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Volume 1, Issue 7

History

June 26, 2013

$1

South Texas

A Publication

of the

Celebrating

the rich culture and history of South Texas.

Jim Hogg County Enterprise

Jim Hogg County’s Centennial Gala

Revisiting the Turner Thesis Down Memory Lane in Old Brownsville

For

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s y o b w Co

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ry u t n e C h t 0 2 6 Page


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

STH VOL. 1 NO. 7

JUNE 26, 2013

On The Cover

South Texas vaqueros Donacio “Chanate” Gutierrez (left) and Wenceslado “Wanche” Alarcon.

PAGE 2 FRONT PAGE DESIGN BY JULISSA HERNANDEZ

THE NEW YORK STORE - HEBBRONVILLE, TEXAS

PUBLISHER Poncho Hernandez Jr. enterprise78361@aol.com If you are interested in receiving South Texas History Magazine contact us at 361-460-9493 or email us at enterprise78361@aol.com. You can also fax your requests to 361-256-2015. To submit articles and/or photographs for publication, please send to: sthistory@aol.com or by mail to The Enterpise, P.O. Box 759, Hebbronville, Texas 78361.

South Texas History Supplement to The Enterprise Wednesday, June 26, 2013 Volume 1, No 67SUPPLEMENT TO THE JIM HOGG COUNTY ENTERPRISE 304 E. Galbraith, Hebbronville, Texas 78361 Copyright 1998 by the Jim Hogg County Enterprise All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without the express permission of the publishers. Entered as Second Class Matter at Hebbronville, Texas under May 5, 1926, at the Post Office the Act of March 8, 1979, Second Class Postage Paid at Hebbronville, Jim Hogg County, Texas 78361. POSTMASTER: Send

address changes to Jim Hogg County Enterprise 304 E. Galbraith, P.O. Box 759 Hebbronville, Texas 78361. Poncho Hernandez Jr. Editor/Publisher 361-460-9493 Subscription rates are $35.00 per year. Call (361) 527-3261 for information. Base advertising rate is $6.00 per column inch. Volume and frequency discounts available. Contact us by email at enterprise78361@aol.com Social Media: facebook. com/enterprisenews PHONE: 361-460-9493 FAX: 361-256-2015

MEMBER

Texas Press Association

From the Editor & Staff:

Welcome to our latest edition of South Texas History. We hope you will enjoy

the history and tales contributed by our writers and correspondents. Whatever your tastes — for adventure or quiet contemplation — we thank you for joining us once again and hope you will continue to do so for many issues to come as we continue to chronicle the history of Jim Hogg County and South Texas. The Editor

Copyright © South Texas History

NEED HELP! ........ I am looking for information on my great-grandfather, Cresenciano Trejo, birthyear 1882, plus or minus one year. He is the son of Margarito Trejo, birthyear 1836, 1837, or 1838, and Eufemia Martinez Trejo, birthyear 1850, 1851 or 1852. Siblings are Calixto, Valentin, Maria, and Martina. Reply to annatmartinez@yahoo.com or to South Texas History at sthistory@aol. com. Thank you. Anna Adela Trejo Martinez


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

“The process of transforming Europeans into Americans occurred on the frontier, where they were faced with hardships their former lives had not prepared them for. “

I

By Angelina Gutierrez South Texas History

n 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner advanced a thesis that would revolutionize perceptions of the American Identity and shape the field of American history for decades. This thesis, “The Frontier in American History,” describes the evolution of the American frontier and its role in creating and sustaining American Exceptionalism. Perhaps more importantly, it defines the West as process. Turner defines the American frontier as “the meeting point between savagery and civilization.” This frontier line, which Turner states originated on the Atlantic Coast, is a process that is continually repeated as it makes its way westward. The original settlers came to the New World with thoroughly European ideas, techniques, and attitudes. The process of transforming Europeans into Americans occurred on the

