Jesús “Héroe de Nacozari” García Corona

Jesús “Héroe de Nacozari” García Corona

Hermosillo, Hermosillo Municipality, Sonora, Mexico
Death 7 Nov 1907 (aged 25)
Nacozari de Garcia, Nacozari de Garcia Municipality, Sonora, Mexico
Burial Nacozari de Garcia, Nacozari de Garcia Municipality, Sonora, Mexico
Plot Plaza Monument
Memorial ID 89111866 · View Source
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The Hero of Nacozari
and Hero of Humanity

1907--2007 (Century mark)

Arizona Centennial Observance (1912--2012)

Jesus Garcia Corona was born in Hermosillo, Sonora--Mexico in 1881.
His father: Francisco Garcia
His mother: Rosa Corona
When Jesus became of age, he began working for the Moctezuma Copper Company as a railroad worker on trains running from Agua Prieta, Sonora on the border south to the mining camp of Nacozari. In the mining camp of Nacozari, Sonora on Nov. 7, 1907, a boxcar loaded with cattle feed and hay caught on fire at the train station at Nacozari. Near the burning boxcar were two boxcars loaded with dynamite. Jesus Garcia was in the patio of the train station and saw the danger of the dynamite catching fire and exploding in the center of the town. He climbed into engine #501 and hooked onto the two boxcars loaded with the highly explosive dynamite. At this point, the two boxcars were also on fire and Jesus pulled the two cars out of the station and headed out of the town of Nacozari. After passing the last two houses on the edge of town, the train exploded. The locomotive and all the cars were completely destroyed. The body of Jesus was never found. The mighty force of the blast killed 13 people but the lives of 5,000 inhabitants of Nacozari were saved.
The American Royal Cross of Honor of Washington D.C.
declared Jesus Garcia Corona to be: ""The Hero of Humanity".
Across Sonora and Mexico, many streets and schools are named in his memory. Several memorials in Mexico and Europe have been established to honor the memory of Jesus Garcia. Mexican railroad workers commemorate the 7th of November every year as Railroad Worker's Day.

oigo----"Maquina 501" por- Lorenzo de Monteclaro

Estos si eran hombres, pero muy hombres y de pilon-- HEROES!

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down HIS life for his friends."
Saint John 15:13

