The town of San Marcial on the Rio Grande in Central New Mexico had a checkered history, one that ended in disaster. Government records show a post office lasted there from 1869 to 1944, but the latter date is deceiving. It suggests that until World War II, the place was a viable community, which it was not.
Most folks pronounced the name “San Mar-shall” rather than “San Mar-see-all” as would be proper in Spanish. The probable reason is that the town was named for St. Martial of Limoges, France, a saint of the third century. Likely, one of the French priests who came to New Mexico with Bishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy in the 19th century gave the town its name.
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