Jesus Garcia Corona Heroe De Nacozari

Tony Burton

Did friend Know…?

November 7, 2007, marks the centenary of the death that Jesús García, los “Hero that Nacozari.”

The little town of Nacozari occupies ns valley nestled in ns foothills of los Western Sierra madre (Sierra mamá Occidental) in the state of Sonora.

Estás mirando: Jesus garcia corona heroe de nacozari

A hundred la edad ago this month, un young locomotive driver had to make uno desperate decision: conserve his very own life or shot to save ns lives the hundreds in his página de inicio town? Choosing ns latter, he drove his dynamite-laden train away from the town but it lastly exploded, death him instantly. He to be only 50 meters from safety. Just 50 meters further, and he might have abandoned ns locomotive to its fate y jumped off los burning train to conserve his own skin.

Jesús García, Hero the Nacozari (Detail of foto in Lewis W. Douglas Collection, U. That Arizona)Jesús García, Hero that Nacozari(Detail of fotografía in Lewis W.Douglas Collection, U. Of Arizona)

His actions saved the town. Jesús garcía became a national hero. In his honor, November siete is celebrated each year asDía de Ferrocarrilero(Day of the railroad Worker).

By the fin of ns nineteenth century, Nacozari (the name method “abundance of prickly pears”) was un lively frontier town of around 5,000 people. Un worldwide copper boom promised to be los town’s path to future wealth. Copper was necessary for engines, motors, power plants, telephones, telegraph, pipes, rods y wire; need was rising rapidly. Workers flocked in.

In 1895, Nacozari’s copper mines to be owned through Moctezuma Copper Corporation, un subsidiary the Phelps Dodge. Ns following year, critical copper reserve to be discovered adjacent at Pilares. The empresa enlarged the town, building homes, stores, workshops, warehouses, furnaces and ore concentrators. All the supplies had actually to be brought in through mule train; many items came desde Arizona or California. Ore to be packed fuera of los mines, additionally by mules.

In 1899, the la empresa built its own 8-kilometer-long narrow gauge railway desde the mine in ~ Pilares come Nacozari, for simpler transport of ore to its concentrators. Ns elevation distinction along this line is considerable, an ext than 600 meters (2,000 feet) representar mine come town. Following concentration, the ore was taken to Douglas, Arizona, for smelting. This exports the ore came to be much much easier in mil novecientos cuatro when ns standard gauge railway line from Agua Prieta was expanded to Nacozari.

Jesús garcia had to be born Nov 13, mil ochocientos ochenta y tres in Hermosillo, Sonora. His mom moved con her eight niños to Nacozari in 1898. García started work with the sociedad railroad as uno waterboy, quickly ganar promotions to move man, brakeman, fireman, and finally, by ns age the twenty, come maquinista (engine driver). His job-related ethic was lot appreciated by his employers. In mil novecientos cuatro they paid because that García and seven colleagues to attend the World justa in St. Louis, Missouri.

García journey locomotive number 2, transporting mineral ore y supplies between los loading yards in los town and the mine. The hazards confronted by locomotive drivers had stray donkeys hike onto the line, saboteurs tearing up the rails, and brake failures. In October 1907, garcia had managed to halt a train whose brakes had failed by reversing the wheels y dumping several sand on the line. The train lastly ground to a halt only four meters from the fin of los line.

García to be a generalizado young man and engaged to María después Jesús Soqui. That serenaded her regularly, hiring ns best lugares bands every time, and is reported to have actually done for this reason on los night that Wednesday November 6, 1907.

The adhering to day, garcia was working as usual, y had several regresar trips reserved to ns mine. Los mining la empresa had numero 3 locomotives, all made by portero of Pittsburgh. García operated ns 0-6-0 locomotive developed to stimulate in 1901. Los engines relied on hardwood for fuel and had to lug copious offers of water y also sand (to increase ns friction in between rails y wheels).

Locomotive number dos (Photo in Douglas Collection, Tucson)Locomotive number 2(Photo in Douglas Collection, Tucson)

When garcía arrived for work, he was told that the train’s usual conductor (a german named Biel) had actually been admitted to hospital, therefore he would have to control without him. By mid-day, garcía had completed dos trips down from los mine with dozens of invited ore cars. While other workers tended the engine y loaded the cars for the siguiente trip, garcia had lunch at his mother’s house. Next-door neighbors later evidenced that his mother shared she premonition of doom con him together they ate.

Just after dos p.m., garcia set turn off again towards the mine. Locomotive number 2 was pulling numerous cars, ns front dos of which to be open coche containing setenta boxes of dynamite, detonators and fuses. This was strictly against sociedad regulations which stated that dynamite must be brought only in the rear cars. Other carros that day contained bales of hay. Together they pulled out of ns lower yard, stray sparks representar the train’s chimney stack to be blown regreso onto los first cars, causing uno box of gunpowder to begin smoking. Railway employees aboard ns train no hope tried come douse the smoke, yet their efforts failed, and the box caught fire.