A Visit to the Land of Heroes -- Nacozari, Sonora
November 6th and 7th, 2013
----- Abigail & Silas Griffin
Recently, we were invited to visit Nacozari, Sonora, the mountain mining town in NW Mexico where November 7th is the annual date to remember a brave regional railroad worker- Jesus Garcia Corona. On November 7, 1907, he operated Engine #501 to pull a burning railroad car loaded with dynamite out of the center of Nacozari. He gave his life to save a town, became the Hero of Nacozari and was given a posthumous award- the Hero of Humanity. The song "Maquina 501" is the Mexican folk ballad written to honor the man, the engine he operated and the town he saved. Griffin's Find A Grave memorial for Jesus Garcia Corona is to honor the man and to educate the public about the importance of a once popular U.S. expression: "to take a message to Garcia" meaning to accept an extremely difficult challenge. This example of the concept of individual responsibility and initiative is based upon an essay- "A Message to Garcia" written in 1899 by Elbert Hubbard. President McKinley sent US officer Andrew Rowan on a mission against great odds to carry a letter to the insurgent Cuban General Calixto Garcia. Without question or hesitation, Rowan completed his search, delivered the president's letter and returned with a response from Gen. Garcia. The essay and a book stressed the importance of self-reliance and determination in carrying out important tasks in one's daily life, without hesitation or doubt. Widely read in the US, school Teachers also used the popular story as a guide for young people to better their lives by emphasizing the lesson of taking initiative and assuming responsibility to accomplish difficult tasks in order to grow professionally and succeed in their careers. The essay was often memorized by school children and a copy was given to every enlistee in the US Navy and Marines in both world wars.
Mr. Hubbard expressed that the hero is the man who does his work- who "carries the message to Garcia." Translations of his essay were spread to many countries including every railroad employee in Russia –by 1913; over 40 million copies had been printed. President Davies of the NY Central RR gave a copy of the essay to every railroad employee. Since Jesus Garcia was an employee of the Nacozari RR, he came into frequent contact with miners, fellow railroad workers and company officials in Nacozari, Agua Prieta, Douglas and Bisbee. He was a respected brakeman and engine operator; known and recognized by the James Douglas family of Bisbee and Douglas, AZ, builders of the NRR. Consequently, it is likely that Jesus Garcia had read the essay by November 1907 when he took the initiative as he understood it to mean doing the right thing without being told. "Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals—who can carry a message to Garcia." (Hubbard, p. 7) Jesus Garcia is one of many regional heroes. They are part of the impressive mosaic of our local history.
In the 103rd year of the Jesus Garcia Fiestas, our caravan of three vehicles left Douglas, AZ at 4:00 PM, Wednesday, Nov. 6th carrying Douglas Mayor-Danny Ortega, Jr., Acting Consul- Oscar Gonzalez, IME- Bernardo Morales, Consulate Staff- Jesus Sanchez, DUSD #27 Business Manager- Mr. Cesar Soto, Douglas Councilman & DUSD #27 Transportation / Security Coordinator- Mr. Luis Greer, Douglas High School Folklorico Supervisors and Instructors- Abigail and Silas Griffin with 12 DHS student members of the folklorico group including Lesley Griffin who is also the current Teen China Poblana of Douglas. Ivy Griffin went as photographer. Upon arrival in Nacozari at six PM, we were given a police escort through town to city hall adjacent to the town's plaza. The Jesus Garcia Fiestas were in full swing around Engine #501 in the plaza.
After a superb concert by the Sonora State Symphony, the DHS Folkloric Group performed for a plaza crowded with dignitaries, visitors and townspeople on Wednesday evening. After a very nice dinner, the City of Nacozari provided a significant police escort for our group to our night's accommodations at a modern gated mining camp in the mountains above Nacozari. Thursday, our group was treated to a savory breakfast and a late lunch. The DHS Folkloric Group and the Griffins marched in the large mid-morning parade through the streets of Nacozari to the plaza. Several thousand spectators observed the parade followed by salutations and speeches given by local and state government representatives, military officials and prominent citizens. Douglas Mayor Danny Ortega was recognized and seated with the leading dignitaries. The very impressive memorial ceremonies included honors to the colors, music by the state symphony, songs and a dramatic poetry recital by local school children. The blowing of the steam whistle on the restored Engine #501 with smoke scented with juniper pine rising from the exhaust funnel and ringing of the train's bell marked the time for officials to solemnly place many floral wreaths around the Jesus Garcia monument. Following the memorial ceremonies, our group enjoyed the food, music and fraternity of the fiestas. We left Nacozari Thursday afternoon and arrived in Douglas at five PM.
This was one of the top field trips we've conducted in 11 years as Educators. It was an unforgettable educational and cultural experience for our group. Our civic duty is to extend the hand of friendship to our neighbors in Nacozari and to publicly show our support in honoring a true hero of this mining region. Flowers fade but heroism shines for generations. At the end of the day, it matters most that we have done the right thing. We anticipate additional experiences such as this for the benefit of our children and our communities. As with Rowan and his "consider it done" attitude, we feel our group "took a message to Garcia." In the future, it would be appropriate for Douglas to contribute a floral wreath for the memorial.


instituto Sonorense de Cultura
Ayuntamiento de Nacozari de Garcia
Editorial Imagenes de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, 2006
Find A Grave- Elbert Hubbard- #9207
Find A Grave- LTC Andrew Summers Rowan #19293357

Silas Griffin, G.R.a.V.E.,
(Griffin's Research and Veteran's Eclat)-1999-2013.
The Griffin Writing Project
Douglas, AZActa de Defunción “como a las 2 dos p.m., falleció á consecuencia de una explosión de dinamita en la Estación de Ferro Carril vía angosta que conduce a Pilares, como a un Kilómetro de distancia”

