Jose Placido Guevara was born October 1, in the year of Halley’s arrival. He was born in the home of his mother Dolores Gonzales
and baptized ten days later in Manzano, N.M. by Father Francisco Ygnacio de Madariaga(1) from the Tomé parish. His next
appearance was in the 1850 U.S. census as a fifteen-year-old living in el Real San Francisco del Tuerto, Santa Fe County, N.M.
with his father, Ygnacio, and stepmother, Ana Maria Torres. Today the area is known as Golden, N.M.
1---Father Madariaga seemed to be an outspoken priest . . . referring to the Revolt of 1837
“In the town of Tomé in southern New Mexico, the priest, Francisco Antonio de Madariaga, began agitating for a counterrevolution. On Sept. 8, he
and other ‘citizens who love their country’ adopted the ‘Plan of Tomé,’ which named former governor Manuel Armijo to command their force.”
In 1856 Placido apparently was the father of a child with Maria Sanchez. The child, named Maximiano, probably was born in August of
the year, as it was stated in the 1900 census. Max survived, and lived quite an exciting life as did his father and grandfather. There is an
interesting story about him.
In the 1860 U.S. Census Placido was residing next door to Ygnacio, his father, in Manzano, N.M. According to that census Placido
was living with María, age 23, who he had married within the last year. No occupation was given for him, but the title Niño Ladron
was credited to him by the census taker.
<> <> <>
On October 31, 1861 after the outbreak of the Civil War, Placido, then 26, was recruited and enlisted with the
New Mexico Volunteers. The Union Army Company Descriptive Book documents that he was a Crpl. And had
dark eyes and dark hair. He was 5 feet 6 inches tall born in Manzano, N.M. Placido was assigned to Co. H., 1
Regiment New Mexico Calvary. He served in the Battle of Valverde. The Company Muster-Out Roll
documented that he was, “discharged due to expiration of term of service at Los Pinos, N.M. October 31,
1864.” He also remained, as did his father on, “active reserve status until September 29, 1866.”
<> <> <>
There was a son born to Placido and Maria sometime in late 1861 or early ’62. His name was Albino and most likely he was born at
Manzano. A baptism for the child hasn’t surfaced.
The next information that we have about Placido and Maria is when a daughter was born in September 1864. Her name was
Mercedes, born in Manzano. Mercedes survived, married Julian Letcher, probably in Lincoln County, and had many descendants.
On Mercedes’ baptism, the title of Nino Ladron was credited to her father, Placido.
<> <> <>
Sometime before July 1869 the Placido Guevara family moved to Lincoln County. A daughter was born at that time in the settlement of
Missouri Plaza. It’s the first evidence of the Guevaras in Lincoln County, which at that time was quite a large county joining twelve other
MISSOURI PLAZA (Chaves; settlement; 13 mi W of Roswell, on the Rio Hondo). Around 1865 Spanish–speaking settlers from
Manzano in Torrance County arrived there and established the first settlement in what in now Chaves County. The community
originally was called La Plaza de San Jose. In 1867 the Hispanic pioneers were joined by two English-speaking families, who maintained
a general store there. Many of the men were freighters to Kansas City and St. Joseph, MO, so they began calling their settlement La
Plaza de Missouri, to give it distinction. But around 1870 upstream irrigation reduced the water flow in the Rio Hondo, and Missouri
Plaza was abandoned. Today only foundations remain.
The above information is quite comprehensive but since the Guevaras, and other community members connected to them by marriage, or
a future marriage, lived in a unique place, although for a brief time, it seems important to say more about the settlement. The following
information is from the booklet “Missouri Plaza” First Settled Community in Chaves County by James D. Shinkle. Mr. Shinkle was with
Roswell school system, beginning in 1920, for many years and probably researched the story as well as it could be done.
The Guevaras and their relatives probably arrived at Missouri Plaza en masse. Church and the 1870 census record their presence within a
short period of time. The priest at Santa Rita Church at Rio Bonito traveled the 40 miles for church functions.
---July 1869, a daughter of Placido and Maria, Justa, was born and baptized in the settlement. She didn’t survive.
---October 1869, a son, Luis, was born to Theophilus and Estanislada Lalone. Estanislada was a niece of Ygnacio’s wife Ana Maria.
---March 1870, Jesus Bilderais married Maria de los Santos Torres. Jesus and Maria, in 1893, would become Placido and Maria’s
in-laws by children yet to be born.
---June 1870, a son, Cresencio, was born to Jesus and Maria Bilderais.
