Family Trade From a Bygone Era

A butcher shop on San Francisco Street in Santa Fe in 1905. From left to right Bonifacio Sandoval, Higenio and Martin Pacheco.

Martin Pacheco featured above in 1905 was my grandfather. Grandpa Martin was a butcher or a carnicero in Spanish. The Pacheco clan practiced a trade that was brought from the European Middle Ages. Many of the early families practiced trades and craftsmanship that continued through several generations. In northern New Mexico trades were a badge of honor. The Senas’ were blacksmiths, the Trujillos’ were weavers and the Romeros’ were traders and merchants. The demise of these trades began in 1820 with the start of the Industrial Revolution. Since then numerous jobs that required manual labor have been replaced by machines.

Roots of a Family Trade

In 1867 Jose de la Cruz and his brother, Jose Maria Esquipula married two sisters of the Rodriguez family, Maria Agapita and Maria Casimira, respectively and moved to Santa Fe. They settled on land that is now part of Pacheco Street that was awarded to the Rodriguez family as a Spanish land grant from King Philip V in 1740. Some of their descendants still live on Pacheco Street.

Untimely Death

Jose de la Cruz Pacheco and his wife Agapita had three sons before his untimely death; while he was digging a well a boulder fell and killed him. Agapita’s family had made a living as farmers and ranchers so she encouraged her sons to continue in the family business. In addition, all 14 of their grandsons worked as butchers through much of the last century. Today, the hundreds of descendants of Jose de la Cruz Pacheco are civil servants, teachers, business owners, barbers, engineers, artists, dentists, physicians, attorneys and writers.

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