Life Story of Agapito De Jesus Montes

Agapito De Jesus Montes and Carolina Aranda

Agapito De Jesus Montes and Carolina Aranda


Agapito De Jesus Montes (A. Jesus Montes) was born in San Elizario, Texas in 1851. He was the son of Telesforo Montes, born in San Elizario in 1820 and Quirina Alderete, born in Mexico in 1818. His great grandfather, Ramon Montes was born in San Elizario in 1795.

A. Jesus Montes married Maxima Garcia, born in 1850 in San Elizario. Maxima was the daughter of Gregorio N. Garcia I, born in San Elizario, in 1814 and Maria De Los Santos Alvillar, born in San Elizario, in 1817. The 1860’s Census, showed Telesforo Montes and Gregorio N. Garcia were living next to each other in the surrounding area of the San Elizario Mission.

A. Jesus Montes and Maxima Garcia had the following children: Antonio, born in 1872; Josefa II, born in 1874; Francisca II, born in 1875; Ignacia, born in 1878; Telesforo II, born in 1880; Adelaida, born in 1877 and Jose Jesus, born in 1888. All the children were born in San Elizario.

Maxima died when Jose Jesus was an infant. His sister Francisca raised Jose Jesus and they remained close their entire lives. Jose Jesus provided for his sister in her later years. Francisca lived in a house a block from the San Elizario Mission, the same house she was born in.

A. Jesus Montes and Maxima’s children had the following marriages: Josefa II married Joaquin Salazar, born in San Elizario in 1871. Ignacia married Jose Madrid, born in San Elizario in 1886 and Adelaida married Lorenzo F. Madrid, born in San Elizario in 1880. Lorenzo and Jose Madrid were brothers. Telesforo II married Cesarea, born in San Elizario in 1879. Jose Jesus married Romanita Madrid, born in San Elizario in 1895. The two Madrid brothers were from the family of Bonifacio Madrid, born in San Elizario in 1860 and Refugia, born in San Elizario in 1866. Romanita Madrid was from the family of Manual Madrid, born in San Elizario in 1868 and Eloisa Aguirre, born in San Elizario in 1875.

After Maxima died, A. Jesus Montes married the daughter of Maximo Aranda, Carolina Aranda Alarcon, born in San Elizario in 1870. They had the following children: Josefina, born in 1904 and Jose Benjamin, born in 1905. They were both born in San Elizario. Jose Benjamin Montes married Maria Natividad Grijalva, born in San Elizario in 1904.

A. Jesus Montes served in the Texas Rangers in 1874 alongside his father, Telesforo, brother, Severo Montes and brothers-in-law, Tomas and Carlos Garcia. In 1933 while doing research on his book, “The El Paso Salt War of 1877,” C. L. Sonnichsen, the author, consulted with A. Jesus Montes on the subject of the Salt War.

Nancy Lee Hammons wrote in her book, “El Paso To 1900," that ‘Agapito De Jesus 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 A. Jesus Montes. Betty Luther wrote about A. 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. A. Jesus Montes was quoted as saying, “I am the oldest resident of San Elizario… Tomas Garcia, who was 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 A. Jesus Montes. Betty Luther further stated, “The mantle fell on Mr. Montes as the patriarch of the valley’s most colorful town.” Below is the article that appeared in The El Paso Herald Post. Note: The adobe house referred to in the article where A. Jesus Montes states that it’s the house where his father, Telesforo was born was built by his grandfather, Ramon Montes. This is where A. Jesus Montes lived with his daughter, Francisca who was also born in this house.


A. Jesus Montes had a life filled with a career in politics, community service, carpentry and construction. Like his father, Don Telesforo, A. 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.

The Agapito De Jesus Montes Biography was written by Conrado Montes with final editing by his brother, Richard Montes.  Conrado and Richard are the great, grandsons of A. Jesus Montes.


Conrado Montes
June 5, 2013