Guide to MS556 Escajeda Family Papers

Abbie Weiser, University of Texas at El Paso



The Escajedas, an early El Paso pioneer family, originally came to the El Paso area from Spain. In 1818 the family received a land grant from King Ferdinand VII of Spain, which was later approved by the Mexican government in 1822, and settled in San Elizario and Ysleta.

One of the family’s most prominent members was José Antonio Escajeda (1866 – 1932). In 1891 he married Luz Guerra (1868 – 1922) at the Ysleta Mission. They owned homes in San Elizario and El Paso. The Escajedas moved to El Paso in the early 1890s. They lived on Campbell Street and later at 1418 E. Yandell Boulevard. In 1887 José Antonio Escajeda began his career in a variety of elected and appointed public offices. His positions included: Deputy Clerk of the District Court of El Paso County (1887 – 1888); Deputy County Clerk of El Paso County (1888 – 1892); City Clerk of El Paso (1901 – 1903); City Sanitary Commissioner of El Paso (1905 – 1907); Deputy Sheriff (1908); and County Auditor (1911 – 1912, 1917 – 1931). In 1915 he was indicted for violations of Texas election laws regarding poll taxes, but was found not guilty on March 12, 1915. In addition to his public offices, Escajeda worked in the real estate business with his brother, A.E. Escajeda, and edited El Monitor, a political campaign newspaper first published in 1896. He was also a charter member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council No. 8 and served as its chaplain. In 1982 an apartment complex at 5th and Kansas Street in El Paso was named in his honor. His daughters, Luz, Lorenza, Adelina, and Josefina all became educators, and his son was discharged as a colonel after WWII and later became Vice-President of El Paso National Bank. Another Escajeda relative, Dr. Manuel Hornedo, served as City/County Health Department Director from 1953 – 1969 and helped reduce typhoid, smallpox, and polio in El Paso County.