By Stephen Bogener
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Extra resources for Ditches Across the Desert: Irrigation in the Lower Pecos Valley
He met regularly at his home with a group of conservative Republicans that called themselves the SOPC, or School of Philosophy Club. Over the years the group included Senators William B. Allison of Iowa, Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island, Eugene Hale of Maine, 34 ditches across the desert Francis G. Tracy, about . Trained as a lawyer, Tracy came to the Pecos Valley from Long Island, New York, in . He immediately began working for the Pecos Irrigation and Investment Company. A tireless promoter of irrigation in the valley long after private initiative had failed, Tracy was a true crusader, badgering federal reclamationists to provide additional storage and improvements to the irrigation system around Carlsbad well into the twentieth century.
Our train consisting of twelve wagons, loaded with people, provisions and camp equipage, rolled out from Toyah one bright September morning, forcibly reminding one of a caravan entering the desert. Our first camp was at Screwbean, where we pitched our tents and spent the night. The next night we reached the ranch of C. B. Eddy, known as Halaguen[o] just across the river, north of this city [Eddy], where we were most hospitably entertained. From there we went on to Roswell. We spent about two weeks in all in looking over the Valley.
James Hagerman and Richard Bolles were major shareholders in the operation. Hagerman’s Colorado Midland Railroad conveniently skirted much of the mining activity in Aspen. (Courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, W. H. 144 Initially, Hagerman intended to invest modestly in the Pecos irrigation project, but eventually the project consumed his resources. 146 Sometime between , when he finished the Midland to Aspen railroad, and , when he sold it, Hagerman traveled to the Pecos Valley at the request of Robert Weems Tansill, who lived in Colorado Springs at the time.
Ditches Across the Desert: Irrigation in the Lower Pecos Valley by Stephen Bogener
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