On the SouthWest side of the Capitan Mountains in New Mexico sits the mountains namesake, the small town of Capitan, the home of “Smokey Bear”. Smokey Bear was the nickname given to a cub found badly burned after the May 1950 fire which blackened the Capitan Mountains. In 1950, the citizens of Capitan, would erect signs on each side of town proudly claiming the town as the birthplace of Smokey Bear! Residents could say the town hasn’t been the same since.
Capitan was actually known by a different name in it’s infancy. Seaborn T. Gray would take up residence in 1885 and begin mining the Capitan or Solado coal field. The town was known as “Gray” until 1899, when the Carrizo to Capitan spur of the EP & NE Railroad was built, after that point, the railroad changed the name of Gray to Capitan. The coal produced by the coal field was sold to the railroad until 1905 when that same spur which brought prosperity to the town was abandoned. From that point, coal produced by the mines was consumed locally.
One can imagine the political scene of Capitan in 1905 after the spur was abandoned. The only newspaper being published in town at that time was the Capitan News, a Democratic newspaper, published, edited, and owned by John A. Haley. Another individual, Clement Hightower, an employee of the Forest Service, former editor of the Socorro Chieftain and former County Commissioner for Socorro County, had recently moved to Capitan to become the first forest ranger in the Lincoln forest reserve. 1This reserve was created July 26, 1902, and includes about 500,000 acres on and in the vicinity of the Capitan and White Mountain ranges, in Lincoln county. It embraces the region from which issue the headwaters of the Rio Hondo, near whose confluence with the Pecos the government completed one of its most important irrigation works in New Mexico. The timber of the reserve consists principally of spruce pine. Sheep, goats, cattle and horses were privileged to graze, their number being limited and chiefly confined to resident owners. While still employed with the forest service, he would begin on 12 December 1905, editing a four-page weekly newspaper in Capitan called El Farol (“The Lantern”), the only Spanish-language newspaper “South of Las Vegas and West of the Rio Grande.” Haley would serve as publicist for El Farol while publicist for Capitan News – perhaps Haley saw El Farol as an opportunity to reach the non-English residents of Capitan and the surrounding area? Hightower, however, was not of the same political ilk, and would publish his paper with a more Republican bent, and indeed would run as a Republican, but fail to capture, the office for Mayor of Capitan in 1906. Whether this disagreement in politics contributed to the paper’s demise, or if Hightower merely used the paper to launch his campaign bid, the newspaper would run just one year – when it folded into the Capitan News in October 1905, it would begin including articles written in English, so its not surprising that it would quickly be dissolved, it’s final issue being published on 20 Novemeber 1906.
The Lincoln County New Mexico online archives 2Here you will find an extensive archive of Lincoln County newspapers and historical documents going back to the 1800s. http://archives.lincolncountynm.gov/archives/ contains PDF’s of all remaining copies of the El Farol Newspaper of Capitan, but doesn’t have an index to the newspaper. Charles W. Barnum, an active member of AHGP, and state coordinator for the New Mexico AHGP recently invested his time and energy into providing an every person index to the various extant issues. He has shared this wonderful index with AccessGenealogy in hopes that it will reach a wider audience. The issues of 21 Aug 1906, 18 Sep 2006, 30 Oct 1906, 06 Nov 1906, and 13 Nov 1906 do not appear to have survived. Enjoy!
Note about the Index
About the names extraction from the Capitan Condado de Lincoln newspaper of Lincoln County New Mexico, (12/19/1905 to 11/20/1906): This was a Spanish language newspaper with forty-four surviving issues. The compiler did not repeat the names appearing in each issue that were part of paid advertisements, nor did he repeat the names of politicians running for office at that time. Also, if a name was mentioned multiple times in a specific issue, it was only recorded once. – C. W. Barnum
El Farol Every-Name Index
Provided file /var/www/html/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/345-Capitan-Condado-de-Lincoln-2016-10-06.csv does not exist!
Footnotes: [ + ]
|1.||↩||This reserve was created July 26, 1902, and includes about 500,000 acres on and in the vicinity of the Capitan and White Mountain ranges, in Lincoln county. It embraces the region from which issue the headwaters of the Rio Hondo, near whose confluence with the Pecos the government completed one of its most important irrigation works in New Mexico. The timber of the reserve consists principally of spruce pine. Sheep, goats, cattle and horses were privileged to graze, their number being limited and chiefly confined to resident owners.|
|2.||↩||Here you will find an extensive archive of Lincoln County newspapers and historical documents going back to the 1800s. http://archives.lincolncountynm.gov/archives/|