Patoni Family - La Familia Patoni

Dolores "Lola" Patoni

Develan Placa del General José Maria Patoni
Patoni Family Tree
A Brief Family History
Juan Bautista Patoni
José María Patoni
Jose Maria Patoni in Newspapers
Edna Torres Patoni
Carlos Patoni
Children of Carlos Patoni and Maria Ruperta Dominguez
Maria Guadalupe Patoni
Maria de las Nieves Patoni
Children of Carlos Patoni and Maria de la Luz Echávarri
Dolores "Lola" Patoni
Luis Salvador Patoni
Amalia "Molly" Patoni
Luz Patoni
Maria Francisca "Sara" Patoni
Contact Me
Related Links

On This Page You Will Find Information About Dolores Patoni, Her Husband and Her Descendants

Dolores Patoni Photograph
Photo Courtesy of Marie Whitfield

Childhood photograph of Dolores Patoni.  To see full photograph, click on Carlos Patoni link.

Photo Courtesy of Kameron Searle
Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico, Penoles
Peñoles Mining Company at the Ojuela Mine at Mapimi, Durango, Mexico

Dolores Patoni, daughter of Carlos Patoni and Maria de la Luz Echavarri, married Orrin Pomeroy Searle.  Orrin Pomeroy Searle was born in Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri. O.P. Searle graduated from Galesburg College in Illinois in 1893.  He was an engineer and he worked for the Peñoles Mining Company.  Orrin and Dolores Searle's son, Harry Searle, was born at Mapimi, State of Durango, Mexico in 1907.  Harry Searle was probably born at the mine itself.  The mine camp was a city built by the Peñoles Mining Company on top of a mountain and it had a modern hospital.  Harry Searle's Mapimi birth record provides his name as Enrique Patoni Searle. Orrin and Dolores Searle's second child, John Searle, was also born at Mapimi, State of Durango, Mexico in 1908. John's name is given as Juan in his birth record.

Article about the Ojuela Mine and Mapimi, Durango, Mexico from "Mineralogical Record" magazine

Photo Courtesy of Kameron Searle

Dolores "Lola" Patoni Searle holding her great-grandson, Harry Searle III, in May 1961 in Houston, Texas.  Dolores was born October 27, 1882, so she was 78 when this photograph was taken.

Courtesy of Josephine Ellsworth

Dolores Patoni Searle's Mexican Passport

Courtesy of Josephine Ellsworth

A 1964 Visa showing Dolores Patoni Searle's visiting one of her sisters in California.  Her name is shown as Dolores Patoni Vda. de Searle.  Vda. is the abbreviation of the word "viuda" which is the Spanish word for widow.  So Vda. de Searle means "widow of Searle."

Photo Courtesy of Gonzalo Gonzalez

Dolores Patoni Searle being serenaded by her great niece and great nephews in a nursing home in Ensanada, Baja California, Mexico in 1967 or 1968.  From left to right:  a Nun, Stella Gonzalez (mandolin), Gonzalo Gonzalez (accordion),Oscar Gonzalez (violin), Dolores "Lola" Patoni Searle (wheelchair), Maria Estela Castanos Gonzalez (standing behind wheelchair), Josefina Castanos Ellsworth (cut off at right edge of photo)

Things I know about Dolores Patoni Searle:
Her nickname was Lola.  Almost everyone called her Lola.  When one of her sons died, the San Antonio newspaper obituary gave her name as Lola P. Searle.
Her favorite song was the classic Mexican folk song, La Paloma.
She loved tea made from Herba Buena.
When she and her husband came to Texas, they first moved to El Paso and later to San Antonio.  In San Antonio, they owned feed stores and mills.  At one time they owned as many as three feed stores in San Antonio.
Her husband, Orrin Searle, was a Mason.  His blue lodge in Mexico was the Torreon Lodge and his blue lodge in San Antonio was Anchor Lodge.  When he died in San Antonio he had a masonic funeral.
In her later years, Dolores Patoni, lived in northern Baja California to be near her younger sisters who lived in southern California.

