<![CDATA[Otero Family History Project - Otero Family History Blog]]>Sun, 18 Feb 2018 02:11:11 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Confederate Arizona at Tubac]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 07:51:14 GMThttp://theoteros.com/1/post/2017/10/confederate-arizona-at-tubac.htmlReprinted and adapted by permission from Diana DeLugan 
"Rebel Flag" also known as the "Dixie Flag" and the "Southern Cross"
[The following article was originally published at the Arizona History Blog on August 8, 2014]

The words "Civil War" evoke images of Gettysburg, the clash between the North and South in a tangle of grey and blue uniforms. In school, we learned that southern states seceded from the Union. But did you know that for short time Arizona was part of the Confederate States?

According to the 2014 Arizona History timeline at the Arizona Governor's website, Arizona became part of the Confederacy in 1862. The website further reports the "Battle at Picacho Pass, near Casa Grande[, Arizona] is considered the westernmost battle of the Civil War.." If the Battle at Picacho Pass was the westernmost battle, how far south did the Confederacy in Arizona? According to a 1879 San Francisco Bulletin correspondent report, the answer is Tubac. 

"In 1862, and this is not known to many, a company of so-called Confederate soldiers took possession of Tubac, (and I think there was a Confederate garrison at Tucson for a while) and raised the flag of the de facto government which had its headquarters in Richmond. This company of men made it warm for the Apaches, under the wily and brave Cochise, and killed a good many of them. During the latter part of 1862, a regiment of Union soldiers arrived at Tucson (and the present Mayor of Tucson, now worth $100,000, was an officer in said regiment,) and the Confederate garrison at Tubac was at once abandoned. Upon the departure of these troops, what people had located also departed, and Tubac was again left without an inhabitant, the overland stages and all other travel had been drawn off, grass had grown up in the streets, and all of the adobe houses crumbled into ruins."

Although differing accounts exist regarding if or when the town of Tubac was abandoned, one thing is certain, its' Confederate history will not be forgotten. 

For more information regarding the Confederacy in Arizona visit:


Arizona Sentinel, March 22, 1879

Flag: By William Porcher Miles (1822-1899) (Vector graphics image by Crotalus horridus)  This vector image was created with Inkscape. (SVG adapted from this image) Wikimedia Commons. PD-US.

(c) 2014-2017 Diana DeLugan All rights reserved.
<![CDATA[Confederate Arizona - Part I: Establishing the Confederate Government in Arizona]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 07:20:16 GMThttp://theoteros.com/1/post/2017/10/confederate-arizona-part-i-establishing-the-confederate-government-in-arizona.htmlBy Diana DeLugan
Confederate Arizona in Map of the United States Territories
On October 1, 2017, a question was asked by Bob Juch on the Otero Family of Tubac Facebook Group Page, "What information do you have about the Oteros in Arizona during the Civil War?" Before this question can be answered, we have to address, "What is Confederate Arizona?" As in other cities across our nation, there is a current debate regarding Arizona's Confederate history and whether Confederate monuments should be removed from Arizona public spaces.

Arizona was claimed by the Confederate Army after the battle at Mesilla in 1861 during the American Civil War On July 25, 1861, Colonel John Robert Baylor of the Confederate States Army proclaimed himself as Governor of the Arizona Territory for the Confederacy.  Baylor controlled all of Arizona and the lower part of New Mexico with an estimated 500 troops after Fort Buchanan, situated near Tubac, and Fort Breckinridge had been abandoned after its troops were ordered to Ft. Fillmore.  (Johnson & Buel, 1887, p. 103). Baylor installed himself as governor of the Confederate territory of Arizona having established the boundaries on August 1st of the same year. All of the Territory of New Mexico lying south of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude became the Confederate Territory of Arizona. (Johnson & Buel, 1887, p. 103-4).