---July 1870, Celestino Padilla, son of Senovio and Saturnina Torres was baptized. Senovio was a brother of Estanislada.
---March 1871, a daughter, Rebecca, was born to the Lalones.
<> <> <>
The first census concerning areas of Lincoln County was done in the U.S. census for Socorro County in 1860. Socorro County was a
huge county extending from the western boundary to the eastern boundary of the state. The census included Rio Bonito(2) and showed
283 residents, and a few soldiers at Fort Stanton.
2---Originally called Las Placitas del Rio Bonito by the Spanish families who settled it in the early 1850s, the name of the community was changed to Lincoln
when Lincoln County was created on January 16, 1869. But the settlement, and surrounding area, seemed to be referred to as Rio Bonito years later, especially
in church records.“All the original settlements of New Mexico were built around a plaza. The plazas were not only a traditional custom but were an assembly
place for protection against marauding Indians, the outer walls acting as a rampart. Placitas, a diminutive plural of plaza, came to describe a small cluster of
The 1870 census was an interesting census for the Guevaras and kin. They resided in Precinct 3 which was quite large in area. Brady did
not list any settlements on his census sheets, only the precincts were listed. So, using some logic, and assumptions, perhaps we can trace
the path that Brady took as an enumerator in 1870: He probably left the town of Lincoln and headed eastward and on Tuesday Sept. 20,
1870, at some point commenced enumerating for Precinct 3. He likely followed the Rio Bonito, visiting families along the way. Since
about all heads of households were farmers it's logical to assume that the best farming locations were situated near rivers. The tenth
household that he visited was that of the Senovio Padilla family, including wife, Saturnina, and children, Antonia and Celestino. The family
was in Missouri Plaza earlier in the year when a son was baptized. The next neighbor of the Padillas was that of the Jesus Sandoval y Sena
family, with Maria, presumably his wife, and infant son. He was the first sheriff of the new county, and was an ex-Union soldier. He was
Kathryn’s great grandfather on her paternal side. He’s buried at White Oaks
At about 10 miles from Lincoln the Rio Bonito merges with the Rio Ruidoso and becomes the Rio Hondo, which eventually flows in the
Pecos River. The next day, on the 21st, Brady visited his 21st household, which was that of Placido Guebara and family. Placido, age 34,
was a farmer and declared his value $425. Maria’s age was given as 31. The children were Maximiano, age 14; Albino, 8; Merced, 6;
and Manuel, 4 months. The area could have been what was later known as Picacho. The only clue is that when Manuel married Petra
Gonzales 38 years later, he declared that he was born in Picacho. As Brady continued his journey, and nine households away from
Placido and family, was the Mariano Torres family. The family had relocated from Punta de Agua, which is near Manzano. Besides
Mariano, was wife Maria and sons Ygnacio, Leonides and Pablo. Mariano was the great-great grandfather of Margaret and Kathryn on
their mothers’ maternal side. Then a few more abodes down the line, number 40, was the household of Jesus Bilderais, wife, Maria, and
two children, Daria and Jose Cresencio. Maria was the daughter of Mariano Torres and Kathryn and Margaret’s great grandmother.
At some point Brady reached the community of Missouri Plaza, but since no communities were defined we’ll use the following information
to help determine his arrival: He probably arrived on the fourth day of his journey---the 23rd of the month. The distance by our modern
method of travel is about 45 miles, but the zig-zagging route that Brady had to ride was much more—and much slower.
Dwellings 77, 78, 81 and 83 were the residences of Frank Reicken, Heiskel Jones family, Major Vose and John Newcomb and his
Mexican wife (her name was Andrea). Those folks were mentioned by Lillie Ann Casey Klasner in her memoirs years later. Mrs. Klasner
also said that there was also a Frenchman, Lalone, who was married to a Spanish-American woman (her name was Estanislada).
Robert Casey and his family left Texas in the fall of 1867 heading for New Mexico. He lost most of his livestock due to an Indian raid
near Carlsbad, but continued on to Missouri Plaza. Their stay at the Plaza was only two or three weeks as Mr. Casey related years later.
Daughter, Lillie Ann, was about five years old at the time, but she obviously had a remarkable memory years later. The Robert Casey
family did settle in New Mexico. The family was in the 1870 census living in the Lincoln area, Precinct 1.
