Written by Alice L. Guerriero. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”
John Boggio immigrated from his native Italy in 1880 to the state of Illinois to work in the coal mines. A year later John traveled to Trinidad, CO to find work at a coal mine. He found work between Starkville and Raton, NM. He made his home in the canyon called Bloomsberg. After working at the mine a few years, he went back to Italy to visit his mother. John was the only son of George and Lucia (Pellini) Boggio, but he had two sisters. When he returned to America, he continued work in the Las Animas County coal mines. When he had enough money saved, he purchased a block of Commercial Street and went into the saloon business. It was called, “The Metropolitan Saloon”.
Early in 1893, John made a second trip to Italy, leaving his business in the hands of two partners. In Italy he asked for the hand in marriage of Lucia Cortese, but he returned to Trinidad alone. Upon his return, he found out that his partners took over his business. Lucia came to Trinidad on August 12, 1893 with her uncle and cousins.
Her luggage was left at the train station where she met John. They went to holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church and were married by Rev. Bl. Antonio Shiffini, S.J. After the ceremony, they left to make their home in Engleville, Colorado. She did not return to Trinidad for one full year and then only to take a wedding photograph.
The Boggio’s first daughter was born in Engleville on December 3, 1894 and was named Lucia Margarita. The second daughter, Margaret, was born in Gray Creek on December 18, 1898 and the third daughter, Amalia, was born on March 11, 1902. John got out of the coal mines and bought a saloon on West Main Street. They lived on Fourth Street. July, 1904 was a happy time for they sold the business and moved to Aguilar, Colorado. In Aguilar, they bought the Schneider Brewing Company which consisted of a home, boarding house and a saloon called Monte Cristo. A third daughter, Viola, was born in Trinidad on April 21, 1904 while the youngest daughter, Alice, was born in Aguilar on December 23, 1905. Also born in Aguilar was John M. on July 8, 1914. All of the children married and raised families in Las Animas County.
Lucia is the mother of this writer and she was the only one to attend St. Joseph’s Academy in Trinidad where she learned to play the piano. When the family moved to Aguilar, Lucia went to high school, which consisted of only the ninth and tenth grades, but she graduated in 1910. Lucia became a seamstress and made clothes for everyone in Aguilar. She also worked for the Golden Rule which later became J.C. Penny’s. Her family belonged to St. Anthony’s of Aguilar, but of her five children only Alice and Lenore are still living. Lenore Wilson lives in Virginia where she has two sons.
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