roswell High School facilities. The faculty was made up of mostly high school teachers taking on second jobs and retired teachers. In 1962, as enrollment was growing at RCC, the Roswell Post Office left its home in the downtown Federal Building to move to its current location on N. Pennsylvania Avenue. RCC was able to secure its new location in the old Post Office building, which was referred to as the “Downtown Center,” and began the spring semester of 1963 with 75 daytime students. The Downtown Center began to grow into a community college with a real sense of community. The old Post Office area of the building became a place where students and faculty could hang out between classes, the Student Council and other clubs and organizations were formed, dances were hosted and the student newspaper began. The 1960s started out as a thriving time in Roswell. The Downtown PHOTOS BOTTOM (LEFT TO RIGHT): The Officers’ Club of Walker Air Force Base was transformed into the Adult Education Center. When Roswell Community College moved into the old Post Office and Federal Building, they were able to add daytime classes and begin their journey of growth. Students meeting in a group in one of the classrooms.



PHOTO ABOVE: When Roswell Community College moved to its new location at the

Roswell International Air Center after Walker Air Force Base closed, the school’s name was changed to Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. All photos courtesy of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell

Center of RCC was growing each semester along with the rest of the economy. Unfortunately for many families in the area, December of 1965 came with some bad news. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announced the closing of several U.S. military bases, including Walker Air Force Base in Roswell. Initially, this was a huge economic upset for Roswell. Suddenly, people were out of work and families were relocating. Thanks to the foresight of great minds in the community, however, RCC was able to benefit from the base closure. RCC obtained 234.5 acres and 27 brick buildings from what was the Roswell International Air Center and began classes at its new campus in the fall of 1967 as Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell (ENMU-R). With ENMU-R up and running in its new home, the college was able to expand its two-year academic program to a full daytime schedule. It was also successful in adding career and vocational programs, including offering associate’s degrees in the secretarial arts, accounting, electronic maintenance, auto mechanics and drafting as well as 16-week courses for various skilled trades and health occupations. One thing ENMU-R forgot to consider was the decrease in the population of Roswell now that the base was closed. While enrollment dipped temporarily, the opportunities provided at ENMU-R continued to draw students looking to improve their futures with higher learning. The building that was formerly home to the Officers’ Club at Walker Air Force Base was transformed into the Adult Education Center and drew 7,500 people to campus for workshops, trainings and extension programs in its first year. In a letter to his wife, Abigail, John Adams once wrote, “The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and



STUDENT POLL WITH SO MANY WONDERFUL PROGRAMS OFFERED BY ENMU-R, GABRIELLA SING WANTED TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHAT DREW STUDENTS TO THIS PARTICULAR CAMPUS. STUDENTS SHARED WITH HER WHAT THEY ARE STUDYING AND DESCRIBED THEIR EXPERIENCES SO FAR. Photos by Gabriella Sing “I have had a great experience so far. I decided to attend ENMU-R for the Occupational Therapy Assisting Program. My favorite part about the program is how hands-on it is. Since our class is small, I feel like I get good one-on-one learning with the instructors.”

- Carla Garcia, Occupational Therapy Assisting

“So far, my experience with ENMU-R has been great! I have learned a lot and have met new people who have the same interests as me. I chose to come to school here because I am closer to my family. I am in the Occupational Therapy Assisting Program. My favorite part about this program is that it is a combination of art and science. It can be really fun, and creativity is encouraged. There are a lot of different things we can do, such as crafts, to improve the health of our patients not just physically but mentally.

Carla Garcia (front row, third from the left) and Sandra Gutierrez (top row, far left) ham it up for the camera with their graduating class.

- Sandra Gutierrez, Occupational Therapy Assisting

Eliazar Loya, on the left in mid-action, plays with his on-campus flag football team.

“I am in the Occupational Safety Engineering Program at ENMU-R. So far, I have enjoyed my experience. My family needed me to stay close, so I chose to attend this university. My favorite part about the campus is the cafeteria and the intramural sports I get to play such as flag football.”

- Eliazar Loya, Occupational Safety Engineering

Eliazar Loya prepares to hike the ball.

