The Baca / Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog

25 March 2009

The Obituary of Pedro Antonio Baca

The following relates to my March 21st presentation on Maria Guadalupe Torres. Pedro Antonio Baca was the husband of Guadalupe. Although he has the same surname as I do, he is not directly related to me, although he is probably a distant cousin.

I was originally going to publish this in a genealogical journal, but I decided to post it here instead. The reason for the change is because I want to see if I can find more information about this man and his family. The suggestion for this type of post comes from Genea-Bloggers' "Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt # 12”, which can be found on Facebook

If you are related to Pedro Antonio Baca, or have any information about his family that you wish to share with me, please send me an e-mail at

Thank you.

The Obituary of Pedro Antonio Baca

Transcribed by Robert J. C. Baca

The following transcription is of an obituary that I found in the 12 November 1887 Socorro Bullion newspaper. The obituary was published in English. Many of the facts mentioned in article are accurate, although a burial record for Pedro Antonio Baca indicates that he died on 7 November 1887 rather than on the 5th as mentioned in the obituary.[1]

Source: Pedro Antonio obituary, Socorro Bullion, Socorro, New Mexico, 12 November 1887, page 3, column 3, microfilm.


Editor Socorro Bullion:

Be kind enough to allow me the use of your columns to make a brief sketch of the life of one of our most prominent citizens, lately departed from amongst us.

Don Pedro Antonio Baca, who died on the 5th instant, was born at the old town of Belen, in the county of Valencia, on the 21st day of May, 1804, his parents being Don Juan Dionisio Baca and Doña Maria Rita Pino, both descendants of the most ancient and well known families in this Territory. From Belen he came with his parents to Socorro, when the town was re-settled in 1816. Here he married his surviving wife, Doña Guadalupe Torres, in 1834, their union being blessed with eight children, five girls and three boys, of the former but one is living, while two of the later survive, on Don Juan Jose and the other Don Severo A. Baca, both well-known business men in this community.

Soon after the organization of the Territory under the American government Mr. Baca entered the ranks of Democracy, which political faith he followed as one of its stanch adherents throughout his life without fear and scrupulously favoring none in detriment to his principles. He was elected for the first time probate judge of Socorro, when this county embraced the whole of Valencia, Lincoln and Doña Ana counties, in 1851. At other different times he was elected to fill the same position, serving in all four terms, until in 1868 his friends desiring to elected a certain ticket, compelled him, against his will to accept the nomination for probate clerk, to which office he was elected by the largest majority ever before or since polled by any candidate for the office of this county.

Mr. Baca followed the mercantile business all his life, amassing a considerable fortune, and being distinguished in all his dealings for his honesty and fairness toward everyone, rich or poor. Of late years, on account of old age, he could not attend to business, but was content to live on hard won savings of his past.

With Mr. Baca disappears the last remaining link that bound us to the early history of our town, and the last of the original grantees of the much abused Socorro grant. He was indeed one of the most prominent landmarks of this county, historically as well as politically speaking. By his native neighbors and acquaintances he was looked up on as a common counselor and adviser, being regarded, as by right, their arbitrator in family and other disputes, as his opinions and decisions were always full of wisdom, consciencious (sic) and upright. He was indeed like unto a kind father to his people, who one and all this day mourn his loss.

Mr. Baca was more than anything else, a thorough Christian gentlemen, in every sense of the term, being always foremost as a devout and pious Catholic in every religious ceremony. He was zealously assisted by Rev. Father Lestra up to his last moments and died a firm believer in the teaching of his Church and in the future reward of heavenly bliss, promised by our Lord to every true Catholic. He breathed his last surrounded by his numerous descendants and a host of sorrowing friends and acquaintances, beloved of all, hated of none and at peace with the whole world as might truthfully be said. The deceased became a member of the Catholic Society known as the Knights of St. Michael, about one year after its organization, the society took charge of the funeral ceremonies, which were very impressive and well attended by many people from the city, as well as from neighboring towns. The band of the society and all its members , preceded by their standard, and in full regalia, took a prominent part of the procession, from the residence of the deceased to the Catholic Church, wherein the remains were deposited with all the usual splendor of the Catholic Church on such occasions there to await the last Judgement day where the first blast of Gabriel’s trumpet, we shall all come forth to answer for our good or bad deeds to the Supreme Judge of all. R.I.P.

A sorrowing friend

[1] Socorro, New Mexico burials; Archives of the Archdiocese of New Mexico; microfilm # 1930433.

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