Maria Josefa Gregoria Delgado y Baca de Romero y Baca (1816-1877)
Portrait by the artist Ionitza based on the wood cut that appeared at the head of the following article.

Las Vegas Daily Optic, January 5, 1883. Biographical Bureau. Interesting Sketches of the Early Settlers of New Mexico. (I've left out some of the mistaken information, C.O.H.)

Doña Josefa Delgado de Romero. "On woman's virtue is based the true glory of the nations." The following is but a concise sketch of one of New Mexico's most illustrious daughters, Josefa Delgado:

She was born to Manuel Salustiano Delgado and Maria de la Luz Baca in the city of Santa Fe on November 15, 1816, and died in Las Vegas, San Miguel County, August 5, 1877, at the age of 60 years, eight months and twenty days. Her noble characteristics may easily be read in the happy facial expression, indicated by the outlines of the cut, seen at the head of these notes, which is a faithful copy from a life photograph taken a short time before her unexpected demise by our artist J. N. Furlong.

The ancestors of Doña Josefa were of Castilian origin and often occupied distinguished public offices and high military positions during the Spanish rule in this continent. These documents are preserved in possession of Don Felipe Delgado Sr. of Santa Fe.

During the administration of General Felix Calleja, 62nd Viceroy of Mexico, Don Manuel Francisco Delgado the grandfather of our heroine was ordered to New Mexico being removed from the command of their military post of Presidio del Agua Verde, in Chihuahua, to the more important commandancy of New Mexico, then comprising the territories of Arizona and Colorado, with residency in San Francisco de Santa Fe, in which city our Josefa was born in 1816 family, in the historical capital of our territory.

When young Josefa Delgado Baca had hardly reached the age of fourteen in 1829, she married Don Miguel Romero, from whose conjugal union sprang the following males: Trinidad, Eugenio, Hilario, Benigno and Margarito, females: Aniceta, Manuela, Abelina, Josefa and Juliana. Ten in all.

In 1840, the increasing Romero-Delgado family removed from the city of Santa Fe to the new Placer mining camp of San Francisco, now better known as Golden.

They built and lived for sometime in the stone house now occupied by Col. R. W. Webb, wherein the Golden Retort is published, and in 1851 they removed to the meadow lands of San Miguel County and located on the west side of the Gallinas river; the spot now known as the old town of Las Vegas. By that time the county of San Miguel was in the full boom of a new development caused by the immigration coming from all parts of New Mexico, originated by the efforts of the gallant Captain Santiago Ulibarri and other pioneer settlers of influence who were interested in the colonization of this county. Here, in one of the richest agricultural places of New Mexico, our heroine found a new home, more congenial with her modest spirit and homely taste than her former abode in a boisterous mining camp like that of the New Placers, whereat she had spent the last decade; and the conduct of life in her new home presents a true model worthy of imitation by the rest of mother Eve's daughters placed in equal or similar circumstances.

Extraordinary deeds of rare human development, so often found in women of historical renown, are less important or necessary to the average mother and wife than the daily common conduct that the inhabitants of Las Vegas observed in the life of Doña Josefa. The modesty, energy, firmness and industry of which she gave an incessant example, are bright jewels in the diadem that crowns and perpetuates her memory, which every woman of our Territory ought to strive to cultivate, with the same earnestness that was always evinced before all and noticed by every one who had the luck of approaching her homely field of action.

To leave unnoticed after death, the virtues that so conspicuously placed her at the head of her sex in our midst would be low ingratitude, criminal indifference, for, their influence would be greatly cut off and diminished --lost and doomed to oblivion, while hidden from and unnoticed by future generations (particularly among her direct descendants) who may profit by the study and imitation of her most salutary example.

To illustrate the unassuming character of Doña Josefa and her simplicity of manners combined with order, energy and economy, it will be proper to cite an instance known by all the old timers now in this city: And this is, that with the help of a few of her servants she created an industry that produced several thousand dollars in the manufacture of butter, cheese and other creamery products, all manufactured at home.

And in similar industrious habits she continued, even after seeing herself blessed with much wealth and great social influence; and even during the time when her son, Don Trinidad, was occupying the highest position to which the people can elevate one of their fellow citizens, through the ballot box, and was representing New Mexico in Washington as our delegate in the National Congress, she was seen in the same homely manners and industrious ways. What an example for the petty aristocratic women and high-toned wives, who insist in the stress of their vain exteriorities and extravagant taste! What a practical lesson for those who have no control over their ruinous notions, and cannot, will not, live within the limits of their income! Deprived as they are of the necessary independence and ease, their spirits are naturally disturbed, and their off-spring predisposed to doubt and inaction, and not seldom become a load to society or a burden to themselves.

And just here is touched the climax of this short sketch. The evidence of a true mother's mission on earth, or her paramount duty --the proper raising of her off-spring. In order words, the spirit of enterprise, order and economy of which the children of our heroine give a daily example, is a true and living monument in her praise --a monument, not of cold marble or hard and rusty metal, but a monument of incessant action, made by living and progressive souls, who, through their daily forward march, propagate among their fellow-citizens the elevating social virtues inherited from their good mother. To illustrate this point, let us pass a light review on every one of her sons.

The activity and particular modus operandi displayed by Trinidad and Eugenio as freighters and traders in New Mexico, as well as in the States and the Mexican republic, even before the railroad days, is well known to the public. Their public spirit in many a step for some common good has been often conspicuous up to this very day and long before the days of the steam horse.

The conduct of Trinidad as probate judge or member of congress, and that of Eugenio as the first municipal authority of our city, show more than what we can say in their honor, but we will add that they always proved themselves to be near the highest level as merchants, stock raisers or wool growers. The energy of Hilario in his various social positions, and his practical tact as sheriff of our country, in one of her most tempestuous epochs, but confirms the general characteristics of the family.

Now comes Benigno, the model merchant of West Las Vegas and the junior partner of H. Romero & Bro: A dual unit like that of R. And E.!

But a few weeks ago, Benigno started with less than one hundred dollars in one of the out-of-the-way streets, at the northwest side of the old town and through his intuitive sagacity and persistent pluck, he soon was able to erect a two-story building --the first one made out of adobe, cemented with a peculiar mortar composition of his own invention, on the hot springs road, which name was changed by him to that of Pacific street.

Then the firm of H. Romero Bros. was organized, and soon the Pacific Street store was found too calm for the boisterous Atlantic sea of Benigno's ambition; and another larger and more commodious store was soon erected at the east side of the plaza. And though larger and more commodious than the two former ones, it was not large enough, and the necessity of building a still better structure became apparent and unavoidable. Therefore, a larger and more commodious, as well as elegant two-story building, has been constructed near the northeast angle of the plaza and full of the greatest variety of merchandise is already open to the public. In this establishment is observed the happy feature of "lady clerks," which plainly evinces that its owners have reached the top of Progress's ladder, and are most willingly grasping and holding the latest notions of the most advanced spirit of our revolutionary age.

Margarito, the youngest among the sons of Doña Josefa, now occupies the vast double store house, formerly the warehouse of the late Frank Chapman, at the west side of the plaza, and conducts a lively trade.

In conclusion, the charitable disposition of Doña Josefa must be mentioned and remembered as it deserves. Often was her portly form notice entering the humblest of the adobe huts, or calling at the doors of the poorest log house of this neighborhood, to administer advice, consolation and health to the erring or unfortunate poor or sick, in maternal warning, or bread and medicine, which she always gave like an angel of mercy --without money and without price.

According to the New Mexico Marriages of Santa Fe and the Military Chapel of Our Lady of Light p. 174, Josefa married José Miguel Romero son of Jose Guadalupe Romero and Maria Ygnacia Baca. He was born May 25, 1790 in Santa Fe, on January 30, 1830.

I have these children

Maria Aniceta, b. April 28, 1833, Santa Fe;

José de la Trinidad, June 16, 1835, Santa Fe;

Miguel, b. 1837, Santa Fe;

José Eugenio, b. November 27, 1837, Santa Fe;

José Luciano, b. January 12, 1840, Santa Fe;

José Hilario, b. February 1, 1844, Santa Fe;

Benigno, b. 1846, Santa Fe;

Maria Manuela, June 24, 1842, Santa Fe;

Maria Andrea Abelina, b. December 3, 1845, Santa Fe;

Margarito, b. 1852;

Josefa, b. 1854, Santa Fe;

Juliana, b. 1856.

Bernadett Charley Gallegos has provided the following information: María Joséfa Gregoria Delgádo was baptized November 19, 1816. She married Miguel Romero y Baca on January 30, 1830. Their children and families follow. Miguel Romero was born in Santa Fe County in 1798, the son of José Guadalupe Romero. At least three of Joséfa and Miguel's son's were born at Real de San Francisco, now known as Golden, New Mexico. The Romero family must have been engaged in the business of mining or in the supporting industries at the same time the Delgádo family was at Galisteo. Joséfa's brother Felipe de Santiago was baptized two years before her marriage in Cerrillos. Her brother Simón was a resident of Tuerto when he married in 1843, as was his father-in-law, as was Gervasio Nolan who was a witness at Simón's wedding. Nolan's granddaughter came to marry Joséfa and Miguel's son Margarito. You can see then how these families came to be joined by a common interest. Before leaving for California, General Kearny appointed Miguel Alcalde del Placeres.[1] Miguel was also one of the first settlers of Las Vegas where he was a merchant and a freighter. He "furnished horses and supplies to the Northern army" during the Civil War years in New Mexico.[2] Joséfa died on August 5, 1877, followed four years later by her husband in 1881. [1] Ralph Emerson Twitchell, Leading Facts of New Mexico History, Vol. 2, pp. 216, 406. [2] Charles F. Coan, Ph.D., History of New Mexico, Vol. 2, p. 263.

This became a Las Vegas branch of the Delgados.

In her unpublished notes at UNM, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca de Gilbert gives this information about their children (unfortunately, the names do not completely coincide with the above lists, but that's genealogy for you)

1. Florentina maried Tranquilino Labadie. Children:

Josefa m. Francisco Chavez

Francisca m. Nazario Gallegos

Petrita m. Ignacio Lopez

2. Eugenio m. Chamita Lopez. children

Cleofas married Arabella Bernard

Secundino married Anita Bernard

Reymundo married Zenqidq Gutierrez (1st wife); Petromila Varela (2nd wife)

3. Hilario Romero m. Guadalupe Delgado. Children:

Manuelita m. Agustin Delgado

Lucia m. Fulgencia C. de Baca

José m. Maria Ortiz

4. Benigno Romero m. Guadalupe Ortega. Children:

Dr. Felipe m. Epimenia Romero

Miguel m. Consuelo Tenorio (Miguel Antonio)

5. Avelina m. Manuel Baca y Ortiz

Hilario m. Elena Delgado

Federico m. Dulcineq Gallegos

Cleofas m. Jesus Maria Casaus

Eugenio m. Ramoncita Mares

Eloy m. Trinidad Delgado

Aurelia m. Joaquin Gallegos

6. Margarito m. Irinea Delgado (1st wife), children died in infancy.

Second wife Maria Baca (no children)

7. Manuelita m. Dionicio Gonzales. Children:

Petrita m. Martin Delgado (Francisco, Mnauel José)

Hilaria m. Domingo Baca y Sandoval

Adelaida did not marry.

8. Josefita m. Felipe Lopez (no children)

9. Julianita m. Francisco Baca y Sandoval. Children:

Eduardo m. Aniceta Delgado

Benito m. Anita Ortiz

Euplio m. Maria Casaus

Adolfo did not marry

Luz m. Evaristo Lucero

Eumeliam m. Lamberto Ortiz

Celestina m. Charles Howe (1st husband); Adolfo Perea (2nd husband)

Eliza m. Emilio Chavez

Felipa m. Manuel Gabaldon

In the 1860 census José Miguel Romero is listed as a 60 year old merchant of San Miguel and Las Vegas with real estate assets of 6000 dollars and a personal estate of 4000 dollars. (Boyle pp. 143)

Died -In Las Vegas, N.M., August 5th, 1877, Mrs. Josefa Delgado de Romero, wife of Mr. Miguel Romero and mother of honorable Trinidad Romero, aged 60 years, 8 months and 20 days.

Margarito Romero

In A Look at the Past a booklet by Elba Cabeza de Baca kindly lent to me by George Cabeza de Baca, Elba writes: "Margarito Romero was the son of Miguel and Josefa Romero. he was born in El Real de San Francisco in Santa Fe County, but was raised in Las Vegas, New Mexico. he attended St. Michael's College in Santa Fe and studied to be a merchant. At the age of seventeen, he attended school in St. Louis, Missouri, where he completed his education. In 1872, he married Irinea Delgado who was from Santa Fe. They had eight children; however, the all died in infancy. In 1880, he went into business for himself. Margarito became a very prominent and successful businessman. In 1895, he buyilt a beautiful hotel eighteen miles from Las Vegas. he named the hotel "El Porvenir" and it became very poplar wth people from all over coming to see it. The scenery at the village of Porvenir was, and still is, very beautiful and healthful. Margarito organized a posse to fight the infamous Silva gang who were terrorizing the people. In 1910, he became a member of the Constitutional Convention in Santa Fe. He always went out of his way to help the poor and needy and every Christmas he distributed candy and gifts to the children of Las Vegas. Don Margarito belonged to the Confradia del Hermitaño (Brotherhood) organized to honor the saintly hermit from Hermit's Peak. The "Confradia" always took place on the first of May and on the 14th of September. On May 1, 1897, Don Margarito and eighteen socios climbed the peak. Don Margarito happened to have his camera with him. One of the socios asked him, "Don Margarito, now that we are all here together, why don't you take our picture as a group?" Don Margarito answered, "Of course. I'll take several shots." When margarito arrived at the hotel, he took the negatives to his darkroom to develop them. He picted up the first photgraph and examined it closely to see if it had developed properly. What he saw amazed him! Above the socios there appeared a clear picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary surrounded by angels.".... After Margarito's wife died, he married Maria Baca from the prominent Baca family. The old house that (Elba's) father bought... about thirty years ago was Margarito's house. later Margarito built a mansion across from Our Lady of Sorrows Church. That is the house where his widow and her sister lived for any years until they could no longer take care of themselves. Maria was close to a hundred years when she died. Margarito died in 1917."

Benigno Romero y Delgado Helps the Mentally Ill

According to, before the establishment of the New Mexico Insane Asylum, many mentally ill people were locked up in jail. Josefa's son Benigno son, described as "Trail freighter, Plaza mechant, shoe and "wonder" drug salesman" considered this unjust and invited many of them to live in his home. It is said that Don Benigno once said to Francisco Marron y Alonzo, his friend and first doctor of the asylum: "the doors to my house will always be wide open for all those that approach them, and with open heart. They that need refuge will be most welcome." (the reference is M. Callon, L.V. The Town that Wouldn't Gamble", p. 309). He appealed to the Territorial Council to make funds available for this institution.