Dona Ana Logo
Clockwise from Upper Left: Old Mesilla, Organ Mountains above Las Cruces, and Chili Ristras in Hatch, New Mexico

WELCOME TO THE DOÑA ANA COUNTY, NMGENWEB PROJECT

BIOGRAPHIES

HOME
ARCHIVES - NM
BIBLIOGRAPHY
BIOGRAPHIES
CEMETERIES
CENSUS
DEATHS
HISTORICAL FIGURES
HISTORY TIMELINE
JUST FOR FUN
LINKS
LOOKUPS
MAILING LIST
MARRIAGES
MAPS
MILITARY
NEWSPAPER BITS
OBITUARIES
PHOTOS
PREVIOUS HOSTS
QUERIES
RESOURCES
TOWNS & VILLAGES
VOLUNTEERS
VOTER ROLLS
WHAT'S NEW?
CONTACT US
CRUZ RICHARDS ALVAREZ
transcribed by Marie Carter , Anthony, New Mexico 1870

OLD TIMERS STORIES

Cruz Richards Alvarez, of Old Mesilla, is a man who takes great pride in his ancestry. So when I requested him to tell me something about his family history he complied, and began:

"My great-grandfather, John Richards, was a prominent London physician, who took a notion to embark for America. His two sons, Ruben and Stephen, accompanied him. Their mother was dead. [?????]

"While they were at sea the crew mutinied. John Richards must have been a game old boy. For he took charge of the ship and brought it to Galveston, Texas. At a later date, however, he was beheaded by the Indians, consequently, the boys were left orphans in the wilds of Texas. Ruben, who was destined to become my grandfather, joined the American Army under General Scott in Mexico. On returning from the Mexican war he stopped at Precido, Texas, which was Mexico, and met my future grand-mother."

"Love at first sight, followed by a prendorio, or engagement announcement," I suggested.

"According to the old Spanish custom there should have been a prendorio, but in this case, everything went haywire. The girl's father, Francisco Hernandez," he explained, "as a rich old guy with lots of money and cattle and thought Ruben was an adventurer with designs on the family fortune. So he told him to begone or he would shoot him.

"Did he go?"

"Si Senora, muy pronto. But he came back. Then what do you think happened?" he asked.

"I can't Imagine."

"He kidnapped the girl."

************

Reuben Richards, the man who kidnapped his sweetheart and married her, was also a soldier in the Civil War. He joined the Federal Army, and his brother Stephen joined the Confederate army. Cruz Richards Alvarez, the grandson of Reuben Richards, was in the Diplomatic Service of the United States during the World War; attached to the American Embassy at Madrid Spain. At the present time he is an Attorney of Old Mesilla [;?] and the President of the Chamber of Commerce.

*************

When I asked Cruz Richards Alvarez to tell me something about Old Mesilla, he replied:

"Thrilling national history and romance are imprinted an the placid tree-lined streets of Mesilla. On November 20, 1854, the official confirmation of the Gadsden Purchase Treaty, wherein Mesilla and Southern Arizona were purchased for ten million dollars from Mexico, took place in its picturesque plaza."

"Do you happen to know the names of the officers who represented the United States and Mexico on that eventful day?" I inquired.

"Yes. General Sam Garland represented the United States, and General Angel Trias represented the Mexican Government. Have you seen the Spanish pavilion which
marks the site where the two flags floated during that international adjustment?" he asked.

"Yes," I replied. "What is its history?"

"Well, it is modeled exactly an the lines of a bandstand of the period of the Gadsden Purchase, when Mesilla and all the territory south of the [Gila?] river to the present international bondary came into the possession of the United States. The pillars of the grandstand have a history, too. They were carried to La Mesilla by ox-team before the Civil War and used in building the first flour mill. It was dedicated June 24, 1932. After the pillars of the Mesialla grandstand were discarded by the flour mill, they were bought by John Lemon and used to form rafters in his home. Incidently, Mr. Lemon, was killed in a battle between Republicans and Democrats about 1875 in the rear of the bandstand's present location.

The Republicans, who were parading on the streets of La Mesilla, were suddenly attacked by the Democrats. The attack was followed by a fierce battle. During the gun fight some of the bullets struck and tore holes in the brass instruments carried by the Republicans' band.

***********

"Mr. Alvarez "I said,"How did Colonel John R. Baylor factor in the history of Old Mesilla?

"Well, in 1861, when Mesilla became the capital of Arizona, Colonel Baylor appointed himself governor and selected his Supreme Court and other territorial officials with headquarters southeast of the plaza. Baylor liked Mesilla, and treated the natives in a friendly manner. He was very liberal with his confederate money, which was paper. And the following year, when General Carleton, commanding the California Volunteers, captured Mesilla for the Union cause, the merchants almost went bankrupt, trying to exchange Baylor's paper money for sound currency."

************

There is a current story in Old Mesilla about a certain Yankee of the early days who had a habit of serenading dark-eyed senoritas. There is still considerable double as to how he mixed his drinks, but none whatever regarding the way he chili-con-carned his English and Spanish. For this gallant Yank's favorite ditty accompanied by the strum, strum, of an old guitar, went something like this:


Te quiero, te quiero because you
are the dream angel of mi vida,
Y mi amor that you control
Makes my very timid soul
Sing with highest joy, mi querida;
Ah! when I see your star-lit eyes,
Beaming with mucho "come hither,"
Mi corazon muy furioso beats,
And performs many romantic feats
For you, for you only, mi querida.

************

Mesilla, New Mexico, a historic town with a quaint Spanish atmosphere, has about 1200 inhabitants. It is situated in the heart of the Mesilla Valley, on State Highway No. 28, two miles west of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and U. S. Highway No. 80. It is the center of the Mesilla Colony Grant, containing twenty-four square miles of the richest land in the valley. Mesilla is forty-five miles from El Paso, Texas, the metropolis of the southwest.

***********

A few days ago, while nosing around the streets of Old Mesilla, I had the good fortune to meet Cruz R. Alvarez again. He called my attention to the old jail where Billy the Kid was incarcerated, saying:

"He was a tough customer, ruthless with his enemies, but generous to his friends, the native rancheros. His good looks, charming personality, and find dancing won him the admiration of the younger set, who considered him a gay caballero. But he was a desperado, a gunman and a killer, who was sentenced to be hung, April 15, 1881."

"In Dona Ana County?"

"No, in Lincoln County. Colonel A.J. Fountain, who organized the New Mexico Militia, was Billy the Kid's defence counsel." he said.

