Pancho Villa Stash House

Pancho Villa's Stash House
This old house does not look like it’s long for this world.
331 Leon Street, El Paso Texas

Nikon D7500 with Nikkor 10mm fisheye lens
f/9 1/1000 second ISO 100 10mm

I had to use my 10.5mm fisheye in order to get this frontal view. There was a historical marker right behind me and then parked cars. I let DxO Optics pro turn the fish eye look into an ultra-wide image. Not much to see anyway, the place looks like it’s standing on it’s last 2X4.


Mexican revolutionary Francisco (Pancho) Villa stashed the currency, coins and jewelry he used to support his political activities in this house owned by George Benton during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). On November 9, 1915, Zachary Cobb, the U.S. Collector of Customs in El Paso, ordered a raid on Benton’s home. Custom officials found $500,000 in American currency and gold coins, along with $30,000 in jewelry, in Benton’s safe. Certain that the jewelry had been smuggled into the U.S., the government confiscated it.

Pancho Villa used El Paso as his military headquarters, personal residence, and hideout from the Mexican government. Initially, U.S. authorities maintained a friendly relationship with the Villistas, largely because both sides supported President Francisco Madero (1911-1913) and opposed President Victoriano Huerta (1913-1914). By 1915, however, the U.S. government wanted to stop Villa from using El Paso as a recruiting ground and war supply site against the new President Venustiano Carranza (1915-1917).

The raid on Villa’s “stash house” marked a turning point in the U.S. attitude toward revolutionary activity along the U.S.-Mexican border. The raid heightened tensions between Villa and the U.S., an escalation that eventually led to Villa’s ill-fated raid on Columbus, New Mexico, in March 1916, and General John J. Pershing’s unsuccessful “punitive expedition” of 1916-1917. – credit Historical Marker in front of the Stash House.