Morgan Nelson and his daughter in the cotton fields. (Courtesy Photo)
About to celebrate his 94th birthday, Morgan Nelson retains an almost encyclopedic knowledge about Roswell, Chaves County and New Mexico. His library contains some 30 to 40 notebooks full of information that he has compiled and written about every subject, from the history of his own First Baptist Church — the good, the bad and the not-so-good — and the state utilities and water commissions on which he served. He still is a member of the Chaves County Flood Commission. On Wednesday, when the Berrendo burst its banks, flooding Main Street, cutting north from south and leaving people stranded, Nelson received updates from across the county.
He also has written books about East Grand Plains and his birthplace of Cottonwood. Born in 1919, he remembers his first trip into Roswell when he rode with an aunt and a cousin in a buggy. The Roswell of those days he recalls as being full of trees, when the rivers and creeks ran without restraint.
Nelson has not published any of his own books, but he plans to turn the text over to the Historical Society of Southeast New Mexico archives. However, he has published one book, a history of Roswell, written by Lucius Dills, who, along with J.D. Lea, founded the Roswell Record in 1891. Morgan found the manuscript in the Historical Society Archives and decided to have the text printed without corrections.
Nelson released the book as a limited edition and the proceeds went to the Historical Society. Login to read more