Monday, December 31, 2012

Candelario Vigil (1877-1941)

    From the 1913 work "Representative New Mexicans"

   Candelario Vigil is honored today on the SNIAPH as the first political strange name profile from the state of New Mexico. A resident of Union County, Vigil was a prominent figure on the New Mexico political scene both before and after it became a state in 1912. Little could be found online in regards to his life and political career, but enough information has been located to compile a small write up on his accomplishments.
  Born on February 2, 1877 in San Wapello, New Mexico, Candelario Vigil was the son of Augustin (1843-1909) and Eleuteria Ortega Vigil. Candelario is recorded by the 1913 work Representative New Mexicans as attending public schools in the Mora County, New Mexico area and was later enrolled in a private school in the village of Wagon Mound. 
   Candelario married in 1897 to Ms. Carolina Vigil (1878-1941, no relation) with whom he had several children, who are listed as follows: Daniel (1898-1898), Candelario (1900-1979), Lionela (1902-1995), Agustin (1907-1999), Esequiel (1905-1998), Max Elmer (1909-2000), Fulgencio (born 1912) and an adopted daughter,  Juanita (born 1918).
  From the few sources that mention him, Candelario Vigil is recorded as being "one of the most successful stockraisers" in the Union County area, owning a large amount of American Hereford cattle. The Representative New Mexicans also note that Vigil was a notary public and served a term on the Union County Board of Education from 1902-1904. 
  In 1911 Vigil's public profile received a boost when he became a delegate to the New Mexico Constitutional Convention from Union County. This convention was of major importance in New Mexico history as it drew up a state constitution, and within two years of its creation, New Mexico became the 47th state, with its statehood proclamation being signed by then-President William Howard Taft. 

  In 1912 Candelario Vigil was elected as a Republican to the New Mexico State House of Representatives. Taking his seat in January 1914, Vigil's term concluded in 1916. Due to the lack of information on Mr. Vigil, it is unknown at this time if he took part in any important legislation during his years of service, and it is also a mystery as to the committees he may have served on.
  Little else is known of Vigil's life after his tenure in the New Mexico legislature. He is recorded as dying on March 14, 1941, at age 63 in the town of Clayton, New Mexico and was shortly thereafter interred at the Clayton Cemetery in Union County. Carolina Vigil died a few months after her husband in September 1941 at age 64 and was interred alongside him in Clayton. 

                   This portrait of Vigil appeared in the 1915 edition of the New Mexico Blue Book.

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