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Grant County, New Mexico
Obituaries and Death Notices

Clara Ponce Acosta
Clara Ponce Acosta, a longtime Silver City resident, entered into eternal rest Tuesday, July 8, 2008. She was preceded in death by her parents, Porfirio Ponce of Silver City and Rosa (Gomez) Ponce of Santa Clara. Her son, Edward, of Denver, Colo., and three sisters, Christina Terrazas, Genoveva Santa Maria and Bertha Ramos, all of Silver City, survive her. Many nieces and nephews also survive her. Her loving humor and kind heart will be missed. Mass was celebrated at 10 this morning at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Interment followed in the Catholic Cemetery in Silver City.
[Silver City Daily Press, 11 July 2008 - Sub. by FoFG]

S. M. Ashenfelter
S. M. Ashenfelter, one of the best known attorneys of the New Mexico bar, died Tuesday morning at Silver City of paralysis of the heart.  He had resided in New Mexico since 1872.
[Arizona Silver Belt (Globe City, Pinal County, Ariz.) January 25, 1906 - Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]

Funeral of E. W. Dickinson
Funeral services for Edward W. Diskinson, 63 years old, prominent New Mexico ranchman, who died at Whitewater, N. M., Monday, were held at 2:30 oclock this afternoon from the Peak chapel. Mr. Dickinson was heavily interested in El Paso real estate.  [El Paso Herald, El Paso, Texas, November 6, 1919 - DD,  Sub. by FoFG]

William Preston Dorsey
William Preston Dorsey, discoverer of the Telegraph mining district in Grant county and who was intimately connected with the development of mining throughout the Southwest, died Sunday at his home in Tyrone, at the age of 74 years. Mr. Dorsey was one of the pioneers of the famous Hillsboro district in Sierra county, and made his way into Grant county when it was overrun with Indians and was considered a remote frontier. Indians had no terrors for Mr. Dorsey and he established a ranch on Bear Creek long before Silver City was considered safe for white people. The rifle which he used in those days still remains in the family as an heirloom and was brought to the west from his home in Missouri. When the work of building the Santa Fe railway was started along the Santa Fe trail Mr. Dorsey returned to Kansas and for several years was a foreman of railroad grading outfits. He returned to New Mexico in 1880 and has been in the mining business ever since. He was well known throughout the Southwest and leaves a host of friends to mourn his demise. [Deming Headlight, Jun 11, 1920]

Gregoria Gomez
Gregoria Gomez, 96, of Silver City passed away Saturday, Dec. 11, at Fort Bayard Medical Center.  The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. today at Bright's Funeral Home.  The rosary will be recited at 7 also at the funeral home, with Deacon Bill Holguin.  The funeral  Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church with Father Mike Lindsey officiating.  Interment will be in St. Vincent de Paul  Catholic Cemetery.  Mrs. Gomez was born Nov. 28, 1903, when New Mexico was still a territory.  She was one of 13 children born to Rosas Morales and Domitila Salaiz Morales. She was married to Juan V. Gomez on May 16, 1921.  She is survived by one brother, Miguel Morales of Silver City, and a daughter, Genevieve Johnston of Silver City. Close relatives include nieces, Estella Rodriguez, Connie Carr, Matilde Morales and Felicita Morales of California. Natalia Calderon of Arizona, Lydia Wood of Las Cruces, Delia Acosta of Silver City, Domitila Valenzuela of Hurley and Teresa Chaperro of Albuquerque. Nephews include Alejandro and Eugenio Morales of Arizona and Rayhmond Morales of California.  Grandchildren are John D. Johnston and his daughters, Emalee and Jessica, of Hayward, Calif. Valeria Bustillos and daughters, Kari and Tara of Corona, Calif., and Annette Padilla-Williams and children Brianne and Tanner, of Tucson, Ariz.  She was pre-ceded in death by her paents; one set of twin brothers; a sister who died in infancy, six brothers,Eugeni Epitacio, Francisco, Ramo Juan and Demecio Morales and two sisters, Felici Franco and Josefa Sern.  Also preceding her in death were her husband, Juan, an her daughter Celia C. Padilla.  Mrs. Gomez was homemaker, and a loving mother and grandmother. She will be remebered for her love and devotion for her parents, siblings, and all family members.  She was very spiritual woman and was a parishioner of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.  Pallbearers for Mrs. Gomez's services will be Andy Padilla, John D. Johnston, Joe Mendoza, Bodie Chavez, and Eloy and Felix Valenzuela.  Honorary pallbearers are Tanner Houtz, Andres Padilla and Bobby Mendoza.  Bright Funeral Home is in charge of arreangements.  
 [Unknown newspaper, Dec. 1999]

