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MORE GARDNER BOYS 
Hi Glenn,

Yes, I read the news article I have again and it stated that Herbert Cody Blake actually enlisted one of the uncles of the Gardner boys into the search. Blake even followed the treasure map. It would be nice to find those gold bars though!

If I get enough information I just might make a movie called "The Gardner Boys", kind of like "The Newton Boys".

Leon Metz suggested that I search the El Paso newspapers. The Gardner boys were probably outlaws who formed a gang during the late 1870s and then split into the Guadalupe Mountains. The newspaper suggested that their were copies of these newspapers which mentioned the notorious Gardners, but I would love to know where these newspapers are now.

I have heard of a gunfighter named Zeb Gardner, but again a mystery. I've also found fast guns such as Tom Gardner, a notable rancher during the Johnson County War in Wyoming, and a supposed noted fast gun named Billy Gardner, a prominent New Mexican who was killed in a "Duel to the Death" in 1902 as newspapers reported.

Their was also a notable Texas gunman named "Lige" Gardner, who worked as a timekeeper for the Southern Pacific railroad in 1901 and suffered from Bright's disease. He would often boast, "If I've got to cash - in I might as well take along some of my enemies". He was known to have killed two white men and several blacks. However, he was in Eastern Texas near Beaumont.

I am also researching my ancestor who I have wondered might have been the leader of the gang, but most gunmen were loners instead of desperadoes, plus he was never in that area.

However he lived in south Texas around Brownsville near the King Ranch, and hardly any information there either.

My ancestor, Lewis Gardner, was a sixty something year old gunfighter in south Texas. He was born about 1810 at SC, lived in GA where he married and fathered about thirteen children, farmed, owned slaves, removed to MS where he owned a farm, his wife divorced him during the Civil War, he gave her the farm and then he went to Texas. He lived in Houston County for a time where he remarried to a widow, and he made his living as a horse trader. Gardner was a notorious gunfighter and I need to find newspapers from the 1870s in south Texas. His death is a mystery. He was supposedly ambushed and killed in a gunfight with horse thieves at a place pronounced "Natchez" in Texas while transporting horses to Louisiana, but it is also stated that he spent his last years in Johnson County, Texas. He was supposed to have been described from a postcard photograph as a tall, big boned man, with a long flowing white beard, and striking sky eyes.

I did find a professional gambler named Gardner during the early 1870s in Refugio, Texas.

A lot of horse traders migrated to south Texas and Mexico to buy cheap horses, and transported the horses to Mississippi and Louisiana.

Thank you for the information and it will probably be awhile before I find anything, and I need money to travel, and since microfilm is difficult, then I will probably have to hire a researcher!

If you know anybody who has searched through newspapers from the late 1870s, for example Billy the Kid, and has read about these outlaws, just let me know.

The Gardner boys were perhaps the most ruthless desperadoes in the West if the gang actually stole over a million dollars.

Best,
Corey Gardner

Is there anyone out there that knows anything about the Gardners? If so, please join us in the discussion and see if we can help Corey find some of this. Post a comment or email me.

Gj





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GARDNER BOYS IN WEST TEXAS 
Hi Glenn,

I hope and believe that the Gardner boys are real, and just the fact that Blake mentioned, or the newspaper mentioned those old newspapers, it convinces me.
I am not hunting treasure, don't have the time, patience, and money to do so. Herbert Cody Blake didn't sound like he would believe anything written by this guy named Dobie.

Herbert Cody Blake debunked just about everyone, such as Wild Bill and Buffalo Bill, and he would have ripped Dobie a new one.

Could you somehow get somebody who has come across old newspapers from the 1870s and 1880s in the west Texas area that mentions the Gardner boys?

It annoys me that people have researched every outlaw gang or outlaw character without the name Gardner. It's like the name is cursed or something. Their was a famous outlaw named Roy Gardner with a way more amazing and real tale than any other outlaw. Another was a noted Missouri horse thief named George Gardner, alias "Skoddallo" mentioned in newspapers in 1889, but can't find anything on him. Their was a very infamous outlaw named Big Phil Gardner who was the leader of a gang in the Colorado Territory, but he was gunned down in 1870 at Montana.

