According to the book of New Mexico Marriages of Santa Fe and the Military Chapel of Our Lady of Light, p. 249, Estefana married Tomas Dolores Cabeza de Baca Jr. (1830-1903) from Santo Domingo on April 14, 1852. He was born to Don Juan Antonio Baca and Doña Josefa Gallegos on December 21, 1830 in Peña Blanca.
In Las Vegas, Tomás contributed much to its development with his progressive ideas and money. While in Las Vegas, had been a businessman, but he later gave it up to become a farmer and rancher in La Liendre, a small community about fifteen miles southeast of Las Vegas, where he spent the remainder of his life. In the political arena, he was a representative from San Miguel County in the Territorial Legislature in 1870 and again in 1880. In 1882 he was elected Probate Judge for the County.
The children of Tomas and Estefana were:
1) Manuel, May 1853-1917 (1915?). He married Florencia Lopez (1858-February 1881) in 1880. She died in childbirth. In about 1883 he married Juanita Pino (June 24,1859-June 21,1933). She was born in Santa Fe and died in Las Vegas. According to George Cabeza de Baca's book A Genealogy Record of the Cabeza de Baca Family of New Mexico, Manuel was a lawyer and also editor of "El Independiente", a Las Vegas newspaper. He was educated at St Michael's College in Santa Fe and the Jesuit College in Las Vegas, NM. He studied law under Twitchell and was admitted to the bar in 1880. In 1883 he was elected City Attorney of Las Vegas, NM. He was also appointed County Attorney. In 1886 he was elected member of the New Mexico House of Representatives for San Miguel County and was chosen Speaker of the House. He also served as State Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1889-1901. He wrote a first hand account of the life of the notorious villain Vicente Silva. It was manuel who, through his many sources, found the body of Vicente and claimed the $3000 reward. A family story says that Manuel was "switched" by his father Tomas Dolores for joining the Masons.
In A Look at the Past lent to me by George Cabeza de Baca, Elba Cabeza de Baca writes: "My grandfather, Manuel C. de Baca, was born in May of 1853. His parents were Tomas C. de Baca and Estefanita Delgado. He was the oldest of seven children. He and his brothers had different occupations. Manuel was a lawyer, Daniel was a barber, Ezequiel was a politician, Nicasio was a merchant, Graziano was a cattle rancher and Antonino ran a meat market. The youngest child, a daughter name Trinidad, was autistic. Manuel received his education at St Michael's College in Santa Fe and the Jesuit College in Las Vegas. He studied law under his friend, Emerson Twitchell, and was admitted to the bar in 1880. In 1880 he married Florencia Lopez. In February of 1881 she died giving birth to my father, Florencio. About four years later, Manuel married Juanita Pino from Santa Fe. They had one daughter, Eloisa. My mother described Manuel thus: "He was very handsome, with deep blue eyes. he always wore a diamond pin on his tie and he carried a cane with a gold head. He usually wore grey or black suits." In 1883, Manuel was elected city attorney for the city of Las Vegas. He was also appointed county attorney. In 1886 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives for San Miguel County and was chosen speaker of that body. I have heard people say that he was a very kind-hearted and generous man. He was always ready to lend a helping hand to those who needed help. For years he fought the infamous Silva Gang that terrorized Las Vegas and the surrounding country. ... From 1889 to 1901 Manuel was New Mexico Superintendent of Public Instruction. In 1904 he served as representative from Guadalupe County. He also engaged in cattle raising.... In the year 1915, when my grandfather was dying, a refugee priest from Mexico, who my grandfather had befriended rushed to his bedside. He addressed Manuel thus: "Señor Licenciado (your honor), may administer the last rites of the church?" Manuel unable to speak, just nodded. The priest anointed him and he died a peaceful death."
2) Daniel (1858-1921). He first married Maria Garcia. His second wife was Luisa Gallegos. She died on March 17, 1905). His third wife was Lorencita Montoya, born March 15, 1873 in Sapello. She died December 26,1929 in Las Vegas. I have a death certificate for Daniel C de Baca. He resided on Boulevard St. (??) in Las Vegas. He was male, white and married. His widow was Lorenzita Montoya. He was 62 years old and had been born in 1858. He was a Barber who had been born in Santa Fe to Tomas C de Baca, born near Albuquerque, and Estefana Delgado, born in New Mexico. The informant was Tomas C de Baca of Las Vegas. He died of an intestinal obstruction in San Miguel County at St. Anthony's Sanitarium on January 11, 1921 at 11.30 pm. He was buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Las Vegas.
