San Diego had good and bad fortune in 1870

From 1870 to 1880 sheep raising was the most profitable industry in Duval County. There were more than a million sheep in Duval and Nueces counties. Land was cheap and, unlike other sections of Texas, sheep owners and cattlemen had a good relationship.

Many of the sheep men purchased land for as little as 12 cents an acre; often it was originally a Spanish land grant. The sheep yielded a better clip than usual in excellent range conditions. All stock was doing well.

The population of San Diego was 1,083. N. G. Collins operated a store in San Diego where he traded in hides, wool, sheep, mutton, horses, mares, etc.

Not everything was peachy in the sheep business, however. On December 27, 1870, attorneys Løvenskiold and McCampbell sold at auction 2,500 head of sheep and 1,000 head of goats belonging to Diego Garza. The auction was held at San Diego Rancho in front of the Collins store. The sale was to satisfy a promissory note Garza gave from Alfred Moses on June 13, 1869 for $851.60 in Mexican silver dollars; less $200 paid August 1870.

The county was also still contending with Indian attacks. Lewis D. Brown wrote to Col. James Davidson, Adjutant General of Texas, about an Indian attack in Duval County. Writing from Rancho San Felipe on September 30, 1870, Brown said that five days earlier a party of Indians—believed to be Kickapoo from Mexico—killed Thomas Springfield and his wife and “carried off two little boys of his and left wounded a little daughter at his ranch four leagues from here on the Nueces River.”

The Indians killed the Springfields about 100 yards from his ranch and made away with 90 horses. A month later, the same band of Indians killed four or five persons and stole a large amount of horse stock in the area of Fort Ewell, in what is today LaSalle County.

Brown, who had gone to his Duval County ranch for the shearing of his sheep, said he had gotten his information from sources at Rancho San Jose. These individuals were staying at Brown’s rancho and had not been harmed by the Indians. Brown asked Col. Davidson to relay these details to Governor Edmund J. Davis who was very familiar with the area.

As if the Indian troubles were not enough, San Diego was also terrorized by nature. On Sept. 11, 1870, a tornado raged into town from the north sometime between sunset and nightfall. Without notice, dust, wind, rain and hail the size of buckshot and up to four inches in diameter poured on the town. A number of animals, including several mules were killed. The hail also injured several people.

Most of the jacals in town were blown away and the better-built structures were also damaged. The windows and front door of St. Francis de Paula were blown away and the statuary was scattered throughout the floor.

8 Comments on "San Diego had good and bad fortune in 1870"

  1. IS THAT WHERE THE LITTLE PLACE OF SPRINGFIELD GOT IT'S NAME? THERE WAS A REALLY OLD TWO STORY HOUSE THERE WHEN I WAS A CHILD & BEYOND. I HAD NOT THOUGHT OF THAT PLACE IN YEARS. WERE THE LITTLE BOYS EVER RECOVERED?

  2. I too remember that house. It was always a landmark I recognized as almost being home. Don't know whether this is the same Springfield but probably not. Unfortunately, I don't have any info on whether the boys were ever recovered.

  3. I DO HOPE YOU CONTAIN THESE (YOUR) WRITINGS IN A BOOK, I HAVE TRIED COPING THEM TO REREAD AS TIME PERMITS BUT MY COPIER SUFFERS FROM HISSY FITS AND I MAY GET LESS THAN A PAGE. IT SEEMS THAT IT DOESN'T SPEAK TO THE COMPUTER SO…
    THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE ANYTHING TO DO ABOUT IT. ANNIE

  4. Yes, it is my intent to publish a book on the 19th century history of Duval County within a year, God willing. Please be on the lookout for it and tell your relatives and friends.

  5. ELLEN LUBY HAS POSTED THE MOST WONDERFUL FAMILY TREE OF THE LUBY/HOFFMAN FAMILIES ON ANCESTRY.COM. IF THERE IS ANY WAY TO GET A LOOK AT IT, IT IS JUST AMAZING, WE ARE
    (HAVE TO TAKE OFF MY SHOES TO COUNT THIS, HER HOFFMAN
    GRANDFATHER WILLIE WAS MY GRANDFATHER' NORRIE'S BROTHER WILLIE (WINNIE?) AND HER DAD WAS JIM LUBY THAT MARRIED LILLIAN HOFFMAN. SO HER GRANDFATHER WAS JUDGE LUBY (MABLE WRIGHT).JIM LUBY DIED IN THE 50'S. LEFT 3 SMALL
    CHILDREN. IT GETS SCARY BEFORE THIS. MY DAD'S GREATAUNT
    (SISTER OF CHAS. HOFFMAN). WAS NAMED MARY ? HOFFMAN AND SHE MARRIED THE ORIGNAL (TO TEXAS) LUBY THAT CAME FROM IRELAND AND SOMEHOW ENDED UP IN C.C. IN MARY JANES BAR. THERE IS SOMETHING OF HERS SHOWING IN THE COURY HOUSE HISTORICAL WINDOW ON THE FIRST FLOOR. NOW, JIM LUBY WAS THE BROTHER OF JASON, JOHNNY, & J.P. (ALL GONE NOW) THEY HAD SISTERS (ANGIE DIED YOUNG) BUT CATTY, PATTY, BOOGIE& (LORD LOVE A DUCK) TOOTY. OF ALL OF DAD'S
    COUSINS, THERE WAS TOOTY HARRIS VOLUNTEERING AT SOME HOSPITAL EVERY DAY OF HER LIFE. TOOTY IS A LEGEND & HER
    KIDS DOT THE LANDSCAPE IN CORPUS. ACCOMPLISHED ALL !!!! NOW MY HGREAT GRANDFATHER (CHAS. HOFFMAN WAS MARRIED TO SOPHIA WEIDERMUELLER, THE JUDGES DAUGHTER) AND HIS SISTERS ANNE HOFFMAN COLLINS (NORMAN COLLINS) & THE YOUNGER ONE MARY JANE LUBY.THERE WAS ANOTHER SISTER NAMED OLIVIA (RITTER) WHO MARRIED VERY YOUNG, LIVED IN C.C. I THINK THE COLLINS REARED THE RITTER CHILDREN AFTER OLIVIA DIED. WELL, I COULD GO ON AND ON, MEMORYS SLIPPING.
    MOST SINCERELY, ANNIE HOFFMAN
    I DID NOT MEAN TO LEAVE MY BELOVED GRANNY GEORGIA E. OVERTON HOFFMAN OUT, BUT IT WAS GETTING CONFUSING.BACK THERE.

  6. Would love to include this family tree in a future blog if you can provide us a link to it on Ancestry.com and get us permission from the owner. Thanks for your feedback and interest.

  7. PLEASE MAKE IT AVAILABLE BY MAIL JUST IN CASE I DON'T GET BACK TO TEXAS, I DON'T WANT TO LIVE OR DIE IN A FOREIGN PLACE, IDAHO IS TOTALLY FOREIGN, AT LEAST TO ME. THE ONLY THING GOOD IS THERE ARE NO ROACHES AND NO NATURAL DISASTERS. WE WOULD EVEN BE SAFE IF YELLOWSTONE CRASHES, WIND IS ALWAYS FROM THE WEST..DONT STOP WITH THE 19TH CENTURY, THERE WAS A LOT IN THE 20TH .ANNIE HOFFMAN

  8. Will do. Hope you can make it back home to Texas soon!

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