life of Antonio Campa Soza eighty years after his passage through
southern Arizona, is best done by using the reflections on the mirror
of those epic national events that shaped the history of this nation.
Born in Tubac,
before the out break of the American-Mexican War of 1846, Antonio
was still cradle bound, when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of
1848 ended that war. All of Arizona was ceded by Mexico to the United
States, save for the area embraced by southern Arizona.
Purchase of 1853, ratified in 1854, embracing Tubac and Tucson,
set in motion the eventual departure of Mexican troops from Tucson
in 1856. The Soza family faced the dilemma on whether to remain
Mexican citizens and leave with the troops, or remain on ancestral
lands that they had nourished, at least, since 1774. The family
elected to remain on their lands, renounce allegiance to the Republic
of Mexico, and become American citizens.
In the decades
that followed, Antonio availed himself of the benefits of the Homestead
Act of 1862 and other Public Land Laws. He carved out a cattle and
farm enterprise on the San Pedro River valley. His ensuing and later
prominence in the valley, prompted the USGS to name three map features
in his name, namely: Soza Canyon, Soza Wash and Soza Mesa.
may not have ever travelled beyond the triangular area circumscribed
by Tubac, Tucson and Redington on the San Pedro River; his larger
imprint is measured by his progeny and their descendants spread
over a dozen States. His score of sons and daughters, joined by
those of his brothers Juan, Placido and Nicolas, the Soza name and
legacy remains alive and viable in the land of Antonio's birth.
of Jesus Moreno de Soza can not and should not be dismissed lightly.
She represented a rare and indomitable spirit when the totality
of her life is considered. Many trials, tribulations, defeats and
triumphs marked her life.
earlier, her parents and their four young daughters, one barely
in her teens, would travel from Los Angeles to Ures, Sonora. They
travelled in one carriage and two green wagons,127 marking a distance of nearly 1,000 miles.
Upon the death
of their mother at Ures, the four daughters would return to Tucson
c.1871-1872. Three of the sisters would survive, marry and raise
families within the perimeters of southern Arizona and northern
to survive and endure a harsh, hostile desert environment, devoid
of even the slight hint of the comforts now taken for granted, marked
this pioneer women as a towering beacon. Her grave at the Soza Cemetery
is surrounded by the graves of her husband, sister, son, daughter,
three grand children and one great grand child.
with: Hi Wo