M. W. Fanning, who came to the Territory from Texas in October, 1879, and served for four years as a Texas ranger in the employ of the Lone Star state. In 1880, with Peter Corn, he located a place in the Seven Rivers country and started to improve property there. They began business together and both have since figured in the material development and progress of this portion of the Territory. Mr. Fanning has six hundred and forty acres of good land near Lakewood, where he is engaged in the raising of cattle, sheep and horses. He is one of the oldest of the pioneer settlers of the Pecos valley and has remained in the Seven Rivers country since coming to the Territory more than a quarter of a century ago. He is now well known as an extensive stockman of large and profitable business interests. Peter Corn, of Lakewood, who came to the Territory in the fall of 1879, located a place two and a half miles southwest of the old town of Seven Rivers in the spring of 1880, at which time there were but four families living there, and this was the only settlement between Roswell and the Texas line on the west side of the Pecos river. In 1882 Mr. Corn engaged in the sheep business, in which he continued until the spring of 1888, when he removed to Hope. There he resided until 1896 and was connected with stock-raising interests until 1903, when he began farming here. He has five hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive land and his labors are demonstrating the possibilities of the locality for successful farming operations. Mr. Corn is well known as a pioneer settler and one highly respected.
W. P. B. Willburn has been closely associated with the history of the Territory and deserves mention by reason of the fact that he and his brother. Frank Willburn. brought one of the first droves of cattle to this country in 1867. Mr. Willburn returned in 1872 and with his brother located on a ranch where the town of Roswell now stands. They had an old adobe dwelling, a storehouse and shops across from the present location of the court house and they remained here in the cattle business until 1878. when the “Lincoln county war” was waged, when they left the Territory and returned to Texas. In the days of their early residence in the Territory there was not a ranch between Roswell and St. Angelo, Texas. In 1895 W. P. B. Willburn returned to the Territory from Texas and located near Hope, where he now lives, his place being about four miles east of the town. He has a good property, which he has brought under a high state of cultivation and improved with many modern equipments and good buildings’.
” Linn” J. C. Richards came to New Mexico in 1898 from Texas and located in Hope settlement below the town of Hope, where he engaged in the stock business. In 1903 he removed to his present place, a mile and a half west of Hope. Here he has an excellent farm property, owning altogether five hundred and sixty acres of valuable land, which responds readily to cultivation. He has ninety acres devoted to various crops and in addition fifteen acres is planted to alfalfa, while a fine orchard covers twenty- four acres. Mr. Richards, Mr. Riley and Mr. Read were the first men to ship apples by car-load from Hope, making the first shipment in 1904, and in 1905 the shipment reached fourteen car loads. Mr. Richards is doing much to demonstrate the possibilities of this locality as a fruit-producing center and is thus contributing to his own success and at the same time leading the way that others may follow and enjoy the benefits of horticultural development and progress in this part of the country. Joseph T. Fanning, one of the oldest and most substantial citizens of the Territory, now farming near Hope with a property embracing three hundred and twenty acres of land, came to New Mexico from Texas in 1880 and located at Seven Rivers. He engaged in business there for about fifteen years and was also prominent and influential in community affairs. He was serving as deputy sheriff under Pat Garrett at the time when Billy the Kid was leading his band of lawless followers in many depredations, only to be ultimately apprehended by Garrett.
In 1900 Mr. Fanning came to the Hope settlement and located at his present place, which he purchased of W. F. Daugherity. He has three hundred and twenty acres of land, which he is bringing under a high state of cultivation. While in Texas he served for two years as a Texas Ranger. He was county assessor of Eddy county in 1901-02, and is one of the oldest and most substantial citizens of the Territory, working toward those ends which are of permanent benefit in the Territory’s development. W. P. Riley came to the Territory in the fall of 1887 and spent the winter at La Luz. In the fall of that year the Penasco went through to the Pecos, and in 1888 the first ditch was taken out of Penasco by John A. Beckett.
It was also in the fall of 1888 that Mr. Riley filed on his present place, two and a quarter miles west of Hope. He has four hundred acres here, including a large orchard and fine fields of alfalfa. The orchard covers fifteen acres and he produces some excellent fruit. He has raised some pears weighing two pounds each. Mr. Riley is a very progressive citizen, constantly seeking out new methods for improvement and advancement, and is one the prominent and influential men of the community. Recently he has established an automobile line from Artesia to Hope, with two machines. He is in touch with modern advancement and has conducted his interests along lines of improvement which make him a leader in the movements.
W. F. Daugherity, engaged in farming, with three hundred and sixty acres of good farming land near Dayton, and also owning a half interest in a forty-acre addition to the town site, is prospering in both branches of his business. He came to the Territory in 1883 from Texas and located at Las Vegas, where he remained for a year. In 1884 he removed to Lincoln county, settling on Benito, near Fort Stanton, while in 1885 he removed to James canyon, on one of the heads of the Penasco. He was the first man to put a board roof on a house in that canyon. In 1892 he removed to Hope and built the third house in that settlement. Making his headquarters there, he had sheep over the valley and was successfully and extensively engaged in the sheep-raising industry until the fall of 1900, when he sold out. In 1901, however, he again engaged in the sheep business as a partner of George Beckett, with whom he continued until he disposed of his interests in January, 1905. In 1897 Mr. Daugherity took up his abode upon his present place near the town of Dayton and purchased the property in 1901. Since disposing of his sheep he has been engaged in farming here, having three hundred and sixty acres of cultivable land, from which he is now producing good crops. He is also interested in the Dayton town site, owning a half interest in a forty-acre addition thereto. His property is valuable and is being rapidly developed. He has great faith in the future of this country, and that his trust is well placed is indicated by the rapid rise in realty values and the substantial manner in which the work of agricultural and horticultural development and of stock-raising is being carried forward.