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Socorro County

Socorro County was the named conferred by Don Juan de Onate upon a pueblo south of the present location of Socorro known as Teypana pueblo and renamed as Socorro.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Cibola CountyValencia County and Torrance County

E – Lincoln County 

S – Sierra County

W – Catron County


Created:  January 9, 1852                      Map of New Mexico highlighting Socorro County

County Seat: 

Lemitar   1852 – 1867

Socorro  1867 – present


County Courthouse – Socorro  


Location:  200 Church Street / Court Street

Built:  1939 – 1940

Style:  Spanish Pueblo

Architect:  Kruger & Clark

Contractor:  Charles C Spencer ( supervisor )


Description:  The building faces north and is a two story cream colored stucco, wood and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Socorro. The north front has a recessed entrance with the crest above the doorway. The cornerstone of the 1884 building is set in the wall. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the County District Court courtroom is located on the southeast side of the second story. The building houses the District Court of the 7th Judicial District and County Probate Court. During construction, the supervisor was Charles C Spencer. Additions were completed in 1990. The architect was Dick Waggoner of Roswell and the contractor was Paul Goar Construction of Bosque Farms. Interior renovations were completed in 2001. The architect was James Patrick Lynch and the contractor was C C Construction. In 2001 a Jail addition was constructed. The architect was James Patrick Lynch and the contractors were Gentry Construction, C C Construction and Fred Tofoya Construction. On the north side is the County Administration Building.


Note: The 1884 courthouse in Socorro looked like the “Bates Hotel” with an
octagonal shaped jail house built in the rear. For years, this was
considered the most substantial jail in New Mexico and many criminals,
outlaws and prisoners were sent there for safe keeping.


Note:  Rumor has it that when the county seat was officially transferred to Socorro in 1867, the keeper of the documents at the former Lemitar county seat refused to turn them over (claiming that she had not been paid for her service) and had them destroyed.


Note:  The cOunty Magistrate Court Courthouse is located at 102 Winkler Street and Mecham Street in Socorro.


See:  The 7th Judicial District includes Catron CountySierra County and Torrance County.


History:  The county was created in 1852 and Lemitar was selected as the county seat. The county officers uses the home of Manuel Armijo and the nearby New Mexico Militia building. The first courthouse with jail on the second story was built in Socorro in 1854 even with the county seat remaining in Lemitar until 1867 when the county seat was transferred to Socorro. The courthouse was razed when the second courthouse, a three story structure was built in 1884. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1939 t0 1940.



County Courthouse – Socorro















County District Court courtroom













Cornerstone 1884 County Courthouse



County Administration Building – Socorro







Photos taken 2007 and 2014