Huerfano County, Colorado
Oral Interviews

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Marcos and Benito Manzanares

Contributed by Karen Mitchell
Interviewed by CLEO BELLAH

July 23, 1979

Cleo: This interview started to be of Marcos Manzanares, but while I was doing it his son Benito Manzanares came to see him. I wanted to have him listen to as much of the tape as I had when I discovered that instead of pushing the record button, I had only pushed the play button. Consequently the beginning of Marcos' interview wasn't recorded, so Benito was very obliging in telling me of Marcos' life or as much as he could recall or as much as he knew. Therefore, the person doing most of the talking in the tape is Benito. Since both are in the interview however, I will write it down as it is taped. Two people in the tape-Benito the son, and Marcos the father.

Benito: When did grandpa come to Huerfano?

Marcos: Oh! I don't know that.

Benito: Well you was born in 1895.

Marcos: I was born in 1895.

Benito: Where at?

Marcos: In Redwing.

Benito: Ok, so Mr. Nestor Manzanares and his wife Feliciana they had to be here before 1895., Yea, so they must have come here in 1890.

Benito: Because my tia Florita was born in Costilla, Co.

Marcos: En San Luis.

Benito: Well, Costilla, County.

Marcos: Oh yea.

Benito: So that had to be in 1890. Alright, and then now have you got the history of the mother? His mothers folks came here from Mora, New Mexico. Mr. Jose Guadalupe Martinez and Mrs. Dortea Gallegos de Martinez, they came from Mora, New Mexico in 1890. Right?

Marcos: Yea

Benito: They were also here at that time, and then dad was born. Marcos Manzanares was born in Redwing in 1895. And then he worked in, he worked as a rancher in Red wing, and he also helped to build the church (Catholic) at Gardner. How about the Church in Chama? Was it already built?

Marcos: It was already built.

Benito: In 1917 you married?

Marcos: Yes

Benito: He married Maria Inez Teresina Archuleta, the daughter of the late Dave and Ramona Archuleta, and they had a son, Juan Benito Manzanares in 1918. Also in 1918 he was drafted into the First World War and he served in Fort Wiley, Kansas.

Marcos: Three months and three days.

Benito: He was in the service for four months. I mean three months. From there he came to work in the Coal mines. and became a Coal miner. The first mine he worked in was Lester in Rouse Co. Known as the Lester & Rouse mine for CF&I. From there he worked for the Butte Valley Coal Company till he retired in 1949. Then he came to Pueblo where he worked in Construction until his retirement.

Cleo: Some of the questions I had asked weren't taped and he told me a good story about outlaws. He specifically remembered an outlaw named Candido. (no last name).

Marcos: Candido DeCastillo. ha ese hombre lo mataron, pero eso lo supe por lo que me platicaban nomas. Lo mataron en el lugar de Melaquias Cisneros, hay en ese rito debajo de su rancho lo mataron. (He mentioned names but didn't want them mentioned as to who killed him).

Benito: Names is hard to mention, you shouldn't mention names. eh! now he also had, besides me he had six more children, right?

Marcos: Six or Seven.

Benito: Six, six more children.

Marcos: Yeah!

Benito: eh which three of them are living. Which are me, my brother Bill and my siter Mary Cruz. Ok, now what else?

Cleo: What sort of law was there in those days?

Benito: The law, when he, was growing up, the commissioners were Juan De Dios Montz and the other one? Jeff Farr was the Sheriff, and who was the deputy, do you remember?

Marcos: His brother.

Benito: The Farr brothers were the law in those days. The Sheriff and deputy were Jeff Farr and his brother. And the com- missioners were Juan De Dios Montez and Guadalupe Archuleta.

Marcos: Guadalupe Archuleta was Commissioner and when he died his son, Sabino Archuleta, took his place.

Benito: When Lupe died, Sabino Archuleta, the son took over. And that was for the upper Huerfano. Now do you remember the stor- keepers? Who was it? Brown, Brown was the storekeeper at the time.

Marcos: Brown?

Benito: Yeah, my mother said at the time that...

Marcos: Clint Brown, yeah

Benito: Clint Brown was the owner of the mercantile there.

Marcos: Yeah, I remember Clint Brown. I used to exercise his horses.

