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The Roswell daily record. [volume] : (Roswell, N.M.) 1903-current
Place of publication:
Roswell, N.M.
Geographic coverage:
  • Roswell, Chaves, New Mexico  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
[H.E.M. Bear]
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. [143] (Sept. 1, 1903)-
Daily (except Sat.)
  • English
  • Chaves County (N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • New Mexico--Chaves County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01210042
  • New Mexico--Roswell.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01210823
  • Roswell (N.M.)--Newspapers.
  • Also on microfilm: El Paso, Tex. : Southwest Micropublishing, Inc.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Semiweekly ed.: Roswell record, June 13, 1911-<Oct. 21, 1913>.
  • Weekly ed.: Roswell record, 1903-June 9, 1911.
sn 86063823
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The Roswell daily record. [volume] September 1, 1903 , Image 1


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The Roswell Daily Record

In 1869, Van C. Smith and his partner, Aaron O. Wilburn, came west from Omaha and settled in Chaves County, New Mexico, at the intersection of Rio Hondo and Pecos Rivers. They built two adobe buildings, a general store, and an inn for travelers. Local Hispanic residents called this site Rio Hondo, for the stream. In 1872, Smith renamed his establishment Roswell, after his father, Roswell Smith. Smith also pointed out that mail addressed to Rio Hondo could be delivered anywhere along the long stream and would be delayed. A post office was established in 1873, with Smith as postmaster, and the name Roswell was formalized and has remained ever since.

A trading center and the largest town in the Pecos Valley, Roswell was the scene of several journalistic battles between 1900 and 1912. In August 1902, C.E. Mason and H.F.M. Bear, brother-in-laws, bought the weekly Roswell Morning Record. The origins of this newspaper go back to 1891 when the semiweekly Roswell Record was launched. Sometimes called the Roswell Record or the Morning Record, it competed with two other Roswell weeklies. In March 1903, each of the three papers began to issue a daily tabloid. Encouraged by long-term advertising contracts from Roswell merchants, the Record endured, despite its competitors. Soon, Mason and Bear bought out their rivals and subscribed to the Associated Press service. The Record was the first Democratic newspaper in the territory and the voice of the Democratic Party in eastern New Mexico.

The Roswell Daily Record debuted on September 1, 1903, proclaiming, "Roswell will miss her morning paper but will soon become used to having her daily news served in the afternoon." Bear, its college-trained editor, had helped improve the territorial press corps in New Mexico. He published the newspaper at the Record Publishing Company. A daily copy of the Record cost $15 per week and $60 per month. If paid in advance, the subscription rate was $50 per month, $3 for six months, and $5 per year. A Spanish-language companion paper, El Registro de Roswell ("Roswell Record") appeared in 1911-12.

Territorial Democrats strongly endorsed statehood for New Mexico, which was finally achieved in 1912. Over one hundred territorial papers supported ratification of the new constitution, while only about sixteen were opposed. Many liberal Democratic papers adopted the attitude of the Roswell Daily Record which wrote "The rejection of statehood by a very narrow margin would be a fatal error for New Mexico. It would be a setback, it would require years to overcome, and the ground lost would not be regained in time to benefit thousands now living in this country." It went on to state, "The Roswell Daily Record wants statehood because we want the privilege of minding our own business." In efforts to curtail the votes of Spanish-Americans, however, papers such as the Roswell Tribune asked for a poll tax, and even the Record maintained that educational qualifications for voting should be imposed. TheRoswell Daily Record remains in operation today.

Provided by: University of New Mexico