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Katherine D. Stoes papers

Identifier: Ms-0208

Scope and Contents

The Katherine D. Stoes papers is arranged into seven series: Personal, Correspondence, Legal Documents, Literary Works, Printed Material, Maps, and Photographs. The personal series contains genealogical records of Katherine’s ancestral lines. The correspondence series contains both personal and business letters to and from Katherine and Henry Stoes. The legal documents series contains items such as marriage and divorce licenses, and deeds. The literary work series contains a manuscript subseries and a research notes subseries. The manuscript subseries contains manuscripts written by Katherine and others. The research notes subseries complied by Katherine which is comprised of information pertaining to people, places and things of New Mexico and the surrounding areas. The printed material series contains newspapers, magazines and Shalam Colony newsletters, calendars etc. The maps series contains one copy of a map of Fort Selden from 1886. The photographs series contains a prints subseries and negatives subseries. Both subseries comprise images of people, places and things of New Mexico and the surrounding areas.


  • 1940 - 1990

Conditions Governing Access

Open. All materials in this collection are available for research under supervised conditions in the Research Room.

Biographical / Historical

Katherine D. Stoes (born Katherine Doughty), in Lake City, Minnesota in 1872 and was the daughter to John Colemen Doughty and Mary Caroline Herron. After the death of her mother, Katherine and her father relocated to Mesilla, New Mexico. After several years in residing in Las Cruces, Katherine returned to Minnesota where she was educated. After receiving formal education, she made her way back to the Mesilla Valley to teach at Las Cruces High School, New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts and served on the Board of Regents. She was also elected as County Superintendent of Schools for several terms. Along with holding various positions within the educational system, Katherine had a passion for history especially for the Mesilla Valley. Katherine was considered a pioneer resident and civic leader of Las Cruces and was known as the local historian. During Katherine’s lifetime, she lived through many historical events that shaped the Mesilla Valley and later on wrote and kept her own research files about the notable occurrences. Since she was well informed and was interested in the history of the area, historians and locals would inquire research assistance from Katherine due to her vast knowledge of the region. Considering she had a passion for the region’s history, she often wrote articles for local weekly papers and the New Mexico Historical Review. Along being an avid historian, Mrs. Stoes was active within the community and she was involved in various civic organizations such as the Women’s Improvement Association and the Old Museum Society, known now as Branigan Memorial Library. On a personal note, Katherine married Henry Stoes in 1899 and in the early 1900 they had two sons, Phillip and Paul. Henry owned and operated a general mercantile store in Las Cruces until his retirement from the business in 1932. Years after his retirement in 1943, Henry passed away due to heart complications and fourteen years later in 1957, Katherine died at the age of 85 as is buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Las Cruces, NM.


30 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Katherine D. Stoes was a well-known authority on New Mexico history. The collection includes her manuscripts, research files and photographs pertaining to the Mesilla Valley history. The bulk of the collection includes subject research files such as notes, newspaper clippings, photographs and other related materials pertaining to the region.

Related Materials

Wallace Perry Papers. Ms 0009. New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.
Elias E. Day Letter. Ms 0011 SC. New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.
John B. Newbrough. Oahspe, and Faithists; Calendar. Ms 0211. Ms New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Isabel Lopez and Shane Saenz, under the direction of Jennifer Olguin, (February, 2019).
Guide to the Katherine D. Stoes papers
Finding aid by Jennifer Olguin
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