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Conrad N. Hilton Foundation grant of $1.1 million saves 1598 New Mexico church

In my searches for hotel and loyalty program news, there are interesting stories I come across kind of related to hotels. One such story was in the news last week.

Conrad Hilton (1887-1979), founder of Hilton Hotels, bought his first 40-room hotel in 1919 in Cisco, Texas. Hilton was born in San Antonio, New Mexico and baptized in old San Miguel Mission Church in nearby Socorro, New Mexico. Socorro was founded by Spanish explorers in 1598. The mission church was enlarged with thick wall construction from 1615 to 1626 and some of the existing structure today dates back to that time nearly 400 years ago.

The historic church was closed in 2010 when it was discovered the old walls were caving in. Parishioner fundraising had secured $400,000 to restore the church. Still, there was a wide gap in funding for the reconstruction of the Catholic church.

Last Tuesday, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation of Los Angeles, donated $1.1 million for San Miguel Catholic Church restoration. Conrad Hilton was baptized in the church and his parents are buried in the church’s cemetery. Conrad Hilton’s mother was of German Catholic descent.

Conrad Hilton left the bulk of his fortune to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation upon his death.

The restoration of the church is expected to be complete next year.

History of San Miguel Catholic Church


Wikipedia photo from November 2013 – Kreuzfeld

KASA.com News Story Albuquerque, New Mexico.


  • Greg December 3, 2013

    That’s a very interesting story, however saying Socorro is nearby either Cisco or San Antonio (8 or 10 hr drive) is a bit of a stretch.

  • Scott M. December 4, 2013

    Socorro is about eight miles from San Antonio, NM. The Owl Bar and Grill in San Antonio is well known for its green chile cheeseburgers and chile cheese fries.

  • Ric Garrido December 4, 2013

    As Scott says, this article refers to San Antonio, New Mexico where Conrad Hilton was born at a time when the area was still a territory and not yet a state.

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