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The Story of Father Anton Docher
By Julia Keleher and Elsie Ruth Chant

The story of Father Anton Docher while a Catholic priest in Isleta Indian Pueblo in New Mexico from 1891 until his death in 1928.


Adolph F. Bandelier, Charles Fletcher Lummis, and Father Anton Docher are names closely associated with the early colonial days in New Mexico. All of these characters appear in this narrative of Isleta Pueblo which tells the story of Father Docherís life in the Indian pueblo from the day when he first arrived along the road that was bad, but the sunset beautiful in 1891 until the time of the death of his two great friends, Bandelier and Lummis, and his own death several months later in 1928.

Father Docherís job was not an easy one, but his great patience and understanding helped him through many difficulties. The story goes into many of these and into much of the legend and superstition of Isleta Pueblo which the Padre encountered during his long life there. He was particularly interested in the story of Father Padilla, the Franciscan friar who came with Coronadoís band, whose body was buried in the church at Isleta but which refused to stay underground.

Julia Keleher was a member and Professor in the English Department of the University of New Mexico from 1931 to her retirement in 1959. She was also a professional writer and edited each of her brother, William A. Keleherís books, all of which have been published by Sunstone Press in its Southwest Heritage Series. Her collaboration with Elsie Ruth Chant resulted in this fascinating collection of incidents for all readers interested in the American Southwest. She was married to Lloyd Chant and raised two children, George Ashley Chant and Julia Jane Chant.

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