Beautiful issued certificate #57 from the El Capitan Land and Cattle Company
printed in the 1885. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of a bull. The certificate is signed by the company's President, Melvin Emyor Richardson. The issued certificates from this company are very hard to find. Cut in margin below signature, but doesn't affect signature.
Melvin Emyor Richardson (1851-1923) was one of the founders of El Capitan Land and Cattle Company, later known as the Block Ranch, in central New Mexico in 1885. The ranching family had holdings in Lincoln County and Otero County, New Mexico including Three Rivers, Tres Ritos, and Spencer ranches. They owned several cattle companies including El Capitan Land and Cattle Company, El Capitan Live Stock Company, Tres Ritos Ranch Company, Three Rivers Land and Livestock Company, Quatro Amigos Cattle Company, and Carrizozo Cattle Ranch Company.
Andrew McNeely RICHARDSON (1843-1905), Melvin Emyor Richardson(1851-1923), and Granville Addison Richardson (1860-1937), sons of John Richardson and Louisa DeLany, were all born in Hopedale, Ohio and all came to Lincoln County in the late 1800's. Granville was the first to travel to the New Mexico Territory, reaching Lincoln, New Mexico in September of 1886. He set up his law practice there and remained for two years before moving to Roswell and becoming its pioneer lawyer. (An Illustrated History of New Mexico, The Lewis Publishing Co: 1895). He helped write the New Mexico Constitution by which the Territory became a state in 1912. He was elected District Judge of the Fifth Judicial District in 1914 and again in 1927. He served as mayor of Roswell from 1908 to 1910, and the citizens of Roswell recognized him for his many achievements by naming Richardson Avenue in his honor. (Little Town West of the Pecos, C. S. Adams: 1909) He was born in Hopedale, Ohio on January 5, 1860. He married Miss Nina Evert on November 22, 1893.
They had one son, Donovan McNeely Richardson, born in 1894. Granville passed away on July 26, 1934 in Boston, Massachusetts. Nina Richardson died on September 14, 1940. Andrew McNeely Richardson arrived in Lincoln County in 1878, having traveled from his family's farm in Pettis County, Missouri. He settled at the foot of the Capitan Mountains in Lincoln County and worked as a sheep herder.
Two years later, his brother Melvin followed him from Missouri to Lincoln County and joined him in the sheep raising business. (A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol.II, The Lewis Publishing Co.: 1902)
Both brothers are listed in the 1880 New Mexico census with Andrew residing in Rio Penasco and Melvin at Las Tablas. Melvin married Miss Alice DeLany of Hopedale, Ohio in 1884. On March 21, 1885, the two brothers, together with Melvin's father-in-law, John C. DeLany, Charles S. Thurber and Horace K. Thurber, associated themselves as a body corporate under the name of El Capitan Land and Cattle Company of New Mexico. (Articles of Incorporation dated 3/21/1885). The main headquarters was located at the Block Ranch in Lincoln County. Andrew married Benina Maria Lucero of Las Tablas in 1887. He was elected Justice of the Peace for Precinct 6 of Lincoln County New Mexico and on 3 February 1890 posted bond for this office. (Peace Bond dated 2/3/1890).
On Christmas Day of 1893, Melvin and his family moved to Sterling, Kansas but continued his association with the sheep business. On November 8, 1894 Andrew, Melvin, and Horace K. Thurber formed a second association by the name of The Capitan Sheep Company. (Articles of Incorporation dated 11/8/1894). On April 3, 1895 the Richardson Post Office was established with Andrew Richardson serving as one of its postmasters. (Old Timer's Review, fall 1979) An agreement made on the 6th day of June, 1900 between the associates of El Capitan Land and Cattle Company sold the shares to Nancy Thurber. Andrew and his family remained in Lincoln County where he was appointed postmaster of the Arabella post office on 15 February 1901. (Old Timer's Review, fall 1979).
Andrew had changed the name of Las Tablas to Arabella in honor of the daughter of one of the townsmen after his appointment. There Andrew and Benina raised a family of 7 children: Jose, Bonefacia, Edward, Thomas, Granville, Lavenia, and Melvin. The family is listed in the 1900 and 1910 New Mexico Census living in Agua Azul. Andrew died in December,1906 and is buried in Sterling, Kansas next to his brother Melvin, who died in 1923. (Cottonwood Cemetery records) Andrew's son, Granville began raising his own family in Arabella before moving to Hondo, New Mexico. He was a lifelong resident of Lincoln County who died in 1963. Many of his descendants have remained in Lincoln County settling in the villages of Ruidoso, Capitan and Hondo.