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Flores family history includes tie to Pancho Villa

For The Madera Tribune

Dr. Barbara Flores.


Not every pioneer trail to California was laid out along lines of latitude. Not all of them were part of the westward movement. Some of Madera County’s pioneers traveled longitudinally; that is. Such was the case with Ynes Leyva and her children.

As Mexico was torn by internecine warfare in the early 20th century, its citizens on the northern border were thrown into turmoil. Often this meant choosing between the warring factions. Ynes Leyva apparently had little difficulty deciding between the Federales and the Rurales. She came down squarely on the side of Francisco “Pancho” Villa.

Ynes signed on as a cook and did indeed follow Villa’s main army in the performance of her duty. Cooking, however, was not her only contribution to Villa’s efforts. Draped in the now familiar bandoleers, she was also issued a rifle, a horse, and ammunition. Donning a huge sombrero, Ynes Leyva rode with the legendary Mexican insurgent until she decided to come to Madera.



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