People & Place Awards

Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame Award recognizes an individual who is known for exceptional contributions to the preservation of the history and culture of the Mesilla Valley. The contribution should be of a substantial nature and be evidenced by enduring and observable worth to the Do–a Ana County Historical Society and the community at large. The award may be awarded posthumously. Selection by the Society Board of Directors should be guided by the strict adherence to the preservation, history, and cultural aspects of the award description.   

1964    Elizabeth Fountain Armendariz 
1965    Herbert Watts Yeo
1966    General Hugh M. Milton II
1967    Helen Pauline Caffey
1968    George Adlai Feather
1969    Katherine Dougherty Stoes
1970    Fabian Garcia

1971    William & Minnie Sutherland
1972    Hunter & Edith Lewis
1973    Louis E. Freudenthal
1974    Opal Lee Shore Priestley
1975    Harriett Hanson McGuire
1976    Edmund & Aileen Shannon
1977    The Day Sisters
1978    Keith Humphries
1979    Ira G. Clark, Jr.
1980    Eva Pendleton Henderson

1981    Margaret Page Hood
1982    The Cox Family
1983    Carmen Freudenthal
1984    Mary D. and J. Paul Taylor
1985    Herman Weisner
1986    Ilka Feather Minter
1987    Calvin Lee Traylor
1988    Leon Metz
1989   Lee & Christine Myers

1990   Michael R. Taylor

1991   Patrick Beckett

1992   Louis Ray Sadler

1993   Bradley Blake

1994   Jesse Scroggs

1995   Alice Wilbur Gruver

1996   Gerald W. Thomas

1997   William P. Stevens

1998   Archie Beckett

1999   Austin Hoover

2000   Gordon Owen

2001   Charles Miles

2002   Karl Laumbach

2003   Eva Jane Matson

2004   Bob Pick

2005   George Helfrich

2006   Jo Tice and John Porter Bloom

2007   Donna Eichstaedt

2008   Dr. Jon Hunner

2009   Charlotte Ann Priestley

2010   Marcie Palmer

2011   Allan Holmes

2012   not awarded

2013   Sally Kading

2014   not awarded

2015   Toni Laumbach

2015   Heather Pollard

2016   Doyle Piland

2017   John Smith

2018   Deb Dennis
2019   Peter Kopp

2020   Jean Fulton

2021   Susan Kreuger

2022   David Soules

2023   Darren Court


Heritage Award
The Heritage Award is given to a person or persons whose actions or deeds have contributed to the historical or cultural heritage of Do–a Ana County and who is (are) not professional or avocational historians.


Florence Cox

Insuring preservation of the Dripping Springs Ranch and to family for protection of cultural resources under their ownership


Madeleine Vessel

Research and writing of History of Do–a County Historical Society, First Twenty-Five Years.


Lt. West Gilbreath

Preserving the history of area law enforcement through creation of the ÒHistorical Museum of LawmenÓ at Do–a Ana County SheriffÕs Department.


Jack Weis

Mission Theater owner (Mesilla Park) and producer of 15 minute local ÒnewsreelsÓ from 1948-1950


Shan Nichols

Artist who designed and created ceramic tiles commemorating historic events in Las Cruces


Mary Jane Garcia

Long involvement in historic preservation, specifically restoration of Nuestra Se–ora de la Candelaria Church in Do–a Ana.


J. Paul and Mary D. Taylor & Family

Noted historic preservationists, lifelong dedication to New Mexico history and gift of their historic home to the Museum of New Mexico to become a State Monument.


JosŽ Tena

Unofficial goodwill ambassador of Las Cruces through his work with Ballet Folklorico. Founder and Executive Director of Ballet Folklorico de la Tierra Del Encanto.


VeteransÕ Wall Researchers

Anthony Barncastle, Tony Campos, Kevin Dasing, Edward Gamboa, Robert B. Gonzalez, Mike Nunez, Paul Roach and Lambert Truillo


Irene Oliver Lewis & Sylvia Camunez

Daughters of pioneer Do–a Ana County pioneers, grew up in the Mesquite Street Historic neighborhood and have worked to preserve the history, tradition, culture and the neighborhood.


George Helfrich, Charles Murrell and C.W. (Buddy) Ritter

Founders of the Amador Museum Foundation, worked tirelessly to ensure that the Amador Hotel would be preserved when the county government moved out of the building.


LesLee Alexander

Moving force behind the Shalam Colony & Oahspe Museum in Mesilla, and active Faithist.


