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Mora County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Mexicomarker. As of 2000, the population was 5,180. Its county seat is Moramarker .


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,933 square miles (5,008 km²), of which, 1,931 square miles (5,002 km²) of it is land and 2 square miles (6 km²) of it (0.12%) is water.The highest point in the county is the summit of Truchas Peak at 13,102'.

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National protected areas


As of the census of 2000, there were 5,180 people, 2,017 households, and 1,397 families residing in the county. The population density was 3 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 2,973 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 58.88% White, 0.10% Black or African American, 1.14% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 36.97% from other races, and 2.80% from two or more races. 81.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,017 households out of which 31.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.50% were married couples living together, 11.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.70% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 24.30% from 25 to 44, 26.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 102.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $24,518, and the median income for a family was $27,648. Males had a median income of $24,483 versus $18,000 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,340. About 20.90% of families and 25.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.90% of those under age 18 and 18.40% of those age 65 or over.


Prior to Spanish conquest, the Mora area was Indian country. Although not an area of heavy Indian settlement by such tribes as the Pueblo Indians, the Mora valley was much used by nomadic tribes: the Utes, Navajos and Apache.

The Mora Valley then became a travel-way for various Spanish explorers and others. It was not settled until the early part of the 19th century. The history of the settlement of Mora dates to 1817 when a group of settlers petitioned for a priest.

The next significant event was the Mexican Land Grant through which on September 28, 1835 Governor Albino Pérez, the governor of the New Mexico Territory, gave land title for over 800,000 acres (3,200 km²) to some 25 families.

"Mora" is actually today three plazas and three villages; Mora, Cleveland (originally San Antonio) and Chacon. Holman (originally Agua Negra) lies between Chacon and Cleveland.

Historical and genealogical records for Mora are difficult to obtain for a number of reasons. First, the residents did not keep many records, unlike other American frontier locations. Second, Mora was destroyed by Americans in 1848 in retaliation for rebelling against the new government and most of the archives were lost.

Revolt of 1837

In 1837 some settlers took part in the Revolt of 1837 which overthrew the government of Albino Pérez, the Mexican governor. This lasted but a short time, and when it was over, the people settled back into their former way of living.

Revolt of 1847

The Mexican War with the United States was fought between 1846 and 1848 - and New Mexico became part of the United States. Mora was affected by the war. In 1847, Manuel Cortez and Pablo Montoya began stirring up the northern counties to revolt against the occupiers. Governor Charles Bent was killed in Taos on January 19, 1847. On that same day, a group of traders passing through Mora was killed. On January 24, 1847, a band of American volunteers headed from Las Vegas to Mora planning to exact retribution. The band lacked sufficient ammunition and powder for facing the well defended village. Private John Hudgins described the village:

. . . about 250 or square, with lines of adobe houses joined together except in two places which was occupied by cedar pickets eight feet high, one two-story L adobe building at the northwest angle and a wood block (house) at the southeast angle. The two-story building was pierced with loopholes for small arms and one embrasure for cannon (but no cannon) all in the upper story.

The attack failed when Captain Israel Hendley, commander of the group was killed and the group left the area. This failed attack was followed on 1 February 1847 by another expedition under Captain Jesse I. Morin. Armed with cannon, this group succeeded in destroying the village and proceeded to burn ranches and grain fields. An eyewitness gave the following account from the vantage point of Morin's position:

As they lived all scattered in their fields, they joined together as soon as they were appraised that they would be attacked by the American soldiers, and fortified themselves with whatever kind of logs they could find ready, at the foot of the mountain on the road going from Mora to Cebolla, there they were attacked by the soldiers, who killed one of their own men, Manuel Gallegos and wounded another named Juan Guillen. After this attack the soldiers turned to the houses and destroyed them by fire before leaving the Valley. (from Jose Ramon Pacheco, The Mora, New Mexico Story.)

In 1860, Mora County was established. Before this time, most of the county had been part of Taos County and San Miguel County. The new Mora County was nearly twice the size of what it is today. A process of take away was begun and by 1900 it had been reduced to a size only a little larger than it is now. Since then, some of the eastern county was added to Harding County.



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