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Descendants of several early settlers provided family photos and told their stories at an event in Jemez Springs in 2003, where their photos were originally displayed. Those photos are shown below. Other families’ photos come to us from a variety of sources. Captions here were written on the original photos. Not all persons are identified in the following photos. If you can add names or dates to any of these faces from the early days, please post a comment. If you have a collection of family photos you would like to include here, please contact Judith Isaacs, 575-829-3382.

Scroll down to see stories and images from early families in the area.

  • Abousleman
  • Fenton
  • Caldwell
  • Meskimmen
  • Block
  • Routledge
  • Miller

Abousleman Family

Moses Abousleman came to America from Lebanon in the early 1890s and first made his way to Santa Fe. Always an entrepreneur, he was a traveling salesman, selling housewares of all kinds from the back of a wagon, according to an article by Linda Vozar Sweet in the New Mexico Magazine of May 1997. (Lebanese are the second largest group of European immigrants in New Mexico after the Italians.) He subsequently operated two trading posts at Jemez Pueblo before moving to Jemez Springs in 1912. His many businesses included a mercantile, livery stable, saloon and bath house. In addition to being a merchant, he owned as many 40,000 sheep, which he grazed throughout the Jemez Mountains. The first Abousleman store (or maybe a saloon) in Jemez Springs burned down in the 1920s. He then built what is now the Los Ojos Saloon, which his sons operated until it was sold in the 1940’s.

Sweet wrote that Moses Abousleman was responsible for many “firsts” in the Jemez Springs: first telephone, first hydro-electric generating plant (which later became the start of Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative), first house to have indoor running water. Moses died in 1934; Edna the following year. Both are buried in the Jemez Springs Catholic Cemetery.

Moses and Edna’s eight children went on to become prominent citizens in Jemez Springs, Espanola and Bernalillo. Their daughter, Josephine Shepard, served three terms as mayor of Jemez Springs from 1970-78, and she was instrumental in starting the first library, first health clinic, first sewage treatment plant, first fire department, and first public school district. Another daughter, Lillian Sotel, was superintendent of the Jemez Valley Schools. A son, Fred, was manager of the Jemez Mountain Electric Coop.

Son Tom became a building contractor, remained in Jemez Springs and lived in the big white house that Moses built – the house in which he was born — until his death in 2009. He was the youngest of the eight children.


The following photos of their family were first shared at a Storytellers Get-together in 2003 at Jemez Fine Arts Gallery.




ab30 ab26 ab25 ab21 ab15 ab08 ab06


 Caldwell & Fenton Families

Elijah McLean Fenton

The Rev. Elijah McLean Fenton came to New Mexico as a missionary in 1881. In addition to his duties as a preacher, he became a surveyor and surveyed most of Sandoval County. In 1892, he was at the Jemez Pueblo mission, and his wife, Jessie Lime Fenton, was a school teacher there. He also served missions at Cuba and Regina. About this time, he and his family homesteaded on Cebolla Creek and built a stock pond which later became Fenton Lake. Elijah and Jessie had two children: Elijah Jr. and Jean. Over the years, their land holdings expanded to 640 acres. His brother, George, also homesteaded in the same area and was married to Jessie’s sister, May Lime, also a school teacher at Jemez Pueblo.

Elijah McLean (E.M.) Fenton Jr., aka Mac Fenton

Elijah McLean (E.M.) Fenton Jr., aka Mac Fenton, lived in the Jemez Mountains most of his life and worked at various jobs besides running their ranch. According to an article by Alice Fenton in the Sandoval County Review, Sept. 20, 1978, he was a surveyor, boiler maker’s apprentice, freight hauler, member of the National Guard, timber cruiser, and assistant forest ranger.

In 1919, he married Alice Brown, and they continued to ranch on Cebolla Creek. After Mac and Alice retired, they moved to Ponderosa to be near their children. Most of the original Fenton land was sold to Calvin and Ruth Horn, who donated the land to Manzano Day School. It is operated currently as an environmental education center.

alice fenton

Alice Brown Fenton.


Roy Stamps and Harry Fluke.

Ethel, Herbert & Ann Routledge; Stuart Fenton, Alice & Mac Fenton, Elmer Routledge, Jessie, Bob and Charlie Fenton. Date unknown.

picnic 1

Fentons on a picnic.

mary or jake

Mary on Jake.

Mack & burro.

Jessie, Jean & Mack.

hugh miller

Hugh Miller.

horse & bugy


em jr & jane

E.M. Fenton & Jean.

E.M. Fenton, Jr. and Jean Fenton

E.M. Fenton, Jr. and Jean Fenton

Jesse Lime Fenton, Jean Fenton and Mac Fenton

Jesse Lime Fenton, Jean Fenton and Mac Fenton

em jr & dog

E.M. Fenton & dog

em jr & alice

E. M. and Alice Fenton.

em fenton

E.M. Fenton.


Meskimen Family

sawmill insides

Sawmill insides.

Logging truck.

logging by horse

Logging by horse.

lew caldwell

Lew Caldwell.

Lew & Buster on dozer

Lew & Buster on dozer.

grandpa & grandson

Grandpa and grandson.


fish & beer

FIsh and beer.



horse & wagon


Routledge Family

 - Copy (3) - Copy - Copy

84 & it still fits.

jemez snow - circa 1941 - Copy - Copy

Jemez snow at Routledge house, 1941.

home at freelove - Copy - Copy

Routledge family in front of home in Freelove, 1928.

herb, Elmer, Dorothy - Copy - Copy

Herb, Dorothy, Elmer.

herb & elmer - Copy - Copy

Herb & Elmer.

Grandma & Elmer - Copy - Copy

Grandma and Elmer.

File0023 - Copy (2) - Copy

Art, Ethel, Herb, Elmer, Dorothy & Betty in buckboard with horses Dollie and Star, 1925.

fentons - Copy (2) - Copy


Ethel & Elmer - Copy (2) - Copy

Ethel & Elmer.

elmer r - policia 1939 - Copy (2) - Copy

Elmer at Paliza, 1939.

elmer - 1940 - Copy (2) - Copy

Elmer, 1940.

elmer - 1921 - Copy (2) - Copy

Elmer, 1921.

bland - 1917 - Copy (2) - Copy

Bland, 1917.

art routledge - 1920 - Copy (5) - Copy

Art, 1920.

art in hollywood - 1914 - Copy (3) - Copy - Copy

Art in Hollywood, 1914.

Art & Ethel - Copy (2) - Copy - Copy

Art & Ethel.

a.r. with mule team - 1919 - Copy (3) - Copy - Copy

Art with mule team, 1919.

a routledge - circa 1910 - Copy (3) - Copy - Copy

Art Routledge circa 1910

a.r. building log cabin - 1922 - Copy (3) - Copy - Copy

Building log cabin, 1922.

art routledge at ranch - Copy (3) - Copy - Copy

Art Routledge at ranch

art's attempt at hollywood - Copy (3) - Copy - Copy

Art’s attempt at Hollywood

File0021 - Copy (2) - Copy


Block Family

Some years ago, before the library had a scanner, a descendant of the Block family gave us these photos, which were duplicated on copier, along with the handwritten notes.

Block Family - 2 Block family 1 Block Family 3 Block FAmily 4 Block family 5 Block family 6

Photos taken  from 1910-1930 from the estate of the James B. Block family, who  lived in Jemez Springs and Albuquerque.

Lieutenant Jim Black. U.S.A O.J.C

Lieutenant Jim Block. U.S.A O.J.C

0000-00-00_OldPhotos28 0000-00-00_OldPhotos27 0000-00-00_OldPhotos26

James Black, 12 months old. Jemez Springs

James Block, 12 months old. Jemez Springs

0000-00-00_OldPhotos24 0000-00-00_OldPhotos23 0000-00-00_OldPhotos22

June 7, 1908

0000-00-00_OldPhotos18 0000-00-00_OldPhotos17 0000-00-00_OldPhotos16 0000-00-00_OldPhotos15 0000-00-00_OldPhotos14  0000-00-00_OldPhotos12 0000-00-00_OldPhotos09 0000-00-00_OldPhotos08 0000-00-00_OldPhotos06 0000-00-00_OldPhotos05 0000-00-00_OldPhotos04 0000-00-00_OldPhotos02 0000-00-00_OldPhotos01


Miller Family

George Miller, Bill, Martha, 1939

George Miller, Bill, Martha, 1939. Found among Adele Schermein’s papers and donated to library.


marie miller 1940s

Marie Miller circa 1940. Found among Adele Schermein’s papers and donated to library.


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