Migrants in the City
Crossing the Valley
M & C Home Page
The men in the picture consist of my great grandfather
(furthest to the right), his 2 brothers, and his 2 brother in-laws. My great
grandfather’s name was Pedro Jose Mendoza. He was the son of a ranch owner in
The Mendoza family was a great supporter of Pancho Villa during the
Mexican Revolution. When he and his men came into town, livestock was
slaughtered to provide a feast for revolutionaries and aid was rendered in
whatever way was needed.
As the story goes, the ranch owners seemed to have a certain
responsibility to the people that worked for them. It seems that a couple men
in town mistreated a daughter of one of the ranch hands. My great grand
father then went into town and beat the 2 offenders in the street in front of
the local tavern. These men then hired a group of hit men to kill him.
Some time later, my great grandfather’s horse had found its way back
home with him dead in the saddle. He had been shot in the back, murdered at
the age of 27.
During Villa’s next visit, he learned of my great grandfathers
demise and sent a group of men into town to deal with the 2 men who placed the
hit. When they were found, they were hung from a tree in the court area of
The Mendoza’s remained huge supporters of Villa and his cause. 2 of
my great uncles went on to fight in several battles along the Mexican/American
border. They were so deeply involved with the Revolution that when Pancho
Villa was assassinated, they feared retribution from the Mexican government.
It was then that the family, my grandmother included, fled from Chihuahua and
came to the United States.