Old Roswell: No country for women and dogs

August 3, 2013 • Local News

Dogs and women did not fare well in old Roswell. Marshal Robert E. Maddux, 1899-1902, was given a salary of $75 a month. When hired, he was given specific instructions to kill every unlicensed dog and arrest every female who was intoxicated, entered a saloon, a gambling house or dressed in an immoderate fashion. The women targeted by the original ordinance did not necessarily include those who were prostitutes.

The language of the ordinances about dogs is suggestive. The charge leveled against people who did not pay license fees was “harboring illegal dogs,” which indicates that the dogs were criminal and not the owner, who failed to obtain the required licenses and tags. It was the owner, though, who paid the fines, which also revealed a gender bias.

The fines listed in 1915 for a harboring an unlicensed male dog were $1; a female dog, $2.

Richard Lucero, past president of the Historical Society of Southeast New Mexico, noted that men who were seen in the company of “lewd or Login to read more

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