Upper Hondo Stuff


Here are a few things I’ve gathered from the internet:


The following four stories were taken from the web site: http://theaceconsultants.com/


Hondo was originally known as La Junta, or the junction, referring to the confluence of the Rio Ruidoso and Rio Bonito, which meet here among the cottonwoods and elms that line their banks. The original community consisted of a school and several homes.


The Torrez, Gutierrez, and Montes families were among the earliest settlers in Hondo. Damian Gutierrez and his brothers came to Hondo sometime in the 1880s and homesteaded two farm sections that started in Hondo and continued to San Patricio. Two of the brothers homesteaded in the area that would later become San Patricio. The Gutierrezes moved to Hondo from the Isleta and Lemitar areas where flooding along the Rio Grande had washed out their farm, and came under cavalry escort, which provided protection from Apache attacks.


Lou Coe, a member of one of the first Anglo families to arrive in the Hondo Valley, settled in La Junta in 1866 with his business partner Joe Storm and obtained a contract to deliver hay and grain to Fort Stanton. As the Hispano families in Hondo did, Lou planted apple trees and created an orchard to supplement his income. Hondo became a center for the vegetable- and, especially, fruit-growing business, and several packing sheds, refrigeration facilities, and a trucking company developed in the town. Roadside fruit stands were common in the Hondo area, as they were in many other parts of the valley.


The census records indicate that there were 44 students in the Hondo School District in 1880 and 113 students in 1920. The original Hondo Elementary School building, located at the current junction of US 70 and US 380 in Hondo, began as a two-room school built with a 1902 school construction bond. Two additional rooms were added later. The school gym building was completed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA)—part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program—in 1935.


Hondo was the only community in the valley offering the opportunity for a high school education. By the 1925–26 school year, the Hondo high school program became a two-year accredited program and grew into a four-year accredited program by 1930. Both high school and elementary grades shared the old four room Hondo Elementary School building. The Hondo Valley Union High School opened its doors in September of 1948 with 76 students. The original Hondo Elementary School closed in 1955 and was moved to the new elementary school adjoining the high school.



The village of Tinnie was originally named “Analla” for the early settler, José Analla, who was part of a wave of Spanish settlers moving into the Hondo Valley from Manzano, Socorro, and El Paso during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Historical records tell us that José Analla moved to the area in 1876.


In 1907, Stephen and Oney Raymond moved to Analla with their baby daughter Tinnie. The citizens of Analla were so enchanted with the Raymonds’ baby girl that they suggested the town’s name be changed to “Tinnie.” Published interviews with Oney Raymond quote her as saying “[o]ur little girl was the only Anglo child in Analla and [the townspeople] wanted to change the name in her honor.” A petition was sent to the nation’s capital, and Tinnie became the town’s official name in 1909. Tinnie Raymond became a local schoolteacher in 1926. She married and moved to Roswell some time later.


Oney Raymond recalled that there were about 50 families in the Tinnie area during 1907. In 1915, the New Mexico State Business Directory listed a population of 100 for Tinnie. The Raymonds established the Tinnie Mercantile Company and ran it until 1960, at which time the property was purchased by Robert O. Anderson. Anderson added a porch, a tower, and a pavilion and renamed it the Tinnie Silver Dollar Bar and Restaurant.


The Titsworths are another prominent family in Tinnie’s history. The Titsworth family first settled in Capitan, where they ran a grocery business that supplied Lincoln County Mercantile stores with food and supplies. In 1912, the Titsworths purchased property in Tinnie from Pedro Analla and established a ranch with extensive apple orchards. The Titsworth Ranch became one of the most prominent ranches in the Hondo Valley, specializing in apples and sheep.



Picacho was settled around 1867 or 1868 by Hispanic sheep and goat herders from the vicinity of Socorro or Manzano.


Robert Casey, one of the first Euroamericans in the Hondo Valley, purchased his ranch near Picacho in 1868 from Leopold Chene, a Frenchman. Casey was a Texas rancher looking to establish a location from which he could provide beef to both Fort Stanton and Fort Sumner. The Casey property was six miles east of Hondo and about two miles west of Picacho. Casey’s ranch included a ranch house, a grist mill, a blacksmith shop, and an irrigation ditch. At that time, there were only four houses between Casey’s ranch and the town of Lincoln, and only one settlement, Missouri Plaza, between the ranch and Fort McKavett, Texas, 400 miles away to the south/southeast. The ranch remained in the Casey family until 1960. The population of Picacho (which may or may not include Tinnie in the census record) was never very large. The count declined from 405 people in 1890 to 287 people in 1950.


