The Derr and Bogle families and the Chamal Colony in Mexico

The Derr and Bogle families and the Chamal Colony in Mexico


My maternal grandfather's parents moved from the Oklahoma Territory to an American colony in Mexico in the early 1900s. The Derrs arrived in 1903 and the Bogles two years later. Barney Paul Derr and Gladys Margaret Bogle met in Chamal and married in Mexico in 6 June 1916.

Stories about The Derr and Bogle families and the Chamal Colony in Mexico

William Edgar Bogle written by his daughter Gladys Bogle Derr

  • Mexico

My father, William Edgar Bogle, was always somewhat of a pioneer. Born in Illinois, February 2, 1857, he later homesteaded in Nebraska, later traveling with his own minstrel show, selling “Black Draught”. He and my mother were married in Perry, Oklahoma, on July 26, 1894, and lived on Black Bear Creek for a while. After some six years, he became interested in ranching and moved to the panhandle of Oklahoma. He saw the description of “The Blalock Mexico Colony -- a ‘Land Flowing with Milk and Honey’, ‘Where one raised two crops a year’, etc., and was much absorbed by it. He went to see, was impressed, bought some land -- came back, sold his ranch, lived in Higgins, Texas, until a son was born, then went back to arrange for his family’s trip. My mother with us four small children, 10 years to four months, left Higgins the last of June 1905. My father met us with a wagon at the railroad station. We reached the Ferlon River but it was up so we relaxed at a Mexican village for some time until a man came from Chamal and he and my father changed wagons -- we went in his wagon to Chamal, after crossing the river in a boat -- and the man went on to the station. On to Xicotencatl -- then later across the Rio Frio, which was bridged, crossed over the mountain and on to Chamal. We had a pleasant life, a good school, with teachers from the States, plenty of work, also horseback riding, which we enjoyed, our Sunday School and church and parties for the young people -- a trip to Ocampo -- sometimes a trip to Tampico, etc. But then came the Civil War. My family came out for a year in 1913 but things calmed down and it seemed Madero would make a fine president, so we went back in August 1914. The government began establishing schools and it seemed everything would be fine -- but Madero was assassinated and the Guerillas began tearing everything up again and we saw we were going to be forced to leave again . . .. We were ordered out by the American Consul at Tampico. Some of the colonists fled to the mountains but later had to leave. Barney and I were married in Ocampo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, on June 6, 1916. On June 7, Barney and I and my family left for the railroad station and on to Tampico. We left everything we owned there (in Mexico) except for a suitcase each and Mama’s feather bed which we found very useful to sleep on on the decks of the ship. Later we went to Galveston on the U.S.S. Supply Boat “Dixie”. Dovie and Barney developed Dengue Fever on the ship so they spent the time of crossing in Sick Bay, then landed in Galveston’s Quarantine Island. Not knowing where to say that we would meet in Galveston, we just found each other on the street. My mother, my sisters, brother, Barney and I went on to Nebraska, where Mother had some family who helped us out. My father tried to stay in Mexico but after a black eye and being a prisoner for a day or so, he managed to get to Tampico and on an oil boat which landed at Port Arthur. Later he sent for his family, since he had found work at Magnolia Petroleum in Beaumont. Barney, our son Paul, and I came on a little later, where Barney worked at the Magnolia Refinery for 34 years. My sisters married young men they had met in Nebraska. One has passed away and Ruby is living in San Jacinto, California

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