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Contributed by Karen Mitchell Interviewed by Frances Daher Adam Maldonado, born 7-24-1909 Parents- Amarante Maldonado and Sinforosa Pacheco Maldonado Paternal grandmother - Inicita Duran-Pacheco Maternal grandparents - Francisco Pacheo and Culecita M. Maldonado Ethnic group - Spanish Date of family arrival in County - 1848 Location of first settlement - North Veta
JULY 19, 1979
I was born in the year 1909 July 24, 1909, here in Walsenburg. And I'm 70 years old.
Frances: And this the story of your family right, You
just tell us your story.
Adam: Well you see my grandmother's grandfather commin in-
to this country in the year 1848. His name was Lorenzo Romero,
and was one of the first inhabitants of this Valley.
Frances: Then What?
Adam: Then he homesteaded this same place in the year of
1873. Thats when Colorado became a State.
Frances: Where did he come from. Tell us about your an-
cestors in the book Adam. How they came here in what years?
Adam: My ancestors came to this country from Spain in the
year of 1868. My grandfather, thru my fathers side was Victorio
Maldanado. And he was born in Taos, New Mexico. And he moved
over here when my grandfather, Manuel Midland was 12 yr. old.
That was in let me get my book? They used to go to school, a
spanish school. They used to have spanish school.
Frances: Where was the Spanish school?
Adam: Well down here at my grandpa's, What year was my
grandpa born. My grandpa was born, thats my mothers father. My
great grandpa was Victorio Maldanado and his son Manuel Maldonado
that was my grandpa, he was born in 1859. He had 2 brothers one
by the name of Canuto Maldonado. Jose Juan De Dios Maldonado.
And see my grandfather married my grandma her name was Colecita
Maldonado that was she was the daughter of Lucas Marques. Yea
thats right. They was all homesteaders here. Here on this ranch
here my grandmothers. Grandfather Lorenzo Maldonado he homestead-
ed this ranch here. And his brother homesteaded right here where
we live and his other brother homesteaded right down below here.
Each one had 160 acres. But when my Great Grandfather came to
this country you know the Indians used to bother them an awful lot. -
They used to steal everything they could. They lived off of the
Spaniards. They'd steal goats, horses, cattle, everything they
Could to survive. But the Indians never did live here. They
used to live in Taos. This country was to cold. So every sum-
mer they'd come over here in Spring along in April and then in
the fall they'd go back to Taos. So one time you know when my
grandfather kind a got fet up, because they used to make cheese,
Goat cheese they had a bunch of goats and they used to make that
cheese. And they used to have dug outs you know they never had
houses. They had dugouts like cellars thats where they used to
live. When they first came here. So when my great grandfather
got kinda mad cause the Indians used to come over here from
Mestas we called it Baldy, thats where they used to camp, them
Indians was Navajos. So when every morning about 9-10 o'clock.
they'd come down here and they used to run the old Spaniards off
their huts and the Indians would take over their hide out. and
they used to drink that junket and so grandfather kept thinking
what he could do to keep the Indians from doing it, they couldn't
make cheese because they'd drink the junket. So one day he said
I'm gonna grind some soap weed, you know what we call Calla visit-
as that soap weed you know you seen them little things like balls.
like that they grow on Great big plants like pumpkins plants so
he grind a lot of them and put it on this junket, So when the In-
dians come the next following day. Well there used to be 30 or 40
Indians, you know all with bows and arrows and the Spaniards just
maybe a handful of them they used to run away. You know and they
would go hide down the river sometimes up on the hill. and they
used to have a dug, out right over here (points) so when the In-
dians come in they run for the hills and the Indians went and drank
the junket after they got out of there you know the Spaniards us-
ed to keep an eye on them see from under over the hill they got on
their horses and pretty soon you know one got off the horse you see
they got and awful diherrea with that junket I mean that Calivisitas
You know we used to call it that soap weed and pretty soon anoth-
er Indian got off, another, before you know it all the Indians
were off their horses. So what happened they never came back
no more. A couple years later the Indian Chief was a good friend
of my grandpas and my grandpa told him how come we don't see you
no more. Well he says you know what? You white people want to
kill my people. He says how come I never killed none of your
people. He said we was always friends. He said you put something
in the milk. And we all pertnear died, They never came back and
bothered no more see, that was it. But you know in them early
days we got a picture of the school that was built in 1885 or 1883.
I think and maybe one of these days if you want to put it in the
paper or take a picture of it the show is to you. So you can take
a photo of it.
Frances: I'd like to.
Adam: My father went to that school. His name was Amarante
and he went to the 4th grade, he never went past the 4th grade.
Thats all the education he had. But you know them old timers you
know they were actually, naturally smart, they didn't have to have
too much school. My father could figure anything, better than we
can and I went to school all the way thru school but never, he
never went to school. They learned the hard way, by experience
because experience is a better teacher than college.
Frances: Thats right.
Adam: Say you know he attended school here and so did my,
aunts & my uncles and my grandmothers father homesteaded up here
by where Prichards place was up above Julian. From Julian Pacheco
up used to belong to my grandfather right there where Julian lives
my great grandfathers brother homesteaded there. His name was
Juan De Dios Maldonado, it wasn't Maldonado it was Baldonado. and
then in the years it was the year of 1913 or 1914 I think. They
changed the B to the M instead of being Baldonado they were Mal-
donados but they used to be Baldonados.
