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)
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A Passionate Life: Josephine Clardy Fox

Article first published in Vol. 29, 2011.

By Jennifer Martinez, Jeannett Fierro and Alexa Rae Rodarte

View pdf version

Josephine Clardy Fox, PhilanthopistWorld traveler. Art collector. Socialite. Business woman. Benefactor. These titles describe Josephine Clardy Fox, a fixture in the social and financial world for decades in El Paso and the woman who made sure that the names “Clardy” and “Fox” would be familiar to El Pasoans for a long time.

Image caption: Josephine Clardy Fox was known for her love of hats. (Photo courtesy of the University of Texas at El Paso Library, Special Collections Department)

Today, not many people know much about the woman who grew up in the Southwest, but was well known in New York, San Francisco, London and other big cities, a woman who made a huge impact on the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) without ever attending it and on the community that was enhanced by her wealth and philanthropic contributions.

Josephine Clardy was born in Missouri on Aug. 13, 1881, to Allie Davis and Zeno B. Clardy. She was their only child. Her father was a prosecuting attorney for St. Francois County in Southeast Missouri. In 1882, Zeno Clardy moved his family to El Paso, for reasons that are not clear. According to Ruby Burns, author of a full-length biography on Josephine Clardy Fox, he may have been lured by the prospect of promising business opportunities arising from the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad and others in 1881 in El Paso. W. H. Timmons in El Paso: A Borderlands History wrote that the coming of the railroad caused the population to double in just one year from 800 in 1880 to 1,600 in 1881.

Burns related that Zeno Clardy’s brother-in-law, Firmin Desloge, was captivated by the stories of El Paso as a boom town. However, he had a large, highly successful lead-mining business and could not move, so he gave Clardy money to invest for him in real estate. Upon arriving in El Paso, Clardy joined a law practice with Allen Blacker, a prominent attorney. Clardy was known to accept parcels of land in exchange for his legal services and became a wealthy landowner from the continued practice of this bartering system.

Young Josephine Clardy attended a parochial school until 1891, when she entered the public school system, attending Mesa School for the fourth grade. She remained in the public schools until 1895. She then attended finishing school at Hosmer Hall in St. Louis, where she quickly developed a love of drama and music, interests which fueled her passion for the arts throughout her life. Josephine’s aunt and uncle, Lydia and Firmin Desloge, introduced and included her in many of the functions exclusive to their social circle while she was in St. Louis.

In the spring of 1901, Josephine returned to El Paso with her father. A few days later, Zeno Clardy died after suffering a heart attack at the age of 45. His wife and daughter were devastated by his death.

That fall, with the encouragement of her mother, Josephine went to Berkeley, CA, to study music. A year later, she traveled to New York to study with noted voice teacher, Emilio Agramonte, known for his work in opera and oratorio and director of the Gounod Society of New Haven, CT, dedicated to the performance of classical vocal music and named for the 19th century French composer Charles Gounod.

Burns said that Josephine returned to El Paso in 1902 and performed as a soloist in a musical called “Lullaby Concert.” Josephine traveled extensively in the United States and Europe, where she continued her study of music. She eventually gave up singing, however, perhaps because she suffered an eye injury that would plague her the rest of her life, according to Burns.

Josephine Clardy was a tall, beautiful, vibrant, wealthy, and, by some accounts, a spoiled young woman. She was not ready to settle down into marriage as some of her friends had already done. She loved the attention of her suitors from several different countries and enjoyed being involved in social activities in El Paso when she was here. One of her more determined suitors was Eugene Emmett Fox, a hard working, handsome railroad executive, who took a room at the exclusive Toltec Club when he arrived in El Paso. He and Josephine maintained a close friendship for several years starting in 1904. According to Burns, it was understood that they would marry once Josephine consented. Clardy kept him dangling as she dallied with other men and enjoyed the single life with friends and as a traveling companion to her mother.

Fox took care of many of the business affairs of both Josephine and her mother, met Josephine in New York when he could and was infinitely patient. Finally, however, in summer 1915, Fox broke off the unofficial engagement and went on his way, wishing her much happiness. Josephine quickly contacted him and convinced him that she loved him.

The two married on Jan. 20, 1916, in New York when Clardy was 35. The couple settled in El Paso at a house located at 1119 Montana Ave. At this time, Josephine began a collection of elegant furniture and art for their home. In 1926, Fox’s work took him to San Francisco, and the couple spent three happy years there, according to Burns. Fox was next dispatched to Washington, DC, but Josephine did not move with him. She continued her own travels, with El Paso remaining her home. Their marriage was to be plagued by years of separation due to his work, her illnesses and their separate travels apart.

Eugene Fox supported Josephine and himself on his salary and his own money. Contrary to what some might have thought, Fox said, “What I have, I have acquired by my own hard work. … I have never spent one penny of my wife’s money.”

During the Depression, however, the couple suffered financial hardships caused by the weak economy. The First National Bank collapsed in 1931. Many businesses and tenants suffered because of the failure, which in turn affected Josephine’s income. She and her mother struggled to pay the taxes on their property. Eugene was living out of pocket trying to obtain surveys for Western Pacific Railroad but was not being paid for his time and effort.