Objective of the Confederate Invasion of New Mexico and Arizona
The objective of the Confederate Invasion of New Mexico and Arizona was "the conquest of California, Sonora, Chihuahua, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah -- and, above all, the possession of the gold supply of the Pacific coast, a source of strength considered by Mr. Lincoln to be essential to the successful prosecution of the war." (Johnson & Buel, 1887, p. 697). 
John R. Baylor
Proclamation Establishing the Confederate Territory of Arizona
On August 1, 1861, Gov. John R. Baylor issued the following proclamation to the citizens of Arizona:
To the People of the Territory of Arizona:
  The social and political condition of Arizona being little short of general anarchy, and the people being literally destitute of law, order, and protection, the said Territory, from the date hereof, is hereby declared temporarily organized as a military government until such time as Congress may otherwise provide.
  I, John R. Baylor,  lieutenant-colonel, commanding the Confederate Army in the Territory of Arizona, hereby take possession of the said Territory in the name and behalf of the Confederate States of American.
  For all the purposes herein specified, and until otherwise decreed or provided, the Territory of Arizona shall comprise all that portion of New Mexico lying south of the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude. 
  All offices, both civil and military, heretofore existing in this Territory, either under the laws of the late United States or the Territory of New Mexico, are hereby declared vacant, and from the date hereof shall forever cease to exist.
  That the people of this Territory may enjoy the full benefits of law, order, and protection, and as far as possible, the blessings and advantages of a free government, it is hereby decreed that the laws and enactments existing in this Territory prior to the date of this proclamation, and consistent with the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States of America and the provisions of this decree, shall continue in full force and effect without interruption, until such time as the Confederate Congress may otherwise provide.
  The said Territory of Arizona from the date hereof is hereby temporarily organized under a military government until such time as Congress may otherwise provide. The said government shall be divided into two separate and distinct departments, to wit: The executive and judicial. The executive authority of this Territory shall be vested in the commandant of the Confederate Army in Arizona. The judicial power of this Territory shall be vested in a supreme court, two district courts, two probate courts, and a justice of the peace, together with such municipal and other inferior courts as the wants of the people may from time to time require. The two district judges shall constitute the supreme court, each of whom shall determine all appeals, exceptions, and writs of error removed from the district court wherein the other presides. One of the said judges shall be designated as the chief justice of the supreme court. There shall be but one session each year, which shall be holden at the seat of government. The district judges shall hold two terms of court every year in their respective judicial districts. They may likewise hold special terms whenever in their opinion the ends of the public justice requires it.
  The judicial districts of this Territory shall be divided as follows: the first judicial district shall comprise all the portion of Arizona lying east of the Apache Pass, the district and probate courts whereof shall be holden at La Mesilla. The second judicial district shall comprise the remainder of the Territory. The district and probate courts shall be holden at Tucson. The governor shall likewise appoint one probate judge and sheriff and the necessary justices of the peace in and for each judicial district. The constables shall be appointed by the respective justices of the peace. Each district judge shall appoint his own clerk, who shall be ex officio clerk of the probate court within such district. The district and probate courts of the two districts shall be holden at such times as heretofore provided by the legislature of New Mexico for the counties of Dona Ana and Arizona.   
   All suits and other business now pending in any of the late courts of New Mexico within this Territory shall be immediately transferred to the corresponding courts of this Territory, as herein established. The style of all process shall be the Territory of Arizona, and all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name of the Territory of Arizona. 
  There shall likewise be appointed by the governor an attorney-general, secretary of the Territory, treasurer, and marshal, whose duty and compensation shall be the same as heretofore under the laws of New Mexico.
  The city of Mesilla is hereby designated as the seat of government of this Territory.
  All Territorial officers shall hold their respective terms of office until otherwise provided by Congress unless sooner removed by the power appointing them.  
  The salaries, fees, and compensation of all Territorial officers shall remain the same as heretofore in the Territory of New Mexico.
  The treasurer, marshal, sheriffs, and constables, before acting as such, shall execute to the Territory a bond, with good and sufficient securities, conditioned for the faithful discharge of their official duties, in the same manner as heretofore provided under the laws of New Mexico.
  All Territorial officers, before entering upon their official duties, shall take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States and of this Territory and faithfully to discharge all duties incumbent upon them.
  The bill of rights of the Territory of New Mexico, so far as consistent with the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States and the provisions of this decree, are hereby declared in full force and effect in the Territory of Arizona. 
  Given under my hand at Mesilla this 1st day of August, 1861.
Gov. and Lieut. Col., Comdg. Mounted Rifles, C. S. Army. (U.S. War Dept., 1902, pp.20-21).

Confederate President Jefferson Davis Acts on Arizona
To formalize the Confederate state of Arizona, President Jefferson Davis nominated appointments for government to the Senate of the Confederate States on March 13, 1862. Appointees were John R. Baylor as the governor of the Territory of Arizona, Robert Josselyn as secretary, Alexander M. Jackson as chief justice, Columbus Upson as associate justice, Russell Howard as attorney, and Samuel J. Jones as marshal of the Territory of Arizona. (U.S., 1904, p.59).

Although Arizona was never formalized as a Confederate State, Confederate President Jefferson Davis did issue appointments in furtherance of Confederate Arizona. Arizona was a Confederate territory operating for a limited period under military law from 1861-1865.
Coming: Confederate Arizona - Part II: Presence and Actions, followed by Confederate Arizona - Part III: Otero Family During Confederate Arizona 

Confederate Governor John R. Baylor. Wikimedia Commons. Pre-1894. PD-US.
"Map of the United States, and Territories. Together with Canada &c." From Mitchell's New General Atlas. Philadelphia: S.A. Mitchell, Jr., 1861. 13 1/2 x 21 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. PD-US.