The census records indicate that there were 86 students in the Picacho School District in 1880 and 103 students in 1920. The early Picacho school no longer exists. The WPA built a second Picacho school in 1940, which is used as a residence today. The Picacho Elementary School closed in 1958, when various elementary schools in the valley were consolidated into a single school in Hondo. The Hondo Valley, specializing in apples and sheep.



There are few historic records for Sunset. According to The Place Names of New Mexico, "little…remains of this former community, and the name’s origin has been forgotten." Sunset was similar in most respects to the other communities in the Hondo Valley, especially Picacho.


According to historic records, the Montaños were one of the earliest families to settle in the Sunset area. José and Manuel Montaño had settled in the area and built an acequia for their fields by 1867. This small scale irrigation would have been adequate to support only the Montaño’s family farm. When Reuben Michaelis owned the property at the beginning of the 1900s, he found that it was difficult to support a farm without additional irrigation so he built a second acequia on the south side of the Rio Hondo, doubling the area of land that could be used for farming. Both acequias are still in use today. By 1909, the Montaño farm was owned by Pierre Southworth, who established the Sunset Ranch Orchard Company, with 25 acres of apple orchards and 109 acres for farming. Will Titsworth purchased the Sunset Ranch in 1913 for the Titsworth Company and continued to produce apples, but added lettuce, cabbage, and alfalfa. When the Titsworth Company dissolved at the death of George Titsworth in 1950, rancher Charles Fuller bought Sunset Ranch. The ranch was later bought by Robert O. Anderson and

became part of Anderson’s Diamond Circle Ranch, which was sold to the current owner, the Ford Secure Trust, in the early 1990s.



The following is from: A History of Lincoln County Post Offices, Chronological Index, By C. W. Barnum http://nmahgp.genealogyvillage.com/lincoln/post_office_history.htm

I think these were originally written in the 1970s, ed.


Hondo Post Office

By Mary L. Joiner


Lists of names and dates do not make for very interesting reading usually and that is about all one has to rely on in compiling a history of the Hondo Post Office. No one seems to know exactly why the name "Hondo" was chosen. Some of the old timers say that it was originally known as "La Junta", meaning meeting or joining and that perhaps in the process of mispronunciation the word "hondo" evolved. On the other hand perhaps the site was named for the crossing of the Rio Bonita which was deep and difficult to ford with vehicles, for Hondo means deep. However it came by its name, Hondo is definitely on the map, through the true story of its beginning and name may be forever buried in the past.


Recorded history of the Hondo Office began February 6, 1900 when John S. William was postmaster for over a year. By 1906 Caroline F. Vorwerk was postmaster and the Post Office was located about a mile west of its present site. Mr. Vorwerk probably moved it during her tenure several miles west for a long valley in that area still bears the name Vorwerk Canyon. 

Allie F. Stover who became postmaster in June 1913 had the distinction of being the first postmaster to write a money order on the Hondo office and the purchaser was a Mrs. Sloan. Mail sacks first carried the mail on their way from Roswell to Carrizozo. Horses were changed several times each way. While Stover was postmaster the age of the automobile was ushered in and the horses and hacks were discarded for Buick and Cadillac cars. The coming of the automobile didn't speed things up much because the roads were difficult to negotiate and the cars temperamental.


 Mrs. Stover told of the time when the mail was taken care of in their "parlor", when a stranger entered while she was working the mail. This stranger stuck a little black book under her nose and she straightway told him she didn't have time to look, she was busy with the mail. The man explained to her then that he was a Post Office Inspector and offered his help. She told him to get busy with the registered mail--and--he did!


Jim Gonzales owned and operated a grocery and general merchandise store for many years and also had charge of the toll bridge across the Bonito River. He was the father of two postmasters and rented to most of the postmasters during the twenties. Some of the postmasters offered room and board to teachers and others who came through the valley. By the time Leo A. Joiner became postmaster in 1935 the post office had been moved into a room adjoining the store. Mr. Joiner moved the office to its present location in January 1938, which is about a quarter of a mile east of the old store building. In October 1942 Mr. Joiner resigned from the post office to accept a position with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and Mary L. Joiner was appointed acting postmaster. Mrs. Joiner was commissioned postmaster June 16, 1943.


Hondo has shown steady growth through the years. It is located at the junction of two main highways--U.S. 70 and U.S. 380, and at the Junction of two rivers as well, the Rio Ruidoso and the Rio Bonito. No doubt the geographical location has contributed to its growth but there have been other pertinent factors which have also helped in the growth of the post office. Each time the Highway Department constructed a new segment of road postal revenues rose. A large apple packing shed contributed to the consistently rising receipts of the office. From July 1967 to July 1970 the post office was elevated from fourth class to third class, then the revenue base unit went went higher July 1, 1970 the office was relegated back to fourth class. During the next five years growth was steady. The Hondo Valley Public Schools are heavy mail users. A large refrigeration service purchases apples each fall from a local grower and the fruit is mailed through the Hondo office to a long list of company employees. The J. and R. Oil Company claims Hondo as home base for its gas and oil business. In 1972 the J. H. Rose trucking Co. purchased farm land and orchards at Hondo and built a thriving horse ranch. This business contributed more to the post office revenue and on July 1, 1975 the office was again elevated to third class. Now with streams of traffic in front on the busy highway and the whisper of water in the rivers in the back, Hondo continues a history of service to the community and passersby.