Their was a Gardner family in west Texas that could have been the Gardner boys. Their names were Alex, John, Peter, Tom, Charlie, and Willis Gardner. They were cattle raisers, a rough crew. These men were cowboys and Indian fighters, but only one seemed to have a bad man reputation.

These Gardner brothers were only together from 1877 to 1880 in west Texas.

Alex Gardner was a cowboy, Confederate soldier, Indian fighter, and rancher in west Texas and later moved to Arizona to raise horses.

John Gardner was a notable trail boss mentioned in "John Gardner's Trail Herd", a Texas folk song which described him as the "biggest cow - thief" and "you meet him on the square". He was a Texas Ranger, cowboy, Indian fighter, and an alleged member of the Sam Bass Gang, but by 1877 he was a family man. He was definitely a friend of Sam Bass, because Bass talked about his friend John Gardner on his deathbed. However, no evidence states he was a wanted man. Gardner wrote a short bio on himself in which he stated that he was involved in many fights with Mexicans and Indians, but would not give details as it would sound "fishy" these days. He lived his life as a rancher in Frio County and his son, Joe Gardner, was a very noted roping champion.

"Peter" Gardner was a distinguished Indian fighter, trail driver, and rancher in Frio County, Texas.
Tom Gardner was a cattle raiser and lived in Tom Green County, but married and moved back to Frio County, Texas.
Charlie Gardner was a cattle raiser and moved to New Mexico where he married in 1889, which I found interesting.
Willis Gardner died at age eighteen in 1882, strangely.

Their was also a famous army scout and Indian fighter named Raymond "Arizona Bill" Gardner, known for his tall tales. He was indeed an army scout and served with Custer, Miles, and Crook, and he claimed he had been raised by Indians, knew every Old West character, did every frontier trade, was a Wild West performer, lawman, Arizona Ranger, and many other claims. He looked kind of goofy when he was in his nineties, smiling and riding a burro, but I had seen a few pictures of him when he was about seventy and he looked like he could handle himself in a fight.

He was a very shady character aside from his military service. I read that he "reportedly" buried a treasure near Camp Grant, Arizona in 1877 from a robbery, and was sounds truthful is that it wasn't his claim. He might have had his own gang. His book, which is terrible, stated that he had a brother named Charlie Gardner who was a ranchman.

I don't know if they were known as the Gardner gang, or the Gardner boys, but some of those possible first names might help.

Best,
Corey

Corey,

I don't doubt the Gardner boys were real people and if you dig deep enough, you will find some information about them. But that means you must look at more than just newspapers to find what you are looking for. Problem #1, there weren't any newspapers in west Texas in 1877 to 1880. There were newspapers in Austin and Houston beginning in the 1850's. There weren't many Anglos or towns in west Texas before 1880. Newspapers did not exist before the coming of the railroads in the early 1880's. The Marfa New Era did not go into business until 1888 and sadly most of the New Era newspapers were destroyed sometime in the 1920's. or 30's. The Alpine Alvalanche started about the same time. The Archives of the Big Bend at Sul Ross University have the Avalanche on microfilm but there is no index. The Avalanche in those days was a poor newspaper, little news, just lots of gossip about who was coming and going. Fort Davis had a newspaper, I think called the Rocket but I have never seen any copies of it. The El Paso Herald, later called the El Paso Times published from the 1880's. The El Paso Public Library has all of the Herald and Times on microfilm and has an excellent card index. I think that might be a good place for you to look. UTPB Library in Odessa has El Paso Times on microfilm but no index.

Another source you will need to examine is True West Magazine. The Haley Library in Midland has a good collection of True West Magazine and an index. The Haley Library has probably the best collection of ranching, outlaw stuff and might well be able to help. I found a few articles about the Gardners treasure by searching for Blake at newspaperarchive.com. But only reprints of the article you have only found. Also, the Barker Texas History Center at U.T. Austin has the largest collection of microfilm newspapers in existence. They also have a great collection of vertical files on many Texas subject. Maybe something is there.

I think the first think you should do is prepare a list of names of who you are looking for and where you think they lived. Search U.S. Census records to try to establish if these people are shown in the Census. Probably an outlaw would not have wanted to give any personal information to a census taker. Another place to look is Civil War records such as the Records of the War of Rebellion. The National Archives has an on search site. I think Records of the War of Rebellion are also now on line. You might find some things if any of these people fought in the Civil War but must know their full name and where they lived. Same for U.S. Census on line at ancestry.com. See my links. Also look at the county histories for the counties you know the Garners lived. Example, try finding Tom Gardner in Tom Green County books and records. No reference to Gardners in Presidio, Brewster or Presidio County histories. Go to the local libraries and check their vertical files and county histories. San Angelo State University in San Angelo has a wonderful West Texas collection and has San Angelo Standard Times. Read every book you can find on the Sam Bass Gang and check the references.

