About Ezequiel Cabeza De Baca
Ezequiel Cabeza De Baca (November 1, 1864 – February 18, 1917) was the first Hispano elected for office as Lieutenant Governor in New Mexico's first election. His term as Lieutenant Governor was followed by his election as the second elected Governor of New Mexico. This term was brief as he died shortly after taking office. He was the state's first elected Hispanic governor.
He was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory on November 1, 1864. He studied at the Jesuit College in St. Louis, MO and became a prominent journalist. Ezequiel C. de Baca was married on December 14, 1889, to Margarita C. de Baca at Peña Blanca.
In 1891, he was associated with Antonio Lucero and Felix Martinez to publish the Las Vegas Spanish weekly newspaper La Voz del Pueblo. He is a descendent of the original Spanish settlers which later became part of the Baca Family of New Mexico.
De Baca served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1900. He was New Mexico's first Lieutenant Governor, and served as Lieutenant Governor from 1912 to 1917. It is during this period that he did his most important work for the State. He was a key to developing New Mexico's first state constitution which includes specific language about providing bilingual education to all citizens. His professional background as a journalist gave him deep insights into the needs of the citizens of New Mexico, which were further enriched by his travels around the state prior to being elected Lt. Governor. He did not want to pursue elected office to run for Governor but was vigorously lobbied by the party and ultimately consented. At the time the pay for these elected officials was very small and he had by now a large family. He was elected the Governor of New Mexico on November 7, 1916 and inaugurated on January 1, 1917.
He died on February 18, 1917 in office. He had been sick for a long period of time and had traveled to California for treatments which were not successful. He was buried in the Mount Calvary Cemetery in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
De Baca County is named for Governor de Baca.
Children of Ezequiel and Margarita