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PAGE 3

Revisiting the Turner Thesis

frontier, where they were faced with hardships their former lives had not prepared them for. Each successive group of pioneers essentially created the frontier line, adapted to their own set of unique “savage” conditions, and in so doing, created the American persona. According to Turner, “the most important effect of the frontier has been the promotion of democracy here and in Europe.” The frontier aided significantly in the development of certain characteristics key to a democratic mindset. For Turner, individualism, independence, and “antipathy to control, and particularly to any direct control,” are all a direct product of the frontier. It is important to keep in mind that Turner’s thesis reflects the attitudes and prejudices of the late nineteenth century. One of the shortcomings of Turner’s work is that it represents a rather narrow view of America and

the people who contributed to his “process.” Turner says very little about how Native Americans, women, children, or the environment influenced this process. While I believe this to be a serious miscalculation on Turner’s part, I do not think that it invalidates his point entirely. There are too many of what I believe to be solid insights to disregard the thesis. Process is defined as “a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner.” This definition compliments Turn-

er’s assessment of the “frontier line.” Though outdated and under intense scrutiny, the arguments Turner posits are still relevant. I think what has made a lasting impression on the historical community is that “The Frontier in American History” displayed a progressive idea that attempted to explain the process behind American Exceptionalism and the fundamental ideals that Americans hold dear. I think that by reexamining Turner’s thesis, we as historians can gain new insights in to the changing perception of the American West.

Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” in The Frontier in American History, (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia, 1996), http://xroads. virginia.edu/~hyper/turner/ (accessed May 3, 2013).

Want your article published?

Simply email your article with your name, address and phone number to sthistory@aol.com. Be sure to include any photos and captions along with the author’s name. All content must be original. Once our editorial staff reviews and approves your submission, we’ll publish in our next edition. Your articles can then be read by interested readers garnering you increased exposure and noted professionalism. And remember, “If you don’t bring it, we can’t print it!” Articles can also be mailed to The Enterprise, P.O. Box 759, Hebbronville, Texas 78361. Please send stamped envelope for returned content.

Time to Remember ... ...Join us next month for original articles researched and written exclusively for South Texas History. On the stand or delivered to your door July 2013.

...Only in The Enterprise


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

Xtreme Ranch Sales & Leasing Commercial, Residential, Ranch Land Selling Texas one acre at a time Kathy Smith, Realtor 361-474-1400 kathy@xtremeranches.com www.xtremeranches.com

JUNE 26, 2013

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Xtreme Farm Ranch & Hunting 711 N Smith Ave. Hebbronville, TX 78361 361-527-4500 Store Hours: Monday-Friday: 9am–6pm Saturday: 8:30am–6pm https://www.facebook.com/XtremeRanchesInc

Come by and see us, we have more than just feed, show supplies, and tack. It’s Hebbronville’s hottest new Boutique. We carry Old Gringo, Lane, and Corral boots, American West purses, fashion jewelry, Yellow box and Grazie sandals, Gracie in LA jeans, and pottery. We offer a 2-month layaway plan and have gift certificates available.


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

JUNE 26, 2013

PAGE 5

The First National Bank of Hebbronville & Jim Hogg County Celebrating 100 years of Shared Success 1913 2013 305 N Smith Ave. in Hebbronville Phone (361) 527-3221 Toll Free (800) 268-1312 Tele-Bank (361) 527-2637 Bookkeeping (361) 527-4040 Fax (361) 527-5451 Visit us at: www.fnbhebb.com

Report lost/stolen debit cards after hours:(800) 500-1044 Here at The First National Bank of Hebbronville, we provide you with the best banking possible. Please come by our location and meet a group of people that will strive to perfect all your banking needs. In addition, you may bank with us 24 hours a day through our Internet Banking, our AudioTel Telephone (TeleBank) System, or our ATM.


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

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COVER STORY Vaquero: The forgotten cowboy A nostalgic film T n the film, shot 25 years ago recalls a dying breed by capturing the quiet dignity of perhaps the last generation of South Texas’ vaqueros.

Samuel Torres, Donaciano “Chanate” Gutierrez and Wenceslado “Wanche” Alarcon tell their stories and the end of a way of life.

