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Socorro County, New Mexico


Aniceto C. Abeytia
Aniceto C. Abeytia is one of Socorro county's leading citizens whose interests are varied and extensive. He was born April 20, 1856, in Santa Fe, a son of Aniceto and Clara (Nieto) Abeytia. The father's birth occurred in Santa Fe on the 17th of April, 1830, while the mother was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. The paternal grandfather, Captain Don Diego Abeytia, was a merchant and stockman and received his title in the Mexican army. He became a resident of Santa Fe, of which he was alcalde and later in the history of that city mayor. Captain Don Diego Abeytia married Josefa Armijo, a niece of General Armijo. Aniceto C. Abeytia was educated at St. Michael's College of Santa Fe and then embarked upon a business career, entering the jewelry store of Mr. Andrews, where he learned the manufacturing of Mexican filigree jewelry- After four years he formed a partnership with his brother under the firm name of F. Abeytia & Brother, manufacturers of filigree jewelry, employing a number of men and doing a large wholesale business. The partnership was dissolved in 1885 and A. C. Abeytia then located in Las Vegas, where for about one year he was associated with a Mr. Mares in the same line of business. On the expiration of that period he purchased his partner's interest and continued the business as an individual and in 1895, with others, incorporated the enterprise as the Mexican Filigree Jewelry Company. In 1896 he sold out his business in Las Vegas and removed to Socorro, where he has since resided.
In 1880, in Santa Fe, Mr. Abeytia was united in marriage to Miss Fidelia Ortiz, by whom he had three children, Justiniano, Elvira and Luis, all of whom are deceased. Justiniano, who died at the age of nineteen years, bad already gained a thorough education, having attended the Christian Brothers College at Las Vegas, New Mexico, the Jesuit Fathers College at Denver, Colorado, the School of Mines at Socorro, New Mexico, and having graduated as a lawyer at the Nashville Law College of Nashville, Tennessee. Mrs. Fidelia Abeytia passed away July 4, 1894, and in 1896, in Socorro, Mr. Abeytia married Tomacita Garcia, the only daughter of Don Juan Maria Garcia and Maria Isabel Torres de Garcia, both deceased. Mrs. Abeytia is a thoroughly accomplished, affable, and courteous lady. Her husband has membership relations with the Catholic Knights of America.
Mr. Abeytia is a staunch republican and one of the prominent representatives of the party in Socorro county and in the state of New Mexico at large. He has been chosen to fill many offices of trust and responsibility. In 1887 and 1888 he was county superintendent of schools in San Miguel county, in 1889 and 1890 served as chief deputy sheriff and collector of San Miguel county, in 1891 and 1892 was school director in that county, during the years 1893 and 1894 acted as chairman of county commissioners and in 1896 and 1897 served as assessor in San Miguel county. From 1897 until 1903 he was a member of the city council of Socorro, while through the years 1904 and 1905 he held the office of mayor of the city of Socorro. He likewise served as school director and member of the board of education, in 1907 and 1908 acted as sheriff of Socorro county and in 1910 was sent as a delegate to the state constitutional convention. From 1908 until 1912 he served as regent of the New Mexico School of Mines and he also represented Socorro county in the senate of the first legislative assembly. Mr. Abeytia was one of the organizers of the Socorro Electric Light Company and served as its first president, and he was also the first president of the Socorro County Fair Association. He is an extensive owner of city real estate in Socorro, where he was the pioneer in utilizing cement for sidewalk construction. He likewise owns some fine ranch property, including about four hundred acres of alfalfa. His is the notable record of a self-made man, for he began his business career with the capital accumulated through his own savings and has become wealthy. He is a well informed man on current events and issues and has traveled extensively with his wife in the United States and Mexico. His acquaintance is wide and he enjoys an enviable reputation as a public-spirited, progressive and valued citizen.
["The Leading Facts of New Mexican History", By Ralph Emerson Twitchell - 1917]

