San Patricio and Glencoe


The following was taken from the web site:


San Patricio


San Patricio is situated amidst cottonwood and elm trees along the Rio Ruidoso just before it joins with the Rio Bonito. The Place Names of New Mexico states that San Patricio was initially named Ruidoso, not to be confused with the modern-day town of Ruidoso, which at that time was known as Dowlins Mill.


The original settlers were Hispanos who named it after the noisy creek that tumbles down the canyon. The town changed its name from Ruidoso to San Patricio after the Catholic church was built there around 1875. The priest at that time was Irish, and the church and town came to be called San Patricio after the priest's patron saint, Saint Patrick. To this day San Patricio is still strongly native Hispano and Catholic.


Of all of the communities in the Hondo Valley, it perhaps has changed the least. Throughout its history, San Patricio's economy was based on farming and ranching. Water was a key factor in the success of the early settlement. Dates from the State Engineer’s Office indicate that one of

the earliest acequias, or irrigation ditches, in the valley was established in San Patricio by 1867. Crop production would have been impossible without a reliable water supply so one of the first activities of the earliest settlers was building an acequia. This early system would have been small and capable of watering only small parcels of land. Each of the farmers on the ditch had a "right" to irrigate for a specified amount of time during the irrigation season, as well as a responsibility to help maintain the ditch.


San Patricio became a well-known artists’ community in the 1930s. One of the famous personalities that settled in San Patricio was western artist Peter Hurd. He was born in Roswell and studied painting on the east coast, but returned to the Southwest and settled in the Hondo Valley in 1933. He developed his own artistic landscape style, and his paintings of the area capture the spirit of the land, depicting scenes of frontier life and the people that lived on the land.


The following was taken from the web site:




The area around Glencoe changed ownership several times, but was eventually settled by and named after the Coe family of Missouri. Early settlers of the area include Heiskell Jones and his wife, Jack Gilliam, the Horrell brothers, and Dick Brewer.


Lou Coe was the first of the Coe family to arrive in the Hondo Valley. He settled at La Junta, which was later renamed Hondo, in 1866. By 1874, there were five Coes in New Mexico: Lou, his brothers Frank, Al, and Jasper, and their cousin George. Frank and George Coe are perhaps the most well-known, due to their involvement in the Lincoln County War and their association with Billy the Kid. Frank and George both left Lincoln County after the war for several years, but returned in the early 1880s. In 1882, Frank Coe purchased a portion of Dick Brewer’s old ranch on the Rio Hondo, and George built a homestead on his cousin Jasper’s place, the Golden Glow Ranch, about one mile west of Frank. The cousins built a school and a post office, and the town was officially named Glencoe.


Glencoe’s patent records date from the early 1890s and include George W. Coe (1891), James V. Tully (1892), Jasper N. Coe (1892), Frank B. Coe (1892), Prospero Gonzales (1897), Telesfora M. Sanchez (1897), Florencio Gonzales (1898), and Felipe Silva (1898). Many of these settlers actually lived on the land many years before they obtained an official patent to their property. These early settlers engaged in a variety of agricultural and ranching pursuits in order to provide for their families.


As indicated above, the Sanchez family was among some of the earliest settlers in the Glencoe area. From the 1880s up to 1917, the Sanchez family homesteaded a parcel of land now owned by Paul and Nellie Ruth Jones. Paul Jones’s grandparents bought the land and the house from the Sanchez’s in 1917, and it has been in the Jones family ever since. The Sanchez family built the adobe portion of the house before 1892, according to a Sanchez family member who was born in the house. Additions have been made to the house over the years, but the house and the surrounding property with its functioning acequia still retain some of the character of historic homesteads in Glencoe.


A portion of the Coe Ranch was eventually sold to Bert and Nelson Bonnell, two brothers who worked for the Coes and who married into the family. The Bonnell Ranch house, located at the junction of Eagle Creek and Rio Ruidoso became a popular community gathering place and was the scene of many harvest feasts and dances. The house continued to operate as a stop-over for travelers along the highway.


The appearance of modern-day Glencoe, with its open pastures separated by fence and tree lines and dotted with farm buildings, has changed little from its original appearance when the Coe family first settled there.


The following from: A History of Lincoln County Post Offices, Chronological Index, By C. W. Barnum

These PO Reminisces look like they were written about 1973.