Good luck on your project. It won't be easy but will be fun. However, you may find information on the Gardner Boys to be as elusive as their treasure. Don't be annoyed that other historians have not written about the Gardners. Maybe they couldn't find anything either. The historian is bound by the document, no document, no way to write a history.

Gj



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THE GARDNER BOYS LOST GOLD, HERBERT CODY BLAKE AND DOBIE 
Hi, I am researching the Gardner gang. I found these outlaws mentioned in a 1928 Decatur, Illinois news article about Herbert Cody Blake, a former Wild West performer, hunting treasure buried by the bandits. Their treasure is legendary.

According to the article, the Gardner boys had robbed a smuggler's pack train from Mexico, (I believe the smugglers were Mexican bank robbers) and the outlaws stole gold bars and jewels. A box of diamonds stolen during a famous Mexican bank robbery was with the loot. The Gardner gang was forced into the Guadalupe Mountains where the outlaws buried their loot in one of the many caves of New Mexico near Carlsbad. I believe the robbery took place in west Texas.

The news article also stated that anyone hunting for a job in West Allis, Wisconsin should go treasure hunting and will get free sample newspapers that mention the Gardners. It also stated that long time residents of the Southwest remembered the Gardner boys. An uncle of one of the Gardner boys was enlisted in the search and had a supposedly authentic treasure map.

I have met two people who have heard of the Gardner gang. I have contacted every great historian and none can help. Do you know of anyone who has old newspapers that mention these bad hombres?

Best,
Corey

Corey, so happens this historian has heard about the Gardner Boys, their so-called lost treasure and Herbert Cody Blake's pretty much forgotten search for it. Below is a clipping I located. It is likely a reprint of the same article you have. This one was published in The Chronicle-Telegram of Elyria, Ohio on Friday, October 12, 1928. I think I can unearth numerous other newspaper accounts of Blake's search for the treasure over many years. Some are as recent as the 1980's. But I offer this word of caution, if you are researching this to write a story of this myth, it's a fine old treasure tale and these things are fun to delve into. However if you are doing this in hopes of finding the treasure, I advise you to not waste your time. It's just an old, much repeated story that sounds like so many of those written by J. Frank Dobie.

J. Frank Dobie started much of this lost treasure stuff many years ago in his books and he sold a lot of books doing so. He was also an old newspaper man who learned how to sell his work with stories of lost treasure. Over the years, I have come across so many of these lost treasure myths in far west Texas that I, at the moment, cannot recall a lot of them. One that does come to mind, however, is the story of Maximilian I the Emperor of Mexico's lost gold treasure pack train that was supposed buried somewhere in west Texas said by some to be along the Pecos River following his execution by Benito Juarez in 1867. Somebody had a map of the location of the treasure.

Many folks searched for this lost gold, some spending their entire lives doing so. Even one published historian got sucked into the story: namely Clayton Williams Sr. The treasure never existed in the first place; Mexico was broke at the time and had no gold. Perhaps, the Gardner boys were real people. No doubt Herbert Cody Blake was a real person. Dig deep enough and you will find out. But don't think you can find a lost treasure that never existed in the first place from this old B.S. They all have common elements used by Dobie: treasure, usually gold, somehow lost due to some unfortunate event, a vanished map that exists somewhere and somebody who knows where the map is; the kind of stuff that even today sells newspapers, magazines. This is classic J. Frank Dobie, he must be laughing in his grave.

Gj


IN LONG HUNT FOR TREASURE IN THE SOUTHWEST

SOLDIER OF FORTUNE SEARCHES GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS FOR BANDIT GOLD

ALBUQURQUE, N.M. Soldiers of fortune in the southwest continue the careers that entitle this section to its "legendary romance".

Herbert Cody Blake, 62, former member of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, a veteran of British and American military campaigns, is searching for a perhaps mythical treasure in the Guadalupe Mountains near Carlsbad, N.M.

