Pioneer Families

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The local residents used to refer to us as Mexicans, but most of us did not have the courage to tell them that we were from Tejas and that made us Tejanos; it was true for 90% of those who migrated to St. Paul, Oregon.  This migration started in the mid 1940’s; when the CUATRO HOMBRES SOLOS were having automobile trouble on their way to Washington State met Harry Kessler.  Everyone who met and worked for Harry Kessler who was a field boss for many of the farmers in Marion County, Oregon.



Every family from Asherton, Texas has a story to tell and all are more similar than different.  It is with pleasure that I introduce the account of this trip written by a friend and one of a handful of migrants who was a high school graduate.  Some of you may be thinking…so why is that important?  This topic will be covered in the Window of Education.  However, for now here is Jesse’s account of his trip to Oregon.  You can also hear his interview with April Baer from OPB Radio. Check under:



Jesse Villarreal in the early 50’s was one of the best prepared young men when it came to bilingualism and also had qualifications for jobs outside the field work; like a high school diploma.  I know Jesse is a humble man and does not believe in praising himself, but he was definitely ahead of the pack.  The interview with Dr. Ron Petrie when he acknowledges the “Villarreal Family” is worthy of at least one view if not two.  It is truly a testimonial and the importance of FIRST IMPRESSIONS.  Dr. Petrie will use his observation of migrants coming to St. Paul and particularly The Villarreal Family…You have to see it to believe and appreciate the efforts made by the Tejanos more than 50 years ago. 

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