From the Editors 29 (2011)Engineer and Editor Juan Hart Moved El Paso Forward 29 (2011)Elizabeth Garrett: Songbird of the Southwest 29 (2011)A Passionate Life: Josephine Clardy Fox 29 (2011)Forgotten No More: Korean War POW Tells Story of Survival 29 (2011)Janice Woods Windle Treasures Family History 29 (2011)Andy and Syd Cohen: The Men Behind the Name 29 (2011)Leona Ford Washington Preserved Black History 29(2011)Ingeborg Heuser Brought Professional Ballet to City 29 (2011)Lee and Beulah Moor Left Legacy of Love 29 (2011)
From the Editors 28 (2010)Chasin’ Away the Blues: Texas Sunday Legislation 28 (2010)Simeon Hart Pioneered Local Industry 28 (2010)Felix Martinez: Southwestern Renaissance Man 28 (2010)Teresa Urrea: La Santa de Cabora Inspired Mexican Revolution 28 (2010)Utopia in Mesilla: The Shalam Colony 28 (2010)Stahmann Farms Produce Pecans on Two Hemispheres 28 (2010)Betty Mary Goetting Brought Birth Control to El Paso 28 (2010)Maud Sullivan Made El Paso Public Library a Cultural Center 28 (2010)Lucy Acosta’s Legacy Continues in LULAC 28 (2010)Belen Robles: Voice for the Latino Community 28 (2010)Toltec Club: Of Ghosts and Guests 28 (2010)
Strong Women Building a Strong City -- From the Editors 27(2008)Notable Women of El Paso 27(2009)The Chew Legacy: The Story of Herlinda Wong Chew 27(2009)Desert Nightingale: Louise Dietrich 27(2009)1909-2009: YWCA Celebrates 100 Years in El Paso 27(2009)Mabel Welch: El Paso’s First Female Architect 27(2009)Myrna Deckert Remains Modest About Achievements 27(2009)Suzie Azar Still Reaches for the Sky 27 (2009)The Moocher: Callie Fairley, First Woman Vice Detective in El Paso 27(2009)Alicia R. Chacón Came to Politics Naturally 27 (2009)Rosa Guerrero: Cultural Dynamo 27 (2009)
From the Past to the Present -- From the Editor 26 (2007/08)Yandell Boulevard Named for Prominent El Paso Physician 26 (2007/08)Japanese Immigrants Came Slowly to Borderland 26 (2007/08)World War II Affected Japanese Immigrants 26 (2007/08)Living, Breathing New Mexico Ghost Town: Hillsboro 26 (2007/08)Canutillo Developed from Land Grant 26 (2007/08)Rómulo Escobar Zerman: Juárez Agronomist and Teacher 26 (2007/08)El Paso Mayor: Tom Lea Jr. 26 (2007/08)Ted Karam: Lebanese Immigrant Lived American Dream 26 (2007/08)Publication Credits 26 (2007/08)
From the Director 25 (2006)First El Paso Protestant Church: St. Clement's 25 (2006)Bowie High School: Always a Bear 25 (2006)Golden Gloves Grew Out of El Paso's Love of Boxing 25 (2006)LULAC Fought Hard to Guarantee Rights 25 (2006)El Paso Women Gained Power in LULAC 25 (2006)McKelligon Canyon: From Cattle to Culture 25 (2006)Tortugas Celebrates Virgen de Guadalupe, San Juan 25 (2006)Bataan Death March and POW Camps 25 (2006)Bataan Survivors Recall Horrors 25 (2006)Anthony Family Had Five Sons in World War II 25 (2006)Sober on the Border 25 (2006)Clyde W. Tombaugh: Farm Boy Reached for the Stars 25 (2006)A Taste of Southwest Wine 25 (2006)
From the Director 24 (2005)From the Editors 24 (2005)Gypsie Davenport and May Palmer Ran Infamous Brothels 24 (2005)Pioneer Attorney William Burges Tackled Unpopular Issues 24 (2005)Richard Fenner Burges: Renaissance Man 24 (2005)Charles Kelly Wielded Power with Political 'Ring' 24 (2005)Tom Charles Wanted World to Know White Sands 24 (2005)Dripping Springs has Rich History 24 (2005)Thomas B. White Directed Innovative La Tuna for 19 Years 24 (2005)Cowboys on the Range --- Missile Range, That Is 24 (2005)Ranchers vs. the Feds: The McNew Saga 24 (2005)Mexican Repatriation in 1930s 24 (2005)White House Department Store 24 (2005)Thomason Hospital Celebrates 90 Years 24 (2005)R.E. Thomason Shaped City, State, Nation 24 (2005)
