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,
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 to Washington.
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 Luis.
the family arrived in New York on July 11,
Concepcion, 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.
soon discovered 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
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 teachers.
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 Company.
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
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.
are: “Concepcion, 36; Louis Leon, Concepcion, Rosario, Clara
Maria, Ramon, Maria Carmen and Delores, ages 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3 and
Coat of Arms
Rey Origins in Spain
Granados / Rey families are
Narrative by Luis Leon Granados