Benito: Okay, he also used to run horses for Mr Broure. Mr Broure had race horses, and your father-in-law, David Archuleta was a pony express rider. That was my dad's father eh, father- in-law. okay. Also Juan Iantas Abila, eh how about the others ones, Rosario Manzanares, Did ride pony express?

Marcos: Oh yeah!

Benito: See it's got to be in the records.

Marcos: Yeah.

Benito: okay.

Marcos: Y Lupe Archuleta. tambien eh! no era Lupe Valdez.

Benito: Lupe Valdez used to ride pony express in those days. They used to go over the Mosco pass, into over the Zapata Trail inot the Sand Dunes. That's where the relay station was. And then from there they took it to Alamosa and different areas.

Benito: Just before he, my dad went into the service in 1918 he registered a homestead at the Mosco pass, but because of the draft, he had to sell it. So, he did have a homestead at the Mosco pass. Right there, right off the Sharps Dale!

Marcos: Right off the Lagunitas.

Benito: Okay, and he had a Homestead there. But he had nothing to leave us. and there was no welfare, there was no help of any kind so he had to sell the homestead for whatever he could to leave me and my mom something until he came back, or he didn't know if he would or not.

Cleo: What school did he go to! Or what school did you go to?

Benito: Well, I started to school in Redwing in 1924, Right?

Marcos: In 1924?

Benito: Well Yeah, and then from there I went to the at school at Rouse Co. This is me, Bennie talking. The son, okay and then I went to school at Rouse there, I attended school in La Veta, at the River school in La Veta, not the old school but the one down in the field, and from there I went to Cameron and from Cameron I went to St. Marys, and from there the Coal Mines in 1936.

Cleo: Did you graduate from St. Marys.

Benito: No.

Cleo: Used dijo que havia ido a la escuela alli en Walsen.

Marcos: En Walsen en 1904.

Benito: Yeah but you attended the schools en? First Where?

Marcos: Yah en Walsen.

Benito: Was there an ,....?

Marcos: Alli donde esta'la planta electrica. alli en la loma estaba la escuela.

Benito: En Walsen Camp then.

Marcos: Yeah.

Benito: okay in 1904.

Marcos: Y luego de alli nas llevaron para Bear Creek. En Bear Creek, fuimos Als escueleta por un teempo.

Benito: At the upper Bear Creek?

Marcos: Yeah.

Benito: okay.

Marcos: Fuimos por unas dos meses.

Benito: Oiay.

Marcos: Y a la laguna tambien fuimas a la escuela por un tiempo, pero no me acuerdo por cuanto tiempo fuimas Alli.

Cleo: What sports or games or contests were popular in those days?

Benito: El Chuego, (Chueko).

Cleo: Puede decirme que era el chuego?

Marcos: Yo no se como te puede decir, pero era un garate que parecia una muleta. Era un juego de pelata donde jugavan una plaza contra otra. Eran los championes alli en Rouse.

Benito: The Chuego was something like polo ou horseback, these people played it on foot. They would get a team against another and take the ball to the opposite goal. Just like polo. And the cheugo was made out of green oakbrush and it was shaped like a hockey stick. In other words it would be hockey only it would be played in dirt (ground) instead of ice. It was some- thing like hockey. I would say, only this was played in dirt instead of ice. And they played baseball too. They played base- ball too. They played baseball. He Marcos also played football in the service.

Marcos: Ha! ha! ha! I didn't like that though.

Cleo: What other things did people do for entertainment?

Marcos: Tell stories, I guess.

Cleo: Can you remember some of the stories they told?

Marcos: Bueno, jugaban canute. Era un canute con un ahuero asi-(demonstrated with a piece of wood). With a hole on one side) Mi padrecito era el champion para ese negoeio. Tenian una pila de tierra asi y alli en la tierra enteraban las canutes. Y dician al una, Y al doce, Almulato yal cinchado y aqui esta el clabo. Yesetado lo que decian. Y jugaban el canute. Las vecinas unas con otras. Pero mi padrecito era el champion. Dijia El una, y El doce, al mulato yal cinchado y aqui esta el clabo.

Benito: They would hide it see. and they would have to guess donde estaba el clabo-(Nail) and they played a lot of horseshoes.

Marcos: A lot of horseshoes too, Tejas.

