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.

Lincoln County, New Mexico

Lincoln County Education, Geography, and HistoryLincoln County, New Mexico Courthouse

Lincoln County is a county located in the state of New Mexico. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 20,497. Its county seat is Carrizozo, while its largest community is Ruidoso.

Etymology - Origin of Lincoln County Name

It was named after Abraham Lincoln.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Lincoln County History

Lincoln County was created 16 January 1869. It was named after Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln County is varied in forests, plains, streams and state parks. It once covered one fourth of New Mexico and was the largest county in the United States of America. It is the home of the Lincoln County Wars of the 1870's. Carrizozo is the county seat. Smokey the Bear was a native born Lincoln County icon. This county is multi-cultural and has a friendly easy going citizenry.

It was once the largest county in the United States. In the late 1870s the so-called Lincoln County War broke out between ranchers and the owners of the county's largest general store. William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid, became involved on the side of the ranchers after his friend and employer was killed. In the end, Bonney killed the deputy that killed his friend, another deputy, and the county sheriff. Several other people were slain in the conflict, which included the other leader of the rancher faction. His death ended the conflict. In 1878, the new territorial governor, retired Union General Lew Wallace, offered an amnesty to the combatants in order to bring a long-lasting truce between the factions.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,831 square miles (12,510 km2), virtually all of which is land.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Torrance County - north
  • Guadalupe County - north
  • De Baca County - northeast
  • Chaves County - east
  • Otero County - south
  • Sierra County - southwest
  • Socorro County - west


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