Life Story of the
Severo Montes Family


J. Antonio (Severo Montes) was born April 10, 1854 in San Elizario, Texas. He was the son of Telesforo Montes and Quirina Alderete. Severo was baptized in the San Elizario Mission by Juan B. Holguin and Josefa Cuaron. Severo’s paternal grandparents were born in San Elizario, Texas in 1795. His grandfather was Ramon Montes and his grandmother was Dolores Arroyo.

Severo Montes had the following brothers and sisters: 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, 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. Severo and his brothers and sisters were all baptized and confirmed in the San Elizario Mission. His sister Josefa became a nun and was known as Sister Petra. Severo and his brother Jesus served under their father in the Texas Rangers in 1874. All of them were born in San Elizario, Texas.

Delfina Alarcon was born December 17, 1857 in San Elizario, Texas. She was the daughter of Anacasio (Nicasio) Alarcon and Maria Refugio Rubio. Nicasio Alarcon and Maria Refugio Rubio were married on November 17, 1851 in San Elizario. Delfina’s paternal grandparents were Guillermo Alarcon and Juliana Garcia. Delfina’s brothers and sisters were Juan, born May 23, 1855, Patricio, born in 1858, Jose, born in 1860, Faustino, born February 15, 1864, Julian, born February 16, 1866, Teodora, born in 1867, Francisca, born in 1869 and Lorenzo, born in 1872. All of them were born in San Elizario, Texas and were baptized in the San Elizario Mission.

Severo Montes and Delfina Alarcon were married on May 7, 1875 in San Elizario, Texas. The following are children Severo and Delfina had but died as youngsters: Juanita Montes, died June 20, 1878, at the age of one year and two months. Maria Guadalupe Montes died on September 25, 1887. Nicasio Montes who was born on July 25, 1883 died at age one year and two months. Nicasio was baptized by Carlos Garcia and Severo’s sister, Marina Jenara Montes. Carlos Garcia was the son Gregorio Nacianceno Garcia I and Maria De Los Santos Alvillar. Marina Jenara Montes was the daughter of Telesforo Montes and Quirina Alderete. Another daughter, Refugio Montes, died July 30, 1885 at the age of four.

Severo and Delfina had other daughters, Refugio Montes, Angela Montes, Teresa Montes and Bernarda Montes. Refugio Montes, the second daughter to have this name, was born on August 29, 1890. She was baptized by Vitalia Garcia and Refugio Alderete. Refugio married Marciano Rey II (shown as the bride and groom in the wedding picture below). Angela Montes, who was born in 1886, married J. Gilberto Berru (shown on complete left in the wedding picture below). Bernarda Montes was born on September 14, 1894. Bernarda was baptized by Severo’s brother, Jesus Montes and his wife, Maxima Garcia, the daughter of Gregorio Nacianceno Garcia I and Maria De Los Santos Alvillar. All of Severo’s daughters were born in San Elizario, Texas and were baptized in the San Elizario Mission.

Severo and Delfina’s other sons were: Elceario Martin Montes who was born on April 7, 1887 and is shown second from left in wedding picture below. Nicasio Montes, their second son to have this name, was born on April 21, 1889. Nicasio was baptized by Octaviano A. Larrazolo and Rosalia Cobos, the granddaughter Telesforo Montes. Rosalia was the daughter of Jesus Cobos and Francisca Montes. Bernardo Montes was born on August 20, 1892. Bernardo was baptized by Silvero Escondsillas and Pilar Loya. All of Severo’s sons were born in San Elizario, Texas and were baptized in the San Elizario Mission.

Severo and Delfina’s son, Elceario Martin Montes, married Francisca Rey on November 25, 1912. Francisca Rey is shown second from right in wedding picture below. Francisca Rey was from Fabens, Texas and her family originally came from Guadalupe, Mexico. Francisca Rey was the daughter of Marciano Rey I and Francisca Garcia. Elceario’s and Francisca’s witnesses at their wedding were Jose G. N. Garcia, Emilia Madrid, Adolfo Aranda and Romana Garcia. Francisca Rey was the sister of Marciano Rey II. Elceario Montes and Francisca Rey had a son, Gustavo E. Montes and a daughter, Eva Maria Montes.

Amelia Montes Skaggs and Dr. Samuel R. Skaggs wrote "The Bells of San Eli." Amelia Montes Skaggs is the great, granddaughter of Telesforo Montes and daughter of Telesforo Montes II, the son of Jesus Montes.

Regarding the son of Severo Montes and Delfina Alarcon, Elceario Martin Montes, please note the following excerpts taken from Amelia's book, pages 46 and 47:

“In San Elizario there was no high school until recent years. Those could afford the tuition went on to finish in private schools or at El Paso High. Some continued studies on their own. E. M. Montes took extension courses from La Salle University. For a while, after finishing school in his hometown, he worked in the mines at Morenci, Arizona. When there was lack of water for productive farming, men from San Elizario worked in the Arizona mines. Here he joined his cousins, Juan Larrazolo and Antonio Montes, who worked as clerks in a local Arizona store. He later credited them with persuading him to return to Texas to attend the International Business College at El Paso. Before that, he worked for the Singer Sewing Machine Co., and homesteaded land at Findley, Texas, with his uncle Julian Alarcon. Lack of water made them abandon this venture.

In El Paso, he worked as a clerk in the office of the County Auditor, Jose Antonio Escajeda, and through his experience and the extension courses from La Salle University, he gained some knowledge of legal proceedings in both English and Spanish, which he used whenever possible to help poor citizens with minor problems and to encourage them to vote and to take an interest with minor problems in political issues. He helped to organize the United Citizens Civic League, which sponsored individual citizenship activities.

