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Demetrio Chavez and Joseph H. Reynolds family papers

Identifier: Ms-0560

Scope and Contents

Various family documents saved by Maria Chavez Fountain. After Maria’s death in 1972 the papers were secured by Celia Fountain (wife of Arturo Fountain [Maria’s son]). Papers were given to Celia’s son, Art Fountain at some time. Art gave them to Michael Ryan in April 2023, and they decided to offer them to the NMSU Archives The papers are divided into correspondence with Demetrio Chavez, Demetrio Chavez business dealings, which may have been un-collected loans that the estate executors were trying to collect on. Albert Bacon Fall correspondence with Demetrio Chavez. George W. Wood correspondence with Demetrio Chavez. W.C. [William Charles] Reynolds papers, as guardian of Adelina Chavez, and two other of the younger Chavez children after Demetrio’s death in Feb 1905. Also, as co-executor of the Demetrio Chavez estate dealings through the years pertaining to the Chavez heirs. Maria Chavez-Fountain was the other co-executor.

Joseph H Reynolds (son of William Charles Reynolds and Tillie Fritz) papers,papers included are after his marriage with Adelina Chavez in 1911 to 1916. The donor, Michael Ryan claims it is a mystery of how they were housed in Maria’s home, but all the sisters were very close. Adelina would stay for months at the Griggs home and Fountain house from time to time. Joe and Adelina Reynolds were Michael Ryan's maternal grandparents while Demetrio and Luisa Chavez were his maternal great-grandparents.


  • 1888 - 1915

Biographical / Historical

Demetrio Chavez was a pioneer merchant in Mesilla. He was born in Valencia County, New Mexico, in 1851. Demetrio was an only child. His mother died when he was two years old, after which his father became a priest of several parishes in New Mexico. Demetrio was raised by his grandmother until he was nine years old, then he was placed in St. Michael's College, of Santa Fe. He completed his education, in 1865. He began his business career as a clerk in Albuquerque, and later he was employed by Nestor Armijo in Las Cruces and then moved to Mesilla, where was employed as a clerk with the firm of Reynolds & Griggs. He married Luisa Gonzales on August 9, 1881. Later he established a mercantile business in Mesilla. He conducted his mercantile until his death. He also had interests in the cattle industry. In addition to his business property, he owned several hundred acres of land and a beautiful home that still exists today in Mesilla. Demetrio Chavez supported the Democrat party and, on that ticket, had been elected Probate Judge of Dona Ana County, three times. He was elected and served for one term as Treasurer of the county. He was appointed by New Mexico Territorial Governor Thornton as the one of regents of the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, and served as elected secretary and treasurer. Demetrio Chavez died on Feb 23, 1905 at age 53, his wife Luisa died June 25, 1899 at age 37. They are both buried in the San Albino Cemetery in Mesilla, NM.

Joseph H[Henry] Reynolds was the son William Charles Reynolds and Tillie (Fritz) Reynolds most of the papers indluded are after his marriage with Adelina Chavez in 1911 to 1916. Joe and Adelina Reynolds were Michael Ryan's paternal grandparents while Demetrio and Luisa Chavez were his maternal grandparents.


.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Papers and financial records related to Demetrio Chavez and Joseph H. Reynolds families. Includes: papers related to the settlement of the estate of Demetrio Chavez, administered by William Charles Reynolds, 1905-1915; deeds and financial records mostly related to debts owed to Demetrio Chavez for loans, 1889-1904; correspondence and financial documents between Demetrio Chavez and George W. Wood, 1893-1904; correspondence and financial documents between Demetrio Chavez and Albert Bacon Fall, including information on Fall's Black Mountain Gold Mining and Milling Company, 1891-1899; papers of Joseph H. Reynolds, including personal and professional correspondence, business and financial records, 1911-1915.

Separated Materials

Photo small collections box 10 includes one photo of Joseph H Reynolds in a group of people ca 1908. Separated OS materials box 1 folder 8 includes Remembrance of First Holy Communion certificate 1905.

Condition Description

Demetrio Chavez and Joseph H. Reynolds family papers
Teddie Moreno
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA