The Incorporation of Anthony, Texas

In 1952 residents of the Upper Valley community of Anthony, Texas  voted to incorporate. That was the start of the town of Anthony. Anthony  was also referred to as La Tuna, probably because of the construction of the La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution. One of the motivations for incorporation of Anthony was to have their […]

President Obama, 2011, Courtesy of the El Paso Times

Presidential Visits to El Paso

For better or for worse, the 2016 presidential election is heating up. Most likely, come November, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be elected the 45th president of the United States. This year, immigration has been a focal point in the minds of the candidates and voters. Because of El Paso’s proximity to the border and to Mexico, it’s safe to assume whomever is elected will have to deal with this ever changing and vocal community. Surely other presidents have.

Since 1891, U.S. presidents have traveled to the Borderland, some making numerous stops during their presidency. Some have come to the Pass to campaign, while others have engaged in complex, monumental diplomatic discussions and actions with international ramifications. This gallery contains photos from some of those visits. These photos were used in a talk in March 2016 at the El Paso County Historical Society titled “Presidents at the Pass,” presented by the Honorable William Moody of the 34th District Court. Those not credited are available in our archive.


Johanna Riordan O’ Donnell: Faben’s Pioneer

Johanna Riordan was born in Cork County, Ireland, but grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She came to Fabens in 1902 as the young bride of Patrick O’Donnell who worked for the railroads that played a big role in the development of Fabens. Johanna remembered being the only Anglo women in Fabens as well as […]

mr and mrs mooney

The Mooney family of Ysleta

James Sylvester Mooney was born on Oct. 4, 1885, in Collinwood, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He was a graduate of West Point. He served in the U.S. Army from 1916 until his retirement in 1957. Mooney was a Calvary officer in the 2nd and seventh Cavalry during the Mexican revolution, and Adjustment General at Ft Bliss. […]

jean running for El Paso  sheriff in 1950

Jean Staudenmayer: El Paso’s Horsewoman and Saddle maker

Elise Jean Staudenmayer was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1909. While living on a farm in Leachville, Arkansas Jean’s love for horses developed and also her skills as a horsewoman. In Leachhville, her father, Martin, was a medical doctor who ran a private practice. Jean became a nursing student but decided it was not for […]

Myrtle Cooper Elementary school

Socorro pioneer: Myrtle Render Cooper

Myrtle Render Cooper was the first woman superintendent of the Socorro school district in 1961 before she served as principal of the old Socorro grade school for 20 years. Cooper was born in Oklahoma, her father operated the old Ysleta Cotton Gin. Cooper came to El Paso in 1927, teaching at the Ysleta Grade School, […]

Hotel Cortez

Postcards: Regional Snapshots

They don’t make postcards like they used to. Often, today’s postcard images, though masterfully shot, lack the breathtaking allure and soul of those the everyman would send in the early twentieth century. On the contrary, those that were sent over a hundred years ago contained masterful drawings, bold colors, and a pleasant texture. The same is true of those capturing our City at the Pass.

Many times, the postcards that were sent were artist renditions of snapshots that were taken of the city, or views the artist wished to express. Likewise, many postcards captured Downtown and the Franklins, neighborhoods and buildings, not as they looked exactly but rather how the artist or photographer wanted them to be viewed. Postcards are snapshots of the heart of a city. But they are also projections of how one wishes a city to appear and exist.

El Paso’s postcards tell a story of a bustling city, but also one contending with progress and growth. They tell the story of what the expected or desired path of El Paso was. Oftentimes, the images appear to come from a children’s storybook. This is not to mention the history that exists on the backs of many postcards, writings that underscore the lives of countless people from around the world.

At the Society we have a collection of over 200 postcards, many of them sent in the early the 20th century. The 30 in this gallery capture various areas in El Paso from Downtown and Montana Street to Segundo Barrio and Highway 80. Even though this gallery only contains images from El Paso, a number of postcards in the Society’s archives highlight the beauties and vibrancy of Ciudad Juarez.

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