Postmasters who have served the Hondo Post Office and dates of service:

John S. Williams Feb. 6, 1900

Charles S. Osborn Sept. 11, 1917

John S. Williamson Apr. 18, 1901

Esquipula Gonzales Mar. 17, 1920

Doyle Murray Feb. 3, 1903

Pedro T. Gonzales Apr. 19, 1921

Mary A. Wharton Aug. 4, 1903

W. B. Rose July 23, 1921

Caroline F. Vorwerk Apr. 10, 1906

Cora B. Austry May 27, 1928

Longine Leal Apr. 25. 1910

Kathryn S. Bilbo Feb. 15, 1929

Jose M. Torrez Dec. 16, 1910

Effie D. Bishop 1932

Allie F. Stover June 16, 1913

Leo A. Joiner Apr. 1, 1935

James h. Green Mar. 29, 1915

Mary L. Joiner Oct. 2, 1942



Tinnie Post Office

By Arthur Clements


The Tinnie post office was established April 27, 1903 with Isidro Annalla as postmaster until November 12, when Pedro Annalla became postmaster. He remained only two months and Sallie A. Murray took the office and remained until the Ramonds bought the store from the Anallas in 1906. The Ramonds built the Present Tinnie Mercantile from adobes made on the place.

The most of the people at that time were Spanish Americans but the Ramonds had a little blond daughter, named Tinnie. The people thought she was beautiful and got Mrs. Ramond to change the name of the post office to Tinnie in honor of the little girl. Mrs. Ramond told them that a petition would have to be sent to Washington. A petition was circulated and nearly everyone signed it. The name was then changed to Tinnie April 5, 1909. Mrs. Ramond remained postmaster until April 7, 1914 when Henry D. Murray was appointed. He was followed by Andrew N. Coward. On Jan. 6, 1923 Mrs. Ramond again became postmaster and with the exception of a short period when Walter B. Rose was the postmaster, April 1, 1929 to December 26, 1932. She continued until her retirement on July 31, 1954, a total period of nearly fifty years. Her daughter, Virginia Guest took the office and served until Arthur Clements was appointed Dec. 12, 1959.


Robert O. Anderson of Roswell bought the building in 1959 and decided to preserve the old country store. He spent several hundred thousand dollars, adding a porch all around the building, a tower and a pavilion besides putting in the Silver Dollar bar and a steak house. Many of the old things were in the place but a lot more were gathered from as far away as San Francisco by John Meigs, an artist who lives at San Patricio. Mr. Meigs was commissioned by Mr. Anderson to plan and oversee the building.


Arthur Clements retired May 31, 1971 and his daughter, Fannette McKinney, became office in charge at that time and appointed postmaster Dec. 9th, 1972. February 156h, 1975 the post office was moved to its present site where Fannette has her fountain and gift shop, too.


Isidro L. Analla Apr. 27, 1903

Walter Rose Feb. 9, 1932

Pedro N. Analla Nov 12, 1903

Arthur Clements Dec. 12, 1959

Sallie A. Murry Jan. 8, 1904

Fannette McKinney Dec. 9, 1972

Oney Ramond April 5, 1909

Fannette is the daughter of Arthur Clements.



Picacho Post Office

Peaceful Village

By Polly P. Kimbrell

Conclusion by Adelina Kimbrell


Picacho, a somnolent little village of about two hundred people on U.S. Highway 70-380 forty miles from Roswell, lies sprawled around the base of the rugged mile-high mountain peak which gave the little settlement its name. Long before Charles Godnight and John Chisum drove their herds of longhorns across the Plains of Texas to the Pecos Valley in New Mexico the native people of the Rio Grande country had brought their small flocks of sheep and goats and established their little settlement. It nestled cozily on the winding banks of the Rio Hondo protected by the walls of Picacho Peak.


Little is known of the history of some of the early postmasters. In 1894 the old adobe store, office and hotel were owned by Robert H. Parsons. It sheltered important cattlemen, lawyers, judges who had stopped over on their way to hold court at Lincoln and Old Mesilla; and one of the Territory's later governors--George Curry--who came with his wife and sons. At this time the mail was brought from Roswell by a burro-drawn buckboard, driven by Old Romero the mail driver, who changed his burro team for ponies and would haul the buckboard the rest of the way over rough mountain trails to Lincoln and settlements in the Rio Grande Country.

