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Rowena Matteson Martinez
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Birth: Jul. 31, 1909
Erie County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Mar. 6, 2000
Taos County
New Mexico, USA

Martinez, Rowena Matteson Meyers Former `First Lady of the West' dies in Taos, March 11, 2000, The Santa Fe New Mexican, Page: B-2, TAOS -- Funeral services are scheduled today for Rowena Matteson Meyers Martinez, who during various careers helped operate the town's oldest trading post, owned a restaurant and worked for the U.S. Forest Service. Martinez died March 5 at the age of 90. She was recognized by the Taos County Historical Society "for her longtime interest in the tri-cultural manners and customs of Taos Community; for acquiring and preserving costumes and accessories of the past and for her dedication to reviving the crafts and skills that produced them." In 1987, she was presented the "First Lady of the West" award by Michael Martin Murphey at the first West Fest, held in Colorado. In the last year of her life, she was honored as a Living Treasure by the town of Taos for her unselfish and dedicated service to the citizens of our community. Born in Erie, Penn. on July 31, 1909, she moved west with her family in 1923 to homestead in Sunshine Valley, just north of Taos. After completing high school, her first job was a secretarial position with a small Christmas-card company in Taos. She eventually became the first woman to own a car in Taos, a teal Ford Model A for which she paid $400, before leaving for San Francisco to attend Mills College. In June 1932, she married Ralph Meyers, who was a member of the Taos Art Colony and operated the first Indian trading post in Taos, The Mission Shop. Among their friends were Mabel Dodge Luhan and her husband Tony, along with Frieda and D.H. Lawrence, Frank Waters, Gisella Loeffler, Lady Brett, E. Irving Couse, Herbert "Buck" Dunton, Leon Gaspard and Nicolai Fechin. She modeled for Fechin, Dunton, Ward Lockwood and other artists. She was portrayed as "Angelina" in Frank Water's novel, The Man Who Killed the Deer. The couple opened a restaurant in an old adobe house. However, with the hardship imposed by the start of World War II and the rationing of food, the restaurant closed in its first year. Around this time, to make ends meet, she began a career with the U.S. Forest Service. After her husband died in 1948, she had a hard time running the shop, working for the Forest Service and managing as a single parent.In 1949, she married J. Paul Martinez, a forest ranger. She retired from the Forest Service in 1970 and reopened her shop, in which she also set up a small museum. She researched and wrote a study of Spanish land grants of Northern New Mexico for the Bureau of Land Management. And in 1974, she researched and wrote a history of the Taos Presbyterian Church for its 100th anniversary. Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. today at Sierra Vista Cemetery.  
Family links: 
  Harry Sheldon Porter Matteson (1888 - 1973)
  J Paul Martinez (1912 - 1978)
  Ralph Waldo Emerson Meyer (1885 - 1948)
  Raymond Earl Matteson (1907 - 1962)*
  Rowena Matteson Martinez (1909 - 2000)
  Ruth Matteson Benavides (1911 - 1988)*
*Calculated relationship
Sierra Vista Cemetery
Taos County
New Mexico, USA
Created by: couchpotato
Record added: May 29, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11053658
Rowena <i>Matteson</i> Martinez
Added by: Mary Barrett
Rowena <i>Matteson</i> Martinez
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Flo
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- Neil B (John 3:16)
 Added: Nov. 17, 2013

 Added: Jun. 10, 2012

 Added: Apr. 30, 2011
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