**************

"Perhaps I had better tell you something about the old stage coaches, "Mr Alvarez said. "South of the plaza, adjoining the Valley Mercantile Company buildings it the station site of the Butterfield stage coaches, which used to carry steel-nerved passengers in quest of adventure and fortunes. Travelling from San Antonio, Texas, over a rugged, Indian and bandit-infested route to San Diego, California. The Hospitality and gayety of early Mesilla appealed to the California gold hunters much as an oasis appeals to the tongue-parched nomads of the Sahara."

*************

Mesilla was also the county seat of Dona Ana County until the latter part of the 19th century, when the railroad entered this Apache-infested-region. In those days the railroads were an invaluable asset to any town, and would have have helped advance Mesilla to a great extent. But the early land owners emphatically refused to donate sufficient land to the A.T. S.F. railway for a right of way through Mesilla. Hence, the railroad, was built two miles east through Las Cruces, where the county seat is now located.

********

"A large percentage of the tourists, visiting Mesilla, invariably want to know where to find the old Chihuahua Santa Fe Trail, "Mr. Alvarez said. "When we tell them it is right here, they seem surprised. The famous Chihuahua Santa Fe Trail is the route over which De Vargas with his soldiers and Franciscan friars entered New Mexico in 1692, To the south, within a distance of twenty-five miles on this historic trail, there are several quaint Spanish pueblos with their typical mission churches--San Miguel, La Mesa, Chamberino, and La Union, formerly called Los Amoles."

********

There are several good stores in Old Mesilla. E. V. Gaboa's Valley Mercantile Company, where the U.S. post office is located; Patio Cafe, Mesilla Garage, Gadsden Museum Art Gallery (In the Albert Fountain family home) and Billy the Kid museum. Guerra's Theater Building, Bermudez Mission Grape Nurseries, Locke's Asparagus Farms; St. Albinus, a French-Roman type of church, modern public school building and an active Chamber of Commerce.

*******************

"Mr. Alvarez, " I said, " I always thought Billy the Kid was shot."

"He was, but that occurred after he escaped from the Lincoln jail."

"Escaped?"

"Yes, killing both of his guards. Prior to his incarceration, April 1, 1878, he killed sheriff William Brady and George Hineman. On July 15, 1881; Pat Garrett, the sheriff of Lincoln County and two deputies, discovered " Billy the Kid at the home of Pete Maxwell; near Fort Sumner. The outlaw walked into Maxwell's bedroom and was shot by Garrett.

************

Cruz Richards Alvarez: Born in La Union, New Mexico, September 14, 1896; son of Mr. and Mrs. Deonicio Alvarez of La Union; Graduate, Industrial Commercial Department, State College; New Mexico; Teacher of Spanish in Las Vegas Normal University; Teacher in Hollywood, California Secretarial School; Teacher El Pas o. Vocational School, El Paso, Texas; Attached to American Embassy Madrid, Spain, during World War; Married and has two Children, Consuelo a girl and Benjamin, a boy; Wife was Fanny Bermudez, granddaughter of Dan Rafael Bermudez, Customs Collector for Mexico in Mesilla up to 1854.

Credit: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project
Collection.

WILLIAM HENRY ANDREWS (1846-1919)
ANDREWS, William Henry, a Delegate from the Territory of New Mexico; born in Youngsville, Warren County, Pennsylvania, January 14, 1846; attended the public schools; engaged in mercantile pursuits at Cincinnati, Ohio, and at Meadville and Titusville, Pennsylvania, 1880-1890; was also a builder of railroads; president of the Santa Fe Central Railway Co.; chairman of the Republican State committee of Pennsylvania 1889-1891; member of the State house of representatives 1889-1893; served in the State senate in 1895; moved to the Territory of New Mexico in 1900 and engaged in the mining business in Sierra County; was a member of the Territorial council in 1903 and 1904; elected as a Republican to the Fifty-ninth, Sixtieth, Sixty-first, and Sixty-second Congresses and served from March 4, 1905, to January 7, 1912, when, pursuant to law, his term expired, the Territory of New Mexico having been admitted as a State into the Union and the Representative-elect having qualified; became engaged in the development of oil in the southern part of New Mexico in 1912; died in Carlsbad, Eddy County, New Mexico, January 16, 1919; interment in Woodlawn Cemetery, Titusville, Crawford County, Pennsylvania.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

ELEUTERIO BACA (1853 - ?)

Baca, Eleuterio, born, Feb. 20, 1853, at Las Vegas, N. Mex., parents Juan Maria Baca, and Dolores Sandoval de Baca; ed. St. Michael's College, Santa Fe, N. Mex., and St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo. (A.B., June 27, 1872). Bookkeeper for five years; teacher twenty-eight years; contributed several articles in defense of the church to a Las Vegas newspaper in 1873; has been at divers times associate editor of La Voz del Pueblo, at Las Vegas; is the author of several minor poems in English and in Spanish ; and translated into English the "Historia. Illustrada de Nuevo Mejico" by Benjamin M. Read, of Santa Fe; resides actually at Las Vegas, pursuing his favorite profession—teaching.

THOMAS B. CATRON
Catron, Thomas B., United States senator from New Mexico, was born in LaFayette County, Mo. Since 1867 he has practiced law in New Mexico; was attorney-general of New Mexico; and was a delegate from New Mexico to the fifty-fourth congress. He was elected a member of the United States Senate for the short term of 1913-17; and resides in Santa Fe, N. M.

MRS. CLARA COLEMAN

Old Timers Dictionary

Interview

by Marie Carter, of Anthony, New Mexico

Anthony Refugio Grant

One of the dearest and most beloved ladies of our community lives all alone on a ranch west of the Rio Grande, in a little white house, with climbing roses and honey-suckle. I had tea with her the other day. After she had cleared the table we sat down in her cozy living room to visit awhile and to chat.

" Anthony to-day, and Anthony of yesterday, are widely different, aren't they?" I ventured.

" There is no comparison," was her quick response." When Pat and I came here it was nothing but bosque. In, fact, he helped to clear quite a bit of it."

What year was that?" I inquired.

"1900. We came from Uvalde, Texas."

"Oh, yes, Uvalde; Vice President Garner's home town. Did you happen to know the Garners?" I asked.

"Well, I was aquainted with Mrs. Garner," Mrs. Coleman replied. " Her aunt, Alice Watson, was my roommate at college. We attended Ad Ran College, Thorps Sulphur Springs." {Begin handwritten} C. 18 - [N. ?] {End handwritten}

"Where did you live when you fist came to Anthony?"

"On the old business street west of the Santa Fe tracks, where Charley Miller, Mrs. Story and Mrs. Alvarez lived, Mrs. Story bought the house we occupied so we had to move. Since houses were scarce we decided to move to Chamberino and raise sheep," she said.

"I understand sheep raising was a thriving industry of the early days," I observed.

"It was," she assented. We didn't keep our sheep at Chamberino, however, but up in the Franklin mountains, east of Anthony. Sometimes I would go up there and camp with Mr. Coleman. Whenever our supplies ran low I went to Anthony to purchase more, riding a horse and leading a pack burro. One spring we had an early snow and lost our whole herd."

"The what did you do?"

"We bought this place. Our deed calls for almost thirteen acres, but the river stole six. You can't imagine what a source of worry the Rio Grande was in the early days. It was such a tricky old stream. One day it would be so dry that the settlers could cross it on foot. And the very next day it would be so full of water that they would have to resort to skiffs."

"Was this land in the Refugio Grant?"

" Yes, just a moment and you may see for yourself." As she spoke she opened the top drawer of a heavy oak chest and took out a paper which she gave me to read.

This is what I read: " 'Abstract No. 3555. The Refugio Grant Colony in Dona Ana County, New Mexico to wit: Beginning December 17, 1869, this being the date of filing of Grant to "Refugio Colony, and bringing the title to date. Prepared for Mrs. Clara Coleman, April 20, 1931.'

The Spanish and Mexican land grants of New Mexico may be divided into two classes: The Spanish grants made between 1693 and 1821, and the Mexican grants made between 1821 and 1846. A few grants were made after that time in the Mesilla Valley, which Mexico claimed until the dispute was settled by the Gadsden treaty.

The Refugio Colony, Dona Ana County, was granted 15,000 acres in 1852, and the
grant was confirmed in 1901.

The Rio Grande, which gave the early settlers so much trouble, is the only important river in New Mexico that does not have its source within the state. It enters New Mexico in a deep canyon a short distance to the east of the 106 th Meridian. Mrs. Clara Coleman: Born in Uvalde, Texas, December 3, 1864; came to Anthony, New Mexico in 1900; Attended Ad Ran College at Thorps Sulphur Springs; member of the Crescent Club of Anthony.

Credit: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project Collection.

HENRY JOHN DEUTSCHENDORF JR. (AKA JOHN DENVER) (1943 - 1997)

Famous Singer/songwriter; born in Roswell. NM.

One of the world’s best-known and best-loved performers, John Denver earned international acclaim as a songwriter, performer, actor, environmentalist and humanitarian. Denver’s career spanned four decades and his music has outlasted countless musical trends and garnered numerous awards and honors.

The son of a U.S. Air Force officer, Denver’s artistic journey began at age eleven when he was given his grandmother’s guitar. Denver eventually took guitar lessons and joined a boys’ choir, which led him at age twenty to pursue his dream of a career in music.

In 1963 he struck out on his own, moving to Los Angeles to be in the heart of the burgeoning music scene. It was during this time that Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. was urged by friends to change his name if a recording career was to be in his future. He took his stage name from the beautiful capital city of his favorite state, Colorado. Later in life, Denver and his family settled in Aspen, Colorado and his love for the Rocky Mountains inspired many of his songs.

John Denver experienced his first major break in the music industry when he was chosen from 250 other hopefuls as lead singer for the popular Mitchell Trio. Two years and three albums later, Denver had honed his considerable vocal talent and developed his own songwriting style. He gained recognition when his song “Leaving On A Jet Plane” was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, becoming their first and only number one hit. As the Mitchell Trio disbanded, Denver was climbing up the pop charts as a solo act with songs like “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Back Home Again,” “Thank God I’m A Country Boy,” and “Calypso,” solidifying his position as one of the top stars of the 1970s.


By his third album in 1970, Denver’s social and political leanings were defined more clearly. Denver was one of the first artists to share an environmental message through his music, beginning with the song “Whose Garden Was This?” This was the first in a long line of songs that he wrote about the environment.

Denver contributed his talents to the benefit of many charitable and environmental causes and received numerous civic and humanitarian awards over the years. Fans responded to his heartfelt urgings about ecology, peace, and compassion that were consistently delivered in a gentle manner on his records and at live performances.

His passion to help create a global community paved the way for ventures into new musical and geographic territories. In 1985 he was invited by the Soviet Union of Composers to perform in the USSR, inspiring the internationally acclaimed song “Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For?).” The powerful video for “Let Us Begin” moved viewers around the world.

“I thought that I might be able to do something to further the cause of East/West understanding… The Russians say that the first swallow of spring won’t make the weather for the whole season, but it can mark the turn toward a warmer climate. I tried to be that swallow.”

“Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves we are the same.” – John Denver

The success of his visit lead to a concert tour of the USSR in 1986. These were the first performances by an American artist since the Cold War began – an unprecedented cultural exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. He returned to the USSR in 1987 to do a benefit concert for the victims of Chernobyl.

Denver was also the first artist from the West to do a multi-city tour of mainland China, in October 1992. He was somewhat astonished to discover how popular and well known his songs were in China. “‘Country Roads,’” he was told, “is the most famous song written in the West.”

Denver was a true adventurer, exploring all that the world had to offer. Throughout his life’s journey he challenged himself on every level, which is an integral part of what made him an extraordinary man, an uncommon friend and a rare human being.

While the frontiers of the American West satisfied his spirit, less-traveled frontiers appealed to his imagination. Denver was an experienced airplane pilot and collected vintage biplanes. His interest in outer space was so great that he took and passed NASA’s examination to determine mental and physical fitness needed for space travel. He then became a leading candidate to be the “first civilian in space” on the Space Shuttle Challenger. Denver planned to write a song in space, but circumstances kept him from joining the ill-fated expedition, which saddened the world when it exploded during take-off in 1986.

Among his many gifts, Denver was also a talented photographer. He photographed images of the people and places he experienced in his travels and showed his work professionally, often in connection with speeches made at colleges and universities as well as government and business facilities across the country.

Many of Denver’s songs reflected his relationship with nature and indeed, one of his greatest pleasures was spending time outdoors. He spent as much time as possible backpacking, hiking, climbing and fishing. He was an avid golfer and skier, regularly participating in celebrity charity events for both sports.

John Denver died tragically in a plane crash on October 12, 1997. He was survived by his brother Ron, mother Erma and three children, Zak, Anna Kate and Jesse Belle.

On March 12, 2007, Colorado’s Senate passed a resolution to make Denver’s trademark 1972 hit “Rocky Mountain High” one of the state’s two official state songs, sharing duties with its predecessor, “Where the Columbines Grow.”

Today, millions of fans old and new enjoy the work of this extraordinary performer. Thirty albums and four decades after he began, John Denver’s music is as relevant as ever. His humanitarian work continues to strengthen our global village, and his dynamic celebration of life, spirit and nature is a powerful inspiration to us all.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY
John Denver’s autobiography “Take Me Home,” written with Arthur Tobier, was published in October of 1994 by Harmony Books, a division of Crown Publishers Inc., NY

STEPHEN B. ELKINS (1841 - >1901)
Stephen B. Elkins - U. S. Senator. Born in Perry Co., O., Sept 26, 1841. Grad. U. of Mo. 1860. Admitted to Missouri Bar 1863. Located New Mexico. Mem. Territorial Legislature 1864 - 65. Atty. Gen. and U. S. Dist. Atty. Delegate to Congress 1873 - 77. Removed to W. Va. 1878. Large coal mining and railway interests. Vice Pres. W. Va. Central & Pittsburg R.R. A Republican. Appointed Sec. of War 1887; served until 1893. Elected U. S. Senator 1895; Re-elected 1901.

Source: Progressive West Virginians Some of the Men Who have Built Up and Developed the State of West Virginia. Compiled by Robert E. Murphy. Published in 1905 by The Wheeling News, Wheeling, West Va.

SCOTT ETTER (1875 - ?)
Etter, Scott, lawyer and statesman of Carlsbad, N.M., was born Oct. 30, 1875, in Palmyra, Ill. For ten years he practiced law in Palmyra, Ill., and also served as city attorney. He has been a member of the National Board of Water Users' Associations. He is chairman of the New Mexico State Board of Water Commissioners; and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Federation of Water Users' Associations. He is now mayor of his city.

ALBERT BACON FALL (1861 - ?)
Fall, Albert Bacon, United States senator from New Mexico, was born Nov. 26, 1861, in Frankfort, Ky. He has been associate justice of the Supreme Court of New Mexico, and served in the Spanish-American War. He was elected a member of the United States Senate for the term of 1913-19, and resides in Three Rivers, N.M. rancher, E. A., banker, merchant; born, Hillsboro, Texas; Sept. 25, 1865; son of Alexander and Mary E. (Morrison) Fancher; graduated from Baylor University, Waco, Texas; married, Seymour, Texas, March 24, 1897, Lura B. Bedford; four children. President and director of the First State Bank of Bomarton, Texas; director West Texas Supply Co., Commonwealth Bonding and Casualty Co.; stockholder Farmers' National Bank of Seymour, Texas, Seymour Cotton Oil Co., Seymour Compress Co., Seymour Flouring Co., and Amicable Life Insurance Co., of Waco, Texas; also president and director of Farmers National Bank,-Seymour, Texas. Democrat. Knight of Pythias. Address: Seymour.

JAMES SPENCER FITZHUGH (1863 - >1912)
Fitzhugh, James Spencer, lawyer; born, near Waco, Texas, July 14, 1863 ; son John Spencer and Mary I. (Everett) Fitzhugh, B.L., Baylor Univ., Waco, Texas, 1888 ; spent year, 1888-9, at Texas State Univ., Law Dept. Married Nettie M. Spalding, 1889, at Waco, Texas; second, Mrs. Ida M. Gossett, July, 1908, at Clovis, N.M. Taught in the public schools of Texas, year, 1889-90; Pres. of Blum College, Texas, 1890-1 ; settled at Waco, Fall of 1891, and practiced law there until Jan., 1903, then moved to Carlsbad, N.M., and practiced law there until Sept. 1904; then moved to Portales, N.M., and practiced law there and at Roswell and Carlsbad until May, 1907, when quit law practice and purchase large amount of property at Clovis, N.M., to which has since given exclusive attention Stockholder, Brownhorn Townsite Co., and Atty and Treas., of same, also of the Melrose-Tucumcari Automobile & Townsite Co., 1906-7. Chairman, 2 years, Bd of Education, Clovis, N.M., 1907-12. Member: Masons, Clovis Lodge, No. 41; Scottish Rite, I.O.O.F., Clovis Lodge, No. 31; Knights of Maccabees, Supreme Tent. Res.: 403 E. Belden st.; Office: 101 S. Main st., Fitzhugh bldg., Clovis, N.M.

Source: Builders of Our Nation, Men of 1914 pub. Men of Nineteen-Fourteen, Chicago, Ill. 1915.

COL. FOUNTAINE - TRIAL OF HIS MURDER SUSPECT (OLIVER LEE)

Transcribed by Frances E. Totty Nov 17, 1938 Words 950

Source: H.F. Chaves NOV [??]

The Trial of Oliver Lee for the Murder of Col. Fountaine

In 1901 a jury was selected in Hillsboro, Sierra County, New Mexico to hear the case of Oliver Lee, Bob Railey, and Jim Gillon for the murder of Colonel Fountaine who was murdered February 1896 by three unknown men, the above three were tried on circumstancial evidence.

The members of the jury that I remember were: Martin Lumin, President, Johnie May, Secretary, H.F. Chafez, interpeter, and Sam Bernard, I do not [?] remember the names of the others on the jury.

The case was changed from Las Cruces, Dona Ana County, New Mexico as the feeling ran very much against the men who was being tried as Colonel -.-. [Fountaines?] was a man [that?] was highly respected in Las Cruces.

The case as I heard [it?] was as following;

Colonel Fountaine in January of 1896 was called to Lincoln, County as Prosecuting Attorney, to the case of trying some cattle rustlers, who had been jailed at that place. Before Col. Fountaine left Las Cruces, he was warned to not take the case as it seemed that such men as Oliver Lee, an important cattle man of New Mexico, A.B. Falls a mine operator and cattle man, did not wish the case to be tried. Why? We were never able to uncover this fact. Oliver Lee served in later as a representative from, ------ county and is still considered a leading cattle man in New Mexico, now living at------- New Mexico. C. 15 N. Mex.

When Colonel Fountaine started for Lincoln, County his wife ----(Morales) Fountaine, who was raised as far as I know in Old Mesilla, Done Ana County, requested the Colonel to take their son, Henry, age nine with him to Lincoln in hopes that whoever was threatening the Colonel would not bother him if he had the child with him.

On the return trip from Lincoln, Colonel Fountaine met Satterona Barela, mail carrier, from [Tulsaessa?], that he was being followed, but he didn't have an idea who it was, and after Sattarona Barela went on his route he [saw?] several men, who appeared to be cow boys coming, but they turned out of the road before they met the carrier and went around him coming back into the road a mile [or?] so farther on down the road [?] there by providing that they did not wish to be recognized.

Colonel Fountaine was killed between San Augustine and [Agua Blanca?], at least that was where his buckboard was found by a posse when the Colonel did not return at the time that [was?] set for his return, his wife became worried and sent out an alarm that the Attorney had not returned. The buckboard was found, and the foot prints of men around it where the horses had been unhitched, the bodies tied on the horses and these horses were followed by three other mounted horses. These horses went toward the [Sacoremento?] Mountains, but they could not be [trailed?] successfully so the bodies were never found.

Soon after the death of the Colonel a warrant was made out for the arrest of Oliver Lee, who disappered and was not heard of for over a year. In 189- Oliver Lee came to Las Cruces and gave himself up.

As there [wasn't?] anything but circumstancial evidence we could not find the men guilty even though the Grand Jury indicted the above mentioned men. It was [known?] that there was hard feelings between the parties, but there was not enough evidence to make a real cage. A.B. Falls was drawn into the case many believing that Mr Falls had the murder done, but this was another thing that was only belief. [Nashy?] said that Mr Falls committed the deed, but this was impossible as Mr Falls proved that he left Gold Dust, thirty-five miles from Las Cruces and went Las Cruces on the day that Colonel Fountaine was killed, [therefore?] it would have been impossible for him to be on the other side of San Augustine in the Organ Mountains.

It has always been hard for me to believe that Oliver Lee could have had anything to have done with the murder, but for the other men [they were?] the type. Men that were gun men that lived the life of outlaws.

Colonel Fountaine was from Texas, and I understand he was at one time a political leader in the state. He was recognized as a brilliant man and a leader in Las Cruces.

-------

H.F. Chavez, age 60 was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico His father Manuel Chavez came
to Santa Fe, N.M. from Louisana, the family having settled in the Louisana
Territory many years ago. When H.F. Chavez was a young boy his parents moved
to Las Cruces.

Credit: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project
Collection.
Sierra, Dona Ana

JOHN CURTIS GILMORE JR. (1869 - ?)
Gilmore, John Curtis, Jr., army officer, of Fort Miley, Cal., was born at Fort McRae, N.M., July 23, 1869; son of Brig.-Gen. J. C. and Hattie (Connor) Gilmore; educated at Racine College, Wis.; graduated West Point Military Academy, class 1894; 2d lieutenant Fourth Cavalry, June 12, 1894; transferred to Fourth Artillery, Oct. 12, 1894; promoted to 1st lieutenant artillery, March 2, 1899; captain artillery corps, July 1, 1901; major coast artillery corps, U.S.A., March 3, 1911. Volunteer commissions: Captain assistant adjutant-general, May 12, 1898; captain asst. quartermaster, June 14, 1899; major 43d U.S. Vol. Inf. (hon. mustered out), July 5, 1901; asst. adjutant-general 5th army corps, Santiago de Cuba. Participated in numerous engagements in Philippine insurrection. Clubs: Metropolitan, Chevy Chase, Army and Navy (Washington, D.C.), Pacific-Union, Bohemian (San Francisco); Army and Navy (New York).

TONY HILLERMAN (1925 - ?)
Tony Hillerman was born in Sacred Heart, OK on May 27, 1925. He was the youngest of three children, having an older brother and sister. His father, August A. Hillerman, was a storekeeper and farmer. His mother was Lucy Grove Hillerman.
He attended school from 1930-38 at St. Mary's Academy, a boarding school for Native American girls at Sacred Heart. He was one of several farm boys enrolled there. Sacred Heart was near a Benedictine mission to the Citizen Band Potowatomie Tribe. For high school, he was bused to Konawa High School. He graduated in 1942. He returned to farming after a brief sojourn to college and after his father's death.

In 1943, he joined the U. S. Army, serving in combat in World War II. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Purple Heart after being wounded in 1945. (These injuries included broken legs, foot, ankle, facial burns, and temporary blindness.) He was discharged in 1945. After the war, he attended the University of Oklahoma, receiving a B. A. in 1948. He married Marie Unzner in 1948, to whom he is still married. They have six grown children.

From 1948-1962, he worked in a variety of journalist positions. He was a reporter for the Borger News Herald in Borger, TX (1948), city editor for the Morning Press-Constitution in Lawton, OK (1948-50), political reporter for UPI in Oklahoma City (1950-52), UPI bureau manager in Santa Fe, NM (1952-4), political reporter and then, editor for the Santa Fe New Mexican (1954-63).

In 1963, he returned to graduate school in English at the University of New Mexico. He was an assistant to the University president at the same time. He joined the journalism faculty of UNM in 1966 after receiving his M.A. He taught there until 1987, serving as department chair from 1976-81.

Although he says he feels great for the shape he's in, his health has been a concern. He told PBS in 1996, " I am 71, have now-and-then rhematic arthritis but now very badly, have in-remission cancer, have had a minor heart attack, have one mediocre eye, one tricky ankle and two unreliable knees due to being blown up in WWII. " His memoirs were published in October, 2001. It won the Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction. He resides in Albuquerque, NM.

JOHN REED HUNT (1843 - ?)
John Reed Hunt, son of Caleb Seaver (class of 32) and Sarah (Reed) Hunt, was born June 19, 1843, at Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts. He pursued his preparatory studies at Newton, Massachusetts, and entered Dartmouth College at the beginning of Freshman Fall term, August 24, 1860.

He was with us for the last time at the first recitation of Junior year, in the Fall of 1862. He then left college and enlisted in the United States Navy, serving as Secretary to the Commandant of the Squadron off Charleston, South Carolina, and also as signal officer. In 1864 he resigned his position in the navy and went to New Mexico, where he was engaged in merchandising, contracting, etc. While there, he held appointments as deputy internal revenue assessor, postmaster, alcalde, notary public, and colonel of militia. In 1870 he went into business at New Orleans, Louisiana, where his home was. He remained there until 1879, when he went to the San Juan country, in Colorado, and engaged in mining, where he still remains. He is located at Animas Forks, Colorado, of which city he is now serving his second term as Mayor. A copy of the Animas Forks Pioneer speaks of him as "Colonel Hunt, our worthy and popular Mayor." He writes that the details of his career would fill a book.

In politics, he is a Democrat. He has never married.

Source: "Memorialia of the Class of '64 in Dartmouth College" complied by John C. Webster, Shepard & Johnston, Printers, 1884, Chicago
OCTAVIAN LARRAZOLO (1859 - ?)
Larrazolo, Octavian. A., attorney-at-law; b. in Allende, State of Chihuahua, Mexico, December 7, 1859. His grandfather, José Maria Larrazolo, was one of the wealthiest men of the state of Chihuahua, but in the various revolutions which convulsed the country and which finally culminated in the French intervention in 1862, the family fortune was wiped away and his family left in poverty. Mr. Larrazolo's father and four brothers served in the army of the republic during the French War. In 1870, the Rt. Rev. J. B. Salpointe, then Vicar Apostolic of Arizona (later Archbishop of Santa Fé, New Mexico), passed by Allende, and there happened to meet Mr. Larrazolo, then a boy 10 years old. Becoming interested in the lad, the Vicar secured the consent of the boy's parents and brought him to the United States. There he remained under the protection of the good Bishop, and accompanied him on his travels in Arizona and New Mexico from 1870 to 1877. In 1875 and 1876 he attended St. Michael's College, Santa Fé, N.M.; in 1878 moved to San Elzeario, El Paso County, Texas, where in 1881 he married Rosalia Cobos. After the death of his wife he married in 1892 Maria, d. of Carlos Garcia. Both her father and grandfather, Capt. Gregorio Garcia, participated in the Indian wars in Texas. In the race war that occurred at San Elzeario in 1877, where many Americans lost their lives, Capt. Gregorio Garcia, with his sons and a few others, held the insurrectionists at bay, and saved the town from pillage until the arrival of the U.S. troops, who restored order and authority. From 1878 to 1884, Mr. Larrazolo taught school at San Elzeario, a Mexican community where only two of the natives spoke English; he brought the first school books that were ever used in El Paso County, and when he retired from his duties as school teacher to accept public office, there were over twenty well educated boys in the small community. In 1885 Mr. Larrazolo was appointed clerk of the United States Courts at El Paso, Tex.; resigned in 1886 to become clerk of the District Court of the 34th Judicial District of Texas, with principal office at El Paso; reelected in 1888. In 1889 he was admitted to the bar and elected District Attorney for the 34th Judicial District; was re-elected in 1892. He moved to Las Vegas, N.M., in 1895, and has been practicing law there since. In 1900 and again in 1906 and 1908, he was the Democratic nominee for delegate to Congress from New Mexico. Address: Las Vegas, San Miguel County, N.M.

GEORGIA O'KEEFFE (1887 - 1986)
Georgia O'Keeffe was born on November 15, 1887, the second of seven children, and grew up on a farm in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. As a child she received art lessons at home, and her abilities were quickly recognized and encouraged by teachers throughout her school years. By the time she graduated from high school in 1905, O'Keeffe had determined to make her way as an artist.

O'Keeffe pursued studies at the Art Institute of Chicago (1905–1906) and at the Art Students League, New York (1907–1908), where she was quick to master the principles of the approach to art-making that then formed the basis of the curriculum—imitative realism. In 1908, she won the League's William Merritt Chase still-life prize for her oil painting Untitled (Dead Rabbit with Copper Pot). Shortly thereafter, however, O'Keeffe quit making art, saying later that she had known then that she could never achieve distinction working within this tradition.

FULL CHRONOLOGY

Her interest in art was rekindled four years later (1912) when she took a summer course for art teachers at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, taught by Alon Bement of Teachers College, Columbia University. Bement introduced O'Keeffe to the then revolutionary ideas of his colleague at Teachers College, artist and art educator Arthur Wesley Dow.

Dow believed that the goal of art was the expression of the artist's personal ideas and feelings and that such subject matter was best realized through harmonious arrangements of line, color, and notan (the Japanese system of lights and darks). Dow's ideas offered O'Keeffe an alternative to imitative realism, and she experimented with them for two years, while she was either teaching art in the Amarillo, Texas public schools (1912-14) or working summers in Virginia as Bement's assistant.

O'Keeffe was in New York again from fall 1914 to June 1915, taking courses at Teachers College. By the fall of 1915, when she was teaching art at Columbia College, Columbia, South Carolina, she decided to put Dow's theories to the test. In an attempt to discover a personal language through which she could express her own feelings and ideas, she began a series of abstract charcoal drawings that are now recognized as being among the most innovative in all of American art of the period. She mailed some of these drawings to a former Columbia classmate, who showed them to the internationally known photographer and art impresario, Alfred Stieglitz, on January 1, 1916.

Stieglitz began corresponding with O'Keeffe, who returned to New York that spring to attend classes at Teachers College, and he exhibited 10 of her charcoal abstractions in May at his famous avant-garde gallery, 291, which O’Keeffe knew he would do, but was uncertain of when. A year later, he closed the doors of this important exhibition space with a one-person exhibition of O'Keeffe's work. In the spring of 1918 he offered O'Keeffe financial support to paint for a year in New York, which she accepted, moving there from Texas, where she had been affiliated with West Texas State Normal College, Canyon, since the fall of 1916. By the time she arrived in New York in June, she and Stieglitz, who were married in 1924, had fallen in love and subsequently lived and worked together in New York (winter and spring) and at the Stieglitz family estate at Lake George, New York (summer and fall) until 1929, when O'Keeffe spent the first of many summers painting in New Mexico.

From 1923 until his death in 1946, Stieglitz worked assiduously and effectively to promote O'Keeffe and her work, organizing annual exhibitions of her art at The Anderson Galleries (1923–1925), The Intimate Gallery (1925–1929), and An American Place (1929–1946). As early as the mid-1920s, when O'Keeffe first began painting New York skyscrapers as well as large-scale depictions of flowers as if seen close up, which are among her best-known pictures, she had become recognized as one of America's most important and successful artists.

Three years after Stieglitz's death, O'Keeffe moved from New York to her beloved New Mexico, whose stunning vistas and stark landscape configurations had inspired her work since 1929. Indeed, many of the pictures she painted in New Mexico, especially her landscape paintings of the area, have become as well known as the work she had completed earlier in New York. Indeed, her ability to capture the essence of the natural beauty of northern New Mexico desert, its vast skies, richly colored landscape configurations and unusual architectural forms, has identified the area as “O’Keeffe Country,” Indeed, the area nourished O’Keeffe’s creative efforts from 1929 until 1984, when failing eyesight forced her into retirement. She lived either at her Ghost Ranch house, which she purchased in 1940, or at the house she purchased in Abiquiu in 1945.

She made New Mexico her permanent home in 1949, three years after Stieglitz’s death, and continued working in oil until the mid–1970s. She worked in pencil and watercolor until 1982 and produced objects in clay from the mid-1970s until two years before her death in 1986, at the age of 98.

MOLLIE GROVE SMITH
Mollie Grove Smith

Edith L. Crawford,

Carrizozo, N. Mex.

Date: February 17, 1939.

Words: 1883

Topic: Pioneer Story.

Source of Information:

Mollie Grove Smith[,?]

White Oaks, New Mexico.

[FEB ? 39?] [2 ?]

PIONEER STORY.

I have lived in the State of New Mexico for about forty-five years and in
Lincoln County about twenty-five years. I was born September 15, 1878, near
Memphis Tennessee. My father was J. O. Grove. He was born July 25, 1854 on a
farm near Memphis Tennessee. My mother was Mattie Hill and was born September
18, 1856, in Mississippi. I do not remember the place. My mother and father
were married in Middleton, Tennessee, October 26, 1873. They moved from
Middleton, Tennessee, to Brown County, Texas, in 1878. I was about six weeks
old when they moved and had an older sister and brother. My father farmed in
Brown County Texas, but they did not like it very well there so in the summer
of 1884 they moved to New Mexico.

