Colfax, Colfax County, New Mexico Genealogy
Location: 28 miles southwest of Raton
Post Office: Established 1908, Discontinued 1921.
As a target of heavy promotion, Colfax should have succeeded, but did not.
In early 1908, the New Mexico Sales Company surveyed and staked out town lots on a choice tract of land west of the Vermejo River at the junction of the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain and Pacific and the Dawson railways. The proposed town was named Colfax City, after the county. A full scale promotional campaign augmented by the circulation of a thousand letters describing the advantages of buying lots in Colfax, went into effect. The company's pitch focused on luring farmers. The town was in the heart of rich farming land, it was situated on two railroads, nearby mountains abounded in wild game for the avid hunter, and it was close to other towns.
Colfax never fully blossomed, but it did manage to stay alive for some 25 years. A grade school attracted a small enrollment, and the high school students commuted 5 miles to Dawson. A post office, a church, a hotel, general merchandise stores, and a gasoline station accomodated the town.
Gradually the disadvantage of its location caused the various buildings and businesses of Colfax to fold. Surrounded by larger, more prosperouos towns such as Dawson, Raton, Springer, and Cimarron, which offered greater advantages, Colfax was doomed to fail. During the depression, when gasoline prices forced people to give up driving, they moved to one of the larger towns. Always at the mercy of outside interests and capital. Colfax could never successfully compete with its neighbors.
Today, Colfax presents a forlorn picturesque cluster of assorted weather beaten building remnants and a dried gasoline pump.