Holm Olaf Bursum

Senate Years of Service: 1921-1925
Party: Republican
BURSUM, Holm Olaf, a Senator from New Mexico; born at Fort Dodge, Webster County, Iowa, February 10, 1867; attended the public schools; moved to New Mexico in 1881; settled near Socorro, Socorro County, and engaged in stock raising; member, Territorial senate 1899-1900; chairman of the Territorial central committee in 1905 and 1911; member of the State constitutional convention in 1910; member of the Republican National Committee 1920-1924; appointed on March 11, 1921, and subsequently elected on September 20, 1921, as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Albert B. Fall and served from March 11, 1921, to March 3, 1925; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1924; chairman, Committee on Pensions (Sixty-seventh and Sixty-eighth Congresses) engaged in the newspaper business at Washington, D.C., and subsequently returned to Socorro, N.Mex., and resumed his former business interests until his death in Colorado Springs, Colo., August 7, 1953; interment in Socorro Protestant Cemetery, Socorro, N.Mex.
[Submitted by A. Newell]

A. D. Coon
A. D. COON is a native of New York. He came to New Mexico in 1879, settling first in Albuquerque, and in 1881 he moved to Socorro, N. M., his present residence. Since coming to the Territory Mr. Coon has devoted himself exclusively to mining. He has been very successful, and today is interested in some of the best paying mines in the Territory, among them being the Merritt mine. He is also interested in the Cabinet Consolidated Mining Co., and the Socorro mine. Mr. Coon is a man of energy and enterprise, and is prominently identified with the interests of Socorro.
[Source: "New Mexico, The Spanish Conquest to the Present Time", by Helen Haines, pub. 1891 - Submitted by Pat Houser]

Michael Cooney
MICHAEL COONEY, born in Canada, March 18, 1838. He received an early education in Canada and worked on a farm from 1850 to 1860. The following year, he went to Chicago, and upon the organization of the Twenty-third Illinois Volunteers he enlisted in that company, and served three years in the civil war. He then returned to Canada and entered a military school at Toronto. In 1866 he went to Buffalo, N. Y., and took part in the invasion of Canada by the Fenians. At the battle of Lambston's Ridge, his company of four hundred men, under General John O'Neil, defeated the Queen's regiment of 1400 men; resulting in a complete victory for the invaders. After the rebellion he disposed of his property in Canada, and engaged in the liquor business in Chicago for several years. In 1868 he became a member of the first Irish Republican Club ever organized in the United States. In 1869 he organized the Sheridan Guards, the second State military company then in Illinois; the following spring, he, with his company, joined General O'Neil's second invasion of Canada; this was, however, defeated by the arrival of General Meade with United States troops, who arrested all officers of note connected with the invasion, with the exception of the officers of the Chicago regiment, who disguised themselves and mingled in with their commands as privates, leaving the first sergeant in charge, thereby eluding arrest. In 1870, Mr. Cooney was appointed inspector of customs for the district of the Teche, La.; subsequently he was transferred to New Orleans. He held various positions in the custom house up to 1877. On the 15th of October, 1879, he was married to Miss Jennie Donnelly of New Orleans. He organized the Mitchell Rifles and commanded that company until 1880, when he received news of the death of hie brother at the hands of the Apache Indians. He immediately came to New Mexico, recovered and buried the body of his brother, and being prepossessed with that country settled in Socorro County. In 1884 he was elected to the Territorial Legislature; in which he represented Socorro County, and in 1888, he was re-elected to the same high position. Capt. Cooney now resides in the thriving little town of Cooney, N. M. He is largely interested in mining and operates some of the most valuable mines in New Mexico.
[Source: "New Mexico, The Spanish Conquest to the Present Time", by Helen Haines, pub. 1891 - Submitted by Pat Houser]