Frances: And your ancestors all came from Spain.
Adam: Yes they all came from Spain the Maldonados came to
this country in 1668, and the Marques came to this country in 17-
something. I forget exactly, but in the year 17- the Marques
thru my grandmothers side. So you see this their homes they come
first to Texas and then from Texas they immigrated El Paso but
mostly they followed the Rio Grande and come to Santa Fe. The
biggest share of them. The first settlement in New Mexico was
in Santa Fe and then they come north to Taos you see. The big-
gest share of my ancestors lived in Taos, yea all the Martinez lets
see I you see this the discover of New Mixico took place. In the
year of 1540 to 1697 and in the year of 1535-36. Cabeza De Vaca
came in and in the year 1540-42 Coronado came in the year 1581.
The Friar Agustine Roanguez in the year 1582-1583 the Espero came
in the Conquest of Juan De Oato in Santa Fe. That was palvador
in 1613-1692-1696 Diego de Vargas came in. In the year 1822
New Mexico was made an American province. The Ranchio De Rio
Grande Americano thats what they used to call it see because that
was America already. In Americano in the year 1975 was, approved
by the american government in 1872 in was surveyed the state of
New Mexico. You see my grandfather was Lorenzo Romero and he had
5 sisters. He was Youtardo, Rosita, Carmilita, Maria Rita, and
Franciscata. And you see here is where this was their children
Out of Rosita there was Antonio Romero. Romancita Seladove, Neves
Letarga, Taht was all from one of the girls, right here we got
each one of them and their families, so my grandfather Lorenzo
homesteaded right there where Frawks at. He come in there in 1848
and he homesteaded in 1873 thats when Colorado became a state.
Frances: How many acres was that?
Adam: l60. There was 160 there and 160 here Antontio Romero
was the one that homesteaded right here where we live. And his
brother homesteaded down here where Jr Renolds lives, Just across
the fence that was another 160 acres. You see where Julian lives
my grandfather my great grandfather Lucas Marques homesteaded 160
acres, And over there where Claude Harrison lives you know where
Claule Harrison lives? Where you take that Valley road that place
to your left that was homesteaded by my great grandfather my grand-
mothers grandfather Lucas Marques.
Well the old settlers here they didn't have they growed every-
thing garden, corn, pumpkins and they used to save and preserve
everything for the winter. They used to have. They didn't bring
any cattle here until way back in 1880-1885 they brought cattle
from New Mexico but mostly they used have goats and sheep.
That used to be there meat. They used to eat nothing but meat
and vegetables of course what ever they growed on the farms, but
they used to plow with the wood plows, they used to cultivate with
the ox. My grandfather my father's father Manuel Maldonado he was
a freighter with ox they used to freight from Pueblo and down
there from Kansas all the way to Taos, Del Norte and them places
Frances: What did they Haul?
Adam: Flour from saw mills, corn, beans whatever they
didn't grow here they used to freight it in see but they
used to freight it with ox. My grandfather used to go from here
down to Des and all them places way down below. Colorado Springs
on foot in the winter time. When he didn't have nothing to do
he used to go do there and herd sheep on the flats and he used
to wald from here. One day from here to Pueblo he'd sleep in
Pueblo and the next day he'd hike from there all the way. That
was a long journey. You see the people here mostly never was
too quarrelsome only every once in a while they'd get somebody
from someplace else and he used to come over here. He used get
in trouble, because there used to be trouble makers someplace else
so they'd come over here and give these people here trouble.
Frances: Hidin from the law huh?
Adam: Yea they used to kill ox I mean kill cows, ox but you
know the one thing that was interesting to me was how they came
to call it whippin cream. You know they used to drive these ox
cows, cattle, bulls, steers they used to make ox out of steers,
bulls cows, and they used to freight with them and at night they
un hitch em they'd whip them all day and at night they'd unhitch
them and milk the cows and drink the milk and I used to tell my
Grandpa is this why they call it whipping cream. Thats right.
They used to whip that old cow all day long pullin the wagons and
at night unhitch the cow and milk it and drink the milk. Boy it
was amazing. I was tellin em I don't know how cruel you can get
but that the way they lived. On the when the railroad started
I got a history there in the abstract when the railroad started
they used to haul ties from here to Pueblo when they got the rail-
road started out of Pueblo this way. They used to haul ties from
here to Pueblo with ox they never started usin horses until oh
about the year 1885. That when my dad was born. and thats when
they started using horses to plow, horses to haul wagons stuff
like that but back from there they used to use ox they used to
use ox they used to farm with ox and they see the Indians used
to follow this river. Like Cucharas all the way down way down
below by Bents Fort way down there by Pueblo and they used to
follow the river the Indians in the summer time in the winter
time they'd curl up and go down to Taos to warmer climate. See
the Indian never was a very cold climate man. The Spaniards was
you know they used to stay here in the winter time. But in the
year of 1872 they had a terrific drought it killed everything.
Killed Cattle, sheep everything died of starvation that summer
they never had a drop of water never rained, nothin, so the fol-
lowing spring that was in 1873 that winter they had 6 ft. snow.
Burried everything and that ended the drought. So in the Spring
they had to go down to Taos and Santa Fe and Bring houses, & Cat-
tle, back to start all over again. Se so that was understood you
know still then they didn't have any horses then they had the
horses to ride but no horses to plow or haul wagons or stuff like
that that was in 1873 thats when they had the big drought in 1873.
