The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

29 June 2009

Snapshot of Socorro: September and October 1883

I love looking at old newspapers. This link shows page 12 of the September 1883 and page 1 of the Bullion, a local newspaper.

Socorro had become a boom town during the 1880s. Prospectors were opening up new mines throughout the area.. Billings Smelter was built in Park City, at the base of Socorro Peak, or the "M" Mountain as we Socorrians call it. This lead to an influx of people from all over the country, as well as the world. However, before long many of the mines dried up and many of the prospectors left.

The Bullion was published to capitalize on this boom. It informed the populous about new mine prospects and the state of current mines. It also included local, state, national and world news.

The pages that are displayed on this link show advertisements of the local businesses. These include John Eastwood who dealt and manufactured jewelry; Juan Jose Baca who had dry goods, boots, shoes, notions, groceries and liquors; fancy groceries from F.P. Shaw on the Plaza; Asche and Hilton Boot and Shoe Store; and many others. There were attorneys in Socorro, too. These included W. E. Kelly, N. B. Cartmell, Albert Hagan, and many more.

There is an advertisement for the Convent of Mt. Carmel. Tuition and board was $20.00 a month, $200.00 a year. They offered a full academic curriculum, with "particular attention given to ... Painting, Drawing, Fancy Needle Work, Embroidery and ... Vocal and Instrumental Music."

If you needed to go somewhere, there was a posting of time tables for the A.T. and S.F. railroad lines. If you just arrived, there were accommodations at the Sturgis House on Fischer Street.

And let's not forget the mining industry. Some merchants advertised that they sold mining supplies including the Blanchard and Co. and the aforementioned F.P. Shaw. Andy Naw was "prepared to make and repair wagons and mining tools" and also did general blacksmithing. Assayer and metallurgist T. E. Simmons plied his trade. The Ozark & Socorro Mining Company advertized also advertised in the paper. And let's not forget the aforementioned Gustav Billing Smelting Works.

You will need Adobe Acrobat to read the link. If you don't have it, click on this link. I will post more pages in future articles.

21 June 2009

More on Miguel Vega y Coca

In a previous post, I noted that I am a descendant of Miguel Jose Laso Vega y Coca. Since that I posted that yesterday, I have received a few Emails requesting that I show how I am related to this founder of the Las Golondrinas Ranch.

* This link shows how I am descended from Miguel through my mother.

* This link shows how I am descended from Miguel through my father.

By the way, I'm descended from Miguel at least four times.

20 June 2009

It really was a family reunion!

Today I went to El Rancho de Las Golondrinas for a family reunion. I went there as a representative of the New Mexico Genealogical Society. It was not until I was there that I found out that it was truely a family reunion: I am the 7th great-grandson of Miguel Jose Laso Vega y Coca, the founder of the ranch!

I found a few very distant cousins out there, including one woman who turned up being my 6th cousins, twice removed. If I had known this ahead of time, I would have set up some charts showing my descendancy. The good thing is that they will probably have another reunion next year.

For more information about Miguel Vega y Coca, read the article from David Pikes' Roadside History of New Mexico.

02 June 2009

Nancy's Grandmother Viola Fern (Poole) Dunn

Below is a photo of my wife's maternal grandmother, Viola Fern (Poole) Dunn. She was born on 8 February 1909 in Redmon, Illinois, and died 10 October 1972 in Paris, Illinois. She appears to be in her twenties in this photo.

I can see a definate resemblence between Nancy and her grandmother.

Nancy's mother lent it to us to scan.

Viola Fern (Poole) Dunn