Jessie Foote Jack

Jessie Foote Jack (left) and Mary Elizabeth Owen (right)
Mrs. Jessie Foote Jack (Left) and Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Owen (Right) in 1920

For many women, the winning of the American West was a time of distinct change. Gender roles were transforming. Women, once relegated only to caring for the home and hearth, were asked to become active participants in tending cattle and managing rangeland. Jessie Foote Jack was no different. Married to Captain William Howard Jack, a prominent New Mexico rancher and President of the Crowfoot Cattle Company, Jessie helped her husband administer ranches in Colfax and Union Counties. Following her husband's untimely death, however, Jessie was forced to assume his responsibilities.

Mrs. Jack and other local ranchers highly valued Capulin Volcano during this time period as it was considered prime grazing land. In order to ensure sole rights to graze cattle on the volcano, Jessie used her husband's political connections to secure the position of custodian for the monument. Serving from 1916 to 1921, Jessie Foote Jack was the first custodian for Capulin Volcano, as well as the first female custodian in the National Park Service.

Last updated: October 6, 2019

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46 Volcano Highway
Capulin, NM 88414


575 278-2201

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