As a fluent and bilingual conversationalist, he made many friends and with his vast knowledge of history and folklore regaled many with these stories, especially his favorite ‘Dichos’ or sayings. One of his favorites was that ‘no one leaves this life without paying what he owes.’ After having served as Chief Deputy District Clerk in the 34th Judicial District at El Paso and on the Liquor Control Board, he died in 1972 at the age of 83. His children and grandchildren shared Elceario’s interest in history.”

This concludes the excerpts from Amelia's book.

Please note the following regarding my grandfather Jose Jesus Montes, nephew of Severo Montes, taken from The Life story of Jose Jesus Montes and Romanita Madrid located in this website:

“From 1916 to the late 1920’s, while living in his home on Clint San Elizario Road, Don Jose had the opportunity to assist many people, from San Elizario and the surrounding towns, concerning family issues. Friends, relatives and strangers came to him for advice and clarifications regarding legal matters. On Sunday afternoons, people with serious disputes would also call on Don Jose at his home. They would sit in the parlor and wait for Don Jose to summon them to his living room. Once everyone was situated, they would present their sides of the argument to Don Jose. After listening to each side, Don Jose would render a decision, which was accepted without question. Don Jose had a reputation of being a fair and just man. This was the main reason why people came to him. Besides being respected, Don Jose was also well loved and admired by everyone who came to know him.”

Jose Jesus Montes and Elceario Martin Montes were first cousins and grew up together in San Elizario, Texas. They were well educated and worked together on many issues regarding the people of San Elizario. They and their families remained very close throughout their lives in San Elizario and El Paso, Texas.


Marciano Rey II and Refugio Montes Wedding


Left to right: J. Gilberto Berru, Elceario Martin Montes, Octaviano A. Larrazolo, Marciano Rey II, Refugio Montes, Francisca Garcia De Alarcon, Francisca Rey De Montes and Irene Alarcon De Trujillo.



Please note the following information about the people in the wedding party starting from left:

J. Gilberto Berru:
Gilberto was born April 28, 1858 in San Elizario, Texas. He was the son of Jesus Berru and Juana Varela. He was baptized in the San Elizario Mission by Venturo Lopez and Guadalupe Alderete. Gilberto Berru married Angela Montes who was the daughter of Severo Montes and Delfina Alarcon.

Elceario Martin Montes:
Elceario was married to Francisca Rey who was the sister of Marciano Rey II

Octaviano A. Larrazolo:
Octaviano who was married to Maria Montes Garcia was born in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1859. He was the son of Octaviano Larrazolo and Donaciana Corral.

Marciano Rey II:
Marciano the groom in the wedding picture married Refugio Montes. He was the son of Marciano Rey I and Francisca Garcia. Marciano Rey I and Francisca Garcia were married on February 22, 1879 in El Paso, Texas. Marciano's maternal grandparents were Gregorio Nacianceno Garcia I, born in 1814 and Maria De Los Santos Alvillar, born in 1820. All of them were born in San Elizario, Texas.

Refugio Montes:
Refugio and Marciano were married February 18, 1912 in El Paso, Texas. Refugio was the daughter of Severo Montes and Delfina Alarcon. Refugio Montes and Marciano Rey I had the following children: Raul Pedro Rey, born April 29, 1913, Oscar Casimiro Rey, Alfonso Felix Rey, Alfredo Refugio Rey (Twin of Maria Refugio Rey), Maria Refugio Rey, Marciano Bacilio Rey, Isaac Francisco Rey and Vidal Jesus Rey, born January 1, 1931. After Refugio Montes died, Vidal Jesus Rey was raised by his aunt Angela Montes and her husband J. Gilberto Berru.

Francisca Garcia De Alarcon:
Francisca Garcia was born in San Elizario in 1876. Francisca Garcia was the daughter of Gregorio Nacianceno Garcia II, born in 1856 and Romana Sanchez, born in 1857. Francisca Garcia married Lorenzo Alarcon on February 8, 1900. Lorenzo was brother to Delfina Alarcon Montes and Jose Alarcon.

Francisca Rey De Montes:
Francisca Rey was married to Elceario Martin Montes.

Irene Alarcon De Trujillo:
Irene Alarcon was the daughter of Jose Alarcon and Transito Mejia. Irene married Antonio Trujillo. Irene’s grandparents were Anacasio (Nicasio) Alarcon, born in 1830 and Refugio Rubio. Her great grandparents were Jose Guillermo Alarcon, born in 1799 and Juliana Garcia. Irene’s aunt was Delfina Alarcon and her uncle was Lorenzo Alarcon who married Francisca Garcia (shown in the wedding picture above). Irene’s other uncle, Faustino Alarcon, married Carolina Aranda who was the daughter of  Maximo Aranda.

This concludes the information regarding the people in the wedding party.

The men of San Elizario all seem to have had a common trait, which was to help their fellow citizens and at the same time persuading them to participate in public matters. As was noted in the narrative, Elceario Martin Montes applied his knowledge to help poor citizens and encouraged them to vote. His grandfather, Telesforo Montes was instrumental in trying to prevent the bloodshed that ensued from the Salt War of Texas. Elceario’s father, Severo and his uncle, Jesus served with pride in the Texas Rangers. These pioneers were humanitarians and were dedicated to serving their fellow citizens from San Elizario, Texas.


Conrado Montes
April 28, 2005