At the beginning of my genealogy research the possibility of visiting Cuchillo Parado ( the birthplace of my maternal grandmother) seemed very unlikely. Yet, during my third trip to Ojinaga, Prima Julia (a retired school teacher) and her husband drove me there. The unpaved road seemed endless as we traveled east toward Cuchillo Parado and the Conchos River.
As we rode along, my prima told of the many times that flooding had destroyed the bridges spanning the Conchos. This time we would be crossing over a solid brand-new structure. From the bridge I soon saw Cuchillo peeking out from among the trees. The sight was so breathtaking that I asked my prima’s husband to stop so I could take a picture. The resultant photograph is my favorite of all the pictures ever taken during my many trips to La Junta. But a more dramatic sight awaited me.
The Cuchillo of old was still there! Adobe buildings, the church, and jail were still standing! The gate, through which General Toribio Ortega barred the entry of the men of Coyame, was still there! Days before the set date for the Mexican Revolution to begin, Coyame (acting on the side of the status-quo) tried to put down Ortega and his anti-re-elecionistas. The incident gave rise to the first revolutionary uprising of Chihuahua, and all of Mexico (a largely unknown fact). Thanks to Frederick Katz’s “The Life and Times of Pancho Villa“ this incident is now in print. Today Cuchillo inhabitants proudly proclaim Cuchillo as “ La Cuna de La Revolucion” [The Cradle of The Revolution].