Leandro Baca Socorro County, New Mexico

Leandro Baca, sheriff of Socorro County, was born in Lajoya, New Mexico, March 8, 1851, a son of Tomas and Consicion (Chaves) Baca, both natives of Valencia count v. New Mexico. The father was a farmer, freighter and stock raiser, and freighted on the Santa Fé trail to Kansas City, Leavenworth and to California, making these trips in 1848 to sell sheep, in company with Governor Otero's father. The round trip required fourteen months. They drove overland across the country, with the usual experiences and hardships of such a journey in pioneer times. In later years Tomas Baca was proprietor of a store at Lajoya, and also owned a sheep ranch, which he conducted until his death, which occurred in 1897, when he was seventy-two years of age. His wife passed away in 1891.

Leandro Baca spent his entire life on his father's ranch at Lajoya, and entered in freighting before the days of railroad transportation, making trips as far east as Kit Carson. He also went to Tucson, San Francisco, Fort Wingate and the White mountains, and was a well-known factor in those early freighting days. In 1874 he turned his attention to the sheep industry at Lajoya, where he made his home until coming to Socorro. In the meantime he also conducted a mercantile enterprise at Lajoya. Called to public office in 1887, he removed to Socorro, and for four years served as assessor of the county. In 1891 he was appointed chief deputy sheriff under Leopoldo Contreras, thus serving for two years. On retiring from that office he concentrated his energies upon his sheep and cattle business, continuing actively as a rancher until 1902, when he was elected sheriff, to which position he was re-elected in 1904, having given such capable service in his first term that he was once more the people's choice for the office. He discharges his duties without fear or favor, and is a safeguard to all interests of the county that come within law and order. His political allegiance is given to the Democracy. In addition to discharging his official duties, he also gives supervision to his ranching interests. He was always a Democrat until December, 1905, when he changed to the Republican Party.

Mr. Baca has been married twice. On the 16th of January, 1871, he wedded Genoveba Jaramillo, who died January 16, 1890, leaving four children: Josefa, the wife of Justiniano Baca; Esteban J.; Jesusa, the wife of Francisco Esquibel, and Tomas A. On the 4th of May, 1891, Mr. Baca wedded Mariana Padilla, and they have one child, Domitilia.

 

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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Created 1996 by Charles Barnum & 2016 by Judy White

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