New Mexico Counties
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New Mexico Counties

There is thirty-three counties in the state of New Mexico. There were originally nine counties formed in 1852. Santa Ana County, New Mexico Territory, one of the nine original counties, was annexed in 1876 to Bernalillo County, New Mexico.

Chaves County, New Mexico

Chaves County Education, Geography, and HistoryChaves County, New Mexico Courthouse

Chaves County is a county located in the state of New Mexico. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 65,645. Its county seat is Roswell. Chaves County was named for Colonel Jose Francisco Chaves, a military leader here during the US Civil War and later in Navajo campaigns. Created by Territorial Legislature, February 25, 1889, out of land from the county of Lincoln.

Chaves County comprises the Roswell, NM Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Chaves County Name

Named for Col. Jose Francisco Chaves, a native of Bernalillo and delegate to Congress


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Chaves County History

Chaves County was created 25 February 1889. It was named for Colonel Jose Francisco Chaves, a military leader in New Mexico during the Civil War and later in Navajo campaigns. The county seat is Roswell, home of NM Military Institute. Chaves County is rich in fresh water, oil, farming, commerce, clean air, and tourism. After growing up in this area, it is easy to image flying saucers after seeing hundreds of shooting stars in the clear night sky.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,075 square miles (15,730 km2), of which 6,065 square miles (15,710 km2) is land and 9.8 square miles (25 km2) (0.2%) is water. It is the fourth-largest county in New Mexico by area.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • De Baca County - north
  • Roosevelt County - northeast
  • Lea County - east
  • Eddy County - south
  • Otero County - southwest
  • Lincoln County - west


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