information on the Granados family coming to America
was compiled by Luis Granados, II (aka "Sonny"),
son of Luis Granados, grandson of Ramon Granados and
Maria Concepcion Rey. Please
visit the links that follow the information below to
trace the full story story of the Granados emigration
in Cuba, Ramon
Grandos had become friends with General Leonard
Wood, the U.S. Commissioner there.
The General urged him to move to America, and
helped him get a position as a teacher at the Berlitz
School in Washington, D.C.
July 30, 1910, Ramon left Cadiz for New York on the
S.S. Montevideo, arriving on August 10.
He worked in New York as a salesman before going
In 1911, he sent for his wife and children, ages
7, 5, 3 and 2.
His mother agreed to help them financially.
sailing on the S.S. Manuel Calvo on June 30, 1911, Luis
gave his Aunt Cha-Cha a ten centavo coin, saying, “Tia
Chacha, para que siempre tengas dinero y te acuerdes
de mi.” (roughly,
“so that you always have money and remember me”) Cha-Cha
saved the coin, and after she died it was returned to
the family arrived in New York on July 11,
who stood 4 ft. 9 inches, only had $10 in cash.
They were met by Ramon and went to live at 816
14th St., N.W. in Washington, D.C.
the house had rats and refused to stay there, so they
moved to a large house at 14th and K St., N.W.
the children nor their mother could speak English, so
a neighbor took them to a store for food.
Concepcion would cut the labels off the food
cans, and the children took these to the store for more.
Luis was sent to St John’s College High School
(they had a program for young children) but he said,
“all they did was beat hell out of me”.
He then went to the Franklin School, the same
place Ramon had gone, where he learned English.
Connie attended the Thompson School kindergarten.
weekends, the children were taken to Keith’s Theater,
to the movies to see Charlie Chaplin, or to Glen Echo
amusement park. On Easter Monday, they went to the White
House to roll Easter eggs.
said that on New Year’s day, President Taft stood in
front of the White House and shook hands with the people
until his hand bled.
taught at Georgetown University and St. Johns College
High School, and in 1913, after developing a unique
way of teaching, established the Spanish School of Washington.
When Mr. Willard, owner of the Willard Hotel,
became Ambassador to Spain, he asked Ramon to live with
him for three weeks to teach him Spanish.
Willard was then able to converse in Spanish
when presented to the King of Spain.
bought a 4-story house near 15th and K St., using one
floor for his school, and another as family living quarters.
He rented the remaining 2 floors and garage.
the summers, he conducted tours to Spain with American
to World War I, Ramon put up large maps of Europe in
D.C. hotels on which he updated the progress of the
battle in Europe each day.
He also served in the U.S. Naval Intelligence,
traveling to Brazil as a salesman from the Pierce Remedy
1912, Ramon, Jr.
was born, and Ramon Sr. took all of the children to
see their brother.
He pointed out a black baby, saying Ramon was
born black, but would turn white after being washed.
1913, when Ramon, Jr. became ill, the family moved to
Mt. Ranier, MD, for the summer, where he improved.
They moved there permanently, and Maria and Dolores
were born there.
January 12, 1917, Angelina
was born, and only lived for 27 days.
She was baptized at St. Francis de Sales Church
in Mt. Ranier, and died on February 7.
Her death was a severe blow to Concepcion, who
described her feelings in a letter
to her sister in Spain.
August 6, 1917, the family became Naturalized U.S. Citizens
before the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.
(Document No. 798847)
The certificate reads: Ramon Granados Marquez,
residing at 1423 G St., N.W., Washington, DC, at a special
term of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia
held at Washington is admitted as a citizen of the United
States of America.
Also listed are: “Concepcion, 36; Louis Leon, Concepcion,
Rosario, Clara Maria, Ramon, Maria Carmen and Delores,
ages 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3 and 1.
by Luis Granados
following is text from a narrative given about the Granados
family life in Spain and America by Luis Granados, first
born of the first generation. The
narrative is taken from an interview of Luis by his
younger brother Tony on August 17, 1981. Note:
The interview was taped and then transcribed by Luis
Granados II. Some parts were inaudible and is so noted
with a ?.
we first came here (to America) we rented. Had two flats,
then he got an idea that there were some Spanish people
having a hard time finding work. So somebody coaxed
him to buy a house at 15th & K St., between K &
L. He bought a four-story house and used one floor of
it as his school, we lived on the first floor and part
of the second, and the rest he rented. Spanish people
took care of the rooms and so forth and helped Mama.
