Official White Oaks, New Mexico, site.
Historic White Oaks, Lincoln County, New Mexico. Billy the Kid thought of White Oaks as a "resort."
Major books, including an exciting new one, about or including White Oaks, New Mexico.

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Gold-Mining Boomtown: People of White Oaks, Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory by Roberta Key Haldane. The Arthur H. Clark Company publishers, May 2012.

The town of White Oaks, New Mexico Territory, was born in 1879 when prospectors discovered gold at nearby Baxter Mountain. In Gold-Mining Boomtown, Roberta Key Haldane offers an intimate portrait of the southeastern New Mexico community by profiling more than forty families and individuals who made their homes there during its heyday.

Today, fewer than a hundred people live in White Oaks. Its frontier incarnation, located a scant twenty-eight miles from the notorious Lincoln, is remembered largely because of its association with famous westerners. Billy the Kid and his gang were familiar visitors to the town. When a popular deputy was gunned down in 1880, the citizens resolved to rid their community of outlaws. Pat Garrett, running for sheriff of Lincoln County, was soon campaigning in White Oaks.

But there was more to the town than gold mining and frontier violence. In addition to outlaws, lawmen, and miners, Haldane introduces readers to ranchers, doctors, saloonkeepers, and stagecoach owners. José Aguayo, a lawyer from an old Spanish family, defended Billy the Kid, survived the Lincoln County War, and moved to the White Oaks vicinity in 1890, where his family became famous for the goat cheese they sold to the town’s elite. Readers also meet a New England sea captain and his wife (a Samoan princess, no less), a black entrepreneur, Chinese miners, the “Cattle Queen of New Mexico,” and an undertaker with an international criminal past.

The White Oaks that Haldane uncovers—and depicts with lively prose and more than 250 photographs—is a microcosm of the Old West in its diversity and evolution from mining camp to thriving burg to the near–ghost town it is today. Anyone interested in the history of the Southwest will enjoy this richly detailed account. Available from Amazon, click here.



White Oaks by Parker

Morris B. Parker's White Oaks Life in a New Mexico Gold Camp 1880-1890

This book written by Morris B. Parker gives an excellent history and first hand account of what life in White Oaks, New Mexico was like during it’s boom years. Deputy James Bell, who was killed by Billy the Kid on April 28, 1881 is buried in the town’s cemetery as is Susan McSween.

Available on and sometimes


Ghostown of White Oaks

Ghostown of White Oaks, by Bill Rakocy, 1998.

Bill rakocy was born in the steel town of Youngstown, Ohio, April 14, 1924...he painted stage sets and murals at an eraly age....served three years in the Navy, 1943-1946, landing in the Philippines with the 54th CB's and later Marcus Island in the Central Pacific. He pursued his talent sketching G.I. buddies, often doing dozens of drawings in an evening. In 1947-1951, he received a BFA and MFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. HHe studied under Ross Braught and modeled for Thomas Hart Benton for murals in the Harry Truman Library in Independence. He won a travel grant to study art in Italy in 1953. He worked with Robert Altman as a set and stage designer in Kansas City at the Calvin Film Company and stage sets for the K.C. Playhouse. This led him into researching history for his art projects and films. He did a series of murals in K.C. and began to write and research on southwestern history and art. He studied under Ted Egri and other teachers. Thirty years later in Taos, NM he re-met and in consultation with Ted and other Taos and Santa Fe artists. He complied an art history work dealing with the dozen Taos founder artists reproducing many of their histories and artworks in the book.


The Lincoln County War.

The Lincoln County War, A Documentary History, by Frederick Nolan, 2009

The legend of the Lincoln County War in New Mexico and its most romantic figure, Billy the Kid, holds a special place in the history of the American West. Fueled by greed, propelled by religious and racial prejudice, inflamed by liquor and firearms, the war was a struggle to the death for the economic domination of a region where both sides saw enormous opportunity for acquiring wealth. In the end, neither side won and both suffered tremendous losses, human and financial.

John Tunstall, the McSweens, Jimmy Dolan, Billy the Kid, the Hispanic townspeople of Lincoln, the outsiders who tried to understand what was happening and restore law and order to the strife-torn territory--all speak out, and Frederick Nolan weaves their stories and opinions together with his own insightful commentary to produce a seamless, immensely readable account enlivened with eighty-three photographs and three maps.

Selected by True West magazine as one of its Fifty Greatest Western Books of the 20th Century, acknowledged to be the fullest and most carefully researched study of perhaps the most famous feud in the history of the American West, Frederick Nolan's masterwork, The Lincoln County War, A Documentary History, the result of fifty years of research, is now presented in a new edition which includes an addendum with corrections and additions, together with a new foreword by the author.

Available on Amazon.



History of the Lincoln County War by Maurice G. Fulton, 1980.

In the annals of western history, the Lincoln County War stands out as a complex and tragic event in which lives were lost, fortunes destroyed, and peaceful citizens transformed into lonely, exiled outlaws. A classic reference work on the era of Billy the Kid, this fast-moving account brings new meaning to the war and to those individuals who became its victims.

Review "Crackles with murder, intrigue, and the clash of desperate men struggling for possession of a grasslands empire. . . . [This] history will not likely ever be equaled—certainly never surpassed." —Arizona and the West "This long-awaited book represents a lifetime of research by a meticulous historian . . . lively, well-documented, and most readable." —Pacific Historical Review "[Fulton] followed Billy the Kid and the story of the Lincoln County War relentlessly and intelligently. . . . [His book is] a superb achievement, reflecting great credit on both Fulton and the editor of the manuscript." —New Mexico Historical Review

About the Author Maurice G. Fulton was a foremost authority on Lincoln County and also published an annotated edition of Pat Garrett's Authentic Life of Billy the Kid. Western historian Robert N. Mullin was Fulton's friend, collaborator, and literary executor.

Available on Amazon.



The Heart You Own

FICTION/ROMANCE: The Heart You Own Kindle Edition by Diane R. Jewkes, June 2012.

Why would an English lord want to have part ownership in a New Mexico cattle ranch? And why did it have to be her father’s ranch?

Kara Jonston has grown up thinking she will someday inherit the family ranch. She has worked the ranch as hard as any man. Ask any of the cowboys. Finding out her father sold half ownership in the ranch—and to a soft Englishman, no less—without even talking to her hurts her pride and stirs her anger. To make matters worse, this outsider is coming to inspect his investment, and her father expects her to be nice. Although she promises her father to give his new partner a chance, she vows she will never accept him as her partner on her ranch. Hawke Pryce, Lord Stoneham, is not English, he is Scottish. He is not soft, and he is not coming to the New Mexico Territory just to inspect his latest investment. He’s hunting a man. Sparks fly—but will they turn into lasting love for two people determined to hang on to their hearts?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Diane R. Jewkes is a lover of books and history. She grew up in southern New Mexico and currently lives in Colorado with her husband and much-loved dogs. She has two children and three grandchildren living. Available on Amazon.

NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR:  I wanted to let you know about an e-book I just had published that is set in White Oaks. It is a historical romance set in 1895 on a ranch outside White Oaks, but a lot of history about White Oaks and the mines is included in the story.  I researched the history of White Oaks and included in my story descriptions of the town at that time, mentioned several real people, and used the fire at the Old Abe as a pivotal point in my story. I was raised in Las Cruces, graduated the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism and a minor in history. I worked in Deming on the newspaper there and for my father's radio station in Las Cruces for many years. My husband is cousins to the Gallachers, Fergusons and Schaeffers and visiting Bill Sr and his family many years ago is what inspired me to set my story in White Oaks.

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