January 20, 2005

The Ore Terminal and The Glenn Springs Raid

Seeing as histories of the Glenn Springs Raid talk about the mining men that were kidnapped in Boquillas, Coahuila after the raiders retreated back into Mexico, I figured I'd find the names of these men in the Alpine Avalanch. Once I had the names, I could try to track down their children and grandchildren in order to get their stories. Because the raid took place a year after Moser died, I figured this would lead to a new chapter in the story.

So, I spent lunch at the Center for American History at UT. The May 11, 1916 edition of the Avalanch was a great find. I'll post more later, but there were two articles: one was about the raid itself and the other was about the kidnapping and escape of the mining men, with their names! All found within 20 minutes.

The kidnapped men all worked for the Porto (sic) Rico de Boquillas Mines, Texas. They were:

Carl Halter, mine superintendent
R.R. Has brouck, assayer
Dr. Homer Powers of San Angelo
W.T. Butler
Nick Postrius
N.R. McKnight
George Scott
Austan Swayze

Great leads!

So, I asked the librarian if the Center for American History had any kind of biographical index. He said, "Sure, those card catalogs over there index names in Texas newspapers. They're organized by city." He pointed to these two, big card catalogs that I always ignored as I walked past them on my way to the microfilm. I figured they were the card catalog before everything was put online, probably in the mid-80's. Boy, was I wrong. If the people I'm researching are in these indices, it will save me a lot of time as they point me directly where I need to go, instead of trolling through newspapers hoping to find something.

So, I started looking for Moser in the San Antonio Express, San Antonio Free Press, San Antonio Light, and El Paso Herald. I struck out. But, I noticed that the index wasn't just names, it was places and things as well.

I found entries for Boquillas in the El Paso Herald section of the catalog and they were all about the Glenn Springs raid and subsequent events. Paydirt! Apparently, the librarians concentrated on the big news items of the day. I found nine cards devoted to the Glenn Springs raid, from May 9th to May 24th, 1916. And, the librarians copied the first paragraph of the stories onto the index cards. While I didn't have time to retrieve the articles, I did learn three important things from those paragraphs:

1) The ore terminal was attacked AFTER the Glenn Springs raid.
2) The name of mining company after Moser died was indeed the International Mining Company. (I wasn't able to substantiate that, having come across a few mentions of it in history books, but the footnotes that referenced the name all pointed to other sources that don't say where they got the information. I bet it's a good chance they got it from these newspaper accounts.)
3) F. C. Morehouse was the president and general manager of the International Mining Company.

So, wow! NONE of the histories talk about how the ore terminal was attacked. The Glenn Springs raid looms pretty large in all the histories, but they all seem to follow the story into Mexico with Major Langhorne. Apparently, the Ore Terminal was attacked when Langhorne was most likely in La Noria, immediately before he decided to cross over into Mexico.

More wow! I now know the name of the man who replaces Moser in the story. Right now, I see three chapters in the story of the ore terminal:
Chapter 1: Moser's Dream. Building the Terminal.
Chapter 2: Running the Terminal. Moser's Death.
Chapter 3: Morehouse's Story

Broad strokes, but the outline of the story is getting clearer. I'll post specifics to the website in the future (including articles), but I wanted to share the great news for now.

Posted by Joelg at 10:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 19, 2005

Please Answer a Few Questions

Welcome to Oreterminal.joelandkaren.com and my blog. Thanks for reading this blog and looking at my website.

I'd appreciate it if you'd do me a favor. Would you please answer a few questions? I ask because I'd like to know if I'm providing something of interest to the people who visit my site.

- Why do you come to Oreterminal.joelandkaren.com?

- Have you visited more than once? If so, about how often?

- What else would you like to see here?

- How did you hear about Oreterminal.joelandkaren.com?

- Have you hiked the Ore Terminal Trail? If so, when? If not, do you have plans to do so?

You can send the questions and answers to me in an email at:
Joel Greenberg

I will not sell, rent, or otherwise user your email address. What I'll do is compile the answers in a word doc for my personal use and delete the emails so that I no longer have your email address.

I hope to make the website a better experience with the feedback I get from you.

Thanks very much for your time.

