Magnolia Ellis historic marker.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of New Mexico Historic Women Marker Program. Courtesy of New Mexico Historic Women Marker Program. Courtesy of New Mexico Historic Women Marker Program.

Magnolia Ellis, “Magnificent Magnolia”

“Magnificent Magnolia,” healer, established Hot Springs, today’s Truth or Consequences.

Magnolia Ellis historic marker.
Magnolia Ellis historic marker location.
Magnolia Ellis historic marker.

After completing a two-year pre-med course, she opened a clinic in Hot Springs, New Mexico, where she treated more than 100 people daily using only her hands to heal. Through her natural gift, education, and desire to help others, she helped diagnose and heal many people, bringing national fame to Hot Springs.

Hot Springs, New Mexico, has long been famous for its healthy climate and many natural hot springs. After committing her life to helping others heal, Magnolia Ellis moved to Hot Springs, opened a clinic, and began using her knowledge, confidence, and a natural power to heal with her touch. Her work brought national attention and fame to Hot Springs, where she treated more than a hundred people a day.

Born Magnolia Ellen Yoakum in 1893, she was a premature baby who grew up undersized as the youngest of eight children on a backwoods farm in a small village in the hill country of Texas. She excelled in school and eventually became a teacher. Later, she met and married C. P. Ellis, but made the life-changing decision to divorce him and pursue an education.

She enrolled in college in Lubbock, Texas, where she took a two-year pre-medical course. She studied the nervous system of the human body and took many different courses in psychology and education. As a single mother, she worked around her classes in a boarding house. She sacrificed because she wanted to devote her time to helping others.

When she finished her education, she relocated to Hot Springs, New Mexico. Hot Springs had achieved some fame for its healthy climate and numerous hot springs. There, she opened a clinic and achieved national fame, using her knowledge, confidence, and a natural power to heal that was witnessed by many. Patients reported a feeling of electricity when she touched them. She treated more than a hundred people a day. Many traveled from out of state and medical doctors consulted with her. She did not accept appointments and turned no one away.

Ellis had six booths with tables in them and she worked from booth to booth. Her treatment was short—she only used her hands. She talked with the patient to understand what the problem seemed to be, and then rendered an opinion as to whether she thought she could help. If the person required medical attention or surgery, she recommended them to a doctor. Her satisfied patients are too numerous to ignore. Some, like C. H. Farmer of Texas, took her cure twice for two separate problems. On a third occasion he had an infection of his prostate gland. She recommended he consult with a medical doctor to see if he needed an operation. The operation was successful, demonstrating her understanding of her own healing capabilities as well as the role of western medicine.

Ellis believed in education and was generous with her time, gifts, and money. She paid for some young people to go through high school when their immediate families could not afford to let them go, and she contributed to many charities and organizations doing work she supported.

Ellis knew from a young age that she had a gift. She also had an inclination to help other people. As her daughter explained, she could not have done what she did if it were not for “education, the study of human nature, an intense desire to help people and a very strong will power.” By many accounts, she had an exceptional power to heal and shared her gift freely, benefitting many in her long lifetime.


Geronimo Springs Museum/Sierra County Historical Society.

The Courier, January 13, 1994


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