A museum in Jerome, Arizona, had a photograph of Pancho Villa standing by some mules pulling a water wagon. Did he really deliver water to the Jerome mines?

A museum in Jerome, Arizona, had a photograph of Pancho Villa standing by some mules pulling a water wagon. Did he really deliver water to the Jerome mines?

Charles Herrick

El Segundo, California

Charlie, let me clear this up for you once and for all. Maybe he did, and maybe he didn’t. Seriously, I’ve heard that story for years and have always been skeptical. Both Pancho and Francisco Villa are common names, and there could have been somebody by that name in Jerome, hauling water. I believe that when old-timers began to embroider their memories, the water carrier became that Pancho Villa.

The folks at the Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum tell me a Francisco Villa did register at the Bartlett Hotel. But the museum has nothing to substantiate that Mexican revolutionary leader Pancho Villa was ever in Jerome. Pancho was probably much too busy with activities south of the border to be hauling water in the remote city of Jerome. I also couldn’t find anything in Villa’s biography that placed him anywhere near Jerome.

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