But after that well the first 1883 they started buildin schools.
Prior to that they had the first Spanish schools but after that
they had the English. They started to talk in.
Frances: What were the Spanish schools like?
Adam: Well just like the schools now they used to have at
home they used to make a room and the kids the smartest one of
the tribe used to teach the rest of em. Well the teachers never
went to school themselves, but they was orginally naturally smart.
And they could see themselves capable of teaching somebody else.
So they volunteered but the first teacher that came to start teach-
ing here was in Spanish. They had Spanish books, from the primary
to the 4th after the 4th they didn't have no more books. But they
had the primary, first grade well they had the first grade no pri-
mary. lst grade 2nd, 3rd & 4th. Because I remember seeing them
my grandmother had the original books. She should have saved them.
One of my cousins she stayed with my granmother till she died she
Frances: Oh! what a shame. They'd be priceless today.
Adam: It's a shame thats right. Thats where my grandma star-
ted learning me my first Spanish. I learned Spanish. I learned
Spanish in the Ist books. Cause see I had to learn the alphabet.
(He recites the Spanish alphabet) See thetas the alphabet in Span-
ish. But I never took Spanish in school. I took Latin in school,
because I knew Spanish and Spanish is a lot harder than Latin, if
you want to learn it right. Because Spanish is a very broken up
language. Its a lot harder than Latin. Yea So I took 2 years 3
years Latin in School and Spanish I already knew before I went to
school. My grandma used to teach me Spanish.
Frances: They taught Spanish in school till then didn't they?
Adam: Yea that was the only language around until back in
like I say back in the first American teacher that came in here
I'd say the first white man that started teaching here was about
1885. 1890 thats when the American I mean this English started
commin in. You see there was no Italian, no slaves, no Germans,
here in this country until about the year 1880 thats when the
first Dutch. They used to call them Dutch, but the only inhabit-
ants in this country was Spanish that was the first people that
came to this country. And of course later on the English start
comin in and they start speaking English instead of Spanish. and
the Spanish people started learning English in School, but before
1885-1880 they was all Spanish yea. So then when the first school
started they had school up here, and they had an English teacher
he was from England. His name was Harry Weise one of the lst
teachers in this school here. That was my grandmothers sister.
My great aunt. Her husband. She married Harry Weise. So he's
the first. I got the picture and hes on that picture and I think
it was 1883-1885. 1890 when they took that picture and hes one
the first English teacher Harry B. Weise.
Frances: So you didn't have much to do with the Indian?
They didn't visit you or.
Adam: Well oh yea when the first English people came to this
country. They had to associat with the Spanish because thats the
only thing you know could you see the old man Fred Walsen he came
out here on foot he was just like a fur trader he was a fur trader
then when he went back East back to Chicago someplace and he mar-
ried a white woman and she came over her and when they had their
first child a fella by the name of Salazar they he wasn't even a
Catholic but they accepted him a a God father to the ch11d and he
christined that Fred Walsen the 2nd he Christened him and give
him a $1,000. He was rich he was a sheep man and they had a lot
of money. He gave him a $1,000. The following year this Mrs.
Walsen had another one and he they invited Mr. Salazar again and
he take them another $1,000 so thats $2,000. A thousand dollars
in them days was a lot of money. So he started a store. The
old Walsen trading store, they used to like the Spanish people.
the white man is a likes the spanish people. But then came the
Italian people. The Italian people and the Spanish people, are
one and the same breed. But they don't like each other. They
must have some difference years, centuries ago and they don't
like each other.
Frances: Because the languages are simular aren't they?
Adam: Its, they the same country. but when
the tower of Babalon, when God changed the languages, and they
started scattering. The Spanish people went to Spain and the
Italian people stayed right where they built the tower of Bab-
alon and you know they separated, because they didn't understand
each other. and they took a grudge against each other. and there
neighbors. Spain you know and Italy are neighbors but they don't
like each other, and I don't know why. Yea its a funny thing tho.
But you see the white man, what we call a white man ia a English
man and the English man you know he, they liked the Spanish people
but like the the Slavish people, the polish people, the German
people. The French people the French Italian, & Spanish are one
and the same kind of people see but they don't like each other.
See my Great grandfather wasn't born in Spain. He was born in
France. But he always took his Spanish descent and he didn't
want to be a Frenchman so he always said he was Spanish but he
was born in France.
Frances: What kind of laws were there. Were there any?
Laws or lawmen?
Adam: Well when this Colorado became a State and before
that. They used to have judges. They appointed a man from a-
mong the crowd and he had to judge. He was one fella who had the
best judgment and they used to appoint him as a judge. And he
used to settle the difference or find the one that was guilty.
When they used to come to court. They had a court, you know they
had a room in the same house and they used to come to trail, and
they used to well, they never had jails. They never had jails
till the first settlers there in Walsenburg. You know the first
settlere that settled there in Walsenburg then they built a jail
there. But other than that they never had jails.
Frances: How what did they do to them Just.?
Adam: They used to punish them they'd tie em up or like an
animal with a rope or chain so they couldn't get away thats the
way they used to punish them.
Frances: Either that or hang em huh?
Adam: Either that or hang them thats right
Frances: Kinda mean people?
Adam: Oh well the ones just like now they never done justice.