After months of prospecting through the tree chains of Guadalupe peaks, Blake encountered bad weather and sought help in Albuquerque for food and money to carry on his hunt before winter comes.

The Gardner boys were forced to flee to the mountains with a rich booty of gold bars and jewels, from a smuggler's pack train from Mexico. All members of the gang died, Blake believes, before they could remove their treasure. A box of diamonds stolen during a famous bank robbery in Mexico also was supposed to be with the loot.

Blake traced the history of the Gardners through old newspapers and inhabitants who had long been in the southwest. He found, he said, unmistakable evidences of the gang's activities and of the cache in the mountains.

An uncle of one of the Gardner boys was enlisted in the search and furnished a supposedly authentic map of the county where the treasure would be found. Blake located the country shown on the map after several months of wandering through the mountains and started working his way into what he believes to the hiding place when he ran out of provisions and was forced to return here.

"There's more than a million dollars in there," he said. I'm satisfied of that and I'm going back after it."

In a few days, if he is fortunate in finding the grub stake, the soldier of fortune will continue to follow the trail of the storied treasure.


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EXCELLENCE IN WEST TEXAS HISTORY FELLOWSHIPS 
The West Texas Collection at Angelo State University in San Angelo has announced The Excellence in West Texas History Fellowship Program for 2009-2010. Applications are now being accepted for two fellowships of $40,000 each to be awarded in April 2009. Application deadline is February 27, 2009. Fellowships are for a full academic year. In addition, a $5,000 subvention will be provided to an academic press for each completed manuscript accepted for publication. Research must focus on the western half of Texas and utilize regional archives. Applicants must have completed a Ph.D or be ABD in the field of humanities. Fellows will be expected to spend the 2009-2010 academic year utilizing the regional archives in West Texas. For more information contact: Suzanne Campbell, West Texas Collection, 1901 Rosemont, San Angelo, Texas 76909, phone 325-942-2164 or email Suzanne.Campbell@angelo.edu.

Somewhere out there are promising candidates who will one day will make valuable contributions to the so often overlooked field of west Texas history. This fine and much needed fellowship hopefully will help make this possible. Thanks to Andy Cloud, the new director of the Center For Big Bend Studies, for making Glenn's Texas History Blog readers aware of the fellowships.

Gj


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NEW CACTUS BOOK SHOP WEB PAGE 
Felton Cochran, owner and operator of the Cactus Book Shop, has just put on line a fine new web page at www.cactusbookshop.com/. Felton specializes in books on Texas and the Southwest. While small, Cactus Book Shop stocks a truly exceptional inventory of Texas books in downtown San Angelo, Texas. In addition, Felton has the largest selection of titles by his friend Elmer Kelton. If you are looking for a rare or obscure Texas book, give Felton a call at 325-659-3788 or email him at cactusbooks@suddenlinkmail.com. Chances are he will have the book or be able to locate a copy. The new Cactus Book Shop web page also has an online catalog some of Felton's inventory on the page. Welcome to the web Felton!

Gj


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CANDELARIA BRIDGE ARTICLE IN TEXAS MONTHLY 
Texas Monthly has just published an article by Katy Vine in their October issue about the Candelaria bridge. Check it out at:

http://www.texasmonthly.com/2008-10-01/ ... ttexas.php

Also, be sure to view the Nat Stone video interviews with Abel Tellez and Johnnie Chambers at:

http://www.texasmonthly.com/2008-10-01/multimedia3.php

Thanks Katy and Nat for your fine efforts to make this issue known to the outside world!

Gj

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LONG TIME BIG BEND TEACHER AND MERCHANT PASSES 


Celia Ann (Smith) Hill owner and operator of the La Junta General Store in Ruidosa, Texas is no longer with us. She died September 10, 2008 following a short illness. Born May 25, 1928 to Harris Seymore and Winnie Donald Smith, Celia Ann grew up on her parents ranch located on the west side of Elephant Mountain in Brewster County. In the 1930's Celia's father and his partner Homer Wilson discovered quicksilver and began mining operations with their Buena Suerte (good luck) Mine in Presidio County. Their mine operated for more than thirty years producing more than 3,500 flasks of mercury and was a large and important producer during World War II. The Smiths kept a home in Alpine for many years so their children could go to school. Celia Ann graduated from Alpine High School before completing a B.A. and M.A. at Sul Ross. She had a long career as a teacher. Celia Ann retired from the Presidio school system about ten years ago. She was an avid horsewoman and loved to ride in the Big Bend In 1982 she was the only woman to complete a trail ride from Fort Davis to Alpine in celebration of the Alpine centennial celebration. She was an avid reader and at the time of her death was writing a manuscript about her experiences in the Big Bend.

