Don Severino Martinez Colfax County, New Mexico

Don Severino Martinez, a ranchman at Black Lakes, in Colfax County, was born in Taos County near the city of Taos, New Mexico, July 2, 1854, a son of Don Pascual and Teodora (Gallegos) Martinez." The father's grandfather. General Martinez, came from Chihuahua and the Gallegos family from El Paso, Mexico. In the maternal line the subject of this review is also descended from the Bermudez family, and the Baca and Manganaris families are likewise related by marriage. The father was a native of Abiquiu. Rio Arriba county, and was a farmer and stock raiser. He spent most of his life in Taos, which he represented in the territorial council for three or four terms. At an earlier day he was probate judge of the county and was a very active and influential Republican. He was also interested in the school of his brother, Father Antonio Jose Martinez, and was an active and able champion of Catholicism. He died February 27, 1882, at the age of seventy-six years. He was captain of the Mexican Rurales with a commission from Governor Santa Ana. He was a very prominent and influential man, known throughout the Territory, and his military commission is still in possession of his son, Don Severino Martinez. These are valuable papers and read as follow:

SEAL SECOND (One dollar and a half
SEAL (Eight hundred and thirty-nine

For the years of 1800.
THE CITIZEN ANTONIO LOPEZ DE SANTA ANA, General of Division and Provisional President of the Republic of Mexico and Well Deserving of the Country.

In compliance with the circumstances attendant upon the matter of the Citizen Pascual Martinez I have seen proper to appoint him captain of the mounted police of Taos, 1st district. Department of New Mexico, which post is vacant as it has been only recently created.

By virtue whereof the commanding officer to whom this may apply shall comply with the same at once and shall issue the necessary order therefore, so that he may be invested with the appointment and be placed in command, and that due respect may be paid his rank and that he be obeyed as such by his subordinates in rank, be his orders given by word of mouth or in writing.

Government palace, Mexico, the 23rd day of April, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine. Nineteenth of Independence and Twelfth of Liberty.
Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana
Jose Maria Tornel

The President shall appoint citizen Pascual Martinez captain of the rural troop of mounted police of Taos, New Mexico.
Santa Fe, September 12, 1839.

Let the order be complied with, as given by the President, at the time designated.
Manuel Armijo.
SEAL SECOND. (One dollar and a half.
For the year 1800 (Eight hundred and forty-one.

The Undersigned Minister of State, and of the Army and Navy Office: Whereas by decree of August 28, 1840, and in conformity with the authority vested upon the government by the National Congress on the 26th of the same month and year, a cross of honor has been granted to the generals, chiefs and other officers who have fought in defense of the integrity of the national territory, with certain modifications as may be determined by the government, in conformity with the acts and individuals concerned; -------------------------------------------and the citizen Pascual Martinez, commandant of the superior squadron, captain of the rural mounted police, being accredited with having taken part in the campaign of New Mexico against the adventurers from Texas in 1841, he is awarded for this service an escutcheon of honor in the left arm with the motto and in the form designated by the supreme order of the 17th of October last, and to which he is entitled in conformity with dispositions in article fourth, as being embodied in the aforesaid and expressed decree; His Excellency, the President, orders that he be given the present diploma, and through which he may use the honorable distinction in conformity with the rules that obtain in the staff of the army and under the directions given, where proper cognizance of this document must be had and which is granted to him as a testimony to his valor, loyalty and patriotism.

Given in Mexico on the 21st day of December, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one. The twenty-first of Independence and the twentieth of Liberty. Tornel.

Diploma of the cross of honor substituted into an escutcheon which is granted to the citizen Pascual Martinez, commandant of the superior squadron, captain of the rural mounted police for his campaign in New Mexico against the adventurers from Texas in 1841.

Santa Fe, March 23, 1842.

Let the order be complied with so that he may enjoy the honorable distinction granted him by this diploma. Manuel Armijo.

Don Severino Martinez spent four months with the Rev. J. M. Roberts, Presbyterian minister at Taos, who conducted a large school and who had been sent by the government to teach the Indians at Taos pueblo, in which work he succeeded in spite of the opposition of the Catholic brothers. Following the completion of his education. Mr. Martinez began ranching in connection with his father and brothers in Union, then Colfax County, and was thus engaged from 1871 until 1882, when his father died. The cattle and sheep were then divided among the sons, who inherited a goodly property. About this time, however, Senator Dorsey and his gang began fraudulent land entries and trouble ensued, resulting in the shooting of herders on both sides. Because of this Mr. Martinez came to the Black Lakes district and took up government land, on which he has since resided, now having eight claims of one hundred and sixty acres each. Here he raises sheep and some cattle. He also has seven claims east of Roy, in Union county, and owns a store which was established in 1902, his cousin. Guillermo Martinez, being his partner. The latter is also postmaster.

In his political views he was a Republican until 1882, since which time he has been an advocate of the Democracy, and he was the first justice of the peace of the present precinct, serving for two terms, while prior to that time he was deputy United States marshal in New Mexico. He was also a member of the lower house in 1894, serving for one term, and for thirteen years has been school director of the district, which he organized two years after the precinct was organized. The first post office was called Osha and since 1901 has been known as Black Lakes.

Don Severino Martinez is a member of the Catholic Church. He was married January 4, 1877, to Guadalupe Mares, who was born in Taos, a daughter of Christobal and Trinidad de Mares.

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

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