Postcards from the Past Editor's Column 23 (2004)From the Editors 23 (2004)Solomon C. Schutz Helped Bring Law and Order to El Paso 23 (2004)James Gillett Showed Courage in El Paso 23 (2004)Jim White Explored Carlsbad Caverns for Years 23 (2004)Ben Lilly: Mountain Man of the Southwest 23 (2004)Aldo Leopold Proposed Land Ethics 23 (2004)Escontrias Ranch: A Link to Hueco Tanks Park 23 (2004)Hueco Tanks is Site of Controversy 23 (2004)Marcelino Serna Became World War I Hero 23 (2004)Sam Dreben Soldiered All Over the World 23 (2004)Kern Place Neighborhood: The Man Behind the Name 23 (2004)Farah Manufacturing Now Just a Memory 23 (2004)Texas Knights of Columbus Began in El Paso 23 (2004)
Look for Us on the Web - Editor's Column 22 (2003)From the Editors 22 (2003)Victorio Fought to the Death for Homeland 22 (2003)O. T. Bassett and Charles R. Morehead 22 (2003)S. H. Newman: Pioneer Newspaperman Fought Vice 22 (2003)Elfego Baca Lived More Than Nine Lives 22 (2003)Woman's Club Has Long Served City 22 (2003)Cathedral's Beauty Pleases 22 (2003)Albert J. Fountain's Achievements Eclipsed by Mysterious Death 22 (2003)Albert B. Fall's Career Ended in Disgrace 22 (2003)Cloudcroft Baby Sanatorium Saved Many 22 (2003)Dale Resler Worked Hard for El Paso 22 (2003)Price's Dairy Still Family Owned 22 (2003)Woodlawn Bottling Brought Pepsi to Town 22 (2003)Union Depot Witnessed Growth of El Paso 22 (2003)
We're Now on the Web --From the Editor 21(2002)From the Editors 21(2002)Downtown Opium Dens Attracted Many 21(2002)Juneteenth Celebrates Freedom for Texas Slaves 21(2002)Black Cowboys Rode the Trails, Too 21(2002)Ku Klux Klan Had Short Life in El Paso 21(2002)Mining Became Big Business in Southwest 21(2002)Smeltertown Still Exists in Memories 21 (2002)El Paso Played Important Role in the Mexican Revolution 21 (2002)Pancho Villa Led Northern Forces in Revolution 21 (2002)Soldaderas Played Important Roles in Revolution 21 (2002)Pershing, Villa Forever Linked to Columbus 21 (2002)Cristeros Became Mexican Martyrs 1926-1929 -- 21 (2002)Houchen Settlement House Helped New Arrivals 21 (2002)Otis A. Aultman Captured Border History in Pictures 21 (2002)
Hot Springs Have Long HistoryThe Building of a City -- From the Editor 20 (2001)From the Staff (Volume 20)Pat Garrett Enjoyed Controversy 20 (2001)Marshal Dallas Stoudenmire Terrorized Town 20 (2001)History Reveals Rivalry of Madams Etta Clark and Alice Abbott 20 (2001)Kohlberg, Krupp, Zielonka Became Business and Civic Leaders 20 (2001)Olga Kohlberg Pioneered Many Local Organizations 20 (2001)Henry Trost's Architectural Legacy Lives On 20 (2001)Sunset Heights Preserves History 20 (2001)Adolph Schwartz Built Local Retail Dynasty 20 (2001)Zach T. White Brought Progress to El Paso 20 (2001)Masons Became Leaders in Texas, El Paso 20 (2001)Smallpox Epidemic Showed Need for Hospitals20 (2001)El Paso High School Remains Classic 20 (2001)Bhutanese Architecture Distinguishes UTEP Campus 20 (2001)Elephant Butte Dam Solved Early Water Problems 20 (2001)
Pioneer Ranch became Concordia Cemetery 19 (2000)El Paso Grows Up 19 (2000)From the Staff 19 (2000)Chinese Immigrants Helped Build Railroad in El Paso 19 (2000)Volunteer Fire Department Grew into Professional Company 19 (2000)1880s Brought First Theaters to Town 19 (2000)Sisters of Charity Began Hotel Dieu Hospital 19 (2000)Tuberculosis Turned El Paso Into a Health Center 19 (2000)First Public School Built in 1884 19 (2000)Enigmatic Olivas Aoy Began School for Mexican Children 19 (2000)El Paso Public Library Began Modestly 19 (2000)Jesuits Continue to Influence Area 19 (2000)Sisters of Loretto Have Long Tradition in Southwest 19 (2000)Mormons Found Sanctuary in Mexico in 1880s 19 (2000)Mennonite Colonies in Mexico Accept Change Slowly 19 (2000)Flu Epidemic of 1918 Hit El Paso Hard 19 (2000)Early City Planners Saw Future in Scenic Drive 19 (2000)Prohibition Stimulated Economies of El Paso, Juárez 19 (2000)
