El Rancho in South Texas: Continuity and Change From 1750 Page: 22
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division eventually went to his heirs; and the Dolores
subdivision remained with Manuela.
In 1830, a wealthy man from the Villa de Revilla,
Jes6s Treviiio, purchased land in the San Ygnacio sub-
division. For his home, he built the structure now
known as Fort Treviflo. His son-in-law, BBls Maria
Uribe, continued to build onto the structure until it
was completely enclosed. When Indians raided the areas
it became a refuge for neighbors, who brought their
families to the fort and left their horses and wagons in
the enclosed courtyard. The ranch headquarters would
become the town of San Ygnacio (Fish 1991).
Jos6 Fernando Vidaurri and his wife, Alejandra
Sanchez, built a house and ranch headquarters on the
Corralitos subdivision. This ranch was sold in I915 to
Harvey Mecom, whose descendants still own it. Some-
time after 1830, Cosme Martinez bought a large tract
of the Dolores grant and established a ranch headquar-
ters which became known as Dolores Nuevo (New
Dolores), about a mile and a half north of the old
hacienda headquarters. This new community prospered
in the 186os, but was abandoned in 1937. The site
now boasts the ruins of seven stone buildings and a
cemetery. Anthony Mateo Bruni, a successful Laredo
businessman, purchased a large portion of the original
Borrego grant and this land is still owned by his heirs
Settling a ranch in South Texas was not an easy task
to be taken on by just anyone. The colonists who came
with Escand6n were independent, courageous people
willing to risk their lives. While not all of the original
land grant families had the tragic experiences of the
Borregos, many did.
Other Ranches along the Texas Side
of the Rio Grande
Of the original settlers in the region, fifteen fami-
lies were given land grants by Escand6n north of the
Rio Grande in 1752. Between 1767 and i800oo, a number
of colonists moved north of the river, where ranch-
ing conditions were thought to be better than those
in the south. Once the 1767 land grants were actually
awarded, the owners were required to take possession;
thus many who had lived for years in the towns of Ca-
margo, Revilla, Reynosa, and Mier now moved onto
their ranches. In many instances, the families remained
in the towns where there were schools, churches, and
other advantages, while the men spent certain seasons
on their ranches. In other instances, the wealthy land-
owners remained in the villages and sent their men and
cattle to the ranches (Scott 1964). Many communities
today-including Laredo, Zapata, Roma/Los Saenz,
Garcefio, and Rio Grande City-started out as ranch
headquarters on these early land grants.
In 1752, Escand6n granted Captain Blis Maria de
la Garza Falc6n and his wealthy rancher father-in-law,
Don Nicolas de los Santos Coy, about 433,500 acres
across the river from Camargo. Within two years, there
would be several large ranches operating in this area
north of the Rio Grande. Captain Falc6n had been a
leader of Escand6n's explorative expeditions in 1747,
and he brought forty ranch families to settle Camargo
on March 5, 1749, the first villa along the Rio Grande
in Nuevo Santander. He named his ranch on the north
banks of the Rio Grande "Carnestolendas," and he
brought fifteen families to live there. Carnestolendas
would later become Rancho Davis, named after the
husband of one of Falc6n's granddaughters, who had
settled in the region. In 1848, the ranch headquar-
ters community, which had grown with the developing
riverboat trade, would be named Rio Grande City.
Santos Coy, who established his ranch about nine miles
up the river, named his ranch "Guardado," and he had
around a hundred men altogether, working either on
this or his ranch south of the river, near the San Augus-
tin Mission. Guardado would become present-day Gar-
cefio (Scott 1969).
In 1762, Falc6n pioneered the ranching settlement
near the Nueces River. He brought his family and
others to the ranch community which came to be
known as Rancho Real de Santa Petronila, the first
ranch in present-day Nueces County. By 1766, a num-
ber of other colonists had moved into the community,
planting crops and tending their herds of livestock.
This ranch was included in the Chiltipin Grant given
to the Captain's great-grandson in 1834. By 1836,
22 El Rancho in South Texas
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Graham, Joe S. El Rancho in South Texas: Continuity and Change From 1750, book, 1994; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28328/m1/34/?q=el%20rancho: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.