Roswell's first general store and post office stood near this spot. The building was constructed by Van C. Smith in 1870 and hosted a somewhat famous postmaster, Ash Upton, who was a political player in the Lincoln County War and the ghost writer of Pat Garrett's The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid . Van C. Smith named the town Roswell in May 1872 after his father Roswell Smith. The post office opened in August 1873. Although Smith founded Roswell, Captain Joseph C. Lea, wo later acquired the post office, is credited with Roswell's early prosperity. The general store was remodeled and expanded over the years. Some of the original walls were still standing in 1997 when this block was demolished to make room for Pioneer Plaza, named for the "Pioneer Block" of commercial buildings built by John W. Poe circa 1905-1909.
Funding support provided by Lawrence C. Harris, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, and the 2012 Centennial Committee