Felipe Ruiz de Velasco, Suite 5

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“Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz, recuerdos de sus alrededores”

Tomas Ruiz de Velasco y Baranda, born in Valle de Mena, province of Burgos, Spain, arrived in Mexico in 1831, when he was 18 years old. In Mexico City he worked for a time with his uncle Manuel. He later met Alejandro de la Arena who, because of his agricultural knowledge, offered him work on his properties in Zacatepec. That is when the reconstruction of the old sugar mill began. Later, Tomas traveled to Chilpancingo to work at the hacienda of La Imagen. It was around then, in 1852, when he married Teofila Leyva y Carreto. He returned to Puente de Ixtla where he raised cattle. He had seven children, but only Felipe (born on the 26th of May, 1857), Tomas and Angel worked in agriculture. Felipe and Tomas studied and graduated as agricultural engineers at the Agricultural Institute of Gembloux, Belgium in 1882.

Tomas, Sr. took on the administration of the hacienda Treinta and later the hacienda of Zacatepec, today property of Juan Pagaz. He was helped at this last one by his son Felipe. As a fact it was Felipe who dried all the swampy lands of Zacatepec, Jo¬jutla y Tlaquiltenango, with this extending significantly the cultivation area for sugar cane. It was also thanks to him that steam and the new technologies began to be used in the industrialization of the sugar cane.

The elder Tomas died on the 14th of May, 1889. His sons inherited his immense fortune. Felipe became the head of the hacienda de Zacatepec with a monthly salary of 100 pesos. Valeria¬no Salceda, the administrator, entrusted the management to him. Another of his sons managed the factory. Leon Castrezana was in charge of the fields. Later they would become associates to make several businesses.

Prosperity arrived soon. Felipe became independent in 1899 and dedicated himself to personal business: the cultivation of rice and sugar cane, products which he processed at the hacienda of San Juan, in Tlaquiltenango, property which he leased from the Reyna family. In association with his brother Tomas between 1900 and 1902 they were in charge of the rice mill San Salvador, in the fields of El Higueron, in Jojutla. Felipe was an inveterate bachelor until the 26th of May, 1899 when he married Beatriz Lamadrid, a young eighteen year old girl, daughter of the Spanish merchant Antonio Lamadrid. In order to equal the fortune of the father of the bride, Felipe obtained a home with a dome in Tlaquiltenango, with a value of $1,700.00, plus the expenses of the deed. In 1904 he became alternate federal representative for the district of Jojutla. In April of 1905 he was named mayor when the mayor resigned.

In reference to daily salaries, Ruiz de Velasco had a salary of 3.33 pesos as administrator of the sugar mill of Zacatepec; the bookkeeper of Lamadrid was paid 2 pesos; a farmhand, 30 cents, 50 if he was qualified. If we talk about prices, a light bulb cost 40 cen¬ts for those who had a light plant; a kilo of rice cost 12 cents; a bottle of El Mono anise could be purchased with 1.70 pesos. People like Felipe Ruiz de Velasco had such economic strength that they were able to occupy public posts, some honorary, that helped them to obtain profitable businesses for them and their group.

Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz: http://www.facebook.com/delapantle.

Muebles Zeromadera: http://www.ramsol.com

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