Telesforo Montes was born in San Elizario, Texas in 1820. The San Elizario Mission shown on this Web Site was a vital place within the community. According to our family records Telesforo’s father, Ramon Montes was also born in San Elizario in 1795. Presidio Chapel San Elceario, as San Elizario Mission was known then, was established as a military garrison to protect the Camino Real and the missions and settlements along its trail. The mission was named for the French Saint, St. Elzéar of Sabran. The mission has been celebrated under different names but today it is accepted as San Elizario Mission. Additionally, San Elizario, Texas became El Paso’s first county seat in 1850.
My grandfather, Jose Jesus Montes and Romanita Madrid were married in the San Elizario Mission in 1910. Romanita (Nana) Madrid was from a pioneer and prominent family in San Elizario. Jose Jesus (Papa Jose) Montes was the grandson of Telesforo. My great grandfather, Jesus Montes was baptized in the mission in 1851. Jesus (Papa Jesus) Montes was Telesforo’s son. My Father Conrado Virgilio Montes was also baptized in the mission in 1917.
As a young boy, my father served mass in the mission along with his brothers, Jose Jesus Montes II and Gustavo Manuel Montes. My brother Ignacio was married in the mission in 1974. I first heard of Telesforo from my father while working on a project about my ancestors at Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas.
Both my father and grandfather, with pride, told me that Telesforo had been a Justice of the Peace, a Texas Ranger and a County Judge. They also told me that Telesforo had been a prominent, legendary and admired man from San Elizario. My father always spoke warmly of San Elizario’s history. Honor, respect and tradition are principles that my father believed in and this is what the Montes Family will continue to strive for.