Soy de Duval Blog

Violence and politics, always a Duval County staple

While doing research for a Civil War paper I am working on, I have been researching Nueces County Commissioner Court minutes to see how Tejanos were involved in the political life of their county during…

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Tejano ranch culture shaped South Texas culture, especially when it comes to cooking

I have had a lifelong affair with Tejano cuisine. Actually cuisine sounds too fancy, it is a French word after all. Let’s just say I love my comida Tejana. Recently, while reading “The Reminiscences of…


Oblates were early pioneer priests in the Rio Grande Valley, Brush Country of Texas

It is always encouraging to receive feedback on a blog, but it is doubly encouraging when you can use the information you received from your readers. Such was the case with a photo I received from…


So what is the Brush Country anyway?

This year is the sesquicentennial of St. Francis de Paula parish in San Diego. Sesquicentennial is another way to say, the 150th anniversary. I first heard the term when Texas celebrated its sesquicentennial and thought…


Duval County Courthouse often hosted challenges to Parr political machine

In the early 1950s, Attorney General John Ben Shepherd, with support of Governor Alan Shivers, went to Duval County with a host of investigators, mostly Texas Rangers, to investigate the Parr political machine. They spent…


Politics dominated Courthouse activities

On May 18, 1912, three Anglos—C. K. Gravis, Frank Robinson, and Doc Roberts—gunned down three Mexican American officials—Candelario Saenz, Antonio Anguiano, and Pedro Eznal—on grounds of Duval County Courthouse as an election to incorporate San Diego…


Over the years Duval Courthouse hosted many judicial, political and social events

The Duval County Courthouse is, of course, primarily a judicial building. Many important cases have been heard and decided at the courthouse, some by important figures in Texas history. The courthouse is also a political…


History repeats itself as the Duval County jail goes up in flames in 1932

In April 1932 history repeated itself. On April 12, 1932 at 10 a.m., the Duval County Jail burned to the ground. Five prisoners were in the jail and were safely removed. The Alice fire department…


Current courthouse built in 1916

On August 25, 1883, the courthouse and jail narrowly escaped being burned to the ground. A fire of unknown origin broke out in the kitchen near the jail, razed the cook house, but through the…


Manuel Ancira building housed first courthouse

An election to organize Duval County, Texas was held on November 7, 1876. The newly elected Commissioners Court met at the store of James O. Luby in San Diego where they presented their election certificates…