February 23, 2005

More Tidbits on the Glenn Springs Raid, from the Dallas Morning News

Continuing my quest to find stories of the mine and tramway by looking at important events of the day, I continued my research into the Glenn Springs raid starting with the May 8, 1916 Dallas Morning News.

May 8, 1916. Pg 2. Col. 3
"...A.J. McQuaters, president of a mining company which operates zinc mines about seven miles south of Boquillas, in Chihuahua, expresses concern for the safety of six Americans at the International Mining Company..."

Well, the writer got the Mexican state wrong. Boquillas is in Coahuila, not Chihuahua. But the mine is roughly seven miles south east of Boquillas, so they're talking about the same mine. McQuatters is a new person in the story. Where's F.C. Morehouse in this scenario? The El Paso Herald said he was the president of the International Mining Company, which owned the mines and tramway, so what's McQuatter's relation to Morehouse?

Here's more about McQuatters:

May 8, 1916. Pg 2. Col. 5
"Owns Mines at Boquillas. A.J. McQuatters, Former Dallas Man Heads Syndicate Operating at Scene of Raids."

"El Paso, Texas, May 7--The International Mining Company, which owns the mines at Boquillas, where the raids took place Saturday morning following the Glenn Springs raid, is composed of a local syndicate headed by A.J. McQuatters, a former Dallas man, who has been taking a prominent part in the peace conference here between General Scott and General Obregon. Boquillas is where the tramway touches the American side of the Rio Grande from Boquillas del Carmen, on the Mexican side, the location of a rich zinc and copper and lead mine."

So there it is...confirmation of a new player. He was rather important, being part of the talks between the US and Mexico at the time that Pershing was pursing Villa south of the border. Hopefully, he'll be easier to track down than most because of his importance in the talks. Also, they say the syndicate is local, meaning El Paso. More of a reason to look in El Paso for the rest of the story.

Other interesting tidbits:

May 13, Pg. 1

"Langhorne Probably Across Rio Grande"

"...R.R. Hasbrouck, an assayer, formerly employeed by a Boquillas mining concern and now a Government scout, arrived here today with messages for Captain John S. Chambers at Marathon. He is said to have told personal friends that Colonel Frederick W. Sibley, in command of the Big Bend expeditionary force, would order Major Langhorne to recross into Mexico, as it was believed the negotiations for an exchange of prisoners between Langhorne and the bandits had fallen through..."

Recross? Langhorne went across once and came back? No other story talks about this. Not sure this is true. Funny how many reporters got little details wrong about the mine and the raid. My favorite is the story that places the mine on the US side. So, every detail needs to be checked with another source, if it's to be included in the final story.

Hasbrouck was one of the men captured at the mine. He must know the back country fairly well if he's a now a scout for Langhorne. I'd imagine he'd have to have worked in the area for a while, to understand the lay of the land. Could be he was a long time employee, maybe even hired by Moser. Very interesting...


May 12, Pg. 1
"Americans Cross at Boquillas and Arrest Fourteen Mexicans. Military Automobile Target for Bandits.

"Marathon, Texas, May 11 -- Mexican bandits yesterday evening fired on a military automobile conveying a message from Major Langhorne to Colonel Sibley at a point eighteen miles north of Boquillas on the Marathon-Boquillas road. Five shots were fired at the driver, who escaped unhurt, according to J.M. Henderson, who was folllowing in another machine several miles back and who arrived here late tonight from Boquillas."

Aside from the writer's quaint use of "machine" for "automobile" or "truck", what's interesting about this is confirmation that Mexican bandits were probably as far north as McKinney Springs on what's know known as the Old Ore road and what was then known at the Marathon - Boquillas road. The El Paso news is the only paper that reported the Ore Terminal itself was attacked after the Glenn Springs raid. The Dallas Morning News is the only newspaper that reports a car was attacked in much the same area; and the San Antonio Express is the only paper that reported on cowboys at McKinney Springs being attacked around the same time.

Is La Noria 18 miles north of Boquillas?

From Boquillas to the Ore Terminal to McKinney Springs is a lot of distance and it's pretty desolate, so it must have felt at the time like the whole area was under attack.

Today, you can't go very fast on the Old Ore road, even in a 4 wheel drive vehicle. I imagine back then, the cars didn't go much slower as they today on rough road like that (but they probably got better gas milleage--25mpg, from one estimate). I estimate it'd take 90 to 120 minutes to go from Boquillas to McKinney Springs by car. Probably a half hour to an hour from La Noria to the Ore Terminal back then (the road's closed today, although I'd love to hike it.) Kind of puts things in some perspective.

Finally this:
May 14, Col 6.

"Langhorne's Column 50 Miles in Mexico"

"Deputy Sheriff James Shoemaker of Marathon arrived here tonight from Boquillas, bringing with him under a guard of four soldiers, Macario Alvaraez and Rigino Gareta, the bandits who guarding seven American Mining men after the Boquillas raid, were in turn made prisoners by their captives."

So, now we have the name of the bandits that the mining company men over ran. I don't think any other source mentions them. I wonder what happened to them?

Posted by Joelg at 11:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 22, 2005

More Research from the Glenn Springs Raid

While I received copies of articles from the May, 1916 El Paso Herald from the public library (because no library in Austin has this edition), I wanted to read more. I figured since most of the articles were from the AP and the Glenn Springs raid was big news, I'd find the story in other Texas Newspapers. First up, the San Antonio Express.

From the May 8th, 1916 Edition. Pg. 4,

"The officials of the International Mines Company have placed all of their equipment, which consists of more than one hundred mule teams and several motor trucks, at the disposal of General Funston."

Two things:

1) We now have an idea of how large an operation this was. 100 mule teams? That's one team less than every mile (The ore terminal is roughly 80 miles away from Marathon). This gives a good idea of how much traffic went up what's now known as the Old Ore Road. Driving on the Old Ore Road today, it's hard to believe there was ever a store near the Ernst Tinaja, but with that kind of traffic, I can begin to see that this place was much busier than it now is.

2) Note the name: International Mines Company, not the International Mining Company. I don't know if this is significant, but I assume the reporter got the name wrong. He got other things wrong in this article, like the location of the mines (on the US side, according to him).

From the May 9, 1916 San Antonio Express, Pg. 1

"An old tramway employee known as "Nick" escaped and after wandering forty miles afoot, was brought into Marathon at midnight by Lloyd Wade, a border rancher.

"'Nick' says the bandits declared they would take their prisoners to Laguan to see "Villa." Presumably they meant the Laguna on the Mexican central above Chihuahua."

"...Forty American troopers and cowboys crossed the river into Mexico at noon today at Boquilla [sic]. Among them are Sheriff Watson and Customs Inspector Ryan. They are hurrying to the aid of seven American employees of the Puerto Rico Zink [sic] mine, fourteen miles below Boquilla [sic]. At Boquilla [sic] the raiders said they were going in the mines to kill every "gringo" there."

So, "Nick" is most likely Nick Postrius, who's story appears in the El Paso Herald. 40 miles is a tough hike in this terrain, he probably went up the Old Ore Road and made it halfway to Marathon before he got picked up.

Additional information: Customs Inspector Ryan is a new name and may have worked at the Ore Terminal. Also, the writer, Joseph Timmons of the International News Service, can't spell.

Posted by Joelg at 08:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack