James Franklin Callender


James Franklin Callender


James Franklin Callender and his family were an extraordinary clan of pioneers, homesteaders and mining prospectors, who broke ground in the Gonzales, Cerrillos and Cochiti Mining Districts.


James F. Callender was born in Owen County, Kentucky in 1837, as the first child of Kentucky natives Richard Callender and Matilda E. Marston-Callender.  James was the youngest of eleven children.  After remaining in Kentucky until as late as 1850, census records show that as soon as 1860, James, his parents and ten siblings resided in Henry County, Missouri.  James married Sarah A. Newby in Andrew County, Missouri, 1871.


James Callender and his family migrated from Missouri to Cerrillos, and staked mining claims as early as 1879 – before the railroad extended to the New Mexico Territory. 

Family members who joined J.F. Callender in the Cerrillos area before 1900, included his wife Sarah A.; daughter, Iva O.; oldest sons Clarence E. and Ernest W.; father-in-law, Alexander Newby; eventual daughter-in-law, Clara Isabelle Arnott, and her father, Samuel Arnott. James Callender's youngest child, Daniel, was born in New Mexico Territory, 1881. The Callenders were among the last to endure the 900-mile Santa Fe Trail, and among the first to ride the Santa Fe Railway from Missouri to New Mexico.

At the height of the boom, the Cerrillos Hills had three competing mining districts:  Galisteo, Cerrillos and Gonzales.  In December 1879, James F. Callender and his partner, Major Hugh Marshall, began to organize the Gonzales Mining District.  Of the three districts in the Cerrillos Hills, only the Gonzales District included Hispano New Mexicans.  Nasario Gonzales, as one of the wealthiest landowners in the region, lent his important name to the enterprise.  On March 1, 1880 the Gonzales Mining District was formalized at the Marshall and Callender Ranch (precise location unknown) and three days later, was registered with the county recorder.


The Gonzales District was a square of ten miles.  The store and dwelling of Francisco Gonzales was at its center and was renamed Bonanza City.  The ‘square of ten miles’ would have subsumed, by today’s parameters, all the land between the Santa Fe Airport and the town of Cerrillos.  In practice, however, the Gonzales Mining District’s activities were concentrated in a three-by-three mile area between the Rancho Delgado/Bonanza Creek Ranch and the northernmost Cerrillos Hills. 


The most profitable mine in the Gonzales District was the Marshall Bonanza lead-silver mine, owned by Hugh Marshall and James Callender.  The Galisteo and Gonzales Mining Districts were absorbed by the Cerrillos Mining District in 1881.

Records additionally show that James Callender staked an interest in a number of claims in the Cerrillos area in 1879 and 1880 including:

§  Angela Praucett Lode


§  Marshall Bonanza Lode

§  AT&SF Lode Vein


§  Miguel Romero Lode

§  Baca Bonanza Lode


§  Mina de Guadalupe Lode

§  Chalchiquite Lode


§  Mina Gonzales Lode

§  El Rey de Cobre


§  Mina Jose L. Perea Lode

§  Jefe de Oro Lode


§  Mina Santa Fe Lode

§  Gonzales Lode


§  Mystic Lode

§  Ground Floor Lode


§  Nellie Short Lode

§  Guadalupe Lode


§  Newby Lode

§  Herrman de Caridad Lode


§  Old Castillian Lode

§  Humboldt Lode


§  Old Indian Prospect

§  Joseph L. Perea Lode


§  Primer Banco National Lode

§  La Mina de Chalchihuite Lode


§  Queen of the South Lode

§  La Mina Jefe de Plata Lode


§  Santa Fe Vein

§  La Mina Merced Lode


§  Spiegelberg Bonanza

§  La Mina Rey de Cobre Lode


§  Straight Flush Lode

§  La Mina Rey del Plata Lode


§  Vista Grande Lode

§  Lester Wallack Lode


§  Wheel of Fortune Lode

§  Mammoth Lode




In 1880, several significant transactions are recorded, in which James Callender, Hugh Marshall and partners sold for cash plus net proceeds of turquoise or chalchihuite found in many of the foregoing claims.  Notable examples: 

  • $32,500 plus  ⅓ to ⅔ of net proceeds (dependent on claim) to Major D.C. Hyde, a Boston capitalist who financed the only excavation of Mt. Chalchihuitl, which is the largest known prehistoric turquoise mine in North America, and included in the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties.
  • $28,500 plus ¼ to ⅔ of net proceeds (dependent on claim), and 14½ acres of ground with buildings and improvements to Lehman Spiegelberg, founder and President of the Second National Bank of Santa Fe. 
  • $2,500 plus all rights to certain tract or parcel of land to John H. Knaebel, a prominent attorney and expert on Spanish Land Grants, who counseled New Mexico governors on its statehood campaign.

Folks in Cerrillos soon discovered Hugh Marshall’s true identity was really Edward Eggleston, an alleged murderer who jumped bail in Colorado and was on the lam in Cerrillos.  In 1881, Eggleston was arrested in Albuquerque but escaped while handcuffed.


James Callender stamped his name on the 1880s Cerrillos landscape in other ways.  References to Callender Ranch, Callender Hill and Callenderville are found in the Locations & Mining Deeds Record Books, at the State Records Center and Archives in Santa Fe.


In 1883, J.F. Callender was appointed as the second and last U.S. Postmaster of Bonanza City, the state’s thirteenth oldest post office.  Bonanza City’s brief history faded into obscurity shortly afterwards.  The site of Bonanza City is now a 10,000-acre, cattle ranch and historic Western movie set.


The following is quoted from two sources:  the Casa Grande Trading Post and Mining Museum, and Old Houses of New Mexico and the People Who Built Them (Sytha Motto, 1972):


"Nasorio Gonzales gave a Quit Claim Deed to W.H. Shup, W.M. Keesee, C.G. Booth, and O.L. Houghton all of Las Vegas, NM to all his interests in the Merced de la Mesita Juana Lopez Grant, lying between the Galisteo River and the New Mexico Southern Pacific Railway, encompassing Waldo Gulch and Coal Gulch.  Keesee laid out a Township, recorded the Plat of Keeseeville, NM July 1892.  He sold lots, gave leases to at least fifteen individuals to work the coal mine at Waldo Gulch.  Such men as Shoemaker, Callender, Jones and Williams bought lots, built houses, worked the mine and named the settlement Madrid.”  – May 18 1888


I have known since my childhood that my great-grandfather, James Callender, built many houses in Madrid, and it is possible that being from Missouri, he probably was involved in naming Madrid after the Madrid Fault and the town of New Madrid in Missouri.


James F. Callender’s Family


Iva Ora Callender-Springer (1872-1960), JFC’s oldest child, was an intelligent and tenacious mother of five (Mary, Sarah, Lloyd, Lucius, Helen).  She resided in the Cerrillos and Cochiti areas for many years, after migrating with her parents from Missouri at age seven.   In 1899, Iva O. married T.T. Springer, who filed claims the same year in the Cochiti Mining District with Iva’s brother, Clarence Callender.


In 1902, T.T., Iva and her children settled about six miles north of Bland at the end of Horse (now Spruce) Canyon at its junction with Pines Canyon.  Horse (now Cochiti) Creek perennially ran through the canyon.  The couple soon built a log house, ‘slab house,’ chicken coop and corral – and fenced about twelve acres of grassland that gently sloped to the creek.  Iva’s family dug irrigation ditches, spread manure, and cultivated barley, hay, corn, cabbage, rutabagas, squash and turnips.  She owned 80 chickens, 4 cows, 3 calves, a large hog and 12 pigs.  Then sometime before 1906, Iva told a compiler, “one day my husband went to Bernalillo for supplies and never came back.”  T.T. Springer’s grave was found in Buena Vista, Colorado. He died in 1927.


With the support of her father and brothers, Clarence and Wayman, Iva O. resolutely carried on raising her children and furthering her ranch.  Iva applied to list her land in the Jemez (now Santa Fe) National Forest under the Homestead Act of June 11, 1906, which allowed U.S. citizens to file for homesteads within national forest borders. In July and August of 1906, she exchanged letters with Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, and 28th Governor of Pennsylvania.​


Iva married A.L. Freeman about 1907, and sustained a hardscrabble life in the narrow canyon below the white cliffs and ‘tent rocks.’  A sworn affidavit stated Iva “put up 18 tons of ice during the winter of 1908.”  That same year, the Department of Justice and the Forest Service classified Iva as squatter (trespassing upon unsurveyed government land) and attempted to eject her from her property.  Iva shrewdly fought back to prove her claim for the land on which she settled.


Improvements detailed in the 1914 Forest Service Field Notes of the Homestead Entry Survey included eleven frame cabins.  To make ends meet, Iva wisely used the buildings to board lumbermen employed by an adjoining sawmill camp.


