Ysleta’s Booker Villa

The Booker Villa home was built in 1915 by L.E. Booker, a prominent cattleman and lumberman. Booker’s daughter, Blanche, oversaw the designing and construction of the building. Ms. Booker took courses in architectural drawing and went into interior decorating. Blanche, who was a frequent traveler, was described as eccentric but was a good and fun hostess and she hosted a lot of parties and public gatherings at the home.

The house was two floors and was one of the first large houses in the area to have a glassed in patio. There was an orchard next to the house and the walls were 24 inches thick. On the left side of the house was a rose garden and vineyard. A large aisle of japonicas led to the doorway and the house also had a long driveway that according to Betty Luther, El Paso Herald Post Reporter, curved around the front veranda.

Blanche also held dances and dinners for the U.S. servicemen who were part of General Pershing’s team, who was on the hunt for Pancho Villa in 1916. The soldiers marched through on the old Ysleta highway to an Army post on the river.

After Mr. Booker and his wife died, Blanche, her adopted son and nine cats  moved to Mexico. She sold the house to El Paso shoe store owner, Sol Berg, who renamed the house, “Quinta Berg.” The home continued to be a big part of the social scene in Ysleta until it was sold to the Sisters of  Our  Lady of the Good Shepherd in 1936 after the death of Mr. Berg. The sisters used  the house as a home for girls. The building was on old county road and it was demolished to make way for a new building.

Joseph Longo
EPCHS Volunteer

Since 1954 the El Paso County Historical Society has been a driving force in the historic scene of El Paso. EPCHS strives to foster research into the history of the El Paso area; acquire and make available to the public historic materials; publish and encourage historical writing pertaining to the area; and to develop public consciousness of our rich heritage.