Gj


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CASAS BOOK COMMENT 
-Felton Cochran, my good friend and associate at one of our few remaining independent book shops, Cactus Book Shop in lovely old San Angelo, Texas: greetings. I read your criticism of Federico Villalba's Texas: A Mexican Pioneer's Life in the Big Bend by Juan M. Casas on Glenn Justice's Texas History Blog. Villalba's Texas indeed takes a new turn concerning one aspect of Big Bend history, the Mexican point of view. To my way of thinking it is a subject which time has come; in fact, had it not come along in our generation it probably would never have; therein rests the problem.

Documentation concerning Mexican immigrants into the Big Bend for the 1880-1930 epoch is sparse. While Federico Villalba was a well-lettered man in both languages, the general Mexican-origin population was not. For the most part they were illiterate, in both Spanish and English language systems. The desert Big Bend is a huge place larger than some states -- and isolation was a big factor in record keeping, or the lack of it. The long distances to county record centers and regional scarcity of even Justice (JP) courts had an impact as did fear of deportation, particularly during the World War One/Mexican Revolution period (1910-20). These and other factors kept the Hispanics away from authority, even U. S. Manuscript Census enumerators in many cases.

Scholarly history rests upon documentation. That is, official documents, letters, diaries, interviews with primary-source witnesses, business records, poll tax receipts and the like. When those do not exist, the historian must work with what he/she has at hand.

As a working historian (Master of Arts with a thesis) and author of works in historical fiction I repeat my support for Casas book. I (respectfully) believe that your criticisms, intended as constructive I'm sure, fail to consider the full range of problems in completing a work such as Federico Villalba's Texas.

As you pointed out the work is certainly not "scholarly history."

Also my friend, if I read you correctly, Villalba's Texas could qualify as "historical fiction." Well, okay. "Every cobbler to his last." I know not how Juan Casas might feel, but were I the author of Villalba's Texas, calling the book historical fiction would make me grin all over. The key word, naturally, being "historical."

As to the "scholarly" approach, such a history, iterated by Spanish-speaking people who immigrated to the Big Bend from northern Mexico, probably cannot now be compiled. We historians are to blame. In our ethnocentricity we waited too long, and the old ones who could have supplied documents and first-person imagery are almost all gone to their "last home."

It took a Juan Manuel Casas to set the matter aright. God bless him.

Glenn Willeford
Cd. de Chihuahua, Mexico


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ANDY CLOUD NEW CBBS DIRECTOR  
Its official, William A. (Andy) Cloud is the new director of the Center For Big Bend Studies http://www.sulross.edu/cbbs/ at Sul Ross in Alpine. The center could not have found a more qualified and experienced new leader; Andy knows his Big Bend archaeology. He holds a B.A. in Archaeological Studies and an M.A. in Anthropology with focus in Archaeology from the University of Texas in Austin. A native Texan, Cloud has more than thirty years experience in Texas Archaeology serving, since 1995 as Senior Project Archaeologist, for CBBS. He has written extensively researching, writing and co-authoring more than forty archaeological reports as well as teaching anthropology at Sul Ross. In addition, he worked for the Office of the State Archaeologist at the Texas Historical Commission, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Big Bend National Park, and the Texas Archaeological Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. Andy is also the lead author for the La Junta exhibit on the website.

www.texasbeyondhistory.net. Lots of good stuff on the site, check it out.

Also take a look at Andy's exceptional work at the La Junta sites in Presidio County:
http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/junta/sites.html

For some of Andy's other articles see:
http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/local ... p;exclude=

I have known Andy for many years and am so pleased, as are quite a few of us historians that he has been chosen to lead the CBBS. We look forward to the continued growth and success of CBBS in the future with Andy and know he will make it happen.

Congratulations Andy!