By Cynthia Gutierrez The Enterprise

“T

here is a special bond that exists between these men. They’ve worked together most of their lives. Today there are only a few of them left. They are vaqueros.” So begins the narration to Vaquero: The Forgotten Cowboy, the 1987 documentary celebrating its 25th anniversary. Produced and directed by Hector Galán, the 28-minute video introduced a new generation to the history and legacy of the vaqueros who worked the cattle in South Texas for more than 400 years, and helped make Hebbronville the

Donacio “Chanate” Gutierrez largest cattle shipping center in the country at one time. While most of us grew up watching Saturday matinee westerns at the movies and idolizing the western cowboy heroes with their 10-gallon hats, little did we realize that their predecessors were all around us, quietly going about their business, but remaining unnoticed and forgotten by our society, “lost in the pages of history”. Shot mostly in Hebbronville, this nostalgic film pays homage to a dying breed by capturing the quiet dignity of perhaps the last generation of vaqueros, including Samuel Torres, Donaciano “Chanate” Gutierrez, and Wenceslado

Wenceslado “Wanche” Alarcon

“Wanche” Alarcon and his family. Torres talks about his life on the El Sordo ranch, working since he was 14 years old, and never imagining doing anything else, but lamenting that this life “se esta acabando.” The Alarcon family demonstrates how the vaquero heritage and skills are passed down from generation to generation, but also showing that education plays an important part in this transition. Gutierrez, whose nickname was memorialized in a song by singer/songwriter Tish Hinojosa, reminisces about working at the ranch all month long, sleeping under the stars, and only coming into town for a

couple of days at the end of the month. “Everything is different”, he says, as we see him riding his horse down the street instead of through the brush, his skills no longer in demand. Change, the phasing out of the vaquero way of life, is a recurring theme of this documentary. Several local ranchers are interviewed throughout the film, including Dick Jones, Rafael de la Garza, Dennis McBride and former County Judge Horacio Ramirez. They talk about the end of a way of life and how the vaqueros are “outliving their time”, quietly fading away. But 25 years ago, these men were not forgotten, not by a young

Harold Lee Henry, who spoke about learning from the older men, and not by several high school students, who spoke with pride about their vaquero ancestors and the heritage they left behind. Chris Hellen makes a poignant statement in the film: “the vaqueros’ foot prints are all over South Texas, but the only ones that appreciate them are the ones that knew them.” But perhaps because of Galán’s documentary, and the renewed interest it created in Jim Hogg County, the Vaquero Capital of Texas, the vaquero will not be forgotten and this appreciation and admiration of the vaquero way of life will be remembered long after the last vaquero is gone.

Remembering When ...

Join us next month for STH’s second ‘Remembering When’ edition written exclusively by Hebbronville’s Cynthia Gutierrez.


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

• On June 28, 1928, a 26-year-old Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five fellow jazz instrumentalists record a song called “West End Blues.” The technology didn’t allow for playback, so when Armstrong and his Hot Five ended their session, they hadn’t even heard the recording that is recognized as a critical influence, even on rock ‘n’ roll. • On June 29, 1613, the Globe Theater, where most of Shakespeare’s plays debuted, burns down. The Globe was a round wooden structure with a stage at one end, and covered balconies for the gentry. The galleries could seat about 1,000 people, with room for another 2,000 “groundlings,” who could stand around the stage. • On June 30, 1936, Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” is published. While recovering from a series of injuries, Mitchell began writing the story of an Atlanta belle named Pansy O’Hara. A publishing company later convinced her to change the name to Scarlett. On July 1, 1984, the Motion Picture Association of America, which oversees the voluntary rating system for movies, introduces a new rating, PG-13. The action film “Red Dawn,” starring Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen, became the first PG-13 movie to be released in theaters. • On July 2, 1964, in a nationally televised ceremony, President Lyndon Johnson signs into law the historic Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act met tough opposition in the House and a lengthy, heated debate in the Senate before being approved. • On July 3, 1863, on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in