Thomas C. Gutierres
A native New Mexican, was born in Socorro, N. M., in the year 1840, and is of distinguished Spanish lineage; his ancestors coining to America from what was then called the Kingdom of Aragon in 1750, and through marriage Mr. Gutierres is connected with many of the leading families of New Mexico. In 1851 he crossed the plains in "prairie schooners "to attend the St. Louis University in Missouri; he remained in this institution five years and then entered the Hudson River Institute, Columbia County, N. Y. After a short course in this school, he entered the Albany Law School, Albany, N. Y., where he subsequently graduated. Mr. Gutierres located at Albuquerque in 1862, in which place he soon established a large and lucrative law practice, also becoming a man of mark in the community. Such was the confidence he inspired that he was chosen, in 1863, to the lower house of the Territorial Legislature, in which he was an active and leading member during the session of 1863. In 1868 his many friends secured for him the election to the office of probate judge of Bernalillo County, which he held three terms and served with dignity and impartiality. Upon retiring from the bench Mr. Gutierres engaged in sheep raising and freighting, in both of which pursuits he was successful, owing to his judicious management and business experience; his earnings from these enterprises were put into real estate, from which Mr. Gutierres is now receiving a large income. During his judicial career he was a most untiring worker, and few indeed could accomplish so much, and he stands to-day one of the strong and able men among those whose careers furnish the explanation of the growth and success that New Mexico has achieved and so strongly maintains.
[Source: "New Mexico, The Spanish Conquest to the Present Time", by Helen Haines, pub. 1891 - Submitted by Pat Houser]

William Edgar Kelley
William Edgar Kelley an attorney at law at Socorro, New Mexico, who was a member of the constitutional convention of 1889 and has exerted considerable influence in public affairs, was born July 18, 1836, in St. Joseph county, Michigan, before that state had been received into the Union. He was reared and educated in the north and in 1863 was married to Sophia Lincoln, who was a native of the state of New York, but at the time of her marriage was living in Coldwater, Michigan. She died in the year 1890.
On leaving his native state William E. Kelley removed to Kansas and afterward went to Mississippi, where he remained for about seven years. He was admitted to the bar in that state in 1874, and practiced at Granada, Mississippi. In 1875 he was before the United States senate investigating committee at Jackson, Mississippi, as a witness concerning the election frauds that had been perpetrated that year in that state, and he served as superintendent of schools there for a year and was also in the internal revenue service. After spending seven years in Mississippi he returned to Michigan and was admitted to the bar in that state. He arrived in New Mexico in 1879 and entered into partnership with his brother-in-law in the purchase of sheep, which they sent over the trail to Dodge City and thence to Garden City, New Mexico. All that winter Mr. Kelley pumped water by hand for thirty-five hundred sheep. The next winter disaster overtook him in the loss of five thousand sheep. He then went to Socorro in 1881 and opened an office for the practice of law, in which he has since continued, having now a large and important clientage, his legal business being of a distinctively representative character. From 1882 until 1886 he served as justice of the peace, a time when the lawless element was in great force and it required strong determination and fearlessness to bring into subjection the men who were constantly setting at naught the laws of the land. Judge Kelley has always been a stalwart Republican and has long been recognized as a leader of his party in New Mexico. He was a delegate to the statehood constitutional convention of 1889 and was a strong supporter of the constitution, the question being submitted in October. 1890. He is now an advocate of joint statehood. He has been a delegate to the New Mexico territorial conventions and his influence has, in part, proved a decisive factor in settling questions relating to the public policy. In his social relations he is connected with Gem City Lodge, No. 7, I. O. O. F.
["History of New Mexico: Its Resources and People" (Volume 1)]

