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Mary Grossetete Diary

Identifier: MSS-902-SC

Scope and Content

The collection consists of a holographic diary written by Mary Grossetete Landon, a typed transcription of the diary, and a partial typed diary written by her granddaughter. The granddaughter’s diary outlines some of the family genealogy.

Mary Landon’s diary provides first-hand insight into the desperation and hardships of frontier and pioneer life in Catron County. Drought, poverty, lack of food, hungry children, harsh winters, and the constant struggle to “make it" are described in detail. Hunting for prehistoric pots to sell, catching skunks and foxes to sell the skins, killing cattle that did not belong to them for meat, and planting seeds for a garden were among the subsistence measures necessary for survival.


Landon, Susan. “Reporter’s Roots Found at Creek." Albuquerque Journal: 4/10/1977.

Bryan, Howard. True Tales of the American Southwest. Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers, 1998.

Westphall, Victor. Thomas Benton Catron and his Era. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1973.


  • 1893-1895, 2007
  • Majority of material found within 1893-1895


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research. Due to the fragility of the original diary, researchers are urged to use the typed transcription.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biography / History

Family matriarch, Clothilde Grossetete came to America from France. She made her way from Kansas to Gallo Springs and Apache Creek, New Mexico. Her daughter, Marie Adele (Mary), born in Frenchville, PA on January 15, 1859, followed her mother to New Mexico four years later. Mary Grossetete married Charles Martin Landon, who later abandoned her. She and most of the 5 children she raised on her own ended up living in Albuquerque, NM, where Mary died on June 7, 1949.


1 Folder


The collection centers on Mary Grossete Landon’s diary, providing first-hand insight into the desperation and hardships of frontier and pioneer life in Catron County in the late nineteenth century.

Related Archival Material

Pioneers Oral History collection. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico
Finding aid of the Mary Grossetete Diary, 1893-1895, 2007
B. Silbergleit
© 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131