Doņa Ana County Historical Society
Las Cruces, Doņa Ana County, New Mexico
William Lyon / Cori Bowman Letters
These letters were written by William B. Lyon and his fiancé Corie Bowman during the
period of November, 1881 through September, 1882. Prior to April, 1882 both William
and Corie were living in Mesilla, New Mexico and the letters are sporadic. In April
William moved to Albuquerque and letters were exchanged on a daily basis until their
wedding on September 14, 1882.
The letters were first transcribed from the originals in the 1960’s by Corie Connell, the
granddaughter of William and Corie. During 2015 and 2016, William Hunt manually entered Corie
Connell’s typewritten transcriptions into Microsoft Word files and compared them to the
original letters, correcting a number of mistakes and omissions that were made in the
original transcription, particularly with regard to the spelling of names of people. His
primary sources for identifying people referenced in these letters were the U.S. Census of
1880, the NM Territorial Census of 1885, the Albuquerque Business Directory of 1883,
newspaper archives, and the Find A Grave website. He added a number of comments,
clarifications, and identifications to the transcriptions, always placing them within square
brackets. Until recently, the original letters were in the possession of Barbara Connell of
Rio Rancho, New Mexico -- the great-granddaughter of William Lyon and Corie Bowman.
In February 2017 Barbara donated the letters to Archives and Special Collections at New
Mexico State University.
The letters are contained in two PDF files - Volumes 1 and 2. Use links provided.
Lyon/Bowman Letters, Vol. 1
Lyon/Bowman Letters, Vol. 2
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Petroglyph north of Las Cruces. Photo by Jim Eckles