3) Nicasio (November 11, 1860-December 10, 1942). His first wife was Saturnina Delgado. He then married Isabel Stevens (1868- May 1952). She was the daughter of Richard Stevens and Ruperta Gallegos. She was born in Santa Fe and died in Las Vegas. According to George Cabeza de Baca's book A Genealogy Record of the Cabeza de Baca Family of New Mexico, Nicasio was a merchant. There is a family story that he and Daniel were always fighting and one day Daniel bit Nicasio's nose almost completely off. Their mother Estefana sewed it back on with a needle and thread and then put cobwebs on it so it wouls heal. It was reported that Nicasion went through life with a badly deformed nose.
4) Ezequiel (November 1, 1864- February 18, 1917). He was born in Las Vegas and was educated there. On December 14, 1889, in Peña Blanca, he married Margarita Cabeza de Baca (May 10, 1873-January 27, 1932). She was born in Santa Fe and died in Las Vegas. He was on the staff of "La Voz del Pueblo". He then became interested in politics. He was Deputy Clerk for San Miguel County, Deputy Clerk for the District and U.S. Court of the Fourth Judicial District. In 1911, he was elected the first Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico, which included presiding over the Senate. When the governor became ill he became acting governor. He was elected Governor in 1916. However he was so ill he could not attend his inauguration. He died of pernicious anemia a month later. At his wake, Don Ezequiel C. de Baca's friend Antonio Lucero said:
The poor have lost a kind friend, one of their most proud and dignified defenders, and New Mexico one of its most deserving sons to figure in its grandeur, being that he has left as a lesson and example: an immaculate memory and a remembrance full of love, and his life, fruitful in merits and high virtues, imposes its influence and prestige on noble and generous hearts. (cited by Anselmo Arellano on the internet)
5) Graciano (December 18, 1867- February 21, 1936) He married Indalecia Delgado (1874-1898), daughter of Cyrillo Delgado and Cassiana Anaya on January 28, 1892 at San Ysidro Labrador de Chaperito (LDS 190437). Indalecia's name is written twice on the marriage record as "Endereta", "Endrenida". It is to be noted that Saint Indalecio is the patron saint of Almeria, Spain, the birthplace of Antonio Delgado (d. 1766), the father of Manuel Francisco Delgado, founder of the family in New Mexico, according to my grandmother Margaret Delgado de Ortiz. My mother Adelina Ortiz de Hill suspects that my grandmother learned this from Fabiola Cabeza de Baca de Gilbert, Indalecia's daughter, who was my grandmother's good friend. Indalecia died in December 1898, at the age of 24, leaving four small children: Luis Maria (b. May 26, 1893 in Las Vegas, NM); Guadalupe; Fabiola (1894-1991);Virginia (July 11, 1897- February 9, 1987). Estefana and Tomas raised Fabiola, Virginia and Luis. I have a death certificate for Graciano C. de Baca, who died at 501 San Antonio St. in Santa Fe. He resided in Newkirk, NM. He was male, white and widowed. He had been born on December 18, 1867 and died at the age of 68 years, 2 months and 3 days. He worked as a cattleman on his own ranch. He had done so for 50 years and last did this on November 15, 1934. He was born in Las Vegas. His father was Tomas C. de Baca born in Peña Blanca and his mother Estefana Delgado born in Santa Fe. The informant was Mrs Carlos Gilbert (i.e. Fabiola) of Santa Fe. He died on February 21, 1936 and had been attended by a physician since December 3, 1935. The cause of death was carcinoma of prostate which had begun in April 1935 and had been first diagnosed in El Paso, Texas. He had had an operation in July 1935. He was buried in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
6) Antonino (1869- November 16, 1926), Las Vegas. He married Adela Pino. According to George Cabeza de Baca's book A Genealogy Record of the Cabeza de Baca Family of New Mexico, he ran a meat market.