Cleo: Ques esa Tejas?

Marcos: Usaban piedras, Lo mismo que con las raduras.

Benito: They would make a hole and they would see who could throw closer to the hole. They do it with rings now. They make a hole up there and you toss the ring to see who comes closer to the hole. and if you make the hole, you make certain points, you know. Just like horseshoe when you hit the iron. And for entertainment during the winter time well, they had the fireplace Home made fireplaces made out of adobe, you know, and the'd sit around there and eat pinon and tastar.

Marcos: Chew tabacco.

Benito: And they'd roat pinks corn and make Eskite. Do you know what I mean? It's something like popcorn, you toast it and then you throw syrup on it while its hot and you make it stick together. You'd roast the corn, pinks corn, and you'd mix the sugar with it while it's hot in the same pan and they glu together like popcorn balls. And they call it Esqite. And tastaban Habas. Y que atra casa dad? Comer Carne seca?

Marcos: Hechando Chistes.

Benito: Telling tales, stories.

Marcos: Habia un viejita de Clli de San Luis que no dejia d Quieren tabacco. Ella era mi tia. Y mascaban tabacco. Y yo, que mi padrecito y madrecita chupaban. Chupaban tabacco, que mi tio Juan tambien. Ella se llamaba Lucera. Yescupiamas derecho A la lumare. Yo comense mascar tabacco muy jouen. Tenia nueve (9) anas yo creo. Nueve diez anas, por hay.

Benito: He would tell me that during recess, everybody would go out to play and him and his buddies would go out and chew tabacco.

Marcos: Naughty boys.(WE)

Cleo: Did you ever go to dances?

Marcos: I used to go to dances, yeah.

Cleo: Were there fights on the dances?

Marcos: Algunas neces habia pelellas. si, no me acuerdo too much about it.

Benito: El era muy bueno para las quadrillas. You know what the quadrillas are?

Cleo: Yes.

Benito: Spanish quadrilles. okay. y las cutilias Y las . valses, y las redondas.

Marcos: I used to.

Benito: Y las vasellbanas.

Marcos: Le estaba diciendo a la Demecia elotro dia, I'll never forget that. Vilar una cuna. Que no habia quien nos ganar a vilar a mi ya ella. Es mi hermana. She was a good dancer. Tengo diez hermanas Y hermanos. Son diez todavia.

Cleo: Quantos hermanos tiene.

Marcos: son cuatro hermanos y sies hermanas. Y todos estan vivas.

Benito: The oldest sister is 91 years old.

Marcos: 91, yeah.

Benito: 90 or 91.

Marcos: 91, yes.

Cleo: Donde vive ella?

Marcos: Vive aqui en Pueblo. Pero ella estaba creada con las abuelitos. En San Luis. Ella viene de San Luis O'Chama. De los Vealpandos. Conoces a los Vealpandos? Te acuerdos de Tio Victor Vealpando?

Benito: Ella esa de esa gente.

Marcos: Apaco y ella parienta de nasetras tambien. (He was referring to me- the interviewer).

Benito: Nuestra Abulita se llamaba Feliciana. Era hermana de Dona Maria Louisa Sanchez. (My great grandmother) Eran hermanas.

Cleo: Can you describe you wedding?

Marcos: Ya no me acuerdo mucho.

Benito: d no te acuerdas?

Marcos: Oh! me acuerdo cuando ebamas en la marcha. Que ibamas todas para la casa y, estaban la indita, Mana Tren, llarando, en la puerta, d parque llara, mana Tren,? le prequnte, hahaha me decia. y luego que(crying sound) que pasar par uno arroye, y comadre Rose, par ir mirando a los novios ciao para dentro. (laughing)

Benito: Esta viejita Trin, la crearion (raised) las Archuletas. Esa muyer, Trinidad, era una India. La campraron en el, en el trading post en Santa Fe. Las Archuletas la trajeron y hay la crearon. (raised). Verdad?

Marcos: Yeah.

Benito: Y ella acabo de crear a todos loa Archuletas. Esa era la viejeta Trinidad, que le digran Trin. La viejeta Trin.

Marcos: Estaba llarando par aqallas como las criaron.

Benito: Y criaron a otro Indio.

Marcos: O si. Jose Antonio.

Cleo: Mary Cruz, the sister of Ben and daughter of Marcos contributed some information here. Mary: Okay, my mother says that when she worked at West Cliff, at the J.M. Ranch, the lady made her wedding cake for her.

Benito: The owner of the J.M. Ranch made her wedding cake. They're names were Myers? or What?

Marcos: No, no eran Myers. Ya no me acuesda como se llamaban. Era una Mujer Ch quita que se llamaba.

Benito: Wolfe. Mrs. Charlie Wolfe. Made her wedding cake,

Cleo: What type of transportation did they have then?

Marcos: El bogge or el caro de caballeos. (Horse & buggy).

Benito: His uncle, Jose Manzanares, was, he had the agency to transport the freight back and forth to Walsenburg and Red wing. He had the Agency, frieghting the merchandise back and forth to Walsenburg and Redwing. See, they paid him to take the merchandise freight back & forth and he (Marcos) used to help him in the winter time when there wasn't anything else to do, he helped. But it was all by horse & buggy or horse and wagon.

Marcos: Horse & buggy.

Cleo: How often did people go to town?

Marcos: About once a month I guess.

Benito: No, because my mother said, that she was seventeen years old when she married right?

Marcos: Yeah.

Benito: She had never been to Walsenburg till the day she came to pick out her wedding dress. She didn't know what a freight train was, she didn't know what a railroad was. She had never seen anything like that before untill she came to pick out her wedding dress. So some of them people never seen the city of Walsenburg until they were of age to marry, or get drafted to the service or something like that. (

Cleo: What kind of medical care did you have in those days.

Marcos: Marijuano Yo crea? (joking)

Benito: No, it was a wizera. Its a lady parteras les decian. Mid wife. Era todo lo que tenian.

Marcos: Habian doctores, pero estaban my lejos. Estaban en Walsenburg 40 miles. Por eso me mude yo de Red wing pa las Campas, par falta de medicamentas.

Benito: Right after the war, fue cuando empesaron a marir todo la gente que se estaba enfermando?

Marcos: 1918 or 1919.

Benito: Right after you came out of the service?

Marcos: Yeah right after.

Benito: Right after he came out of the service. The influenza hit the county, I don't know if it was statewide or what, but anyway, him and my grandfather were busy making coffins for the people. They were dying. They were dying so fast that they had to keep making coffins

Marcos: We buried My Auntie, and by the time we buried her, there was another one dead of the same family.

Benito: He says that they were dying faster than they could make the coffins. How many coffins did you make altogether?

Marcos: About 20. That's quite a few.

Benito: And they was homemade. All they did was buy them.

Marcos: The lumber.

Benito: The lumber and the cloth that goes in, you know, to line em. and they would just line them with that cloth and that's it. That was during the influencia.

Marcos: That was in 1919.

Cleo: Entonces la influencia era el peligio que la gente le tenia mas miedo?

Marcos: Oh! yeah.

Cleo: Habia remedias especiales para esa enfermedad?

Marcos: Pues yo le voy a decir a usted que a nosatros en casa nos pego un resfrio y pego a mi premero Fue mi papa, que Dias lo tenga en paz, acasa de un vecino. a comprae un remedio que le decian White Mule. Y medeo a vever. Y mi decia, veve veve, veve, hasta que ya no supe si estaba vivo o no. Me embarache, y ese me levanto.

Benito: Usaban el Chamiso hedeodondo (stinky) tambien.

Marcos: El chamiso hedeodondo tambien. Pero el White mule que le decian.

Cleo: Ese Chamiso hedeodondo que dice usted, es el chamiso pardo que hay en los llanos?

Benito: Yes, it's the gray sage seen on the pracries.

Marcos: No mas pasan la sierra y hay mucho.

Benito: It's that sage that you find in the valley over in the San Luis Valley. You don't find it on this side so you have to go around the Sand Dunes or in that area, around San Luis.

Cleo: How were the children raised and reared differently?

Marcos: Entes estaban las gentes my pabres.

Benito: El respecto. Antes habia respecto. Ahara la familia no respecto a los mayores. Comment from Cleo.

Cleo: Antes si abian los hijos y las hijas lo que los padres les dejian verdad.

Marcos: Si, 0 si no, les menaban.

Benito: Habia mejar disciplina, que lo que hay ahara.

