Because we haven't been able to get an interview for "Echoes From the Past" we are drawing an article from the History of Gaines County by former Gaines County Judge, Arzie Kirk.
If you know of someone whose story should be featured in the Sentinel, or if you would like your story recorded for the future history of Gaines County, please give us a call at 758- 3667. We are looking for history.
Exquisite Bootmaker in Seminole
Jose "Joe" Jesus Aguilar was born on the second day of June, 1893 in Morelia Michoacan, Mexico, the son of Jesus and Bicenta Carrato Aguilar, a merchant in Mexico.
Joe was largely a self taught man, having attended school for only the first four grades. He began making military boots and all kinds of shoes in 1908, while still in Mexico and continued until he came to the United States. He had made boots all of his adult life except for the two years he worked for the rail road.
He came to the United States in 1915 as a young man and went to work for the Santa Fe Railroad. He worked for them for two years and then went back into the boot making business, working in Fort Worth until 1920. He then transferred his business to Amarillo for three years. He was a boot maker for more than twenty years before beginning his boot and shoe repair business.
He came to Seminole shortly before the outbreak of World War II, in about 1939. In Seminole he operated the City Shoe Shop, where he ran a "completely modern boot and shoe repair shop," according to Arzie Kirk, who added "He also manufactured made to measure boots by hand, a trade he had an unusual knack for. He handled leather expertly and in a way few people could manage. He not only made his boots by hand, but also had a very exquisite manner of tooling his leather products to produce unmatched beauty."
Jose Aguilar was married to Maria Garcia, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Angel Garcia in August of 1926 in Amarillo. They had seven children, Mike; Mary Consuelo, Jose Jesus, Jr.; Luis; Carlos; Maria Guadalupe and Ana Mary.
All of the children except Mike, who was physically handicapped, attended and graduated from Texas Tech. (Mr. Aguilar won a plaque two years in succession for having the most children attending Texas Tech at one time; five.)
Mike graduated from Seminole High School.
According to Arzie Kirk's report, Joe Aguilar was, "well and favorable known among the business men of Seminole." He said, "Mr. Aguilar also enjoyed a wide patronage among the larger ranchers of Texas on his made-to-measure cowboy boots."
The Aguilars were associated with the Catholic Church.