There were six of us children then. We moved in a covered wagon and had all of
our household goods and a coop or chickens, besides the family. A family by
the name of Willis left Texas with us for New Mexico. They also had a covered
wagon. I do not remember much about them, they left us when we got to
[Pecos?], Texas. I was six years old at that time. I remember that my father
and my oldest brother, Herbert, slept on the ground and Mother and the rest of
us slept in the wagon. Mother cooked on a camp fire. I remember gathering
fuel. After we got on the plains we had to gather cow chips to cook with. We
had three horses. I do not know how long it took us to make the trip.

When we got to Pecos, Texas, my father joined two other families who were on
their way to New Mexico. One man was named F. M. Evans. He had a wife and ten
children and about a hundred

{Begin page no. 2}

head of cattle. The other man was named George Castleberry. He had a wife and
seven children. Both traveled in covered wagons. My father and brother,
Herbert, helped Mr. Evans to drive his cattle.

We traveled slowly and grazed the cattle along. We came to the Lower
[Peneasco?] and to the Upper [Peneasco?] and on to James Canyon where we
camped for quite a while. At that time this was in Lincoln County, New Mexico.
This was a lovely place to camp with lots of grass and water. My mother told
my father that she had found the place where she wanted to live, right there
in James Canyon. All three families decided to locate there so each man filed
on one hundred and sixty acres. My father homesteaded his one hundred sixty
acres to include the spring where we had camped. Mr. Evans located about a
mile above us and the Castleberry family about a half mile from Mr. Evans.

Each family got a tent and we lived in these tents for several months until
the men got houses built for their families. The houses were built of hand
hewn logs with the roof made of boards rived by hand. At first the houses were
just one big room with a large fireplace. I remember that my mother cooked on
this fireplace and we depended mostly on the fireplace for light as well as
warmth. Each man cleared a field and fenced it with split rails. My father
cleared about twenty-five acres at first and enlarged his field each year. My
father planted oats, irish potatoes and all kinds of garden stuff. The grass
was about waist high then and my father cut grass hay with a hand scythe, to
feed his horses through the winter months. I remember that we used to thrash
out our seed oats with a pole or flail, as we called it. My mother and we
children did most of the work on the farm. Father had good horses and he
decided that he could make good money freighting. At first he had only one
wagon,

{Begin page no. 3}

but before very long he got another wagon and team and my oldest brother
Herbert helped him and drove one of the wagons.

One winter a man by the name of [Groeley?] came through by our place looking
for a place to winter some cattle. My father had a lot of hay out so he
decided to winter these cattle on halves. I do not remember how many of the
cattle there were at first but my father got thirty-five head for his share in
the spring. We were so proud of those cattle.

After we had been on our homestead for about three years three other families
located not far from us, two families named Hunter and one named Holden. That
gave us quite a settlement. We had a post office then called Pine Springs and
the first [post-mistress?] was Mrs. [Caleb?] Holden. I remember that an Indian
carried the mail on horseback. I was just dreadfully afraid of him and he
often stopped at our house to warm and sit. I always hid behind Mother's big
quilt box until he left. Mother used to knit socks and mittens and sold them
to him for fifty cents a pair.

The men of the settlement built a log school house. I do not remember the name
of the first teacher that I went to school to, but he was fat and bald headed.
I remember at one time that at one time the Hunter, Holden and Grove family
(ours) had a governess by the name of Elvira Kinney. There were sixteen of us
that she taught and each family boarded this governess for a week at a time
and she would go from one family to the other. Her salary was ten dollars a
month and her board. She taught us for two summers.

There was a Baptist preacher in the community that we all called Parson John
Hunter. I have often heard my father tell this tale on Parson John. Once just
before Christmas when my father had gone to Roswell with his freight wagons to
haul our Christmas

{Begin page no. 4}

supplies, Parson John joined him with his wagon on the home trip. They had
heard that there was a case of smallpox on the road at a store run by a man
named Kennedy. Parson John had one of his children along who was sick and the
Parson was just sure the child had smallpox. As the wagons neared this store
Parson John stood up in his wagon and yelled: "Everybody strike a lope!
Everybody lope your teams by this store! Hurry' everybody hurry!" My father
thought that was so funny.

There was no doctor in the settlement. I remember once that my brother Luther
got very sick and we did not know what was the matter with him. My mother and
a neighbor woman took Luther and went to the [Mescalero?] Indian Reservation
to a doctor. When they got there they found that the doctor was a negro. My
mother was horrified but the baby was so sick that she decided to let the
doctor prescribe. The doctor said that Luther had bone [erisipilas?] and that
the bones would work out of his foot. Sure enough they did and my brother is
crippled in that foot to this day. My mother was the mid-wife in our community
and often was called on to doctor the minor ailments in the settlement.

As we children got older my mother worried about not having better school
advantages for us so she decided to move to Las Cruces and send us to school.
We lived there for three years.

When my father was freighting I used to go with him once in a while on his
trips. I remember once that my oldest sister Olga and I went with father to
White Oaks. Father had oats, potatoes, garden stuffs, butter and eggs, to
trade for groceries and clothes. One of the merchants where Father traded gave
Olga and me each a little breast pin. We thought they were the

{Begin page no. 5}

grandest things and were very proud of them indeed. We thought that White Oaks
was the biggest city in the world. Another time I went with my father to El
Paso. I saw my first street cars there. We went into a restaurant to sat and I
went with my father into a small room to wash up. I saw a big fat chinaman
standing behind a door pulling a rope. I could not imagine what he was doing
and was very frightened. Afterwards I found out that the rope that he was
pulling operated some fans over the tables in the restaurant.

There were ten of us children, Olga, Herbert and Mollie, born in Tennessee,
Sissala, Jimmie and Willie, born in Brown County, Texas, John, Howard and
Luther, born in James Canyon, New Mexico, and Eppie Jean, born in Las Cruces,
New Mexico. Seven of us are still living.

In 1895 my father sold his place in James Canyon to Colonel J. E. Edgington,
who was head of the New Mexico Military Institute at Roswell, New Mexico. We
moved back to Texas and lived at Sipe Springs, [Comanchie?] County, Texas.

I was married in January, 1898, to William Lee Smith. We have two sons, Leo
and Orris, both born in Sipe Springs, Texas.

