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My information is that Juan de los Reyes Santistevan was born in Truchas, NM and baptized at Santa Cruz Church. The baptismal record I found reads:
BIRTH/BAPTISM: Info from p. 32 of excerpted baptismal records of Santa Cruz de la Canada.
"SANTISTEVAN, Juan de los Reyes. bap 9 Jan 1831, ae 3 da; s/ Manuel Santistevan and Rosalia Medina; maternal grandparents: Domingo Santistevan and Catarina Atencio; paternal grandparents: Ysidro Medina and Teresa Tafoya; Godparents: Nicolas Romero and Josefa Romero."
BURIAL: Buried in the American Cemetery in Taos, NM, (where Kit Carson is buried.)
Tombstone inscription = "75 years, 7 months, 16 days" of age at death.
Obituary. Don Juan Santistevan
Following the announcement in our final edition, at 8:00 in the morning, Friday, the 21st of August, 1908, there ceased to exist in his home and after a long illness of many months duration, Don Juan Santistevan, a genuine personality, known and appreciated by all. This then is a
tribute of gratitude to his memory.
At the time that he went, he was one of the Hispanic-Americans that in better times was known as a major dignitary of his race and of this town, whose name is still known nationally and honors the sons of New Mexico and in particular the valley of Taos, the place of his grand business enterprises and of his political influence that constitutes an example of the political champion of the section of the country.
His life and his biography:
Don Juan Santistevan was born in Truchas, New Mexico, on the 6th day of January 1833, counting the time of his death, 75 years, 7 months, and 16 days. He was the son of Jose Manuel Santistevan and Rosalia Medina de Santistevan. In 1840 the family moved from Truchas to Taos, where they had their residence in the now known place up until today as La Loma, and they acquired the life of modest carpenters, and much later they dedicated their lives to agriculture. Don Jose Manuel Santistevan died
on the 17th day of March 1852, and his spouse Rosalia died in 1879.
The life of Don Juan Santistevan deserves extreme merit, when born of a very humble family and many limited advantages of education, owing to his activeness, his place in a public position in the financial world
that he built. There 15 or more years he passed as one of the principal merchants and bankers in the commercial world of the United States and whose name figured for many years in the commercial directories of the time, being one of the principal men of business in the southwest of the United States. His educational privileges consisted simply of two terms of attendance in the public schools of this plaza, but this persistence, experience and activity put him in an excellent path of a business education which he conducted both in the English language and in
From the age of 15 years he looked for a fully independent life, getting
a job as a messenger at the store of Smithtown, and much later as an employee of the store Wooton Williams, with whom he remained until the fall of 1852. All of his salary he gave to his parents with the exception of $200.00, which he saved, and he bought a piece of land on this plaza. During the fall of 1852 until the summer of 1853, he was a sales clerk of Solomon Beuthner and immediately secured a position in the store of Pedro Joseph, the same place where the family of the deceased Santistevan live to this day. In another time, this place was the store and bank of Juan Santistevan. His patron, Joseph, died in
1862, the same year Don Juan Santistevan together with Kit Carson occupied it for arranging the business of the state.
During the time he was employed in the store of Joseph, Don Juan saved the sum of $1100, and with that money he started a business of buying wool and freighting it to St. Louis, Missouri, which transactions produced much increase of capital. After, he entered into business with his friends, Mr. Goodman and Mr. Freidman, and much later established a business under the name of Santistevan, St. Vrain, and Hurst, in which Santistevan entered with $800.00, St. Vrain $4000.00, and Mr. Hurst $1000.00. In 1869, the company was dissolved and the capital divided. Santistevan continued the business alone from that date, and in 1881 he made a connection with his business and a small private bank with capital of $50,000 and his signature. In that time, he was one of the most financially respected persons in New Mexico and his patronage was the most extensive in all of northern New Mexico. With his financial conditions were also at that time having excellent credit and besides his business and bank, and upwards of 20,000 head of sheep and more and was figured as the richest man and most accommodated man in all of northern New Mexico.
