The town’s development began in the late 1800s when the railroad came to the Pecos Valley. Fittingly named Miller, after a railroad employee, the town’s name was eventually changed to Stegman in honor of its first postmistress, Sallie Chisum Stegman. The name was changed again in 1903 to Artesia because of the flourishing artesian water wells in the area. Artesia was officially incorporated as a city in 1905. The discovery of oil introduced a powerful economic based to the city in 1924. The oil and gas industry continues to be a powerful primary industry in Artesia.