MEXICO. Frances Harper Hollister’s first diary entry. January 1, 1906

No fire

So cold & bleak.

Slept at Santo Domingo,

                                           cold wind, followed by snow.

Left Santo Domingo drove to Las Varas.

                                         Hal slept all the way.

Roxy saw Harry, but not me

                 House just as we left it.

Interview, John James Hollister Sr tries to remember Mexico before 1010. (1959?)

John James Hollister Sr [Jim, JJsr] speaks with Jane Hollister Wheelwright and William Edwin Gledhill, late 1950s, about the forgotten Mexico story.

Bancroft library.

Sen. H. [John James Hollister Sr”

Well, my life in Mexico was for a long time it was running around. I was  a drifter in mining. You know what — investigating and passing on mines and — find out what they were worth and all that…

Mr. G [William Edwin Gledhill]: You weren’t by any chance a mining stiff? They called them, or something like that.

Sen. H:  No, I went down there, I went down there for a company in Guanajuato. I went down thre to take charge of what they called a Peregrina mine. It was a big mine…a peregrina mine, and I was therr until things…blew up. They blew up and I was out on my own again.

[page 11, CIMG5569]

Jane (Jane Hollister Wheelwright): How did it all blow up?

Sen H: Well, they just failed. Oh, these big mining companies, there’s nothing like the way they failed.

Jane W: Did you have anything to do with looking into that mine? Wasn’t there something about there not being really enough ore?

Sen. H: Well, that was the point. It was an old Mexican mine, you know, and they, in those days they didn’t have very good methods…a cyanide process, they used to treat it with mules. They had these big, these big pits or the arrastres, and they used to travel the mules around in those, you know, and that was the shame of it because the cyanide and stuff they used to extract the gold or dissolve the gold material, made a lot of acides and things like that and the mules — their feet almost rotted off. Yes– it was terrible. Then the American comes down there and he starts in with the cyanide process and he made a success of it, the American, but there was a very small amount comparatively speaking of the ore left or the ore that was discarded. You see, and they just treated that, the American company, and I went down for one of those companies and then when it was exhausted, why then of course the mine shut down and was a…

Jane W: You described long ago–it’s scrappy in my memory but you described something about one of those mines. You said that you were supposed to cook the books or do something so that they could issue stock and then the stock all caved in — oh — it was quite a story.

Sen. H: Oh, I don’t doubt but what was done but I was never…

Jane W: But you refused to cook the books. There was quite a problem there.

Sen.H: I don’t remember that part of it Jane.

Jane W:  Or somebody had to declare that there was ore and they wanted you to do it when there actually wasn’t any. You told me some story like that and you refused to play in with that…I think you lost your job.

Sen H: You’re making a pretty good story of that. …I can’t go for that.

Jane W: I think there is something like that. I mean I just…my own memory is very poor on this.

Mr. G: That’s typical of Mexico I believe.

Sen.H: I wouldn’t doubt tat but there was a lot of stuff going on, but I never got in contact with a thing like that.

Jane W: I think Uncle Joe [Joseph Perkins Chamberlain] had something to do with it.

Sen. H: Well, I was in charge of a mine that your Uncle Joe had a lot of interest in, but that was down in Chihuahua. That was another place. That was further north. But that mine…it was Hinds Consolidated. I don’t know, Hinds Consolidated, and I don’t know–Hinds used to be a superintendent for the Chamberlains, and he got this mine in Chihuahua, Santa Barbara Chihuahua and I went down there for him and was there for about a year and they said that in Cleveland, you couldn’t shoot down any street but what you hit a stockholder in the Hinds Consolidated. What I mean is that they were pretty well sold out andthey got to fighting and the one faction won out, and that was the faction that I wasn’t with, so I lost out on that, but I went back to Cleveland, or New York first and reported to the people who — they were bankers there– and reported to them what was the trouble and how it happened and then I went to Cleveland where the big body of stockholders were, you know, and reported to then. You see a firm of bankers in New York, they wanted to get something on the other crowd and I was the fellow that — I could give it to them because I had all of it. I was right there to the end. They sent what they called a managing director down to this Hinds Consolidated and put me out, you see. The opposition got control and they put me out and that was when I reported, but this Managing director comes down there and takes hold of the mine and they thought it was going to go alright, but I went back and told them it wasn’t going to go all right because he didn’t know aything about mining, so it eventually closed up and last time I ever heard of this man — it was a man by the name of Slinack I remember it very well, he was out looking– seeking treasure around the state of Chihuahua I mean. Well, he just went crazy…and that shut the mine

Jane w: That must be the story I’m thinking of. I don’t have as dignified a version.

