Don Juan Delgado y Lucero (1853-1935) and Modesta Lopez (1861-1935)

Juan Delgado was born to Juan Pablo Delgado y Garcia de la Mora and Trinidad Lucero in Santa Fe on August 29, 1853. He married Modesta Lopez (daughter of Francisco Lopez and sister of Epimenia) on May 16, 1877 at San Ysidro Labrador de Chaperito (LDS Film 190437) (the same day and place as his brother married her sister). Among their children were: Juan Pablo, who married Josefita Read 1887-1920 (daughter of Benjamin Read); Tomas who married Jennie Cooper. Adelaido, born May 28, 1884 and baptized on July 1, 1884 at San Ysidro Labrador de Chaperito (LDS Film 190437); Enfronsina Eloisa, born December 30, 1886, baptized January 14, 1887 at San Ysidro Labrador de Chaperito (LDS Film 190437).

In testimony taken in about January 1884 in the Cañon del Agua suit, Juan says: "I am twenty-nine years old. I am acquainted with the Real de San Francisco. It is about thirty-five or thirty-six miles south of Santa Fe. I went there to that town in 1877 and resided there a short time. In 1878, I had a store out there in charge of another man before I went there to live. I am acquainted with the different localities in that region, and know the names by which they were generally called when I was out there, and when I livd there. There is a chian of mountains to the southwest of Real de San Francisco, -- to the southwest of the town. They were called the 'Sierrita del Tuerto'.

Homer Milford sent me this 1885 newspaper quote about the family store and mine near Golden (Tuerto): Hon. Juan Delgado, ex-treasurer of the territory, says this. "To all whom it may concern; I, Juan Delgado, of the city of Santa Fe, do hereby certify that my father lived at the New Placers about the year 1843, and that I know the placer ground at the New Placers to be very rich with gold. I have taken out of the Delgado mine nuggets of gold worth from $2 to $9 in pure gold. I have kept store at the New Placers and have seen great quantities of gold that were taken out of them. I purchased from the miners in 1876 and 1877 about $300 per month of gold taken out of them. I here give the following assays from the rock taken from the Delgado mine in the year 1879: No. 1, gold [?]74 [&] 75/100 ounces; silver 18 ounces per ton; No. 2 gold 94 [&] 33/100 ounces per ton; No. 3, gold 1 ounce; silver 4? ounces per ton; No. 4, gold 3 ounces; silver, 5 ounces per ton; No. 5, gold 43 [&] 65/100 oz; silver 5 oz. ton." ("TONS OF GOLD," Santa Fe New Mexican Review, 3/5/1885, p. 3).

I have the death certificates of Juan and of Modestita. According to Juan's death certificate he died in his home on 420 College St in Santa Fe at 4:15 am on June 1, 1935 at the age of 81 years, 9 months and 3 days. He had had prostate trouble for 10 years, retention of urine and cystitis for 2 weeks. He had recently suffered from bronchial pneumonia. He was retired. His father was Pablo Delgado born in Santa Fe and Trinidad Lucero born in Los Perros, NM. He was buried in Rosario Cemetery on June 4, 1935. According to her death certificate Modestita Lopez de Delgado died in her home on 420 College Street at the age of 74 years on November 27, 1935. She had had chronic bronchitis since 1900 and myocarditis for 5 days. She was a widow and had done housework in her own home for 55 years. She was born in 1861 in San Lorenzo, San Miguel County and was buried in Rosario Cemetery on November 30, 1935.

Hope Gone for Life of Juan Delgado, Territorial Figure

Juan Delgado, an octogenarian, pioneer of New Mexico, and father of the Chief of Police, Tom Delgado was in serious condition late Thursday as the Examiner went to press, and doctors in attendance gave little hope for his recovery. Mr. Delgado has been suffering from a lingering illness due solely to the ravages of age and it was thought a very short time would bring the close to a life spent in service to his home state and usefulness to his fellow men.

Mr Delgado was born in Santa Fe in 1853 and resided in this city continuously until his death. During his early manhood he was deeply interested in the then sparsely settled territory, still many years to grow before reaching the dignity of statehood, and at the age of 27 years he was elected Territoral Treasurer on the democratic ticket, giving his allegiance to that party for the remainder of his life.

As treasurer of the young territory in 1880-82, under Governor Lionel A. Sheldon Mr Delgado gave proof of his ability as an official and served in various subordinate positions in the public service, notable as assistant auditor under Marcelino Garcia during that official's term of office as auditor from 1895 to 1899, and when Garcia was elected sheriff of Santa Fe County, he continued as his deputy, continuing in that position under William C. Cunningham, when that offical succeeded Garcia as sheriff in 1900.

During the lifetime of this venerable ancient thirty-seven governors of New Mexico, under territorial or state government, took the oath of office as chief executive; the great war between the states, the Spanish war and the World war were successfully prosecuted; the East and West coasts were joined by the rails of transcontinental railways and the Panama canal made the two great oceans one.

