Margaret Delgado de Ortiz (1900-1993) Tells About Her Life

 

I was born September 9th, 1900 on San Francisco Street in the Delgado House, my grandfather's house, in Santa Fe, New Mexico to "Lina" Catalina Garcia and Alfredo Delgado.

My grandfather (Felipe S. Delgado) was a merchant who brought things from Mexico that came from Alameda. The Delgados originally came from Spain. My great grandfather (Manuel Salustiano Delgado) was killed by the Indians and buried in the plains of Missouri. They covered the body with barrels of whiskey. Later they buried his body in Santa Fe.

Our parents all lived together in harmony. After my grandfather (Felipe S. Delgado) died, my grandmother (Benigna Garcia de Delgado) was in charge of the household.

It was customary that when a boy married he would bring the wife to the Delgado House and they added rooms as the family grew. They had Indian girls to take care of the children. We all lived together. I was raised by the Indian girls who lived in the Delgado house.

Once I sassed a little Indian woman and my mother was very angry at me because I had sassed her. We were supposed to treat them with kindness.

We did not have toys so we used to make them. We made a stove out of cardboard. The Indian girls would bring us Indian pottery for dishes.

I went to school at Loretto Academy. My father's sister (Manuela Delgado, Sister Gertrude) was a nun for 25 years. (It was actually much longer than that, editor's note) She took care of the Loretto Chapel. I used to help her make the communion. For helping them I ate breakfast with the sisters which was special.

(Margaret made her First Communion on April 23, 1911)

Loretto Academy was a totally a girl's school. We used to sneak talking to boys. One boy kind of liked me, I guess, and he sent me a box of candy. And the sister asked me "Do you want to accept this candy?" I said, "No, I do not like that boy, you can send it back to him." The poor boy had stolen it, so he got into trouble on account of me because I sent the box back. We were very mean with the boys who tried to get fresh with us.

I met Frank at the St. Francis Cathedral when I sung in the choir and later at a public dance. I and my partner won the prize for the best waltz, which was a ride in an airplane.

Later I met Frank at a theater and the film caught on fire. That was scary and well all ran out of the theater. It was because of the fire at the theater that we noticed each other more.

I think he was in Cuba when he wrote me about getting married. He was working for a watch company in New York during our engagement.

We were married in St. Francis Cathedral on June 16, 1924. All our friends were there and the people I worked for.

We left for Mexico and I joined the tennis club. Frank felt that this would be an opportunity to meet people. I won the cup for the club. We went to the opera. We lived in Mexico about 3 or 4 years. Then I moved to San Antonio. Your grandfather used to visit me once a week in San Antonio.

There are so many special occasions I could remember him best for. He has always liked to work on the ranch.

I used to work very hard on that ranch, to can stuff and send it to uncle Frank in Washington.

I came from Mexico to the United States for my son, Frank V. Ortiz Jr. to be born in St. Vincent's Hospital which is near St. Francis Cathedral. He was born March 14, 1926. He was about six weeks old when I took him back to Mexico.

Adelina was also born in Santa Fe at home on February 7th, 1929. To Celebrate her birth a Japanese woman who became a very good friend of Adelina painted a beautiful pond on our outside adobe wall. It had a rock and a fish trying to snap a butterfly in the air: one side was night and the other day. I am told that you can still see the painting on the wall (editor's note: according to Adelina this pond was painted for Claire's birth, not Adelina's).

Alfred was born on College St., where the old church is near the current state capitol. He was born in a two story brick house. He was very ill as a child from the hips down. He was born September 22, 1930.

Adelina, Frank and Bobby (Alfred)

I remember that Frank Ortiz Jr. as a child was very eager to learn. If you asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would say "I want to be a diplomat". And that is what he turned out to be, a diplomat. He was very smart in school, always had good grades, and took part in school plays. He was always chosen to play a leading part in their plays. He was in a play called "Don't Take My Penny" about a school love affair where someone was trying to take his girl away from him.

Adelina went to Loretto Academy. That was a convent for young girls. She played tricks on your grandfather. She would walk part way to school, then go home and play. We soon caught on to her. Your grandfather would wait until she really went into the class. Adelina was very brave. She was jumping around, fell and cut her head. We took her to Dr. Napp. He sewed her up. She did not cry nor budge, So he said, "You have been such a brave girl I am going to take you to the drug store and I am going to buy you an ice cream cone," which he did.

Alfred was involved with cars since he was a little boy. We bought an old Ford. He fixed it up and used to run around in his little Ford. He never brought it to town until he was old enough to know where he was going. Bobby (Alfred) was a very quiet kind person. Bobby has not changed. He is still thoughtful, and comes in every single day to see me. He helps me with breakfast and takes me out for a walk. He killed a bear when he was about 12 years old, as a sport, not our of meanness. He got his picture in the paper.

I think that the most forceful one was Adelina. Frank was interested in education and what he wanted to do when older. Alfred was more of a sportsman. Your mother was in between.

Frank Junior's children have grown up in South America and have adopted some of the ways. They all speak Spanish and are accustomed to the ways of the foreigners.

Gene has a little bit of a foreigner in him. Gene has some characteristics of the southern part of the world such as in his courteous manner.

