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Red River Valley Company records

Identifier: Ms-0005

Scope and Contents

Records consist of four large ledgers which contain cattle, sheep, horse and mule tallies, and an abstract of title for the property.


  • 1898-1947

Biographical / Historical

1824 One of the largest land grants in New Mexico was awarded to Pablo Montoya. 1860s John S. Watts, a Santa Fe lawyer, handled the confirmation applied for by Montoya’s heirs after New Mexico became a United States Territory, and took a large part of the Grant as his legal fee; he also acquired another Mexican grant, the Baca Location Number Two. 1870 Watts sold most of the property, an area of about 20 by 30 miles, to Wilson Waddingham, who added a strip of land near Fort Bascom. 1875 Waddingham first registered the Bell brand for livestock on March 15; the brand was inspired by a bell-shaped mountain on the property. 1890s Waddingham went broke. 1898 E. G. Stoddard of New Haven, Connecticut, founded the Red River Valley Company, a closed corporation, to buy the Bell Ranch. 1923 Stoddard died and Julius Day, his cousin, became president of the Red River Valley Company. 1946 Bell Ranch was sold to Albert K. Mitchell, Edward Springer, and Harry Leonard “to convert all assets of the Red River Valley Company into cash and to liquidate the company.” (David Remley, Bell Ranch, University of New Mexico Press, 1993, p. 301.) 1947 Bell Ranch was divided into six ranches that were sold to separate parties: 1) Mrs. Jessie Ellwood Chappell; 2) George L. Simms and John L. Hill; 3) Clara K. Hoover; 4) Sam C. Arnett and Sam C. Arnett, Jr.; 5) the Leonard Oil Company; and 6) Mrs. Harriet E. Keeney. She bought the headquarters and the Bell brand.

Managers of the Bell Ranch 1870 - 1893 Michael Slater 1893 - 1898 Arthur J. Tisdall 1898 - 1933 Charles M. O’Donel 1933 - 1947 Albert K. Mitchell 1947 - 1970 George F. Ellis 1970 - 1986 Don D. Hofman


6 Linear Feet (2 oversized boxes) : Box 3 of 3 missing

Language of Materials



Closed corporation founded to buy the Bell Ranch, a ranch of more than 700,000 acres in eastern San Miguel County about 50 miles northwest of Tucumcari, New Mexico. Records consist of four large ledgers which contain cattle, sheep, horse and mule tallies, and an abstract of title for the property.

Related Materials

Red River Valley Company. Records, 1865-1947. 222 boxes. Mss 86 BC. Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico Library, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Processing Information

Austin Hoover, 1976 Finding aid revised, 1999, by Linda Blazer and Andrea Conners.
Guide to the Red River Valley Company records
Austin Hoover, Linda Blazer and Andrea Conners
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA