Jose Benjamin Montes
Maria Natividad Grijalva

From left to right: Elinito and Gustavo Salazar; Maria Natividad Grijalva and Jose Benjamin Montes; Adelaida Grijalva Villalobos and Juan Villalobos; and Josefina Montes Madrid and Alfonso Montes. Note: Adelaida is Maria Natividad's sister. Josefina Montes Madrid is Jose Benjamin's sister and her husband is Alfredo Madrid.


Jose Benjamin Montes was born in San Elizario, Texas in 1905. His brother Jose Jesus Montes was born in 1888, also in San Elizario, Texas. Jose Benjamin’s father, Agapito De Jesus Montes (Jesus Montes), was born in San Elizario in 1851 and was the son of Telesforo Montes, born in San Elizario in 1820. His great grandfather, Ramon Montes was born in San Elizario in 1795.

Jesus Montes served in the Texas Rangers in 1874 alongside his father. In 1933 while doing research on his book, “The El Paso Salt War of 1877,” C. L. Sonnichsen, the author, consulted with Jesus Montes on the subject of the Salt War.

Nancy Lee Hammons wrote in her book, “El Paso To 1900," that Jesus Montes was elected as a County Commissioner of San Elizario on November 17, 1890 at the age of 38.

On March 16, 1938, The El Paso Herald Post published an article on Jesus Montes. Betty Luther wrote about Jesus Montes and the headline read, “Oldest Resident Of San Elizario Recalls Battles With Indians.” She spoke of Jesus’ heritage, accomplishments and his experiences during the years when San Elizario was the County Seat, a vibrant community and part of the great frontier west of the Mississippi. Jesus Montes was quoted as saying, “ I am the oldest resident of San Elizario… Tomas Garcia, who was commissary sergeant in the same troop in which I fought the Mescaleros, was the oldest. He died three years ago.” Tomas Garcia had married Maria Angela Montes, born in 1842, the daughter of Telesforo Montes and sister of Jesus Montes. Betty Luther further stated, “The mantle fell on Mr. Montes as the patriarch of the valley’s most colorful town.”

Like his father, Jesus Montes was addressed as “Don Jesus” which is a sign of respect in the Spanish community. He was known as “Papa Jesus” to his family and was loved and admired by everyone who came to know him.

Following is the family chart of Jesus Montes:

Name   Born Birthplace
Jesus Montes Head 1851 San Elizario, Texas
Maxima Garcia * Wife (First) 1850 San Elizario, Texas
Antonio Son 1872 San Elizario, Texas
Josefa II Daughter 1874 San Elizario, Texas
Francisca II Daughter 1875 San Elizario, Texas
Ignacia Daughter 1878 San Elizario, Texas
Telesforo II Son 1880 San Elizario, Texas
Adelaida Daughter 1877 San Elizario, Texas
Jose Jesus Son 1888 San Elizario, Texas
Carolina Aranda Alarcon ** Wife (Second) 1870 San Elizario, Texas
Fedencia Alarcon Daughter 1891 San Elizario, Texas
Nicarco Alarcon Son 1893 San Elizario, Texas
Francisca Alarcon III Daughter 1896 San Elizario, Texas
Faustino Alarcon Son 1898 San Elizario, Texas
Josefina Montes Daughter 1904 San Elizario, Texas
Jose Benjamin Montes Son 1905 San Elizario, Texas
* Maxima (First wife) is the daughter of Gregorio N. Garcia I.

** Carolina (Second wife after Maxima died) is the daughter of Maximo Aranda.

Following is the family chart of Jose Benjamin Montes:

Name   Born Birthplace
Jose Benjamin Montes Head 1905 San Elizario, Texas
Maria Natividad Grijalva Wife 1904 San Elizario, Texas
Marta Daughter 1932 San Elizario, Texas
Carolina Daughter 1934 San Elizario, Texas
Beatrice Daughter 1936 Los Angeles, CA
Rebecca Daughter 1938 Los Angeles, CA
Benjamin David Son 1940 Los Angeles, CA
Samuel Son 1942 Los Angeles, CA
Henry Son 1944 Los Angeles, CA
Helen Son 1946 Los Angeles, CA
Joe Son 1948 Los Angeles, CA

Following is the family chart of Benjamin David Montes:

Name   Born Birthplace
Benjamin David Montes Head 1940 Los Angeles, CA
Grace Gutierrez Wife 1940 Los Angeles, CA
Lisa Daughter 1958 Glendale, CA
Benjamin David II Son 1964 Glendale, CA
Amy Daughter 1968 Glendale, CA

Following is the family chart of Benjamin David Montes II:

Name   Born Birthplace
Benjamin David Montes II Head 1964 Glendale, CA
Jennifer Knowlton Wife 1976 Norwalk, CA
Kara Daughter 1994 Riverside, CA

Jose Benjamin Montes and Natividad Grijalva

Jose Benjamin Montes and Maria Natividad Grijalva


Conrado Montes
October 15, 2003