Kit Carson Electric Co-op

by Virginia Dodier

The topic is “‘Our Mexicans’: Nuevomexicano Presbyterian Missionaries in Northern New Mexico, Civil War to Statehood.” The speaker is Virginia Dodier, co-chair (with Paul Figueroa) of the TCHS Archives and Library Committee.

The talk will focus on the lives of Hispano clergy and evangelists including José Yñéz Perea, Gabino Rendón, Vicente Ferrer Romero and John Whitlock, who all founded Presbyterian churches in Northern New Mexico. Their work, as well as that of teachers and evangelists, and the construction of churches, schools and hospitals, was funded by Presbyterian congregations across the United States through the Board of Home Missions. Though the Hispanic people of New Mexico were fellow Americans, the mission organizers back East thought of them as “Our Mexicans.”

The legacy of the missions of 150 years ago is evident in the many Presbyterian churches in towns and villages throughout Northern New Mexico. As Taoseña Carmen Lieurance says, the Presbyterian missionaries left a church structure “like the bones of a strong skeleton.”

Ms. Dodier is a museum professional, archivist, librarian and published author. She holds degrees in fine art, art history, and library and archives science. She retired to Taos, where several of her ancestors were born, in 2018. One of the subjects of her talk, the Rev. John M. Whitlock, was the grandfather of her grandfather, John Whitlock Hernandez.



The Taos County Historical Society is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1952 and dedicated to the recording and preserving of the irreplaceable in Taos County.
Membership is open to anyone upon payment of dues.
For additional information on the programs, activities and history of Taos visit the Society's website at

The Society encourages support through membership.


2024 Summer
Issue #56

Browse the Ayer Y Hoy's Summer 2024 issue:

•"Carson Colcha"
A Graves Family Legacy
by Lisa Graves-Cordova

• Taos-The Sacred Valley" and
"Ranchos de Taos Mystery"
from the Book:
Living Legends of the Santa Fe Country
by Alice Bullock

•History of the Archives & Library-TCHS
by Paul C. Figueroa

"The Taos News"

2023 Winter
Issue #55

Browse the Ayer Y Hoy's Winter 2023 issue:

•Don Diego de VargasExpeditions to Taos
by Helen G. Blumenschein

• Marc Simmons - 1937-2023
by Dave Cordova

• Twin Taoseños In The Civil War
by D.F. Arguello

• From "The Taos Massacres"
by John Durand

• Why History Is Important
by Dave Cordova

2023 Summer
Issue #54

Browse the Ayer Y Hoy's Summer 2023 issue:

•San Geronimo Fiestas
"A Harvest Celebration"
by Rick Romancito

•William Thomas "Bill" Hinde -
Blacksmith of Taos
by Gene Cook Hall

•Santa Anna & Santiago
by Dr. Larry Torres

•The Street Names of Taos
by Dave Cordova

The Taos County Historical Society was formed in 1952 for the purpose of "... preserving the history of the Taos area...". It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Monthly meetings, the first Saturday of the month are held at Kit Carson Electric Boardroom with a featured speaker are open to the public and supported through memberships. These are also open to anyone upon payment of annual dues. For more information visit the Society's website,

Taos County Historical Society
has successully launched
"TAOS: A Topical History"

320 pages, 26 chapters and contributors.

Mil Gracias, A THOUSAND THANKS, does not begin to cover the many, many individuals to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. This debt is not only the living but also to those men and women who long ago began to preserve the journals and documents we now depend upon for knowledge of the past: the chroniclers who accompanied the explorers and settlers and who, dusty, tired and hungry, sat in the light of a candle to record in their journals the events of the day and the Franciscan clerics who made detailed reports of their canonical visits to the mission churches of Nuevo México.

Corina A. Santistevan
Acknowledgements in "Taos: A Topical History"

If you would like to order a copy from the
Taos County Historical Society
please send a check for $40 (book+shipping) payable to
Taos County Historical Society and mail to:

Taos County Historical Society
PO Box 2447
Taos, NM 87571

Email us

Phone: (575) 770-0681

PO Box 2447 • Taos, NM 87571