Emergency issues in 1915-1916
It seems that fractional notes did not re-appear until the second half of 1915 when the shortage (or unacceptability) of government money again made them necessary. In September some makeshift notes were circulating in Sahuaripa whilst in November some more professionally produced notes were used in the larger cities. Of these better quality notes all but two of those that have survived are for one peso, they have a standard format and text and an annotation that they would be redeemed at the issuers’ offices in quantities of five pesos for mixed banknotes. They were perforated down the left-hand margin so they must have been produced in booklets or pads. One such note comes from Hermosillo, one from Ontagota and the rest from Guaymas.
On 30 July 1915 small shopkeepers complained to the Governor that the Tigre Mining Company was running a monopoly tienda de raya and damaging their business through its system of carteras. The company gave workers carteras marked ‘[NO ES] TRANSFERIBLE NI NEGOCIABLE’ but this only applied if someone else tried to cash them on paydays as the company store gave out merchandise against the notes without any checking. This was obviously to prejudice other small shopkeepers who accepted the notes and sold goods at lower prices. More annoyingly the ban only applied to Mexican businesses, as the company exchanged notes for Chinese and Japanese storekeepersAGHES, Fondo Oficialidad Mayor, tomo 3749. However, this is a case of company scrip rather than an emergency issue and lasted over a decade.
On 7 September 1915 the Presidente Municipal of Sahuaripa, Julio Schlemmer, gave Alfredo Enimas permission to issue up to 500 pesos in notes of twenty-five centavos, fifty centavos and one pesoAGHES, Fondo Oficialidad Mayor, tomo 3044, letter to Secretario de Estado, 9 September 1915. Two days later Schlemmer advised people that, in view of the depreciation that the revolutionary currency had suffered, they had to pay their taxes to the Municipal Treasury either in banknotes or in Encinas’ fractional notes. None of these notes survive.
On 10 September Schlemmer gave Sostenes G. Valenzuela permission to issue up to 500 pesos in notes of twenty-five centavos, fifty centavos and one peso for use in Arivechi, Bámori and TacupetoAGHES, Fondo Oficialidad Mayor, tomo 3044. Again, none survive.
By March 1916 businesses in Sahuaripa were refusing to accept the recently-enforced Constitutionalist money and the only currency in circulation was hand-written vouchers: one, for example, read ‘Debo $0-50 cincuenta centavos/en billetes de Banco/CJ Wendlandt’; another ‘Debo al portador $0-50c/cincuenta centavos en B. de B/(illegible signature)’; a third ‘Por $0-50/Al / /Pague cincuenta cents/de feria que debo al por/tador/su atmi amigo y ss/ /Mayo 26 1916’AGHES, Fondo Oficialidad Mayor, no reference.
Six months later it was reported that the only money in circulation in Sahuaripa, outside of the worthless Carranza currency, were the cheques issued by the Mina Mexico Company, drawn on a bank in Douglas, which were used to pay the men and purchase goods in townThe Effects of the Revolution in Mexico on American-Mexican Mining Interests. Memorandum submitted to the American-Mexican Commission, September 1916.
El Hermosillense, a five-storey building on the road out of Hermosillo was the largest flourmill on the west coast. The firm was started by Ramón Corral with the profits from his first mining venture (with Juan N. Bringas) and managed by his protégé, Ricardo Uruchurtu. The same building housed the Planta de Luz Electrica with four dynamos capable of providing 240,000 watts of power. The salaries of the sixty employees were $54,000 a yearFederico Garcia y Alva, Album-Directorio del Estado de Sonora, Mexico, 1905-1907.
An unissued $1 remainder with the title ‘El Hermosillense Molino Harinero Planta de Luz y Fuerza Electrica’ is known.
García y Barreras
In Guaymas the Cantina ‘El Congreso’ of García y Barreras issued cheques, including one for 25 centavos, dated 7 October, and one for one peso, dated 12 October.
Gaspar Zaragoza came from El Anchove, Bilbao, Spain. He was one of the founding shareholders in the Banco de Sonora in 1897. In 1898 the Germans Wöhler, Bartning y Gehuder (of Wöller, Bartning Sucesores, Mazatlán) invited Pedro Cosca, Gaspar Zaragoza and Gregorio Álvarez to set up Pedro Cosca y Compañía, S en C.Sociedad en comandita (a limited commercial partnership in which certain partners who do not participate in the daily management of the association enjoy limited liability) as wholesalers and comission agents. In 1901 this was reorganised with Cosca's widow (Enedina Vázquez de Cosca), as Pedro Cosca y Compañía. Sucesores. In June 1911 Zaragoza formed a new company called G. Zaragoza, S. en C. with the same articles and shareholders as Pedro Cosca y Compañía, Sucesores and so by 1913 was a storekeeper and commission agent in his own rightCorreo de Sonora, [ ] 1913. In 1915 this company issued a cheque for one peso, dated 9 October, signed by M. Pacheco.
Creston Colorada Company
We know of twenty-five cents and one dollar (sic, in English) notes issued by the Creston Colorada Company, of La Colorada, dated 1 September 1915 and initialled by C. C. Roundtree.
García, Bringas y Cia
In 1883 the Spanish Pedro CoscaCosca came from Burgos in the late 1870s and originally partnered Pedro Velarde in Velarde y Cosca formed a company with José G. García, recently arrived from Santander, called Cosca y Garcia Compañía. They brought in the Mexican Juan Nepomuceno Bringas to form Cosca García y Compañía on 1 July 1890The capital was Pedro Cosca $10,000.00; José García $10,000.00 and Juan Nepomuceno Bringas $15,000.00, which among other services offered finances for shipping companies.
The ‘El Siglo XX’ store of García, Bringas y Cia. was established in June 1898 by the three wealthy businessmen, Juan N. Bringas, José G. García and Luis M. Aguayo. They were commission agents and importers and the store, situated at avenida VIII 120, stocked all types of goods, such as cloths, wines, groceries and seeds. ‘The cash office was to the left of the entrance, with a wrought iron grill separating the accounts staff from the general public’Correo de Sonora, [ ] 1913. In 1907 the firm had annual sales of 480,000 pesos.
García, Bringas y Cia. Sucs. issued a cheque for one peso, dated 9 October.
Siu Fo Chong y Cia
Siu Fo Chong y Cia was, alongside Tung, Chung, Lung, one of the two most important makers and distributors of clothes and shoes in the stateThe Chinese began to arrive in Sonora in the 1870s, often as contract labour for the railways. They later set up laundries and developed a virtual monopoly of the grocery stores in the smaller towns. With the collapse of the economy the Chinese were easy targets for public resentment. For example, at the beginning of March 1915 the Chinese merchants in Guaymas were accused of hiding goods and dramatically raising prices. The ayuntamiento therefore fixed prices for necessities under the threat of fines but the merchants then went on strike. A demonstration ensued, in which the mob broke into the casa comercial of Fac Fo Fung and other Chinese stores. General Fructuoso Méndez restored order, levied a forced loan of 40,000 pesos on the businesses, and used the money to buy necessities to resell at the fixed price. Similar outbreaks happened in other cities.. The founder had come to Guaymas in 1890 and established his business at the corner of avenida VIII and calle 22. He originally dealt in clothes but later branched out into shoes
Siu Fo Chong issued a cheque for one peso, dated 10 October 1915.
Compañía Industrial y Explotadora de Maderas
The Compañía Industrial y Explotadora de Maderas, S.A. was the largest diversified machine shop on the West Coast, including an ice-making plant, an ironmonger’s, a woodworking and carpentry plant, and a match factory, all located between calle 30 and calle 31. Its principal owners were Ramón Corral (50%), Mrs. Enedina Vasquez de Cosca and Luis A. Martínez. In 1897 Agustin Bustamente was general manager and by 1905 he was presidentFederico Garcia y Alva, Album-Directorio del Estado de Sonora, Mexico, 1905-1907.
The company issued a cheque for 50 centavos dated 7 October, signed by J. Luebbert and Luis G. Iberri.
Ontagota is just to the west of Ciudad Obregón. Hacienda 25, in Ontagota issued a cheque for one peso dated October 1915 drawn on the Guaymas branch of the Banco de Sonora.
Another mention is
Ferrocarril Urbano de Guaymas
The tram company in Guaymas, the Ferrocarril Urbano de Guaymas, issued a cardboard token (carton) for 5 centavos.