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Aguayo Family Papers

Identifier: WH2035

Scope and Contents

The collection focuses on two distinct areas of Aguayo family history: materials from the Marciano and Jovita Aguayo family and items associated with their son, Jose Aguayo and the Museo de Las Américas. The Aguayo family papers include: personal correspondence (1910-1987); financial records (1922-1945); Great Western Sugar Company and Union Pacific Rail Road materials (1927-1959); medical bills (1929-1962); Mexican Consulate correspondence (1928-1938); Academia Flores correspondence (1926-1963); and newspaper clippings (1967-1968). Much of the correspondence is in the Spanish language and reflects the complexities of life the family led in Northeastern Colorado. The Jose Aguayo materials include: military service records (1959-1965); city council candidacy (2003); Museo de Las Américas (1992-2004); Museo de Las Américas master plan binder (2001); 1 notebook of color slides marked "Exhibits" (ca.1992); 1 notebook of color slides of artwork (n.d.).


  • 1910-2004


Language of Materials

Material is in English and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

Jose Marciano Aguayo Ybarra a.k.a. "Shorty" Aguayo (1904-?) was born in La Barranca de Las Cabras, Aguascalientes, Mexico. His family maintained a small herd of cattle, goats, horses and a pair of burros. Life in the barranca was rough and at an early age Marciano kept watch over the family’s milpas, often for days at a time, subsisting on what vegetables he found in the fields. At age 15 he left the barranca and walked about 70 kilometers to the provincial capital, where his older brother secured him a job at the railroad maintenance yard. On the job Marciano learned the blacksmith trade. In 1917, when Pancho Villa captured Aguascalientes and work at the railroad yard ground to a halt, Marciano left for the United States. He worked at various times for the Copper Belt, Mississippi, Kansas and Texas Railroad (Tyler, Texas) and as a sugar beet worker at Sugar City near Pueblo, Colorado before finally settling in Sedgwick, Colorado in 1922. In 1929 Marciano Aguayo married Jovita Ortega Gonzalez (1908-2000). Marciano Aguayo began working worked as a lineman for the Union Pacific Railroad in 1941, a job he held until 1973.

Jovita Ortega Gonzales was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. Having lost her parents at an early age she left Mexico with her extended family for El Paso, Texas, when life in Chihuahua became unbearable due to raids by Pancho Villa’s troops. The family’s fortunes improved considerably in El Paso and Jovita was able to attend school. In 1926 the family trekked to Colorado where they worked in the sugar fields. At a weekly dance she met her husband-to-be, Marciano Aguayo. In Sedgwick, the couple had six children: Herlinda (b.1931), Anita (b.1933), Alberto (b.1935), Alicia (b.1937), Emilio (b.1939) and Jose (b.1941). All of the Aguayo children went on to pursue undergraduate and graduate level degrees, with six Masters of Arts and one PhD degree among them. Their youngest son, Jose Aguayo, was the founder and director of the Museo de Las Américas in Denver, Colorado.


1 box

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Jose Aguayo, 2008.


Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States