The Editor's Column : The Building of a City 18 (1999)From the Editors 18 (1999)Magoffinsville Had Lasting Influence on El Paso 18 (1999)Town of El Paso Grew from Pioneer Settlements 18 (1999)Downtown El Paso Is Monument to Anson Mills 18 (1999)1848 War With Mexico Created Southwest 18 (1999)Colonel Doniphan and Volunteers Won Battle of Brazito 18 (1999)Gadsden Purchase Clarified U.S. Boundaries 18 (1999)Early Fort Bliss Occupied Pioneer Sites 18 (1999)Henry O. Flipper Paved Way for Integration of Military 18 (1999)Buffalo Soldiers Defended Western Frontier 18 (1999)El Paso Was Midpoint of Overland Mail Service 18 (1999)Salt War of 1877 Divided Southwest Residents 18 (1999)Geronimo Led Final Fight 18 (1999)Apache Indians Defended Homelands in Southwest 18 (1999)Texas Rangers Helped Keep Order on Frontier 18 (1999)Sarah Bowman and Tillie Howard: Madams of the 1800s 18 (1999)El Paso Grew Up with Arrival of Railroad 18 (1999)
Aztecs Ruled Complex, Rich Society 17 (1998)From the Editor 17 (1998)Aztec Beliefs Helped Conquer Mexico 17 (1998)Cortés Created New Order in Mexico 17 (1998)La Malinche Remains Controversial 17 (1998)Cabeza de Vaca: Travels in Texas 17 (1998)Estebán Furthered Legend of Cíbola 17 (1998)Coronado Searched for Cities of Gold 17 (1998)Oñate Conquered Desert to Explore Southwest 17 (1998)Festival Celebrates Oñate's Historic Arrival 17 (1998)Fray Garcia Left Great Legacy 17 (1998)Franciscans Brought Catholicism to Area 17 (1998)America's First Highway: El Camino Real 17 (1998)Pueblo Revolt Brought Tiguas South 17 (1998)Tigua Indians Survive 300 Years of Ordeals 17 (1998)Area Missions are Part of Living History 17 (1998)San Elizario Presidio Protected Settlers 17 (1998)Ethnic Terms Can Cause Confusion 17 (1998)
Oasis Restaurants Symbolized ‘50s Teen Scene 13 (1995)‘50s Cars Changed American Lifestyle And Image 13 (1995)Chevy Bel Air Charmed 1950 Car Buyers 13 (1995)San Jacinto Plaza Remains Heart Of Downtown El Paso 13 (1995)Smokey Bear: A Legend Is Made 13 (1995)El Paso's Company E Survivors Remember Rapido River Assaults 13 (1995)Company E Survivor Recalls Days As Prisoner Of War 13 (1995)El Paso Red Cross Essential to War Effort 13 (1995)World War II Took its Toll On The Home Front 13 (1995)Civil Air Patrol Protected Border During World War II -- 13 (1995)Quickie Divorces Granted in Juárez 13 (1995)Atomic Bomb Developed In Southwest 13 (1995)Former Crew Members On B-17s Remember Tough Times 13 (1995)Vintage Warplanes Keep Past Alive 13 (1995)The Cavalry Bugler: Essential To Horse and Man 13 (1995)Sun Carnival 1936 Style 13 (1995)H. Arthur Brown: El Paso Symphony Guru Of The ‘30s -- 13 (1995)Swing Music Helped Dispel The Blues Of The ‘30s and ‘40s -- 13 (1995)The General Store: A Hidden Treasure Of The Past 13 (1995)
Change on the Border 15 (1997)From the Editor 15 (1997)Latinos Work To Change Stereotypes In Hollywood 15 (1997)Cesar Chávez: Simple Man, People’s Hero 15 (1997)Shelter For Farm Workers Becomes Reality 15 (1997)Women’s Shelter Helps To Heal The Pain 15 (1997)Home Schools Become Popular Alternative 15 (1997)Renovation May Revive Downtown El Paso 15 (1997)Title IX Changed Women's Sports 15 (1997)Special Olympics Shine In El Paso 15 (1997)La Fe Clinic Serves South El Paso 15 (1997)ASARCO Works To Clean Up Its Act 15 (1997)A Growing Phenomenon: Single Fathers 15 (1997)Stepfamilies Become More Numerous 15 (1997)Teens Rebel Against Authority 15 (1997)Comics Retain Popularity 15 (1997)Tom Moore And Archie Have Timeless Appeal 15 (1997)
Life on the Border: 1950s & 1960s --14 (1996)From The Editors 14 (1996)A Baseball Team By Any Other Name 14 (1996)Drive-In Theaters Appealed to all Ages 14 (1996)El Paso Trolley First to Connect Two Nations 14 (1996)Barbie Doll Revolutionized Toy Industry 14 (1996)Rabies Took Bite of Sun City 14 (1996)Rabies: A Deadly Virus 14 (1996)Border Patrol Used Variety of Methods to Control Immigration 14 (1996)L. A. Nixon Fought Texas Voting Law 14 (1996)Douglass School Served Black Community Well 14 (1996)Thelma White Case Forced College Integration 14 (1996)Steve Crosno: An El Paso Original 14 (1996)Rock 'N' Roll Defined Teen Culture 14 (1996)A Shopping Mall by the People for the People 14 (1996)Chamizal Dispute Settled Peacefully 14 (1996)Turney Mansion Becomes Work of Art 14 (1996)First Hispanic Mayor Elected in 1957 -- 14 (1996)Flower Children Chose Alternative Lifestyle 14 (1996)
