Fermin Echeverria, Part 1

Fermin was the third son to migrate to the United States.  The Echeverria family migrated from Viscarret, Navarra, Spain, i.e., part of the Basque area in the Pyrenees. (There are also French Basque which will be presented in other blogs.)  Fermin followed his older brothers, Miguel and Matias, who in 1910 were working in Arizona.  Leaving by ship from Le Havre, France, Fermin made his way to the United States.  He told his family of the moment he spotted the Statue of Liberty as the ship pulled into the harbor.  He never forgot his roots back in Basque country, but America was now his home!  Like all immigrants of this time period, Fermin was required to pass a physical examination to enter the country.  Once he was processed at Ellis Island, he boarded a train for Arizona.

When Fermin arrived in Phoenix he was expecting one of his two brothers to meet him.  Unfortunately the letter he had sent to them did not arrive in time for Miguel and Matias to meet him.  He approached some men who he heard speaking Spanish.  He learned that his brothers were far away with a sheep outfit.  One of the men, Pedro Arrese, another Basque, offered him work.  Fermin agreed.  Part 2 tomorrow.   This is part of the story on the Echeverria family from my book Where Have All the Sheep Gone? Sheep Herders and Ranchers in Arizona-A Disappearing Industry.

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