Public Art & Murals
John Chisum Sculpture
The following information is provided from the sign located near the statue: John Simpson Chisum 1824-1884 "Cattle King of the Pecos" John S. Chisum, a western icon, is generally recognized as the early West's most prominent cattleman. In the mid-1870s, Chisum was the largest cattle producer in the nation, with as many as 80,000 longhorn steers in his herd. Beginning as a youthful cattle owner in eastern Texas, he soon became recognized as a "cattle baron" increasing his herd and influence as he moved west. In 1867, he brought his first herd to New Mexico Territory on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, later partnering with Goodnight for several years. He established headquarters on the Pecos River at Bosque Grande between Fort Sumner and Roswell, claiming a range from Fort Sumner south 150 miles to Seven Rivers, near present-day Carlsbad. In 1875, he moved his headquarters to South Springs at the southern edge of Roswell village. In spite of Indian raids, rustling gangs, drought and occasional floods, Chisum's holdings prospered. It is said that during the 12 years of his greatest activity, he moved more than 300,00 head of cattle to markets north and east and to Indian reservations throughout the region. He was a fringe participant in the Lincoln County War and associate and close friend to John Tunstall, the first casualty in the conflict and Alex McSween, one of the last. He first befriended Billy the Kid, then together with Roswell's J.C. Lea, selected Pat Garrett to rid the area of the Kid. One of the West's consummate cattlemen, he helped develop both modern cattle breeds and the fledgling town of Roswell. The larger than life size bronze sculpture was created by artist Robert T. Summers and installed in 1999.
Main Street | Roswell, NM
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