Women’s Suffrage in El Paso

On Jan 12, 1915, the El Paso chapter of the National Franchise League organized at hotel Orndorff. The first president was Azina Orndorff DeGroff, who operated the Orndorff Hotel. Charter members of the group were Olga Kohlberg, who founded the first free kindergarten in Texas and served as president of the El Paso Library Association; Blanche Averill who […]

Holiday Hours

We will be closed December 26 and open the rest of the week by appointment only. Please email us at info@elpasohistory.com to schedule one. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! We will reopen January 3, 2017 at 10am.


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 […]

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