Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Artesia in Eddy County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

First Lady of Artesia

 
 
First Lady of Artesia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, April 27, 2014
1. First Lady of Artesia Marker
Inscription.
Dedicated
to the
Spirit of the Pioneer Woman

Sculptor: Robert Summers
Foundry: Eagle Bronze


First Lady of Artesia is approximately 12 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter. The artist designed Sallie Chisum from several photographs taken of her throughout her life. Because photographs did not show adequate detail of her clothing, the artist designed her clothes from images in a 1902 Sears catalog, a place Sallie may have shopped.

The children in the sculpture are based on two children seen in a 1908 photograph of school children on the playground at Artesia's original Central School. The book Sallie holds was published years after her encounters with Billy the Kid, but reflects their brief history. The book is titled "An Authentic Life of Billy the Kid – The Noted Desperado of the Southwest." Its cover also notes the author: "By Pat Garrett, the Sheriff of Lincoln County at Whose Hands He Was Killed." The dime novel was published in 1882.

Queen of the Jinglebob
The niece of famed cattleman John Chisum, Sallie Chisum moved to her uncle's Jinglebob Ranch in Southeast New Mexico with her father and brothers after her mother died in 1877. There she became an experienced horsewoman and learned the skills of a rancher. Because her uncle never
First Lady of Artesia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, April 27, 2014
2. First Lady of Artesia Marker
married, she also cared for the home and family. She eventually married William Robert, her uncle's accountant, and had two surviving children. Because of her skill and charm, she became known as Queen of the Jinglebob.

Angel of Mercy
After a failed marriage, Sallie Chisum filed a homestead and drilled the first artesian water well in 1890 within the boundaries of present day Artesia. Sallie was one of the first traders in the real estate market in Artesia, established and operated Artesia's first post office with her second husband, and, after a second divorce, ran a boarding house for railroad immigrants and travelers to the area. She was a businesswoman, caregiver to the sick and ailing, and a companion to children, although her own children were taken by their father to Europe. During her years of service to the community of Artesia, she often was called the Angel of Mercy.

First Lady of Artesia
The third of three homes built by Sallie Chisum in Artesia remains on Texas Avenue and is listed on the National Trust for Historic Places. Sallie Chisum left Artesia in 1919 and, after a brief stay in California, settled in Roswell where she made her home until she died in 1934. Her accomplishments in Artesia as an entrepreneur, developer and woman led her to be known posthumously as First Lady of Artesia.

Billy the Kid
Sallie
First Lady of Artesia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, April 27, 2014
3. First Lady of Artesia Marker
Chisum's early years on the Jinglebob included visits from the infamous William H. Bonney, also known as Billy the Kid. Although often on the run, The Kid was known to travel miles on horseback just to visit the young and striking Sallie on the Jinglebob Ranch. She made mention of Billy the Kid in her diaries, once noting that he brought her candies.
 
Erected by Artesia Main Street, Inc.
 
Location. 32° 50.526′ N, 104° 23.972′ W. Marker is in Artesia, New Mexico, in Eddy County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street and South 3rd Street, on the right when traveling east on West Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Artesia NM 88210, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Independent Spirit (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Derrick Floor (approx. ¼ mile away); Castaño de Sosa’s Route (approx. 2.3 miles away); Artesia (approx. 3.7 miles away); a different marker also named Artesia (approx. 8.3 miles away); Seven Rivers Cemetery (approx. 8.3 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps (approx. 10.1 miles away).
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
First Lady of Artesia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, April 27, 2014
4. First Lady of Artesia Marker
First Lady of Artesia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, April 27, 2014
5. First Lady of Artesia Marker
First Lady of Artesia image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, April 27, 2014
6. First Lady of Artesia
First Lady of Artesia image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, April 27, 2014
7. First Lady of Artesia
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 4, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 454 times since then and 87 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 4, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement