Located in the deep southwest along the borders of Arizona and Mexico, Hidalgo County began as farming, ranching, and mining communities long before statehood in 1912.
The county was formed from Grant County in 1919, with the county seat in Lordsburg. It was named in honor of Miguel Dolores Hidalgo, who led the revolution in Mexico in 1810, which eventually led to its independence from Spain. The county “towns” are Virden, Lordsburg, Cotton City, Animas, and Rodeo. Panoramic mountain horizons and spectacular views of the sky are only part of the county’s appeal. It boasts two ghost towns, a geothermal electricity generating plant, birdwatching, ranch tours, and hiking.
Lew Wallace, NM Territorial Governor from 1878-1881 and author of Ben Hur, stayed at Shakespeare during a trip. In 1917, Pat Garrett’s blind daughter Elizabeth Garrett wrote the state song “O Fair New Mexico” in Lordsburg. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh stopped in Hidalgo County in the “Spirit of Saint Louis”. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor attended 8th grade in Lordsburg. With a population of approximately 4,894 and an area of 3,445 square miles the county averages 1.4 persons per square mile.
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