7) Trinidad (1874-?). Trinidad, the youngest and the only girl, was severely injured at the age of three and did not develop normally. As Fabiola tells it, "spoiled and loved by her brothers", Trinidad "was always into some mischief." She reached for the end of a pan of water being heated for her bath and caused it to fall on her. This scalded her whole body except her face and hands. This left her with an extremely beautiful face and lovely hands. This seemed to have affected her brain because although she had been quite talkative, she never talked again. Estefana cared for her like a baby for 25 years.
The portrait of Estefana below is pieced together from the memories of her granddaughter Fabiola Cabeza de Baca y Delgado de Gilbert as found in her unpublished notes in the Center for Southwest Research at the University of New Mexico, Mss 603 BL Box 1. I also use George Cabeza de Baca's book A Genealogy Record of the Cabeza de Baca Family of New Mexico and Fabiola's book We Fed Them Cactus.
Estefana was born in Real de Dolores, today called Golden. According to Fabiola, she was born on March 15, 1833. (The date I have is March 26, 1834; baptism April 8th.) Her godparents were Francisco Ortiz and Margarita Montoya.
Don Manuel Salustiano Delgado had stores in Real de Dolores, Torreon, and San Miguel del Bado. He also had wagon trains which went to Chihuahua and later to the states over the Santa Trail. Estefana spent her early years at Old Los Cerrillos, the Delgado hacienda that became the Jarrett ranch.
Fabiola describes Estefana's life in Old Los Cerillos, where she was the youngest daughter surrounded by five brothers. Her only sister, Josefa, was already married when Estefana was born.
According to Fabiola, at home in Los Cerrillos, Estefana "was the queen". "Her brothers pampered her. On their trips to Chihuahua they brought her jewels, satins, and everything her heart could wish. She was allowed privileges which girls of her social circle of that era were not permitted." Manuela, the cook, was her dear friend and confidant. She allowed her in the kitchen and taught her how to "prepare dainty dishes".
Estefana met her future husband Tomas at the wedding of his youngest sister, Trinidad Cabeza de Vaca, to Estefana's brother Fernando Delgado.
Fabiola describes the twenty-two year old Tomas as handsome, 5 feet eleven, blue eyed, brown hair and fair skin. She describes Estefana as a "petite, blue-eyed, golden haired beauty of seventeen summers".
Don Tomas was the son of Don Luis Maria's oldest son, Juan Antonio and of Doña Josefa Gallegos y Chavez. He was born at Real de San Francisco on December 21, 1830. He grew up in Peña Blanca. Fabiola writes that he was the youngest boy of a family of thirteen children and just five years old when his father was killed during a Navajo Indian campaign.
As a minor, Don Tomas was dependent on his older brothers. He studied at the University of Durango in Mexico, sent there by an older brother, Don José de Jésus, who was a priest trained in Durango.
Fabiola speculates that Don José de Jesus probably hoped that Don Tomas would become a priest. Don Tomas learned English, French, Latin and Spanish, but when he returned to Peña Blanca was not prepared to look after land and livestock.
Tomas and Estefana married less than a year after they had met.
Fabiola tells how after their marriage, Estefana and Tomas went to live in the Cabeza de Baca ancestral home in Peña Blanca, but was not happy there. The life was different from that she had known. She missed the carefree life she had known in Los Cerrillos where she road horseback, swam in the big pond, went on long walks.
Her five married sisters-in-law lived nearby. Fabiola describes them as "ladies of leisure dressed in satins and tafettas adorned with jewels from the time they arose until bedtime". Besides church, they passed their time visiting and playing cards.
They had Indian slaves, which Fabiola says they "ruled with an iron hand". In contrast there were never Indian slaves in the Delgado household and when Estfana was given an Indian girl "to the horror of her sisters-in-law, she let the girl run away"
(El Gringo: or New Mexico and her People, by W. W. H. Davis, Late US Attorney, New York:Harper and Brothers, 1857, pp. 338-40, has this description of Peña Blanca in those days --the Tomas referred to may be Tomas Dolores' brother).
