Larrazolo, Octaviano Ambrosio (1859–1930)

By: Ernesto Chávez

Type: Biography

Published: September 1, 1995

Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo, attorney, known as the "Silver Tongued Orator of the Southwest," son of Octaviano and Donaciana (Corral) Larrazolo, was born in El Valle de San Bartolo (now known as Allende), Chihuahua, Mexico, on December 7, 1859. J. B. Salpointe, Bishop of Arizona, a family friend, brought him to the United States in 1870. Larrazolo lived in Tucson, Arizona, where Salpointe taught him basic skills, Spanish, English, and Latin. When Salpointe became archbishop of Santa Fe in 1875 he took Larrazolo with him. In Santa Fe Larrazolo completed his formal education at St. Michael's College. Larrazolo moved to Texas in 1878 to accept principalship of the San Elizario public school in El Paso County. While living in Texas he became affiliated with the Democratic party, and in 1885 he was appointed chief deputy of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. He resigned his clerkship in 1886 and ran successfully for clerk of the thirty-fourth judicial district of Texas. In 1888 he was admitted to the Texas State Bar after studying law with Judge Falvey of El Paso. Larrazolo was then elected and reelected, in 1888 and 1892, state attorney of the district in which he had served as clerk. His termed expired in 1894, and in 1895 he moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico. In New Mexico Larrazolo practiced law and attained high political office; he was elected to the governorship in 1918 and served one term. The people of New Mexico elected Larrazolo (who ran as a Republican) to the unexpired term of the late United States Senator A. A. Jones in 1928. Larrazolo had attended only one session of the Senate when illness forced him to return home to Albuquerque in December 1929, and he died on April 7, 1930. Larrazolo, a Catholic, was married twice. His first marriage to Rosalía Cobos of San Elizario lasted ten years, from 1881 until her death in 1891. Two children were born of this marriage. In 1892 he married María García, also of San Elizario, who outlived him. This marriage produced six children.

Alfredo C. Córdova and Charles B. Judah, Octaviano Larrazolo: A Political Portrait (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Department of Government, 1952). El Paso Herald, April 8, 1930. Paul A. Walter, "Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo," New Mexico Historical Review 7 (April 1932).
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • General Law
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Politics and Government

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Ernesto Chávez, “Larrazolo, Octaviano Ambrosio,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 06, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995

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