Iva ultimately consummated her homestead claim.  As a widow in 1922, Iva Freeman was granted by the General Land Office a 22-acre land patent signed by President Warren G. Harding.  Iva eventually sold the land she toiled, which expanded the adjacent Tent Rock [Dude] Ranch.  She enjoyed her final years and died in Bernalillo County.


Clarence E. Callender, James’ oldest son, was born in Iowa, 1877.  After his involvement in Cochiti Mining District (e.g., Good Hope Mine, 1899), Clarence was found working at the Kelly Mine near Magdalena, New Mexico.  Clarence died in Los Angeles, California.


Ernest ‘Wayman’ Callender was born in Missouri, about 1878.  In the 1900 census, he is shown as a grocery clerk in Bland where his father, James Callender, also lived.  Wayman Callender registered for the draft in 1917, but was not drafted.  Along with turquoise and coal mining, Wayman operated an assay office, in which he tested the purity of ores/metals/alloys.  Wayman also owned a blacksmith shop in Cerrillos, a butcher shop in Albemarle, and a grocery store in Albuquerque.  He also carried mail for the Cerrillos Post Office.  Descendants allege he traveled to Arizona attempting to locate the mythical Lost Dutchman Mine. 


Newspaper articles often mentioned Wayman and his brothers, Daniel and Clarence, in connection with Samuel and Mary Arnott’s daughters Jenny, Harriet (‘Hattie’), Isabelle (‘Belle’) Arnott. 


Wayman married Belle Arnott in Santa Fe, 1903.  My father, Clair Callender, recalled that his mother, Belle, holstered a pistol on each hip while she carried mail on horseback around the territory.  Wayman and Belle had two children, Clair Arnott and Sarah Jane Callender.  Wayman died in Cerrillos, 1941; Belle passed away in Cerrillos or Las Vegas in 1942.  Belle's father, Samuel Arnott, who was also documented in the area, later returned to Indiana.


In 1918, Tony Simoni purchased the Jones Building on First Street in Cerrillos from E. W. Callender for $3,000.00.  This is recorded on a historic plaque on the old Simoni Store (Cerrillos Historical Society, Plaque #4).


Clair Arnott Callender (1905-1991), my father, was born in Bland, New Mexico Territory, and graduated from Cerrillos High School.  He subsequently attended the New Mexico Military Institute and Graduated from New Mexico Normal (Highlands) University.  My father excelled as an athlete and qualified as a sprinter for the 1924 Olympics Games.  Clair prospered in railroad, real estate, finance, insurance and freight auditing occupations.  He survived a rattlesnake bite to his leg when fishing in the Jemez Mountains in 1945.  Clair married Evelyn L. Wright (1907-1987), who was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory.  Evelyn gave birth to me in Springer, New Mexico, 1927.  I am Clair and Evelyn’s only child.  My parents both died in Albuquerque.


Sarah ‘Jane’ Callender (1919-1999), Wayman and Belle Callender’s daughter, was born in Cerrillos and graduated from Cerrillos High School.  Jane gave birth to a son, Herbert LeRoy Callender in Denver, 1936. His father’s surname is Sims.  Herbert was adopted and renamed Keith Clark.  Jane returned to Cerrillos at least until her mother, Belle, died in 1941.  Jane carried mail between Cerrillos and Madrid, and was The Exchange Editor for the La Turquesa Newspaper in Cerrillos.  Jane passed away in Santa Fe, 1999.



 Newspaper Excerpts*




In the Marshall Bonanza mine the work is somewhat at a standstill just now owing to the water.  The owners intend putting in a pump in a very short time, after which they will push the work as much as possible.  The ore is fine, and with a smelter in the district the mine would pay handsomely.  The shaft is down one hundred and eighty feet.



J.F. Callender, a Bonanza City man, was in Santa Fe yesterday, stopping at the Grand Central.



John O’Connor and Wayman Callender have returned from a successful hunting trip to the heads of the different canons in the Cochiti District.



At the Bon Ton in Santa Fe:  Juan Ortiz, Pedro Ortiz, Galisteo; F.W. McEvitt, Durango; J.F. Callender, D.O. Callender, Cerrillos; C.R. Greenlee, Frank Harville, E. Cramer, Chicago; John O’Brien, Albuquerque; Frank Lehman, Cerrillos.



The society recently organized in Bland under the mystic cognomen of the  T. D. C. O. B.  Club will give a social party and dance at the residence of J.F. Callender on the evening of May 6.  All are cordially invited.



J.F. Callender, who is mining in Pino Canyon of the Cochiti District, drove in to Albuquerque this morning.  His wife is quite ill, and she is here to be placed under the care of a local physician.  Callender will remain here for a few days, after which he will return to Bland.



Wayman Callender, who is employed at the A.L. Finch Grocery Store, met with a serious accident Tuesday afternoon.  He took a load of groceries over lo the Albemarle and had stopped to get a drink of water at the mill, and accidently stepped into a pool of hot water.  The right leg was scalded badly, and when the clothing was removed the skin dropped from the limb.  Mr. Callender was assisted into the store of the Cochiti Company, where every attention was given him.   As a result of the accident Mr. Callender will not be able to resume his duties at the store for several days.



T.T. Springer of Bland spent the day in the capital buying several wagon loads of supplies.  He said that a railroad between Santa Fe and Bland is a necessity and if no railroad connection between the capital and the Cochiti district is made in the near future all the trade of that growing and flourishing camp will go to Albuquerque by way of Thornton.



For the men, Wayman Callender’s bay mare took the horse race at the July 4th celebration in Bland.



At the head of the Medio Dia canyon, a few miles from Bland, Wayman Callender was leisurely riding along when suddenly an old bear and her two cubs were frightened from the heavy underbrush and started on a run down the canyon.  Callender fired three times, each bullet taking effect in the body of the animals.



Clarence Callender and T.T. Springer, who are working in the independent Cochiti mine for W.S. Herndon, have discovered rich ore.



Messrs. Samuel Arnott and Clarence Callender went to Cerrillos last Saturday.  Miss Hattie Arnott accompanied them and went on to Las Vegas where she will attend will attend.



A picnic party composed of Misses Agnes Greff, Jennie and Hattie Arnott, Messrs.  Frank Greff, Wilbur Crowell, Olivar Overhuls, Clarence and Wayman Callender visited the cliff dwellers' ruins five miles east of Bland, last Saturday, and found many interesting relics of the extinct race.



There was rejoicing in the family of Samuel Arnott over the arrival of Miss Belle Arnott from Cerrillos, where she had been for the past two months.







A party composed of Mrs. William Griitin, Mrs. S. Arnott, Mrs. J. M. Hunter, Mrs. J. H. Overhuls, Misses Bessie Overhuls, Aliie Griffin, Jennie and Hattie Arnott spent a day at the Griffin ranch, four miles above Bland.  It is said a greater part of the day was spent spinning yarns, some of which were as thrilling as those of the Baron Munchausen.



The young folks were given a social by Clarence Callendar.  Those present were Misses Belle, Jennie and Hattie Arnott, Mabel and Minnie Routledge, Mary Springer, Bessie and Lillie Smith, Messrs. Clarence, Wayman and Dan Callender, Wilbur Crowell, Frank Smith. Ray Myers, Oliver Overhuls, Wilbert Sebben.



Mrs. C. W. Graves. Miss Eola Diamond and Misses Jennie and Hattie Arnott spent a day at Woodbury, the guest of Mrs. Virginia Diamond.



Dr. Grace, Wayman Callender and Samuel Arnott, three noted nimrods, spent a couple of days during the past week hunting in me vicinity of Bland.  They report having seen a large herd of buffaloes.  The doctor in diagnosing the case says it may have been an optical illusion superinduced by the powerful stimulating properties of the peculiar brand of refreshments used, which would naturally have a tendency to buffalo the hunters.




 * Albuquerque Daily Citizen, Santa Fe Daily New Mexican, Bland Herald


Other descendants of James Callender include my three children (Debra, Kent, Gary) and grandchildren in New Mexico, California and Texas; Craig Springer and family, New Mexico; Keith Clark and family, Colorado; and Patti Vittoria and family, Colorado. 


James Franklin Callender died in 1910, two years before New Mexico’s statehood.  He is believed to be buried at the old Pines Cemetery above Bland, New Mexico near Iva’s homestead.  James’ wife, Sarah, died in Eldorado Springs, Missouri, 1900.  James’ youngest child, Daniel, probably moved on to promises still untried. 



Americans are always moving on. 
The stream uncrossed, the promise still untried/
the metal sleeping in the mountainside.

                       – Vincent Benet



Submitted by:

Nedra C. Callender-Gordon
Great-granddaughter of James Franklin Callender

July 2014

Albuquerque, NM