"I started for Peña Blanca, where the court for the county of Santa Ana was to meet that day. The distance is twenty-five miles, and I started with a single companion. We followed the main road some six miles, when we turned to the right into a bridle-path, a nearer way for horsemen. A ride of an hour and a half brought us to a mesa that lay in our route, at least two hundred feet above the valley. The slope rises at an angle of about forty-five degrees, and is covered with loose blocks of amygdaloidal trap rock, as black as night and hard as adamant. This mesa system is one of the remarkable features in the physical formation of New Mexico, and worthy the attention of the scientific. In this case, while riding over a plain, you come to another plain that rises up before you some two hundred feet, with an ascent so steep as to be impassable except at one or two points, and in all parts of the country we find such formations. The overlying rock of the slope is different in character from any other seen in that vicinity.
We dismounted and led our horses up the zigzag path, when, once upon the top, we mounted again and rode onward. The plain above is some five miles in width, and almost as level as a board. The atmosphere was as clear as a bell, and there seemed hardly any limit to the distance we could see with the naked eye. We galloped across the plain, and as we approached the western side the valley of the Del Norte opened to our view, and in the distance we could see the river glittering in the sun. We found the opposite side of the plain bounded by the same slope as where we had ascended, but of greater length, and steeper. The descent was both difficult and dangerous, and in some places it required great care on the part of our animals to descend without falling. Here there are three separate slopes before we reach the valley below, being separated by small plateaux of a few hundred yards in width. Having arrived safely at the foot of the last descent, we mounted and rode forward to our place of destination.
Peña Blanca is but an insignificant Mexican village, built in the valley of the Del Norte, about half a mile from the river bank. Two or three large landowners reside here, and have respectable dwellings, while the balance of the houses are the rude mud huts of their peones. I made my quarters at the house of Don Tomas Cabeza de Baca, one of the ricos of the place, who lives surrounded with a throng of peones somewhat after the manner of the feudal lords of the Middle Ages. Dismounting at the main entrance of the corral which incloses the whole establishment, I resigned my horse to the care of a servant, and followed the lead of Don Tomas into the dwelling. Crossing a large court-yard, we ascended a flight of steps to the second story, and landed upon a portal looking toward the placita. Thence we passed through a large hall into a smaller room, which,
I was politely informed, was at my disposal. The apartment was a plain one. A single bed stood in one corner, and several mattresses were rolled up along the wall for seats; a rough pine table and bench stood at the foot of the bed, and the earthen floor was without carpet or rug. Along the south front of the building extends a portal overlooking a large garden and vineyard, affording a fine view of the valley and the river.
It was about noon when I arrived, and I had hardly finished my toilet when dinner was announced. The meal was a true Mexican dinner, and a fair sample of the style of living among the better class of people. The advance guard in the course of dishes was boiled mutton and beans, the meat being young and tender, and well flavored. These were followed by a sui generis soup, different from any thing of the kind it had been my fortune to meet with before. It was filled with floating balls about the size of a musket bullet, which appeared to be a compound of flour and meat. Next came mutton stewed in chili (red peppers), the dressing of which was about the color of blood, and almost as hot as so much molten lead. This is a favorite article of food with the Mexicans, and they partook of it most bountifully. I tasted all the dishes that were placed before me, out of respect to the host, and in so doing laid aside all epicurean scruples, and the fear of being burned up alive. We were again served with stewed beans, and the repast was concluded."
Tomas realized that Estefana would never adapt to life in Peña Blanca. So they went to Santa Fe where he went work as a clerk for Estefana's brother Don Simon Delgado, a merchant. Once her father's estate was settled, they used her inheritance and dowry to move to Las Vegas, when Estefana's sister Josefa Delgado de Romero y Baca lived. Their widowed mother moved there too. She built a home on the west side of the plaza.
In about 1863, Tomas and Estefana Delgado left Santa Fe to live in Las Vegas on land that had been a land grant to Tomas' grandfather Don Luis Maria Cabeza de Vaca.
Las Vegas was an important place for commerce on the Santa Fe Trail and a center of cattle and sheep industry for the plains country to the east. Tomas built their home on the east side of the plaza. His farm land extended to the banks of the Gallinas River. Their family had been growing.
According to Fabiola, of Tomas' and Estefana's six sons, only her father, Graciano, stayed on the hacienda to help his father.
