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Stephen W. Dorsey Collection

Identifier: AC 066

Scope and Content

Collection consists of deeds and land conveyances from Colfax County (photocopies), docket sheet from Dorsey's 1875 bankruptcy case in Arkansas. Original documents include Dorsey's military service record, the 1888 certificate of incorporation for Dorsey's Sierra Grande Ranch Company, and an undated typed description of the Chico Springs Resort Hotel (formerly the Dorsey Mansion). Collection also includes correspondence with officials from New Mexico State Monuments about the use (and restauration) of the Dorsey Mansion as a state monument.


  • 1861-1977

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions


Copy Restrictions

Duplication allowed for research purposes. User responsible for all copyright compliance.

Some materials may not be photocopied due to poor condition.

Biographical Information

Dorsey was born in Benson, Vermont, in 1842 and moved to Oberlin, Ohio when he was about 17 years old. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the First Ohio Light Artillery and achieved the rank of Colonel. After the war he returned to Ohio and became president of the Sandusky Tool Company. By 1870 he had moved to Arkansas and had gained the presidency of the Arkansas Central Railway. In 1873, Dorsey was elected to the U.S. Senate from that state and became Secretary of the Republican Party under President Garfield.

In 1877, Dorsey began a ranching empire in New Mexico. He began construction of his mansion in Colfax County near the Santa Fe Trail during that year. The mansion was two and a half stories and was built of logs. In about 1883, he added the formal stone portion. During the early 1880's, Dorsey was involved in the Star Route Mail Fraud and was indicted with several others who comprised the Dorsey Combine. He was acquitted with the help of his lawyer, Robert G. Ingersoll (the Great Agnostic). The Dorsey fortune declined after the scandal and he sold the mansion in 1892. From New Mexico Dorsey went on to various questionable business dealings in Arizona, Colorado and Los Angeles, California where he died in 1916.


.5 Linear Feet

Separated Material

Oversize items have been transferred to the map room.


Contact Information

  1. Fray Angélico Chávez History Library
  2. The Palace of the Governors
  3. P.O. Box 2087
  4. Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-2087, U.S.A.
  5. Phone: (+)505.476.5090
  6. Fax: (+)505.476.5093
  7. Email:
  8. URL:


Guide to the Stephen W. Dorsey Collection, 1861-1977
Edited Full Draft
Processed by Library Staff
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//Museum of New Mexico::Fray Angelico Chavez History Library//TEXT (US::NmSM::AC 066::Stephen W. Dorsey Collection)//EN" "nmsm1ac066.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library Repository

Fray Angélico Chávez History Library
New Mexico History Museum
113 Lincoln Ave
Sante Fe NM 87501 USA
(505) 476-5090