Jesus M. Casaus House
Jesus M. Casaus, a sheriff and legislator in Santa Rosa in Guadalupe County, New Mexico, constructed his house between 1917-1919. Casaus' house symbolizes his legacy as a legislator and his many contributions to Guadalupe County's political development. The house primarily served as Casasus' home and a center of entertainment for visiting U.S. Senators and Congressmen. Taking inspiration from the Craftsman/Bungalow style, Casasus' house stands as the only example of that particular style in Santa Rosa; Casaus embraced the style by building the house with stuccoed walls, low pitched metal roofing, and elaborate stenciling in the woodwork. In April 1982, the Jesus M. Casaus House was registered in the National Register of Historic Places for its Craftsman/Bungalow design and connection with New Mexican legislation. Today, the house, along with the National Museum of the American Southwest, Gallegos Institute, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to appreciating American Southwest history and art.
Backstory and Context
Born on December 30, 1867 in San Miguel County, New Mexico, Jesus M. Casaus was the only child of Carlos and Theresa Casaus. When he was little, Casaus and his family moved to Santa Rosa in Guadalupe County. Casaus' family was deeply connected with Guadalupe County businesses and politics. Carlos was a lieutenant in the Union Army, and he used his command of both Spanish and English as a public speaker and a sheriff for the communities in the Guadalupe and De Baca counties. The family was heavily involved with the Catholic church and made a side business by ranching and cattle and sheep herding. While growing up, Casaus received his education from small, common schools in the area, and he helped his father herding sheep and cattle.
While his father served as the sheriff for Guadalupe and De Baca, Casaus was the undersheriff. In 1907, Casaus was elected as the sheriff of Guadalupe County, taking over his father's position. He served two years, and in 1914, was elected to the Lower House of the New Mexico Legislature. Casaus was a strongly devoted Democrat, but the legislature was Republican, so there was conflict as he tried to see his duties and assignments on the capital, county, and county lines, Casaus mostly enrolled and engrossed bills and handled state affairs regarding water rights and irrigation. Later on, Casaus was elected for numerous political roles, such as county treasurer for Guadalupe County, chairman of the County Council of Defense, and delegate to the Democratic National Convention in St. Louis, Missouri when president Woodrow Wilson was renominated as president.
Casuas built his home between 1917-1919, which served as the homestead for him, his wife, Cleofas, and his only daughter Elvira and as a center for entertaining visiting U.S. congressmen and senators.The house stands as the only the example in Santa Rosa that exhibits the Craftsman/Bungalow style. The two-story house contains ten rooms, and the structure contains stucco walls, low-pitched metal roofing, and etched floral designs in the establishment's woodwork. The house also contains a pillared front porch, basement, flanking interior windows, french doors, narrow, stuccoed chimneys, and built-in bookshelves. Outside of the house, there are two contributing buildings to the property, a two-room storage building and a stone garage. The property is fenced in with a cast-iron trim, and there is a water pump and underground cistern are also located nearby the house.
In April 1981, along with the help of Elvira and her letters and interviews with the National Register of Historic Places, the Jesus M. Casuas House was put on the register for its unique design and its connection with New Mexican legislation.Today, the house along with the National Museum of the American Southwest is part of the Gallegos Institute, a non-profit organization that helps preserve artifacts and educate people regarding the history and art of the American Southwest.
Coan, Charles F., New Mexico History, 1925, Vol. Ill, p. 417.
Pratt, Boyd C.. Jesus M. Casaus House, National Register for Historic Places. April 1st 1982. Accessed May 11th 2020. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/82003324_text.