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Mesilla, New Mexico
The village of Mesilla was incorporated in 1848, after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo moved the United States/Mexico border south of the village of Doņa Ana , placing it in the United States. A small group of citizens, unhappy at being part of the United States, decided to move south of the border. They settled in Mesilla at this time. By 1850, Mesilla was an established colony. By this time, its people were under constant threat of attack from the Apache. By 1851, the attacks caused the United States to take action to protect its people just to the north of the border, in the Mesilla Valley . They did this by creating Fort Fillmore . As a result of the fort, the United States declared the Mesilla Valley region part of the United States. Mexico also claimed this strip of land, causing it to become known as "No Mans Land." This boundary dispute, which was officially caused by a map error, was resolved in 1853, with the Gadsden Purchase. Mesilla became a part of the United States, as well as far southwestern New Mexico and all of present day Arizona. Mesilla briefly served as the capital for the New Mexico and Arizona territories during the Civil War, and was known as the "hub", or main city for the entire region. During the "Wild West" era, Mesilla was known for its cantinas and festivals. The area attracted such figures as Pancho Villa, Billy the Kid, and Pat Garrett. The village was also the crossroads of two major stagecoach lines, Butterfield Stagecoach and the Santa Fe Trail. The village of Mesilla was the most important city of the region until 1881. In 1881, the Santa Fe Railroad was ready to build through the Gadsden Purchase region of the country. Mesilla was naturally seen as the city the railroad would run through. As luck would have it, the people of Mesilla asked for too much money for the land rights, and a land owner in nearby Las Cruces, a much smaller village than Mesilla, stepped in and offered free land. The city of Mesilla has not grown since, and Las Cruces has grown to over 70,000 people and is currently the second largest city in New Mexico. Mesilla remains much the same today as it did in 1881,
Mesilla is located at 32°16'22" North, 106°48'3" West (32.272776, -106.800965).
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 2,180 people, 892 households, and 595 families residing in the town. The population density is 157.0/km² (407.0/mi²). There are 981 housing units at an average density of 70.7/km² (183.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 73.99% White, 0.23% African American, 1.01% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 20.69% from other races, and 3.81% from two or more races. 52.20% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 892 households out of which 25.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.5% are married couples living together, 9.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% are non-families. 27.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 2.99.
In the town the population is spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 29.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 43 years. For every 100 females there are 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $42,275, and the median income for a family is $51,181. Males have a median income of $30,500 versus $25,000 for females. The per capita income for the town is $25,922. 9.4% of the population and 6.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 7.4% of those under the age of 18 and 5.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
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