Francisco Antonio Manzanares
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|Francisco Antonio Manzanares|
|Born||January 25, 1843
Abiquiú, New Mexico
|Died||September 17, 1904
Las Vegas, New Mexico
|Nationality||Mexican (1843 - 48), American|
|Occupation||businessman and politician|
Family background and childhood
Francisco Antonio Manzanares, son of Jose Antonio Manzanares and Maria Manuela Valdez, was born in Abiquiú, New Mexico, on January 25, 1843. Barely three years later in 1846, the Mexican-American War commenced. By the time he was seven, New Mexico had become a territory of the United States.
The Manzanares family held a very prominent place in the community. His parents were from Spanish families that moved to the New Mexico territory during the colonial period. Manzanares' father had supported the Union during the civil war, and afterward, served in the legislative assembly as an Indian Agent.
Manzanares grew up with Spanish as his first language, and during his youth attended Taos School under the instruction of Father Antonio Jose Martinez. In 1863 he began attending St. Louis University, where he studied English until 1864.
Career in business
Manzanares then began his business career with Chick, Browne, and Co. in Kansas City, the birthplace of the firm. He held a sales position there for a brief period, and then quickly relocated to New York, where he continued his college education. While in New York, Manzanares began working at a bank. He learned valuable skills during his year in New York which resulted in a career leap upon his return to Kansas City. where he was named partner of Chick, Browne, and Co. Throughout his years working for the firm, Manzanares opened a number of markets throughout Kansas Pacific, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway train routes. In 1879, the firm was renamed to Browne and Manzanares, with Manzanares now a full partner. The firm was then moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Though New Mexico was still in a period of transition, Manzanares wasted no time in working to boost the economy. With the help of other members in the community, Manzanares planned and founded Las Vegas Waterworks Association. He did not stop there, however, and soon aided in the development of financial infrastructure of the state by opening First National Banks in Las Vegas, Santa Fe, and Raton.
A political transition
In 1884, Manzanares left the banking business and challenged Republican candidate Tranquilino Luna for a seat in Congress. He won, and served as a territorial delegate to the United States House of Representatives from March 5, 1884 to March 3, 1885. He did not run for re-election.