Nathan Jaffa, Mayor of Roswell, New Mexico, April - December, 1903. Later Territorial Secretary of State; Nathan and Esther (Essie) Jaffa with their children, Julia, Eleanor and Ben Arthur. Photo donated by Jaffa's nephew, Lou Strauss.
Nathan Jaffa was an extremely important figure in Roswell's development. In 1889, Jaffa became chief of the volunteer fire department and in 1890 served as a vice-president and member of the board of directors of the first bank that Roswell acquired and later with the new Citizen Bank. He was one of the founders of the Jewish congregation in 1903 and served as the congregation's first religous leader.
Anecdotally, Nathan Jaffa was largely responsible for discovering artesian wells in Roswell. Tobias wrote that Jaffa had health problems which led him to drill for water that had a lower mineral content. In 1890, an artesian well was drilled on the Jaffa home lot. Other wells were discovered in the Roswell area and, Tobias reported, people came from miles around to see them. [HJNM:126-127]