Felix Martinez sponsored legislation establishing New Mexico Normal University (Highlands) and the State Hospital in 1893. Martinez, who was referred to as the "Father of the Normal School," was territorial councilman, a successful developer, bank director, railroad executive, political leader, hotel owner, and international statesman. In 1886, he won a close race for county assessor and he was elected to the territorial House of Representatives in 1888. In 1890, he purchased a small Santa Fe newspaper, La Voz del Pueblo, and moved it to Las Vegas. It became the foremost Spanish-language newspaper in New Mexico. At about this time, he was beginning to take notice of a fast-growing populist party in San Miguel County, el Partido del Pueblo Unido (the United People's party). He soon assumed leadership of the party. In 1893, Martinez became clerk of the United States and Territorial Courts for the Fourth Judicial District of New Mexico, located in Las Vegas.

Today the Felix Martinez Building houses financial aid, admissions, the Registrar’s Office and Student Support Services.

Do you have memories of the Felix Martinez building?  Email us and let us know– we'd love to hear from you!