Ochoa Community School was named after Don Estevan Ochoa

Don Estevan Ochoa was born to Jesus Ochoa in Chihuahua, Mexico on March 17,1831.  His family had a variety of business interests and appear on the registry of navigation from when Cortés sailed from Spain.  While he was growing up, his family operated a freight hauling busiiness along the Santa Fe Trail.  Ochoa accompanied his family's wagon trains from Chihuahua to points as distant as Independence, Missouri.
His experience on the trail taught him skills of a merchant, while time spent in Kansas provided him with fluency in the English Language.  Ochoa decided to settle in the United States.  His first store was located in Mesilla, New Mexico Territory.  From there he expanded to a second store in Las Cruces.  Shortly thereafter he partnered with Pinckney R. Tully, who moved to Mesilla in 1854, to form the freighting and mercantile firm of Tully & Ochoa.
One of Tully & Ochoa's early business ventures sent a large supply train to Tucson, New Mexico Territory.  After all the supply train's goods sold out in just a few hours the firm decided to open stores in both Tucson and Tubac.  Ochoa soon followed, moving to Tucson in 1860.
By the time the American Civil War broke out, Ochoa was loyal to both his adopted homeland and the Union cause.  When the Confederate column reached Tucson, the commanding leader sent for Ochoa and demanded he swear a loyalty oath to the Confederacy.  The merchant immediately refused, informing the officer that he "owed all he had in the world to the Government of the United States, and it would be imposssible for him to take an oath of fidelity to any hostile power or party."
He told the officer he was willing to leave town instead of signing the oath.  The officer then allowed Ochoa to select a horse and quickly pack a pair of saddlebags before providing him a rifle with 20 rounds of ammunition and having him escorted out of town.  The merchant then surprisingly survived a journey of 250 miles through Apache Territory to Union forces stationed on the Rio Grande.

to be continued...
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