So when Indalecia died, the children remained with Tomas and Estefana, who also raised their oldest granddaughter and a grandson. In addition they were also the godparents of the children of their servants and neighbors, three or more in some families, and sponsors for weddings and confirmations. Fabiola remembers visits of godchildren whom her grandparents raised.
Although, as Fabiola remembers, "merchandising had been his first interest in Las Vegas, P. Tomasito looked forward to being the lord of a big hacienda with many servants, beautiful horses, fruit trees, the land producing all the necessary goods and a place to entertain friends and relatives."
Tomas and his cousin Don Eugenio Romero purchased several thousand acres of land located across the Gallinas river from La Liendre, a village eighteen miles east of Las Vegas. It had been put up for sale by the heirs. About one hundred of the acres were suitable for farming, with plenty of water for irrigation and enough land for grazing sheep, goats and cattle for consumption at home. Don Eugenio eventually sold his share to Tomas.
Fabiola recounts that close to the river there was a large house with a large mountain in the background. It had many rooms, each with a corner fireplace, including a large sala and servant's quarters on the grounds. The house was built of adobe with rectangular round vigas supported by hand carved corbels. The rooms were built around a patio, called a placita at the time.
Tomas improved the house and land. He fenced it. His first project was to build a dam to keep the irrigation water from flooding the farm lands. Fabiola remembers Tomas as having "spent a lifetime and a fortune building the dam with rocks, trees and willow branches held together filled with mud, since at the time cement has not come into use."
The dam "would break when there was a flood and grandfather's men kept building it up. There were never less than ten to fifteen men employed daily from early spring to the end of fall. Some worked on the dam, others on the farm. Early in the morning one of the peons hitched a horse to grandfather's one seated buggy. In it he would ride to oversee the daily work which ended by sunset. The men came to the house for the noon lunch and in the evening for supper."
Fabiola remembers the orchard as the largest she has ever known, with several varieties of apples, peaches, and cherries in addition to apricots, pears, green and purple plums, grapes of many varieties, quince, berries, cherries. She tells of one large apple tree that Tomas had grafted with pears and produced delicious, large yellow apples that tasted like pears and that they called manzanas peradas. She never remembers finding any worms in the apples and says the trees were pruned often.
In the 1880s, Fabiola recalls, Tomas' relatives in Las Vegas began building modern homes to replace the old ones. She thinks that this might have influenced her Tomas and Estefana to build an new house.
Fabiola describes the new house in detail as a two story, L-shaped rock house with a shingle roof on a hill above the orchard. It had high ceilings. There were five rooms downstairs and a hallway, a kitchen, dining room, three bedrooms and a parlor. Every room had a fireplace with black wooden mantelpieces and sides trimmed with gold paint. They were not, though, as ornate as the marble ones their relatives in Las Vegas had.
Fabiola remembers the parlor as a "very special place with wall to wall carpeting and America colonial furniture. Mirrors and enlarged family portraits adorned the walls."
She recalls that the "staircase leading to the two upper bedrooms was beautiful with a lovely balustrade."
She describes the bedroom as having "wall to wall carpeting of home spun wool and each had a wash stand with bowl, pitcher, dish and inside the door the chamber pot. They were no clothes closets. In their place we had a clothespress called ropero in grandmother's room. Linens and underclothes were kept in trunks or dresser drawers and there were many of those."
Estefana, Fabiola remembers, "had a beautiful leather trunk trimmed with brass buttons, it had been her wedding trunk brought over the Chihuahua trail of commerce in 1851."
The family employed a seamstress because everything in the household had to be made by hand: sheets, pillow cases, clothing, mattresses, pillows, comforters, table cloths, dish towels…. Mattresses and pillows were filled with wool, except the pillows used in the guest room which were down.
There was a small room under the staircase that served as a refrigerator where milk, fresh cheese, butter and cold water were kept. Fabiola remembers how in the evenings Estefana would set a large earthenware Indian jug with drinking water out to expose it to the night dew. Early in the morning, the jug would be set under the staircase and they would have cold water for the day.
There was a huge door in the hallway that opened towards the large porch facing the hacienda. The house had a large front porch facing the river, the village, the orchard and a park with poplar and cottonwood trees. The L side faced the road. It had a porch used as a dining place on summer evenings. There was a store house built of rock and next to it stone barns and corrals like those seen in Mexico.
