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Juana Maria Ascarate de Stephenson

Juana Maria Ascarate de Stephenson was an aristocratic daughter of a wealthy El Paso del Norte merchant and heir to a considerable fortune in land, cattle and mines in the Corralitas area. She married Hugh Stephenson, an Anglo-American, in August 1828. Hugh was a pioneer and fur trader from Kentucky. Juana and her husband, known as Don Hugo, built a great house they termed “Casa de Grande de Alto” in a ranch estate called Concordia near what is now Concordia Cemetery.

Juana and her husband, while among the wealthiest in the region, felt a social obligation to the poor, sick and needy throughout the El Paso area. Juana Ascárate de Stephenson died on February 6, 1856, when she was fatally gored by a deer she had nurtured from a fawn.

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Write a short story about how you imagine the daughter of a wealthy Hispanic businessman and an Anglo-American pioneer met and married in the early nineteenth century.

Related Links:

The Handbook of Texas Online, article on Hugh Stephenson
http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/MM/fmi36.html

The Concordia Heritage Association
http://www.rootsweb.com/~txelpaso/concordia/index2.html

Read More, Learn More:

Sonnichsen, C. L. 1968. Pass of the North: Four Centuries on the Rio Grande, University of El Paso: Texas Western Press.

Strickland, Rex W. 1963. Six Who Came to El Paso: Pioneers of the 1840's. El Paso: Texas Western College Press.