Ramon was a little fellow who got very ill and there
was a question whether he would live. The doctor advised
them to get out of the city. So he rented the house,
and moved to Mt. Ranier for the summer. Ramon got well,
and everything was fine, so he got rid of the house
and all the furniture. The DC house was next to the
corner on the west side of 15th Street about 50 feet
from K Street. The property was so big that they rented
the stable as well as the other parts. The rental income
covered half of their rental expenses.
in Mount Ranier
lived in Mt. Ranier for about 5 years, from 1912 to
1917, then decided to move to Riverdale. Houses there
rented for $25.00 a month, which was applied to your
equity. When you got $200 equity it could be applied
toward the purchase of the house. In about 1920, he
had the house put in his name. I can recall working
in the garden there when the whistles began to blow
that we had declared war with Germany. By that time
we were established, we had chickens a garden and everything.
It was February when we went in.
grandfather came from an illustrious family. He was
about the second or third child, so was too far away
from the title. There were two titles in the Granados
family - the count and the duke. I have pictures of
my father with the Duke and (the home?) that he converted
to Corte Ingles, the famous department store in Seville.
His father became what was was equivalent to the civil
governor of the province of Huelva. He laid all the
groundwork for the city of (?) Huleva at one time was
part of Portugal. His wife and all the Muñoz
and the Barrera's were all from (?) but Huelva is the
capital of that area.
mother's people were builders and architects. Antonio
Rey Pozo was a very well-known architect. So was his
son. He (Antonio) went to examine a building under construction
and it was hot and sticky and he contracted pneumonia.
The pneumonia turned to tuberculosis and in about a
year he was dead. His son died the same way.
oldest aunt (Emigda) married a young lawyer who eventually
became Justice of the Supreme Court, Manolo Repetto
Rey. He then decided he didn't like the idea of sitting
on the bench hour after hour, so he went to school and
studied dentistry and became a dentist. Then he decided
he wasn't making enough money as a dentist, so he got
re-appointed Justice of the Supreme Court. In the meantime,
his son Manolo Repetto Rey was also appointed Justice
of the Supreme Court.
of his brothers, Bernardo, became a doctor. Another
brother, Francisco, played a very important role in
the invasion of Sevilla when the Reds occupied it. He
had been fooling around with the radio and wireless,
and was able to notify the Spanish generals exactly
what the Reds were doing inside the city.
the capture of Sevilla, a very famous general prayed
to Our Lady of La Macarena, "If you will help me
conquer Sevilla, I will make you a captain general in
the Spanish army." And she is. She wears the sash
of a captain general.
of my mother's sisters, Flora, married the painter Alperiz.
They had no children. He was very famous, and has had
three pictures prized at the Paris Exposition.
went to see Rogan (?) the famous fellow that sells pictures
in Sevilla, where I bought a copy of a Murillo. I wanted
a copy of El Cuento de Bruja because I'm in it. ...and
the woman is my grandmother, my mother's mother, Abuela
Concha, but I couldn't afford it. Paco said to tell
him (the art dealer) who you are and see if he can help
you. He said, "See that chair over there? Your
uncle sat in that chair, he'd come in in the morning
and sit there just to see if somebody would come around
and buy one of his paintings." Eventually he got
a position painting in Triana, the place where they
make pottery and plaques and so forth, and he was decorating
vases. And it just broke his heart, he just died of
a broken heart.
is the son of Mama's youngest sister, Maria. She had
four boys: Franscisco, I don't know; the middle one
is a lawyer, and the fourth one is either dead or I
didn't meet him. Paco has an important position. The
Internal Revenue in Spain is divided into two groups:
those things that move and those that don't. A train
belongs in one group and the track belongs in the other.
For a long time, he was in everything that was movable.
Then they promoted him to everything permanent, which
includes real estate. He has that position for Andalucia,
which has five provinces. During the Spanish Civil War
he was commissioned an artillery General, and decorated
by Mussolini. (an ally of Franco at the time)
Granados family home in Aracena is called the Castillo,
which was originally a Moorish castle, and somewhere
along the line Isabella or Ferdinand gave it to them.
Only the head of the family lived there. When I was
in Spain, they were renovating, so I didn't get to go
inside. My grandfather is buried there. The Granados's
are all buried in graves in the cemetery there, up above
the ground in what's called ovens. It's a wall where
the body goes in. You can see quite a few of our family
there. In fact, my grandmother, Tio Juan, my grandfather's
brother and the Munoz family members are all buried
there. The cemetery is at the foot of the Castillo,
attached to the church.
about the time Columbus came over to this country, the
Granados's gave up the Castillo and made a church of
it. A bunch of Granados's are buried under it's floor.
