According to the Patagonia 1900 U.S. Census, Joaquin Quiroga (1844-unknown) and Francisca Guevara Bustamante (1853-1929) arrived in the United States in 1898. Family history recounts that they arrived from Imuris, Sonora. Quirogas had settled in Sonora during the 1770s in the town of San Felipe along the Rio Sonora, according to Guillermo Molina, an attorney in Banamichi, Sonora. Joaquin was said to have been a military man from Mexico and is reported to have led a group of citizens in repelling an attack by Apaches in 1886 when Geronimo attempted to raid Imuris.
It is unknown why the family had decided to move north, but their daughter Elena, the eldest of the family, was already living in the Patagonia area with her husband Rafael Candelario. Elena’s granddaughter, Edith Sayre Auslander, became the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Arizona Board of Regents in 1984.
Living with Joaquin and Francisca in 1900 were their three sons, Joaquin Guevara Quiroga, Jose Maria Guevara Quiroga and Ramon Guevara Quiroga. They were living in a row house at the time, neighbors with Walter Fortune, who would later become a trustee of the Patagonia Elementary School Board. The three sons attended grammar school in 1901 with John Cady’s daughter, Mary Rebecca Cady, in the first Patagonia Elementary School class.
The row house may have been the Duquesne House, as Francisca would later be living there in 1929. Joaquin and his two older sons (Joaquin Guevara and Jose Maria) worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad which had a new depot in Patagonia.
Joaquin (the father), Francisca and Elena are said to be buried in the original Patagonia Cemetery next to the front gate of the Mesa development on Third Avenue. There is no record of Joaquin’s death but he is not listed as living with his wife in the 1910 Census. There is some conjecture that he was riding with Pancho Villa at this time but that has never been authenticated.
Joaquin Guevara (the son) and his wife, Maclovia Nanez, had several sons including Joe, Alejandro, Gilbert and Ramon N., who just passed away. Joe has been recognized for his rain harvesting work in the Canelo and Elgin area and is included in Patricia Preciado Martin’s book, “Beloved Land.” Joe started working for Clint and Cassie Mellor in 1961 tending livestock and training horses. He also drove the Elgin School bus for 16 years. He recently retired as ranch manager after working 40 years for the Diamond C Ranch in Canelo. Gilbert, who recently served on the Patagonia Town Council, and as Mayor, also drove the school bus for many years. Alejandro “Cano” is a retired rancher living in Sonoita. The only surviving sister, Magdalena, lives in Patagonia.
Jose Maria’s son, Francisco Quiroga, was a real estate agent in Tucson circa 1950 and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Tucson City Council during the same time period.
The youngest son of Joaquin and Francisca, Ramon Guevara Quiroga, and his wife Francisca Sanchez, established a home for their family circa 1915 along Santa Rita Avenue in Patagonia. Four of their six children were born in the home. The youngest of the family, Ramon Sanchez Quiroga, built his mother a home on the same property in 1948 which still stands today.
Over the next six years, Ramon built a home for his wife in 1951 and then a home for his family in 1954. In the 1960s, Ramon owned those three houses plus the Duquesne House and the Lopez Pool Hall properties. Ramon’s half-sister Amelia Ochoa Lopez and her husband Bartolo Lopez built the Lopez Pool Hall in the early 1940’s after the Montana Mine in Ruby closed down.
Ramon S. served on the first elected Patagonia Town Council in 1950. Quiroga Lane is named to honor his service on the Council. Ramon S. Quiroga passed away in 2012. His sister, Raquel Quiroga Heredia, who directed the Senior Center in the 1990s, passed away in 2004.
The Quiroga name may originate from the Basque region of Galicia in northwest Spain. The town of Quiroga in the province of Lugo may take its name from a small shrub, ‘Queiroa or Queiroga de Cruz.’ that is quite common there. The Quiroga name may also have a Roman linguistic root. “Qui rogat” is Latin for “who asketh.” The Romans, who were in Spain from 200 BC to 400 AD, may have influenced the origination of the name.