Thursday, April 14, 2016

One of the best bands in the territory

This post is for Irene, my wonderful 2nd cousin on the Campuzano side who has been sharing photos, memories and great stories of her time growing up in Arizona and California during the past month. Her grandfather was Jose de Jesus Nunez Olivas, who was born in Ures, Sonora between 1849-1851. He moved to the US sometime before 1870, as he appears in Pima County in the 1870 US Census. Jesus later moved north to Pinal County, Arizona, and became a US citizen in 1874, according to the news clipping below.
Arizona Citizen, 7 Nov 1874
Jesus worked for a time as a court interpreter in Florence, Pinal County, and also worked as an interpreter for the local Board of Supervisors.

Jesus married Dolores Rodriguez in Pinal County on 7 September 1885. According to Irene, they had a huge family. Several of them can be seen in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 US Census entries. Here is a great photo of Jesus and Dolores, provided by Irene.
Jesus N. Olivas and Dolores Rodriguez, undated.

Jesus also had a musical talent. From various news articles in Florence, Tucson and the surrounding area his Olivas Orchestra was highly regarded as "one of the best bands in the territory." It is great to see how the band regularly played at charity events to support the local community in Florence, help with renovations to the church, and provide general entertainment for weddings and birthdays. The article below refers to Jesus as Prof. Olivas, which makes me wonder where he taught.
Florence Tribune, 20 Jan 1900

Arizona Weekly Citizen, 19 May 1894
El Fronterizo, 26 May 1894.
I found an article describing a Mexican Independence Day celebration in Florence, Arizona from 16 September 1899, with a wonderful description of the event and the role performed by the Olivas band.
Florence Tribune, 23 Sept 1899.

Florence Tribune, 12 Jan 1901.
I'll have a few more on Jesus and his charitable activities in the community in the following post.

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing what you can find in newspapers. I use a source called Fulton Post Cards where one individual has a database of many newspapers. This is for mostly the New York area, but I have a lot of ancestors who lived in that area. I have found many references to my ancestors there.

    Perhaps we should follow each others blogs. My blog just came out on's new list of blogs about two weeks ago. It is:

    Regards, Grant


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