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Soledad SEAÑEZ HOLGUÍN

Female Abt 1896 - 1996  (~ 100 years)


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  • Name Soledad SEAÑEZ HOLGUÍN 
    Born Abt 1896  San Ysidro de Las Cuevas, Chihuahua, México Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 12 Jul 1996  Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • (1) Source: Patricia M. Garcia .

      (2) The New York Times, July 30, 1923, Copyright © The New York Times:

      Army of Children Claim Villa's Estate; 7,000,000 Pesos in Buried Treasure Sought
      -
      MEXICO CITY, July 29 (Associated Press.) - The fight of his numerous widows and children for the estate of Francisco Villa, slain bandit chieftain, promises to become as exciting as the search for the 7,000,000 pesos which "Pancho" is popularly reported to have buried in the vicinity of Parral.

      Reports from Chihuahua state that Villa had a presentiment of death several weeks before his assassination, and wrote to several of his wives, promising them shares of his estate. Thus far five wives and a small army of children have filed claims, in addition to his brother Hipolito and his sister Mariana.

      The wives who have filed claims are as follows:

      Esther Cardona of Chihuahua, who has two children; Paula Alamillo of Torreon, no children; Soledad R. De Villa of Canutillo, one son; Petra Espinosa of Santa Barbara, one son; and Austreberta Renteria, Canutillo, one son.

      Claims also have been filed by:

      A daughter, Maria, of Canutillo, mother unknown; a son by Juana Torres, who died recently in Los Angeles; a son by the late Guadalupe Coss, whose father Villa slew; a son by the late Asuncion R. De Villa, Canutillo.

      More than a dozen other children in Parral and Canutillo claim the bandit chieftain as their father, alleging that their mothers were kidnapped by him and never reappeared.

      Reports of the buried treasure are believed by the authorities to be without foundation.

      (3) Katz, Friedrich, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998, © 1998 by The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, p. 908, footnote 102:

      The legality of Luz Corral's marriage to Villa was twice challenged in and twice upheld by the courts. In 1925, Austreberta [Renteria] challenged the validity of Luz Corral's marriage to Villa, stating that since the marriage certificate between Luz Corral and Villa was dated Dec. 16, 1915, it was invalid, because Chihuahua had then still been under Conventionist administration and the subsequent Carrancista administration had declared all the decisions of the Conventionist government to be illegal. Apart from the fact that neither the Carranza administration nor its successors ever revoked marriage licenses or other civil measures taken during the Conventionist period, it was at the very least very strange for the widow of Pancho Villa to base her claims on the theory that her husband's administration of Chihuahua had been illegal. . . .

      The more serious challenge to the legality of Luz Corral's marriage to Villa was submitted to the Mexican courts nine years later in 1934 by a lawyer representing Villa's daughter by Juana Torres. The accusation stated that the marriage license between Villa and Luz Corral was dated Dec. 16, 1915, but that Villa had married Juana Torres on Oct. 7, 1913, and since the latter died only in 1916, Villa had committed bigamy by marrying Luz Corral while his legal wife was still alive, and that his marriage to Luz Corral was thus invalid. The lawyer demanded that Juana Torres's daughter be declared Villa's sole heir. Somewhat strangely, this petition was supported by another widow of Villa's, Soledad Seañez, who declared that since Luz Corral's marriage to Villa was invalid and Juana Torres had died in 1916, her [Soldedad Seañez's] marriage to Villa, which had taken place on May 1, 1919, established her as Villa's sole legal widow. She was nevertheless ready to recognize Juana Torres's daughter as the only legal heir to Villa's properties.

      Luz Corral rejected these claims by stating that she had married Villa in 1911, but that the original marriage license had been lost, and the certificate of 1915 did not constitute a new marriage license but simply a ratification of a wedding that had already taken place in 1911. This was in fact stated in the marriage license of 1915, and the judge decided in favor of Luz Corral.