JUNE 26, 2013

disastrous failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end. Exhausted, both armies held their positions until the night of July 4, when Lee withdrew. • On July 4, 1954, Marilyn Sheppard is beaten to death inside her home in Cleveland. Her husband, Dr. Sam Sheppard, claimed to see a man with bushy hair fleeing the scene, but the authorities charged Sheppard with killing his pregnant wife. Sheppard’s case provided the loose inspiration for the hit television show “The Fugitive.” • On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring twopiece swimsuit at a Paris swimming pool. A Parisian showgirl modeled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed “bikini,” inspired by a U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week. • On July 6, 1976, in Annapolis, Md., the United States Naval Academy admits women for the first time in its history with the induction of 81 female midshipmen. In May 1980, Elizabeth Anne Rowe became the first woman member of the class to graduate. • On July 7, 1852, according to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, Dr. John H. Watson is born. Coincidentally, the author died on this day in England at the age of 71. His first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet,” was published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887. • On July 8, 1918, author Ernest Hemingway is severely wounded while carrying a companion to safety on the Austro-Italian front during World War I. Hemingway, working as a Red Cross ambulance driver, was decorated for his heroism. • On July 9, 1941, crackerjack British cryptologists break the Enigma secret code used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on the Eastern front. Various keys would continue to be broken by the Brits over the next year, each conveying information of even higher secrecy

and priority. • On July 10, 1985, in Auckland harbor in New Zealand, Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior sinks after French agents in diving gear plant a bomb on the hull of the vessel. A British newspaper uncovered evidence of French President Francois Mitterrand’s authorization of the bombing plan. • On July 11, 1979, parts of Skylab, America’s first space station, come crashing down on Australia and into the Indian Ocean five years after the last manned Skylab mission ended. The cylindrical space station was 118 feet tall and weighed 77 tons. • On July 12, 1861, special commissioner Albert Pike completes treaties with the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, giving the new Confederate States of America several allies in Indian Territory. Many of these tribes

PAGE 7 had been expelled from the Southern states in the 1830s and 1840s, but still chose to ally themselves with those states during the Civil War. • On July 13, 1930, France defeats Mexico 4-1 and the United States defeats Belgium 3-0 in the first-ever World Cup football matches, played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay. The World Cup has since become the world’s most-watched sporting event. • On July 14, 1789, Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress built in 1370 that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of terror in which King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were executed.


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

JUNE 26, 2013

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J.T. Canales and the 1919 Texas Ranger Investigation TESTIMONY OF CLAUDE McGILL

Part 4 of 4

D

By Tony Bill South Texas History

uring the proceedings of the Joint Committee investigating the Texas Rangers ninety citizens from all walks of life testified. One of them was Claude McGill from Alice, Texas. McGill, who had ranching interests in Jim Wells, Duval, Nueces and Willacy counties, informed the committee that in March of 1918, personal business called for a trip to the San Antonio Viejo ranch in Jim Hogg County. It was a business trip that took an unexpected turn of events as McGill drove blindly into a raid by Mexican bandits that were occupying the ranch and holding the owners hostage. San Antonio Viejo has an interesting history. It was an old Indian campsite often used by Native Americans as they conducted raids into Mexico. In 1805 Don Francisco Xavier Vela received a Spanish Land Grant that included the area that would become known as San Antonio Viejo. He surveyed the property, brought in livestock and build an hacienda from native stone. He improved the ponds that held the water from the wells and constructed stone water troughs. All to no avail, as San Antonio Viejo proved to be too far from the protection of Spanish soldiers; and the constant attacks from roving bands of Indians eventually caused Vela to abandon the site. During the late 1840’s San Antonio Viejo was one of the campsites frequented by a group of Texas Rangers commanded by Rip Ford. Ford’s mounted men would roam the Llano Mesteno region setting up temporary campsites along creeks and springs like the “Agua Dulce, the San Fernando and the Santa Gertrudis.” They

