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William J. Weatherby papers

Identifier: Ms-0070

Scope and Contents

The William J. Weatherby (1870-Sept. 1929) Family Papers consist of the personal and business papers of an Alma, New Mexico, mining and ranching couple. The bulk of the correspondence to Mrs. William Weatherby (Laura) is personal, and covers the years 1900-1911. The majority of the correspondence to William J. Weatherby concerns the promotion and development of various mines near Cooney, New Mexico, and covers in bulk several distinct time periods: 1900-1901; 1905; and 1909-1910. The correspondence to Laura Weatherby is from family and friends, most of whom lived on ranches in the Silver City-Mogollon, New Mexico area. Principal correspondents are: Hugh and May McKeen (Laura’s brother and his wife); Ida McMahan Morgan (Laura’s sister); Mollie Metcalfe; William Weatherby’s father and sister Laura from Swedesboro, New Jersey; and his sister Mame from California. Another correspondent is Elizabeth B. Saunders from Binghamton, New York, a friend and investor in William Weatherby’s business deals. These letters give glimpses of ranch life in the years 1900-1911 in southwestern New Mexico and eastern Arizona. They also contain some comments on mining developments and gossip about Silver City people and Mogollon ranch people. Most of the correspondence to William J. Weatherby concerns the problems of developing and running various mining properties in the Mogollon Mountains in the Cooney Mining District. Although these papers cover the period 1896 to 1919, the bulk fall into three periods. First, the papers for 1900-1901 contain general business correspondence. One of the major correspondents was William S. Jones when he was representing Weatherby’s interests in Scranton, Pennsylvania. An important correspondent in Mr. Cooney, brother of James Cooney and developer of the first silver mine in Cooney Mining District. Many individuals named in correspondence for this period become active correspondents in 1905. The next large bulk of material is for the period April-November 1905. During this time William Weatherby was in the East promoting the sale of stocks and bonds of the Mogollon Mountain Investment Company in an attempt to finance a mill and various mines. Some of the mines mentioned in the Cooney Mining District are: “Last Chance,” “Little Fannie,” “Deadwood,” “Little Charley,” and “Abe Lincoln Mine.” Weatherby was also deeply involved in the Mogollon Gold and Copper Company. Significant correspondents at this time are A. H. Harllee, Thomas Cooney, M. J. Ryan, T. J. Curran, and Morgan Davis, Jr. The letters received from H. A. Hoover, Weatherby’s ranch manager in 1905, provide interesting details about crops and weather in the Cooney area of New Mexico. The third large segment of papers is for the years 1909-1910. These are letters sent and received concerning the development of the Fruitland Coal District. Principal correspondents are Judge Charles Blanchard and Fayette A. Jones. The arrangement of folders within folders is in chronological order.


  • 1870-1929

Biographical / Historical

William J. Weatherby’s family lived in Swedesboro, New Jersey. He attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Before January 1899 he was an assayer and mining engineer.


1.25 Linear Feet (4 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Papers of William J. Weatherby and his wife, Laura Weatherby, an Alma, New Mexico, couple involved in mining and ranching operations. The collection consists primarily of correspondence, most of it relating to the promotion and development of various mines in the Mogollon Mountains near Cooney, New Mexico. Other correspondence is of a personal nature and provides a glimpse into turn-of-the century ranch life. Some legal papers, reports and printed material are also included.

Processing Information

Margaret Thwaites, 1977 Lynda MacKichen, 1979 Finding aid revised by Linda Blazer and Andrea Conners, 2000 Finding aid revised by Rick Hendricks, 2008 Finding aid revised by Jennifer Olguin and Baylee Russo
Guide to the William J. Weatherby papers
Margaret Thwaites, 1977 Lynda MacKichen, 1979 Finding aid revised by Linda Blazer and Andrea Conners, 2000 Finding aid revised by Rick Hendricks, 2008
Updated in 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Revision Statements

  • 2008: Finding aid revised by Rick Hendricks, 2008

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