WPA After returning to Texas in 1881


Writer: Edith L. Crawford

Carrizozo, N.Mex.

Mar 14 1938


Narrated by: Mrs. Alice Roberts




After returning to Texas in [1881?], we stayed there five years. Mr. Roberts went beck to farming and stock raising but we were not satisfied to stay in Texas. In September 1886 we sold our farm and cattle, kept thirty head of horses and started out again for New Mexico. My father, W. L. Parker, my mother, one brother, two sisters and a young man by the name of Jim Walker, whom we brought along to drive the extra horses, besides Mr. Roberts and myself and our five children, made up this party. We came in two covered wagons, each drawn by two horses. We camped out at night. We were not so afraid of the Indians as we were on our first trip as the Government had calmed them down by this time, although the Indians would steal horses from the settlers whenever they had an opportunity.

It was a long drive between watering places and our stock suffered for the want of water. We hauled our drinking water in kegs and had to be awful saving with it. We would stop at the big stock ranches, water our stock, fill up our kegs and buy fresh meat. The only meat we had on our trip was cotton tail rabbits that we killed on the way. We arrived at Nogal, New Mexico, the last of November 1886. My husband was still looking for a rich gold mine, but all the good claims had been located when we returned to Nogal, so he went to hauling freight from Socorro New Mexico to White Oaks and Nogal New Mexico. Nogal was a lively mining town in those days. There were two stores, two saloons and a hotel. Lincoln County was a wide open stock country then and when the round ups were over in the fall the cow boys would come to Nogal to spend their summer wages. At the dances the cow boys would get drunk and would have shooting scrapes and they would shoot out the lights in the dance hall. I remember one night they killed Bill Ellis in one of their drunken brawls. He was brother to Noah Ellis, who owned the I - X ranch, which was about 27 miles south of Nogal. Nogal was a wide open town, there was a lot of money spent there. We lived there for several years and then bought us a place of our own at Bonito City, New Mexico, located on the Bonito River at the foot of the White Mountains. The land was very rich and fertile. We raised nice irish potatoes, cabbage etc., and all kinds of garden stuff but the summer seasons were very short as we were so high up in the mountains. We sold our produce at Fort Stanton, Nogal, White Oaks and Roswell. We also raised cattle and sheep.

My father and mother were both born in Texas. My father was a freighter in Rusk Texas. He raised stock too. They moved from Rusk to Llano Texas, where they farmed and raised stock until they sold out and come to New Mexico in 1886, with us. My father and family left Nogal and went to San Pedro New Mexico, which was a coal mining town, and ran a hotel there. They stayed there for about two years and then came back to us on the Bonito. After a short while they moved back to Texas but were not satisfied so they came back to Nogal. One of my sisters died there. By this time all of my father's family had moved out west and were living in and around Nogal except my brother Ben who was living in California. My father went out there to visit him and took sick and died while there. My mother lived with my three sisters and me until she died in 1909. Mr. Roberts and I had eight children, three girls and five boys. One girl died while still a baby but all the rest of my children are living. Mr. Roberts died in 1913.


NARRATOR: Mrs. Alice Roberts, Carrizozo New Mexico. Aged 78 years.


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