Gj


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Preface: Why Heroes and Heroines? 
I came to Mexico in 1994 to accept a job teaching English literature, History, and Composition in English (the latter, basically a course in writing the so-called "college essay,") at the Facultad de Filosofia Y Letras, a discipline within the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua at Chihuahua City. As with most colleges, so often wrongly nominated "universities," most of the students were less than enthused about the curriculum. That notwithstanding, there were exceptions. Srta. Blanca Estela Moreno A., a Spanish-speaking native of Mexico, was one. This essay, now four-years-written, while not perfect, remains a stirring example of a young woman's attempt to express her love of country. Perhaps we norteamericanos should ponder over Blanca's words and reflect upon our own endangered heritage.

Glenn Willeford, M. A.
25/08/2008


Someone has to do something
Blanca Estela Moreno Arias

One single person could never imagine how normal summer vacations could change his perspective of life. That happened to me last summer, when I met, in a literal way, this great woman. She was a woman just like me, or also any of my classmates or friends. The only difference was that real love she always felt for her native country.
The story of this woman captivated me since the first moment I heard it. Since the first moment I knew that was a special story, a story that taught us something very valuable that must of us have forgotten, and that valuable thing is the love we must have to their country. This noble woman is the perfect example we must have. But it is time to finish with the pending ... let's introduce her.
Mar'a Elisa Martiniana Griensen Zambrano was the hero who Parral never will forget. Elisa Griensen was the model of person who the country was looking for, and she's also the model of person who I'm very proud of. The important fact Elisa Griensen did would make that not only Parral, but also Mexico was cover with pride of her.
But actually...who is Elisa Griensen and what was her heroic act? That's a very common question that most of you have in your mind in this precise moment. That is because unfairly, only a few people outside Parral have heard about Elisa Griensen and her historic fact. Therefore, I invite you to know the story of this woman who really loved her motherland.
Elisa Griensen was born in Parral from a noble, but big family, that's where our story begins. Don Juan Griensen and Do'a Mar'a Luc'a Zambrano were the parents of nine children: Elisa was one of that 9; actually, she was almost the youngest. That was happy times for the Griensen family; unfortunately, the happiness is not for always.
The hardest times for the Griensen family began earlier than ever. When Elisa was four years old both of her parents die, and then is responsability of Virginia, the elder of all the nine children, take care of her little brothers and sisters since that moment. It was a hard work for Virginia.
In that precise moment one man appears to help and to stay with the Griensen family forever. In the year of 1894, Virginia got married with Pedro Alvarado Torres, a man who, with hard work, is trying to obtain the rich silver lodes of his famous mine "La Palmilla". The love he had for his woman Virginia, made that he took care of all the Griensen family side by side with his dear wife.
An amazing fact takes by surprise to all the family in 1900. "La Palmilla" started to give incredible economic outputs that would the end of the austerity and sacrifice life of the Griensen family forever, and also would give to Parral a worldwide fame.
Don Pedro Alvarado was now the owner of the biggest fortune ever. His fortune was so big, that he built the famous Palacio Alvarado, and sometimes his friend Francisco Villa asked him for some money to buy weapons for his army. The fortune of Don Pedro was so big, that also he wrote a letter to the president Porfirio D'az where he wrote that he wanted to help to his country paying the external debt of Mexico.
Despite the fact that Don Pedro was the richest man ever, he always was an extremely noble person. He fought with energy to the end to be the sucessful man now he was. In spite that his business made of him an always-busy man, he never stopped helping people who needed him. He never forgot what kind of man he was; Parral was pride of him.
In the year of 1905, Pedro's happiness began to fall down. On May fifth, his dear wife Virginia dies, and this fact finished with him in an unknown way. Another May fifth, four years later, Don Pedro had to sold "La Palmilla" to pay a lot of debts he had. His economic power came to an end. Elisa, who was then 21 years old, had lived happiness and sadness with Don Pedro, like one of the members of his family.
The pass of seven years was still necessary in Parral to know the heroic act of Elisa Griensen. Now that we know how were the circumstances of the life of Elisa Griensen and the childhood she lived, it is also extremely important to you to know the most important antecedent for Elisa's historical fact. What's this important antecedent? Francisco Villa's Columbus attack.