Anthony Pennock

Artist and creator of the Òwater tank muralsÓ


Gerald P. Schurtz

Col. Schurtz secured long overdue Bronze Star medals for more than 300 New Mexican ex-POWs of Bataan and helped organize the annual Bataan Memorial March.


Keith Humphries

Historian, researcher and artist, Humphries has helped preserve the history of West Texas and Southern New Mexico through pen, brush and passion. Author and illustrator of Apache Land From Those Who Lived It.


David G. Chavez

Extensive involvement in community organizations including Las Esparanzas (Mesquite Street Historic District) and preservation of Phillips Chapel.


George Hackler

Author of The Butterfield Trail in New Mexico, and an authority on the trail having visited and documented the sixteen sites in New Mexico.


Cal Traylor

Lifelong New Mexican and history buff with particular fondness to all things related to Pat Garrett. He purchased and then donated the WIA Hearse, which carried Garrett, to the Do–a Ana County SheriffÕs Department for the Historical Museum of Lawmen.


Janet and David Clements

Key participants in the preservation of Mesilla Park, organized the Branding Committee, Clean Neighborhood Committee, and conducted the initial research into the real estate records of the buildings in Mesilla Park.

  2015   Rosemary Leyva, Dawn Moore  Santiago, Celeste Conrad, Olivia Lerma McDonald, Rev. Ricardo Bauza & Rev. Christopher
  Authors of The Heart of Las Cruces: History of St. Genevieve's
  2015   Bob Gamboa   For his photography of the historic people, places and events in
  southern New Mexico for as long as anyone can remember.
  2016   Frank Parrish
  For his vast collection of memorabilia, writings and presentations on the history and culture of Dona Ana County
  2017   Friends of Fort Selden
  For providing educational programs and portraying living history at Ft. Selden and elsewhere in the community


  Dolores Archuleta  

  For her community activism on behalf of historical properties and the veterans of Dona Ana County.

  Rob and Murnie Cox
  For keeping the heritage of ranching alive in Souther New Mexico. They were strong believers that ranching is difficult and sometimes dangerous work but the rewards of such a lifestyle are honesty, integrity, self reliance and a connection with Nature.
  The Las Cruces Historic Preservation Ad Hoc Committee
  For working diligently as volunteers to build the new Las Cruces Historic
Preservation Ordinance. The group included Dolores Archuleta, Ernie Campos, David Chavez, Robert Cruise, Kassandra Gandara, Faith Hutson, Sandy Marshall, Jackye Meinecke, Clark Myers, Martha Rodriguez and Allison Smith
  The group responsible for protection of the old Picacho Village Cemetery.
  Led by DACHS's historian Sally Kading, this group of volunteers cleaned up and restored the Campo Santo de la Sagrada Familia in Picacho.
  Evan Davies
  For founding, building and continuing the Institute Of Historical Survey.
DACHS Scholarship Committee
Luis Rios, Heather Reed, Jose Aranda and Jerry Wallace revised the
society's scholarship requirements

Old TimerÕs Award
The Old Timer's Award recognizes a cherished object, natural phenomenon, or cultural tradition prominent in Mesilla Valley heritage that would otherwise escape recognition as an important part of the character of this region and that deserves public attention.


Garcia Pecan Trees


Depot Lane Mulberry Trees


Bells of San Albino, St. Genevieve, Hendrick Church, and Do–a Ana Mission


Harvey Gin Cotton Wagon #1


Harvest Home Arrangements by LeRoy and Ruth Carver


NMSU Story Tree


The Rio Grande


The Pieta


Butterfield Trail


Dripping Springs


Luminarias of La Mesilla


Las Cruces Acequia Madre


El Camino Real


El Molino, the Millstone


(not presented  1994 - 2001)


JosephinaÕs Gate


The Pecan Industry of Do–a Ana County


Gadsden Museum


The Rock Walls of Las Cruces


Jardin de Mesquite  (Las Esperanzas and Irene Oliver Lewis)


The Seed House & Story Tree


Historic Green Bridge at the Farm & Ranch Heritage Mu­seum


The Cotton Gins of Do–a  Ana County


ÒThe RoadrunnerÓ sculpture by Olin Calk


ÒEJ & MableÓ - The City Hall Lions


Picacho Peak


Fabian Garcia Science Center


Papen Community Center (1907 Mesilla Park School)

  2016   Prehistoric Trackways National Monument
  2017   Plaza de Las Cruces (new construction)
  2017   Pat Garrett Murder Site


  Dona Ana Bend Colony Acequia Madre 1843

  Murals of Las Cruces
  (not presented)
  Fort Filmore
  The boundary markers between Mexico and the U.S. in Dona Ana County
  Tortugas Mountain


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