Juan V. Gomez
Funeral services were held on Wednesday at St. Vincent de Paul Church for Juan V. (Johnnie) Gomez, 76, a lifetime resident of Silver City.  A retired Civil Service employee, he died at his home Monday afternoon.  Rev. Richard Hartnett officiated at the services.  INterment was made in the Silver City Catholic Cemetery.  Pallbearers were George Barela, Felix Valenzuela, Sam B. Saenz, Juan Flores, Alberto Cruz, and Alfredo Quintana.  Survivors include the widow of the deceased, Mrs. Gregoria Gomez, Silver City, two daughters, Mrs. Genevieve Johnston, Raton, and Mrs. Cecilia Padilla, Silver City, five grandchildren, four sisters, Mrs. Simona Pena, Los Angeles, Calif., Mrs. Rosa Ponce, Silver City, Mrs. Matilda Mendoza, Compton, Calif., Miss Beatrice Gomez, Central, two brothers, Jose V. Gomez, Central, and Pete V. Gomez, Silver City.  
[Unknown newspaper, July 1968]

Miguel Gomez
The funeral of Miguel Gomez, who died at his home Friday, May 26 following a long illness, was held last Sunday at the Cox Mortuary Chapel. Burial was in the Santa Clara Cemetery. Prior to the service a funeral mass was said at the Santa Clara Church. The deceases a was a lifetime resident of Grant County. He was born in Las Cruces in 1871. Survivors are his widow, Marcelina; four sons, Juan of Silver City, Pete of Phoenix, Ariz., Joe of Central and Nestor of Los Angeles; and four daughters, Mrs. Manuel Pena of Tolleson, Ariz.., Mrs. Matilde Mendoza of Compton, Calif., and Miss Beatrice Gomez of Central. There are also 19 grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.  [unknown newspaper, c. 1950]

Marcelina V. Gomez
Mrs. Marcelina V. Gomez, 87, of Central, passed away Sunday at Hillcrest Hospital. Born in Mesilla Park, Dona Ana County, she had lived in Grant County for many years. Surviving are four sons, Juan, Pete, Jose and Nestor Gomez, all of Silver City, four daughters, Mrs. Porfirio Ponce, Silver City, Mrs. Manuel Pena, Los Angeles, Mrs. Pete Ramos, Compton, Ca., and Beatrice Gomez, Central, 20 grandchildren. Rosary services will be held Tuesday evening at the Curtis Mortuary Chapel. Mass was said at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Santa Clara Catholic Church, Central, the Rev. Fr. Culmir Petraukas, officiating. Burial was in Central Cemetery. [unknown newspaper, c.  1961]

Lucius C. Hightower

Lucius C. Hightower, convicted of the murder of his wife, Mrs. Hallie Hightower, at the Tyrone mining camp In November, 1915, paid the penalty for his crime on the gallows. The execution took place in the court yard at Silver City, the drop of six feet decapitating Hightower, death being instantaneous because of his weight, being over 200 pounds, The noose severed the head from the body.
[Estrella (Las Cruces, NM) Saturday, November 25, 1916 - KT - Sub by FoFG]

