Pioneer Families of the Mesilla Valley – Armijo and Gallagher Family Papers

Josefa and Nestor Armijo, undated

Chances are if you are from the Las Cruces area or have visited the City of Crosses, you most likely have driven past the Armijo residence or perhaps have visited the home when it was once was a bank. The historic Armijo residence is located on Lohman Avenue and the south end of Church Street. The home was purchased in 1877 by Nestor Armijo, one of the most successful businessmen and ranchers in Las Cruces during its early years. Soon after the purchase of the home, Nestor expanded the modest one-story house and added a second floor and veranda. The home was noted to be the first two-story in the city and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

If you would like to delve into the newly processed collection that contains further information about the Armijo home and learn more about a pair of pioneer families that once resided in the Mesilla Valley, the Archives and Special Collections (ASC) is your prime spot. The ASC recently processed and integrated additional material into the Armijo and Gallagher family papers, which includes an additional 20 linear feet of historical information pertaining to mercantile and ranching business in the region. Materials in the collection include letterpress books compiled by Nestor and his brother Nicolas. The letterpress books are a great research resource and contain well over a thousand letters dating from the 1880s to the early-1900s.

Armijo residence, undated

The letterpress books offer a great deal of insight into various individuals with whom the brothers had interactions since they record outgoing letters that Nestor and Nicolas composed. Both personal and business matters are present in the books. Individuals found in the letterpress books include both New Mexicans and Mexicans such as then New Mexico Governor L. Bradford Prince, Albert Fall and Chihuahua banker Enrique Creel, to name a few connections that are represented.

In addition, the family papers provide an abundance of information for researchers who wish to explore and obtain insight on how New Mexican families carried out their lives before New Mexico became a state.

Highlights from the recently processed collection include:

路 Genealogical information on the respective families

路 Business and financial records

路 Legal records

路 Letterpress books belonging to Nestor and Nicolas Armijo

路 Scrapbooks

路 Photographs (portraits) of the Armijo family

Those interested in consulting the family papers are encouraged to visit the Rocky Mountain Online Archive Database finding aid for a detailed inventory of the materials included in the collection. The ASC staff looks forward in assisting you with your research.

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