Romero drove the primitive way with no lines to guide the lazy burros. He kept in the middle of the rocky mountain trails to Lincoln and settlements in the Rio Grande County.

Martin Chaves in his long life was the honored leader in important affairs. His practical advice was followed throughout the exciting era of Billy the Kid and the bloody Lincoln County War of 1877-1881. Another, and by far the most picturesque character, was wide awake August Cline who was married to a Spanish lady. August Cline had white, shoulder-length hair and deep blue twinkling eyes. Though he never was postmaster this colorful German eccentric of Lincoln County was known throughout the territory as a big hearted friend. A most colorful patron of the Picacho post office.


 Byrd D. Garner and Lawrence W. Garner were brothers and natives from Kentucky. They were soft spoken men and congenial with all the natives. When Byrd D. Garner was commissioned Postmaster in 1915 the mail was still brought by horse and buckboard and the driver was Porfiro Chavez from Lincoln. 1915 was a memorable year. The first mail car, or mail bus, was initiated. Charlie Porter, Gene Hedgecoxe and Paul McCutcheon drove the mail and when they came through they stayed at the old hotel and always managed to be on time for Mrs. Garner's wonderful home-cooked meals. Both of the Garners are now deceased.


Albert H. Pruitt was born in Belton, Texas and moved with his family to New Mexico when he was just a young boy. He was former mayor of Roswell and part owner of the well-known Joyce-Pruitt Company. His wife, Georgia Pruitt, was born in Fredonia, Kentucky and was half sister of the Garners, Byrd and Lawrence. Mr. and Mrs. Pruitt moved to Picacho from Roswell in 1932. He operated the store and Post Office and Mrs. Pruitt took care of the hotel and dining room. They were good friends to everyone and though both were claimed by death years ago one still hears old timers say, "Albert Pruitt was best friend I ever had."


During the grim years of World War II "Old Picacho" was vacant. It seemed as though the little village had been deserted but the post office did not die. At that time Viola K. Sandoval, daughter of W. E. Kimbrel, was commissioned postmaster. She operated the post office in her home just a few years off the highway as did her sister Pauline Kimbrel who succeeded her. Viola is deceased and Pauline married Robert S. Mackey.


The historic old adobe store and hotel burned in 1946. The daughter of the late Albert Pruitt, Polly, and her husband, Fred Bowser built a new store and Post Office on the highway and Polly P. Bowser built a new store and Post Office on the highway and Polly P. Bowser became Postmaster general. Widowed in 1951, Mrs. Bowser married Richard H. Kimbrell.

In 1942 when Viola K. Sandoval was Postmaster, the post office was in her home, which was the old home of George Kimbrell. He was an Irish soldier that had come to New Mexico with the California Regiment. Viola's sister Pauline was the next postmaster. The next postmaster married Richard Kimbrell, a brother, and the last postmaster there is Josephine Kimbrell, another sister. Polly died October 1, 1972 and Josephine Kimbrel was commissioned Sept. 16, 1972.


On September 15, 1975, just a few minutes before closing time, Josephine, alone in her post office and store was accosted by unknown parties. She was very badly beaten about the head, suffered a broken nose, two critical skull fractures, and other bruises. When she was found, she could not tell what had happened. Taken by ambulance in Albuquerque, she was there until November 8, when she was well enough to return to her home in Picacho. After therapy treatments, she returned to her post office. No Trace has been found of the assailants.


Chas. P. Fritz June 11, 1891

Elijah W. Hulbert May 20, 1908

Viola K. Sandoval Sept., 1942

Robert H. Parsons Mar. 3, 1894

Francisco Santana Apr. 8, 1912

Pauline Kimbrell, Act. PM March 17, 1943

William Riley June 22, 1894

Byrd D. Garner June 25, 1915

Viola K. Sandoval Act. PM Nov. 1943

Richard R. Hopkins Sept. 22, 1895

Lawrence W. Garner Aug. 16, 1920

Viola K. Sandoval 1947

Martin Chavez Apr. 4, 1900

Boyd D. Garner Sept. 1924

Poly P. Browser Nov. 28, 1947

Herman Wagenfehr Dec. 15, 1904

Albert H. Pruitt Sept. 1935

Polly P. Browser Kimbrell, Oct, 1952.

Jennie Cole May 24, 1906

Georgia G. Pruitt July, 1940

Josephine Kimbrell Sept. 16, 1972

Maud M. Thomas Feb. 11, 1907

Kivas Tully Dec. 29, 1942