I never cease to be amazed by the new things I am constantly learning about New Mexico history. For example, did you know that Thomas B. Catron, the attorney known for his role in the “Santa Fe Ring” and the Teapot Dome Scandal in the early 1900s was once the largest private land owner in New Mexico?
Okay, well I guess only a New Mexico history nerd like me gets excited about that stuff.
Anyway, a good friend of mine has recently published a book with 13 engaging stories about some New Mexico historical events, most of which are not well known.
The book by fellow Las Cruces resident John P. (Jack) Wilson, entitled New Mexico Episodes, Stories from a colorful past, is an easy and entertaining read which I recommend to everyone. It has perhaps the best summary of the Lincoln County War I’ve seen, a great story about a faithful dog and tales about early stagecoach trips and mail delivery in the territory. And there’s the story about a legal effort to pinpoint the location of a historic home in a land dispute. In the legal proceedings, a 91-year-old witness, interrogated by none other than Thomas B. Catron, was asked for the location of the kitchen in the dilapidated structure. His response was that he did not know where it was because “I was not the cook.”
The book is available online through Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com., Ebay.com., Thriftbooks and other online booksellers. Local bookstores may stock it as well.
My friend Jack, a Harvard graduate nonetheless, has written several other books of a historical nature and has an outstanding career as an archaeologist, historian and author. I hope you’ll give his new book a look.