My grandfather is there; his name was Granados-Gonzalez,
so the name Gonzalez is what shows.
is a very small town, just little farms. No social life
or anything then. They lived in the city - practically
all of them lived on one street. I didn't get in to
see the old Granados home, but I've heard my father
and mother talk about it. The house is on the main street
and everything goes through the front door. It goes
all the way back. In the morning they let the pigs out,
and a man takes the pigs over to the acorns. They let
the sheep out the same way. The front door is bolted
at night, and then you go another 20 feet through what
is called a consels (?) an iron gate that's locked.
Above the front door is a room called a (?). If anybody
comes, whoever is upstairs looks down and if it's okay,
orders the iron gate to be opened and they come in.
When the guy bringing the pigs arrives, he comes to
the head of the street and blows his horn and each pig
goes into his home. I remember my mother saying when
she went there to visit that when that pig came through
you'd better get out of the way.
I was in Aracena, it had been judged for the seventh
consecutive time the cleanest city in Spain. It was
absolutely clean. I believe if you threw a match on
the street they'd kill you.
Papa was three years old, he was sent to school, since
his father was the governor and a public official. He
would come home for Christmas for about 4 or 5 days
and he'd come home in the summer for vacation for about
4 or 5 days, then go back. He was never home.
you could say he was home a hundred days. He went from
one school to the other. He and his brothers got kicked
out of one school and another. He'd tell stories - one
time he was in a military academy in Toledo, where there
was a big affair in the cathedral. He and a couple of
other boys took the holy water out of the fonts and
put nitrate of silver there. Nitrate of silver burns
black, so as people came in and crossed themselves they
saw a black mark on each others forehead. It upset the
time, he was in the dormitory of a school conducted
by Salesians, and the brother that took care of them
slept just outside the door. The boys got together and
smeared the outside door handle with crap. Then put
a candle to the inside till they had it red hot. Then
one of the boys went "Ohhh" and the brother
came up and grabbed the handle. They sent him home for
students weren't allowed to read Jules Verne, but a
Spanish newspaper had a section at the bottom of the
second page called a folletín, where they printed
a section of a book. Jules Verne was very well known
in the folletín, so a fellow outside would take
the folletÍn, roll it, put it in a piece of cloth,
tie it to a rock and throw it over the wall. Then they
would read it. When I was young, I was very close to
my father. I was always with him.
Spain, the Wright brothers tried to sell an airplane
to the Spanish government, which was at war in Africa.
They were going to fly it at the airfield in Sevilla.
He got a carriage and sent my Aunt ChaCha and Connie
and me across the river, and we watched that plane go
up and circxle and land - the Wright brothers plane.
My aunt ChaCha took her skirt and put it over her head
- she didn't want to see it. "If God had meant
for man to fly he would have given him wings."
We were in the park in the carriage on the side of the
river which was about 300 feet wide. The airfield was
on the edge of the river on the other side.
the states, I would go from school and watch his school
for a couple of hours and then he sent me home. I never
really had a childhood life. When the kids were playing
ball and all, I was watching his office.
the World War I Armistice was about over, he came to
school and got me. In his way, he told the teacher,
"No, I want him, this is very important."
And he took me back and said, "Now I want you to
see this because you'll never forget it the rest of
your life. This is the greatest thing that's ever happened,
the end of this war." The first day was a false
alarm. Two days later the real armistice was signed
- people out in the street kissing each other and waving
flags. And I have never forgotten that.
played the horses and usually came up a winner. You
could tell. If he came home with a bunch of packages,
he had won. He'd take $20; if he lost $20 he lost. He
would come home with a headache and say, "Kill
a couple of chickens, I've got to have some chicken
soup." So you knew he'd lost.
suffered from migraine headaches, and had the finest
set of teeth going, not a cavity. All of a sudden he
couldn't move his arms. So he went to the dentist, who
said, Mr., Granados, you just have to have them pulled
out." When he returned home, we could see his street
car coming down the line. My mother said, "Look,
look, look, he's got his arm up, the first time in three
years he's been able to raise his hand."
grandfather's brother was named Don Juan. Incidentally
the name Juan, is Juan Nepomuceno, a saint, Ramon Nonatu.
Nonatu means "not born." It was from him that
Shakespeare got the idea for "don't fear any man
from woman born." in Macbeth. His mother had been
dead for hours, when they noticed a movement in the
womb and opened her up and found him. He's called St.
sister Angelina, born in Mt. Rainier, had trouble from
the beginning. Her navel didn't heal and it would bleed.
She lived something like sixteen days.
first people to live in our house in Riverdale were
the Zollenhoffers, who were a pain in the neck. They
only lived there for about a year or so. It was a little
too modern. Ours was the first house with a bathroom
in it. It was built by Mr. Wilson, who's wife inherited
all the land from where the car tracks were to the branch
(Anacostia river). He built Anne's house and the house
next door to it in 1901.
