Rancho at Concepcion was present as early as 1809

On the Monday morning, Aug. 7, 1809, Jose Faustino Contreras began the survey of the Santa Cruz de la Concepcion grant of Francisco Cordente. The survey got underway under the direction of presiding judge Jose Antonio Guerra. Also on the survey team were witnesses Jose Ygnacio Ibanez and Jose Ypolito Pena.

In accordance with custom, Guerra directed surveyor Contreras and his men to prepare the instruments. Contreras took a staff of ample size and strength and tied to it at one end with a cord prepared for this purpose. Then he measured off 50 varas and then tied that end of the cord to another staff, the same size as the first.

Contreras placed his compass at the foot of a hill located in a small grove of mesquite trees and called this place San Pedro. He moved from south to north to measure the west side of the survey. The surveyors extended the cord 200 times, came to a large mesquite near Laguna de Retamas, and named it Mesquite del Cuervo. The survey party stopped for the noon hour.

In the afternoon, Guerra ordered the survey to resume. Contreras adjusted his instruments and set compass on the line they were on and measured off 100 cords and came to the immediate vicinity of the site of the rancho. Cordente noticed the line the survey was taking would not include his improvements and asked for more land to make sure they would be part of his survey. His co-applicant, Jose Simon Ramirez agreed.

Contreras measured east to west 30 cords and marked it at a small mesquite tree. He then measured four cords south to north and crossed to other side of Concepcion Creek, marked by very large mesquite trees, and called it San Francisco de Pena Blanca. At that point, the survey party stopped for the day since it was almost sundown.

The next day, Aug. 8, 1809, the survey resumed from west to east for 163 cords where surveyors came to a hill covered with chaparral. They designated this corner with a stick and called it San Amador. Guerra ordered the surveyors to readjust the cord and recalibrate the instruments. They then started north to south for east line of survey. They measured off 100 cords and stopped for the noon hour. After they rested, Guerra notified Cordente that the survey would resume. They went 204 cords, came upon a prairie and planted a large tree for a corner. They named it Santa Catarina. At this point, they suspended the survey.

The survey team did not work on Aug. 9, 1809 because it was a holy day. They resumed the survey on Aug. 10, 1809 at Santa Catarina and continued east to west for the south boundary. They extended the cord 133 times and came to point of origin at San Pedro de Charco Redondo.

Contreras pointed out that tract was larger than four leagues because of additional piece added to include ranch improvements. Guerra told Cordente that he had to survey adjoining land and that he would return to his home when finished at which time they would conclude the transaction. Ten days later, on Aug. 17, 1809, Contreras appraised the land at four leagues for large cattle at $10 per league; two leagues for small pastures; and one lot or 87 varas on each side.

Twenty years later, on May 25, 1829 Don Juan de Borges of the Canary Islands the attorney of Dona Maria Leonarda Liscano, widow of Francisco Cordente, appeared before Alcalde Segundo Donaciano Garcia, in the absence of first alcalde, in Camargo, which was part of Ciudad Guerrero and of the Department of the North of the state of Tamaulipas. The widow sold to Juan Manuel Ramirez four leagues of land known as Agostadero de Santa Cruz or Concepcion for 600 silver pesos. D. Marcelo de Ynojosa of Mier testified that Cordente had bought and paid for the land from the previous government in San Luis Postosi.

2 Comments on "Rancho at Concepcion was present as early as 1809"

  1. I enjoyed reading this article. Thank you. Some of my Cavazos ancestors owned land, some of which is now part of the King Ranch. Family lore has it that when one would not sell after repeated offers by King, he was shot to death and the others signed over their land. I have read various articles about the early "land acquisitions" which became part of the King Ranch but none of the articles mention any of my ancestors. Do you have any recommendations re articles, books, etc. that may give me more information? Thank you.

  2. I'm afraid that is not an area of my research. I'm sure there are books out there but I am not familiar with them. Good luck with your search.

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