Overturned Bucket

New Mexico

1912 House of Representatives Colfax County, New Mexico

Manuel Conrado Martinez, was appointed School Director for the 8th District of Colfax County. When New Mexico attained statehood in 1912, Grandpa M.C. was elected to serve as democratic representative from Colfax County. While a member of the House of Representatives, he served on five different committees: education, liquor, traffic, penitentiary, and public institutions and highways.Grandpa M.C.’s political career continued when his elected term as a representative ended. He was appointed Deputy Sheriff for Taos County, making him thereby the executive officer of the court and the police officer of the town. Aided by his lieutenants, Grandpa executed orders given by the court. The wardens and prisons were under his charge, and he could remove his lieutenants or the wardens for legitimate cause. The justices, county clerk and sheriffs jointly administered the law of the district, and the sheriff was allowed to enter the town hall bearing arms. Years later Grandpa was appointed Taos Marshall.

New Mexico, at the end of the nineteenth century, was being considered for acceptance into the Union. As the Territory became more populated, the established non-English speaking people were displaced. It was feared that the language barrier would cause discrimination and prevent some children from receiving an equal education. School attendance was not mandatory, and in poorer families education was sacrificed so children could help on the farm or care for younger siblings.

My mother was lucky to have attended five years of elementary school in an English-speaking school in Taos. My father, meanwhile, had only three years of primary education at a Spanish-speaking school in Peñasco. Child labor laws were not yet in existence, but the political environment of New Mexico was changing rapidly.

Manuel Conrado Martinez


Catskill, New Mexico

Catskill, New Mexico was a thriving town at the end of the nineteenth century. As lumber supplies were exhausted the railroad pulled up tracks and the small happy town faded into oblivion.

Background image courtesy of Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), negative #014258.  Photo may not be
reproduced in any manner without permission from the
New Mexico Palace of the Governors Photo Archives.

Springer, New Mexico

Charles and Mary Springer had their wonderful mansion built in 1901. Lenore clipped flowers from the garden to place in vases throughout the mansion. Jose Ildefonso (J.I.) helped with a variety of ranch duties including scouting for wild game for Charles' hunting outings.

The Springer Mansion Image courtesy of Chase Ranch Museum,Cimarron, NM

Taos, New Mexico

At the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range, on a high plateau along the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge, is the Shangri-La, European-like village of Taos, New Mexico.

Home to Taos Pueblo, a long line of Spanish and Mexican descendants, and an introduction of French, European, and American newcomers, Taos has been a multi-cultural meeting place for centuries. Today, visitors come from around the world to visit the preserved, historic village; to experience the art projecting the different cultures; and to feel the exhilaration of challenging the steep and snowy slopes of the renowned Taos Ski Valley.


Image courtesy of Denver Public Library Special Collections, Z-3698