----- ............Cemetery Walk: An afternoon of discovery! Every stone has a story. And they are waiting to be told........... -----

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

He Died a Refugee

Juan Diaz - Part 2

He Died A Refugee

Now that Diaz Family is Returning to Power

Will Take Remains Home

A Cousin of Diaz, of Mexico, Found Sanctuary in Hutchinson

In a quiet and secluded corner of the East Side Cemetery is a grave with a simple marker bearing the one word, “Diaz.”

There, nearly a thousand miles from his home, lies the mortal remains of a cousin of former president Porfirio Diaz, of Mexico, whose nephew, Felix Diaz has now driven out his Uncle’s enemy.

Now that the Diaz family has come once more into power and influence in Mexico, the remains of Juan Diaz, which have had a sanctuary in the Hutchinson cemetery during the troubles in Mexico the past few months, will probably be removed and taken back to his home city, Chihuahua.

The return to power of the Diaz family also brings to light the solution of a little mystery that has attracted some attention among those in charge of the Hutchinson cemetery. Almost every Sunday since the remains of Juan Diaz were laid at rest in East Side cemetery, some one has placed on the grave a little flower; occasionally a bouquet, but at least a single flower.

In Memory of Brother

As none of the relatives or friends of the deceased had remained here after his interment, nobody could account for the placing of the flower, and nobody was ever seen at his grave, it now develops that a young Mexican employed here by the Rock Island, by the name of Jose Equila, has been making this weekly visit at the grave of Diaz.

“I don’t know this man, and the flower is not for him; it is for my brother,” explained young Aquila. “Our home is in Hermosillo. My three brothers were in the army. They did not know Diaz; they did not serve Madero. They served their country. Because they would not betray their country they were seized by Madero and one of them was shot dead, shot down like a dog.”

“Where are the others? God only knows. I do not know this man buried here, but he is a Diaz, and they are enemies of Madero, who slew my brother. And so I put this flower on this grave. It means death to Madero.”

This young Mexican is employed on a Rock Island extra gang. He is not warlike, and has no desire to fight. He is content to earn wages for his mother who now lives in El Paso, and who already has given three sons to Mexico.

While Fleeing to Spain

Juan Diaz, whose remains lie in East Side cemetery, died on a Rock Island train, on June 3, last, near Hutchinson, while he and his family were on their way from their home in Chihuahua, Mexico, to New York, expecting to take passage there for Spain.

Mr. Diaz was a wealthy coffee broker and merchant in Chihuahua. He took no part in politics, but because he was a cousin of ex-president Diaz, he and his family were forced to flee when the Madero rebellion broke out.

Mr. Diaz’s health was poor, and he died as the Rock Island train on which they were crossing the continent approached Hutchinson. A Chihuahua banker was on the train, stopped off here with the bereaved widow and family, the funeral party stopping at the Chalmers hotel.

Driven Out by War

It was decided to leave the remains here, temporarily; as it was impossible for the family to return to their home from which they were fleeing by stress of war. The widow and children went on to their refuge in Spain and left instructions that the remains here should be cared for until happier days came to Mexico.

“Some day the Maderists will be driven out and the Diaz family will return to power,” predicted the Chihuahua banker who was looking after arrangements. “In that day the remains will be taken back to Chihuahua.”

And recent news from the Mexican capital, showing that a nephew, Felix Diaz, is now getting the upper hand, bears out this prediction.

The Hutchinson News 3/3/1913

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