Presentation of San Elizario County Judges Ceremony
November 14, 2011


On November 14, 2011 at the El Paso County Courthouse, Delia Briones, County Clerk, donated and presented historical pictures of San Elizario County Judges and Courthouse to the San Elizario Historical Genealogy Society Museum and the Montes Family.

People in picture that attended the presentation ceremony:
Left to right - My cousin Teri Montes Maldonado Clapper holding picture of County Judge Gregorio N. Garcia; My aunt Terry Montes Maldonado holding picture of County Judge Maximo Aranda; Delia Briones and my brother Richard Montes holding picture of County Judge Telesforo Montes; My niece and daughter of my brother Richard, Jennifer Montes holding picture of San Elizario County Court House (1870’s); My nephew and son of my brother Tin, Michael Montes and my sister Rose Montes Tate holding picture of San Elizario County Courthouse.

County Judges:

Telesforo Montes was born in San Elizario, Texas, in 1820. His father Ramon Montes and his mother Dolores Arroyo were also born in San Elizario, in 1795. Ramon and Dolores both died on July 18, 1848. There is no explanation available as to why they died on the same day. One theory is that they were attacked and killed by Apache Indians. Telesforo died in 1888. Telesforo and his parents were buried in San Elizario Presidio (San Elizario Mission). The cemetery is now listed as Old San Elizario Cemetery.

Telesforo's brothers and sisters, all born in San Elizario, were the following: Cecilia Montes, born in 1822; Anastacio Montes, born in 1824; Josefa Montes, born in 1826; Andres Montes, born in 1830; and Hermengieldo Montes, born in 1838. They were baptized and confirmed in the San Elizario Mission.

Telesforo Montes and Maria Quirina Alderete were married on December 3, 1840 at Nuestra Senora De Guadalupe, in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. They had the following children which were all born in San Elizario, Texas: Maria Angela Montes, born in 1842; Francisca Montes, born in 1845; Maria Rosenda Montes born in 1848, Juan Montes, born in 1849; Agapito De Jesus (Jesus Montes), born in 1851; Carlota Montes, born in 1852; J. Antonio Severo Montes (Severo Montes), born in 1854; Jose Elizario Montes, born in 1855, Marina Jenara Montes, born in 1856; Guadalupita Montes, born in 1857; Maria Dolores Montes, born in 1858 and Josefa Montes, born in 1859. Telesforo and Quirina had all their children baptized and confirmed in the San Elizario Mission. Josefa Montes became a "Sisters of Loretto" nun and was known as Sister Petra.

According to the 1860 Census, Telesforo Montes lived between Gregorio N. Garcia and Tomas Garcia in San Elizario, Texas. Tomas was the son of Gregorio and was married to Telesforo's daughter, Maria Angela Montes. Besides being neighbors, Gregorio and Telesforo were also compadres (Spanish word used to describe the relationship between the parents and godparents when the infant is baptized in the Catholic Church), in-laws, friends and colleagues. Like Telesforo, Gregorio had also been a captain in the Texas Rangers, a judge and a justice of the peace in San Elizario. Additionally, Telesforo's daughter, Marina Jenara Montes married Carlos Garcia, the son of Gregorio. Telesforo's son, Jesus Montes married Maria Maxima Garcia, the daughter of Gregorio N. Garcia.

When Telesforo was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Texas Rangers in 1874 he had in his command, 25 men. Under his command were his two sons, Jesus and Severo Montes. Although, Severo's name does not appear in the original roster, he did serve in his father's command (Severo's name can be found in the Texas Adjutant General Service Records, 1836-1935). Also included in his command were Tomas Garcia and Carlos Garcia. Tomas Garcia was the Sergeant in Telesforo's command, a very crucial and important rank during that rough period in Texas history. "These men were commissioned to provide protection of the frontier of the state of Texas against the invasion of hostile Indians, Mexicans or other marauding or thieving parties," as noted on the original document, dated April 10, 1874.

According to my father, Conrado Virgilio Montes of San Elizario, Telesforo and Gregorio N. Garcia were instrumental in establishing the first catholic school for girls, which is now Loretto Academy in El Paso, Texas. "The idea was bold for its time. When Loretto Academy was founded by the Sisters of Loretto in San Elizario, Texas, in 1879, it was the first Catholic preparatory school for women in the Southwest. Here, young women could receive a rigorous and challenging education in a supportive environment," as, acknowledged in the school's history section. Telesforo's granddaughter Maria, daughter of Marina Jenara Montes and Carlos Garcia, was the valedictorian of her graduating class at Loretto Academy in 1892. This was the last class to graduate from the Academy in San Elizario, taught by the Sisters of Loretto, before the Academy was moved to El Paso, Texas.

Telesforo Montes served as Mayor of San Elizario, Texas in 1884. His secretary was Octaviano A. Larrazolo. At the same time, Telesforo Montes was the President of the San Elizario Board of School Trustees
On August 30, 1884, the San Elizario Board of School Trustees ruled on the following: "By a unanimous vote of said board, Mr. Octaviano A. Larrazolo of San Elizario, State and County of El Paso aforesaid, was duly engaged to teach the public white female free school, in and for the town of San Elizario, for the scholastic year beginning on the 1st day of September A.D. 1884 and ending August the 31 A.D. 1885." The Board of School Trustees members were the following: Jose Talamantes (Secretary), Benito Chasco, Rafael Telles, Bonifacio Madrid and Romulo Baca. Sister Mary Margaret was the principal at the school where Octaviano would be teaching. Gregorio Nacianceno Garcia donated Los Portales to the town of San Elizario for use as a school in 1870, which is where Octaviano began teaching. When Octaviano A. Larrazolo accepted his teaching post, he resigned his position as secretary to Mayor Montes. Following Octaviano's resignation, G. N. Garcia II took over the secretarial responsibilities for the mayor. In 1919, Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo became Governor of New Mexico. In 1928, he became a United States Senator also for New Mexico. Octaviano married Maria Montes Garcia who was the granddaughter of Telesforo Montes and Gregorio N. Garcia.

Gregorio Nacianceno Garcia was born in 1814, in San Elizario, Texas. He was the son of Francisco Pedro Garcia, born in 1780, in San Elizario and Josefa Ana Holguin, also born in San Elizario. Gregorio married Maria De Los Santos Alvillar in 1841. Gregorio was very prominent and was heavily involved in community affairs in San Elizario. During his life, he served as Captain in the Texas Rangers, Frontier Forces Division. He also served as County Commissioner, Mayor and County Judge of San Elizario, Texas. He and Telesforo Montes, another outstanding citizen of San Elizario, were in-laws, friends, neighbors and associates in San Elizario during the mid to late 1800's. Gregorio and Telesforo constructed Los Portales, which was located in the town square next to the San Elizario Mission, in the 1850's. Gregorio lived at Los Portales with his family until 1870 at which time he donated Los Portales to the town of San Elizario for use as a school. Los Portales now serves as a Museum and Information Center operated by the San Elizario Genealogy and Historical Society.

Gregorio's son, Tomas married Angela Montes, first daughter of Telesforo Montes and Quirina Alderete. Tomas served as First Sergeant to Telesforo Montes while in the Texas Rangers in 1874. His brother Carlos who married Marina, Telesforo's daughter, was also in the Texas Rangers. Also serving under Telesforo in the Texas Rangers were his two sons, Jesus and Severo Montes. Jesus married Maria Maxima, the daughter of Gregorio.
The Garcia family that began with Francisco Pedro Garcia and Josefa Ana Holguin in the late 1700's has a magnificent history in San Elizario, Texas. Archives have shown that they were active in community affairs and interested in the welfare and development of San Elizario. The Garcia family will always stand out as one of the most famous and prominent pioneer families that came from San Elizario, Texas. I am proud to be the great, great grandson of Gregorio Nacianceno Garcia I and Telesforo Montes. I am also full of pride to have my roots in San Elizario, Texas.

Maximo Aranda was born in 1845 in San Elizario, Texas. Maximo married Alejandra Alvillar on January 10, 1867 in San Elizario, Texas. In 1865, Maximo was elected to the Texas State Legislature but due to Indian uprisings could not take office. In 1870, he was elected the first County Judge of El Paso. His friend, neighbor, associate and in-law, Captain Telesforo Montes followed Maximo in becoming a County Judge in 1872. The Montes Family, like the Aranda Family, was prominent, admired and extremely involved in San Elizario political affairs during the mid to late 1800's. Maximo also served as Justice of the Peace, was instrumental in the Salt War of Texas and was a school board trustee in San Elizario, Texas.

Maximo's daughter Carolina was married twice. Her first marriage was to Faustino Alarcon on September 23, 1889. The best man was Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo who later became Governor of New Mexico in 1919 and a United States Senator in 1928. The maid of honor was Octaviano's wife, Rosalia Cobos the daughter of Jesus Cobos and Francisca Montes. Francisca was the daughter of Telesforo Montes and Quirina Alderete. Octaviano married a second time when he became a widower. He married Maria Montes Garcia, the daughter of Marina Montes and Carlos Garcia. Marina was the daughter of Telesforo and Carlos was the son of Captain Gregorio Nacianceno Garcia I and Maria De Los Santos Alvillar. Jesus Cobos and Gregorio like Maximo and Telesforo were also very active in the leadership of the San Elizario community. Both Telesforo and Gregorio had served as captains in the Texas Rangers and everyone in San Elizario addressed them as such.

Carolina's second marriage was to Jesus Montes, the son of Telesforo Montes. The best man was Tomas Garcia and maid of honor was his wife, Angela Montes. Tomas was the son of Gregorio Nacianceno Garcia I. Angela was the first daughter of Telesforo Montes. Furthermore, this was also the second marriage for Jesus. His first marriage was to Maria Maxima Garcia, daughter of Gregorio Nacianceno Garcia I. Jesus and Carolina were both widowed when they wed.

The Aranda family that began with Ygnacio Aranda and Petra Lujan in the early 1800's will always be loved, cherished and remembered as one of the famous and distinguished pioneer families of San Elizario, Texas. The Aranda family makes us proud to be Americans and Texans. The families with roots in San Elizario will always have a special place in the illustrious history of our magnificent country.


Conrado Montes
September 10, 2012