Maximiano was introduced as a four year old in his grandfather, Ygnacio Guevara’s household in the 1860 Valencia County, New Mexico
census. Also residing in the dwelling in Manzano was Ygnacio’s wife, Ana Maria Torres, and Ana Maria’s niece, Estanislada Padilla. His age was
given as four years old and unless a baptism is found for Maximiano, we’ll assume that he was born in 1856, and according to his obituary he was
born in Magdalena, N.M. He stated in the 1900 census that his month of his birth was August, and that was about the time of the year that the
1860 census was taken. Living adjacent to Maximiano’s grandfather was Placido Guevara and Maria. They, no doubt, were Maximiano’s
parents, although they stated that they were married within the past year, according to the census information. Ygnacio and Placido were credited
with the title of Niño Ladrón(1), which cemented their relationship. Maximiano also would have inherited the title but the United States officially
didn't recognize titles for its citizens.
1--The historical name is “Niño Ladrón de Guevara.” After the end of the Mexican-American War most Spanish surnames were shortened to accommodate American
customs. It was also the custom in Colonial Spanish America to pass along the mother’s “paternal” surname; however, this custom was also dropped. This custom,
nevertheless, survives to this day in all other Spanish-Italian-French speaking nations of the world.
Maximiano’s next introduction was that of godfather to his sister, Justa, born in July 1869 in the settlement of Missouri Plaza, Lincoln County,
N.M. He was 13, and he must have been mature enough at that age to merit such an honor. Also, he was credited with the title of Niño Ladrón.
Justa apparently didn‘t survive, since she wasn’t in the 1870 census. Her baptism is listed on the first page of the Santa Rita Church baptisms,
which began in July 1869. Father Boucard was the initial priest of the parish, and the church’s records have continued for more than one hundred
forty years. Marta Sandoval was Justa’s godmother, and it is not known at this time what connection she may have had with the Guevaras rather
than a friend of the family.
Maximiano was listed with his parents, Placido and Maria, in the 1870 census. The area probably was what is now the area of Picacho. The
family lived in Missouri Plaza the previous year and had re-located before the census was taken in September. He was the oldest of four children.
His siblings were Albino, Mercedes and Manuel. He obviously hadn’t had the opportunity for schooling because the census stated that he could
not read or write. As the oldest child, he probably was counted on to help with the family's work load, because at age fourteen he was listed as a
farm hand. Max spent his early years in Manzano, Missouri Plaza, Picacho, and the Lincoln area. By the time the Lincoln County War was raging
he was in his early 20s.(2)
2--Frederick Nolan’s book, The Lincoln County War documented approximately ninety killings that occurred between 1873-1881. And perhaps the undocumented
killings exceeded that number.
Maurice Fulton wrote one of the early fine works about the Lincoln County War and he mentioned an episode about Maximiano being a jailer in
Lincoln in the fall of 1877 and that there was an escape. Frederick Nolan’s fine book, written a few years ago, also mentioned the episode. There
was plenty of conjecture and accusations about the escape of the four men, and as a result Maximiano lost his job as the jailer.
Nolan's book suggests that Max(3) played a minor role in the Lincoln County War. Max eventually sided with the faction(4) that opposed the
establishment of L.G. Murphy and James Dolan.(5) This fact suggests that he may have rubbed shoulders with William Bonney, alias Billy the Kid.
He was just a few years older than The Kid.
3--The Guevara surname can be spelled different ways and several documents with his signature revealed that he preferred “Guebara” and he shortened his given name
4--Mid-December 1878, when Billy the Kid had returned to Lincoln, Max’s home was a gathering place for the Home-again Regulators.
5--Few Hispanos during the Lincoln County War sided with “Murphy Men.”
In the booklet Frontier Parish by Billy Cummings we learned that Max was elected constable in November 1878 for Lincoln, but he may not have
fulfilled his duties due to the unrest and violence in that area and two months later, in January 1879, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners
examined and gave approval for a bond for Maximiano. The document didn’t specify what the bond was for but it may have involved his being
The 1900 U.S. census of Lincoln County, New Mexico stated that Max and Felicita Montoya had been married for 22 years which put the year of
their marriage in 1878. No marriage document has surfaced so far. She was the sister of Jose Montoya, well known in the Ancho-Jicarilla area.
Max and Felicita are pictured in a group photograph taken in front of the White Oaks Methodist Church.
Max and Felicita didn’t appear in the 1880 United States census, at least not in New Mexico. The Lincoln County War was still in progress and
Max had been a minor participant.
Maximiano was served a subpoena by Deputy Sheriff Charles R. Brent to appear and testify in August 1882 before the justice of the peace,
Precinct 8, which was the community of White Oaks. This may be the first evidence of a member of the Guevara family associated with White
In March 1884 Maximiano filed a property return for tax purposes in White Oaks and Lincoln. He claimed three horses, 28 mules, a saloon,
music instruments, and he had notes to the tune of $100. The grand total was $879 and $300 was deducted for being the head of the household,
and resident of the county.
In February 1885 Martina Huff sold Max a house on a 50 foot lot by warranty deed in downtown Lincoln(6) and she must have sold him an
adjacent 25 foot lot at about the same time. At one time, L. G. Murphy and Alex McSween had previously owned the property. Max retained the
50 foot property for 30 years and it was sold after his death.
6--See map of Lincoln Town for location of Caravajal House, aka Huff House. The site was later one of the sites of the Five Day Battle (Tunstall McSween faction). A
Stroll Through Old Lincoln Town, by Walter R. Henn.