Sen. H: Well it– yes — that was the ultimate of that Hinds Consolidated. I don’t know where it went from there.

Jane W: Father, tell us about Uncle Harry’s ranch (Harold Albert Hollister) and his relation to Pancho Villa and you — and I believe that was the ranch that you surveyed, wasn’t it?

Sen. H: Yes, that was the Santo Domingo. After I was in Mexico City. I don’t know whether this is material or…

Mr. G:  Oh yes, we want to know all your…in Mexico.

Sen. H: Well, after this Hinds Consolidated trouble,  then I came up north and my brother, Harry had interest — well through Joe Chamberlain; the Chamberlains were very prominent and very wealthy people and he bought this, Joe Chamberlain bought this ranch. There were over five — there were 450, 000 acres in the ranch. Oh, yes, it was sure, quite an estate almost and I came up there and was not doing anything at that time and I started in for my brother and made a survey of it, surveyed it out and with the idea of disposing of it to some group of people, showing how much agricultural land and all that and how many cattle it would hold, and then that-after that I came home. That was the…

The thing I think about more than anything else Jane, was we lived in Santa Barbara when we came up to Hinds Consolidated, we lived in Santa Barbara Chihuahua, and we were in an old fortress and we had a room that looked onto the outside and it had a large door there and the bandits were around everywhere. They just pestered the life out of us with bandits and they’d come and want food for their horses. They’d demand it and they’d camp there. They’d come right in and take possession. They didn’t do us any harm, but we never believed but what they would, so we did whatever they wanted and we
were this was say about midnight or thereabouts, and the door–the bed faced out that way and our door began to open, this great big wooden door, great big fortress door began to slowly open you see and they could see, they could see there that this was acrack of the door opening and made a noise and Mrs. Hollister was rather frightened and I always slept with a six-shooter under my pillow and she said “shoot. Shoot.”

Mr. G.: This was your wife?

Sen. H: Yes, my wife, and she said “Shoot.” Well, I had been brought up on the proposition that you never shoot anything until you know what it was, absolutely never shoot anything until you knew. But of ourse i was confident this was a highwayman or bandido coming into our room and I just sat there and pretty soon…”Mother” …she was a little baby.

Mr. G: You were there?

Jane W: Oh, I guess I was crawling in through the door or something.

Sen.H: She was crawling through the door. She’d got out some way out of her bed. They all lived right in our room a big long room, you know, and she’d got out and got outside and she was coming back and she was opening that door…

Mr. G: and if you had shot

Sen. H: You wouldn’t have had her here.

Jane W: But the pint is a bandit’s an awful lot bigger than I was and
how would you…

Sen. H: The Hall was part lights — it was just almost dark. And you could see something maybe moving, but you couldn’t see what it was until you spoke, until you cried.

Jane W: What about Pancho Villa?

Sen. H: Well, when he was When Pancho Villa was in his prime, when he was getting together…soldiers and material and all of that to rebel it was when he was heeding that revolutionary movement, he used to live there with Harry…oh yes, he lived there.

Jane W: A friendly little guest.

Sen. H: Yeah, a friendly little guest.

Mr.G: They were friends, were they?

Sen. H.: Oh, yes, they were friends. Harry had to support him, and give him all the food he could buy and it nearly broke him, but he went from there to — I think it was Blanco. Didn’t a man by the name of Blanco come in? I think Blanco became president later, temporarily, and that was right after Villa, but i think Villa helped him, helped Blanco and he was, of course Villa was a pretty tough character.

Jane w: Did you know him personally?

Sen.H: I didn’t know him, no. He wasn’t there when I was there.

Jane W:  Did Uncle Harry describe him to you?

Sen. H:  No, I don’t remember anyting of that, any more than he was — I remember when Diaz was put out of the presidency. We went to see a mine this Mexican had…a well to do Mexican and a most educated Mexican…

MEXICO: For Ransom? Wealthy Angeleno is kidnapped by Bandits. September 22, 1915

For Ransom? Wealthy Angeleno is kidnapped by Bandits.LATimes
Sept 22, 1915

E.P. Fuller and his Ranch Foreman Held by Mexican “red Flaggers.”
Wife, Former San Francisco Girl, Rides All Night to Get Word to His Brothers in this City of Seizure of General Manager of Half-million-acre Santo Domingo Ranch—Authorities Appealed To.
Kidnaped and presumably held for ransom by a band of Mexican „red flaggers,“ the whereabouts of E.P. Fuller of this city, general manager and part owner of the great Santo Domingo Rancho, 120 miles from El Paso, and William McCabe of Santa Barbara, the ranch foreman, are a mystery. Mrs. Fuller, who was left alone upon the ranch when the brigands rode away with her captive husband, reached Villa Ahumada, a railroad station twenty miles away, yesterday morning, and telegraphed to his brother’s here.

The brothers, C. H. And O. B. Fuller, president and vice-president respectively of the Pioneer Truck Company of this city and members of the corporation owning the immense ranch, tried in vain during the day and last night to get in communication with their sister-in-law. They will leave no stone unturned in an effort to locate their brother and secure his release.

A dispatch from El Paso last night stated that troops were being rushed from Jarez by [Pancho] Villa officers to the protection of Mrs Fuller and to secure her husband’s release indicating that the bandits are not a part of Villa’s forces. The brigands are believed to be the Sanchz brothers’ gang who have been terrorizing Western Chihuahua and who have worked over to the Mexican Central line to obtain provisions and beef.

In answer to Mrs. Fuller’s appeal, troops are being sent north from Chihuahua on special trains. The troops from Juarez were sent by special request of American Consul Thomas D. Edwards and the Chihuahua at the request of Marian Fletcher, consul at Chihuahua.

Following the telegram received by the Fullers:

VILLA AHUMADA (Mex.) Sept 21.
Pearl (E. P. Fuller) and McCabe were taken by red flaggers yesterday. Have heard nothing from them.
No Americans here.
(Mrs. E. P. Fuller.)

Mrs. Fuller also telegraphed to friends in El Paso and reported seizure of her husband to the State Department in Washington.

E.P. Fuller, accompanied by his wife, went to the ranch about eighteen months ago to manage it. It is well stocked with cattle, and of late Mr. Fuller has been very busy in having them branded. His brothers say the property has brought large financial returns though Gen. [Pancho] Villa has charged them $10 per head for taking cattle across the boundary.

With slow means of transportation, it is believed Mrs Fuller probably rode throughout the night from the rancho to Villa Ahumada to get word as quickly as possible to her husband’s brothers. The road is not much traveled, and if she made the trip alone she must have endured a most trying experience. That she has no Americans to whom she can look for protection makes her plight the more hazardous, and her relatives have taken steps to send relief to her at the earliest possible moment.

The Fuller brothers have owned the Santo Domingo Rancho for several years, and have operated it with gret success notwithstanding the unsettled conditions in that country. The tract consists of 500,000 acres representing an investment of $600,000.

William McCabe, the foreman, is a well-known former resident of Santa Barbara. He has been in Mexico for a number of years and has had many narrow escapes from the brigands.

“We are hoping for the best, but will take no chances,” O. B. Fuller said last night. “We have communicated with the authorities in El Paso and in the East, and expect them to take immediate action.”

Early last week a letter was received from Mr. Fuller and, while he was optimistic over the situation in the State of Chihuahua, he intimated that trouble was to be expected at any time.

Mr. Fuller is 48 yers old and up to the time he departed for Mexico was engaged in business here with his brothers. He is well known by business men throughout Southern California. Mrs. Fuller is a former San Francisco girl and her parents now reside there.


MEXICO. American refugees flee Santo Domingo; arrive at El Paso August 7, 1912

El Paso Herald, Wednesday, August 7,  1912.

Liberals reported near San Domingo

Refugees arrive from the San Domingo Ranch.

A party of refugees arrived in El Paso from the San Domingo ranch, near Villa Ahumda, Tuesday. There were a number of Americans in the party and they had remained on the big ranch until they thought it best to leave for fear of the approach of the rebels from the Casas Grandes county.

MEXICO. O.B. Fuller’s stock to Santo Domingo ranch, March 9, 1912

El Paso Herald (El Paso, Tex.), Saturday, March 9, 1912.


The new daily train service El Paso to Chihuahua over the North Western commences Sunday night. The train will carry Pullmans and meals will be served from buffets on all sleepers and parlor cars.

A train load of Durham bulls and mares and stallions consigned to O.B. Fuller’s ranch at Villa Ahumada was brought over from the american side of the river Friday night and sent south Saturday morning on the National in charge of a  North Western crew.

MEXICO. Rurales seek Magonistas at Santo Domingo ranch, August 4, 1911

El Paso Herald, Friday,August 4,  1911.

Liberals reported near San Domingo

Rurales From Villa Ahumada Are Pursuing Rangel’s Band.

The rurales under Captain D. Gonzales at Villa Ahumada have telegraphed Gen. Blanco that the Magonista forces are located at San Domingo ranch, which is located at the state road between Guadalupe and Villa Ahumada. The rurales think that they can catch up with the Magonistas by Saturday. Gonzales has 70 men in his command.