In December of 1885, a post office was established at a wide spot in Agua Chiquita Canyon, which was somewhat central for the area and a natural crossroads. The post office was named for W.H. Weed, a prominent White Oaks merchant, born and raised in New York City who had come to that mining town about 1882. There is no evidence that he ever visited the Agua Chiquita, but he set up a branch store there which became Weed as others built around it. The post office changed locations eight times in the next ten years.
The exact date of settlement in the Weed area is difficult to pin down. Scouts and hunters had entered the southeastern canyons of the Sacramentos as early as 1875. Cattle companies, looking for new water and grasslands, began running cattle into the mountains by 1880. The attractive qualities of the area were noted and the word was carried out by early visitors back to Texas and other states.
Albert Coe, who scouted for the Army, saw the Weed area in the 1870s and tried to settle on the Rio Penasco at the time. He soon left, got married and returned to the area in 1881, moving to Weed in 1887.
In 1881, William O. Robertson scouted the region. Upon his return to San Saba, Texas he described the mountain to his neighbors and friends and the exodus began.
In 1884, the J.W. Buckner, Dave Lewis, Bishop Fletcher and McBride families left for Mescalero and moved to Weed the following year.
By 1888, Thomas Farr Fleming, Felix Sanders and Tilman Jones had traveled from San Saba to join Richardson.
In the 1890s the Ehart, David P. Allen and J.N. Daugherty families arrived. The Daughertys were encouraged to make the move by their famous in-law, Charles Goodnight. Jacob Gregg emigrated in 1897.
Many notable citizens of the Weed area came from Texas before 1896, including G.W. Lewis and John Prather in 1884; G.E. Miller in 1886; Marion Pendergrass in 1887; the Potters, Parkers and Van Winkles in 1888; and G.W. Ivans and John Cridebring in 1895.
Other people who have been identified as being in the area by the year 1885 include Captain Wilkinson, Jim Baird, A.C. McDonald, McPherson and Biggs Booth, the Rev. John Hunter, William Ratliff, William Miller, Mary Hughes, Lucretia Miller, W.W. Davis, Amos McKeen, Frank Garst, L.W. Neatherlin, John Mack, F.E. McCleary, A.F. McEwan, D. Penrod, E.O. Thomas, W.R. Keeny, Nelson Davis, Tulk, W.J. Green, C.F. Hilton, P.G. Lemons, Wayland and sons, Washburn, Woods, Watts and Wilcox.
Most Weed settlers had traveled by wagon to the vicinity of Carlsbad, up the Peco to the mouth of the Penasco and went west to Agua Chquita Creek. Some, however, took roundabout routes to the mountains.
Thomas Day and James Wayland had both tried California before settling in the Sacramentos. Thomas W. Jones made the trip from the east to Weed via Arizona. Jesse de Prado MacMillan came to the Agua Chiquita from Scotland in 1903, stayed a few years near her cousin, Mary Tod Westlake, from Canada, and moved to California. The Munson and Calkins families traveled about before settling in the Weed area.
Weed remained the center of the region, although the surrounding communities reduced its importance after 1900, when the Federal Census showed the population of Weed to be 429 people. Weed settled into a sleepy isolation where a small, stable population of sawmillers, stockmen, farmers and merchants had developed.
Through the years, the population has declined and the Weed school, which was established in 1885 and had taken the children of the surrounding communities was closed in 1991. The students were transferred to the Cloudcroft district.
In spite of this loss and a population of only 40 people, the people of Weed have maintained a strong kinship to each other and, in June 1995, celebrated Weed’s 110th year attracting more than 1,000 visitors.
Historical information was obtained from the archives of the Sacramento historical Museum and Research Center.
CHIQUITA – SACRAMENTO, NEW MEXICO
The small mountain community of Sacramento is located fifteen miles southeast of Cloudcroft. When the area was first settled, the residents named the community Chiquita because of its location on Chiquita Creek.
The Chiquita Post Office was established on March 22, 1935. After only a month in operation, the residents decided to change the name to Sacramento. The word is Spanish meaning “the Most Blessed Sacrament,” and refers to the Holy Eucharist.
The postmaster officially changed the name of the post office on April 30, 1935.
Sadie Munson was appointed to the postmaster position on September 10, 1947. Sadie served the small community for twenty one years and died on November 21, 1968, while still the postmaster.
Patti White was installed as the acting postmaster and was appointed to the position on July 31, 1971. Patti resigned her position on June 9, 1989, and was replaced by several Officer-in-Charges (OIC).
The first to be assigned was Frances Visser. Frances served for three months and turned the office over to the second OIC, Debbie Stone. Debbie, the postmaster relief at the Weed Post office, served seventeen months before she was relieved by John Montoya on February 12, 1991.
John, a Part Time Flexible clerk from the La Luz Post Office, spent three and a half months as the acting postmaster and turned the office over to Billie Jean Jones, the High Rolls Post postmaster relief, on May 28, 1991.
The post office had been operating with acting postmasters for almost two and a half years. Finally, Billy Ellis was appointed to the postmaster position on November 16, 1991.
Billy became medically unable to perform the duties of the office and was replaced by an OIC. Again, on August 17, 1995, Frances Visser was placed in charge of the Sacramento Post office.
Postmaster Appointment Date
Elizabeth Wasson March 22, 1935
J. David Allen (act) November 19, 1943
Lillie Louise Riley April 15, 1944
Sadie C. Munson September 10, 1947
Patti B. (White) Brady December 31, 1968
Frances M. Visser (OIC) June 9, 1989
Debbie Stone (OIC) September 9, 1989
John R. Montoya (OIC) February 12, 1991
Billie Jean Jones (OIC) May 28, 1991
Billy Joe Ellis November 16, 1991
Frances M. Visser (OIC) August 17, 1995
Frances M. Visser (PMA) March 10, 1994
Many thanks for the information on Chiquita-Sacramento. I enclose photocopies of the different types of postmarks that I have, used before January 1st, 1988
Below are two of the postmarks – the photocopy is poor on the Chiquita one, but legible.
Many thanks to Fran Visser, for submitting these items detailing the past in Sacramento. Fran received the CHIQUITA-SACRAMENTO document from the Postal Service, some years past. Subsequently, when Dr. Thomas Todsen, of Las Cruces, asked for information about the area to assist in his collection of postal cancellations, Fran was able to forward the document to him. You’ll see by Dr. Todsen’s handwritten response, he was grateful for the information, and he sent Fran the pictured cancellations stamps: from 1988, 1935 (when the area was called Chiquita), 1944, 1957, 1965, &1974.