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Anglo settlers were less discreet in negotiating with the Apache and their occupation of the valley in 1869 ignited an already explosive situation with the Apaches.
Among the first Anglo settlers were William M. Milby and John M. Bullard, but within a year many more settlers had come to the valley in search of silver and gold. The area known to the Hispano settlers as La Cienega de San Vicente became Silver City, named for the silver found there in 1870. In 1871 the town became the seat of grant County; the town was incorporated in 1878;. In 1881, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad reached Silver City which became a terminus. Western New Mexico University was established in 1893. With historic ties to mining, ranching and agriculture, Silver City has developed as a tourist town with easy access to the 3 million acres of the Gila Wilderness.
Place Names of New Mexico by Bob Julyan
Historical Gazetteer of US-New Mexico