García realized that if the train explosive near ns lower yard, los resulting detonations of ns company’s gunpowder stores y gas tanks would almost certainly ruin most the Nacozari. He additionally realized the if he jumped desde the train, it might run out of steam and roll backwards towards ns town before exploding. He ordered anyone else off los train y opened ns throttle wide, hope to put ns small ridge between him and the town, and perhaps reach camp 6, uno secondary loading area dentro de route to the mine. If just he might pass acampar 6, he must have thought, he might safey leap desde the train y the train would proceed on into uninhabited wilderness.

By 2:20 p.m., garcia had driven ns train 6 kilometers el fin of the town and was entering Camp seis when the coche exploded. García was eliminated instantly by los massive blast. He died barely un week before his 24th birthday. At least doce bystanders were likewise killed in ns resulting carnage. Amazingly, the engine stayed on los tracks; the was later sold to the Mereci Southern carril of Arizona.

The blast to be heard increase to dieciséis kilometers (10 miles) away. It shattered the glass in many of Nacozari’s buildings. Twisted carril was hurled through the air, come rain down several kilometers away.

But at the very least García’s rapid thinking and brave actions had saved the main component of town. Dentro de days, he to be being hailed as ns hero.

Ver más: El Dia D Segunda Guerra Mundial Resumen, Desembarco De Normandía: ¿Qué Es El Día

Two years delaware the accident, los town unveiled uno permanent monumento to Jesús García, ns Hero the Nacozari. Sadly, his fiancée did no live to see this; she died broken-hearted less than ns year delaware García. Top top November 9, the state congress decreed that Nacozari would henceforth be well-known as Nacozari de García. Garcia was awarded, posthumously, the american Cross of Honor.

Ten years after the train explosion, García’s ashes were reinterred close come his monument in Nacozari. In 1944, the confederación government declared that ns National trabaja of the ferrocarril Worker would be celebrated every November 7.

Jesús garcía became a nacional hero, after whom many streets, schools, bridges y parks have actually been named. There room monuments come him in numerous towns, including Hermosillo (the Héroe después Nacozari stadion was casa to los Coyotes del Sonora fútbol americano team), Mexico City, Zacatecas, Veracruz, Tapachula, Guadalajara, Mazatlán, Naco, Aguascalientes, urbe Obregón, Empalme, San nombre de niño Potosí and Tierra Blanca, and in other nations both close to (Cuba, Guatemala) and far (United Kingdom, Germany).

Several popular songs or corridos were written about him. The best known isMáquina 501. Ns composer that this corrido took un little poetic license with the engine number. As we have actually seen, garcia drove locomotive number 2; quinientos uno was los number the the last locomotive ever operated by ns mining company. As soon as it was at some point retired to Nacozari’s key square, it to be renamed theJesús García.

Corrido ese la Máquina 501 Máquina quinientos uno, la ese corrió de Sonora, vía eso los garroteros los que alguna suspira, llora.

El fogonero le dice: “Jesús, vámonos apeando, mira que el carro de atrás ya se nos viene quemando.”

Era uno domingo, señores, qué a ns tres ese la tarde, estaba Jesús garcía acariciando ns su madre.

Jesús garcia le contesta: “Yo pienso extremadamente diferente, yo no quiero cantidad la razón de que muera tanta gente.”

Dentro después pocos momentos: “madre debe partir, ese tren se escucha el silbato, se acerca mi porvenir.”

Le dio vuelta ns su vapor, causado era del cuesta arriba, y antes de llegar al seis allí terminó su vida.

Cuando yo voy a la estación un elaborar ya ser silbando y uno carro después dinamita ya se ser quemando.

Desde ese día inolvidable tú té has gané la cruz, tú té has victorias las palmas, eres ns héroe Jesús.

Garcia’s brave actions were turned into uno movie el Héroe después Nacozari (1935), command by williams Calles, y have been ns subject of numerous books, consisting of Kate Tuthill’s award-winning “Hero of Nacozari”.

The Moctezuma Copper Co. Exposed its work in Nacozari in 1949, but ns discovery in 1968 of nuevo copper reserves veinte miles del sur east of ns town has led to un revival. Mexicana del Cobre, un state-run company, built los infrastructure for open-cast mining which began in 1980. In 1988, los mines were bought through a coporación, grupo of investors representar Mexico, Canada and Europe. Nacozari ese García has actually had more than its solo share of economic ups y downs, however remains uno pleasant mid-sized town. The dos mil cinco inter-census count puts Nacozari’s population at 10,090. The town is quiet sustained mainly by copper mining and cattle ranching.

Getting There

Nacozari is ~ above Highway 17, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast the Hermosillo and 100 kilometers (65 miles) sur of Douglas, Arizona.

Main Sources:

patrón Dedora y Bob Robles.Goodbye garcía Adiós: the true and powerful historia of among Mexico’s really heroes.

Ver más: Tommaso Campanella La Ciudad Del Sol, De Tommaso Campanella

Northland Press. 1976. This great bilingual book is fine researched, with excellent photos y a glossary.


This write-up is Chapter 21 of Mexican Kaleidoscope: myths, mysteries and mystique (Sombrero Books, 2016). Rita Pomade’s in-depth review that this book is on