Sunday, July 20, 2014

Amelia Hunt de Garcia and Monico Garcia - Two amazing early pioneers of Apache County

So this week I was at my "real" job - when I had a visit from a very nice couple who had been at the Museum and were researching some ancestors.  We then proceeded to have an incredibly interesting conversation about the woman's great grandparents:  Amelia Hunt and Monico Garcia.  She mentioned that Amelia had been the County Superintendent of Schools at one time, and also that she was a sister to George W. P. Hunt the first Governor of the STATE of Arizona!  That's all it took to set me off on another exciting adventure. 

Monico Garcia
I knew the name Monico Garcia sounded familiar and that is because his photo is in our exhibit on the town of Concho - as he and Amelia lived there at one time.   My visitor had mentioned seeing a photo of her Great-grandmother Amelia in the exhibit - so of course I had to go look at the exhibit again - and sure enough - there was the photo of beautiful Amelia!

Amelia Hunt de Garcia

What an amazing pair these two were!  They were outstanding citizens, and extremely involved in educating the children of Concho and St. Johns.  They each held many positions of responsibility as can be seen in this short summary I came across on the USGenWeb site while I was researching them:

History of Arizona, Page 484

"In one of the most exacting of vocations Mrs. Amelia Hunt Garcia has achieved distinctive success.  She has long been active in education affairs and is now serving as Superintendent of Schools of Apache County and as a member of the State Board of Education. She was born on her father's ranch, about eight
miles north of St. Joseph, Yavapai County on November 15, 1876, and is a daughter of James Clark and Juanita (Rubi) Hunt, the former of whom is referred to on other pages of this work.  She attended the public schools, completing her education in St. Johns Academy and the high school at Prescott in 1891. In that same year she began teaching in the schools at St. Johns and during the two following years taught at Concho. In 1896 she served as principal of the Concho schools in 1900 took the school at El Tule, where she remained two years, followed by another year as principal of the school at Concho. In 1907 Mrs. Garcia gain resumed her education work by taking the school at St. Johns after which she devoted her attention to her home until 1923 when she was elected County Superintendent of Schools, which position she is still filling.

On July 7, 1902 she became the wife of Monico Garcia of St. Johns, who at that time was County Recorder.  During the ensuing five years he served as Justice of the Peace and Notary Public, and as manager of A&B Schuster Company at Concho. In 1908 he was elected County Superintendent of Schools and Probate Judge, which dual position he held for two years, after which he was elected County Treasurer, in which office he served from 1910 to 1914.  In 1926 he graduated from the State Teachers College, since which time he has served as principal of the St. Johns schools. 

Mr. and Mrs. Garcia have been born four children..." 

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Monico and Amelia's Wedding Announcement
In searching the historical Apache County Newspapers on the Arizona Digital Newspaper Project I found many references to them in the early newspapers.  Including their wedding announcement:

Some other items of interest include Campaign mentions when Amelia was running for Apache County Superintendent of Schools.

St. Johns Herald Newspaper - 16 September 1920

St. Johns Herald Newspaper - 16 September 1920

I found many interesting anecdotes in the newspaper about them; Monico was a successful cattleman, among other things, and Amelia had a beautiful singing voice, but perhaps those are for another day.   Here is, what I thought to be, one of the most interesting items I found...this article in the Coconino Sun Newspaper in 1922.  I have searched quite a bit online seeing if I could find a copy of the song, and although I did find some other songs composed by A. Leopold Richard - I have not yet been able to find "My Arizona".  But I love the words!!

Coconino Sun Newspaper - August 14, 1922

Arizona!  Arizona!  We pledge our honor for thee to live, for thee to die;
No traitor's hand shall ever mar the brightness of thy glorious star.

Then here's to Arizona, with skies of deepest blue;
Then here's to Arizona, a dear land
We'll sing thy praises true.

Arizona!  Arizona!  To thy sons thou art the land of faith, the land of truth.
So quick to strike to right a wrong, with equal love for weak and strong."

Amelia Hunt de Garcia
Photo found on

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