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Felix Martinez

Felix Martinez was a prominent businessman, politician, and diplomat in El Paso at the turn of the 20th century. He was the owner/publisher of the El Paso Daily News, a director of the First National Bank of El Paso, one of the original directors of the Federal Reserve Board, Dallas District, an officer of El Paso Electric and a diplomat in South America under President Woodrow Wilson.

Martinez helped to establish one of the most prominent menís clubs in El Pasoís history, The Toltec Club. The social club had many wealthy men as members, and they entertained important visitors, including Theodore Roosevelt. After the Great Depression, the club ceased to exist.

In 1904, residents living around the Rio Grande sought to solve the basin-flooding problem. The solution was to build a dam that restricted the flowing water, but the location was hotly debated. Martinez was one of five representatives from Texas that created a resolution in favor of the Elephant Butte, New Mexico site. The damn was finished in 1916.

At the time of his death in 1916, Felix was considered one of the most prominent Hispanics in the United States.

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Texas Handbook

Read More, Learn More:

Vigil, Maurilio E. 1980. Los Patrones: Profiles of Hispanic Political Leaders in New Mexico History. Washington: University Press of America.