Marcos: Yo me acuerdo que mi mama, yo no se que me mando a cuento es que era algo de las dijuntos, le dije que no queria ve, pienso que me dijo que trujiera un brasada de lena para la estufa. Y como yo me cre (raised) con mis abueletos ves, Oh, no quiero le dije, y sali juiendo, agaro un leno y lo tiro y pne pejo en el pescueso y me voltio. Y alli andaba levantando me ella. Despues me daba risa a mi, pero entonces no me dio risa, cuando me voltio.

Cleo: What was it like for you during the depression? Marcos &

Benito: Bad. There was no work, no money, no nothing.

Benito: not enough work, not enough money to pay the company store. We depended on the Company store. He was working for the CF&I. then, but there was no work, they were working one or two days a week. I mean, not a week, a half sometimes.

Marcos: Sometimes every two weeks.

Benito: Every two weeks, yeah. Just enough to pay the lights, the rent and the water. and the grocery bill cont- inued going up until the winter time. In the winter time the grocery bill was so high that it took you almost three months to catch up to pay it in the winter time.

Benito: It was bad. People don't know what we went through.

Marcos: Oh! Yeah muchas veus se pone uno a platicar lo que era y muchas gentes no crean lo que era. Las que estaban.

Benito: The only ones that were well off, were the people that had a place of their own. They could raise their own craps. They raised their own pigs & beef, bacon & meat. But like us, like we worked in the coal mines. Well, I wasn't because I was still in school, but my dad I remember just, him just saying, that three months out of the year would go for the grocery bill. That kept piling up in the winter time. That would be the winter time so they'd start you back, like paying October they'd start you back, and get orders and work you back October, November, December. January, February & March and in April they would slack down again. But it would take three months to catch up to pay the grocery bill. By the time we got caught up and you got ready again, they'd lay you off or they'd slack down again. And here you was in the same fix all over again. Year after year. In other words you owed your life to the company store. And that song tells it all.

Cleo: La vida fue differente despues de la querra segunds.

Marcos: Si, Casi como estaba diciendo orita. No trabajaban segido la gente.

Benito: Pero estaba mejar que antes de la querra.

Marcos: Oh si, estaba mejar que antes de la querra.

Benito: Antes de la querra no pagaban mas que un peso el dia in los ranchos.

Marcos: En los ranchos no pagaban mas que un peso o' un peso, dos reales el dia. Cuano mas.

Benito: That's ten hours work. Something like twelve cents an hour.

Marcos: En mel cuevecientos oncepienso, trabaje con los Archuletas y no me pagaban mas que un peso. Y batiando para que me pagaran. Hasta que les avente.

Benito: Esos fueron, el dijunto Rafael. Y..

Marcos: No, no, no, ese fue Benigno. El dejiento Benigno.

Benito: Oh! Aqui en los Apaches? Marcos; Aqui en los Apaches! yeah. Pobres de los borregas, las llebaban para el mercado, pegame un grito a mi, come nogado ves, y agaro yo un garrote y le dije, hora gritame orta vez, y dijo pues quien eres tu. Para no gritarte. Y gondeule con el polo no mas que le jerre Pero le deje los barregas. Eranos tres a cuatro arriando los barregas y las cuarto lo dejamos con las barregas en el llano. Tenia la mania de sritarle a uno ve, no les mandaba como la gente. Como mandale a los animales. Yeah y luego despues para que nos pagara tuvo mi papa que salirle on el rifle. paraque no paraque nos pagara. Yeah. Oh! no le ubiera terado.

Cleo: Farming was different too in those days too wasn't it?

Benito: Farming was just horses and a plan. Very' few people had planners you know.

Cleo: Usaban oses para cartarel trigo?

Marcos: el trigo, la oja..

Benito: Como le decian a esa.

Marcos: El crel. Krel?

Benito: It's something like a sickle, I don't know what they call it in Spanish.

Marcos: Crel de decian los mejecanos, yo no se como le decian los gringos. sickle yo creo que le dijian los gringos.

Cleo: You said you sold your land to support your family?

Marcos: That's right.

Cleo: Cuantos acres tenia?

Marcos: 160 Acres. estuviera rico abara si tenia esa propiedad deneros.

Cleo: Did you grow any crops in your land?