Johnson, Robert Underwood and Clarence Clough Buel. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Being for the Most Part Contributions by Union and Confederate Officers: Based Upon "The Century War Series." Century Company. 1887.
U.S. Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, Vol. 2. U.S. Government Printing Office. Washington, 1904.
U.S. War Dept. Scott, Robert Nicholson, et al. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. U.S. Government Printing Office. Washington: 1902.

Tags: #OteroFamilyHistory, #JohnRBaylor, #AmericanCivilWar, #PresidentJeffersonDavis, #ConfederateArizona, #BattleOfMesilla
<![CDATA[AZ Pioneer Jesus Otero and Phoenix's First Catholic Church]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 04:05:21 GMThttp://theoteros.com/1/post/2017/10/az-pioneer-jesus-otero-and-phoenixs-first-catholic-church.html
(Above image reflects 1885 Phoenix during the lifetime of Jesus Otero).

The first Catholic priests arrived in Phoenix during the late 1870's. Their success can be attributed in great part to local prominent merchant Jesus Otero. He contributed greatly to the building and establishment of St. Mary's, Phoenix's first Catholic church. 


Jesus Otero arrived in Phoenix after Jack Swilling's efforts to colonize the location in 1868. (Barrios, 2008). He was an esteemed member of the emergent Phoenix community and known as a benevolent soul. (Cancilla, 2009). During the 1870's,  the home of Jesus Otero was used to hold Catholic mass for the visiting priests from Florence. Understanding the growing need for a more permanent location, Otero joined forces with Miguel Peralta and Carlos Perrazzo who made a joint donation of land to build Phoenix's first Catholic Church. Otero also helped plan the church. (Luckingham, 2009). The United States Federal Census of 1880 reports that Jesus Otero and his parents were all from Mexico. This does not automatically suggest that he was born across the modern U.S. / Mexico international border, as Arizona belonged to Mexico at the time of Jesus's birth around 1833. It is likely that Jesus was born on Arizona soil.

According to the city's website, "[t]he first Catholic priest came to Phoenix in 1872, but it was not until after 1881 that an adobe church building, the Sacred Heart of St. Louis at Third and Monroe streets, replaced the [Jesus] Otero home as a place for Catholics to worship." The actual name of Phoenix's first church is clarified on a plaque at the Basilica of St. Mary's that says, "St. Mary's is the oldest Catholic church in the Valley founded in 1881 and staffed by the Franciscan Friars since 1895. The Basilica sits over the site of the original adobe church. The present church was built in 1915, declared a National Historic Landmark in 1978, and designated a basilica in 1985 by Pope John Paul II." (For a view of the basilica plaque see below video on St. Mary's Basilica).  


Inside the modern Basilica of St. Mary's on the right wall as you face the altar is an ornate blue stained glass window inscribed to the memory of Jesus Otero. When you visit Phoenix, AZ and pass by the Basilica of St. Mary's, you are certain to hear the church bells ring. As they ring, remember the sacrifices made by Jesus Otero and those Mexican and Italian businessmen who were instrumental in giving Phoenix its' first Catholic Church.

(c) 2017  Diana Hinojosa DeLugan All rights reserved
Dyer, C. J, Byrnes Litho, and Label & Litho. Co Schmidt. Bird's eye view of Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona. Phoenix, 1885. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/75693082/>.
Barrios, Frank. Mexicans in Phoenix. Arcadia Publishing. Phoenix: 2008, p.7.
Bradford, Luckingham. Minorities in Phoenix. A Profile of Mexican American, Chinese American, and African American Communities, 1860 - 1992. University of Arizona Press. Tucson: 1994, p.19. 
DeLugan, Diana. Bells of St. Mary's. Phoenix, 2014. Video. Retrieved from YouTube, <https://youtu.be/4AAvsI748Fc>.
Martinelli, Phylis Cancilla. Undermining Race: Ethnic Identities in Arizona's Copper Camps, 1880-1920. University of Arizona Press. Tucson: 2009, p.36.
Phoenix City Government. City of Phoenix History. Retrieved from the City of Phoenix History Web page, https://www.phoenix.gov/pio/city-publications/city-history.
U.S. Federal Government. "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MH24-GXD : 12 August 2017), Jesus Otero, Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona, United States; citing enumeration district ED 18, sheet 103B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0036; FHL microfilm 1,254,036.
UND68. St. Mary's Basilica, Phoenix, Arizona As Shown by Pastor Rev. Vince Mesi. Location Unkn, 2012. Video. Retrieved from YouTube, <https://youtu.be/Zob6MdfcxiQ>.
TAGS: #JesusOtero #Phoenix #StMarys #CatholicChurch #OteroFamilyHistory