San Patricio Post Office

By Louise Babers


When the early settlers here built their first church in 1875, local stories say an Irish priest named it San Patricio, for St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It was not until 1904 that the village of San Patricio was awarded its own post office, and Ignacio Olguin, son of Ramon Olguin, one of the settlers, became the first postmaster and kept the office in his home. Mail reached Lincoln from San Antonio and Carrizozo by stage coach, and came across the mountain by horseback from Lincoln. At first it came two times a week, and later three times. Sometime later a star route was established between Tularosa and Hondo, and the mail was delivered six days a week. Since 1963 it has been arriving from Carrizozo daily, except for Sundays and Holidays.


John C. West became the second Postmaster in 1911. He was married to a charming French girl who had come to New Mexico from France with her family. Their daughter, Mrs. C. D. Chavez still lives in San Partricio and has in her home the beautiful old furniture brought by her mother from France. Another colorful postmaster was William E. Brady, grandson of a soldier from Ireland who had been a Lincoln County Sheriff and was killed during the Lincoln County War. During the years the office was moved from one store to another and then kept in a home or two for a time as Postmasters were changed. The mail came daily by car from Tularosa, New Mexico.


During the years of World War II many families moved away to better jobs and the young men left to serve their country. Only a few families have returned and the population has diminished from the largest voting precinct in Lincoln County to perhaps the smallest now. There are still descendents of the first families receiving mail here: Sanchez, Chavez, Sedillio, Herrera, Romero and Lucero are some of them.


San Patricio has been a favorite spot of many well known people through the years. Many famous names have received mail there at one time or another. Some of them have been Helen Hayes, Chareles MacArthur, Paul Horgan, Judge John Biggs, Jr. and Mrs. Biggs, a Thailand Prince, Linda Darnell, Teresa Wright, Nevin Busch and many more. Perhaps the most renowned is Peter Hurd, the world famous painter, who bought a ranch at San Patricio in 1935 and makes his home there with his wife, another famous painter, Henriette Wyeth. A favorite story about the San Patricio Post Office is told by R. M. McNatt who was Postmaster when Peter Hurd called for an insured package. Jokingly McNatt said to him as he handed the book to be signed to Hurd, "Here, Pete, draw your picture and I'll give you your package." To his delight Peter Hurd promptly sketched a quick likeness of himself in the space provided for signature. Unfortunately the book was destroyed by fire years later.


In 1941, there was a disastrous flood in the Rio Ruidoso. The bridge over highway 70, was washed away, just below Ruidoso Downs, closing the highway for a number of days. Rowe McNatt, the postmaster, would go up to the bridge, about 15 miles away, and meet the mail car from Tularosa. They would transfer the mail bags to each other by the help of a farmer's tractor nearby, and so kept the mail going during that time.


Louise Babers who is now postmaster was serving when the office burned in 1953. The Babers' living room served as the new post office. Forms were borrowed from Glencoe and Hondo and business was carried on as usual until a building could be found and readied. The office was then moved to its present site on the highway where it fills the needs of the small community. It is the meeting place of neighbors and gives them a chance to visit when they call for their mail. After improved mail service necessitated the mail when being left before the office is opened each morning one patron was heard to grouse, "I don't like this new way of bringing in the mail. You never know when anyone is coming in to get their mail and I don't get all the news about the cows and pigs or fruit!"


A small lending library is now in the post office, with the beginnings of a post office museum. 

These Postmasters have served San Patricio:

Ignacio Olguin June 18, 1904

Frances R. Lilly May 22, 1929

Lugarda Lucero June 10, 1909

William E. Brady Oct 31, 1931

John C. West June 9, 1911

R. M. McNatt 1935 -McNatt served as

Byrd D. Garner may 15. 1914

Postmaster at Tularosa NM before moving to San Patricio

Walter B. Rose June 11, 1915

Louise Babers Jan. 1943

Homer Farrar June 5, 1917

Wilda K Taylor Jan. 1950

John  C. west Aug. 15, 1921

Louise Babers June 30, 1951


--Louise is daughter of R. M. McNatt.



Glencoe Post Office

By Gladys Nosker and Della Bonnell

abstracted by C. W. Barnum


The first mail service to Glencoe was without benefit of Post Office Department. When someone from the neighborhood was in Fort Stanton they would pick up the mail for everyone in the community and leave it at the Jap Coe Ranch. First official mail service came by stagecoach from San Antonio, New Mexico via Fort Stanton and on to Lincoln.

The location moved several times and burned several times and destroyed by floods.


Jasper N. Coe Nov. 14, 1901

Ula Gilmore, Dec 5, 1910

Wade king, 1938

Gladys L. Nosker, Nov 21 1949

Frank B. Coe, Jan. 22, 1902

Ora G. Tully, Dec. 1, 1913

Buck E. Nosker, 1944

Della Bonnell, Feb. 20, 1982