Some of Lillie Ann’s memories: “The village was simply a cluster of angular, flat-topped adobe houses along the Hondo.” And
after relating about the few Anglos residing in the community: “The rest of the community was composed of Mexicans. Everything
was primitive and crude. The crooked road was the principal street. The people were Mexican in dress. I remember how
astonished I was at seeing all the native women going about with rebosas (shawls) draped over their heads so as to leave but on
Dwelling number 98 that Brady visited was the home of the Lalones, Theophilus, age 36; Estanislada, 24 and son Louis, age 1. The
Lalones relocated several times after leaving the Plaza, finally settling in the Carrizozo area. Theophilus passed away in early 1908 and
Estanislada died a little more than five years later. There is a double burial site bordered in concrete at Evergreen Cemetery in Carrizozo
designated as Lalone. There are no monuments but presumably the couple is resting there.
Next door to the Lalones resided Placido Guebarra, 61; Maria, 64 and Maximiano 12. This may have been one of the last residents of the
community that Brady visited before continuing eastward. The community of Roswell had begun to emerge the previous year and the
assistant marshal must have headed that way for about 15 miles. In five days he visited 111 dwellings and counted 372 residents in
<> <> <>
The family’s next move, presuming that it resided in Picacho, was probably to Lincoln, and likely referred to as Rio Bonito at that time.
The relocation must have happened before August 1873, because son Lorenzo stated that he was born in Lincoln when he married Elena
Gonzales. A daughter, Ana, was born in 1875. Her baptism stated that she was born in the Rio Bonito area. That same year, Father
Antonio Lamy, who was a priest at Manzano, baptized her on one of his five trips to the Rio Bonito area to perform church functions. He
was the nephew of the famous Archbishop Baptiste Lamy. Father Lamy also baptized Kathryn and Margaret’s grandmother Maximiliana
Bilderais in the same year at Rio Bonito. Ana didn’t survive.
A son, Francisco, was born in late 1876 or early ’77. He survived, married, had a family and lived a long life. His great grandson, Tony,
provides the music for this site.
Another son, Albino, was born about December of ’79 or January of ’80. He was named after an older brother, who died. It wasn’t
uncommon for families to name a child after a previous child that had deceased. Albino didn’t survive. Albino must have been the last child
for Placido and Maria since no other information has come forth.
<> <> <>
In the 1880 census Lincoln County was the largest county in the U.S. comprising more than 20 per cent of total size of the state. Placido
and family were in the town of Lincoln, and living adjacent to father, Ygnacio. Placido’s age was given as 46, he was a miner, and stated
that he could read and write. Maria gave her age as 36, obviously fibbing, if she was the one talking to the census taker. The children at
home were: Manuel-9, Lorenzo-7, Francisco-3 and Albino-6 mo. Albino, at age 18, and perhaps who would have been the oldest child
at home, must have been killed in a hunting accident. According to a family member, the story was related: “Mother María had recently
delivered another child when the accident happened, and upon hearing of the accident she arose from resting in bed and ran to
her injured son.” The child that Maria had recently delivered must have been Lorenzo. He named his first son Albino, perhaps out of
respect for his older brother.
<> <> <>
In November 1880 in Lincoln County, the presiding judge, sheriff and court clerk selected 41 residents to serve as grand and petite
jurors. Placido was selected to serve, which indicated that in the opinion of the officials that Placido, at age 45, must have been a solid
citizen and had good judgment.
In July 1881, Placido, along with his partner and son-in-law, Willy Letcher recorded a mining claim at White Oaks. The mine was named
Animas. White Oaks, which was a vibrant mining town at that time, is more than 30 miles from Lincoln and it’s possible that the family had
relocated prior to recording of the mine.
<> <> <>
Maria passed away Feb. 13, 1884 at White Oaks. The newspaper White Oaks Golden Era printed the following obituary: “A
beautiful tribute was paid the deceased Sra. Maria Sanchez DeGuebara, by the Americans of White Oaks. Mr. M. Branbarn read
the funeral service, and the last sad rites were all performed by Americans.”
Maria’s death date established a definite move to White Oaks sometime before she passed away. There is no baptism for Maria at this
time, but using the 1860 census when her age was stated as 23, she probably was about 47 years of age when she passed away. She had
borne nine children, six sons and three daughters, that are evident although some baptisms are lacking. She most likely was buried in
Cedarvale Cemetery at White Oaks. If so, she was the first Guebara, and more were to follow.
<> <> <>
Placido filed a property return in early 1884 at White Oaks. He owned two 80-acre parcels of land. One parcel had improvements,
but he didn’t exceed his $300 exemption as head of a household, and since he was a resident of Lincoln County he only paid a poll
tax of $1.00. Later that year he voted in the election at White Oaks.
