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Hogg, James R.

About | Abstract


Rural life in New Mexico, homesteads, schoolhouses and interesting stories about West Central New Mexico.

Interviewee James R. Hogg, male, born in -0001
Date Range 1931-2001
Date & Location March 27, 2001, Datil Community Center, Datil, N.M.
Project Rural Lifeways
Region Southwest New Mexico
Number of Tapes 2
Transcribed January 16, 2002
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Tape 1, Side A

The consultant begins with a discussion about the original log cabin on the ranch, gives instructions to the ranch and talks about homesteading in early Catron County, which was then part of Cibola County. His mother bought the ranch after World War II. Hogg was raised north of Clovis, N.M., and moved to the homestead when he was two years old. His mother was part Cherokee Indian.

He discusses raising cattle, crops of beans and corn, and breaking horses for people in the community. He recalls that he made only a little money actually farming. He recalls that the family lived in a dugout and then built a log cabin, although later on they relocated a half-mile away and built a log house. He has passed his place on to his children. He remembers that the birth mortality rate was very high in the 1930s.

He briefly discusses schools and transportation. He talks about his move to Phoenix, Ariz., where he worked at Goodyear Aircraft for eighteen years. He quit to return to the ranch to repair twenty miles of fence. He briefly discusses his fence repairs.

He talks about the book Pioneer Pride (1988). Various people in the community provided stories for the book. He discusses life on the ranch before the house was plumbed for water and tells how the family used to haul water in old syrup pails, a distance of three miles round-trip.

Tape 1, Side B

The consultant discusses the work he did for the Associated Press writing headline stories from the area. He shares some of the stories with the interviewer. Many people have moved out of the area over the years. He revisits the topic of his work in Arizona and his return to the ranch to mend the fence.

He discusses his children and the mercantile business that he had for fifteen years, and he states that it was the drought of 1952 that brought him into town. At that time there was not enough water or hay for the cattle. He kept the ranch but sold everything else. He states that there was not a drop of water in the stock tank for seven years.

There are still some cattle on the ranch today. Photographs are brought out for viewing and discussion, and his memory loss due to illness is also discussed.

Both he and his wife taught school before they were married. He taught pre-first through tenth grades. His daughter states that her father has fought with Santa Fe for buildings, books, roads, buses and other needs over the years.

He briefly discusses his work on the Pima Reservation in the 1940s where he worked building schools. He also worked on the Zuni reservation for seven years.

Tape 2, Side A

The consultant revisits the discussion regarding the book about homesteading that he discusses on Tape One. Mr. Hogg collected and edited the stories and wrote several of them himself. He recalls how the area was full of wild horses in the early 1930s. He shows the interviewer a burro hair quirk that he bought from one of his sheepherders for fifty cents.

He states that he sold beans for money and grew corn. He discusses the time after homesteads were replaced with leases. The original homestead house was built in 1928 and the fact that it is still in the family.

He tells some of the stories about tourists who came into the mercantile.

Tape 2, Side B

Mr. Hogg discusses his health and physical afflictions. Discusses breaking horses and states that he once cleared over $200 one month. He discusses the naming of Datil and Socorro and states what he believes is the origin of the word Datil. He discusses his failing eyesight.

Photographs of the original homestead are shown and discussed briefly.