Granados - wife of Luis) My mother bought the house
before Joe was born, when Power was six months old.
they had come from Georgetown and lived in a boarding
house in Hyattsville while they looked for a house in
the vicinity. My mother drove to Riverdale in the buggy
and their house was not quite finished. My father would
come out to Hyattsville on weekends and that weekend
she said, "I want to show you this house."
She took him in the buggy at night, and there weren't
any lights, so she had to take him in with a lantern.
She had already bought the house but hadn't told him.
She'd signed up for it. So he of course said okay, he'd
buy it, and they had to wait until it was finished.
the house was a driveway from the Calvert mansion lined
with Osage Orange trees. Before my parents were married
they went dances there. At the time, the mansion was
nothing but a big farm. There was an octagon-shaped
barn that belonged to the mansion. I watched it burn
When I got there, the stones were there and they were
taking the embers out. When I used to go up and visit
old man Massey, he bought this farm there, you had to
get to his place before dark, because the mansion gates
at the railroad would shut. There was no other way to
get to Massy's by that road, it would take almost a
day, so you took care.
mother had one brother, Viriato. The oldest girl was
ChaCha, who never married. She was a governess in a
wealthy home for three generations. When the owner,
Dona Dolores', son became deathly ill with a fever,
Cha Cha got in bed with him and held him all night.
Spain, the originals of all birth certificates are filed
away. They have a series of notaries - very important
lawyers appointed by the government - who make the original
of everything. They then give you copies. You can go
to his file, if you know the cities, and get the notary
file. For instance, you can go to the files and pick
the grandfather's up and that'll show their father and
grandfather. So you're really jumping two generations
each time. There are plenty of people that do that for
father had two brothers, Luis and Celestino. Luis was
a lawyer, half starving, living on a little bread they
would get from the farm. Celestino was a playboy. I
don't believe he ever graduated from school. He didn't
only thing I remember about Luis is when he came to
see us, he had a moustache like Kaiser Wilhelm. As soon
as he'd walk in the house, he'd take this little gold
case he had and wax and work that moustache. He was
very nice, and once gave me a stuffed pony.
was taught in the regular way they teach a girl - half
a day spent in sewing and the other half divided between
music and a little grammar and a little math, but mostly
sewing and music. She graduated as a music teacher,
both in piano and in voice. I think I still have her
I came to the U.S., I knew two words of English. I was
8 years old. They sent me to St. John's College to learn
English. They had a grade school then. All they did
was beat the hell out of me. I then went to Franklin
School. There, the teachers were patient, and gradually,
and with the kids, it wasn't long before I could speak
The house in Riverdale was bought on March 2, 1920,
from Walter R. and Blanche B. Wilson, and was part of
a larger parcel the Wilson's bought from Benjamin D.Stevens
and wife on November 27, 1896. (Land records of Prince
Georges County, Liber J.W.B. No. 38, folio 68)
It is described as: "all of lot No. 17 in East
Riverdale, plat No. 2, recorded in Liber J.W.B. No.
5, folio No. 692 of the land records of said county."
There was a mortgage, dated March 21, 1912, of $1,600.
The sale was recorded on April 3, 1920, Liber No. 153,
Granados family moved from their house in Mt. Rainier
to a house in Riverdale in 1917 - the same year that
the family became Naturalized U.S. citizens.
August 6, 1917, the family became Naturalized U.S. Citizens
before the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.
(Document No. 798847) The certificate reads: Ramon Granados
Marquez, residing at 1423 G St., N.W., Washington, DC,
at a special term of the Supreme Court of the District
of Columbia held at Washington is admitted as a citizen
of the United States of America. Also listed are: "Concepcion,
36; Louis Leon, Concepcion, Rosario, Clara Maria, Ramon,
Maria Carmen and Delores, ages 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3 and
1917, the family moved to 407 First St., Riverdale,
MD, where Juan, Mercedes and Antonio were born. Houses
there rented for $25 a month, which could applied toward
their purchase. In about 1920, the house was put in
became good friends of the Lurba brothers, Ramon and
Jimmie, who he met on board ship bound for the U.S.
The Lurba's had a delicatessen on upper 14th Street,
NW, which the Spanish people of Washington patronized.
At Ramon Granados' suggestion, they added tables so
food could be served in the shop. Later when the old
Hippodrome movie closed on E Street, the Lurbas opened
the Pomona Restaurant there. Later they opened the Ceres
next door and the Earl Restaurant in the building which
housed the Earl Movie Theater (now the Warner).
helped his father translate a book on rules for the
game of Jai Alai. The original book was written in Spanish.
The game had become popular in Florida, but it had no
Rey Granados died on June 23, 1930 when 49; Ramon Granados
died on June 21, 1937 at age 57. Both are buried in
Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Washington, D.C. (Section 58, Site