would patrol and reconnoiter the brush country down to San Antonio Viejo, and then pushed northward to Los Ojuelos, located between San Diego and Laredo, Texas. In his testimony Claude McGill informed the committee that he “left Alice about two o’clock in the afternoon and went to Hebbronville, which is about sixty miles and about thirty miles on down to the San Antonio Viejo Ranch.” McGill related that he was accompanied by Oscar Thompson and a man named Franklin. They went in a car owned by Thompson and “driven by a Mexican boy.” Franklin was the foreman of the East Ranch in San Antonio Viejo. McGill continued “when we got to Hebbronville Mr. Thompson didn’t go any further with us and I went on down with Mr. Franklin driven by the Mexican boy.” McGill never identifies the “Mexican boy.” The group made its way to Tom East’s San Antonio Viejo Ranch and when the car entered the gate and drove up the lane, past a barn and into the yard, Claude McGill “saw a lot of horses…and men with guns.” It was very dark and the only thing McGill could see was what was in front of the car’s headlights. He recalled that the car stalled in the sand. He testified before the committee

that “I don’t know what they did to the Mexican boy, I was sitting on the back seat, but the next thing I knew something hit me under the chin. I could skylight a figure or figures I didn’t see more than one at the time and then I felt rather knocks in the breast; it didn’t take long to discover I saw Winchesters.” McGill continued, “They addressed me in Mexican and says ‘if you’ve got a gun I’ll kill you.’ I made no answer to that, and he says again very hurriedly and seemed very much excited ‘if you have a gun I’ll kill you’. I says in English then, ‘what do you want? He says to me in Spanish ‘get out of the car’ and caught me by the shoulder and gave a pretty good yank and I stepped out, and they searched me.” Shortly afterwards one of the bandits brought a lantern. A Mexican, whom McGill presumed to be the leader, approached him and yelled out in Spanish “we want horses, guns, and money.” He then instructed McGill to lead him to the store. McGill recalled that “it had already occurred to me that I won’t try what Mexican I can talk, I won’t try it. I understood what he said, and I didn’t move.” Texas Ranger Sterling who was present at the Texas Ranger Investigation hearing wrote that Claude McGill had the members of the committee as well as the public in the room, captivated by his recollection. Sterling wrote that McGill related to the committee that when the Mexican bandit instructed him to lead him to the store he poked him with his Winchester and said “Picale….Picale” At this time a member of the investigating committee asked Claude, “And what did you do Mr. McGill?” Sterling recalls that Claude McGill looked at the legislator and calmly answered, “well, I Picaled.” And the room filled with the roar of laughter from those who understood “Mexican.”

McGill, along with one of Franklin’s sons, led the bandits to the ranch store, which they sacked, stealing “saddle blankets, leggings, bridles, shoes, shirts, and pants.” Afterwards, the bandits escorted McGill and young Franklin to the foreman’s house where they were instructed to sit and wait for further instructions. A short while later young Franklin was taken outside and when he returned he informed McGill and the other captives, one of which was his mother that “they want to go to Hebbronville and want to take me with them.” Young Franklin’s mother cried out “why??” and he answered, they want me “to show them the man who had the keys to the bank.” McGill testified that the bandits used one car with young Franklin as the driver and “they took our car with Thompson’s boy for a driver and left for Hebbronville, leaving some guards with us, five that I saw, and it was about eleven o’clock when they left and returned about three” in the morning. The bandits never reached Hebbronville. For whatever reason, the drivers were instructed to stop and return to San Antonio Viejo. After they arrived at the East Ranch McGill recalled that the bandits “stirred about some and the captain and another one came up to where we were and….said in Mexican, ‘I am going to leave. If you all don’t attempt to get away from here you won’t be molested. If you do, you will be killed.” As he was leaving, the captain said, “Now the treatment that we have accorded you comes from the fact that you have treated us right.” He then said, “Adios” and left. During their captivity McGill, The East, and the Franklins were never tied up, shackled, nor handcuffed. But they were confined to the Franklin house, See CANALES, Page 16


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

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Meridian Care of Hebbronville

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Meridian Care offers long & short term care, as well as respite and hospice care. We are currently accepting most major insurance, Medicare, Medicaid & Private Pay. “I am so happy with all the care my husband has been receiving since he’s been at Meridian. He has really improved! I come in every day and he’s clean, he has his routine - speech and physical therapy...and everyone here is so nice. I’m so grateful.” Janie and Oscar Beltran

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SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

JUNE 26, 2013

PAGE 10

SIDNEY SHARP CONTRACT GAUGING, LLC and all the Sharp Families Congratulate Jim Hogg Co. on her 100th Anniversary!