Marcos: No, no, I didn't put nothing in it.

Benito: It's that homestead that he's talking about.

Marcos: The homestead.

Cleo: Did you have to pay for the land?

Marcos: Oh yeah.

Benito: No, No,

Marcos: No?

Benito: No, when you homestead you just file it and live in the land for a few days a year just to keep the homestead alive. Just improvements, right, but...

Marcos: Oh yo no sabia que seria.

Benito: You just improvements. You just put up a fence or a wire around it or something.

Marcos: A building...

Benito: Yea a building but you didn't make a building.

Marcos: No.

Benito: He just improved it.

Marcos: I think I only plowed in it once. Planted some potatoes. Las peligras mas grandes era lo minero.

Benito: Well he had some kind of illness. What do they call it. What was that sickness that you got real bad?

Marcos: A fever.

Benito: What do they call it?

Marcos: Scarlet fever.

Benito: He had scarlet fever real bad. When he was how old?

Marcos: When I was seven years old. Yo pienso que tenia como siete anas. Como siete o ocho anos tenia.

Cleo: Murio, gente de fever skaletina?

Marcos: Si, murio mucha gente de la feavre. Pero yo me est- uve emferoneo de Octobre, Noviembre, Deciembre Enero, Febrero Marza, Abiel. Siete meces.

Cleo: De esa Fievre?

Marcos: Si, que no podia andar.

Cleo: How long did you work in the mines?

Marcos: Twenty eight years. Viente y ocho anos.

Cleo: Do you remember any thing about Indians?

Marcos: No.

Benito: Just Jose Antonio, Mana Trin,

Marcos: Just Jose Antonio, Mana Trin, y Oh, Mana Lupita! Mana Lupita que la crio, era huerfano, y la crio Prima Tonita Barse. Mana Tonita la crio. Benigno Archuleta la tenia alla. Estaba siegeta(blind)

Cleo: When you were working at the mines, Did you ever have any strikes?

Marcos: Oh ya 1927. Wobbly strikes.

Benito: Wobbly Strikes. Asi le decian.

Cleo: What was it like before the strike!

Marcos: Muy despacio.

Benito: The management was real bad. The hand picked their people. If they didn't like you, they'd get rid of you right now, so, without no reason. But after the wobbly strike, after the union came in there was a lot of difference. There was very little discrimination. But before the wobbly strike, before the Union came in they hand picked the miners.

Cleo: Did you work with miners from other countries?

Marcos: Oh ya, Germans, Italians, Greeks, Slavs.

Cleo: Did you get along well with them?

Marcos: Oh Ya, we got along pretty good.

Benito: Oh they were emmigrants. They got here before the war and they stayed. They were all immigrants. They were brought into the State during the first World war. They drafted all the citizens, the nationals, and they brought in all immigrants from all nations, even Chinese, were here even Japanese.

Marcos: Tambien Japaneses. Alli in Ruse tenian la casa de harde los Japoneses. En Walsen tambien tenian casa de borde.

Benito: Ya, En Mutual tambien.

Marcos: En Mutual.

Benito: Yah en Turner tambien.

Marcos: En Turner habia japoneses.

Benito: The men would work in the mine and the ladies would work in the houses. Ya, but they were all immigrants.

Cleo: What do you remember most about the strike: Did it last a long time?

Marcos: I wasn't here then.

Benito: Yea.

Marcos: Was I? I thought I was in Salt Lake.

Benito: No'; that was the wobbly strike. It lasted since 1926, 27 & 1928. It settled in 1928.

Cleo: Was there a hardship on you during the strike?

Marcos: Yea, we had to get out and hustle for something else.

Benito: We had to get out and hit the fields. Agriculture. You know, work in the fields.

Cleo: What kind of crops did you work with? Benito &

Marcos: Onions, potatoes, beets, cucumbers, melons, Corn, Whatever there was.

Cleo: Where did you used to go work?

Benito: Wherever there was work, Statewide. We went statewide.

Cleo: Did the strike change anything?

Benito: It sure did.

Marcos: Better wages $775.00 a month.

Benito: That was later on in the 30's. And Roosevelt. He changed a lot of that too. Under the Roosevelt Administration. Lot of changes. It was for the best. For the low incomes, minorities they call them now.

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