Three Decades of History 12 (1994)From the Editors 12 (1994)The Plaza Theater…Here to Stay!? 12 (1994)El Paso Broadcasting: The Stories Behind the Call Letters 12 (1994)Alphabet Agencies: FDR's Brainstorm 12 (1994)Chihuahuita in the 1930s: Tough Times in the Barrio 12 (1994)Hobo Sign Language Targeted El Paso 12 (1994)Self- Sufficiency Key to Farmers' Survival During Depression 12 (1994)Hanna's Story A Holocaust Survivor Remembers 12 (1994)Former Members Recall Life in Hitler Youth 12 (1994)German Prisoners of War Interned at Fort Bliss During World War II -- 12 (1994)German POWs Remembered at Fort Bliss 12 (1994)One German POW's Story 12 (1994)Ration Books and Victory Gardens: Coping with Shortages 12 (1994)Women Changed Wartime Work Patterns 12 (1994)Bracero Program Hurt Domestic Farm Workers 12 (1994)San Pedro Pharmacy Retains Look of the Past 12 (1994)Teenage Fashions of the Nifty Fifties 12 (1994)Rebel Image of Motorcyclists Set in 1950s -- 12 (1994)
Border Customs and Crafts From the Editor 10 (1992)From the Editors 10 (1992)King on the Mountain 10 (1992)Piñatas! 10 (1992)How to Play the Piñata Game 10 (1992)Out of a Cotton Boll Bloom Beautiful Crafts 10 (1992)Cotton Boll Entertains Too 10 (1992)Hands That Create Art and Soul 10 (1992)La Charreada - Mexican Horsemanship 10 (1992)Boots - A Family Tradition 10 (1992)Some Boys Still Grow Up to be Cowboys 10 (1992)Boot Capital of the World 10 (1992)The Magic of Mariachis 10 (1992)Ballet Folklorico - High School Style 10 (1992)New Generation of Mariachis 10 (1992)The Lady is a Bullfighter 10 (1992)The Midwife: Choices for Border Women 10 (1992)Retablos: Echoes of Faith 10 (1992)Tigua Indians: Dancing for St. Anthony 10 (1992)The Aztec and the Miracle 10 (1992)A Hispanic Girl's Coming of Age 10 (1992)Art - Low and Slow 10 (1992)Wedding Traditions on the Border 10 (1992)
Border Food Folkways From the Editor 9 (1991)From the Staff 9 (1991)Tortillas: Border Staff of Life 9 (1991)The Booming Tortilla Industry in Mexico 9 (1991)Where's The Beef? In El Paso! 9 (1991)How Do I Love Thee, Piggy? Let Me Count the Ways! 9 (1991)Tamales By Any Other Name Remain The Same 9 (1991)Rio Grande Thanksgiving 9 (1991)The Tigua Indians: Food for Thought 9 (1991)Corn: The Golden Gift from Our Ancestors 9 (1991)Border Pottery - Function and Beauty 9 (1991)Holy Hot Mole! 9 (1991)Looking Back at the Chile Pepper 9 (1991)Men Behind the Chile Pepper 9 (1991)Hot Peppers : They're Not Just for Eating 9 (1991)Food, Spices Double as Folk Cures 9 (1991)Weeds or Edible Desert Plants? 9 (1991)Cactus: It's Good for You! 9 (1991)Day of the Dead Celebrates Spiritual Tradition 9 (1991)Nutricious, Delicious Beans 9 (1991)Menudo Makes The Big Time 9 (1991)Mediterranean Cuisine: Old Tradition, Fresh Idea 9 (1991)Lenten Foods: From Fasting to Fabulous 9 (1991)Tarahumaras Rely on Nature for Food 9 (1991)Tempting Sweet Breads : Pan de Dulce 9 (1991)
Border Customs and Crafts II From the Editor -- 11 (1993)From the Editors 11 (1993)The Best Little Asaderos in Texas 11 (1993)Glass Work Disappearing on Border 11 (1993)Cockfights Legal in Surrounding Areas 11 (1993)Local Craftsmen Keep Art of Saddlery Alive 11 (1993)James and Joseph Magoffin: El Paso Pioneers 11 (1993)Chile Ristras Brighten Border Homes 11 (1993)Magoffin Home Preserves El Paso's Past 11 (1993)Bavarian Custom Celebrated in El Paso: Oktoberfest 11 (1993)Munich on the Border 11 (1993)Santo Niño de Atocha Called Miracle Worker 11 (1993)Lenten Customs Vary 11 (1993)To Ask is to Receive 11 (1993)Border Maintains Tradition of Posadas 11 (1993)A Visit from Three Kings 11 (1993)Matachines: Soldiers of the Virgin 11 (1993)Dichos Are an Intricate Part of Mexican Culture 11 (1993)Cultural Superstitions Affect Behavior 11 (1993)Que Onda Homeboy! Why Do We Talk Like This? 11 (1993)Traditional Hispanic Children's Games Disappear 11 (1993)
