Gallegos Ranch Historical Marker

Dedication of the Official Historical Marker In Gallegos, New Mexico

June 16, 2018

Delivered by New Mexico State Historian Rick Hendricks*

Jesús María Gallegos, founder of the Gallegos Ranch (also known as Rincón Colorado), was from Montón de Los Álamos, located thirteen miles northeast of Las Vegas, New Mexico.He was married to María Dorotea Baca (C. de Baca).

The 1870 census of Montón de los Álamos indicates that Jesús María was a farmer. The value of his real estate was $1,415, and his personal estate was valued at $14,653. By the time of the census, he was already in the process of establishing the Gallegos Ranch by this time and residing there shortly after 1870.

Jesús and Dorotea had two sons who married two Fuentes sisters. Francisco married Mónica Fuentes, and Emiterio married Carlota Fuentes on November 27, 1872, at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Anton Chico, New Mexico. Soon after their marriage, they moved to the Gallegos Ranch.

Francisco and Emiterio were engaged in the mercantile business in Ocate, New Mexico, before they moved to the Gallegos Ranch in 1873.

It is not known when the rest of the Gallegos family moved to the Gallegos Ranch.

By the late 1870s the Gallegos family members were living together on a single ranch called the Gallegos Ranch. In its largest form, the Gallegos Ranch consisted of approximately 360,000 to 375,000 acres of deeded land and a comparable amount of grazing permits. The tract was bounded on the south by the Canadian River and by Ute Creek.

Francisco was raised by his maternal aunt Doloritas and her husband, Romón Alarid. The Alarid's had no children of their own and named Francisco as the heir of their estate, which was of substantial monetary value. Under Francisco's direction, the Gallegos Ranch employed 200 workers, and ran 14,000 head of cattle, 21,000 head of sheep, 300 horses, and 100 burros.

One consolidated, the desire to keep the Gallegos Ranch united as a single enterprise resulted in a pattern of marriages within the family.

After the death of Jesús María in 1891, most of the Gallegos family members were living on the ranch. Francisco and his sons eventually bought out the rest of the family members except for Emiterio.

Emiterio's part of the ranch was located on the south part of the Gallegos Ranch, located at Genova, New Mexico, about ten miles south of Gallegos. Emiterio had owned another ranch in Clapham, New Mexico. He also owned the  utility company, a well-drilling company, and a bar/restaurant in Clayton, New Mexico, and another bar in  Logan, New Mexico.

Francisco Gallegos, who was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico, on March 23, 1849, died in Trinidad, Colorado, on August 26, 1898 at the age of forty-nine. He was brought back to the Gallegos Ranch to be buried under the floor of the Gallegos Church. After his death, the Gallegos Ranch was under the control of his wife Mónica, and their two sons helped manage the ranch. Mónica died on April 25, 1909, and is also buried in the Gallegos church next to husband Francisco.

Mónica was one of the most noted members of the Gallegos family for having successfully held off the cattle rustler and train robber Black Jack Ketchum when he and his outlaw gang attempted to raid the Gallegos Ranch.

Emeritio was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico, on March 7, 1850, and died in Trinidad, Colorado, on January 6, 1908 at the age of fifty-seven. He was also brought back to the Gallegos Ranch and was buried in Genova. After the death of Emiterio, his wife Carlota managed the ranch in Genova for several years before she divided the ranch between their children. Carlota died on November 6, 1933 and is buried next to the church in Genova, which she had built.

*Text provided by Albert J. Gallegos