Introduction to Locales of Lincoln County

Lincoln County as we know it began with the founding of Fort Stanton in 1855. This series of studies follows from the beginning to the era of 1910 to 1920 or there about. The little village of la Placita has always been its heart but like some primal organism Lincoln County has morphed through various stages. The people, the families, have also transformed; some adapted to a locale, some moved from one side of the county to the other and reconstituted themselves; most eventually moved on.

All of this is a bit confusing at times; this collection is an effort to clarify things some. Of course the real problem is putting the two dimensional world of maps and reports with a third dimension of time; that is called History. My part as editor is to paint the picture and give some dates to hang your thinking on; your part is to move backward or forward in time as the story changes across the landscape. I will try and do my part.

The geographical definitions I have chosen for The Locales of Lincoln County are sometimes arbitrary; some are obvious and well defined, others were not so easy to see. The boundary between the East Slope and the North Slope of the Capitans required a choice, also before modern roadways the lower slopes of the Nogal area was more aligned with the Tucson and Vera Cruz Mountians on the western end of the Capitans. The Nogal Mesa, Bonito and the up country seemed to share a common history.

Besides trying to present a little history of each locale I would like to view the families that lived there. Most of you know a bit about your Lincoln County families. Looking around what is available it seems that a good place to start would be the 1880 US Census; luckily it has place names on the Census record so that makes the process easier. The exception is, of course, Missouri Plaza which was gone by 1880; however we will try and trace those families as they made their way up into other locales. Also Carrizozo didn't exist until 1900 rolled around.

Realizing that some families that we might be interested in may have come later I will try and include them; of course my data will be incomplete, if you have further information contact me and I will look at incorporating it.

As you can see this is a complex undertaking, please check back from time to time to see what we have uncovered.

~Rich Eastwood, editor~