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Antonio Ferrer Amado's recollections of his ranching life

"Contributed by Antonio Ferrer Amado, owner of several ranchos in Pima and Santa Cruz counties."

"In these days we raised horses by the hundred as the range was all open and we had a good opportunity to sell horses to freighters and to the government for cavalry horses and we broke horses from fifty head to one hundred at a time and took all of this hard work as a good pastime as we thought it was lots of fun to ride these wild outlaw horses raised out in the wild on the range. With some of the it took a week to get them in to the herd of horses that were tamer that we drove in a herd to run the wilder ones in to this herd so as we could drive them in to a corral to pick out the ones we wanted to break as we called it in those days. Now-days they say taming a horse; we rode our bronc right out on the open range. One man saddled a gentle horse to herd through bronc busters on wild horses. I and my brother John and two other men done the riding act and had lots of fun. The two herders helped to turn out broncs and herd us back to the corral where we would unsaddle and resaddle a fresh one. Thus was done every day for a month until we got where the six of us could ride twelve head in the forenoon, and twelve head in the afternoon until they were all gentle and the we would turn them out and herd them and get them picked out to a certain height for the inspection for the government sales and the culls were held for cow ponies and used on range for our own stock work and farm work and stage horses which carried the mail seventy-five miles a day by making two changes 150 miles a round trip form Willcox to Aravaipa mines. This mail was delivered twice a week. These old pictures bring a great remembering of those later days and none of these roads are traveled today and no horse breaking is like in those days."

Hardy Cowman Recalls Days Of Apache Raids
The Arizona Daily Star 1-31-1965

90-Yr.-Old Rancher Recently Quit Riding
By BOB THOMAS

AMADO - In a house he built beside the old stagecoach road to Nogales, Antonio Amado looks back over a life that began in Arizona's Indian wars and extends into the space age.
At the age of 90, Amado probably is the oldest working rancher in the state.
Born in Tucson in a house on the corner of Meter Ave. and Jackson St. in 1874, Amado started work on his father's ranch as a six-year-old cowboy.
Until two years ago he rode a horse every day.

He still was able to mount a hourse last year but has foresworn long rides that carried him in to the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains nine miles from his home when he was 88.
"That's nine air miles; it's a lot longer on the ground," says Randy R. Riley, forest ranger for the Santa Ritas. "I've seen him ride up those ridges several times and that's a rough haul."
Amado, who customarily speaks in a slow, thoughtful manner with frequent pauses, can remember when Geronimo passed nearby in a raid. A cousin of his was killed by the Apaches while chopping wood in nearby White House Canyon.

He has known such Tucson pioneers as Sheriff Bob Leatherwood, the Hughes brothers - Tom, Sam and L. C. Hughes, founder of the Arizona Daily Star.
Amado knew Ed Echols when he was a young cattle inspector.
Still slim and straight, Amado looks much younger than he is. He has most of his own teeth, has good hearing and doesn't wear glasses except for reading. He smokes but doesn't drink.
Asked what he credits his long life to, Amado shook his head wonderingly and said:
"I don't know. I've never taken care of myself."

Amado said he has no desire to reach 100.
"I feel all right. I haven't seen a doctor in many years. But I may die any day," he said.
His father, who came to Arizona from Hermosillo, Son., in 1850, started the ranch in 1852 between two old Spanish land grants, the Canoa and Otero land grants.
A year later he started another ranch two miles from the San Xavier Mission. It ran dairy cattle and supplied Tucson with milk and butter.

Amado's father started other ranches at Patagonia and in Sonora. He died at the age of 73 after fathering three sons and four daughters.
Amado, the middle son, is the only one alive today. He has two sons, Pablo and Gustavo, and a daughter, Amalia, all of Tucson. Another son, Antonio Jr., died recently.
Amado remembers how the U. S. government evicted his parents from their San Xavier ranch in 1880 because it was located within the boundary of the newly created San Xavier Indian Reservation. The ranch, like others lying within the reservation, was burned but he government agents.

The family moved to Tucson where Amado attended the old Congress St. school and then transferred to Safford School. He received the equivalent of a college education when his family send him to the San Ignacio Loyola Jesuit school in San Francisco.
At the age of 23 he was married in the newly completed San Agustin Cathedral in Tucson and in 1909 he bought his ranch - 160 acres of patented land for $300. Today it is worth $900 an acre. In addition to the patented land he holds state and Forest Service grazing leases for 6,000 acres.

In the days before the barbed wire fence Amado's cattle ranged all the way from the Mexican border to Cortaro, north of Tucson. His ranch branded as many as 1,500 calves a year.
"The land was different." said Amado. "There was more grass and less mesquite trees."
In a lifetime of hazardous work as a rancher, Amado never broke a bone. He did, like many other cowboys, lose the tip of the index finger on his right hand when he caught it between the saddle horn and his leather reata, which he had used to lass o a big steer.

Amado built his home and all the buildings on his ranch. The ruins of the old stage station are still visible. The Amado ranch was a stopping place for the Nogales stage for many years.
In 1910 the town of Amado came into being when the railroad track from Tucson to Nogales was laid. When the Nogales Hwy. Was built the town was moved to its present location.
Amado never succumbed to the prospecting urge, despite the heaving mining activity, especially at nearby Helvetia, in the early part of the century.

Although he carried a Colt .45 revolver until his middle forties, Amado said he was never threatened or had to resort to violence to protect himself.
"And I never had to call the sheriff. Things were quiet. But I did lose a few calves (to rustlers)," said Amado.
"I carried a gun to shoot coyotes. I killed two deer with it. I was a pretty good shot," he said in a matter of fact manner.
Dressed in frayed work clothes and wearing the old fashioned wide brim cowboy hat, Amado showed his ranch to visitors. He pointed to towering slat cedar trees he had planted when he first built his home.

