Tag Archives: Patagonia

Map Musings: Unveiling the Lenon Collection

13 Dec

In early December the Library and Archives welcomed what may be the single largest archival collection to be acquired in at least 50 years – and perhaps in the history of the archives! We are excited to announce the newest collection at the Arizona Historical Society: The Robert Lenon Map Collection! This collection will be an amazing resource for people interested in mining and minerals, geography, family and property history, and Arizona history as a whole. We will post periodically about this new addition, including our adventures in transporting a 600-cubic-foot map collection from Patagonia to the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson, so keep an eye out here for more information!

 Part of the Robert Lenon Map Collection in its new home at AHS-Tucson. It’s in full view in one of our galleries, so if you come by the museum you will get to see it in person and watch the progress as we begin to process it!

Part of the Robert Lenon Map Collection in its new home at AHS-Tucson. It’s in full view in one of our galleries, so if you come by the museum you will get to see it in person and watch the progress as we begin to process it!

Family History Month: A True Story of Finding Family in the Archives

28 Oct

As Family History Month in October 2013 closes out, another family history holiday begins: Dias De Los Muertos/Days of the Dead, November 1 and 2.  Family and friends gather to remember departed loved ones during this traditional holiday, with Aztec roots, from Mexico. Many American communities with Mexican American and Mexican populations also celebrate Dias De Los Muertos.

Full disclosure: This entry is not written by an Arizona Historical Society librarian/archivist, but I am an educator with AHS.

I want to tell you about the importance of archives and librarian/archivists in learning family history.  In this instance, my family history, and the role the Arizona Historical Society played.

My grandfather, Feliz Ruelas, was born in Tucson, Doña Ana County, New Mexico in 1860 before Arizona became a territory. He died in 1930, decades before I was born.  Growing up I never saw a picture of him.  I wondered what he looked like and who in the family might resemble him.

I heard that information about the family might be available at the Arizona Historical Society, so I went over to check it out.  Bottom line, I found a lot of information, including the first photo I ever saw of my grandfather!

If not for knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly staff in the AHS library/archives, my interest in family history and Arizona history might not have developed.

So, the next time you visit any library/archives be sure to thank the amazing dedicated staff who help you with your research.

One more thing—several cousins and my baby brother resemble our grandfather.

PC 1000-Portrait-Ruelas, Feliz-#

PC 1000-Portrait-Ruelas, Feliz-#18225.  As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Archivists’ note:  We’d like to thank Mary Ann for sharing her story of finding her relatives in the archives.
The photograph accompanying this post is one of several photographs of Mary Ann’s grandfather Feliz Ruelas. The picture information tells us that this was taken at his first ranch, Ruelas Ranch, near Patagonia around about 1885. He had just run a race on the horse pictured here.

Another photograph of Mary Ann’s relatives, this one of her Aunt Adelina Ruelas, was chosen to be put online as part of the digital reunification of the Mexican Heritage Project. You can view that photo online through the Arizona Memory Project or come in to the Arizona History Museum and check out the Mexican Heritage Project exhibit where this photo is also being displayed.

Holy Cow!

19 Apr
Prize-winning Hereford at the Southern Arizona International Livestock Association Show in  Tucson. Mr. Thurber appears second from right. Undated.

Prize-winning Hereford at the Southern Arizona International Livestock Association Show in Tucson. Mr. Thurber appears second from right. Undated.

I’m currently processing a large collection of personal and business papers from a Southern Arizona rancher. The pictures you see in this blog post come from that collection. The records’ creator, Harold Thurber, was at the forefront of the Arizona cattle breeding scene for almost 50 years. He was one of the first ranchers to begin raising Herefords in the area. Mr. Thurber was involved in a myriad of organizations in Southern Arizona and his records are a rich resource for those organizations as well as ranching and other topics in 20th century Arizona history, including: the Southern Arizona International Livestock Association fair, Pima County Fair, Patagonia-Sonoita Rotary Club, Catalina Savings and Loan, 4-H, University of Arizona Foundation, and many others.
I am new to Arizona, so this collection has introduced me to a lot of information regarding Arizona history and geography. However, I love names and naming traditions, so one of my favorite parts of organizing these records is seeing the cows’ names recorded in the breed records. So, for your reading pleasure, I have compiled a list of my top ten favorite cow names (so far):

10. Lady Matador the 25th (a good heifer, according to the notations)
9. Diamondette
8. Mischief Lad
7. Beau Bonny
6. Lula D. Domino (I don’t know what the ‘D’ stands for)
5. Fedora
4. Fedora’s Anxiety (a calf of Fedora’s, obviously)
3. Super Larry
2. Miss Major
1. Reality Randolph

If you’re interested in Arizona ranching, here are a few of the other great resources at AHS that you can check out:

MS 106: Bourne papers, 1930-1985 (bulk 1967-1978).
These are the personal papers of Eulalia Bourne, a rancher, teacher, and published author who wrote about her experiences in rural Arizona.

MS 007: Aguirre papers, 1859-1976 (bulk 1907-1975).
The Aguirre family was involved in the ranching and freighting businesses in Red Rock, Arizona.

PC 032: DeBaud photograph collection, 1907-1961 (bulk 1907-1948).
This collection contains some great photographs of ranch life and rodeos.

So Much to be Done: Women Settlers on the Mining and Ranching Frontier, edited by Ruth B. Moynihan, Susan Armitage, and Christiane Fischer Dichamp.

1979 Junior Showman Winners

1979 Junior Showman Winners