“I am in the Human Services Program at ENMU-R. My experience has been enlightening. There are so many different types of people here, and it’s so nice to learn and grow with them. If I am being perfectly honest, I chose to attend this university because of the smaller class size and the fact that it is exponentially cheaper. My favorite part is that you receive one-on-one time with the instructors.”

- Megan JaNey, Human Services Megan JaNey enjoys her time outside of class.

“Family is most important to me, so being able to stay close to them while starting my own journey has been a blessing. After I decided I wanted to study nursing, it was a no-brainer to stay and attend one of the top nursing schools in the state. The best part about the program is the relationship one builds with the instructors and the rest of the students. They have become my family, and I know they will move mountains for me to truly understand and be comfortable with the material we are learning.”

poses on campus with Eliazar Loya (at center) s. ate two of his fellow classm

“My experience so far has been great. The campus is nice, it’s easy to get around and most of the faculty and staff are all nice as well. I chose to pursue a higher education at ENMU-R because it is a great campus and both of my parents work here, so I do not pay any tuition at all. The only expenses I am really paying for are my books, so I figured why spend money at a bigger campus when I am given this opportunity. As of right now, I am still completing my basics. I am thinking of becoming a safety engineer, and I plan on beginning those courses next semester or the following. My favorite part about the campus is how close everything is and how understanding and easygoing the professors are.”

- Devin Dubiel (photo not available)

- Vicky Meraz, Nursing

Vicky Meraz receives hands-on experience working with a patient.



administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.” As more and more students, young and old, began to take advantage of the opportunities at ENMU-R, the campus at the Air Center went through multiple phases of remodeling to support the increasing enrollment, including the additions of an Administration Center, Student Services Center, Physical Education Center and Performing Arts Center. The 1990s saw an even bigger demand for expansion and an opportunity to meet the needs of a growing group of students seeking higher education. As a result, programs such as the Vocational Training Program for Students with Developmental Disabilities (VTPSDD), the Hearing Impaired Program, the Accommodations Program and the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program were added. Kate Andereck studied office skills with VTPSDD. She said that her time in the program at ENMU-R prepared her to enter the workforce in Dallas, where she now works as an office coordinator at a financial services company. When asked what she liked best about the program, she stated, “I felt so independent, and making friends, and being active in groups. I loved all the teachers, especially Patrick Burris and Mary Bell. They did an amazing job of teaching me stuff. All the classes I took helped in life, especially office skills and independent class conflict class (sic). Patrick Burris did an amazing job teaching me about how to be independent. Mary Bell helped me so much [with] office skills [that] now I am doing at my job.” As new programs and courses were added, enrollment increased. In 1996, state and local bond issues enabled the construction and renovation of several new buildings to meet the needs of a growing campus. This expansion included a new Student Services Center, an addition to the Health Science Center. A 52,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Rehabilitation Center was also built on the property, making ENMU-R one of the few community colleges in the United States to have a working hospital on campus. With student enrollment for the fall 2016 semester approaching 3,000 students, the community college, which started with only 157 part-time students attending classes at night, continues to grow and bring people to Roswell in the pursuit of higher learning. PHOTOS (TOP TO BOTTOM): Students walk to class across the new campus. Kate Andereck studied office skills at ENMU-Roswell and today is applying what she learned to her job as an office coordinator. photo courtesy of Kate Andereck Roswell Community College students pose inside the elevator in the Downtown Center. Class is in session. In 1963 Roswell Community College moved into the old Post Office and Federal Building on the corner of Fourth and Richardson. It remained at the location until 1967. After moving to what is now the Roswell International Air Center, the college utilized the old Air Force buildings it inherited, adding on and renovating as necessary with the growth of the student body and new programs. Photos courtesy of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell



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1 | BICYCLE CLUB: Roswell Bicycle Club 2 | CO-OPERATIVE CLUB: L.J. Frazier spoke at the Roswell Co-Operative Club 3 | FINAL BALL: Governor William J. Mills and Roswell community members attend New Mexico Military Institute’s Final Ball at the Masonic Lodge in 1910.


