Welcome to the official site for the City of Roswell, New Mexico. This website has been developed for you, our citizens, businesses, and visitors. Located in Chaves County, Roswell is a growing city that is home to a thriving population of almost 50,000 residents. Roswell is well known not only for aliens, but for their hospitality in welcoming new businesses (while supporting existing ones) and visitors alike!
When it comes to history, few New Mexico cities have the rich heritage of Roswell. The first non-indigenous settlers of the area around Roswell were a group of pioneers from Missouri, who attempted to start a settlement 15 miles southwest of what is now Roswell in 1865 but were forced to abandon the site because of a lack of water. Van C. Smith, a businessman from Omaha, Nebraska, and his partner, Aaron Wilburn, constructed two adobe buildings in 1869 that began what is now Roswell. Van C. Smith was the son of Roswell Smith, a prominent lawyer in Lafayette, Indiana, and Annie Ellsworth, daughter of U.S. Patent Commissioner Henry Leavitt Ellsworth. He called the town Roswell, after his father's first name. The two buildings became the settlement's general store, post office, and sleeping quarters for paying guests. Capt. Joseph C. Lea first platted Roswell in 1885 and brought stability to the area after the trials of the Lincoln County War. In 1890, a vast artesian water supply was discovered beneath Roswell and ditches were dug to divert the water into vegetable fields. In 1891, the town of Roswell was incorporated.
Roswell has been the home to New Mexico Military Institute since 1891. This four year high school and two year junior college has been the breeding ground for many, many talented young men and women in our city, our state, and our nation. Among its most notable graduates are Conrad Hilton, Roger Staubach, and Sam Donaldson. Will Rogers, who once said that Roswell was the prettiest little town west of the Pecos, had a son who also went to NMMI. This school contributed to New Mexico becoming a state in 1912. It also holds a long history of appointing its graduates to West Point and other military academies, as well as important appointments in our nation's illustrious military forces.
The All-America City of Roswell's objective is to continue to provide our citizens with the best quality of life achievable. It is our goal to provide quality, cost-effective services to the corporate and residential citizens of Roswell. Our website will help meet this objective.
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