Heritage, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 1996 Page: 21
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Above: This photograph is an overview of Esparza-Rodriguez Cemetery in Atascosa County. Page 20 image: Metal cross marking the grave of Manuel Esparza,
eyewitness and survivor of the Battle of the Alamo, Esparza-Rodriguez Cemetery, Atascosa County. Both photographs by Ralph Newlan.
...the Atascosa County
has identified and recorded
43 rural cemeteries
and other historical
landmarks in the county.
ister criteria consideration and exceptions:
(1) a religious property deriving primary
significance from architectural or artistic
distinction or historical significance; or (2)
a birthplace or grave of an historical figure
of outstanding importance if there is no
other appropriate site or building directly
associated with his or her productive life; or
(3) a cemetery that derives it primary significance
from graves or persons of transcendent
importance from distinctive de
sign features, or from association with historic
events. Several of the cemeteries in
the county may qualify under these criteria.
Additionally, Official Texas Historical
Markers and State Archaeological Landmark
status will be sought for a number of
The Atascosa County Historical Commission
hopes to develop at least one historic
context focusing on these historic
cemeteries. For example, cemetery design
and spatial layout of graves provides a type
of landscape architecture or traditional
cultural landscape language. Mortuary accouterments,
gravestone designs, and associated
grave furnishings provide important
ties to previous generations and past
periods that provide a better understanding
of the larger picture of lifeways and
"Important ties to previous generations"
and so it was in 1886 that Manuel
Esparza, son of Alamo hero and defender
Gregorio Esparza, child witness and survivor
of the Battle of the Alamo, was placed
to rest on a small knoll close to the Galvan
Creek in Atascosa County. The EsparzaRodriguez
Cemetery, as with all the cemeteries
in the county, helps us better understand
"the larger picture oflifeways and
customs" while providing an important
link to our rich heritage, one we must not
forget. By preserving and protecting the
final resting place of the earliest settlers,
we honor those who came before -men
like Manuel Esparza, who paved the way
for our community as it exists today.
Author's Note: The word "seashells" in
the title of this article refers to iconographic
images conveying symbolic representation in
V. Kay Hindes is president of the Atascosa
County Historical Commission.
HERITAGE * SPRING 1996 21
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 1996, periodical, Spring 1996; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45406/m1/21/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.