Precinct No 10 was the Ruidoso area, a distance away from where Max had been residing. As personal property he claimed 3 horses, 2 mules,
400 sheep, 8 goats, household and miscellaneous items for a total of $521. He was given a $200 deduction for being head of the household. Max’
s signature is on the document.
In June 1900 the Board of County Commissioners of Lincoln County approved a fee of $2.00 that Maximiano had earned when he was an
interpreter at a trial for one day the previous March. The trial was in the Justice of the Peace Court, White Oaks.
Max appeared in the 1900 census, taken in June, living in Prec. 8, White Oaks, N.M. with wife Felicita. He gave his age as 41, born Aug. 1859.
Felicita gave her age as 38, born May 1862. She had borne two children, neither survived. Max hauled wood for a living, and he declared that he
could read and write. Max and Felicita’s next door neighbors were brother Lorenzo and family, and father Placido and wife Librada.
Maximiano was an interpreter at a trial the day before Christmas, 1901 In the Justice Court, Precinct No. 8, which was White Oaks. He received
his one day fee of $2.00.
Max and Felicita appeared in the 1910 census, and they lived in Precinct No. 16, which was Carrizozo. He gave his occupation as a merchant
dealing in retail groceries. Max and Felicita gave their ages as 52 and 48, and again Felicita remarked that she had borne two children, but neither
survived. Abel Liverato, and family also lived in Carrizozo. His occupation was a butcher, working in retail sales. It’s very likely that he was
working with Max. Abel was the younger brother of Felicita and was raised by the Guebaras. He took the Guebara surname and raised his
children using that name.
In November 1915 Maximiano Niño Ladrón de Guebara passed away at Jicarilla, New Mexico after a short illness and was buried at White
7--His obituary stated: “Highly respected citizen . . . many relatives and friends were at the graveside to pay the last sad tribute of respect . . . he was regarded as an
honorable, upright citizen whose efforts were ever exerted on the side of friendship and justice.”
Felicita passed away October 21, 1930. She was at the home of her nephew, Albino Guebara, in Carrizozo. Her death certificate stated that she
was buried in Carrizozo.
News Items About Max
Carrizozo News, Jicarilla—
Max was obviously newsworthy to the Jicarilla correspondent for a few years when Max and Felicita were living in that area: He took a trip to
White Oaks, Apr. 4, 1913; his horses disappeared Apr. 25, 1913. The most important news item about Max was when he went to White Oaks
for funerals, May 2, 1913. The funerals were for his sister-in-law and step-mother. The notice didn't give the names of the deceased but the only
possibilites were that the sister-in-law was Maximiliana Guebara, wife of Max's brother, Lorenzo, and his step-mother was Librada Barela. They
died almost simultaneously from pneumonia and it was the only information on their death dates. A few years later, Maximiliana's headstone was
discovered and het death date matched the news item. (See the Lorenzo-Maximiliana story).
It was determined that Max's horses were stolen, May 9, 1913; Max was thrown from a horse, June 6, 1913; then his stolen horses were
recovered, June 13, 1913; he went to White Oaks Monday, July 18, 1913; he bought horse and buggy, Jan. 23, 1914. These last few items
almost seem comical, although not to Max at the time. He was in his late 50s age wise and probably figured that he was ready for the horse and
buggy mode of transportation. Max took a trip to Alamogordo, Jan. 30, 1914. The news item mentioned that his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Liberato,
was the postmistress during his absence. So, Max had another endeavor, as postmaster in Jicarilla. A well was being dug on his property east of
Jicarilla, Feb. 27, 1914; he was erecting a house on east side property, Apr. 3, 1914; Max sold his goats, May 15, 1914; ground for his crops,
June 12, 1914; he went to El Paso on business, June 26, 1914; Guerbarra (sic) Boys from White Oaks, and Max moving business to Ancho, July
24, 1914; Max had his building torn down and will have it put up again in Ancho, Aug. 28, 1914; he picked up a load of melons, Oct. 1, 1914;
Old Citizen Passes Away, Nov. 26, 1915.
Maximiano Guebara, very likely was born in the year 1856 according several censuses and his obituary stated that he was born in Magdalena, N.
M. His parents were Placido and Maria Sanchez, and as a citizen of the United States his hereditary title of Niño Ladrón would not be
acknowleged. He was a lifelong resident of the area of what is now New Mexico. And If Max was indeed born in Magdalena, N.M. it presents
Max had various endeavors during his lifetime, but probably was considered foremost a businessman. The first recorded activity of a business
venture is in early 1885 when he purchased two lots on the main street in Lincoln. The lots were previously owned by L.G. Murphy, and he
deeded the lots to A.A. McSween. That transaction happened in early 1877. If the parties were on a friendly basis then, that changed because the
men were opponents in the Lincoln County War.
Other documented business adventures included two times a saloon keeper, wood business, a merchant of retail groceries in Carrizozo, and he
was referred to as “Max Guebara, the merchant” when he was in business in the Jicarilla and Ancho areas during the late stage of his life. As a
side line, he was also a postmaster, because when he went on a trip, the post office was manned by his adopted son’s wife, an article mentioned.
And he probably had a store in Lincoln because it was related by a niece that her grandfather, Placido, used to work at a store in Lincoln owned
by a son. Max was the only child of age at the time. This was probably in the early 1880s.
MMaximiano and FelicitaM