Fabiola remembers that there was an old huge cottonwood tree by the gate leading to the road that must have been burned down by campers before she was born. This left a hollow much like a cave where she and her brother played. In the fall, when the leaves had fallen from the trees in the park, they used to play hide and seek or roll in the leaves. Although they had toys, they preferred to invent games. They built corrals with rocks and imagines that colored stones or beans were cows.
While Estefana was preparing the meals, Tomas taught them silent games, Spanish nursery rhymes, proverbs, riddles and short fairy tales. Fabiola says that her interest in history and reading was something that she inherited from her grandfather and father, "who read history, fiction, science, agriculture and even the encyclopedia."
Winter evenings they used to sit by the fireplace in Estefana's room. Tomas would read aloud, while Estefana made rugs or quilted. Fabiola and her brother made a tent with blankets and learned about Don Quixote, Les Misérables, The Thousand and One Nights and much more. Then time Estefana made chocolate and served bizcochitos, molletes or other pastries.
In their old home, there had been servant's quarters, but not in this one. Most of the servants came daily from the village across the river. Fabiola says that from the servants they learned about witches, witchcraft (maleficios) and many other things. She says that they never dared tell Estefana all that they heard, but she says that she was sure that "we were much impressed and perhaps believed".
"Superstitions were taboo in our family", Fabiola explains. "The evil eye was much believed in by those around us and I heard grandmother scold persons for discussing their beliefs in the evil eye or other superstitions. To her superstitions were sinful and that she impressed on us."
On Saturday mornings, Estefana used to pack bags of food, clothing and other things for poor people who arrived by donkey or on foot to receive them.
Hair was washed on Saturday afternoon. They used amole roots, which they washed then pounded and soaked and strained to make suds. Fabiola says that amole suds were better than modern shampoo.
On Sundays, they bathed and dressed in their best. A servant drove them to the village in a carriage. Estefana visited the sick and her comadres, taking each one a gift, usually food.
She kept a painted wooden chest with sweets in the hallway of her home. She called it la cajita. It had come from Chihuahua full of chocolates for Estefana's grandfather's stores. She only unlocked it on Sunday mornings. Before they left for the village she would open it and give each one piloncillo, chocolate and other sweets. All of Fabiola's uncles lived in Las Vegas and would come on Sundays and replenish the supply of sweets.
When they did not go to the village on Sunday, Estefana used to take them to the hills, where she gather wild curative herbs and teach them the names of plants. They also gathered wild flowers which they placed on the altar in Estefana's rooms where she kept her favorite saints. There were beautiful French vases that held paper flowers when fresh ones were not available.
"The farm produced alfalfa, wheat, corn, barley, beans, chick peas, horse peas, English peas, every kind of vegetable. The orchard could have supported many families…. Nothing was sold. Besides the many persons who worked daily and had to be fed, there were the poor of the village who had to be provided for." The cows were milked in the evening and the four children would take their cups to the barn corral to get warm, foamy milk.
Fabiola explains that Estefana, like the other wives of patrones, held a very important place in the villages and ranchos. They looked after the spiritual and physical welfare of the employees and their families, who were very much a part of the family. Women like Estefana were the first ones called when there was death, illness, misfortune or good news in a family and were a greater social force in the community than their husbands. Estefana held the purse strings, and so could to do as she pleased in her charitable enterprises and to assist those who might turn to her for help.
When anyone was sick in the village, someone would come and get Estefana, and if the illness lasted a long time, they would not see her for several days.
There were great outbreaks of smallpox that killed many people, even entire families. Estefana had a hard time convincing the families to be vaccinated and it was not until she had godchildren in the village that she was able to bring the epidemic under control. Every year, she received vaccine from her cousin Mariano Samaniego, a doctor in El Paso, and she used it to vaccinate children.
Fabiola reflects that Estefana took on great responsibility entertaining guests almost every day, planning meals, supervising the preparation of meals, making ends meet, raising six sons and a daughter injured at the age of three.
One "great drain", Fabiola remembers, "was the number of friends and relatives who stopped by almost daily. These families had their sheep and cattle on the plains country. Our hacienda was a stopping place after leaving Las Vegas on the road to Llano country, the Conchas, San Lorenzo, San Hilario, northwest Texas and other points.