<![CDATA[LNDCTV TUBAC GOLF RESORT & SPA HISTORY VIDEO REVIEW]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 04:29:12 GMThttp://theoteros.com/1/post/2017/10/lndctv-tubac-golf-resort-spa-history-video-review.html
By Diana DeLugan

OTERO FAMILY HISTORY is steeped in myth and misunderstanding. At the Otero Family History Blog, our goal is to uncover the truth about this Arizona pioneer family's past. Today, we fact check "LNDCTV TUBAC GOLF RESORT & SPA HISTORY" video published in 2014 at https://youtu.be/MJg_wlP8hDg. The video discusses the history of Tubac Golf Resort & Spa and its' connection to the 1789 Spanish land grant of Don Torivio de Otero and his descendants. Each historical error is listed by the associated time on the video and a brief comment as to why the fact or image is challenged. 

0:27 - The host Julian Reyes says the Otero ranch was once 500,000 acres. FALSE: The ranch was about 400-500 acres. A separate future post will discuss inconsistencies related to Otero ranch boundary measurements.

0:38 – Picture of Don Otero recipient of the Otero land grant. FALSE: This image is not of Don Torivio de Otero. It is a picture of Miguel Antonio Otero who to the best of our knowledge was not a descendant of Don Torivio de Otero of Tubac. I am actively researching the New Mexico/Tubac connections but have not discovered any direct relation to Miguel Antonio Otero to date. Don Torivio was about 27 years old when he received the first private title to Arizona land in 1789. Miguel Antonio Otero was not born until 1829. For further details on Miguel Antonio Otero visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Antonio_Otero_(born_1829)

0:44 – Host says the foreman’s house is where the troops stayed at the Hacienda de Otero. UNCONFIRMED OR FALSE: The only documented reference located of troops at the foreman’s house discovered to date is of the Mexican troops that stayed there during the Mexican Revolution 1910-1920. The video displays an image of American troops. It is unknown how those American troops are related to the history of Oteros of Tubac or any time frame that American troops would have stayed at the ranch.

0:53 – Host says the Otero family continued to live at the Hacienda until the late 1800’s. FALSE: The family lived at Tubac through the 20th Century. See answer below at 1:13.

0:57 – General Manager of the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa reports that the great-great-grandson of Don Torivio returned to Tubac in 1862 and built many buildings and started a cattle ranch. PART UNCONFIRMED / PART FALSE: Census records verify that the Otero family of Tubac was living at Tubac prior to and including 1862. The family moved to their townhouse (built in 1861) at Tucson in 1863 then returned to Tubac in 1864 according to Census records. The initial Otero buildings were built by Don Torivio (according to the strict requirement of the 1789 Spanish land grant) son Atanacio Otero, and grandson Manuel Otero, father of Sabino Otero and siblings. Manuel Otero was a farmer, owned cattle, and owned the largest ranch at Tubac prior to his death in 1870. The great-great-grandsons of Don Torivio were Manuel Otero (son of Sabino), Ysidro and Ricardo Otero & Edward Otero (sons of Teofilo). None are known to have been involved in the construction of any of the buildings at the Rancho de Otero as the several ranch buildings were built prior to 1881 according to Arizona Territory General Land office reports, including the home of Atanacio Otero, then in ruins. The Otero cattle ranch was established by Sabino Otero's ancestors. They owned cattle when Arizona belonged to Spain,  known then as Pimeria Alta evidenced by the family's cattle brand. See James Officer's book Hispanic Arizona, 1536-1856, published by The University of Arizona Press. Tucson: 1987, p. 16 to view the Spanish era Otero cattle brand. 

1:02 – Picture of the great-great-grandson of Don Otero listed as Sabino Otero. FALSE: This image is a photo of Mariano Sabino Otero, a Territory of New Mexico politician. Mariano Sabino Otero's ancestors were Don Vicente Otero and Doña Gertrudis Aragón de Otero. Don Vicente had held prominent civic positions as judge and mayor in Valencia County, under both Spanish and Mexican Governments according to Wikipedia. Sabino Otero (not the same person as Mariano Sabino Otero) was the great-grandson of Don Torivio de Otero and son of Manuel Otero and Maria Clara Martinez Otero. For more information on Mariano Sabino Otero visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariano_S._Otero.

