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The coal properties involved in this study were originally part of a land grant made by the government of Mexico through New Mexico governor Manuel Armijo to Carlos Beaubien and Guadalupe Miranda on January 1, 1841. There lands were later acquired by Lucien Maxwell and became known as the Maxwell Land Grant. In July of 1902 this land was conveyed to the Raton Coal & Coke Company and contained a series of coal mines and coking plants in the Raton, New Mexico area. This coal land and all of the mining facilities were acquired by the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain & Pacific Company in Jul of 1905. The area of ownership of the St. Louis Rocky Mountain & Pacific Company was about 50% greater than the combined area of all the anthracite fields in the state of Pennsylvania, and five times as large as the famous Connelsville Basin. As previously stated the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain & Pacific Company was formed in the year 1905 and continued in operation for fifty years. During this half century, Colfax county’s economic, social, and political development was greatly influenced by this coal producing company. Much of the history of Colfax County is interlaced with that of the company.

Although the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain & Pacific Company was essentially a coal mining concern, the company immediately began forming or purchasing subsidiary companies. The St. Louis, Rocky Mountain & Pacific Railway Company was formed to build and maintain a standard gauge railroad from a point on the Colorado & Southern Railway near Des Moines, New Mexico southwestward through the Cimarron Valley to the town of Cimarron, New Mexico and up the narrow, but beautiful, Cimarron Canyon to the Elizabeth mining district in the Moreno Valley. Branch lines to the various company towns also were planned and completed. The Blossburg Mercantile Company, which began operations in March, 1895, became part of the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain & Pacific Company holdings. This company later became part of the entire operating scope of the company. Given the right of selling merchandise and supplies to and for the company, the Blossburg Mercantile became the right arm of this coal concern. Continuing in operation until the mid-1930’s the Blossburg Mercantile company not only controlled banking, selling and distributing, but also was responsible for establishing a series of company towns which held near control of the employee’s daily lives.

Coal is still in abundance in Colfax County, New Mexico, but this abundance is no loner needed because natural gas has eliminated its need.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Donald Colgett Cutter

Second Committee Member

Richard Nathaniel Ellis

Third Committee Member

Florence Hawley Ellis



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