Photo Courtesy of Josephine Ellsworth

Harry Searle, son of Dolores "Lola" Patoni and O. P. Searle.

Click on the Ojuela Mine link below to see close ups of the picture of the Ojuela Mine above.

Ojuela Mine - Peñoles Mining Company

The Railroads of the Compañía Minera de Peñoles by George E. Hoke

Peñoles Today

Photo of Ojuela Bridge Today

The Patoni Legend and the Patoni Truth
My research into the Patoni family begins with Dolores Patoni and her husband Orrin Pomeroy Searle.  My father, Harry Searle Jr., told me the most extraordinary stories which he remembered from his childhood.  He heard these stories from his father, Harry Searle Sr., and his grandmother, Dolores Patoni.  Even when my father was a boy these stories sounded fabulous and to good to be true. 
My father told me that he had heard that his great grandfather, Carlos Patoni, had been an Alcalde of Durango during the Mexican Revolution and his grandfather, Orrin Pomeroy Searle had worked at a silver mine in the State of Durango as an engineer.  My father said that Orrin Pomeroy Searle had married Dolores Patoni, but that they left Mexico with their three sons when Pancho Villa's army came to the mine and took all the silver by force.  As a boy, it all sounded wonderful.  Alcaldes!  A silver mine! The Mexican Revolution! Pancho Villa!
But were they true?  They could'nt be.  They were to good to be true.  And in genealogy most family legends are not true.  Or if they were true originally they have been embellished so many times, they are no longer true.
I began researching my genealogy about eight years ago.  I researched my American lines first because they were a lot easier to work on here in the States.  When I began working on the Patoni family, I had one thing going for me which always helps in genealogy, a rare surname to research.  It is obviously an Italian name in its origin.  But even among Italian names it is rare.  In fact, if you do a search of the Internet, you will find very few sites where this name appears anywhere in the world outside of Mexico or Italy.  Search using this name on any of the popular genealogy sites and you will see just how rare this name is.  Another thing that helped was that the Patoni family had left nice deep tracks in the trail of Mexican history.  They certainly were not just farmers.
In the end, I found the true story was bigger and better than the family legends.  Carlos Patoni was not the Alcalde of Durango.  He was the Governor of the State of Durango from 1912 to 1913 at the beginning of the Mexican Revolution.  He was President Madero's candidate.  When Madero was assasinated, Carlos Patoni resigned his office and with good reason as we shall see. 
There was'nt just one silver mine as the family legend reported.  There were two.  There was the Ojuela mine at Mapimi, Durango Mexico which was one of the largest silver producing mines in Mexican history.  And there was the Patoni Silver Mine in the Guanacevi district of Durango. 
Carlos Patoni's father, Jose Maria Patoni, was Governor of Durango at least three different times.   Jose Maria Patoni fought for Mexico in the Mexican American War with great distinction.  Later as Brigadier General, he fought for Benito Juarez and Mexico  against the French.  Jose Maria Patoni fought in the second Battle of Puebla where he was captured by the French, but he managed to escape.  He strongly criticized Juarez when Juarez illegally appointed himself to another term as President of Mexico.  And in 1868, Jose Maria Patoni was assasinated by General Benigno Canto.  Canto originally indicated that his orders came from above, but at his trial he argued that his motivation had been that he believed that Patoni and others were going to commit some type of treason.  Benigno Canto was sentenced to ten years and fined $2000.00 for the murder of Jose Maria Patoni.
Jose Maria Patoni's father, Juan Bautista Patoni came to Mexico in 1803 with the Baron von Humboldt, the father of of modern geography and the most famous scientist of his time.
And these are just the men.  So far I know nothing of the wives of each of these men.  For instance, who was  Dona Mercedes Sanchez?  What is the history of her family?  If you find out, please let all of the rest of us know.

Texas History Page