Author Archives: Dennis Daily

Dark Anniversary: 150 Years after the Riot of La Mesilla

When it comes to extreme partisan politics, our modern times are not unique. While it’s tempting to think back to some former time when political differences were resolved through civil debate, cooperation, and compromise, this just doesn’t ever appear to have been the case. One of our area’s most notorious incidents of partisan politics occurred 150 years ago this month, on August 27, 1871, when Republicans and Democrats clashed on the Mesilla…
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Guest Post from Student Researchers

(Note – We love working with NMSU students who use our archival materials for their research projects. Students from a wide variety of academic disciplines across campus use our historical collections for their work. We are always delighted, and often surprised, at the innovative ways students incorporate archival research into their education. Justin Lopez, undergraduate…
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New Photograph Donations

We are always excited to hear from folks, both near and far, who have historical materials related to southern New Mexico and the border region and are interested in donating to our collections. Some people are surprised to learn that nearly everything in our extensive holdings of archival records (about 25,000 linear feet) came to us as…
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C.H. Tyler Townsend – Early Swashbuckling Professor 

The University Archives here in the NMSU Library contain some real gems of the early history of the college. These include papers of early administrators (most notably founder and first president Hiram Hadley), manuscript minutes of the earliest meetings of the Board of Regents, real estate deeds and records on the initial land acquisitions for the college, and an…
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Keith Wilson: A Desert Voice

I write down the words I hear, but I know it is the Dead who speak them.             Keith Wilson (1927-2009) from “The Voices of My Desert”             While Dancing Feet Shatter the Earth             (Utah State University Press, 1978) [In recognition of National Poetry Month, we have a guest…
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Ramón Ortíz and Mesilla’s Beginnings

You know how sometimes you’re looking for one thing, but you end up finding something else? It’s usually that way when I’m looking for batteries around my house. When I’m looking for the AAs, I find the 9 volts. When I need a 9 volt, I only find the AAAs. But on some rare occasions you find…
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Picacho Oil and Gas: The Story behind a Picture

One of the great photograph collections in our archives is the Rives Studio photographs. The studio was started by Harold L. Rives in 1935 primarily as a portrait studio, but Rives did a lot of contract work as well. Harold Rives was originally from Kentucky and his wife, Helen, was from Pennsylvania. They were married in 1920 and moved to…
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When Planets Align

Like many people around the world, last night I took my family out to view the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, affectionately being called the Christmas Star. Even though it wasn’t a spectacular visual display (as one member of my family said, “All I see is two little dots of light”), we all felt that we were in the presence of something…
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Lee Myers’ Hurley Scrolls

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls. And you may know that scrolls of papyrus, parchment or paper were the standard method of storing texts for many early civilizations. The famous library at Alexandria is said to have held as many as 400,000 scrolls in its collection. Well, as a writing format, scrolls aren’t as popular…
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Maude McFie Bloom Manuscripts Added to ASC

One of the treasured and often-cited sources on the early history of our region is the thesis written by Maude Elizabeth McFie to obtain her bachelor of science degree, in 1903, from the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now NMSU). In writing her thesis, “A History of the Mesilla Valley,” Maude McFie…
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