Some of the grandfather him my great grandfather
thru my fathers side. They see those people from
Mexico even them used to come over here from Mexico and you know
that one of my great grandfathers son-in-law, he used to be a
stinker, and he was a thorobred Mexican he came from Mexico. You
see the Mexican is a breed between Indian, Navajo and the Chero-
kee's Indian and a Spanish thats what they are. Theres no such a
thing as a, well you see the Indians. You know what the Indians
was a Russian, they came to this Country way back in the year
13 or 14 something. See they came on foot, they passed over here
on foot thru Alaska. And when they came to this country thru
that Bering Strait. See they became savages because there was no
civilization. They made there own laws and everything. See and
they made tribes you know, One chief over here one chief over
there. He used to call his tribe what ever he wanted but they r
was origianally Russians. Well not like Bo-Johns, Slovacks and
stuff like that. You know them other Countries that inhabit
East Asia, and then when the Spanish came in they tied a knot to-
gether you know and they formed the Mexican, the Mexican is a
breed between a Spanish and an Indian. And them Aztecs, thats a
bad breed, them Spanish, them Mexicans are Aztecs and Spanish and
there fighters, there drunkers, you see originally a Spanish is
not a drunker. But when they start breeding in with them Mexicans
you know Mexicans Indian you see then they start to get bad like
the rest of them. But you see the Germans, the Dutch they called
them, Dutch they never called them Germans then. The Dutch people
they started commin in. They inhabited lot of this like the De
Gere, that inhabited La Veta and the Kreutzer's and ancestors to
the De Gere's and thru the Harrisons there Dutch the Goemmers
there Dutch. The Kreutzers and then who else was in La Veta
there. Oh they was all Dutch they came in here and but they never
mixed with the Spanish people. They mixed with their own. You
see the Dutch is a little different tribe and there worse than the
Englishmen or the Irish men because the Spanish and English and
Irish. They make a good match. But the Dutchman they have tribes
of their own. So what else you want to know.
Frances: Lets see. Were there any outlaws in those days?
Adam: Oh! yea see then this Country was inhabited by the
outlaws was. Oh what they used to call them. The bunch of out-
laws here and then we had them over here the Dominguez. They was
all practically all outlaws and we had em as neighbors over here
(across the river). The old man Pedro Dominguez he was a wetback
he came from Mexico & he inhabit this country and all his sons
was outlaws they was. See howcome they became outlaws. Towards
the Spanish towards the white man was because the old lady when
she was a girl they was born in Antonito they were Spanish sons
of these soldiers white soldiers came in whey the state, when the
inhabitants commin here and they caught the faimly over in Antonito
East Antonito and they confiscated the house, killed the men and
they assaulted teh woman and they tied em up so this Dominguez
was there and they became outlaws. They always had it against
the white man. Every time they ran into a white man they'd kill
him. That was the grudge they had because they had assaulted the
woman. See the grandma and their sisters, Mrs. Dominguez was one
of them. (What the heck was her name?) Oh I forgot the name of
the outlaws them people there you know they used to kill the white
man. Every time they ran into them because they had a grudge again-
st him see thats why they had the grudge agains hem. Because they
had assaulted their grandmother and there mother too see. and
their sisters you know and thats how come they became an outlaw,
from there on they used to steal and rape and assault the women,
kill the men but they never done anything to the Spanish. They
used to be outlaws against the white man. Yea I knew their name
out it skips my mind. What else you want to know?
Frances: What did they quarrel about? Did they quarrel about
land. Ded they fight about! Land?
Adam: Not very much there was too much land to be taken. You
see all this land was free and they used to homestead. They gave
the government $25. that was an entry for a homestead, and then
this homestead used to plow about 20 or 25 acres. and they had to
do than in 3 yrs. And after the 3 years they used to paid the
government. Another $50. that was $75 another $50. Then they got
the a proof of the land thru the government what they called the
(prevas) that was the provement of the land, and then the govern-
ment used to send like a we call them engineers we call them in-
spectors like inspection, and they used to go over there and see
if they had done what ever they used to go over there and see if
they had done what ever they, they used to call them Fincas you
know and that was what they done on the place like the betterment
of the place. Like say for instance. They used to build a house
and maybe a few barns, corals, and that used to be the approving
of the land and in 3 years the inspector used to come and if they
had everything done that was required. Then they give em they
signed the papers and that was theirs. Then they could sell it
or do anything they wanted with it. But there was no quarreling
over the land because there was too much land everything was free
no fences no nothing. Yea. like the Dias Santiago. St. Anthonys
day and the following day. That was the 25th of July. Dian San-
tana was the following day the 26th they used to have dances and
for music they used drums they never had violins and stuff like
that. They used the drum like an Indian. They took that from
the Indians. And then they races horses, and fight roosters, and
played ball and they used to play what they call now golf we used
to call it trecho. They never called it golf it was trecho. And
in trecho we used to have they used to make them out of oak straight
oak just so big around and curve it put it on the fire till it gets
hot and then they'd bend it. Make a little bow on it they used to
play trecho with a ball and sometimes they used to fight over
they used to have a battle on them days on account of that. See
some guy well he hit the ball with the trecho and he missed it
the ball and he hit somebody on the shin. And here they come.
