Petra Larragoite 1847-1925 and Juan Bouquet (1823-1898)

Picture of Juan Bouquet (Courtesy of Rosie Armijo, great niece of Petra)

According to the Santa Fe Baptisms book, vol. 4, Petra Larragoiti was baptized on August 6, 1848 at the age of four days. She is listed as 2 years old in the 1850 census (Note that her death certificate has her born on August 31, 1851). She married Jean Bouquet February 22, 1867 in San Juan Catholic Church (Source: Church Records).

1867. En la Capilla de la Jolla a los veinte dos de Febrero despues de practicadas las dilingencias y conseguida la dispensa de los banas presencié segun el orden de nuestra Santa Madre la Iglesia al matrimonio de Juan Bouquet soltero hijo lego con Petra Maria Larragoiti soltera hija lega de Benito Larragoite y de Feliciana Valdez. Testigos: Matias Velarde, Carlos Leroux. (LDS microfilm 0016979 Marriages San Juan Church 1857-)

The New Mexico State Archives have Juan Bouquet's will: "Know all men, that I, John Bouquet of Pojuaque, County of Santa Fe, Territory of New Mexico, being in good health mine and memory, being desirous of settling by worldly affairs whilst I have the strength and capacity to so to do, do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament, that is to say, I give, and bequeath unto my beloved wife Maria Petra Laragoity de Bouquet all of my property both real and personal of whatsoever class, character and description wheresoever the same may be situate, And I do hereby name and appoint my wife the said Maria Petra Laragoity de Bouquet sole executrix without bond of this my last will and testament. Witness my hand and seal this 11th day of November A. D. 1897. John Bouquet." There were three witnesses, one of which was Alfredo Delgado.

Juan died April 18, 1898.

Petra de L. Bouquet was named Postmaster of Pujuaque on May 25, 1896. Her predecessor was John Bouquet, who was named on February 25, 1870. Her successor was named in about 1917.

She married Cicero Weidner in July 1899.

The 1900 census shows Petra and Cicero Weidner living in Poquaque. He is given as a 46 year old farmer born in February 1854 and she as 47 years old and born in August 1852. Looks to me as if she was fudging a little on her age.

A 1907 document at the New Mexico State Archives mentions that Petra has an adopted daughter as heir. In it Cicero Weidner renounces all claims to Petra's estate, whom he says was seriously ill and about to make her last will and testament.

The New Mexico State Archives have divorce papers (Cause no. 6779) for Petra L. Bouquet de Weidner (plaintiff) and Cicero Weidner (defendent). The final decree was filed on August 3, 1912. According to it, the court found: "(1) That the plaintiff and the defendent were married in July 1899 at Santa Cruz, New Mexico; (2) That the defendent abandoned and deserted the plaintiff in or about the month of April 1910 and has ever since, continued to and still abandons and deserts the said plaintiff; (3) That no children have been born as a result of the said marriage relation; (4) That no community property which has not heretofore been disposed of my mutual agreement of the parties now exists as the result of said marriage relation; (4) that no community property whch has not heretofore been disposed of by mutual agreement of the parties now exists as the result of said marriage relation."

According to this the family story that Weidner swindled Petra out of her land does not seem to be true.

Petra is mentioned in Catalina's last letter to her daughter Margaret, dated December 29, 1914. This is copied on the page devoted to Alfredo and Catalina Delgado

According to her death certificate: Petra Bouquet died at Saint Vincent's Sanitarium on on April 9, 1925 in Santa Fe County. A self-employed housewife and widow, she resided on Alto Street. She was born on August 31, 1851 and was 73 years, 7 months, 9 days old at the time of her death. Her parents are listed as Benito A. Larragoite, born in Spain and Feliciana Valdez, born in Spain. She died of apoplexy and was ill for approximatively two months. Bronchial pneumonia was a contributory factor. She had been ill with it for 2 days. She was buried on April 11, 1925 in Rosario Cemetery in Santa Fe. Mrs. Squire Hart was the informant.

 

The New Mexican of April 9, 1925 featured this obituary of Petra.