William H. Jack
CAPTAIN WILLIAM H. JACK, one of the pioneer cattle men of New Mexico and at one time owner of the famous “Oak Grove” cattle ranch in Grant County, died Saturday, February 19, 1916, following an operation in a hospital at El Paso, Texas. Captain Jack was a native of Pennsylvania, having been born at Pittsburgh April 7, 1854. He was the son of William and Caroline (Howard) Jack. Captain Jack received his education in the public schools of Holidaysburg of his native State and began his career as an employee of the Merchants’ and Manufacturers’ National Bank of Pittsburg in 1871, continuing with that financial institution for eight years, when he removed to New Mexico and located in Colfax County, where in 1879 he engaged in the business of stock raising. In 1891 he removed to Grant County and at one time was one of the largest cattle raisers in the State. At the time of his death he was owner of ranches in Colfax and Union counties and was president of the Crowfoot Cattle Company. He was married in 1895 to Jessie J. Posey, who survives him.
With the organization of the New Mexico Cattle Sanitary Board in 1892 Captain Jack was elected its first president, an office which he filled for eight years, thereafter continuing a member of the board until the time of his death. In the days of Colonel La Rue and Captain A. G. Austen, respectively secretaries of this most important of all New Mexico’s official industrial organizations, Captain Jack’s wide experience and influence were always witnessed in the many legislative enactments during the period of his connection with the board. While never a member of the legislature, along with James F. Hinkle, W. C. McDonald, Nick Chaffin, and other prominent cattle raisers in the old Territorial days, Captain Jack’s personality was always of great weight in both branches of the legislature in securing the passage of laws for the benefits of the cattle men.
Socially, there was no more companionable spirit in the Southwest than “Bill” Jack. His friends were legion and no meeting of cattle men of consequence throughout the country was considered complete if not attended by the president of the New Mexico Board. Captain Jack was a charter member of Silver City Lodge B. P. O. E. and a Mason and was always identified with every movement tending to the betterment and improvement of the community in which he lived. At the time of his death he was a resident of Folsom, Union County, New Mexico .
At a meeting of the Cattle Sanitary Board held in Albuquerque on the eighth day of March 1916, the following resolutions were passed:
“Whereas, it has pleased an all-wise Providence to call from our midst by death, William H. Jack, for a great many years identified with the live stock industry of our State, and also for many years an active member of this board, and
“Whereas, during his long service as a member of this body, his time and labors were given painstakingly, unselfishly, and without stint to the service of the cattle industry and the State: and
“Whereas, there exists among the members of this body a strong feeling of the loss suffered through the death of our associate; now therefore be it
“Resolved, That the New Mexico Cattle Sanitary Board, in session assembled, expresses, insofar as words may do so, our sorrow at the death of William H. Jack, appreciation of his services to this organization, to the live stock industry, and to his State; and be it further
“Resolve, that a copy of this statement be spread upon the records of the New Mexico Cattle Sanitary Board, that a copy be handed to the widow of William H. Jack, and that the New Mexico newspapers be asked to publish these resolutions.
(Signed) “John H. Hicks. “Harry A. Martin.”
[Source: "Old Santa Fe" , April 1916, Vol. III No. 10, pages 180-182; transcribed by Richard Ramos]

Jesse B. "Red" Johnston
Jesse B. "Red" Johnston, 80, a Silver City resident, died Tuesday morning at Gila Regional Medical Center. He was born Feb. 10, 1916, in Pawhuska, Okla., to Jesse C, and Rosa Lee Johnston. Mr. Johnston was a master mechanic. He worked at Harris Motors, Heaston Langandorf Motors and Skillman Motors in Silver City. While residing in Raton, he operated Red's Auto Service for several years. He had a wonderful sense of humor and had a funny story for every occasion. He was a king, humble man who loved his family and his many friends, and enjoyed doing things for them. He will be sadly missed by his wife and all his family and many friends. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Genevieve. He is also survived by his Sons, Jesse Johnston of Questa and John Douglas Johnston of Hayward Calif., his sisters, Alice Guinn and her husband, Bill, of Burbank, Calif., and Lenora Friar of Bakersfield, Calif.; a brother, Floyd Johnston, and his wife, Kathryn of Tulsa, OK and six grandchildren, Sheri Johnston, Dodie McVetty, David Johnston, Neteri Reynolds, Emslee Flynn and Jessica Johnston. He is also survived by several great-grandchildren; and two nieces, Val Bustillos, Annette Houtz. Visitation will began at 5 this evening at the Curtis-Bright Funeral Home chapel. A prayer vigil will be held at 7. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church on Friday at 10 a.m. with the Reverend Rod Garvey officiating. Interment will follow at the Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Maurice Aragon, Andy Padilla, Sam Barrera, Tino Barrera Jr., Tommy Ryan, Steve Aguirre Jr., and Steve Houtz. Honorary pallbearers will be Pancho Randall Elton Rikel, Bobby Torres and Orval Oldham. Family members selected Curtis-Bright and Lordsburg Funeral Home to serve them.[Silver City Daily Press, 1997]