You know they used to hit themselves on the head. They had a royal
battle. With the trechos but she that was the only feast they cel-
ebrated was on the feast of St. Anthony. Santiago, Santana and the
4th of July. They never that never came in untill later. Durring
the independence. But that was the only holidays. Mostly, Christ-
mas. They used to celebrate on Chrsitmas day. That was that
been for centuries, and centuries ever since the comming, of Christ.
They celebrate on Christmas day, and New Years Day, New Years
day was a Manuel. And they used to celebrate the New years day
as a day of the Manuels and my grandfather was Manuel so they us-
ed to go over there and sing like the mariaches they used to go
down there and what they call it. What they call it when they
sing and dance. And he used to be prepared so he'd have them a
little feast, he'd have enchiladas he used to have bunuelos,
they used to have what they called sopaipillas you know what's
called sopaipillas now. Well we called them bunuelos and they
used to have squash, sweet squash, pumpkin pie and they make candy
out of pumpkin. And like they never had sugar. They planted su
gar. They planted sugar beets, and in the years ahead they start
concentratin on the sugar and they made sugar out of the sugar
beets. But before they didn't have that sugar. They used to
make candy out of pumpkin and pinks corn meal, they used to make
atole, what we call atole you make it like a drink out of corn
meal they used to have a feast you see the Manuel used to be pre-
pared. The Dias Santiago st. Anthonys day. Everybody would get
together and have a great big feast, everybody tale like a cover-
ed dish. Everybody would take something. You know and they had
great big tables. You know or on the ground. They never had floors
They had dirt floors. I attended church on the dirt floor and
they never had a church before like St. Mary's Church. You know
we used to have mass only the first Priest used to have mass over
here at my neighbors or at Julians on the old fort. Dirt floors
and they the women later on started weavin the rugs and then
they had what they call the helgas. They used to have them like
old rags, and stuff like that string, anything they could get a-
hold of and they'd weave those rugs then they started havin rugs.
But the priest used to put a little table and thats where he us-
ed to say the sermon from. A little table, gave the communion.
I attended a lot of that over here. Yea but as a whole just a
2 day holidays a year. Dios Santiago, Santana, St. Anthony, (St.
Ann) Santana she was a St. too. And they used to celebrate on Sts
day. Church was one of the most important because everybody was
a Catholic all the nationalities even the Dutch attended Church,
and they was all Catholics until oh I wish I had the record
when the lst Spanish missionary came over here a Prespetarian
thats the Old man Jaramillo and he was a Catholic and then he
turned into a Protestant that was long before my time but when
he died he died a Catholic. He called Father Lechotti to give
him the last rites and all the people the Prespeterians they was
all alarmed over it. They asked him before he died because he
was on his death bed. They asked him why. He had called a Cath-
olic priest to give him the last rites. And he told them to live
the Prespeterians they believe. But to die theres only one re-
ligion and that was the Catholic Church. So he called a priest
to give him his last rites. He died a Catholic but he was a Prot-
estant for years and years.
Well you see in them days the parents used to choose the mates
they used to if they liked some girl even if the husband, I mean
the boy didn't like the, girl, but the parents thought a lot of
this girl they used to go make this her son of this family marry
that girl, even if he didn't like her but due to obedience he us-
ed to put up with it and he used to live with her see but even if
he didn't like her they used to choose, mostly the husband never
choosed his wife. They always chose it for him. The parents did.
Because they used to respect, the boys and the girls the same way.
They chose the wife for their son, and sometimes their son, if the
parents knew some girl in Taos they used to tell their son well I
I know a girl over thery you ought to get married because after he
was 21 that he became a man they the parents knew that what he ne-
eded was a wife. So they used to go and pick a wife for him and
they knew girls someplace and lked her. You know looks didn't
make too much difference and shapes and stuff like that didn't
mean no thin until later. See because you know the girls and the
women in them days used to cover it wasn't natural or it wasn't
healthy or otherwise honest to be to expose yourself to the pub-
lic. They used to cover themselves from the neck down to their
feet and you didn't know what you was marrying just the face. So
but they accepted it. They accepted later on if the wife what
ever appeared too bad. But they had to live with it. My father
and my wifes father used to like each other they were good friends
and they approved it and then the grandmas the same way they
thought this it the way it should be done. So thats the way it
Frances: What kind of a wedding did you have?
Adam: Oh! man we had a wedding, we married in January the
month of January the 28th. The 23 Of January I think it was 1933.
All kinds of goodies you know. Soda pop, beer, whiskey, them days
was prohibition so we couldn't use whiskey you see they used to
drink like apple cider, like wine they used to make their own winr.
It wasn't prohibited we used to make our own wine. And lot of
em used to make their own whiskey. That wasn't prohibited for
your own use but if you'd go out sell it that was bootlegging.
Frances: I understand a lot of people made their money boot-
Adam: Oh yea, there, as a medico no doctors. The doctor
didn't start commin in till, after the turn of the century 1900.
But before that we used to have what they called medics just like
I say you know somebody got a pretty bright idea about medicine
or what we call remedios is something thats good for something
like a medicine. we drink like this tea made out of cota
thats like lipton tea, and its good for your heart, and used to
used yerverwena thats spearment. Thats good for a lot of things,
and polleo thats spearment one is doublemint. is polleo and spear-
mint-is yerverwena thats what we call it, and they used to be
medicated. And then we use (hierba gatern) thats cat nip we use
that (Marevio) as a medication and see for like pneumonia they
used to used doublemint. They used to make a patch out of double-
mint you know to put over the body to take the temperature off.
See cool em off, and but there was no doctors in them days but
they had what they called medicos and mid-ladies. You know like
ladies that used to go from house to house you know when a woman
was expecting. They'd call this lady for 2-3 days maybe a week
ahead of time. You know and she was supposed to take care of the
babies when he was born. But thats what they used to call them
medicos mid-wives. Yea but they never had what you call medicines
they made medicine out of the what we call the remedios see, they
made medicine out of spearmint, doublemint, catnip and all them
herbs they start concentrating on them till they made them into
a liquid and made a medicine out of them. see yea.
Them days the people the kids was brought up to over decipline
see they you know its not naturally a spankin but they used to
advise see them a lot. They used to grow up with them. And learn
them by experience not by schools and stuff like that. Like you
go lookin for like to be an engineer you go gave to go to college
and stuff like that. They used to learn by actual experiences
see they used to teach them how to plow, how to work the ground
how to work the cattle, how to work the horses. How to cure em
what to give em in case of a sickness and ail of that was and then
the behavior of them kids. You see in them days they used to be
they never had any delinquents hardly. Because the people used
to advise them, what to do and what not to do. But its the par-
ents fault if thy grow up delinquent. Its the parents fault. Aint
no-body elses fault. Don't blame anybody else. Its the parents
fault how they grew them up see how they bring them up. You have
to be strict with them. You always learn to say no and stay with
no. And I'd you say yes thats it but now they say Oh yea maybe.
maybe that maybe made a lot of delinquents see the kid you know
wants he gets something on his head and the parents know its bad
for him. Well they tell him don't do this and thats it and he used
to obey. They made him obey. They compelled him to obey. and if
they give him something to do instead runin around and messin around
see. They used to tell him will you do this and they'd find work
for him you know that was suitable for him and if he was intelligent
enough and they could see that he had intellegince in some live.
they used to look for what to teach him what ever his intelligence
called for see thats the way it is but. you know as far as dicipline.
They talk about whippings its just like anyother time if you needed
a whipping they give it to him. But other than that it was mostly
advice. They give him more advice and dept drillin him, drilling
him. They used to be good to the government, they always respect-
ed the government. And they was taught that way. At home you was
taught you respect the government. You respect your elders you re-
spect the law, and they used to respect it. Now they tell to heck
with the law. They just go ahead and try to punish the law and get
nasty naturally they got to get drastic about it. But other than
that they used to know how to behave.
Back even before the state became a state. Was enacted a state
they used to build ditches to irrigate. The old Spaniards really had
a knowledge about like engineers. They used to follow and always
leave a drop for their ditches. They never had no engineers in
them days. But they used to follow the ditch you know and then if
they'd see that the ditch was too high or it couldn't climb a little
draw, So they'd come around and give it a little drop and then st-
straighten out again and give it another little drop so that when they
engineered their ditches see but they back in year after the state
became a state. They started registering the ditches, and they
had 2 decrees that was the Reed decree that was the lst decree and
they had the Killion decree, thats the 2nd decree. You see the lst
decree the Reed decree he's got it made. But the Killion was just
flood water. But when ditches they registered em way back in oh we
got our ditch was registered with the state, with the government
back in about, we got some ditches over here in 1880-1874, Whenever
they started registering the water rights. They started them ditches
but the older the ditch the better water right they had, because the
last ditches that was built at the turn of the century 1890. They
was all killion decrees and they're no good. Water rights but the
first ditch decreed the Reed is the best water right. But they used
to used the water, I mean irrigation just like they do now. They
used to irrigate farms. You know this our ditch was this is the Ro-
mero ditch this is 1909 no no. #10 and #3 my grandfather was ther one
that registered #3. That was over Claude Harrises. That was #3 ditch.
#1 was way above the Cucharas, I think De Gera was the one that re-
Frances: So it was all in the Maldonado family then in those
Adam: Yea. Mostly all this was either Maldonado or a relation
to the Maldonado. The Marques, the Romeros, the Pachecos. They was
all related. The Montex was related and Atencios, Mrs. Nelson, her
father, the Atencios they was here they had farms all over in here.
Yea the Atencios had farms all over this country here.
Frances: Were they related to you too?
Adam: No, No thats one family that wasn't related. You know but
what they called the Bustos down below town down by Cucharas the
Bustos, The Medinas, the Maldonados, the Pachecos, was all rela-
tion, but you see they wouldn't marry with in the 3rd degree. You
see like when your 3rd cousin you wasn't allowed to marry your 3rd
cousin. After your 3rd cousin the Nationality was erased see but
the lst, 2nd, & 3rd cousin you wasn't allowed to marry from there
on you was allowed to marry the 4th-5th cousin you was nothing.
Frances: It was kinda hard to find somebody in those days
wasn't it there wasn't 00 many people around that you weren't re-
lated too, were there?
Adam: Well thats right some of had to go all over sometimes
like my grandpa used to tell me. Son if you ever want to pick your-
self a wife. I was just a little kid. only about 10 or 12 years
old. He used to tell mother. He says don't go to Taos New, Mex-
ico because all the Martinez's in Taos, New Mexico are your rela-
tives. See because he had oh about 4 or 5 sisters married in Taos
to Martinex and all the Martinez are related. And now I go over
there and bring up nationality and find out that all Taos is about
90 I'd say about 85% Martinez, and they're all my relations. So
when I entend to get married I was advised not to go to Taos to
go any place else but Taos. You see my grandfather an my wifes
grandfather was distant relations. They was related, mayber about
4 or 5 gernerations back.
Frances: Tell me again?
Adam: My grandfathers, fathers mother was an Indian. Her
name was ah, Julia no not Julia. I'll get to her pretty soon. I've
got em all here. He had 3 wives, my grandfather.
Frances: How come so may what happened to them?
Adam: Well they'd die and then he'd marry again. See my
grandfather was born was born in 1850. And he died in 1939. Lets
see here its around here someplace I know because I.
Frances: There's 10 in your family?
Adam: There's 10 of us in our family yea. My grandfather thru
my mothers side his name was Jose Enaldo Pacheco born in Taos in
1825, he died in 1905. He had 3 wives, Juanita Pacheco, Francisco
Pacheco, and out of his first wife out of this Juanita Pacheco he
had. My grandfather Francisco Pacheco, and then the second. His
second wife was named Lola that was a navajo Indian. That was kid-
napped baby. and they raised this Lola. This Luis Duran raised
this baby from well he was born in Taos New, Mexico in 1825. This
Luis Duran that was my grandfathers father. and he had his first
wife was Manulita Duran. And his second wife was Juanita Pacheco,
I mean 2nd wife Lola Pacheco and his 3rd wife was Clara Espinoza
Pacheco. Yea 3 wives But this Lola was my grandfathers wife, my
greatgrandfathers wife she was a navajo Indian. Oh! I skipped
here I know when she was born and when she died too but its in a-
nother book. And he stayed a while with this Clara Espinoza Pa-
Frances: You say she was kidnapped?
Adam: Yea she was one of the kidnapped babies. This Lola.
Frances: Had they raised her or what?
Adam: Yea they raised her; This Luis Duran raised her then
my grandfather married her that would be my great-great grandfather
yea he raised her yea.
Frances: Well Mr. Maldonado I think thats all our questions.
Can you think of anything else you'd like to tell me about, your
Adam: well the only thing I can tell you that we're the oldest
ones. Of the ancestors that live on the original place that was
homesteaded back before see this place here was lived in. inhab-
ited before the state bacame a state. And me and Frank, are the
oldest and my sister over here are the oldest relatives that lived
on the place that were originally homesteaded.
Frances: Were these originally Mexican? Spanish land grants.
Adam: No. No this wasn't a Spanish land grant. No see the
Spanish land grants were like over in Costilla, New Mexico and down
here below, Trinidad. Them were land grants you see. But this one
here was no land grant.
Frances: Your family didn't have any land grants?
Adam: But me and Frank and my siter are the oldest living rel-
atives that lives on the origianl place that was homesteaded by our
Adam: Ya. See we been here on this property 48, 148, 158,
168, 78-. 130 years we been here Last year. We lived on this me
and my you see my dad sold they sold the place to a fella by the
name of Bob Mitchell, He was an Irish man and they sold him that
ranch over there and then my dad, bought it in 1918. We moved back
into the ranch again yea but the original the old man Romero sold
it to a fella by the name of Bob Mitchell he was from Walsenburg.
He used to be a deputy sherrif there in Walsenburg. Bob Mitchell
they killed him during the progibition. They shot him.
Frances: What about Walsenburg, Do you know anything about
early Walsenburg. How it started?
Adam: Well I'm let tin you. You see Walsenburg was started by
the Leones they was Spanish too. De Leone the old man De Leone was
Spanish and he settled there and you know Fred Walsen come into
Walsenburg. I had a record someplace what year he came to Walsenburg as a fur trader. And he liked the place so he went back to
Chicago and married another Irish woman and brought her over here.
and thats how he started it. He started, Well in them days they
used to call them tradin centers. They used to open up a store,
and in that store you could buy from shoes to coffee, & sugar,
anything you wanted hardware anything that was sellable they used
to sell it. At the trading post, they used to call it a trading
Frances: Were there alot of Spaniards in Walsenburg at the
Adam: Oh yea, all the Atencios, the Escaballes, the Martinez,
the Salazars, the Maldonadoes. You see right there where that the-
atre from that theatre block. From the end of 7th St. down" to that
corner, used to belong to my uncle, my grandfathers brother came
to Maldonado. He used to operate that he have like a hotel there
the old Maldonado hotel. They used to rent rooms by the month, by
the week by the night whatever you know and then they made the old
M & O Pool hall and they used to have a liquor store they called
them a Saloon right there where B & B grocery is at on the other
side of the theatre. That used to be a Saloon, and down where Mrs.
Sanchez, Lucinda Sanchez. You know Lucinda well thats the old house
there. He made that house. My uncle built all that block there
that was the old man Canuto Baldonado then in 1913 or 14, he chang-
ed it from Baldonado to Maldonado, changed one letter.
Frances: Wy do you think they did that?
Adam: Well it seems like eh- to me they got a little prejudice,
and he had a little money see and the-Baldonado didn't sound very
good to him so he changed it into Maldonado. see thats the way it
occured. Well you know. I don't care you could be and Italian, a
Spanish a Mexican, or English, I don't care what nationality you belong to once you acquire a little bit you become a little prejud-
ice, so you think,. you're a little bit better than the rest. So
you look for the best. And the best. On the white people say the
Enlish people. They invented the perfume, they invented the colo-
gnes. So the people when they get into the higher class. They all
went for that you see. So they said well he's better than I am
no he ain't I got on his, thats the way it happened. But you know
thats ale way its always been like that you know peoples got pride.
I don't like people like that.
I couldn't see a future for my pension here on the ranch. see
naturally if you lived on a ranch you have to have something for
your old age. So when I back, I did own a ranch. But back in dur-
ring the depression I used to go out and come back. I used to farm,
and I used to pay social security. Then I worked at the mill, work-
ed in the mine,
Frances: Which mine?
Adam: The ordinance and when I retired I retired out of the
mill. But I'm still farming.
Frances: What year did you retire?
Adam: In 1973, I retired from the mill with a pension and my
social security and then I came back to the ranch you know stayed
here and worked. I intend to work till about 80-85 when I get a-
bout 85 I'll quit maybe. maybe- no you see a fella on a farm, you
know I'll tell you the advantage. Theres an advantage to living
on a farm, but when it goes to havin a pension. When you get so
old & you haven't acquired a pension then you have to go on a pen-
sion. Like the State pension and the state won't accept it. Be-
cause if you got property you have to dispose of your property or
either that or give it to the state before you can accept a pension
see. And this way if you work for your pension you can have. your
pension and live on your farm, as long as you want as long as you
live. And then when you see like when I retired I deeded I sold
my farm to the kids. I give em a deed like well they inherited it
it was an inheritance because sooner or later, I got em workin for
their pensions now. And I'm here when they get where you know
there gonna have to accept a pension. They can come out here and
live on the ranch. This is the best place to live. But when you
go for a pension you don't earn no pension here on the farm. You
have before you can accept the state pension see. Other than that
you can't accept it. If you got something you can't accept the
State pension. So I retired off of the mill & off the Social Se-
curity, and I live here on the ranch see and Ii 11 live here as long
as I live. You know. It's the best place to live.
Frances: What do you still grow?
Adam: I grow anything here, I grow corn, pumpkins. Big garden
a lot of hay. I got cows, & stuff like that see you might have to
pay income tax ex but its still better than livin in town. You've
got milk, cream, butter, eggs, all the meat you want, all kinds of
meat. Got alot of pork, a lot o beef, chickens, and stuff like that.
This is the best place to live. But when you grow old enough &
where you can't work. You can't accept a pension if you lived on
Frances: You talk about the depression what was it like, were
you on the farm during the depression?
Adam: Oh! yea, this was the best. Don't ever get caught in a
depression outside of a farm Ii 11 guarantee you that because you're
gonna be hungry. Here we never was on welfare or relief or some-
thing like that. never did accept. I remember one time I took
some boys over here and they was givin them oranges and commodoties
that what they used to call em, so I took them on the truck, I
used to buy cars, new cars durring the depression mind you. I
had money enough out of the farm to buy cars.
Frances: What did a car cost in those days?
Adam: Oh, all the way from $495. I bought cars durring the
depression. Brand new $450. $500. $600. for a new car, good cars.
Yea I had we always had a truck and a car here on the ranch. Always
did have. One time you know I went to take like I say take some
fella to get their commodities up here a little ways, and the guy
that was distributing the commodoties had some oranges left. So
he gave me a little sack of oranges. Thats the only thing you know
I ever ate outside of what I bought durring the depression. We had
alot of hogs, lot of chickens, we 'had cows, we had everything dur-
ring the depression. We never did have a depression. Not here on
the ranch. If you owned a ranch, you never did.
Frances: Did you sell things from your ranch?
Adam: Oh! yea, yea, we sold hogs, we used to sell hogs for $3.50
a pork, we killed them mostly we ate the biggest share of them, be-
cause they was too cheap. Sheep was only 509 a sheep. Cows $15.
$15 a cow, regardless of the size. The government set the price on
them. $15. for a big cow. We, well hardly ever sold any cows here
we used to butcher em. We used to milk em but after the depressin,
we started sellin em. You see but we still got a lot a cows. We
sell cows, pigs, chickens, eggs, butter, no we don't sell no butter,
we sell cream, every once in a while somebody wants to come after
milk, you have to get here or milkin time we selling a gallon of
milk for $1. 50¢ a gallon quart of cream for $1.
Frances: Thats been a good many years tho hasn't it?
Adam: Oh! yea, but we keeping money here, we always got money.
hay alot of people come here. They got horses
we sell 2-3 bales of hay. sell em a ton sell em 20 ton, whatever
they want. Once somebody wants to come over here to buy cows or
a bunch of calfs, we sell it to em. We used to sell you know now
we sell them for 3,4, or 5 hundred dollars a cow $800 a cow.
Frances: That a for cry isn't it?
Adam: O yes, No this is the best place for a depression, right
here at the ranch. Pay your taxes once a year and live you know
like a king. In town, we don't even have to pay for our water here.
Got free water. But in town you pay from water to salt. Everything
is nothin but money.
Frances: Thats right.
Adam: You see a house in town it might be in fact you know I
know a rot of houses in town pay more taxes than we do. I've got 7
or and Some acres here and a man with a good sized house pays more
taxes than we do. But you see like I say if you get caught in a dep-
ression don't get caught in, town. Get caught in a farm. At least
you know you can live. yea at least you eat here over ther, you
got to be in a live you know for welfare or handouts.