Joel Greenberg
Austin, TX

Posted by Joelg at 09:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 18, 2005

Keyhole Image of Ore Terminal Terrain

Google has released a cool program called Keyhole, which maps USGS data to satellite imagery and allows you to travel the world, visually.

Here's an image from the program with a view from the start of the Ore Terminal Trail to the Ore Terminal.

I used the measuring tool to approximate the footprint of the tramway; the yellow line in the middle of the image is where the tramway went up the valley. Unfortunately, the data doesn't extend into Mexico, otherwise this would be an excellent tool to approximate where the embarkation terminal on the Mexican side is located. The scale doesn't do the terrain justice. This view is from an altitude of 6700 feet.

Posted by Joelg at 06:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 14, 2005

Glenn Springs Raid Connection

Once again, details escape me until I read something twice (In this case, three times).

I've been reading a couple of books I checked out of the Austin Public Library, one being "Revolution on the Rio Grande: Mexican Raids and Army Pursuits 1916-1919," by Glenn Justice.

Glenn Springs is west of Boquillas, Texas on what's now known as the River Road. In May, 1916 it was attacked by Mexican Bandits. They took hostages on the US side in Boquillas and then hostages in Boquillas, Mexico. I had read about the raid in other books and they all talk about how the US Calvary went after the bandits three days after the raid.

So I re-read this quote, "Also accompanying the expedition was a group of American newsmen, including reporters, photographers, and even a motion picture crew." Pg. 11.

Now, they probably crossed into Mexico at Boquillas. So, there's a possibility that photographs of Boquillas from that time period and even a movie!

Then, I re-read the paragraph above. "Across the Rio Grande at the International Mining Company in Boquillas, Mexico, the bandits seized seven American employees including the mine's physician and superintendent, and robbed the company store." Pg. 11

Finally, a name of the Del Carmen company after Moser died in 1915, the International Mining Company! The footnote for that sentence cites two books, Ronnie Tyler's "The Big Bend" and Clarence C. Clenden's "Blood on the Border". Now, I know Tyler's book never mentions the name of the mining company, because I've read those passages and I have an article of his on the Glenn Springs raid from the mid '70's and neither of the mention the name. So, Clenden's book must.

Also, the photographer and film crew may have filmed the spot where the crimes took place and that might have been the mine and/or terminal on the Mexican side!

Also, the newsmen were probably from an El Paso, or a San Antonio newspaper, so they would file be filing their stories. And...there's a possibilit they would name the captors. Another clue to help me track down descedents!

Lot's of work, but some interesting leads. ALl from reading the same thing over and over. Wish I was quicker.

Posted by Joelg at 10:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 13, 2005

Identifying People in the Picture

I spoke with a gentleman today who is helping me identify the people in the picture of the car in front of the cable terminal.

He was able to identify one person and may be able to identify the woman and the driver.

Very exciting stuff...

Posted by Joelg at 04:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 06, 2005

Looking in Other Places

Still running into a dead-end looking for descendents of Carlos and Aimee Moser. So, I've been heading down two paths.

First, I'm trying to track down descendents of freighters from the areas, based upon this quote from http://brownvboard.org/brwnqurt/02-1/02-1d.htm.

"In the Boquillas area, the Gonzalez brothers of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, and the Ben Gallego family of Alpine Texas dominated the industry."

There's a State Representative Pete Gallego from Alpine. Related?

Second, I've been researching the Glenn Springs Raid of 1916, a year after Moser's death. Mexican banditos (and maybe Villistas), attacked Glenn Springs, which is a few miles east of Boquillas. When they went back over the river, the histories talk about how they kidnapped the Doctor and Superintendent of the Puerto Rico mine.

The Americans where forced into their truck made to drive South. They pretended there were mechanical problems so they had to drive slowly. When most of the raiding party was a few miles ahead, kidnapped men stalled the engine and acted like it had died. They asked the remaining raiders to help push the truck and when they went to the back of the truck, the driver put it in reverse, knocking them down. The Americans grabbed banditos' guns and marched them back to the US, where they were handed over to the US Marshall.

If I can find the names of the people who worked in the mine, then I might be able to track down their descendents.

The Mosers remain ellusive...

Posted by Joelg at 12:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack