Assessing the 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.
The Gadsden 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.
Though Antonio 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.
The passing 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.
As remarked 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 Sonora.
The ability 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.