Tina met Jacques Cousteau, the one who had been on the sea most of his life. Tina works with the sea picking up samples of rocks that contain ore.

During the first World War I knitted for the soldiers. I decided I wanted to a nun, but the war prevented me. I was engaged to a Mormon boy that came here as a missionary. He was to be married in the Salt Lake Temple. We finally broke off and he went back to Utah. Years later when I was county clerk I went there and saw him and he was bald. I was glad I did not marry him because he was bald-headed. Having such a good family to raise was one of the accomplishments I enjoyed the most and having wonderful grandchildren.

Santa Fe has changed. There are too many strange people coming in. It does not belong to us anymore. It belongs to the tourists. The things we appreciated about Santa Fe, they do not exist anymore as I remember. My name, as former country clerk, is on the door of the county courthouse.

I think that the most enjoyable part of our marriage was working as a team. He liked politics and I liked politics. We always felt the same about politics. Now he goes one way and I go the other.

Resident of the Month at La Residencia

Maria Margarita Delgado de Ortiz, born in Santa Fe on Sept. 9, 1900. She was born in her grandfather's home, Felipe Delgdo. She attended St. Francis School (1-8th grade) and Loretto Academy where she graduated. She taught school at Galisteo Public Grade School and in Torreon, then moved back to Santa Fe where she worked as a bookkeeper at Seligman's Ladies Wear.

During the Roosevelt Presidency and the Depression she was appointed as Santa Fe County Clerk then reelected. She was also county clerk of the district court. Mrs. Delgado also assisted in the founding of the Boy's Club of Santa Fe. She has three children: Frank Ortiz, Ambassador to Argentina; Alfredo Ortiz, Draftsman for a local contractor; and Adelina Hill, who runs a Girl's school in the Santa Fe Boy's Club. She has over 40 grand and great grandchildren.

Mrs. Delgado enjoys painting, sketching, and carving. She lives on the second floor. We enjoy Mrs. Delgado very much.

Two obituaries:

Margaret Delgado de Ortiz, artist and civic leader, dies

Margaret Delgado de Ortiz, a accomplished artist and civic leader known in her youth for her great beauty, died Sunday at the La Residencia Nursing Center. She was 92.

Mrs. Ortiz was described as "energetic, generous and extremely artistic" by her son, Ambassador Frank V. Ortiz.

She was a founder of the Santa Fe Boys' Club and held positions with the American Red Cross, the Sociedad Folklorica, the Business and Professional Woman's Association, La Tiendecita and the Concert Association. She was twice elected clerk of Santa Fe County.

According to her son, Mrs. Ortiz was a gifted painter and woodcarver and also did Spanish embroidery. Her paintings were exhibited in the Museum of Fine Arts, he said.

A graduate of Loretto Academy of Santa Fe, she was a member of the prominent Delgado family which was active in Santa Fe's 19th century overland trade and mercantile business, her son said.

She was born on September 9, 1900 to Alfredo Delgado and Catalina Garcia in a home on San Francisco Street. The site now is occupied by the Lensic theater.

Her husband of 69 years, Frank V. Ortiz, died last year.

She is survived by her brother, Arthur Delgado of Angel's Camp, Calif.; two sons Alfred Clifford Ortiz of Phoenix and Ambassador Frank V. Ortiz, Jr. of Santa Fe; a daughter Adelina Ortiz de Hill, of Santa Fe; 19 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Loretto Chapel at 7 p.m. on April 11. A Mass at St. Francis Cathedral will take place at 10 a.m., followed by a burial service at Rosario Cemetery.

Delgado de Ortiz, Margaret - A civic leader and prominent member of the community for most of her ninety-two years passed away at the La Residencia Nursing Center on Sunday April 4, 1993. Mrs. Ortiz, a woman of exceptional beauty and charm had a high sense of civic responsibility. She was a founder of the Santa Fe Boy's Club and held positions with the American Red Cross, the Sociedad Folklorica, the Business and Professional Woman's Association, the Tiendecita, and the Concert Association. She was twice elected Clerk of Santa Fe County. In addition to her civic activities, Mrs. Ortiz was a gifted painter, wood sculptor and did Spanish colonial embroidery. Her paintings were exhibited in the Museum of Fine Arts. A graduate of the Loretto Academy of Santa Fe. Mrs. Ortiz was a member of prominent New Mexican families who played leading roles in New Mexico's history. Both her father and grandfather held presidential commissions. She was born on September 9, 1900 to Alfredo Delgado and Catalina Garcia in the family home on San Francisco Street which was on the present site of the Lensic Theatre. She is preceded in death by her husband of sixty-nine years, Frank V. Ortiz, who was also a community leader. She is survived by her brother, Arthur Delgado of Angel's Camp, CA; her children: Alfred Clifford Ortiz of Phoenix AZ; and Adelina Ortiz de Hill, and Ambassador Frank V. Ortiz Jr. of Santa Fe. Also surviving are nineteen grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren (see Portrait of Ortiz Family in 1955). There will be a memorial Rosary service at the Loretto Chapel at 7:00 PM, Sunday April 11th. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, April 12th at 10:00 AM at St Francis Cathedral. Interment will follow at Rosario Cemetery.