PETRA BOUQUET WELL-KNOWN

WOMAN OF NORTHERN N.M. FOR 50 YEARS PASSES AWAY

Petra L. Bouquet, one of the best known women of Northern New Mexico for more than 50 years, died this morning at St Vincent's Sanatarium. Mrs. Bouquet was the daughter of Benito A. Larragoite and Feliciana Valdez, and was born on August 31st, 1851 in the house which stood where the well-known Staab residence is now located. The late A. Staab, one of the pioneer wholesale merchants of New Mexico, bought the property from Mr. Larragoite nearly 60 years ago, and when Mrs. Bouquet was 14 years old he moved with his family to Velarde in Rio Arriba County. Fifty-five years ago Petra was married to Juan Bouquet at Velarde and came to live with her husband in Pojoaque, where his place was already know as the Bouquet Ranch, which has continued to be a widely know landmark in Northern New Mexico since its establishment nearly three-quarters of a century ago. Mr. Bouquet was a Frenchman born in France, and came to this country as the companion and intimate of the great Catholic prelate, Archbishop Lamy, the church founder and ecclesiastical father among the Catholics of the Southwest. The Archbishop was often a guest of Mr. and Mrs. Bouquet at their ranch and was their intimate friend as well as spiritual father. Mrs. Bouquet had an eventful and busy life at Pojoaque. her husband was a pioneer merchant, fruit raiser and ranchman there, and she was postmistress for nearly 50 years. Bouquet ranch was a stage station on the old route from Santa Fe to Taos and afterward from Española to Santa Fe when the railroad was built to and ended at Española. When Santa Fe was the military headquarters, Bouquet Ranch was a favorable resort of the officers, as well as a stopping place when they were enroute to outposts at Taos and Tierra Amarilla. The officers were particularly fond of the water of the famous old well there, which is really a spring and which they rated highly and carried away in canteens and demijohns for medicinal purposes. Mr. Bouquet frequently came in contact with such historic characters as Kit Carson and local celbrities such and "Pistol Johnny". Her associations thus gave her an extended knowledge of men and affairs and she became a woman of considerable prominence and influence in local life. Here association and friendship with Sister Magdalena, the original superior of Loretto Convent and who was a compatriot of Archbishop Lamy and Juan Bouqet and came to New Mexico with them, was always a souce of much pleasure and religious profit to Mrs. Bouquet. After the death of Juan Bouquet about 25 years ago, she continued to live and carry on at Bouquet ranch until about five years ago, when advancing age and declining health caused her to rent and contract for the sale of Bouquet ranch, since which time she has lived in Santa Fe. A slight stroke of paralysis about a year ago ago cause considerable decline in her vigor and kidney disorders finally brought death. Thus has passed one of the historic local charcters of northern New Mexico. Her remains will lie at the residence of Squire Hartt, her brother-in-law at 114 Santa Fe Avenue, from noon Friday until noon Saturday where her sisters Mrs Hartt and Mrs Virginia Roberts will receive friends who may desire to view the remains. At 1 p.m. Saturday the body will be taken to the cathedral where mass will be celebrated at 1:30 and interment will be held in Rosario cemetery. Mrs. Bouquet left behind her sorrowing relatives, her brother Juan B. Larragoite, her sisters, Mrs. Paula L. Velarde, Mrs. Squire Hartt, Mrs. Lucy Alary, Mrs. Lucero of Wagon Mound and Mrs. Virginia Roberts. Funeral arrangemens are in charge of the Rising undertaking establishment.

Jean Bouquet, a Frenchman, first appears in the 1860 census where he gives his occupation as a stonecutter. In the next census he is listed as a retired merchant and has moved his residence to Pojoaque. In 20 years of his residence in the Pojoaque area he acquired 20 parcels of land.

Found in the 1870 Census with no children Santa Fe County, NM. Petra was an accomplished musician, as was Mariano's wife Pablita Lopez. Bouquet Ranch was a stopping place for Spanish New Mexicans on their way to San Juan de los Caballeros to celebrate the day of San Juan. They went there on horse and buggy, relatives and good friends spent the night and were entertained with food and music. Petra and Pablita being two of the musicians.

