The Jose Higinio Manzanarez and Juan Francisco Montoya Families
Our thanks to Laural Cordova
for this family information.
My great-grandfather is Juan F. Montoya, father of my mother’s father, and my great, great grandfather is Higenio Manzanares,
father of my mother’s grandfather on her mother’s side.
The Rev. Higenio Ruybalid was also Higenio’s grandson through his mother, Helena Manzanares Ruybalid.
From THE LEDGER-NEWS, Antonito, Colorado, by Mrs. C.A. Romero:
The San Rafael Presbyterian Church of Mogote is one of the oldest protestant churches in the San Luis Valley, built around 1895. The first missionaries that preached here were the Rev. M. D. J. Sanchez and Gabino Rendon. The first converts were Jose B. Ramon Ruybal, Higenio Manzanares, Jose B. Chacon, Antonio Ruybalid (named Tonito), Lino Suazo, Juan F. Montoya, Juan Ortega, Deciderio Cisneros, Francisco Estrada, J. M. Valdez, and J. M. Suazo.
We had a missionary teacher here for many years. Her name was Miss Mollie Clements. She remained in Mogote until the year 1922. After Rev. Sanchez, we had Rev. Amadeo Maes for many years.
In 1916, my husband, Rev. Casimero A. Romero came to Mogote and remainded here until 1925 when we were sent to Las Animas, Colorado. We remained in Las Animas for four years, after that we went to Trinidad for four years. We were in Chimayo for four months. My husband died there in 1933.
A list of ministers that preached in the Mogote Church were: Rev. Vigil, Rev Rafael Martinez from California, Rev. Juan Rodriguez (a former priest), Rev. Higenio Ruybalid, Rev. Amador Martinez, Rev. Tomas Gonzales, Rev. Moicelio Cruz, Rev. Joe Medina, and Rev. Benny Sanchez.
The church building in Mogote is in need of repairs. The building is used occasionally. In ruins in the same area is the old mission house. The mission house was used for Bible study, education, and entertainment. In the 1960’s the two congregations of Mogote and Antonito merged into the United Presbyterian Church.