The Monument in Monument

About 1928, as well as we can determine, land developers commissioned a structure of a Native American. It once stood in the middle of a dirt road and faced the location of the old Monument Spring.

The artist who constructed it is unknown. The monument itself had no name originally, as far as we can tell, but the local legend is that residents nicknamed it Geronimo, after the famous warrior.

Geronimo was a great tribal leader of the Apache nation, although he is not considered to have been a chief. He was of the Chiricahua tribe and the Bedonkohe band. Several translations are given for his name, pronounced Gokhleyah in Apache. One is “one who yawns” and another is “one who thinks before he acts.” lived from 1829 to 1909. As a leader and warrior, he was quite successful and conducted raids in the southwestern United States and Mexico. He eventually surrendered and lived out his senior years at Fort Sill, in Oklahoma. He died and was buried in the old cemetery at the military fort.

The local monument sat for many years in the middle of an unpaved road in Monument, located a few miles outside Hobbs. Around 1940, it was damaged and completely knocked to the ground when a motorist ran into it. Afterward, it was moved a few feet away from the roadway, as it appears in the above undated image.

How the monument looks currently:

Image credit: Google Streetview.

At some unknown date, a plaque was added. This is the inscription.

“Settled in 1885 and named for a marker at the springs a few miles west, monument remained a ranching community until oil was discovered in 1928. The Indian statue, called Geronimo by residents, was erected in 1928 by land developers. Monument has produced 4 world champion rodeo performers: George Weir & Roy, Betty Gayle & Jimmie B. Cooper. A centennial celebration was held in 1985.

Erected by Monument Centennial Committee”


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