In the front yard was a giant mesquite tree that had shown no appreciable growth in the time Amado has lived there.
The adobe home with galvanized iron roof is an outdated type still seen here and there in the Southwest: high, narrow windows, thick walls to keep out the heat and high ceilings.
A fireplace heats the living room, its façade decorated with tile featuring scenes from Don Quixote. Every morning Amado cuts wood for the day's fire. He does his own cooking.
The pioneer rancher took his first airplane ride in 1950 when he flew to Mexico City. He has flown several times since. Until advancing age forced him to stop a few years ago, Amado drove his own car.

Obituaries

Rites tomorrow for cattleman
Tucson Daily Citizen 4-19-1976

Requiem Mass will be said tomorrow for Gustavo Elias Amado, a cattleman whose family has been ranching in Southern Arizona since the days of the Indian wars.

Mr. Amado died Wednesday night at St. Mary's Hospital of a heart ailment. He was 70.

Founders of the community of Amado about midway between Tucson and Nogales included members of the Amado family.

The settlement was begun by Mr. Amado's grandfather, who came to Arizona from Hermosillo, Sonora, in 1850. Two years later, he established the Amado ranch. In those days, before barbed wire set off ranch boundaries, Amado cattle ranged from the Mexican border to Cortaro, about 10 miles north of Tucson.

Next to operate the ranch, a stopping point on the Tucson-Nogales stage line, was Gustavo's father, Antonio Amado, who died in 1968

In 1910, Antonio Amado helped establish the community of Amado, then located along the railroad tracks linking Tucson and Nogales. Several years later, with the opening of the Nogales Highway, the town was moved westward to its present location, an area that includes Kinsley Lake and the Cow Palace restaurant.

Gustavo Amado, who lived in Tucson, worked the ranch until he became ill two years ago. Until then, he regularly rode horses in his work (his father rode almost daily until he was 88).

Mr. Amado, a 1925 graduate of Tucson High School, also was involved in farming and grew cotton south of Tucson. He retired in 1970 as an inspector for the Pacific Fruit & Express Co.

Survivors include his widow, Elvira Hidalgo Amado, of Amado; two daughters, Mrs. Yolanda Wells, of Tucson, and Mrs. Natalia Bialkowski, of Sierra Vista; a brother, Pablo of Phoenix; and a sister, Mrs. Amalia Torres, of Chula Vista, Calif.

Rosary will be recited for Mr. Amado at 7:30 tonight at Tucson Mortuary, 202 S. Stone Ave. The funeral Mass is scheduled for 9 a.m. tomorrow at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 1946 E. Lee St. Burial will be in Holy Hope Cemetery.

Descendant of Pioneer Family Dies
Phoenix Gazette 4-9-1976

TUCSON (AP) -- Gustavo Elias Amado, 70, descendant of a pioneer ranching family, after which the town of Amado was named, has died of a heart ailment.

Amado, who continued his grandfather's ranching business, died Wednesday in St. Mary's Hospital.

He maintained the Amado family ranch south of here, raising cattle and growing cotton. He also worked for Pacific Fruit Express Co. until 1970.

Amado's grandfather came to southern Arizona in 1850 and established a ranch that extended 70 miles northward from the Mexican border before barbed wire became popular.

Amado is survived by his widow, Elvira, one son and two daughters. Services will be at 9 a.m. tomorrow in SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

 

MISS TERESA AMADO, PIONEER TUCSONAN,
DIES AT AGE OF 83

The Arizona Daily Star May 9, 1943

Miss Teresa Amado, 83, pioneer daughter of a pioneer Tucson family, died yesterday at the home of her niece, Mrs. Y. F. Aguirre, 16 East Fifteenth street. Miss Amado was born in Tucson, the daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Manuel Amado. Her father, a well-known rancher of early-day Arizona, controlled the ranches near which the town of Amado grew up. He was long associated as a partner with Maish and Driscoll, a firm name which was well known in ranch circles of pioneer days.

Miss Amado was educated in the Catholic schools of Tucson and continued her close association with the church throughout her life. She was instrumental in raising funds for and building a home for the aged maintained by the church on Twenty-fourth street. She was also active in the campaign to raise funds for the cathedral.

As a girl she lived through the Indian scares when Apache raids were feared in the city itself and her father and uncles were active in pursuit of the raiders.

She leaves three brothers, Antonio, Demetrio and Alberto Amado fo Tucson and one sister, Mrs. Ysmaela Carrillo of Tijuana.

Pablo Amado
Tucson Citizen
May 24, 1996

Pablo Amado 86, of Phoenix, passed away May 21, 1996. Mr. Amado was born June 26, 1909 in Tucson. His family was among the founders of the Presidio in 1775. Mr. Amado was a rancher, farmer, retail store owner and a prize-winning amateur photographer. He was a member of a pioneer family, the Knights of Columbus, the Arizona Historical Society, Los Desciendientes De Tucson and the Tucson and Phoenix Camera Clubs. He had received the Governor's Award for Arizona pioneers from Gov. Symington. Mr. Amado is survived by his wife, Aida Amado; children, Antonio Celaya, Paul G. Amado, Laura McNeill, Maria Byers, Delia Walters, William E. Ganz, Alice Bauer and Jo Ganz Boyd; sister, Amalia Torres; 26 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. Visitation 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday with Rosary at 7:00 p.m. Friday at Whitney & Murphy Arcadia Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix. Funeral Mass 12:00 Noon Saturday at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 1946 E. Lee, Tucson, with Interment at Holy Hope Cemetery, Tucson. The family suggests donations to the American Heart Association, 2929 S. 48th St., Tempe, AZ 85282 or the Arthritis Foundation, 777 E. Missouri #119. Phoenix, AZ 85014.

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