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The people and place names mentioned in Alfred’s record of his twenty years (1884-1904) in north Santa Fé are a unique set since both his camps were in the same general area, all within 30 km. of Calchaquí. Alfred and his brothers refer to region as the Chaco. The Chaco Austral (Southern Chaco) climatic region encompases the entire Chaco province plus north Santa Fé, north-eastern Córdoba, and eastern Santiago del Estero provinces.
The day-books begin in 1884, when he drove the first herd north from La California to Laguna Yacaré. Evicted in 1889, he moved his herds to Los Palmares, which he first rented from the Santa Fé Land Co. (La Forestal), he later bought it from them in 1904 – the last year for which we have day-books. Per photos, Johnnie visited in 1902, and again in 1907 with daughters Elsie, Jo, & Marjory-Daw. Alfred is listed as an estanciero in the Guia Comercial de Calchaquí of 1920. He still owned it when he died in 1937 – provincial maps of 1938 and 1940’s show it en sucesión (in probate) – yet it was not listed for inheritance with his other properties.
We will be adding names to the list and map as we progress with the transcription of the day-books. Any suggestions and corrections are welcome.
1884 Cattle drive
Los Palmares & Calchaquí
In April, 1884, Alfred brought a herd up from La California with which he established his first camp next to the laguna. The camp occupied the northern 1⁄3 of brother Frank’s abandoned Colonia Espín. However, Alfred’s claim to the land was evidently weak for he was evicted five years later by Agustin Iriondo, in December, 1889. For more, see the introductions to Alfred’s 1884 and 1889 day-books.
Rodeos/herds: Michelas/Michelle, Middle (Medio), East (Este), West, & Rinconada.
East of the town of Calchaquí beyond the Rio Calchaquí and Laguna de las Aves (see maps of north Santa Fé). Bordered to the north by Laguna del Palmar, on the west by the Rio Salado and on east by the Rio Calchaquí; broad at its north end, it stretched south in a very narrow long stretch between the rivers until the two rivers joined; 8 sq.leagues (20,000 hect.), large enough for 8,000 head of cattle. Its northern third is an area that on modern maps is labelled "El Palmar". Rented from the Santa Fé Land Co. (see Gillingham & July 2, 1892). The Jewell family (of Ea. Las Petacas) and Boutell are also associated with the rental. Alfred at first referred to it as the Mistolar (April'89). He populated it with all the cattle from Laguna Yacaré (Dec.'89). See the day-books for more details. Its first rodeos were named: Estancia, Mistolar, Palmar, Salado.
First rodeos/herds (1891): Biscacheras (south end), Estancia, Mistolar (west within loop of the Calchaquí river & laguna), Palmar (NE against laguna del Palmar), & Salado (NW against river Salado?).
Rodeos/herds (1892, '93): Costa, Monte?, Palmar, Puesto, & Salado.
Potreros/Fields (1892): chacra, new chacra, "potrero",
Rodeos/herds (1894-5): Puesto Feliz, Damasio (puesto), Lorenzo (puesto), Mistolar, Palmar, Salado. See the opening summaries for the day-books of 1894 & 1895.
Rodeos/herds (1896): same as 1895 plus: Guampita, Loma, Tapera
Places on the estancia: Albardon (south strip between Salado & Calchaquí rivers), Fortín Union (former fort across the Salado from the NW corner of the estancia), Garzal, Mistolar (west within loop of the Calchaquí river & laguna), Rinconada Palmar (NE corner against the laguna del Palmar), Paso crossing of Rio Calchaquí, named crossings: paso Mistolar, paso Zalazar; ensenada large enclosure, made in 1896
People are listed by their surnames then their first-name (if both
known), followed by their titles (Cacique, Capt., Comandante, Don, , Mr.,
Sr.). People may be listed twice for the diary entries don't always
provide full names, in particular of those people the writers are familiar
with, especially the workmen. Therefore, when searching for a person,
search separately for both the person’s first-name and surname.
Omitted apostrophes: Alfred often omitted apostrophes, e.g. Martin’s became: Martins. Where we could, with certainty, we listed names without the appended possesive "s".
Places are listed by their proper name, followed by any preposition (El,
La, Los) or feature qualifier: Arroyo (Aº), Cañada, Colonia, Estero,
Fortín, Fuerte, Isleta, Laguna, Mar, Paso, Rio).
Estancias: We have identified some on the map. Estancias are particularly difficult to identify on more recent maps (1900-1950): names often change with ownership. & maps often show owner names but not estancia names.
Ñ - we treat as an accented N, not as a separate letter (as it is in the Spanish alphabet). The tilde was usually omitted by English writers, as were most accent marks on vowels.
(1885 Jan.) - Many entries are followed by one or more dates in brackets. The dates indicate for each year only the first month in which the name is found. Subsequent references for the year are not listed.
[H] - Some entries have an [H] appended to denote a "Hermanism". Herman V. Benitz often spelt phonetically, with interesting results. We suspect he was dyslexic.
Aº — Arroyo
Alfred / AABz — Alfred A. Bz.
Arg. — Argentina
BA / B.A. / Bs.As. — Buenos Aires
Bz — Benitz
Cba. — Córdoba (province)
Ea. — Estancia (ranch)
Frank — Frank J. Bz
Herman — Herman V. Bz
Johnnie / JEBz — John E. Bz
Josephine — Josephine Bz (m. Schreiber)
L.California — Ea. “La California”
L.Yacaré — Ea. “Laguna Yacaré”
L.Palmares — Ea. “Los Palmares”
Mother — Josephine Kolmer-Bz
SFé — Santa Fé (province)
Schreiber –John (m: Josephine Bz)
TL — Ea. “Las Tres Lagunas”
WBz — father Wilhelm Bz
Willie / WOBz — William O. Bz
|For more about the Benitz 2nd generation, see this family page.|
© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)