Miami, Colfax County, New Mexico, Settlers
About 10 miles west of Springer, in the beautiful Rayado Valley, is the hamlet of Miami. This area was once the central part of the Maxwell Land Grant. Kit Carson, the world famed scout, chose this valley for his permanent home, after his expeditions to California, Near Lucien Maxwell's home and the Rayado Army Post. Carson moved to Taos when Maxwell moved to Cimarron, and then died in southern Colorado. The Philmont Boy Scout Ranch has restored the Carson home in the Rayado valley, and is now a museum.
A few promoters from Miami, Ohio, looked over this land and decided that it was an ideal spot to establish communities. After meetings with the Maxwell Land Grant Company executives, it was decided to interest "The Dunkards" and other religious groups in settling the area. The water situation wa scant at best, they thought they would lick it by a system of ditches that would become one of the Seven Wonders of Northern New Mexico. The Miami Land and Irrigation Company (later the Farmers Development Company), composed of Ohio men, purchased 20,000 acres to sell in small farm packages. They plannned to impound the waters of the Rayado River. The promotion scheme worked, the new settlers were not easily discouraged. A colony of Dunkards purchased 50,000 acres (the Valdez Tract) in 1907. A ten mile canal was built, 22 feet wide brought water to a system of ditches and diversion ditches by 1915.
Agriculture products of the area were: onions, cabbage, potatoes, alfalfa, winter wheat, oats, corn, maize, barley, millet, squash, celery, onions, pumpkins, melons, carrots, beets, sorghum, apples, peaches, plums, cherries, sheep, pigs, turkeys, and hens. Miami had: a school house, a mercantile store (Wampler & Son), a cheese factory, a hydrant water system, a library, a planing mill, and a newspaper "The Miami Valley Farmer", and the Progressive Farmers Institute.
Sources: 1. The Miami, New Mexico Story by Father Stanley, September 1964
Reprinted in Colfax Communities by William Carroll, Coda Publications 2006.
Book available at the Arthur Johnson Memorial Library in Raton, NM., or through the inter library loan system
with your local library. Consult World cataloguing system by clicking here.
The following is an alphabetical surname list of interesting persons listed in this story.
A. Andrews, delegate;
C. Bargor and family; Edith Bollinger, nurse; Lillian Bollinger, teacher; R.W. Bollinger, farmer; Miss Brubaker, teacher;
Colebank brothers, orchestra; Arthur Cornell, mail carrier;
Lois Ann Dentley; Wayne Dingus and family;
Mr. Eller, Billy, Edna and family;
Mrs. Fatjo, Spanish teacher;
Dr. Phil Galling, doctor; Garmain; Frank Gibson and family; John Good; Mrs. Goody;
J.H. Hollinberg and family;
J.H. Jansen, farmer; J.P. Jansen, farmer;
J.A. Kenard; A.B. Kerby and family; Kreiberg family; M.K. Kronmiller, ran the lumber yard and installed the planing mill;
Rev. Ira J. Lapp; Joe Lapp; Saloma Lapp; Governor Lindsey, 4th of July visit to Miami;
B.F. McEndorfer, county fair winner of the Webster Cup, installed cheese factory; Thomas McGiven and family;
Metz family; Golda Metzger; Glen Middockauf; Margaret Mikesell; Willie M.N. Mikesell, Farmers Development Company;
William Mohler, horticultural superintendent; William Momler; Mutersbaugh, mail carrier;
William Page and family; Putle family;
Carl Reed and family;
Harry Schafer, produce merchant; Mrs. Shafer, teacher; George Shamburg, farmer; W.E. Shamburg, farmer;
R. A. Shepard and family; Grant Smith; Mrs. Smithfield; Vernon L. Sullivan, Territorial engineer;
J.R. Trimmer and family;
O.B. Underwood, principal of Miami schools; Prof. and Mrs. Underwood, teachers;
Amos Wampler, mercantile store owner, farmer and investor and family; Cora Wampler, first post master;
W. Washborn and family; Professor Winter, teacher;
Mr. Yiengst, farmer;