Riding with Pancho Villa
as recorded in the postcards of WC Horne
Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa and his cohorts
During the Mexican Revolution of the late 'teens, folk hero Pancho Villa and his men terrorized both sides of the border.  Rumors were rife in Sanderson and all of the Big Bend, especially after the Glenn Springs raid in the deep Big Bend and the Brite Ranch raid near Marfa.  Folks were on high alert and Sanderson formed a Home Guard led by ex-sheriff and school superintendent JJ Allen.  The citizens were extremely paranoid and expected a raid at any time of the day or night, especially since Sanderson is only twenty miles from the border.  When movies were shown at the skating rink tent down by the depot, whole families literally ran all the way home after the show.  The government established the 90th Aero Squadron of De Haviland bombers and biplanes at Sanderson to patrol the border.  And, a detachment of US Army soldiers and cavalry was stationed here to alleviate the fears of the local populace and maintain peace.
Seeking favoarable public relations for his cause, Villa allowed WC Horne and company of El Paso to follow his army and document his escapades with a series of photos, marketed as penny postcards.  Highly popular and somewhat gruesome, citizens of Sanderson eagerly collected them, and a rather large number were given to the Terrell County Memorial Museum.  We present them as they are, but the public is warned that some of the postcards are very graphic.
See Wikipedia for General Salazar
See Wikipedia for Pancho Villa
See Wikipedia for General Orozco
Click here for Black Jack Pershing and the American Expeditionary Force in Mexico
The photospread below  is a public domain page from the New York Times.  It is a photo dispatch from the Battle of Ojinaga, in which Villista  General Ortega attacked and defeated Federale forces. The defenders were sent packing to the US, where they were collected and incarcerated at Ft. Bliss as illegals.
General Orozco often escaped to the US to evade pursuers.  He had many US supporters, including these prominent Sanderson businessmen.  Other photos show them hunting and in camp.  Details are not known, so this could just be a friendly hunting trip.  The original photo below shows the Sanderson men more clearly. Mexican Gen. Orozco in front, Jim Kerr, WH Lemons, B.M. Weeks,  to rear. 
For the American view point, click here.
All text and photos on this site copyright Terrell County Memorial Museum, 2010-2012, except where attribution is given.