What were the reasons of Villa to attack Columbus? There are many theories. This is one of them: Villa was defeated in Celaya by Carranza forces represented by Obreg'n, so Villa decided to go to the North and attack Agua Prieta, Sonora, that had the defense of Plutarco Elas Calles. Villa attacked Agua Prieta; however, Carranza's forces passed the frontier and defended Agua Prieta by the North American side.
Villa took this attack like treason, so he decided to look for revenge. Villa was extremely upset because the president of the USA, Woodrow Wilson, had admitted the Carranza's government, and he decided to attack the nearest town to show his desire of revenge: that was Columbus.
But also exist another interesting theory about why Villa attacked Columbus. He had made a business with the Ravel Brothers; they gave to them 265, 000. 00 dollars to buy weapons. The Ravel Brothers accepted the money, but they never sent the weapons. Of course, Villa never would accept that, so he decided to attack Columbus to punish to the Ravel Brothers. This is the most accepted theory about why Villa attacked Columbus.
Villa didn't find to the Ravel Brothers, but the attack continued. Villa asked to the people where the Ravel Brothers could stay, but the people didn't want to talk, so he decided to set fire to the Ravel's house and hotels, but the fire got bigger and affected all the town. A lot of people die that day, and the injured were uncountable. Villa and all his people left the town at dawn.
North American people never would forget Villa's attack. North American soldiers started to cross the frontier looking for Francisco Villa to punish him for the attack to Columbus. They didn't worried about to ask for permission to cross the frontier, they only wanted to punish Villa.
The soldiers began to make camps inside the Mexican territory to find Villa as soon as possible and wherever he was. They started to advance inside all the North territory, and after that they started to advance to the South. Finally, they arrived to Hidalgo del Parral on April 12th, 1916. The most important mistake the soldiers made is that they didn't follow the only order they had: not to cross inside the town.
The soldiers installed their camps in the Plaza Porfirio D'az, in front of the Escuela 99, without suspect the things would happen later. People were very upset because the soldiers were there. Everybody talked, and also gave his or her opinion; however, nobody did anything about it. Nobody could know that this entire situation would change very soon.
A young woman who was 28 years old would change the complete situation. Elisa Griensen Zambrano was among that entire people watching that horrible landscape where all the persons were talking without do one single thing. Then she went, looking for some help, to talk with the municipal president. He heard all the things that young woman said, but he didn't do one single thing either. In that precise moment, Elisa knew it was time to act by her own.
Elisa never would stay with the arms folded. She returned to the Plaza Porfirio D'az and organized the people who were there in that right moment. Then she went to the Escuela 99; she entered to the principal's office and took the national flag. After she went to the fifth grade classroom and invited to 24 students to help her to take off that foreign force that was invading their country. Elisa returned one more time to Plaza Porfirio D'az, now with the brave fifth grade students follow her and the national flag on her hands. She told to the people: "I asked for help but no one heard me, however... someone has to do something".
Elisa invited to the people to help her and they did it. It was a great sucess. Elisa invited to the people to sing the Mexican National Anthem and to expulse the enemy. People and also children began to throw stones to the North American soldiers, and some of them made some shoots to the air. Only a few injured and two die American soldiers were the result of this confrontation, but finally, the foreign forces had gone to the north. Elisa and the people from Parral had got the victory.
Since that special day, Elisa Griensen was considered not only in Parral but also in Mexico a national hero. People never would forget the historic fact Elisa Griensen was made on April 12th. It was a day to remember.
However, what were the reasons Elisa had to act like she acted that April 12th? Only a few people know that beautiful answer. A few months later of the historical fact, Elisa and Villa finally found face to face. Elisa boarded Villa's car without permission. When the General saw her, he got angry and quickly told her: "nobody is brave enough to front General Villa, and less to board his car... who are you little girl?" She quickly said: "I'm Elisa Griensen" Villa spoke again: "you're the woman who confronted the "gringos". Elisa answered: "Yes, my General, I'm that woman". Villa's last question was: "why did you do that? are you Villista or Carrancista?". Elisa's answer was always the same: "Neither Villista nor Carrancista, I did it for Mexico".
The beautiful example Elisa Griensen gave us never must be forgotten. We must have the same love she had for her country. This story about Elisa Griensen changed my life. I wrote this essay hoping that more people know her story and become an admirator of her and the things she did, because, like she used to say: somebody has to do something.





Name: Blanca Estela Moreno Arias
Grade: 2nd semester
Teacher: Glenn Willeford
Group: A
Date: 10/02/04


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