by Pat Rand
In the early 1850’s the U.S. government was having problems trying to maintain peace between the Mescalero Apaches and the white settlers who had recently begun homesteading in the area. The Indians would leave their reservation to steal horses, cattle, and sheep in order to survive. The settlers, fearing the Indians, asked the military for protection.
Capt. Henry W. Stanton, for whom Fort Stanton was named, and a party of soldiers were dispatched from San Patricio to search for Apaches. On January 18th, 1855, the Indians suprised the party as they traveled up the Penasco River. Stanton and several others were killed in the vicinity of present-day Mayhill. This historical incident is recorded on a marker in the village.
It is said that the ancient Mayan civilization predicted that the world will end this year on December 23. This is because one of their many calendars “times out” on that date. This article will give an overview of that “prediction.”
The Mayans were a people who rose to prominence in central America. Their classic era lasted from 1 to 800 AD. They were followed by the Toltecs (900-1200 AD) and the Aztecs (1400 AD until the arrival of the Spanish in 1521 AD). The Incas were in Peru and were more or less contemporary with the Aztecs.
The Mayan society was advanced in some ways and primitive in others. They built magnificent temples and had an elaborate agriculture system. They had an advanced number system, a written language based on hieroglyphics, a complex religion, and calendars based on elaborate astronomical observations. However they did not use metals, the wheel, or draft animals.