      (4) El Paso Herald-Post, April 17, 1972, p. B-1:

      Revolutionary Bandit Good Father, Husband
      -
      Villa's Widow Recalls Early Years

      By JESSIE PETERSON

      Gen. Francisco (Pancho) Villa, the colorful bandit chief, was considerate, wise, fond of children and willing to fight for his dream of an educated Mexico.

      This I learned following a number of meetings with his widow, Mrs. Soledad Saenz [sic; should be Saeñez] Villa, who lives in Juarez.

      A FRIEND, Ral King, who speaks Spanish well, accompanied me, because of the language barrier. We called Mrs. Villa and set up the first meeting in her home in Juarez.

      Mrs. Villa lives in a brick apartment house in a nice neighborhood, and the moment she greeted us, I knew that we were meeting a lady of refinement and good taste. We walked across a beautifully carpeted room to sit in comfortable chairs.

      I observed with interest the pictures on the white walls. They were desert scenes and flowers, but on an easel in the corner of the room was a life-sized portrait of General Pancho Villa, but only the head was finished, the shoulders and body were "roughed in." I walked across the room to get a different view. Wherever I walked, the eyes in the portrait seemed to follow me.

      "WHO IS THE artist I asked?"

      "I am the artist," Mrs. Villa replied. "This it how I saw him."

      She came and stood beside me, and Ral joined us. Villa's eyes seemed alive as we stood there looking into his dark, handsome face.

      "This is my masterpiece," Mrs. Villa said quietly. "The other paintings on the wall . . . they are of little consequence."

      "All of the paintings are very beautiful," Ral King said. "But this portrait of General Villa is very good. He was a very handsome man."

      "Oh yes," Mrs. Villa agreed quickly. "Handsome and strong. This picture is the way I want people to rememeber him in their hearts. Of course when I finish the painting I shall give it to our son Antonio. He is so like his father."

      MRS. VILLA served us coffee in thin white cups, and she told us of her life at Canutillo, with her husband. She told us how romantic her Pancho was.

      She said, "My cousin had this picture of me which he showed to Pancho who took it and carried it in his wallet until it fell to pieces. Pancho arranged with my cousin for a meeting between us . . . and I fell in love with Pancho.

      ["]But of course I could not marry him as he wished because he already had two wives, Juana who was his first, and Luz who was his second. But I did marry him after Juana's death. We had a beautiful wedding." She opened a drawer in a small table and gave me her bridal pictur[e]. She was indeed a beautiful, dainty bride.

      Mrs. Villa said: "Pancho loved his life at Canutillo, and one of the first things he did was to have a school house built so that the children could get their education.

      ["]CANUTILLO was like a small town. There was a church, a very large building that Pancho used for offices, and part of his family also lived there. Pancho bought many fine farming machines from El Paso merchants, and he grew many fine crops on his lands . . . he and his Dorados became good farmers. Grain, wheat I think it was and corn and of course alfalfa. War seemed far, far away, and we were all happy and contented.

      "MY PANCHO was a very wise man. When he had the school house built he had the windows set high so that they would give good light for the children to study by, but they could not sit and look out and day dream, or have their minds taken off their lessons by passers on the street.

      "Before and after our Antonio was born I spent several months in El Paso. He was a fine, big baby and favored his famous father even though he was quite small. Pancho was so proud of him. Antonio was a very good, happy baby and he and Miguel, a son of Pancho's that I took into my heart and home before Antonio was born, were just like brothers.

      "They grew up together and Miguel joined his country's air force and in an airplane accident he was instantly killed. He was a fine pilot, a good young man and we grieved for him."

      HER EYES GREW SAD as she remembered.

      "Life her been gracious to me," she said, adding: "But it has also brought me many tears. When Pancho was assassinated in Parral, and the messenger came bringing me the cruel news, I could not accept it. Pancho had left home that morning possessing all the things in life to make a man happy, and he was dead now, snatched away in a moment of violence, when the day had been so sunny and peaceful when Pancho and his friends had left the hacienda that morning.

