Episodes in New Mexico History, 1892-1969
By William A. Keleher
Facsimile of the 1969 Edition with a New Foreword by Marc Simmons and Preface by Michael L. Keleher
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William A. Keleher always had an active curiosity and this made him an outstanding newspaperman and an indefatigable researcher of historical events. It led him into many intellectual adventures that resulted in a whole series of books of New Mexicana. In this personal narrative, he gives readers a glimpse behind the scenes of his career not only as a writer but as a lawyer. The pages of this last book are full of rich anecdotes and little-known episodes involving such men as Governor Clyde Tingley, Senator Bronson Cutting, Elfego Baca, and Senator Dennis Chavez. Here is the story of how a bank was saved, how political careers were initiated and blocked, the story of an editor who wrote the editorials on both sides of an important question for the competing newspapers, previously unpublished stories about Eugene Manlove Rhodes, and how Elfego Baca collected an insurance settlement. There is also the account of Franz Huning, whose “castle” was partly in New Albuquerque, partly in Old Albuquerque, and a story of visiting the Old Town jail to see an Albuquerque editor serving a term for contempt. Like his other books, Memoirs is essential for anyone interested in the history and culture of the American Southwest.
William A. Keleher (1886-1972) observed first hand the changing circumstances of people and places of New Mexico. Born in Lawrence, Kansas, he arrived in Albuquerque two years later, with his parents and two older brothers. The older brothers died of diphtheria within a few weeks of their arrival. As an adult, Keleher worked for more than four years as a Morse operator, and later as a reporter on New Mexico newspapers. Bidding a reluctant farewell to newspaper work, Keleher studied law at Washington & Lee University and started practicing law in 1915. He was recognized as a successful attorney, being honored by the New Mexico State Bar as one of the outstanding Attorneys of the Twentieth Century. One quickly observes from his writings, and writings about him, that he lived a fruitful and exemplary life. He is also the author of Turmoil in New Mexico, Violence in Lincoln County, Maxwell Land Grant, and The Fabulous Frontier, all from Sunstone Press.
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