With all of the information out on the Bird Flu and how closely it resembles the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, I thought this would be a good time to share this article on the Trinidad Website for historical purposes.
My name is Esther Deaguero Welp. I am the daughter of Jose Anastacio Deaguero who was born in Tercio, Colorado. My father (age 9) and his eldest brother, Jose Ignacio (Mucio, age 16) and his sisters Isidora (Dora, age 14), Siveria (Sylvia, age 13) and Maria de La Luz (Lucy, age 11) were orphaned in the 1918 influenza pandemic.
Jose Ignacio (Mucio) Deaguero married Maria de los Reyes Gonzalez, Isadora (Dora) Deaguero married Manuel Becker, Maria de la Luz Deaguero (Lucy) married (1) Jose Salvador Vigil (2) Clifford Gregory, Siveria (Sylvia) married Onesimo Vigil and my father married Catherine Kimball of Trinidad, Colorado.
My father often talked about that terrible time and the illness they called "una pestelencia" that took his beloved mother, Domicinda Vellejos Deaguero (died November 28, 1918), his grandmother Rumulda Aragon de Vallejos (died December 5, 1918), and his Aunt and godmother Francisquita Vallejos de Torres (died December 12, 1918 from a reaction to the flu medicine) and his grandfather Luis Ma. Vallejos who did not die of the flu, but from some unrelated illness on December 23, 1918. Dad said people who lived in the valley were so ill from the flu that they were unable to attend the funerals of their loved ones, and graves were being dug through the night.
We were a military family, and in 1977 my husband Frank and I and our three children, John (9), Cathy (5) and Joey (4) were leaving the United States for Germany. Before spending time with my parents in Albuquerque, we stopped in Denver and we visited with my great aunt Eutimia Vallejos de Duran and uncle Zack Duran. I was curious about my paternal grandparents and wanted information. My aunt left the room and came back with a very, very yellowed newspaper clipping. Handing the clipping to me she said, "I knew someday someone was going to ask about this." We had a pleasant visit and while there I failed to note how quiet and wide-eyed my children were. When we said our goodbyes and drove off, my children were looking out the back window at my aunt and uncle waving until they could not see them any more. My surprise came a few seconds later when my children who were normally quite noisy sat very quietly and all of a sudden all three said, "How come they have cracks in their faces?" It never occurred to me that they had never seen elderly people before. Unknowingly, we all had a lesson in life.
I am attaching two articles and photographs that appeared in the Chronicle News (writing on the back indicates it is from the Chronicle News). I still do not have much information on my grandfather Jose Deaguero, only that a census taker indicated that my grandpa was learning English and that he helped put telephone wires up. My father told me his dad died of dropsy in 1912 at the age of 29 years and that his eyes were as blue as the sky.
* There are different spellings of my grandmother's name, however in the marriage certificate in the records of Holy Trinity Church in Trinidad my grandparents' names read as follows: Domicinda Vallejos and Josephum Deaguero, 21 Jan 1901.
Esther Deaguero Welp