I n B u s i n e s s f o r O v e r 3 0 Ye a r s !

404 W Gruy St.; Hebbronville, Texas 78361 P: (361)296.4628 F: (361) 527-4357


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

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Centennial Gala a huge success More than 500 gather to celebrate county’s 100th anniversary By Cynthia Gutierrez South Texas History

A

bout 500 people from all over the country and state attended the Jim Hogg County Centennial Gala held Saturday, June 15. The celebration included a wine reception, several guest speakers, and a dinner and dance. Some guests present included Bobby Wilson, author of Mesquite Creek to Michigan. Mr. Wilson, currently a resident of Michigan, while at age 91 was one of the older guests, he was not the oldest guest present. That honor went to Mrs. Carmen Garza, who will celebrate her 100th birthday along with the county, this

October. Guests also included the Gutierrez family from Bakersfield, California; General Ricardo Sanchez and his wife Marielena from San Antonio; the Ramirez family from San Antonio and Dallas; and many other former and current residents of the community. Master of Ceremonies, Humberto Martinez, started out the evening by introducing Reverend Roland Timberlake, son of former resident and owner of the Chevrolet Dealership, R.H. Timberlake. During his invocation, Reverend Timberlake recalled the early settlers and founders of Jim Hogg County; A.C. Jones II, D.D. David, Reuben Holbein, Oscar Thompson, and Ralph McCampbell. Keynote speakers, spoke about the history of the county through family and personal recollections. Angiolina M. Ramirez gave a history of the area before Hebbronville and Jim Hogg County were established. Charles W. (Bill) Hellen spoke about Jim Hogg County’s first 50 years through tales from

his grandfather, C.W. Hellen Sr. Ramiro Javier (R.J.) Molina recalled life in Hebbronville since 1963. Gina D. Garza wrapped up the evening’s speakers with her take on the future of Hebbronville and Jim Hogg County. The night ended with guests taking to the dance floor to the music of the Texas Rebel and the Rockin’ H Bands. The Gala was product of collaboration between JHC Historical Commission, Hebbronville Museum Foundation, and the Centennial Gala Committee.


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

Why I Like History - The Fourth of July T

By Angelina Gutierrez South Texas History

his week we celebrate Independence Day. It’s a wonderful time to enjoy picnics, parades, and fireworks with friends and family. It’s also a good time to reflect on our personal liberties and the events that led to the freedom we have today. Independence Day, as we all know, is celebrated on the Fourth of July, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed, right? So, how weird would it be if we celebrated on the Second of July? Doesn’t have the same familiar ring to it, does it? In actuality, the Colonies declared their independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. Furthermore, the document wasn’t officially signed until August 2. So why do we celebrate on the Fourth? Because that is the day that the Colonies adopted the resolution to declare independence.

The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, is one of the most important and cherished symbols of America democracy. It is also one of the most highly guarded documents in the world, as seen in the movie, “National Treasure.” And also like in the movie, there is writing on the back of the document, though nothing so fantastic as a treasure map. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who served as our nations 2nd and 3rd Presidents, and who both signed the Declaration of Independence, died within hours of each other – on the Fourth of July, 1826. Adams’ reportedly last words were “ Jefferson lives.” In actuality, Jefferson, a long time friend and

he The New York Store Will be having a

PAGE 12

JUNE 26, 2013

Fun Facts About the Fourth of July: - There are 56 signatures on the document, and 8 of these signers were actually born in Britain.

political opponent of Adams, died a few hours before Adams. Perhaps the most famous words of the declaration are, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This statement is the cornerstone of American principles, pivotal to strengthening the patriots’ cause and support.

- There are actually 26 copies of the document. - One signer, Richard Stockton, recanted his signature after being captured by British forces. - “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776” is written upside-down on the bottom of the document.

