J.J. Smith: Lower Valley Farmer and Politican

J.J. Smith came to El Paso with his family to from Illinois. Smith settled in Ysleta in the early 1900s where he founded the Ysleta Pear Packing Plant. He had two pear orchards on North Loop near Roseway in Ysleta. He also set up a residence for himself, his mother, sister and her husband, George Huffman, and his 13 year old housekeeper, Anastasio Cooper in San Jose. Cooper was the daughter of an early Ysleta settler named Price Cooper who came to  Ysleta in 1834. Ms. Cooper was his housekeeper until his death in 1938. Smith left his property to Cooper and his brother, Otis. He wanted his estate  to be used for a home for the elderly. One of his brothers, J.A. Smith, served as postmaster. He also shipped his pears to England. Mr. Smith  served on the El Paso  County Commissioner’s Court. He did not  believe in developing cotton in the Lower Valley.

Joseph Longo

EPCHS Curator

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.