El Paso Women to ResearchEl Paso Women to Research (by name)El Paso Men to ResearchEl Paso Men to Research (by name)
From the Editors 30 (2012)From the Editor, Credits and Contents 30 (2012)Jessie Hawkins and Jenna Welch: Love, Loss and Laughter 30 (2012)Woodrow Wilson Bean: One in a Million 30 (2012)David L. Carrasco Gave Back to Hometown 30 (2012)Cleofas Calleros Made Local History Important 30 (2012)Robert E. McKee: From Rags to Riches to Philanthropy 30 (2012)Kate Moore Brown: A Woman of Many Firsts 30 (2012)Fun in the 1890s: The McGinty Club 30 (2012)
Borderlands Web Issue From the Editor 31(2013/14)Acknowledgements 31(2013/14)Mother Praxedes Carty: Serving God by Serving Others 31(2013/14)Carrie Tingley Hospital and the Couple Behind It 31 (2013/14)Harvey Girls Changed the West 31(2013/14)Jake Erlich: A Big Man in Many Ways 31(2013/14)Vernus Carey: Mr. YMCA 31(2013/14)
Borderlands 32 Tolerance. From the Editors and Acknowledgements 32(2014/15)Henry Kellen Created El Paso Holocaust Museum 32(2014/15)Bicycle Padre Still Working 32(2014/15)El Paso Connections: Ambrose Bierce: writer 32(2014/15)Mysterious Deaths: Bobby Fuller, Rock Icon 32(2014/15)Mysterious Deaths: Tom Ogle, Inventor 32(2014/15)Jake Erlich: A Big Man in Many Ways 32(2014)Harvey Girls Changed the West 32(2014)
Borderlands 33 Service. From the Editors and Acknowledgements 33(2015)Nothing Is Impossible: Major General Heidi V. Brown 33 (2015)Local Latino Soldiers Receive Medal of Honor Decades after Heroism 33 (2015)Vernus Carey: Mr. YMCA 33 (2015)Will the Real Leon Blevins Please stand up? 33 (2015)Carrie Tingley Hospital and the Couple Behind It 33 (2015)Mother Praxedes Carty: Serving God by Serving Others 33 (2015)
Borderlands 34 Inspiration. From the Editors and Acknowledgements 34(2016/17)Building Bridges Instead of Walls: Temple Mount Sinai 34 (2016/17)Ruben Salazar: A Bridge Between Two Societies 34 (2016/17)Luis Jimenez: Art Creates Dialogue 34 (2016/17)Richard "Tuff" Hedeman: The Michael Jordan of Professional Bull Riding 34 (2016/17)Rescue Mission of El Paso Provides Food and Opportunity 34 (2016/17)
35 From the EditorsArea Missions Are Part of Living History (with 2017 update)Downtown El Paso is Monument to Anson Mills (with 2017 update)Chihuahuita in the 1930s: Tough Times in the Barrio (with 2017 update)The Magic of Mariachis (with 2017 update)New Generation of Mariachis (with 2017 update)Looking Back at the Chile PepperMen Behind the Chile Pepper (with 2017 update)Hot Peppers: They're Not Just for EatingEl Paso Trolley First to Connect Two Nations (with 2017 update)Centro De Salud Familiar La Fe Serves El Paso County (with 2017 update)Tuberculosis Turned El Paso into a Health Center (with 2017 update)El Paso's Company E Survivors Remember Rapido River Assault (with 2017 update)Company E Survivor Recalls Days as Prisoner of War (with 2017 update)James and Joseph Magoffin: El Paso Pioneers (with 2017 update)
This is the "El Paso Played Important Role in the Mexican Revolution 21 (2002)" page of the "Borderlands" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Articles on the history and culture of the El Paso, Juárez, and Southern New Mexico regions, comprising the states of Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua, MX. A unique resource of faculty edited college student articles on the US-Mexico border.
Last Updated: Nov 10, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

El Paso Played Important Role in the Mexican Revolution 21 (2002) Print Page

Border Studies at EPCC

  • Borderlands Home
  • Citing Borderlands
  • Borderlands Detective
    Guide for users doing research on border history in the El Paso/Las Cruces/Chihuahua, MX area.
  • Potential Topics
    Includes starting research on women, men, topics, places, and organizations/businesses.
  • Along the Rio Grande  
    Selected videos and full index of EPCC-TV series which highlighted local individuals and institutions involved in historical and cultural projects in the greater El Paso area.
  • Historical Markers Project  
    Survey of thirty-three historic sites in the El Paso area, with research materials, interviews, and summary materials.
  • Video Histories
    Notable El Pasoans (or those with ties to the region) speak to EPCC interviewers on their life and work in El Paso, Texas

Other Local Libraries


We do NOT have the resources to assist with genealogical research.

please contact:

*El Paso Genealogical Society

*UTEP Special Collections Dept

* El Paso County Historical Society

*El Paso Public Library Border Heritage Center

For GENERAL RESEARCH assistance contact Rachel Murphree at

For REPRINTS of Borderlands issues please contact Ruth Vise at


El Paso Played Important Role in the Mexican Revolution

Article first published in Vol. 21, 2002.

By Emilia Granados, Martha Espinoza, Claudia Cox, Jezabel Torres, Jessica Rayas, Janel Yvette Rivera, Adriana Martinez, and Veronica Villanueva

Newspaper correspondents and revolutionaries gather on a hill overlooking Juárez.  In 1911, El Pasoans perched on their rooftops to watch the Battle of Juárez. Little did the spectators know they were witnessing the spark that ignited the fire of the Mexican Revolution.

Porfírio Díaz led Mexico as president between 1876 and 1910, except for four years during which he ruled through a trusted general. During Díaz's next term, he managed to change the constitution to allow multiple terms.

Image caption: Newspaper correspondents and revolutionaries gather on a hill overlooking Juárez.  Courtesy of El Paso Historical Society

Díaz surrounded himself with European-educated intellectuals known as "cientificos," conservatives who believed in rapid growth for Mexico regardless of the effect it had on the ordinary people. With these aristocratic elites by his side, Díaz ruled Mexico for the next 30 years.

While in office, Díaz emphasized order and progress, and he lowered the crime rate, built a strong military, established the first railroad in Mexico and brought in foreign investors. He created solid banking and effective tax collection systems and paid off Mexico's creditors. In 1894, he balanced the national budget for the first time in Mexican history.

Go to top

Many of Díaz's international investors were from the United States, and Díaz and American President William Howard Taft met in El Paso on October 16, 1909.  (See related series of El Paso Times articles)

Government policies intended to modernize Mexico led to tragic results for the majority of the population, especially the peasants. Under the dictator's new laws, only farmers who had formal legal titles to their land could keep it. Native Indians lost their land to the wealthy. By 1910, five percent of the country's population owned all of the land. A powerful upper class had formed at the expense of the poor.

In an interview in 1908, Díaz made the mistake of saying that Mexico would be ready for free elections by 1910. Upon hearing this, Francisco I. Madero began to recruit support to run against Díaz. Madero was educated in France and the United States, where he experienced democracy for the first time. The Mexicans were ready for a rebellion.

In 1909, Madero published "The Presidential Succession of 1910: The Democratic Party," opposing presidential reelection. He became the leader of the Anti-reelectionist party and decided to run for president in 1910.

Go to top

During the election, Díaz had Madero arrested and, through fraudulent means, Díaz became president again. Madero fled to El Paso and then to San Antonio, Texas, where he drew up "The Plan of San Luis Potosí," outlining his revolt.

Madero reentered Mexico in February 1911 to lead a rebellion against Díaz. He gathered a small guerilla band of 200 men and the support of Pancho Villa and Pascual Orozco in the north and Emiliano Zapata in the south. Together, with a dream of democracy in common, they changed Mexican history forever.

Madero understood the geographical and political significance of the El Paso/Juárez border, knowing that whoever controlled Juárez controlled Northern Mexico. El Paso's direct railroad line to Mexico City would be used to transport rebel troops and horses as well as equipment and munitions purchased in El Paso.

By 1906, El Paso had already become an intellectual center for political opposition in Mexico. Here Ricardo Flores Magón, a law student and leader of the Partido Liberal Mexicano (Mexican Liberal Party), and his brother Jesus published a newspaper called Regeneracíon, one of many radical publications during this time.

Go to top

In January 1911, another revolutionary, Abraham Gonzalez, established a rebel center in the Caples Building, enlisting soldiers and arranging the purchase of arms for the Chihuahuan fighters. In February, Madero settled in a small adobe house across from ASARCO. Journalists from all over the nation took special interest in the revolution. Correspondents and Secret Service agents gathered in the Sheldon Hotel as plans to invade Juárez intensified.

However, Madero decided that it would be best not to attack Juárez for fear stray bullets would hit El Pasoans, and he wanted to avoid problems with the United States. Madero's fear would not stop Orozco and Villa, though, and the Battle of Juárez began on May 8, 1911.

In a great strategic move, Orozco told his troops to fight with their backs towards El Paso. Federal troops, under Gen. Juan J. Navarro, then had to worry about stray bullets entering the United States. C. L. Sonnichsen explains that a perplexed Madero observed the fighting from a post on the western outskirts of town.

Rebel snipers hid on the rooftops waiting for federal troops while other guerillas progressed through the city by knocking holes in walls between houses. On the second night of battle, Madero's men had captured most of the city except the bullring, barracks and the old church.

Go to top

iew taken Feb. 7, 1911, 2:30 P.M. about 1/2 hour before the "Battle of Smelter View"Historian Mardee Belding de Wetter explains that as captured federal soldiers were taken to be shot, they shouted "Viva Don Porfírio Díaz!" Fatalities included 15 revolutionaries and 50 federal soldiers, counting one Colonel Tamborrel who had called the rebels names the night before. On the third day, Navarro hung out the white flag, surrendering with 500 of his men.

Image caption: View taken Feb. 7, 1911, 2:30 P.M. about 1/2 hour before the "Battle of Smelter View".  Orozco's "Army" was camped at the foot of the mountain in the distance.  El  Paso & Juárez are to the left, down the river.   Photo courtesy of Tandy Y. Cook ;  originally owned by her grandfather, William Hough Cook, Sr., who was an eyewitness and may have assisted the photographer.

El Pasoans sympathized with the ideas and the claims of the revolutionaries. Residents walked across the dry Rio Grande to take pictures with the revolutionaries or to sell them clothing and food. Others would throw treats and silver dollars across the river for them. Dr. Ira Bush, an El Paso surgeon, served as rebel doctor, establishing a provisional hospital on Campbell Street.

According to the El Paso Times, a wild bullet did kill 20-year-old Vicente Paredes while he read a paper at his home on the corner of Santa Fe and Fifth Streets. Stray bullets killed a total of five El Pasoans and wounded fifteen, some while they watched the fighting.

El Paso became a military city with thousands of troops from Fort Bliss and San Antonio, the Texas National Guard, local law enforcement and even Texas Rangers guarding the border and the international bridge.

Go to top

Some Juárez banks moved to El Paso so they could continue doing business. The smelter closed down for a while since Mexico wasn't producing much ore during the war. And thousands of Mexicans began streaming into El Paso, some to begin a new life, some to find temporary refuge.

On May 11, 1911, Madero officially named Ciudad Juárez the provisional capital. His cabinet choices sparked Madero's first serious conflict with his followers. Orozco and Villa made three demands of Madero. First, they wanted General Navarro to be tried as a war criminal; second, they wanted Madero to replace his cabinet with rebels who had fought the war; and third, they wanted their soldiers to be paid. Madero fulfilled only the last demand.

General Navarro gave Madero his word of honor to return to Mexico and stand trial. However, Leon Metz says that Navarro was taken to El Paso and hidden in the Chinaware department of the Popular Dry Goods Store. The general then entered Hotel Dieu Hospital for a time and later returned to Mexico.

Madero's leaders and Díaz representatives met in "Peace Grove," a grassy area of cottonwoods near the Hacienda Café, on May 15, 1911. Díaz resigned on May 17, 1911, with Madero becoming President of Mexico in November 1911.

Madero soon realized the revolutionaries weren't as united as he had believed. The first to revolt was Emilio Zapata in the south, a poor peasant farmer with a powerful guerilla force. Next was Orozco.

Go to top

Madero had named Orozco the Commander of the Rurales. Upon the realization that most of Madero's family was now in the government of Mexico, Orozco resigned from his appointment and refused to associate himself with Madero. He would turn against Madero's government in 1912 and give birth to the Orozquistas' rebellion.

Orozco drew up a plan for socioeconomic reform including 10-hour working days, minimum wages and land reforms that would give land back to the people. The new revolution against Madero's government had begun.

Fearing Orozco's popularity, on March 14, 1912, American President William Taft imposed an embargo denying ammunition and weapons to the rebels.

Madero placed Díaz's military leader, Victoriano Huerta, in charge of the military, a huge political mistake. Madero called on Huerta to oppose the Orozquistas. Huerta defeated Orozco's forces at every turn and forced him into exile in the United States.

Go to top

Realizing Huerta opposed him and his government, Madero relieved Huerta from his post. The angry Huerta set his plan in motion to overthrow Madero.

The "Decena trágica," the tragic 10 days, occurred in February 1913. Armed with thousands of men, Huerta laid siege on the Mexican capital. On the tenth day, Huerta captured Madero and had him killed.

Huerta had achieved his dream of power and was named president through the Pact of the Embassy, signed among others by U.S. Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, who had disliked Madero because the Revolution had disrupted business between the two countries.

Orozco now joined Huerta to put down new rebellions. Orozco ceased to be the hero and leader of the north. He was considered to be a traitor even by Zapata and Villa, who continued attacking the government from two directions. Huerta tried to become allies with the United States. W. H. Timmons writes that President Wilson "denounced the Mexican President as immoral, dictatorial and counter-revolutionary, and therefore refused to extend diplomatic recognition to his government." Wilson lifted the Taft embargo on weapons sold to the rebels and the revolutionaries advanced to the north.

Historian Allen Knight explains that "American companies ran Mexico's railroads and owned three-quarters of its mines and more that half of its oilfields." After Huerta kept valuable oil contracts out of American hands, Wilson found an excuse to intervene and sent troops to Mexico. On April 23, 1914, a bloody battle took place in Veracruz, which left 200 Mexicans and 19 Americans dead.

Go to top

Military, diplomatic and economic pressure caused Huerta to resign on July 8, 1914, and he fled into exile in Spain. Huerta learned that a group of Mexican exiles in the United States were planning to launch a movement from Texas to overthrow Madero. Orozco would assume the military leadership of the movement, but the exiles needed a strong political figure to rally around. Huerta decided to return to the United States.

Huerta landed in New York City and boarded a train telling reporters he was going to San Francisco. Instead, on June 27, 1915, Huerta got off the train at Newman, Texas, located sixteen miles north of El Paso off Highway 54, where he met Orozco. The two began plotting a new revolution in Mexico. But officials arrested and charged the two with conspiracy to violate U. S. neutrality laws and took them to Fort Bliss.

Mayor Tom Lea was the attorney for Huerta and Orozco. Both men were freed on bonds and were placed under house arrest because of the border's proximity.

While under house arrest at his sister's closely guarded house in Sunset Heights, Orozco managed to escape with four companions. A posse rode out after him and killed him in the Van Horn Mountains. Three thousand people attended Pascual Orozco's funeral in El Paso at Concordia Cemetery on September 3, 1915. He was buried in the uniform of division general of the Mexican army, and a Mexican flag covered his coffin.

The news of Orozco's death troubled Huerta. His drinking and marijuana smoking increased. In 1916, Dr. M. P. Schuster detected cirrhosis of the liver in Huerta, an alcoholic. He died at 415 West Boulevard (now Yandell) on January 13, 1916.

Victoriano Huerta was buried next to Pascual Orozco in a vault in Concordia Cemetery. In 1923, Orozco was named a hero and his remains were moved to Chihuahua. Huerta's body was transferred to Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso. The vault where the two men were originally buried still stands in Concordia Cemetery. Many still consider Huerta a traitor to Mexico.

The first battle for Juárez excited El Pasoans, but the effects of the Mexican Revolution on this border city were just beginning. Pancho Villa and other rebels waged war for years, and Villa even attacked the United States. Juárez would change hands six times during the Revolution. Three-fourths of the Juárez population moved to El Paso. Mexican migration to the United States between 1910 and 1929 totaled almost 700,000. Some refugees returned to Juárez or to other cities after the Revolution ended, but most stayed in El Paso to build and form El Paso's Hispanic heritage.

Go to top

Revolution Sources


    Loading  Loading...