WILLCOX Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees


"Lencho" Hurtado was born to Florencio Hurtado and Carmen Lugo on December 20, 1886 in Dos Cabezas, Arizona. His parents immigrated form Sonora, Mexico in the 1870's. Don Florencio was carpenter, adobe maker and freighter. He built many of the original houses in Dos Cabezas. Young Lencho helped his father as a carpenter but was interested in cattle and ranching. He also worked as a ranch hand and registered his F Bar H brand in 1903 when he was 17 years old. When he married Trinidad Pacheco in 1910, he had 300 head of cows running on the open range. Trinie says she doesn't remember when she didn't know Lencho. They had five children, three girls and two boys-Adeline, now deceased, Helen, Laura Mae, Fred and Florencio Jr. "Tiny". Four of the children were born in Dos Cabezas and one was born in Miami, Arizona.

Lencho began homesteading in the Dos Cabezas area in 1915. When other homesteaders moved from the area he bought their homesteads and mining patents as they became available. His range also included some state and BLM land. In 1917 he purchased the property where the ranch house now stands.

After the ranges were fenced, Lencho began to improve his herd. In 1926 he purchased his first registered Hereford bull. He was very conscious of the dangers of over grazing and began to cut his herd until he had 135 mother cows. This was a number he felt his range could support even in the driest years.

During the depression years, Lencho hired out as a carpenter for the mining company in the Mascot area. This was in addition to running his own ranch. He and his wife Trinie raised chickens, planted a garden, raised an occasional pig or two and always had a milk cow to help feed their growing family. There was also a fruit orchard on the property.

Like most ranchers, Lencho kept his own horses shod, doctored sick cows, repaired windmills, mended fence, and was mid-wife to his young heifers, Every cow and calf on the range had a name and the bulls were named for the breeder from whom they were purchased. He knew each cow and calf on sight and knew the age and production record of each cow.

In the early years, at shipping time, the mother cows and calves were driven to the stockyards in Willcox, a fifteen-mile walk. In the evening of the first day, the cattle were bedded down at the lap-circle trap. Before daylight the next morning, the drive continued another four or five miles to Willcox. At the stockyards, the calves were cut from the cows and the calves were shipped by rail. The mother cows were then driven back to the home pasture in Dos Cabezas. In later years, the calves and other stock that were to be sold were sent into Willcox by truck.

Lencho's cows provided his family with a good living and he was very proud that his herd put four of his five kids through college. He remained an active rancher all his life. When doctors ordered him not to ride a horse, he did his "cowboying" in his pickup, keeping a daily check on the cattle and the watering places. He had a keen interest in the young ranchers of the area and was generous with his advice.

Florencio "Lencho" Hurtado was a member of the National Cattle Growers Association, the Arizona Cattle Growers Association, many times a member of the Dos Cabezas School Board and an charter member of the Willcox Elks Lodge. He and Trinie were married fifty-seven years.

Lencho died in December of 1967, just five days short of his 81st birthday.