4 | RSO: The Roswell Symphony Orchestra and a chorus perform together in the Pearson Auditorium on the campus of New Mexico Military Institute as seen from the balcony. 5 | WOMEN’S CLUB: Women at the Roswell Women’s Club around 1950 6 | DAR GROUP: Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution 7 | SHRINE CLUB: The Shrine Club marches past the DeLuxe Café and Markus Shoes in a 1950 parade. 8 | RHS: Young people from Roswell High School, 1913



9 | RHS PEP CLUB: Roswell High Pep Club in DeBremond Stadium before the Eastern New Mexico State Fair parade. 10 |ALAMEDA ATHLETIC CLUB: Alameda Athletic Club 11 | MUSEUM FOUNDERS: Some of the Roswell Museum founders are honored at a 1957 event: (left to right) C.E. Mason, Annie Laurie Snorf, Corinne Whitney, Cooley Urton, May Marley, Mrs. W.W. Phillips and Judge C.R. Brice.


12 | RPD: The Roswell Police Department and community members pose together: (front row, left to right) Lake J. Frazier, Bert Ballard, L.Q. Thompson Jr., M.L. Norton, C.W. Powell, Robert F. Ream; (center row) A. Brosius, D. Wilson, J. Kluk, W. Wheeler, F. Lewis, L. Hall, M. Hall, G Guenther, E. Argenbright, E. Shoffitt; (back row) C. Perkins, D. Frazier, F. Hale, E. Corzine, C. Daugherity, J. Lannom, R. Thompson, R. Beckhart, W. Garland


13 | NMMI FOOTBALL: New Mexico Military Institute football players pose in front of the goal post. 14 | MASONS: Masonic Lodge members 15 | SERVICE MEN’S COUNCIL CLUB: Downtown Service Men’s Council Club meeting in 1962 16 | GARDEN CLUB: Roswell Garden Club, 1957 17 | RHS DEVOTIONALS: Devotionals were held before school at Roswell High School in the 1950s.


18 | RHS BASEBALL: Roswell High School baseball team, 1910


19 | PINOCHLE CLUB: Old-Timers Pinochle Club in the fair parade


20 | RHS LEADERS: A trio of young leaders who started the devotional meetings at Roswell High School: (left to right) Linda Heine, 18, appointed project leader by the Student Council; Chuck Coll, 18, Student Council president; and Spunky Holt, 17, member of the Student Council and cheerleading squad 21 | BUSINESS WOMEN’S CLUB: Roswell Business and Professional Women’s Club in the 1940s 22 | PARDS SOCIETY: Members of the Pards Society pose for a group photo. 23 | RHS 1899-1900: Roswell High students at the turn of the century

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Your Roswell Chamber of Commerce is here to work for you!

At the Chamber, it’s our business to help your business. We’re here to support you and your customers. And beyond your current customers, we want to help you find new customers and grow your business. We do that by helping you get the word out about your products and services. We’re also dedicated to making Roswell the very best place to live and visit. We work hard to relocate families to our beautiful city, and to increase retirement in Roswell. We are often the first stop for visitors on their way in, and as we greet each one of them with a smile, we encourage them to stop at all the wonderful local attractions. And as always, we partner with other organizations to promote community pride and spirit.

Our mission is to promote economic and social prosperity, assist in business development and tourism, and foster community spirit and pride.

WELCOME NEW CHAMBER MEMBERS! Roswell Chamber of Commerce is proud to welcome the following new members: SEPTEMBER 2016 EPIC DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT JOHN JERGE, CPA PANGEA MEDICAL
















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Get urgent medical care Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. N. KENTUCKY AVE.



Minor injuries and illnesses don’t always occur at convenient times. So when it’s urgent, we’re here for you. Just walk in Monday through Friday, or make an appointment for a physical. With a convenient location, we make it easy to get the care you need. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Quick Care OF ROSWELL E. 23RD ST.

Minor lacerations • Sprains and strains • Back pain • Asthma and allergies Urinary tract infection • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea • Flu symptoms Cough • Skin infection and rashes • Sports physicals • DOT physicals

Quick Care

W. 19TH ST.


115 E. 23rd St. • Roswell, NM 88201




Virgle Herrin, M.D.

Caroline Wyma, ARNP

Wait times may vary.

Focus on Roswell Spring 2017  
Focus on Roswell Spring 2017