In the lifetime of few men have so many marvelous forward steps of our civilization been made. The telegraph and the present utilization of electricity, radio, the conquest of the air, the cables that run across the oceans and make communication between all parts of the earth almost instantaneous, were all brought to a practical use since the year when Mr. Delgado first saw the light.

Truly Juan Delgado in looking back over the years that he could still recall could say with President Lincoln in his first message to Queen Victoria over the newly completed Atlantic cable, "What wonders hath God wrought."

Although New Mexico was far from young in point of settlement in 1853 it was still a raw land where warlike Indians made settlement and travel a most dangerous undertaking, as the many forts located in various strategic points and the large number of troops maintained by the government to maintain peace and safety to the hardy pioneers bear witness. Today it is the Mecca of artists, sportsmen, farmers and health seekers.

When Mr. Delgado took office as treasurer of the territory in 1880, the population of the territory was 117,565. It is now approxiately 500,000. To the enterprise, the loyalty and indomitable faith and courage of such men as Juan Delgado these changes and this growth is in a large measure due, and although the old pioneer is gone his place is not easily to be filled, and in leaving he gives the generation that succeeeds him a high mark to aim at in public service and good citizenship.

Surviving Mr. Delgado is his wife, Modestita, five sons, Tom B., Chief of Police of Santa Fe, Adelaido of Denver, Colorado, Santiago and Ignacio of this city. Five daughters, Mrs. Tom Stewart of Tesuque, Mrs. Jake Lucero, Mrs. Ralph P. Rodriguez, Misses Lencha and Josephine, all of Santa Fe. In addition there are many granndchildren and other relatives in adjoining states. All of the children are in attendance.

Don Juan Delgado Dies
Had Been Ill Month; Hope of Recovery Abandoned Several Days Ago

83 Years Old

Entered Public Life at Age of 27; Held Many Positions of Trust

Sorrowfully tolling bells in the towers of St Francis cathedral announced to the town the passing of Don Juan Delgado at his home, 420 College Street;

The venerable old gentleman died at 3:30 a.m. today. He had been stircken ill just a month. First stricken with pneumonia, he failed gradually under the handicap of the weight of years and hope of recovery had been given up several days ago by his large family and friends. Had he lived until August 29 he would have been 83 years old. He spent all of a full life in Santa Fe and during that time had seen much history made.

Despite growing physical infirmites, Don Juan retained his mental alertness until shortly before his death. Only last Monday he called a lawyer to his bedside, realizing that the end was not far off, and had him make out a deed transferring his property to his wife. He was able to sign it himself.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 9 o'clock from the Cathedral of St Francis. The body will lie in state at the home, 420 College Street until time for the services. Pall bearers will be four sons and two nephews as follows: Tom P. Delgado, Adelaido Delgado, Santiago Delgado, Ignacio Delgado, Francisco Delgado, Lorenzo Delgado.

He entered public life as territorial treasurer at the age of 27 years, and thereafter held many positions of public trust in the territory and in the county of Santa Fe. He had retired from public life since shortly after statehood, his last official position being in the secretary of state's office when the last Antonio A. Lucero was the secretary of state. However, having held his first office as a Democrat, he retained an active interest in the affairs of his party during the rest of his life. He went to the polls last fall to cast his last vote.

He served as territorial treasurer during the years 1880-82, when Lionel A. Sheldon was the governor. Thereafter he was for many years a figure in officialdom in the territory or the county, being an assistant to Auditor Marcelino Garcia, 1895 to 1899, and successively a deputy sheriff, when William C. Cunningham was sheriff, a deputy county assessor and a deputy United States Marshal.

Retiring from public life, he left his son Tomas P. Delgado to carry on the family tradition. Tomas was the first Democrat to be elected sheriff in his county for many years and now is chief of police of Santa Fe.

During Don Juan's long span of life he has seen 37 governors come and go. He saw many changes: in his youth people came to Santa Fe in stage coaches, in his recent years by airplane.

He was a student of New Mexico's history, not only of the eventful years through which he lived but in the past. Both Ralph Twitchell and Benjamin Read found him a valuable source of material for their histories. In the preface of his "Illustrated History of New Mexico," Read expresses his thanks, saying he had made available "a very precious collection of credited documents of great historical value."

Don Juan was of the type to whom everybody instinctively gave the title of "Don," whether Spanish born or Anglo. He was a fine old gentleman.

Mrs. Modestita Lopez de Delgado, the widow, an aunt of Lorenzo Delgado of Las Vegas survives, together with nine children, 14 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. The children, all of whom were at the old family home when death came, are Tomas P., Adelaido of Denver, Santiago and IgnacioDelgado, Mrs. Tom Stewart of Tesuque, Mrs. Jake Lucero, Mrs. Ralph Rodriguez and the Misses Lencha and Josephine Delgado. Many relatives reside in Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and other parts of the state.