Josephine suffered injuries in an automobile accident in 1933, the basis for her back pain in later years. Her husband, meanwhile, had taken a job for about one-third his previous salary and he rode night trains to avoid hotel bills and sent what he could to his wife. He rarely saw her at this point, and Christmas of 1933 would be their last day together. In March 1934, an unconscious Eugene Fox was taken off a train to a hospital after visiting his family in Kansas City. He died from a massive cerebral hemorrhage in Topeka, KA, on April 2, 1934.

Six years later, Josephine’s beloved mother died on March 23, 1940. Josephine Clardy Fox found herself alone, with no children and no immediate family in a huge house. Burns related that there were times when the ailing woman found herself bedridden and in pain, and although her house was full of fine art, it sometimes contained no food and she had no one to love her.

In the 1940s a new man would come into her life whose financial expertise would greatly add to her wealth. That man was William J. Elliot. According to Burns, Elliot came to El Paso in 1939. He was in real estate and owned a corporation named El Paso Properties. He later orchestrated the sale of some of Josephine’s land for a shopping center, a post office and housing developments.

The Clardy-Fox Additions were tracts of land that had been used to grow cotton in the Lower Valley. The land was sold to build homes during the boom after World War II. In 1955, Josephine sold 21 acres for more than $400,000 to be developed into the Fox Plaza Shopping Center. Ground was finally broken in 1958 and doors officially opened on July 1, 1959. Land on Paisano and Cortez Streets was sold to the government for $345,000, with groundbreaking for the new post office occurring on May 8, 1961. Elliot had died two weeks before from a heart attack on April 24. Not only had he greatly increased Josephine’s wealth, but he and his wife had been great friends to Josephine Clardy Fox.

Burns noted that in 1956, Josephine donated land to the Board of Trustees of the El Paso Independent School District for a school to be located at 5508 Delta that would be named in honor of her mother, Allie D. Clardy. In 1961, she gave land on Lisbon Street for a branch library named in her honor.

Josephine was also active in the social scene of El Paso and assisted many organizations throughout the city. She was a member of the El Paso County Historical Society, the National Society of Arts and Letters and other clubs. She supported the El Paso Museum of Art, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the El Paso Community Concert Association, the Dallas Civic Opera and other groups. She often bought blocks of concert tickets and gave them to friends and students. In 1953, she was named to the Advisory Committee of the National Arts Foundation.

In 1959, while dining at the Statler-Hilton Hotel in Dallas, Josephine slipped and broke a hip. Then in December 1964, she broke the same hip and spent the rest of her remaining years at Providence Memorial Hospital. On occasion, she left the hospital to enjoy herself at dinner and shows with friends at clubs in Juárez. While in the hospital she surrounded herself with her prized possessions, paintings, jewelry and hats. In a July 28, 1970, interview, Joe Moreno, who worked for the El Paso National Bank, told historian Leon Metz that hats and jewelry were Josephine’s greatest extravagances. She had loved her diamond bracelets in particular.

Josephine Clardy Fox died on May 11, 1970, at Providence Memorial Hospital, having converted to Catholicism, her husband’s faith. She was buried next to Eugene and her parents at Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso. After her death, it was discovered that she had left the majority of her estate, valued at over three million dollars at the time, to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). No restrictions were put on the disbursement of the funds. Her only request was for $20,000 to be set aside for a scholarship fund and $2,500 for a student loan fund.

Along with the monetary donation, she also left her possessions to the university. The Centennial Museum, located on campus, housed for decades many of the art objects and furniture that were given to the University. In 2009, a decision was made to put the majority of the collection up for auction because of storage issues. A public auction was held in December 2009. Scott Cutler, curator of the Centennial Museum, reported that the money generated from the auction would be used for the upkeep of the remaining collection and for the museum.

In 1972, the Institute of Oral History was established at UTEP by a grant from the Josephine Clardy Fox estate. Individuals with knowledge of a wide variety of subjects of interest locally from arts and literature to political and social issues were interviewed over a number of years and the interviews transcribed and made available to scholars. Many interviews are available online, with the originals housed in the special collections of the UTEP Library.

The university received a surprise while cataloging the 1,000 books from the Clardy Fox collection. Thirteen of the books contained rare fore-edged paintings, a method of taking watercolors and painting a scene on the righthand open edge of the book. Dale Walker in his article “Re-discovering Fore-Edge Paintings: Art Beneath the Gilt,” which appeared in the Fall 1970 Nova, stated that one of the 13 is a rare double fore-edged painting. The Gentleman’s and Citizen’s Almanack, compiled by Samuel Watson and published in Dublin in 1786, shows a fishing scene in one direction and a cock fight in the other direction.

In 1978, the fine arts building at UTEP was renamed the Josephine Clardy Fox Fine Arts Center in honor of her generosity to the university. Hundreds of her elaborately decorated wide brimmed picture hats were donated to the drama department to be used in costumes.

The contributions that Josephine Clardy Fox gave to the city can still be seen today. The library and school are testaments to the enduring memory of the Clardy Fox family. Fox Plaza remains a neighborhood shopping center, and UTEP continues to benefit from the revenues of her endowment. Anyone who attends a play or concert at the Fox Fine Arts Center unknowingly honors her memory, and the Institute of Oral History remains an important source of local history. Josephine Clardy Fox lived an unorthodox life in many ways, but she did it “her way,” enriching the lives around her and contributing to the community and city she called home.

Tags: Biography


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