born 23 February 1841, died 13 April 1933
Facts and Notes
- Birth: 23 February 1841; Sonora, MexicoBGO; according to his death certificate. However, in the 1900 census, he claims to have been born in May 1850. He also listed different ages in the 1910, 1920, and 1930 censuses. While the year of his birth might never be conclusively determined, the date given on his death certificate is probably the most reliable, since his son, who spoke English, provided the information.2,1,3,4,5
- Marriage: 1877; Hilaria Samaniego; MexicoBG; In the 1900 census, Senon and Hilaria claim to have been married for 23 years; in the 1910 census, they claim to have been married for 30 years.4
- Arrival: 1887; Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona, USABGO; Senon claims various dates for immigrating to the United States: 1895 (1900 census), 1887 (1910 census), 1890 (1920 census), and 1880 (1930 census). We know that Vicente, son of Senon and Hilaria, was born in Bisbee on 4 May 1890, so the 1895 date given in the 1900 census cannot be correct (in fact, it’s possible that the family misunderstood the question and might have been giving the census taker the year they immigrated to New Mexico from Arizona). Vicente’s birth date also makes the 1890 immigration year less likely because it would have meant that Hilaria was traveling while she was pregnant. Finally, the family does not show up in the 1882 Arizona Territorial Census for Bisbee, which also makes the 1880 immigration less likely. Using those logic points, it seems that the likeliest of the various immigration years given by Senon is 1887; this is also the year that his daughter Matilda said she immigrated in the 1910 census.1,4,5
- Residence: 1900; Doña Ana, Doña Ana County, New Mexico, USABGO; Age: 50; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head4
- Residence: 1910; Doña Ana, Doña Ana County, New Mexico, USABGO; Age: 70; Age: 70; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head5
- Occupation: Before December 1912; New Mexico, USABGO; He claimed to be a mason in the 1900 census, and a farm laborer in the 1910 census. According to his death certificate, he last worked in Dec 1912 as a farm laborer4,5,2
- Residence: 1920; Doña Ana, Doña Ana County, New Mexico, USABGO; Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head3
- Residence: 1930; Doña Ana, Doña Ana County, New Mexico, USABGO; Marital Status: Widowed; Relation to Head of House: Father1
- Anecdote: Before 1933; See person note below6,7,4,5,3,1
- Death: 13 April 1933; Doña Ana, Doña Ana County, New Mexico, USABGO; The cause of death on Senon's death certificate is barely legible, but appears to be chronic rheumatoid arthritis.2
- Note: The story of Senon Reyes is a little mixed up. Originally, I was told (probably from my father, who heard it from one of his brothers) that Senon was part Yaqui Indian and part Spanish. I also heard second hand from Arnulfo, his eldest grandson, that Senon killed somebody in Mexico and changed his name when he came to the United States. I spoke directly to Arnulfo on 12 September, 2003, and this is what he related:
"Senon Reyes was originally from Spain, not Mexico. He may have been from Madrid before immigrating to Mexico, where he resided in Sonora for a short time and met his wife, a full-blooded (Yaqui?) Indian. When he met her, she could speak neither Spanish or English -- only her native Indian language.
He moved with her to Arizona, where their son Vicente, was born in Bisbee. They may have resided in Arizona for a short period of time, but they did not stay and travelled to New Mexico in search of a better life.
When they left Arizona, all their belongings were in a wagon -- they had only that wagon, the horse pulling the wagon, a riding horse that was tethered to the back, and each other. When they reached Dona Ana, a farmer approached them and admired Senon's riding horse. He asked if Senon would sell him the horse, to which Senon responded by asking the farmer what he would offer. The farmer pointed to the land and said, "you can have that piece of land, from there, to there, to there, to there." Senon accepted the trade, and the Reyes "homestead" -- about one and a half acres -- was born."
Senon's grandson and namesake related a similar tale to me in September 2009 . He said that his grandfather killed a "stagecoach driver," and that he came to the United States to evade authorities. His original surname was something like "Gonzales."
Arnulfo also related the following tale about Senon:
"Senon used to hunt regularly in the mountains to supplement their income. When Arnulfo was about six years old (about 1929), Senon, who must have been about 68 at the time [he would actually have been more like 88], did not return from a hunting trip. It was really cold at that time, and a search party went into the hills to find him. By the time they found him, he was "frozen" in a kneeling position, as though he had been praying. He was still alive, though, and they brought him back to his house in Dona Ana.
The house in Dona Ana was heated with (wood-burning) stoves, and the family heated bricks on these stoves. Then they laid Senon out, and placed the bricks around him. The bricks radiated heat, and eventually resuscitated him. He recovered (probably fully, since Arnulfo did not indicate otherwise), and lived until 1937 [actually 1933]."
Census records show that Senon, Elaria, and Vicente had arrived in Dona Ana, New Mexico, by 1900. He claims various dates for immigrating to the United States: 1895 (1900 census), 1887 (1910 census), 1890 (1920 census), and 1880 (1930 census). Interestingly, in all four census records, he claims to have come from Mexico (not Spain), and also lists his parents as being from Mexico. In the 1900 and 1920 census records, the Escalante and Reyes families are next door neighbors. Matilde Escalante is the daughter of Senon and Elaria.
- [S389] Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Dona Ana, Dona Ana, New Mexico; Roll: 1394; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0002; Image: 544.0; FHL microfilm: 2341129
- [S117] New Mexico, Bureau of Public Health, Certificate of Death, New Mexico. Bureau of Public Health. Certificate of Death., Number 109; 13 April 1933, Certificate for Senon Reyes
- [S667] Ancestry.com, 1920 United States Federal Census, Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: http://www.archives.gov/publications/microfilm-catalogs/census/1920/part-07.html. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City)., Year: 1920; Census Place: Dona Ana, Dona Ana, New Mexico; Roll: T625_1075; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 25; Image: 843
- [S365] Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census, United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls., Year: 1900; Census Place: Dona Ana, Dona Ana, New Mexico; Roll: 1000; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0041; FHL microfilm: 1241000, Record for Venos Reyes
- [S450] Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Dona Ana, Dona Ana, New Mexico; Roll: T624_914; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0063; FHL microfilm: 1374927, Record for Sinon Reyiz
- [S29] Arnulfo Reyes, Reyes, Arnulfo, Interview by Robert R. Reyes, 10 September 2003, Reyes, Arnulfo. Dona Ana, New Mexico. Interview by Robert R. Reyes, 10 September 2003. Interview.
- [S165] Senon Reyes, Reyes, Senon, Interview by Robert R. Reyes, September 2009, Reyes, Senon. Done Ana, New Mexico. Interview by Robert R. Reyes, September 2009. Interview.