Cointa's granddaughter, Margaret Delgado, the daughter of Alfredo Delgado and Catalina Garcia, spent her holidays at the Bouquet Ranch. In her obituary it even says that she grew up in Pojoaque. Her mother's last letter to her was written from there. Margaret's daughter Adelina didn't use Delgado in her name, but liked to think of her name as Adelina Alcaria Valencia y Bouquet Ortiz de Hill.

On November 1, 2003 Rosie Armijo, Claire Ortiz Hill and Adelina Ortiz de Hill paid a visit to the Bouquet Ranch. The present owners have a record of a July 16, 1971 telephone interview with Margaret Delgado de Ortiz. it reads "Mrs Bouquet was the sister of my grandmother Cointa and I lived out there a great deal from the time I was seven and even before that. We especially spent summers there doing canning, etc. Bouquet spelled his name b-o-u-q-u-e-t and was French, although as you suggested he could have spelled it several ways. Bouquet liked to graft trees and there was one at the end of the portal (where the Moris Burges lives, I think on east side) where he had grafted three different types of apples that ripened at different times. This garden was Bouquet's special garden where he grew grapes, that my mother helped to make into wine. He even had a tangerine tree. The orchard was across the street including plum trees. The iron gates leading to the main house were original to the orchard across the street, which was called Camino Real; then it was know as Bouquet Lane and I hear now some are calling it Cargo Lane. Bouquet was buried in the orchard and there was a stone marker and iron fence there, but the last time I was out there I could not locate the spot. Where the double doors are was the place to the store. Cider was also made. The rooms that is large was originally two rooms, the front one having wall paper with white and blue stripes and the back one a beige color with small figures. The front rooms had a carved mantle that was painted white and the back room a fireplace with black and gold trim. I have a letter from my mother when I was at Loretto, age 15 years, that spells Pojoquae p-o-j-u-a-q-u-e. I do not remember the Pecan tree. There is a large old cottnwood tree at the corner of the orchard by the river road that Bouquet grafted a poplar tree in the center.... I should very much like to go out there again." A note at the bottom of the text says that there are pictures of Bouquet and his wife both. The stage coaches went along the Camino Real. Some land give for road to be widened....

Rosie Armijo, whose mother is Roberta Lucia Targhetta, the daughter of Petra's sister Lucia, says that her mother always talked about the time she spent on the Juan Bouquet Ranch with her "Tia Petra." She says that they used to drive past there many times on our way to El Santuario and she would point the place out to us and also the ditch she used to play in. It seems that Lucia was pretty much raised by Petra after her mother died. Her mother tells her that Juan Bouquet is buried on the Ranch.

Rosie gave me a letter that Petra wrote to Lucia from Pojuaque dated 1906 (Petra didn't use accents or punctuation and the spelling isn't modern): "Mrs Lucia L Alary, My muy querida hermana y comadre espero que esta le halle buena en compania de mi compadre Agustin y la Josephina y los niños pues yo estuve enferma dos meses de las piernas y de la espalda y todabia estoy pero estoy descansada por eso no fui le habia escrito a mi compadre Agustin que hiba a verlos Alfredo esta bueno muy grande y muy gordo les manda Saludos aqui hiso mucho frio este inbierno adjunto hallaras treinta y cinco pesos en cuenta de la tierra que tienen en la Joya y yo les hize mandado hasta que les acaba de pagar la tierra es responsable por el resto del dinero hasta que les acabe de pagar no me hacen el documento el año pasado nos callo un granisol que no acabo la fruta la golpes? y no tubo valor la estoy vendiendo a senlavo? de lo que me deven mi esperansas que me ba a pagar M E esta con negocios dice que me han a pagar su hermano de San Juan me dijo tengo esperansa quien sabe cuando si tiene barriles de 10 galones colorado mandeme decis el precio para el ???? de la casa Saludos mios a ti a mi compadre Agustin y la Josephina a los niños muchos vecitos tu hermana que verles desea Petra L Bouquet Weidner a muerto mucha gente en un dia murieron tres de hidropesia la mujer de Delivino Romero Buatista Ortiz Francisca Lujan.

According to his gravestone at the Bouquet Ranch, John Bouquet died on April 18, 1898 (that would make him born in January 1823) at the age of 75 years, 3 months and 1 day. It reads: "He built this place. A precious one from us has gone. A voice we loved is stilled. A place is vacant in our home, which will never be filled".

