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Rio Grande Researcher

Volume XXXVI | Number 3 | September 2007

Meetings - 2nd Thursday - 7:00 PM - All Saints Episcopal Church - 3500 McRae El Paso - All are welcome
[Click here to print]


EPGS Website
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Betty Owen
Sam Weldon - 592-6935
Norma Frye - 633-6877
Sandra Lewis - 599-1167

Jack Austin - 598-1422 Education
John Miller - 565-4416
RGR Editor
John Miller - 565-4416
Yolanda Perez -

Yolanda Perez -

CD Librarian
Bill Hilbert -

Wally Thomson -

Barbara McCarthy -

BOOKS for sale

Births, Deaths & Marriages
from El Paso Newspapers

Vol 1 --- -$ 35.00 each
Vol II ----$ 30.50 each
Vol III ---$ 39.00 each
Vol IV ----$ 50.00 each
Set -------$140.00
including shipping

Sandra Lewis
11100 Leo Collins
El Paso, TX 79936-0307
Tel: (915) 599-1168


$15.00 single, $23.00 family

Send to: Sandra Lewis Treasurer, EPGS 11100 Leo Collins El Paso, TX 79936-0307


Memorial Park
3200 Copper Ave.

Cielo Vista
8929 Viscount Blvd

Clardy Fox
5515 Robert Alva Ave

Doris Van Doren
591 Red Road

Lower Valley
7915 San Jose

West Side
125 Belvidere

9321 Alameda

Literacy Center
5515 Robert Alva Ave

EPCC Northwest Campus
Community Library
6701 S. Desert Blvd.

Wally Thomson to Speak at September Meeting

I am informed that Wally Thomson, long time EPGS member will speak at the September meeting. Wally has been in the background of EPGS life for the last year or so as he has been working on archival records at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church downtown. That is a large task and anyone who knows Wally knows he will do a quality job of it. He will speak on that subject and I hope on some of his research he has done in Newfoundland. Whichever, or both, Wally will give us a quality genealogist’s presentation and we will be glad to have him back with us for this visit.

Elections, Officers and the Last Quarter of the Year

This is a reminder that the By-laws of the Society direct that in September the Board shall appoint a nominating committee for a slate of new officers for the coming year. That slate shall be presented at the October meeting, nominations from the floor accepted at that time and candidates for office shall be elected at the November meeting and inducted at the December meeting. Due to the paucity of willing candidates and volunteers for any of these tasks last year, the present board agreed to remain in office for 2007 with the clear statement that none of them should be expected to continue in any leadership role after that unless they freely wanted to do so. This means that the membership should be thinking about finding new faces to lead the organization and what it wants to do if they do not come forth.

The El Paso Genealogical Society Newsletter

This newsletter is published quarterly by the El Paso Genealogical Society in the interests of its members and in contributing to the advancement of genealogical knowledge and education in the El Paso area. The EPGS Newsletter encourages submission of articles for publication with the understanding that articles may be edited for brevity, clarity and typographical or grammatical error. Neither the publisher nor editor assumes responsibility for content, opinions, statements or implications by individuals in this newsletter. The EPGS is a non-profit, non-political, non–sectarian organization dedicated to genealogical collection, preservation, documentation, research and education in the El Paso Borderland area. Editor may be reached at or John K. Miller, 2916 Federal Ave, El Paso, TX79930

General Meetings Regular Monthly meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Parrish Hall at All Saints Episcopal Church, 3500 McRae, El Paso, TX. They normally consist of a brief business meeting followed by a program led by members or invited guest speakers. In April and September potluck dinners are held beginning at 6:30 PM in the Parrish Hall. The December meeting is an end of year social and induction of new officers. The Board of Directors normally meets on the First Monday of each month with the time and place being determined by the President. Any member is welcome to attend our board meetings.

Membership in the El Paso Genealogical Society

Membership is open to any person upon payment of annual dues of fifteen dollars ($15) for single membership and twenty-three dollars ($23.00) for family membership and cover the period from January 1 to December 31 of each year. Dues are not prorated regardless of when members join. New members receive a copy of all newsletters for the year, any no fee publications printed by the society during the year, a copy of the society’s Genealogy for Beginners and access to our collection of materials in the Baldwin CD library. “Members helping members, the basis of a great society” is one of the goals of EPGS. Guests and new members are always welcome. Formal Mailing Address:
El Paso Genealogical Society
Genealogy Department
El Paso Public Library
501 N. Oregon
El Paso, TX 79901

Births, Deaths and Marriages in Early El Paso Newspapers, Vol. I-IV by Jane Beard, Contact Sandy Lewis to purchase this collection.

