Pioneer Plaza. Pioneer Plaza was the center of public activity in early El Paso. A United States military guard was posted here in the late 1870s to defend citizens from Apache Indian attacks, and military bands performed in the plaza. An irrigation ditch flowed along the south boundary of the plaza and nourished a line of trees which shaded the area. Among the trees was an ash known as the "Newspaper Tree" on which public notices were posted. Major roads and trails passed through the plaza. El Paso Street led southward to El Paso Del Norte, Mexico, and San Francisco Street led westward from the plaza to connect with trails to California. The Butterfield overland stage route crossed the southwest corner of the plaza. Pioneer Plaza was the site of many parades and public events. United States President William H. Taft and Mexican President Porfirio Diaz each passed through the plaza with their entourages while en route to the Chamber of Commerce building for their historic meeting on October 16, 1909. Due to its small size, Pioneer Plaza was replaced by San Jacinto Plaza as the center of activity. (1988) #4031