In the 1885 New Mexico State Census, Placido was living with his three sons Manuel, Lorenzo and Francisco in White Oaks, which was
Precinct 8. Placido said that he was a miner, which coincides with the fact the White Oaks was a boom town, with the discovery of gold a
few years earlier.
In the 1900 census Placido was living in White Oaks with Librada Barela and she was listed as his wife. The Santa Rita Church marriage
records recorded that they married in August 1892. Church records also stated that Placido’s parents were deceased and that his mother
was Dolores Gonzales. All the children were on their own, but three of his sons were living in White Oaks. A neighbor was Sue McSween
of the Lincoln County War fame.
Placido and Librada deeded some property in October 1891. 1-1/3 acres was sold to Jackson P.C. Langston for the sum of $100.
Placido and Librada were godparents to Juan Chavez baptized March 15, 1893 at Picacho. The mother was Olimpia Garcia. She was
There was a property return for Placido in 1895. He declared a house on 1 acre with some furnishings, but he didn’t exceed the $200
exemption as head of the household. He also acted as agent for wife Librada on her property return that exceeded the $200 exemption by
$50. His signature was on both statements and he signed his name using a “v” in his surname.
<> <> <>
Placido passed away May 31, 1904 at age of 68. He was buried at White Oaks, probably next to Maria. His son Lorenzo was in
charge of arrangements. The doctor attributed his death due to old age.
Librada married Nicolas Salazar Nov. 27, 1904. She must have passed away in late April 1913. The information comes from an article in
the Carrizozo News stating the Placido’s son, Max Guebara, traveled to White Oaks to attend the funerals of his step-mother and sister-
in-law who died almost simultaneously of pneumonia.
As mentioned, Placido arrived on the planet about six weeks before Halley’s Comet’s closest approach to earth, but no doubt was
observed months before. Was it an omen? He was the only progenitor for the particular line of Guevaras in New Mexico, at least what is
known at this time.
He was born to unwed parents, and that was a stigma in the eyes of the Catholic Church. There’s no documentation until the 1850 census
when he was 15, but he probably spent most of his early youth with his father, Ygnacio, and stepmother. In that census he was classified
as a laborer, and at age 15 . . . he probably did labor. The area was el Real San Francisco del Tuerto and is now Golden, N.M.
The next documented location of Placido was in the 1860 census in Manzano But, he and future wife Maria Sanchez had a child,
Maximiano, born in 1856. And that presents a mystery because Maximiano’s obituary in 1915 stated that he was born in Magdalena, N.
M. Magdalena is 27 miles west of Socorro. Mining of minerals began there in the 1860s, but a few years earlier it was hostile country. Did
Placido, at age of about 20, leave the Golden area and travel to the Socorro area in search of riches, and if he did so, was he
accompanied by his father, Ygnacio? Neither one of them is accounted for in that particular time frame. U.S. mining claims registration
didn’t begin until 1872. Perhaps some information will come forth.
The rest of Placido’s life is pretty well accounted for---Births of children in 1862, ’64 ’69, ’70, ’73, ’75, ’77 and 1880; three years in the
Army, 1861-’64; Censuses of 1870, ’80, ’85 and 1900; marriage in 1892 and other documentation.
The marriage between Placido and Maria Sanchez hasn’t surfaced, so far. They should have been married . . . said they were in the 1860
census. The baptisms of their three daughters said that they were legitimate. And that leads us to the big mystery---why no baptisms have
surfaced for their sons. There were six known sons for Placido and Maria and lack of baptisms for a couple could be explained, but not
for all six children. The family was obviously living in the town of Lincoln or nearby when the last four sons were born and the area was in
the jurisdiction of Santa Rita Church. Church records began in 1869 and were sporadic for the first few years and a child or two could
have been missed, but not all four. When the search began a few years ago, a strong effort was made to locate some baptisms, especially
that of Lorenzo, born in 1873. Perhaps there is an explanation.
The 1870 census recorded another Placido Guebara family residing in Missouri Plaza. The ages put them in a different generation than that
of our subjects. Now who were they? Was it Ygnacio and Ana Maria Torres and the child, Maximiano, the grandchild? Probably so.
Perhaps Brady mistakenly write Placido, having perhaps talked to Ygnacio’s son, Placido, three days earlier. Perhaps the answer lies in
Mexico. Did Brady know Ygnacio from their days serving in the First Regiment, New Mexico Cavalry? Brady was an officer and
Ygnacio was a farrier. Perhaps he took care of Brady’s horse.
This story could use some more images which we hope to insert in due time and hopefully more information will surface. It’s probably out
there but difficult to obtain. So, stay tuned.