If the families were not making the trips, their employees stopped by for the night. Their horses had to be fed also." She says that her father used to say that they could have been very rich if they had not fed so many people there. She remembers that there was always bread baking. "Kids or lambs were butchered daily in the hot months. There was also meat which had been dried in the fall and plenty of fresh meat in the winter. In the fall, apples, peaches, apricots and pears were dried. Jellies and jams were made in five gallon crocks. Molasses and vinegar were stored in barrels. After harvest came hog killing which provided meat and lard for the household. Flocks of chicken furnished the eggs."
A well near the orchard supplied water. The laundry was carried to the well. The water was heated in iron pots and the laundry washed in a wooden tub with a wooden washboard. The white clothes were washed in three soapy waters, boiled in the iron port then rinsed twice, so that no soap odor remained.
Fabiola often traveled to Las Vegas with Tomas. He had a large carriage drawn by "two beautiful horses". He always stopped to greet friends and acquaintances.
Fabiola writes that by the time her grandparents left Las Vegas, they had amassed quite a fortune.
On the plains country below the mountain, Tomas used to graze 15,000 head of sheep, 2,000 head of cattle and many horses. He used to send men buffalo hunting and he had wagons over the Santa Fe trail.
Fabiola called him "a gentleman, a real aristocrat. He was generous and kind, which caused him to lose more than one fortune. He had built his fortune with grandmother's dowry and inheritance…" She says that he "was the most courteous, friendly and charitable person. He treated those who worked for him as equals. He sat with them at the same table for meals. They were his compadres."
She describes Estefana as "a business woman and a good manager".
In 1901, when it was time for the children to go to school, the decision was made to move from the hacienda at La Liendre to Las Vegas.
This pleased Estefana because she had never been happy at the Hacienda and was very tired. It was a hard decision for Tomas, but Estefana did not leave time for him to change his mind and began disposing of possessions immediately.
The change was also hard for the village because so many had depended on them for employment and often for food. The families eventually moved away. The Hacienda was left in the hands of a caretaker.
Before moving Tomas bought a two story house in Las Vegas, but Estefana did not like the neighborhood. So they moved into their uncle's spacious house. It was built around a courtyard and they lived in the south wing. In the summer evenings they used to sit out in the patio and listen to stories.
Tomas died February 4, 1904 in Las Vegas.
Fabiola remembers that he called his sons to his deathbed and said that he had not made a will and had nothing to leave them. All that they had amassed after many losses belonged to their mother Estefana.
He had never paid back her dowry, which by law he had to return. She also had brought a large inheritance. So everything belonged to her. He said that he realized that if he had listened to her, he would be leaving them riches.
Still, as Fabiola remembered, Tomas had built up a small fortune and they lived comfortably. After his death, they moved into a wing of the large home of Fabiola's oldest uncle. A few years later, Estefana bought a small house on Hot Springs Boulevard, close to four of her sons and many of her relatives.
Estefana gave much of her jewelry, some gold filigree, some set with pearls and precious stones, to her daughters-in-law. The most beautiful piece that Fabiola remembers was "an oval broach of about inches wide. The center was decorated with daisies made from blond hair of her Delgado brothers. Genuine pearls were set all around the gold pin." She gave it to her oldest grandson Florencio as a wedding gift.
All of Estefana's jewelry, Fabiola recalls, was made of Mexican gold, dull in luster, but more beautiful than American gold.
Estefana died in Las Vegas on May 8, 1912, at the age of 79, nine years after Tomas. During those years she had tripled her money.
A copy of her will can be found in Fabiola Cabeza de Baca de Gilbert's papers at the Center for Southwest Research at the University of New Mexico. Her son Ezequiel was the executor She bequeathed the house that she had and all that it contained to the grandchildren she had raised. She left money for their education. Otherwise, everything was divided equally among her children. Her children inherited sheep, cattle, land, houses and money.
Fabiola reports that Tomas was buried in the "church cemetery", but that by the time Estefana died no more burials were to take place there, so she and all her sons, were buried in the Catholic cemetery of Monte Calvario in Las Vegas Grandes, on the ground that had once been their grant.