University of Arizona

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Blazer Family Papers

Dr. Joseph Hoy Blazer was a New Mexican pioneer, dentist, merchant, and sawmill owner on the Tularosa River, within what became the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation. Blazers's daughter, Emma, married Dr. John Howard Thompson, who was a physician on the Mescalero Reservation and then in El Paso, TX. Blazer's son, Armer, carried on the mill business while designing mechanical inventions and writing about local history. Armer's son, Paul, also researched local history and collected historic photographs.

The collection includes chiefly photocopies of correspondence, manuscripts, land claims, patents, machinery catalogs, and legal papers of Armer Newton Blazer; also photocopied correspondence and manuscripts of Paul Blazer, and photograph reprints. One of Armer's correspondents is the western artist and writer William R. Leigh; the letters concern historical details for his book, Littlefoot, and include his art exhibition brochures. Designs for Armer's inventions illustrate and describe the Blazer Internal-Combustion Rotary Engine (1898), the Blazer Power Wheel (1898), and the Blazer Deep-Well Pump (1910). His manuscripts on historic topics are titled Santana and Los Jirones. Also present in the material are Dr. Howard Thompson's manuscript Makers of El Paso and Paul Blazer's History of Tularosa.

Photographs in the collection include Blazer family members, the mill and homestead, views of the reservation; depicting Mescalero Indians, their homes, agency buildings and employees; and other individuals, families, and social groups in the Mescalero area. Most of the original images dated from 1870-1914. Miscellaneous documents include some of J.H. Blazer's business correspondence, and legal papers regarding stolen cattle and a shoot-out at Blazer's Mill. Emma Thompson's 1900 diary of Mexico and 1908 diary of Europe are also included in the material. Among the materials on New Mexico is William V. Morrison's file of newspaper articles and correspondence about Billy the Kid, newspaper articles about Lincoln County pioneers, and a Mescalero vocabulary, as given by Percy Bigmouth in 1932. Original materials are in possession of the Blazer family.