July 8 - July 19, 2013 MONDAY - FRIDAY 12 noon to 6 p.m. Come N Kool off your summer with a new look


SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

JUNE 26, 2013

PAGE 13

CONGRATULATES JIM HOGG COUNTY ON HER

100th ANNIVERSARY

1913

2013

ConocoPhillips has a time-honored tradition of placing safety, health and environmental stewardship at the top of our operating priorities.

Aguilares Crew

Bruce Carrier Operations Superintendent

Aguilares Plant Hwy 359 West

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SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

JUNE 26, 2013

PAGE 14

Down memory lane in old Brownsville, Texas PART 1 OF 2 By Dr. Lino Garcia Jr. Professor Emeritus Several different tribes of NativeAmericans inhabited the area now known as South Texas. Scholars indicate that at least thirty-five tribes made their presence in the area later called Texas, all of them different in culture as the geography of Texas itself, in spite of the fact that Hollywood paints all Indians with one brush. They were the: Karankawas, who lived along the coast, lived as fishermen, were loosely organized, and enjoyed a primitive culture; the Coahuiltecans , who occupied the Lower Rio Grande region, nourished mostly by roots, herbs, and cactus, the Pintos, Comecrudos, the Lipans who were a sub-group of the Apaches, the Caddos who were the most culturally developed, and within this group were the Tejas, who were kind and friendly Indians, and called as such by the early Spaniards, for whom the word for the state is derived , the Comancheros, Mescaleros, the Tonkawas, and others. Some were warlike, some lived off the sea, others farmed, others engaged in hunting, and were as different from each other as night and day. When the Spaniards arrived they wanted to call this land “ El Nuevo Reino de las

STH

The Native-Americans in this area

Filipinas” , the New Kingdom of the Phillipines, suggesting that present day inhabitants would be called “New Phillipines” instead of Texans or Tejanos. The Age of Discovery King Fernando and Isabela, La Católica , commissioned Cristóbal Colón, a Spanish subject of the Spanish Crown, to seek new land and if natives were to be discovered to make them subjects of Spanish Authorities, and to convert them to Catholicism or La Santa Fe. This adventure into new lands was accomplished in 1492 after Spain had terminated its almost eight hundred years Holy War against the Arabs who had invaded their land in 711 A.D. Explorer Cristóbal Colón wrote in his : “Diario de Abordo” (Diaries Aboard) detailing his discoveries to the Spanish Crown, alerting them to the great possibilities for new land, gold, and for the conversion of thousands of new subjects to the La Santa Fe. Thereafter, the age of exploration began, that also included Texas, and especially this area now known as South Texas.

then King of Spain and also Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, authorized certain expeditions that would explore these new lands discovered by Cristóbal Colón. These Spanish expeditions were many times financed by wealthy individuals who hoped to profit from the gold and silver found in”La Nueva

España” or New Spain. They first arrived in the Caribbean Islands and then ventured along the coast of what is now Texas. One such explorer was Captain Alonso de Pineda, who sailed the coast of Texas in 1519 but never landed, becoming the first European individual to map the coast of Texas alerting the Spanish authorities of the great See BROWNSVILLE, Page 16

The Age of Exploration The Spanish King Carlos I or V,

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SOUTH TEXAS HISTORY

CANALES - From Page 8 where they remained after the bandits left. After they were confident that the bandits had indeed left, McGill and the other men made their way to the East house where they found rifles and ammunition. McGill recalled that Tom East then went to the camp where his Mexican vaqueros were located and send one of them to Hebbronville to inform the Sheriff and the Texas Rangers about the raid. Shortly after daylight Jim Hogg County Sheriff Pat Craighead, Texas Ranger Captain William Lee Wright accompanied by a posse of Special Rangers arrived at San Antonio Viejo and immediately picked up the trail of the Mexican raiders and followed it toward the border. The posse caught up with the bandits at the Javelina Ranch and after a brief skirmish, the raiders made good their escape across the Rio Bravo, leaving one of their members dead. The Mexican bandit raid of the San Antonio Viejo ranch in Jim Hogg County illustrated part of the lawless scenario that prevailed in South Texas from 1915 to 1919. The raiders conducted their depredations and then retreated across the Rio Grande where the unstable conditions nurtured by the Revolution that Mexico was enduring provided a safe haven or refuge. On the other hand the Texas Rangers, who were responsible for deterring such raids and providing protection, were often overzealous in carrying out their duties and consequently committed atrocities that J.T. Canales considered a “shame and disgrace to my native state.” Unfortunately, despite all the testimony that supported Canales’s charges against the Rangers, the state legislature voted down his bill to reorganize the legendary law enforcement arm of the Lone Star State. Jose Tomas Canales, disappointed and frustrated with the results, decided against running for reelection.