1:13 – Host says that Sabino Otero added the several buildings located at the Hacienda de Otero including the foreman’s house, stables, dairy farm, and two towers. UNCONFIRMED OR FALSE: No known documents exist to support these assertions. Otero family descendant Anna Maldonado Fimbres was interviewed on February 27, 1990 by Betty J. Lane of the Tubac Historical Society and said that Ana Maria Comaduran and Teofilo Otero returned to live at the Otero ranch at Tubac after Sabino’s death in 1914 and they “modernized” it. Anna Maria Comaduran Coenen's court testimony during the Teofilo Otero estate case confirms Anna Maldonado Fimbres's statements. Newspaper reports at the start of the 20th-century also report Teofilo Otero engaged in a series of building improvements at the Otero ranch at Tubac.

1:25 – Host says that Bing Crosby and his investors purchased the Otero ranch from the Otero family. FALSE: Teofilo Otero, last heir-at-law of the Otero ranch at Tubac sold the property to Ms. Pellitier in 1937.

2:00 – Reporter says that in 2002, Mr. Allred, current owner of the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, purchased the Otero Ranch from Bing Crosby. FALSE: Bing Crosby died on October 14, 1977. Mr. Allred and silent investors purchased the 400-acre ranch from the Zukin and Kaufman families, California-based owners of the Tubac ranch property, in October of 2002. For details on the Allred purchase of the ranch visit http://www.gvnews.com/new-owner-takes-over-tubac-golf-resort/article_c1948fa9-e2b6-5f00-b370-fba5143646c2.html.

If you have any information to further clarify the following or if you disagree with the above review, please respond to this post with a brief reference to the resource to support your opinion. 

If you know of any article or resource about the Otero family of Tubac that you would like fact-checked here on this site, inbox me on Facebook @Diana Delugan or email me at diana.delugan@gmail.com

Image credit: (c) 2013-2017 Diana DeLugan All rights reserved. Photo of Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, historic location of the Otero Ranch portion of the 1789 Spanish Otero land grant. (c) 2017 Diana Delugan. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission.
<![CDATA[Otero Family History Blog]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 21:53:22 GMThttp://theoteros.com/1/post/2017/09/otero-family-history-blog-welcome.htmlPicture
Official blog of TheOteros.com where Arizona history is celebrated and made.

By Diana DeLugan

Bienvenidos to the new Otero Family History Blog where we will discuss all things related to the Otero Family of Tubac. If you have a question about Otero Family History, let me know. I'll be glad to research your question and publish the answer here so that everyone interested in this subject can benefit from your question. 

Since research began in 2009, it became quickly apparent that inconsistencies and errors existed in previously published media regarding Otero family history. When news has been reported about a subject for centuries, it is not uncommon for facts to be embellished or reported incorrectly due to lack of available information or misconstrued facts due to lost or destroyed documentation caused by the passage of time. This post is the first of what will be an ongoing effort to accurately report the history of the Oteros of Tubac, Arizona and learn more about southern Arizona's pioneer past. All mediums including print and video will be reviewed.  The purpose of this inquiry is not to criticize. Rather, it is to help educate and set the record straight so that anyone interested in Otero Family History and Southern Arizona History can become more informed about Arizona's pioneer past. 
The Otero family is proud of Don Torivio de Otero's legacy as Arizona's first European private owner of land, first private landowner to build an irrigation system and the first documented lay teacher during Hispanic Arizona periods. 

Like other Hispanic Arizona families, the Otero family survived drought and physical and legal attacks against its' land. Struggles endured by Hispanics in the American southwest are often forgotten, or voices muted as being inconsistent with modern perspectives related to Arizona history. The Otero family is an integral part of Arizona's Hispanic past. It is one of many important Hispanic families that helped make Arizona what it is today. A cursory look at Arizona's architecture, art, and street names of any Arizona city or town reflect remnants of our Spanish and Mexican past. The Otero Family History Blog celebrates our collective Arizona pioneer past.

History has been kind to the Otero Family of Tubac. Over the centuries, many notable Otero descendants have been memorialized in writing like Don Torivio de Otero, Atanacio Otero, Sabino Otero, Teofilo Otero, and Sister Clara (Gabriella) Otero. However, there is much more history to be discussed and celebrated.

Truth is our destination. If you have any information to help clarify a historical reference, person, or event related to southern Arizona History or Otero Family History, please contact us. Thank you in advance for your interest in Otero Family History. Remember, your comments are encouraged and always welcomed.

Image credit: (c) 2013 Diana DeLugan All rights reserved. Photo of "Where History Lives On" Arch at Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, former location of Otero Ranch. (c) 2017 Diana Delugan. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission.