I have in my possession documents regarding my grandfather, Ernesto Valdés, Sr., taken from local newspaper clippings. This post will be of great interest to the Valdés side of my family, but also for those interested in civics.
His political views, his passing, and organizations he belonged to are reported on, as well as less significant events. I found the poll tax letter to be especially enlightening and amusing. He was turning the tables on the powers-that-be by saying, "So you see I was only doing the things you recommended." They just hate that.
Also printed is a military press-release about Uncle Raúl (Christopher, Monica, Michael, and Stevie's dad) trying to get home from Guam to see Papatón before he passed. Raúl was such a likable and jovial fellow that I can see how he would have garnered special treatment. Riding with a general!
I credit my late cousin Becky Baca for assembling all these primary sources. She did it while trying to get a school named after Ernesto Valdés. And, of course, thanks to Cristy for locating the copies.
Patatón died in 1954. His death must have been big news in El Paso, especially in the Mexican neighborhoods. He was the first Mexican American School Board representative from South El Paso, a member of LULAC and the Knights of Columbus.
Dating all the way back to before the turn of the 20th Century, the citizens of El Paso had to pay a tax in order to vote. It was still a requirement in EV's time, as a way to disenfranchise Mexican Americans.
A gauntlet was thrown down by the editor of the El Paso Times regarding the poll tax. I don't think W.J. Hooten was anticipating such a brilliant response. But at least, Hooten figured out the correct spelling of Valdés.
I hope you enjoy this bit of El Paso history.