      "We buried him and his friends who died with him in the Parral cemetery. We wanted to bury him in the beautiful mausoleum in Chihuahua City. But the officials would not allow it. Several of his Revolutionary officers are buried there but Pancho, no."

      BEFORE WE LEFT her apartment she showed us the fine electric sewing machine in her bedroom.

      "I love my painting," she said, "but I also love to create beautiful dresses. Although I get a nice pension from the Mexican Government as the widow of General Villa, I can always use extra money. Besides, I love to sew, and designing beautiful dresses gives me great pleasure."

      This was the first of many visits we had with Mrs. Villa. She came to our homes for luncheons and we went to hers for long afternoon visits where we gave her the opportunity of talking about her beloved.

      WHEN MY daughter, Doris Cochran and her children came down for a visit from Indianapolis, Indiana, Celinda, my granddaughter, learning that Mrs. Villa was a dressmaker wondered if she could have a couple of dresses made by her. When I spoke to Mrs. Villa about this, she was delighted. Celinda bought the patterns she liked, and selected the material and we drove over to Juarez, and left them with Mrs. Villa.

      Doris and the children had to return home before the dresses were finished, but a few days later I met Mrs. Villa at San Jacinto Plaza and we drove to Ral's home. There I took pictures of the dresses with Mrs. Villa displaying them. They were very pretty, Celinda wrote after she had received the dresses, that she was the envy of all the girls in her class when she wore those 'groovy' dresses to class.

      "JUST THINK, Grandma," she wrote. "I am the only girl in all the United States who wears dresses made by Mrs. Villa . . . the widow of that dashing General Pancho Villa."

      Yes, the girls at her school were indeed impressed with the pretty dresses, and wanted Celinda to tell them stories about the famous Mexican General, and his amazing exploits. Celinda was happy be comply.

      THE LAST TIME I visited with Soledad, we grew to call her by her given name, she was teaching a class in Spanish in one of the City buildings.

      She said, "It gives me great satisfaction to teach these people who are grown men and women, how to read and write. They are good students and are eager to learn. The knowledge they get in this class will broaden their lives. I'm sure that Pancho would approve of my work, because he fought for education and better living conditions for his people. He would be happy to see that some of the dreams he had for his people are being realized . . . and I am contributing something to that dream[']s fulfillment."

      (5) The New York Times, July 12, 1996, Copyright © The New York Times:

      Pancho Villa's Wife, 100

      CHIHUAHUA, Mexico (Associated Press) - Soledad Seanez Holguin, the widow of the Mexican revolutionary hero Pancho Villa, died here today. She was 100.

      She died of respiratory failure after being hospitalized since Monday.

      Over the years, several other women claimed to be Pancho Villa's widow, including some who had become his wife by his own proclamation.

      But in 1946, the legislature recognized Miss Seanez Holguin as Villa's wife after proving the pair had had a civil and a church wedding on May 1, 1919.

      Villa formed his famed Northern Division in 1913 in an effort to gain control of Mexico after President Porfirio Diaz fled to Europe.

      He entered Mexico City in December of 1914 in alliance with the revolutionary land reformer Emiliano Zapata.

      Villa was assassinated in 1923.
    Person ID I19258  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2018 

    Family Pancho VILLA,   b. 5 Jun 1878, Río Grande, San Juan del Río, Durango, México Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jul 1923, Parral, Chihuahua, México Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Married 1 May 1919  Valle De Allende, Chihuahua, México Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Last Modified 5 Jul 2018 11:25:31 
    Family ID F8575  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. Details: Details: Details: Details: Details: Details: Details: Details: Details: Citation Text: (2) Katz, Friedrich, TheLife and Times of Pancho Villa, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998, ?? 1998 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, p. 907, footnote 93: In July 1923, the newspaper La Patria gave the following list of Villa's wives and children: ". . . Soledad R. de Villa, who has one son. . . ." (La Patria, July 28, 1923).