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.


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 […]

Curator’s Corner: Promotional items

Who can resist the allure of a free T-shirt? From shoehorns to hacky sacks, icepicks to mouse pads, promotional items are such a ubiquitous part of our consumer society that they are often overlooked. Whether they are the last surviving remnants of a short-lived business venture, mementoes from an iconic local organization, or collectibles from […]

Event June, 25: Find Your Legacy: Genealogy Workshop

History isn’t just about those people who we read about in books or watch in documentaries. Our individal and family stories forge a rich tapestry of our local, regional, national, and even international history. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know our backgrounds, and many of us don’t even know where to begin searching for answers. […]

Event June 18, 2016: Death on the Calle del Diablo–The killing of “El Pablote” and the Birth of the Narcocorrido

Join us this Saturday, June 18, 2016, at 10AM for Bob Chessey’s presentation on Juarez drug kingpin Pablo Gonzalez. Pablo “El Pablote” Gonzalez was one of the first “drug lords” of Juarez, Chihuahua Mexico. “El Pablote” practiced his craft from 1924-1930. In 1930 he was killed in a gunfight inside the red light district of Juarez. […]

1976: Developer of pinto bean dies in El Paso

August 3, 1976, El Paso Times Manrique R. Gonzalez, pioneer agricultural engineer in the U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico who gained fame as a developer of the pinto bean, died Monday at Providence Hospital of an illness. Mr. Gonzalez, 96, gained prominence in this country just after World war I when, as a county agricultural agent […]

Event-Anita Blair: El Paso Legend, May 21

Coming up this month we will be hosting a very interesting talk and exhibit by local historian Joseph Longo about a force of nature in El Paso: Anita Blair. Anita was the first El Paso woman elected to the Texas Legislature and the first blind woman to be elected to office in the United States. Though […]

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