General Estanislao Montoya
GENERAL ESTANISLAO MONTOYA was the son of Jose Montoya and Juana Maria Baca, both of the most respected and noted families of Valencia County, who were old time residents of Belen, from which place they moved to Socorro in 1816 as pioneer settlers of that city, where on the 9th day of December, 1819, the subject of our sketch was born. Don Estanislao received the benefits of an ordinary school education at Socorro and resided there with his family until 1847. On May 3, 1840, Mr. Montoya was married to Dona Francisquita Garcia, a member of one of the most ancient families of New Mexico. In 1847, with his wife, child, and parents, together with other families, they settled the present town of San Antonio, where the remainder of his days were spent. He and his estimable wife were blessed with eight children. After the invasion of New Mexico by the Texans, he was appointed by Governor Connely brigadier-general of New Mexico militia; and served gallantly and faithfully. He made a raid with ten companies of militia on the Navajo Indians in 1864, who were scattered in the Mogollon Mountains; he was quite successful, killing twenty bucks, capturing about fifty squaws and papooses and a large number of sheep and horses. In the same year he discovered and took up the now famous San Pedro coal mines, from which for two years he supplied Ft. Craig with coal. In 1872 he was appointed sutler at Ft. Craig, which position he filled with satisfaction until January, 1877; in that year he was elected, by a large majority, probate judge of Socorro; not desiring to serve a second term, he was succeeded by his son, Don Desiderio S. Montoya. Don Estanislao was an active and prominent politician of Democratic proclivities, and his popularity was evinced by his constantly being elected to whatever office he aspired. As a merchant he was very successful, but he accumulated most of his fortune through stock raising, and during the latter years of his life formed a partnership with his two sons, Don Desiderio and Don Eutimio. He had extensive land interests, the most important being the "Socorro Grant," and expended large sums of money to secure the patent to the grantees. His wealth was estimated up in the hundreds of thousands, which he made himself by a close attention to business and integrity in his dealings. Don Estanislao departed this life on the 8th day of August, 1884, surrounded by his loving wife and family. He died with the satisfaction of leaving every one of his children well settled in life, and an honor to his name. He was a pious and devout Catholic and a liberal supporter of that faith.
[Source: "New Mexico, The Spanish Conquest to the Present Time", by Helen Haines, pub. 1891 - Submitted by Pat Houser]

C. T. Russell
Son of Robert H. and Elizabeth Russell, was born March 26, 1847, in Shelbyville, Ky. In 1852 he removed with his parents to Texas, and until 1856 they resided near San Antonio ; they then located on a ranch near Austin, and it was in this place that the boyhood and youth of our subject was spent. His father's death occurred in Mississippi in 1863. In 1864 Mr. Russell enlisted in Company B, Twenty-first Texas Cavalry, and remained in service of the Confederate Army until April 5, 1865, when he was honorably discharged. In 1868 he was married to Miss Adelia L. Burnham ; his family consisted of two bright children, Emma M. and Robert Lee. In 1878 he was elected sheriff and collector of Blanco County, Texas, and was re-elected to the same office in 1880. At the expiration of his second term of office, his health being much impaired, he was advised to remove to New Mexico, and in 1883 he located in Socorro County. His health steadily improved and he soon became one of Socorro County's leading citizens. In 1884 he was elected sheriff and collector of that county, and in 1886 he was re-elected to the same office. In 1885, upon the uprising of the Apache Indians, headed by the notorious Geronimo, Mr. Russell at once organized a company of sixty men and started in pursuit; the band was eventually captured under Gen. Miles' command. It was at this time that Capt. Russell was promoted to the rank of major in the Third Regiment of New Mexico troops. In 1887 he was commissioned colonel of the same regiment by Governor E. G. Ross. Upon the expiration of his second term of office as sheriff, Col. Russell refused to become a candidate for any office, and the greater part of 1889 was spent in traveling. In August of 1889 he decided to cast his fortunes with the new State of Washington, and accordingly removed with his family to Hoquiain, his present residence. During the period spent in New Mexico, Col. Russell contributed largely to the success of Socorro County in his position of sheriff, and his many sterling qualities were appreciated by hosts of friends.
[Source: "New Mexico, The Spanish Conquest to the Present Time", by Helen Haines, pub. 1891 - Submitted by Pat Houser]