El Paso Genealogy Society Secretary and Treasurer Reports

Our Secretary, Norma Frye, has done an excellent job in recording the minutes of all board and general meetings of the Society for the last two years. Our treasurer, Sandy Lewis, has done an equally excellent job in maintaining our financial records and accounts. The documents are distributed at every general meeting. To print them in their entirety in the RGR quarterly seems redundant. In the past we have tried to summarize or condense them, emphasizing matters of special interest, policy changes, and accountability for financial actions.

We will request that the Treasurers report for the 3rd quarter of the year be published on line at our member website at the end of the quarter and hard copies be made available to members as always upon request. There are not a lot of financial transactions at this time of year.
Board meetings are held on the First Monday of every month at the Bassett Center Food area at 5:30 or on call of the President. Business usually conducted pertains to program subjects and speakers for coming programs, review of Financial accounts and matters, ideas for stimulating club activity and publicity and support of public library services.

Leon Metz’s Talk

As usual, Leon Metz gave us an excellent presentation in July about the genealogy and history of Poncho Villa and other notable personalities of the early southwest. We can listen to Leon for hours at a time, but one of his most treasured comments was that if one wants to write about history and similar materials, he should make sure he keeps his day time job. In August Betty Owen added more historical and genealogical material to Leon’s contribution. This was followed with a general discussion of members’ research problems and solutions.

This Edition of the RGR, the Next Edition and Future Editions

Why is this edition of the RGR brief and late? The answer is simply that the editor had virtually nothing except the above material to write and he was not going to search the Internet and other likely sources to fill the pages. He was not motivated. The complete Smeltertown Cemetery list, which we have published in hard copy a few pages at a time over the last several editions, is available on line at our website. Converting it to a hard copy format for the RGR has posed some problems and seems to be redundant. If any member needs a full printed hard copy we will arrange for him/her to receive it. We have requested material from other members, but the responses have been rare, mostly from Jack Austin. The RGR takes more time than appears to write up every three months. Lacking the computer skills of a publisher and the content to contribute, one questions what value it is for the amount of energy it takes to publish. It could be a lot of fun, but something has to come in to go out. We have received one letter of feedback (positive) from an out of town member and a few verbal comments regarding the publication over the past two years. Even a negative comment would indicate there is some interest in the RGR. As the saying goes, “It is better to be wanted by the police than by no one.” Anyway when this editor accepted the RGR job two or three years ago, it was clearly understood he was not a genealogical expert, a high powered research enthusiast or in search of a permanent job.

EPGS needs to decide what it wants to do with the RGR and who will do it, if anything, after December 2007. I will be glad to help make the transition with the December edition and show the next person what we have been doing. New fresh ideas in content, format, process and mechanics are welcomed. It should not be the difficult task I have made it. At the present time the hard copy mailing list is thirty people. I could call each one of them on the phone and have a half hour conversation in the time it takes to publish, print and mail the RGR. JKM

Trivia in Passing received by E-mail

In 1907 the average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years. Recently from El Paso Times Average life expectancy for 2007 is 78 years for men and 80 for women. In 1907 there were only 8,000 cars in the United States and the population of Las Vegas, NV was 30.

Thanks to L.F. Beard to Jack Austin to RGR e mail: Excerpts from “They walk among us” “One day I was walking on the beach with friends when someone said, ‘Look at that dead bird.” Some one else looked up in the sky and said, ‘where?’

“My sister has a life saving tool in her car to cut her seat belt in case of an emergency. She keeps it in her trunk.”

A man ordered a small pizza to go and was asked if he wanted it cut in four pieces or six. He thought about it and said, “Four pieces, I don’t think I am hungry enough to eat six.”

My favorite is the cashier who picked up the bar that customers use to separate their items on the belt and said, “I can’t find the price or the scan label on this item.” He smiled, set it aside and said, “That’s O.K. I’ll get it later.

They walk among us…… and they vote.

The El Paso Genealogical Society Officers, Board of Directors and Committee Chairpersons for 2007

Elected Officers

President - Betty Owen ............ 857-1325
Vice-president- Sam Weldon ... 592-6935
Secretary - Norma Frye ............ 633-6877
Treasurer - Sandra Lewis ......... 599-1167


Education - John Miller .... 565-4416


Hospitality - ............We Really Need One EPGS Webmaster - Barbara McCarthy .... 584-2339
CD Librarian - Bill Hilbert ...... 772-6139 Newsletter Editor- John Miller 565-4416