Huerfano County, Colorado
Oral Interviews

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Faris Martinez

Scanned by Dick Chenault
Edited by Dick Chenault

Story of Faris Martinez By Escolastica Martinez This is information from Faris Martinez. The story of his family of years ago.

My name is Escolastica Martinez. Faris Martinez is my husband, and his father's name was Manuel Martinez, and his mother's name was Rebecca Ames. His father came from New Mexico. His mother was born in Badito. They made their residence there and were married there. Manuel worked for his uncle, Fred Sproull. Faris remembers that in Badito, there was an adobe house which was the first jail house in Huerfano County.

Later on they lived at St. Mary's, not far from Badito. At this place there were a lot of neighbors and also the Catholic Church. The priest in this church was called Father Gabriel. This father, in his buggy, would go to Chama for mass. All of the people loved him a lot. A also know this because I would hear my grandparents say this too. In St. Mary's there was a society of Penitentes and there was a morada. They would gather during lent to do penance.

In time of spring, the farmers would plant after this, they would gather to pray; about the end of May, and also pray to St. Isadore for all their labors and to have a good harvest. This was a custom every year.

After many years the Martinez family went to live at Malachite, to the west of Badito. Here at this place Faris was born, the youngest of fifteen children, eleven sisters and four brothers, two were twins and died soon after, leaving two sons. Albert and Faris and an adopted son named Jake. Manuel Martinez and his family lived there six years. Manuel and his neighbors would take their wheat to La Veta, Colorado to the mill and make their flour. Faris remembers he would go with his father in the car with a team of horses.

Later they moved, Manuel Martinez and family to the Yellowstones to homestead and there, lived some years. They wouldn't water their farms, everything was temporal, but it rained a lot. But it was good land and always had a good harvest. This is now called Yellowstone. They would harvest corn, beans, pumpkins, chile, melons and even watermelons. In those days the people would dry all the vegetables and also the meat. They would call it carne en adobe, because it was made with chile, and there were no freezers.

After some years in Yellowstone, there was a lot of wild game. A lot of rabbits, lions, coyote and snakes of all sizes. Farmers always had to leave scarecrows to scare them away.

Now there are hardly any people living there, but before there was a lot of people, all had their homesteads. Some were the Santistevans, other Maes, Peraltas, Valdezes, and Martinez. All of the people would take their wheat to the mill at La Veta and make their flour, and Faris remembers too that his father would haul alfalfa to the stables in Walsen. Manuel Martinez also hauled for other people, he was called a flauters. He hauled alfalfa, etc. for the horses. Faris remembers that the coroners had very beautiful horses for the funeral coaches.

Now to go back to the harvest, all of the people would help one another with the harvest and when they would finish, all of the ladies would make pies and a lot of good food and they would have a big feast with violin and guitar music, all had a good time dancing too.

After many years in Yellowstone, they moved to a ranch near Walsenburg. Rebecca, Manuel's wife, died in 1922 in Walsenburg and Manuel died the year 1945 in Walsenburg.

In those days, not too many schools, only one in Badito and it was many miles from the homes and no transportation. The children would go one day, then cold weather, and they wouldn't go back again, so they had little schooling. Faris, the youngest, hardly went to school. His education was what his mother taught him, as she went to school for a teacher, but married before she became one and had a large family. A place called Illinois, she was educated, he doesn't remember too well. He only went to the third grade and helped his father. In those years they all did the same, worked on the farms and had no schooling.

His father, as far as Faris can remember, didn't talk too much politics. The politicians were his son-in-law, one was a sheriff in later years. One was Aragon. His name was Monico Aragon and Claude Vallejos, not too sure if Barnett King Sr. was one or not, but I do know of Aragon and Vallejos. They were all brother-in-laws of Faris.

When Faris lost his mother, all of his sisters had married so he had to be the cook to help his father. He must have been twelve years old. He learned very well to be a good cook and even today he is a better cook than me. He also cleans house.

End of interview

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