- Mayor Lindsey Washington Ellsworth Lindsey was not a native of Portales, but he treated this oasis as his hometown.
Washington Ellsworth Lindsey was not a native of Portales, but he treated this oasis as his hometown. After moving here in the 1900, Lindsey opened a law office and began the Portales Townsite Company. Soon after arriving in Portales he was appointed to U.S. Commissioner, using his new title, Lindsey, among other citizens went to work writing a proposal to carve a new county from the boarding Chavez and Guadalupe County. This new county would be named Roosevelt County (after the sitting president). Portales became the heart of that county and an official city in 1909. Lindsey allowed his name to be put in the ballot for mayor in the city’s first election, in which he won and served from 1910-1916. In the election of 1916, Linsey used his connections to be elected lieutenant governor of New Mexico. Shortly after this new title, the newly-elected Governor Ezequiel Cabeza de Baca fell ill. On February 18, 1916 Gov. Cabeza de Baca succumbed to his illness and Lindsey became the third governor of New Mexico.