Sidney L. Lewis
July 28,1927 -- Sidney L. Lewis meets instant death on ranch in Greenwood Canyon northwest of Silver City, Grant County, New Mexico.
RIDING OVER THE RANGE -- At the time the victim met death he was out looking for horses. The body was not found until morning when searchers discovered the crumpled form of the rider and horse not far from the ranch home. The deceased came to Grant County about a year ago from Texas, where the body is shipped for interment. He is survived by his widow and other relatives.
Sidney L. Lewis 32 years old, a homesteader residing in Greenwood Canyon about 25 miles northwest of Silver City was struck by a bolt of lightning about 4 o'clock Thursday afternoon while riding over the range of his ranch looking for horses. The fatal shaft not only brought instant death to the rider, but the horse was also killed.
Lewis had left the ranch on horseback and while riding along a timbered ridge, a thunder storm came up. The bolt struck him in the back near the shoulder and went through his body, the saddle, and the horse. Both fell in a crumpled heap. When he did not return home by dust his wife, Mrs. Betty Lewis became alarmed and fearful some accident had befallen her husband, and notified nearby neighbors. A search began, but because of the darkness of the night this accomplished little. The next morning not far from the ranch house a searching party came upon the body of Lewis and the carcass of the horse. A autopsy examination revealed that both had been killed by lightning.
BODY BROUGHT HERE -- The body was brought to Silver City to Cox's Mortuary where it was prepared for burial. It was shipped Saturday to Dallas, Texas, where the parents of the deceased live, for final interment being accompanied by the grief-stricken widow.
Lewis came to Silver City about a year ago from Texas with a brother B.W. Lewis, and the two had taken up government land with a view of embarking in the goat business.
At the time of his death Lewis was engaged in Building a permanent house on his homestead, and otherwise improving it. He was well known throughout the district where he lived.
This is the first fatality this year in this county due to lightning, although considerable stock has been killed.
[Obituary was written by family in 1927, Courtesy of Lee Peacock, Jan Greer, Lucille Barry McJilton, Fay Griffin. -- Transcribed by Mary Lafferty Wilson]

Tom S. Parker, Pioneer, Dies
Located Town of Tyrone, N. M., Now Big Mine and Smelter Center
News has been received here of the death in Rochester, Minn., of Capt. Thomas S. Parker, retired pioneer mine owner of the Tyrone district, near Silver City, N. M., at the age of 70 years. He had gone frequently of late years to Rochester for medical treatment for stricture of the aesophagus which he suffered from for a long time. He was twice married, his daughter residing in San Diego, Cal., and his second wife making her home in Washington, D. C.
About 40 years ago Capt. Parker, civil war veteran, plains railroad builder and Indian scout in the campaign under Gen. Crook against the Apaches, rode across the little pine clad valley where Tyrone, the mine and smelter city of the Phelps-Dodge corporation, now is located, decided that he would settle there and did so later, acquiring an immense acreage of land covering copper and turquoise veins.
Sells Holdings; Moves to El Paso
He promoted a number a exploitation companies, made and lost several fortunes and finally sold the last of his holdings to the Phelps-Dodge agents in 1914, breaking up his home in the little sanatorium city he had built and moving to El Paso. After living in Castle Heights addition for a time he went to California and later to eastern sanatoriums in search of relief from his affliction.
Capt. Parker said when he was last at Tyrone he wanted to be buried there. No information was received as to whether his wish will be carried out. He was reputed to have held thousands of dollars in interest bearing securities of eastern railroads and industrials. He once said that he had never invested much money in mining stocks, but had spent fortunes endeavoring to develop mineral bearing veins. He was well known by the pioneer business men of El Paso, having been here frequently since the beginning of the building of this city.
[El Paso Herald, El Paso, Texas, July 16, 1917 - DD,  Sub. by FoFG]

Carrie M. Tabor
Mrs. Carrie M. Tabor, Died at Pinos Altos, New Mexico, Aug. 19, Mrs. Carrie M., wife of John W. Taber, formerly of this city.
[The Henry Republican, September 6, 1883 - Sub. by Nancy Piper]


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