In his political life, he was nationally famous in the Republican Party and he was for many years a guide and champion of said Party in this County of Taos, whose word of Don Juan Santistevan was law. He was then honored by popular vote of his county into various political offices. He was probate judge for two consecutive terms, a county commissioner for one term, the president director of the schools for two terms, the legislative representative of New Mexico for a term, and Senator for another term, and for three terms took the census of the United States, one in the central district, and two in the county, and was also the administrator of the mail of this plaza for 14 consecutive years. In all these positions he occupied, he contributed much to the advancement and evolution not only of the County of Taos but also of the Territory. His name was of national fame and is permanently engraved in the history of New Mexico as one of the preferred sons that gave much honor to the Mexican race and to this territory for having promoted the best interests of this community.
His wife, Justa Sandoval, was a native of this valley. She died the 6th
of April 1894 and with that date Don Juan received the greatest disappointment of his life. He lived beside his daughters until the day
of his death.
However, perhaps, the sign of each man has been designated for each creature by the heavens. Perhaps a fault in the resolution of supporting the weight of life, always sad and in human pain. Perhaps the damned betrayal by other men to a nurtured and noble spirit that we have inherited as Latins by the sagacious impulse of a many faceted and strong race like the Saxons when shown that the circumstances of nations made our contact with theirs. Perhaps too much confidence in the conducing of business, or perhaps a small slip of will, disposition, or energy in supreme moments in coming up against the contrasts that the highway of life presents us. This was enough to ruin forever the
fortune, the name, and the influence with which, after many long years of assiduous, tenacious and constant work, could give to Don Juan Santistevan, when here on Jun 2, 1902, he found himself obligated and (it was suggested to him) to assign one by one his goods and his properties, given the fact that in a given moment all of his accounts were presented to him and he could not in that moment realize or collect the ones owing to him. In spite of the fact that capital that existed in goods, property, livestock, etc., amounted to much more than all he owed. However, as happens in such cases, everything went in the turnover of the estate and, as it is natural, the goods, livestock and properties of great value were sold at auction to the highest bidder such that in another time would have constituted a considerable fortune. And yet from this estate was paid almost dollar for dollar, and although at a sacrifice of his own family, his good faith and intention caused his
ruin. It was these business transactions that the time competence was shown in the country, and although some people who do not understand the interworkings of business and of commercial people believe that Don Juan Santistevan at that time made a fortune, it is a completely absurd and the most great falsity that only those who don1t understand the substance of business believe. Don Juan, although he did not live in his final years in misery or complete unhappiness living with his daughters and sons-in-law, he was financially ruined and many times with being able to effectively provide other than what was necessary.
Don Juan upon assigning his goods labored with too much good faith and he bowed before the dream of his influence and his past triumphs. In other words, in those moments the spirit that the children of Israel have, all Latins are lacking in.
On account of waiting for the arrival of Don Donaciano Cordova and the grandchildren of the deceased, the funeral rights took place on Monday
in the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe, here, at 9:00 A.M. The body was transported and attended by the Reverend Padre Jose Giraud, at the house of the deceased and the said parish and from there to the American Cemetery. At said funeral there manifested high appreciation and respect that the deceased deserved, when following the coffin there were present people from numerous parts of the country and especially for here in the center, Ranchos de Taos, Arroyo Seco, and Arroyo Hondo, which made this day in Taos a day of mourning.
In the results of his marriage, Don Juan Santistevan, had seven daughters and one son, but one of his daughters, Virginia, the late wife of Don Agapito Martinez, died some years ago, and his only son died in infancy. His daughter, Jacinta, wife of the deceased of Maximiamo Romero, also died some years ago. Leaving today to cry his sad separation from this world are his five daughters, those of which are Rafaelita, wife of Don Manuel Pacheco; Perfecta, Cirila, Margarita, wife of Don Donaciano Cordova, and Victoriana, wife of Don Bernabe Gonzales. Leaving in addition a sister, Dona Cruz Santistevan, and two brothers, Jesus and Ignacio Santistevan who live on La Loma, and a great number of granddaughters and sons, great grandchildren and relatives.
The deceased received before his death all the last rites of the
Catholic Church. This small sketch of one of our better citizens of this valley and whom we believed a credit to the press of Taos, the only thing left for us to do is to offer the relatives of the deceased our sincere phrases of condolences and with whom "La Revista de Taos" sympathizes in this hour of sorrow.
Please let me know if you are a descendant. We can probably exchange information as I've done with several other descendants. Thanks.