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"Voices in the Valley"
The Tubac Historical Society Oral History Project
page 1 of 7


Gustavo "Gus" Antonio Amado
Beverly Irish Amado
Rancho Nuevo
Amado, Arizona

Interviewer: Betty J. Lane
Date of Interview: March 3, 1989 and March 15, 1989

Lane: This oral history is being conducted for the Tubac Historical Society of Tubac, Arizona. The interviewee is Mr. Gustavo, or Gus as he is called, Antonio Amado, who lives on a ranch north of the settlement of Amado. The name of the ranch is Rancho Nuevo. We will also be talking to his wife, Beverly Irish Amado. This is March 3, 1989. The interviewer is Betty Lane.

I'm going to ask you first where you were born and when?
Amado: I was born in Tucson on the 21st day of September, 1932.
Lane: Your parents' names were what?
Amado: My dad was Gustavo Elias Amado and my mother's name is Elvira Hidalgo Amado. They were both born in Tucson.
Lane: They were?
Amado: Yes.
Lane: Give me your father's parents' names.
Amado: Antonio Amado, and my grandmother was Maria Elias Amado.
Lane: And your mother's parents' names?
Amado: My mother's dad was Miguel Hidalgo and his wife was Margarita Hughes Hildago.
Lane: How many brothers and sisters did you have?
Amado: I had two sisters, Yolanda and Natalia--Yolanda Wells and Natalia Bialkowski--married names.
Lane: In getting the genealogy of the Amado family, tell me, do you know the names of your grandfather's brothers and sisters? Would that be asking too much?
Amado: The brothers were--one was Demetrio, [then] Alberto, and Manuel. The sister was Nela. Manuel Amado was the father and he came down here from Hermosillo in about 1850. Nela lived in Tijuana. I never met her. Demetrio, I knew him pretty well because he lived here in Amado.
Lane: Yes, I want to ask you about him.
Amado: And Alberto, vaguely I remember him. I was awfully young. In Tucson I met him.
Lane: Now your father--his brothers and sisters.
Amado: My father had a brother Antonio. He was the oldest, and he had a ranch up here by Elephant Head. The other brother, Pablo, he lived with grandpa across the river at Rancho San Antonio, [and my father had] a sister, Amelia [Torres].
Lane: Who was Demetrio?
Amado: Demetrio was my grandfather's brother--Antonio's brother. He lived there at Amado across from the old railroad station.
Lane: As you go down the road from the Smithsonian towards the mountains, where exactly was that station? Right near the road?
Amado: As you leave that service station of Jesse's [Luna] you go across the river and at the end of the lane, it forks? one goes right and one goes left. Just across the railroad tracks you can still see the old ruins, and there's where Demetrio lived. And to the right of that lane where you butt into the railroad tracks--right on the corner there was like a mercantile store there that belonged to the Amados. I think the original Manuela had it. To the left you can still see the ruins--there's some ruins there--very recent is a burnt adobe house. In about 1972 they had a big flood, and the person living there was Raul Salcido, and his kid is the one that drives up and down the road here with that backhoe, Rudy Salcido. His dad lived out there in that little house and there's some pillars out of concrete and they used to have diesel tanks on top, and they'd sell diesel. My grandfather sold diesel to the people around. The stockyard was just about three hundred yards further to the north from there, where they shipped the cattle from--the ranchers from around the area.
Lane: Now Demetrio's ranch was about where Middleton ranch was, right?
Amado: Yes, but more to the south about, I'd say, a mile. Where the Middletons live is where old man Manuel Amado [lived] the original one that came from Hermosillo, that settled there at San Xavier. Since he knew they were going to make that a reservation, lie moved sough looking for some land, and settled right there at Middleton's place. They called that the Alamo Ranch. I understand that's why they called it Amado, because he was the first one to settle in the area.
Lane: I believe that the family built a church there and that is now part of the main ranch house?
Amado: Yes. When I was a kid, I saw these adobe ruins there, and they told me that was the original house, and then they built that church. Now when I knew it, it was an old church--you know, a big church. I made my first Holy Communion there. Then Middleton--he made his home out of that church. I don't know where, because it's a pretty big house now--but that church was there already. I don't remember if that was part of the old house that Manuel Amado [had], or he built that church. And then in 1947, they built that little church there across from the Amado school.
Lane: They did?
Amado: Amado: Yes
Lane: Lane: You mean it was built, or did the family build it?
Amado: No, no, that was built by the people. I remember I helped build it--hauled some rocks in or what have you, but it was built by everybody.
B. Amado: And the marble altar from that church was taken to the church in Tubac, and that was donated by the family.
Amado: By Antonio Amado, not the family. And he'd go to church every Sunday to take the mass.
Lane: Repeat that. You're talking about a ranch on the east side of the Santa Cruz which was called San Antonio Ranch, which was owned by Antonio Amado and was sold to Ray Underdown.
Amado: Yes, in 1972.
Lane: Mrs. Amado was saying that the Arizona Historical Society has some things from the Amado family, like the first bed that came to Tucson from the west coast.

Now your elementary schooling was down there?
Amado: No, at Sopori.
Lane: At Sopori?
Amado: Yes, at the old school. About eight miles up the road.
Lane: Do you remember any special teachers you had--any teachers that meant something to you?
Amado: Well there were two sisters and they were [both] called Miss Romo. They weren't married at the time, and we called them Big Romo and Little Romo, because one was big and the other was short.
Lane: That was R-O-M-O?
Amado: R-O-M-O
Lane: Where did you got to high school?
Amado: I went to Tucson--we only had school to the eighth grade here, so then we all moved to town. I graduated from Tucson High in 1951, and then I went to the University of Arizona and graduated from there in 1956.
Lane: Let's get back to any more memories of Sopori School.
Amado: Well, there was on the average of thirty?two of us kids from first to eighth grade, all in one room.
Lane: Is that right?