In 1900 my husband and I left Sipe Springs, Texas, and moved back to New
Mexico. We lived in James Canyon, in the same house that my father had built
on his homestead and had lived in for eleven years. We rented the place from
Colonel Edgington and farmed it for five years. In 1905 my husband went to
work for the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad Company and we moved to
Alamogordo, New Mexico. My husband ran on the mountain division from
Alamogordo to Cloudcroft, New Mexico. On March 19, 1924, a log rolled off a
flat car and hurt him very badly, injuring his back. He had to give up working
on the railroad and was sent by the railroad company to

{Begin page no. 6}

Carrizozo, New Mexico, as caretaker for the railroad club house at Carrizozo.
We lived in Carrizozo for eighteen months, but Mr. Smith was very dissatisfied
so we leased a ranch about eight miles from White Oaks, New Mexico, and lived
there for five years. In 1932 we moved into the village of White Oaks and are
still living there.

Edward W. Grove, who was president of the Paris Medicine Company of Saint
Louis, Missouri, and who put out Grove's Chill Tonic and Grove's Laxative
Bromo-quinine, on the market, is a first cousin of my father. I have a letter
dated December 23, 1913, from Edward W. Grove to my father in which he sent a
check to my father for $100.00, an a Christmas gift.

My father and mother moved from Sipe Springs, Texas, to German, Texas, in 1910
and they were living at Gorman when they died. Father died on March 3, 1936,
and Mother died September 3, 1938. Of the seven children left, I am the only
one who lives in New Mexico. The others all live in Texas.

NARRATOR: Mollie Grove Smith, Aged 60 years. White Oaks, New Mexico.

Edith L. Crawford,

Carrizozo, New Mexico.

CORRECTIONS ON PIONEER STORY OF

MOLLIE GROVE SMITH.

MAR 16 1939 [2nd?]

Page 4. Paragraph 3. We moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, in August, 1891.

Page 6. Paragraph 2. I have a latter dated December 23, 1913, from Edward W.
Grove to my father in which he sent my father a check for $100.00 for a
Christmas gift. This Edward W. Grove was president of the Paris Medicine
Company of Saint Louis, Missouri, and was a very wealthy man. He was my
father's first cousin and visited in our home once in a while. I do not know
just how many checks he sent to my father at different times but the total
amount was rather large.

Credit: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project
Collection.

Lincoln, Dona Ana, Otero

MRS. JUAN VALDES
Mrs. Juan Valdes

Marie Carter

Anthony, N. Mex.

700 words

OLD TIMERS STORIES

Mrs. Jaun Juan Valdes (husband; Juan Valdez)

Interview; May 18, 1937

Juliana Valdez, or Mrs. Juan Valdez, smiled as she informed me with a slight
accent; "I was born in La Union, senora; my childhood, girlhood and womanhood,
have been spent at the old Mission, La Union. You see, senora, that is what
they called it in the old days when the first settlers colonized this valley.
La Union is the foundation if the Refugio Grant."

Juan Valdez affirmed Juliana's statement with a nod, and smiled as she
resumed: "I was born in 1879 on the 9th day of January. That is a long time,
senora. My father was Jesus Enriquez; my mother was Luz Noreigo de Enriquez.
The immigrated to the United States from Juarez, Chihuahue, Mexico; then up
the Rio Grande Valley to La Union. They, my parents, were very fine people.
"She volunteered with pride.

In speaking of her husband Juliana said: "Juan was born in Mason, Texas, 1880
on the 5th dya of February. Then, senora, he came to La Union to fall in love,
and has been here ever since. You see how he sits and watches me? Well, he did
that before we were married. One day I said Juan why do you watch me all the
time?"

"'Juliana,' he said, 'I can't help it; I want to marry you,'

"'Bueno!' I said, 'let's get married. Maybe you will stop watching me.' But it
didn't work, senora. All these years he has done nothing else.

{Begin page no. 2}

Including the whole country with a wave of her hand, Juliana continued; "When
my parents came here that was all bosque, or woodland. Many people left
Chihuahua when they learned that they could got plenty of free land in New
Mexico. My father was one of the commissioners for the Refugio Corporation.
Some of the Americans called their grants "terrenas" but the correct name is
Terreno. Instead of a terreno being fifty-four acres, as some of them thought,
it was between thirty-six or thirty-seven acres. And a vara, by which the
colonists measured the land, was not a yard of thirty-six inches, but thirty-
three inches."

Juliana didn't have any more respect for the ruthless Rio Grande of the past
than her neighbors, for she referred to it as: "The big fussy river. "Senora,"
she said; "it was never still, for there was nothing to hold it back.
Sometimes it would suddenly dry up; then our crops would dry up. Then we would
worry and pray for water, and bah, a flood would come and almost destroy us.
Ah, senora, I know this country well. I am part of it. I have spent the best
part of my life helping to make it what it is today. Fighting the wind,
turning the soil, hating and loving the river, planting the seed, watching it
grow. Si, senora. I, like the rest, have suffered, but I think it is a pretty
fine country."

Juliana, or Mrs. Juan Valdez, was born in La Union, New Mexico, Dona Ana
County: January 9, 1878; Juan Valdez Sr. was born in Mason, Texas, Mason
County: February 5, 1880, and went to La Union, New Mexico in 1900. Jesus
Enriquez, who immigrated from Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico to La Union, New
Mexico in 1877, was the father of Mrs. Juan Valdez Sr. Mrs. Luz Noreigo de
Enriquez, wife of Jesus Enriquez, who immigrated

{Begin page no. 3}

from Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico in 1877, was the mother of Mrs Juan Valdez Sr.

Mr. and Mrs. Juan Valdez are the parents of: Robert, Juan Jr., Magadelena and
David Valdez. Robert Valdez, who was a teacher and principal of the La Union
School for several years, is now the States Corporation Commissioner for New
Mexico. He was recently appointed Chairman of the New Mexico State Corporation
Commission by Governor Clyde Tingley, to represent New Mexico at the Juarez-
Chihuahua Road meet to boost for the Juarez-Chihuahua-Mexico City Highway, May
14, 1937. Robert Valdez married Nellie Nevarez of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Mr.
and Mrs. Robert Valdez live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Juan Valdez Jr., second son of Mr. and Mrs. Juan Valdez Sr., is a farmer of La
Union, New Mexico. Juan married Katy Medena of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Magadelena Valdez is at home with her parents. David Valdez, who was graduated
from the La Union Valley High School in the class of 1935, and attended the L
N State College of New Mexico in 1936, married Annie Marie Ames of Las Cruces.
David is associated with his father in farming at the home ranch in La Union,
New Mexico.

Credit: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA Federal Writers' Project
Collection.

Dona Ana

 
Under development. Feel free to submit any New Mexico or Dona Ana County bios for posting here!

 

A big thank you to Elsa Altshool, the founding volunteer of this site.

Return to Home Page

This site © Copyrighted 2008 to present for the benefit of the NMGenWeb Project. These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format for profit, nor for presentation in any form by any other organization or individual. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than as stated above, must obtain express written permission from the author, or the submitter and from the listed Dona Ana County Coordinator.