JUNE 26, 2013

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BROWNSVILLE - From Page 14 wealth, land opportunities, as well as to convert thousands of new subjects to La Santa Fe. On November 6, 1528 a group of Spanish soldiers known as the Pánfilo Narváez and Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca expedition landed on Texas soil, and in effect becoming the first non-Indians to inhabit this state. Plans were then made by the Spanish authorities in “La Nueva España” in Mexico City to settle the Seno Mexicano ( as this area was then known ) by sending in soldiers, and their families with the idea of procreating, and populating the land and thus extending the Spanish Empire further inland. In 1689 Captain Alonso de León, a native of Cadereyta, Nuevo León and his secretary, an Italian named Juan Bautista Chiapapria ( later changed to Chapa), became one of the first explorers to travel via South Texas, making several excursions into present day South Texas and further north. At the end of their journeys they wrote a book . “HISTORIA DE NUEVO LEON: CON NOTICIAS SOBRE COAHUILA, TAMAULIPAS, TEJAS, Y NUEVO MEXICO- 1689 “ Their book detailing their adventure into Texas and the description of the land and other details further incited the Spanish Vice-Roy in Mexico City to send in settlers, and the man they chose for this excursions was a military man from Northern Spain who had proven himself as a skilled soldier taming the Indian population. That individual chosen was Col. José de Escandón who was born in Soto la Marina, Northern Spain, but who had arrived in “La Nueva España” as a career military man. In 1749 he initiated seven entrances and founded over twenty villa or towns along the Río de las Palmas, later on the Rio Grande River, one of them north of this river, Nuetra Señora de Laredo in 1755 . Most of the soldiers, and their families originated from Queretaro, Saltillo, La Nueva Galicia, and Nuevo León. Being from the Basque country in Northern Spain, Col. José de Escandón named many of the present day cities along the area in memory of certain towns in his native country: Laredo, Reynosa, Soto la Marina, and others.

Many descendants of these early families , too numerous to mention here, still live in Northeastern México and South Texas and comprised the thirteen original families of South Texas and Northeastern México , and have contributed to the development of present day Brownsville and Matamoros. The Age of Early Settlement After Col. José de Escandón’s successful settlements along the Rio Bravo or Rio Grande, the Spanish authorities then decided to grant land ( porciones) to qualified individuals who passed certain criteria, such as being full Spaniard, not marrying Indians, procreate, and be loyal to the Spanish Crown. Thus, in 1767, many families, including my own, the Longoria Chapa received huge tracts of land in what is now South Texas from Kind Carlos III of Spain, later venturing into Northeastern Mexico , in present day Matamoros in 1774, first named Nuestra Señora de los Esteros, then Nuestra Señora del Refugio, and then H. Matamoros, and into South Texas before the Rio Grande divided the area. They ,along with other twelve families from Camargo, Reynosa, and present day Starr County, bought 2.5 million acres of land along the Rio Grande from the heirs of Col. José de Escandón, and established 113 ranching sites, becoming the thirteen original families of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico. Their descendants became the early settlers, the entrepreneurs, the “ hacendados “,the ranching families, and the cattle and land barons of that time. These families are still here : they are the Cavaceños, de la Garza Falcón, Treviño, Longoria , Chapa, Medrano, Solis, Guerra, Zavalletta, SantosCoy, Vela, Balli, and others. These families known as Spanish Grantees have contributed immensely to the early development of early Brownsville, and I say all of this at a beginning to establish the tone, the human environment, the character of the people who made early Brownsville, and also to honor those who later came from the North and provided a new perspective, a new energy, a new vision, to what later became Brownsville.

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