Antonio Abad Sedillo
Antonio Abad Sedillo, attorney at law at Socorro and ex-district attorney of Socorro county, was born April 15, 1876, in the city where he yet resides. He is descended from Antonio Jose Sedillo, the original grantee of the Antonio Sedillo land grant, lying partly in Valencia and partly in Bernalillo counties. His son, Antonio Abad Sedillo, Sr., grandfather of our subject, was school commissioner of Socorro county when it included Sierra county. The parents of our subject were Rufino Sedillo and Donaciana Montoya Sedillo. Mr. Rufino Sedillo was probate clerk of Lincoln county in the years 1877 and 1878 and was afterwards deputy probate clerk of Socorro county for many years. Mrs. Sedillo is a direct descendant of two well known and influential families of Spanish extraction in the Territory of New Mexico, namely, the Montoya and Baca families.
Antonio A. Sedillo acquired his education in the public schools and the night school. He is practically a self-made man. He pursued his law course under the direction of the Sprague Correspondence School of Law Edward Medier, father of Edward L., was at one time a prominent contractor of Albuquerque, coming to this city from Washington, D. C., in 1880. The building of the town had just been started and he erected many of the most important business structures, as well as many handsome residences during the period in which he made his home in the territory. Among these were the famous San Felipe Hotel, which occupied the site on which the Elks Opera House now stands ; the N. T. Armijo block; the Cromwell block; the First National Bank building; the Fergusson building; the Bernalillo county court house and several of the city school houses. In 1901 he removed to Los Angeles California, where he now resides.
He was admitted to the bar of El Paso, Texas, April 5, 1899, and began practice here in 1900, while in 1901 he was admitted before the supreme court of New Mexico. He had previously done hard manual labor at a smelter, and had also been employed as clerk in several stores and as a sewing machine agent in Socorro county, and in a curio store in El Paso, and he was deputy probate clerk for three years, while for one year he was deputy county assessor of Socorro county. He taught school in Socorro and Sierra counties, and was principal of the public schools in the city of Socorro for a few months. For one year he acted as city clerk and was chief interpreter in the house of the territorial legislature during the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth general assemblies. In 1903 he was appointed district attorney and served for one term, during which time several important cases came up before the courts, one in regard to the settlement of the finances of Socorro county, in which, associated with Mr. Fergusson, he secured eighteen thousand dollars judgment for the county.
Since retiring from office Mr. Sedillo has engaged in private practice and has been connected with much of the important litigation tried in the courts of his district. Quite a number of notable cases have been conducted by Mr. Sedillo, who as counsel for the defense or prosecution, has shown marked ability in handling his cause. On the 22d of April, 1901, was celebrated the marriage of Air. Sedillo and Miss Gertrudis (Tulita) Vigil, of Socorro county. Their children are: Juan Antonio, Manuela Cupertina and Rufino Rodolfo. In his political affiliation Mr. Sedillo is a stalwart Republican, well informed on the issues of the day and recognized as a leader in the local ranks of his party. He was secretary of the Republican central committee of his county for six or eight years, and has edited Spanish papers during the campaigns in support of the principles of the party. He made his first political speech at the age of twenty years and has since delivered many public addresses in support of political principles and candidates. William C. Heacock has resided in Albuquerque since the spring of 1881 and was the first police judge of the city. He was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1850 and was graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, in 1872. He served for eleven years in the navy, attaining the rank of master, equivalent to the present rank of lieutenant. While in the naval service he took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1880. In the spring of 1881 he came to Albuquerque and compiled the first ordinances of the city and also acted as its first police judge. He has enjoyed an extensive and successful practice in criminal law and is recognized as one of the most able advocates at the New Mexico bar, with a comprehensive knowledge of jurisprudence and a keen analytical mind that enables him to correctly apply his knowledge to the points in litigation.
["History of New Mexico: Its Resources and People" (Volume 1)]

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