Jesús García was the son of don Francisco García-Pino and doña Rosa Corona. He arrived in Nacozari in 1898 with his siblings and widowed mother. His father had been a blacksmith and Jesús had been his apprentice. When he was 17 he went to work for the narrow gauge railroad of the Montezuma Copper Company as a water boy and worked his way up to member of a section gang, brakeman, fireman, and when he was 20 he became an engineer.
On the morning of November 7, 1907 he was scheduled to take his locomotive, No. 2, to the mine at Pilares several times. After his second trip he was sent to the lower yard with 5 empty ore cars, two of which were to be loaded with dynamite for the mine at Pilares. While the loading was going on Jesús went home for lunch. On coming back he rebuilt the fire, which the yard crew had allowed to dwindle, and then started up the hill for Pilares. The yard crew should have loaded the last two cars with the dynamite but instead had loaded the first two. The combination of a strong wind, the gathering speed of the train and a faulty smokestack cause live sparks to land in the first two cars, among the dynamite. Efforts to put out the ensuing fire failed and Jesús, alone, with the rest of the crew having been ordered to jump, headed up the hill from Nacozari as fast as he could in an attempt to get the danger away from town and came close to making it to a place where he could turn the engine loose and leap from the train but fifty meters short of his goal the dynamite exploded. Jesús García and twelve people were killed, but his action save the town and many more lives.
He was buried in the Nacozari cemetery. The name of the town was officially changed to Nacozari de García. Actas de Defunciones first use the name Nacozari de García on 18 November 1909. On November 7, 1909 a fitting monument was erected in the plaza and in 1917 Jesús was moved from the cemetery to the base of the monument.
“Jesús was revered in other countries as well as in his own. The American Cross of Honor, founded in May, 1906, by an act of the U.S. Congress, was awarded with this citation: Whereas, Jesús García sacrificed his life in order to save those of the inhabitants of Nacozari, Sonora, Mexico, the Board of Governors of the American Cross of Honor has passed the following resolution - That history reveals very few instances of acts of such great valor, or of such heroic deaths; and no honor bestowed can be too large to commemorate the memory of this hero who died for his fellow men. It is hereby agreed that this resolution be recorded in the minutes of our meeting, and that a copy be sent to his Excellency, the Mexican Ambassador in Washington.”

“Goodbye, García, Adiós” by Don Dedera and Bob Robles. Northland Press/Flagstaff 1976

Bisbee Daily Review November 5, 1909

Distinguished officials of the Mexican government and prominent American mining men will be present at Nacozari Sunday, at the unveiling of the monument of Jesus Garcia in the national park there. A long program of speeches both in Spanish and English has been arranged, with music and other features.
On November 7, 1907, Garcia saved the town of Nacozari from destruction by dynamite. A car of the explosive took fire. Garcia hitched the engine to the car and knowing that he was going to certain death, pulled the throttle wide open and succeeded in getting the car up on a hill clear of the city, where it exploded. Garcia was killed, also a boy and some section men who happened to be nearby.
Among those who will be present at the unveiling of the monument and who will also deliver addresses are Gov. Creel, of Chihuahua, Gov. Torres, of Sonora, Cleveland H. Dodge, Dr. James Douglas, J.S. Douglas and others.
An excursion will be run over the Nacozari road from Douglas, and a large number from the Smelter City intend taking in the excursion.

Family Members



In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees


  • Created by: Robert S. Griffin
  • Added: 25 Apr 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 89111866
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jesús “Héroe de Nacozari” García Corona (13 Nov 1881–7 Nov 1907), Find a Grave Memorial no. 89111866, citing Plaza Jesús García, Nacozari de Garcia, Nacozari de Garcia Municipality, Sonora, Mexico ; Maintained by Robert S. Griffin (contributor 47532305) .