Old Santa Fe Today (pp. 90-92) recounts that the land and collection of buildings near the Indian pueblo of Pojoaque known as the Bouquet Ranch originally belonged to Nicolas Ortiz III and his second wife, Josefa Bustamente. In 1867, Jean (John, Juan) Bouquet, a Frenchman who had operated a store and wine shop in Santa Fe for several years, began buying land north of the Rio Nambé previously owned by Nicolas, Antonio José and Antonio de Jesus Ortiz, as well as parcels west of the Taos road. By the time of his death in 1897, Bouquet and Petra had made two land transfers and purchased twenty-two pieces of property that contained four houses and a mill built by Antonio de Jesus Ortiz. Bouquet was famous throughout the region for his horticultural talents. He was one of the first farmers in the valley skilled in the technique of grafting to improve the quality of his produce. His large orchard contained many new varieties of imported fruit trees. He held a government forage contract to furnish hay and grain for the military post in Santa Fe, which he filled from his own excellent crops and those purchased from his neighbors. It was also a stage stop and a hostelry with a reputation for good food. When Bouquet died in 1897, his widow inherited the ranch. Two years later she married Cicero Weidner, who in 1907, signed an affidavit renouncing all claims to her property in return for ownership of a portion of it called Jail House Ranch which according to local tradition was used to house convict labor while known as the Alfalfa Farms Company. There are bars on the windows. In 1917, Bouquet Ranch had come into the possession of J. H. and Adele Crist. A statement says that his well-known attorney and politician acquired the property for 20 years of legal service to the widow, Petra L. de Bouquet de Weidner.

Locals mourn loss of ancient tree

By Shannon Shaw | The New Mexican

October 12, 2005

 

The life of a tree is one that experiences all of the changes that happen in the community around it. It watches while buildings change, roads turn from dirt to concrete, little girls who use to run underneath its shadow transform into grandmothers. So when the cottonwood tree at the corner of Bouquet Lane and N.M. 503 finally fell down Sept. 18, its loss was felt.

Susan Herter turns 81 years old next week, and she gasped in horror when she heard that the old cottonwood tree had fallen down on Bouquet Lane.

“I grew up under that tree,” said Herter. “It makes me sad to hear that.”

The tree didn’t fall due to a storm, and it didn’t fall due to someone’s axe, it fell on its own, and when it did, the giant tree blocked traffic for two days on Bouquet Lane until Santa Fe county workers came to haul it away, said Fern Giron, Pojoaque resident.

All that is left is the base of the tree’s trunk, measuring six feet in diameter.

Memories of Herter’s childhood and her family are intertwined with the tree.

In 1923, Herter’s mother bought the old jailhouse that was used to house prisoners at historic Bouquet Ranch that sits near the cottonwood.

After purchasing the jailhouse , and 40 acres of land, her mother and father fixed it up as a summer home for the family.

The property now belongs to famous Mexican singer Juan Gabriel who also owns Gabriel’s Restaurant in Cuyamungue , Herter said.

Bouquet Ranch was a stopping place for travelers in the late 1800s on their way to Colorado. When the travelers were too rowdy, they were put in the jailhouse.

During the summers Herter spent in the house, her father gave her the task of retrieving the mail at the end of the road, starting at age 7.

She recalled walking every day by the cottonwood as well as walking past Old Lady Crist. Old Lady Crist sat in her rocking chair every day with her pet parrot, and every day on the way to the mailbox Herter would run as the parrot screamed at her heels.

“That parrot scared me to death,” Herter said, laughing.

Witnessing all this was the cottonwood tree.

When Giron heard that a very old tree had fallen over on Bouquet Lane she hoped it wasn’t the beautiful cottonwood that she had taken pictures of one autumn day while taking a walk. Giron and Jacona resident Amelia Garcia got together and arranged for Ray Lopez, who lives off Bouquet Lane, to take a picture of the tree after it had fallen so people could see before-and-after pictures of the tree, Giron said. She will miss seeing the tree on her many walks and cherishes the picture she took of the tree.

“I just saw this long trunk with no leaves, and at the top of the tree were these beautiful leaves against the blue sky,” Giron said. “It was beautiful.”