THE XAVIER RUELAS FAMILY HOME PAGE:Information about MARIA YSIDORA RAMIREZ
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MARIA YSIDORA RAMIREZ (d. date unknown)MARIA YSIDORA RAMIREZ (daughter of JUAN RAMIREZ and NORBERTA SOLIS) died date unknown.She married GREGORIO VILLARREAL on July 02, 1848 in CAMARGO TAMAULIPAS,MEXICO, son of IGNACIO VILLARREAL and MANELA DE LA GARZA.
Notes for MARIA YSIDORA RAMIREZ:
Maria Ysidora RAMIREZ was born about 1830. She died on Jul 23 1875 in La Grulla, Starr County, TX, USA. The Seabury Papers erroneously give her name as "Desidora". This is obviously in error as Seabury correctly identifies her husband as Gregorio Villarreal and gives the correct names of all seven children. Parents: Juan RAMIREZ and Norberta SOLIS.
She was married to Gregorio VILLARREAL on Jul 2 1848 in Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The 1880 Census indicated that two of Gregorio's grandchildren were at his house on June 5, 1880, when the census was taken. They were 11 year old Anita and 6 year old Enrique, who is noted as having small pox. Anita and Enrique were children either of Gregorio's eldest son Manuel or of his eldest daughter Gabriela. Gabriela was also present in Gregorio's house when the 1880 census was taken; she was 27 years old at the time and thus Anita and Enrique could have been her children. Children were: Manuel VILLARREAL, Gabriela VILLARREAL, Jose Cildo VILLARREAL, Maria Rita VILLARREAL , Celso VILLARREAL Ramirez, Romana VILLARREAL, Transito VILLARREAL, Octaviana VILLARREAL.
More About MARIA YSIDORA RAMIREZ and GREGORIO VILLARREAL:
Marriage: July 02, 1848, CAMARGO TAMAULIPAS,MEXICO.
Marriage Notes for MARIA YSIDORA RAMIREZ and GREGORIO VILLARREAL:
The modern history of this piece of land in the middle of the Wild Horse Desert began on June 27, 1834, when Jose Manuel de Chapa, a resident of Camargo, was granted 5 leagues (22,400 acres) of land by the Mexican government. Land grants this large were generally made to prominent citizens, and were also primarily for the purpose of grazing cattle and horses. Jose Manuel de Chapa paid 50 pesos to the Mexican Treasury at Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, to obtain the grant, which he named “La Encantada”. The Governor of the state of Tamaulipas, Francisco Vital Fernandez, made the grant on behalf of the Mexican government. The land grant is 5 square leagues of land, 250 cordeles in length and 200 cordeles in width, and is bounded on the west by lands granted to Rafael Garcia (known as “La Mesteña”) and on the east by the land grant named “Encino del Pozo”, which was made to Jose Manuel’s brother Luciano de Chapa. Riding from Camargo on October 2, 1834, Jose Manuel de Chapa, the alcalde Jose Antonio Falcon and two witnesses, Jose Antonio Contreras and Pedro de la Garza, reached La Encantada two days later on October 4, 1834. On that day, Jose Manuel de Chapa took possession of La Encantada by performing the required ritual of thanking the government of Tamaulipas, throwing water on the land, cutting grass, pulling weeds, and throwing dirt in all four wind directions.
The La Encantada and Encino del Pozo land grants in southern Brooks County, Texas, encompassed nine leagues, or about 38,856 acres.Shown on the map are the approximate locations of four of the original ranches, as well as the modern communities of Encino and Rachal.FM 755 is the road going west from Rachal to Rio Grande City.
How much use Jose Manuel de Chapa made of La Encantada is not known. He must have at least grazed cattle and horses and may have built a few jacales to serve as sleeping quarters when he or his vaqueros came to La Encantada.But, he also undoubtedly suffered greatly from Indian raids, because less than three years after taking possession, Jose Manuel de Chapa sold his interest in La Encantada due to “…de recivir perjuicios sintamano en el cultivo de dro terreno por las diarias incursiones que hacen en el las tribus salbajes…” (the damages done by the daily incursions of savage tribes).The phrase "savage tribes" obviously refers to Indians; however, one has to note that this was just one year after Texas had gained its independence from Mexico and La Encantada was situated right in the middle of the disputed territory between the Nueces River (Mexico's claim for the southern boundary of Texas) and the Rio Grande River (the Texan claim for the southern boundary). Whatever his motives, Jose Manuel de Chapa sold La Encantada to Antonio Martinez, a resident of Matamoros, on April 10, 1837, for 300 pesos.
Antonio Martinez was a resident of Matamoros and had apparently also bought the “Encino del Pozo” land grant from Luciano de Chapa, perhaps on the same date he bought La Encantada, or soon thereafter. The Encino del Pozo land grant consisted of 4 sitios, or approximately 17, 714 acres (surveying errors led to the unequal leagues). Antonio Martinez must have been a land speculator because less than two weeks would pass before he sold his interests in both La Encantada and Encino del Pozo. He sold to another resident of Matamoros, French Strother, for 932 pesos on April 22, 1837. Assuming Antonio Martinez paid the same per acre price for Encino del Pozo that he did for La Encantada, then his sale netted him almost a 75% profit in less than two weeks.
The new owner, French Strother, managed to hold onto La Encantada and Encino del Pozo for almost a year. He finally sold his interests in both tracts to Federico Belden, another resident of Matamoros, on March 15, 1838, for 500 pesos. French Strother must have fallen on hard financial times or been deeply discouraged in utilizing the land because he sold at a deep discount to what he had paid less than 11 months earlier.
Federico (or Frederick) Belden, the new owner, was a member of a prominent and powerful family from Matamoros. Members of the Belden family were frequent business partners of Charles Stillman, the founder of Brownsville. After the Mexican War, Samuel A. Belden had formed a partnership with Mifflin Kenedy to trade in Mexico; in December 1848, Samuel A. Belden, Charles Stillman and Simon Mussina formed the Brownsville Town Company and began selling lots in the town site they called Brownsville. Frederick Belden (son of Samuel A. Belden?) incorporated the Western Artesian Well Company on November 14, 1857; his partners were Stillman, Forbes N. Britton, Henry Redmond, D. S. Howard and H. Clay Davis. Later, in 1880, James Belden was among the men who received a concession from the Mexican president to build a railroad from Matamoros to Monterrey, where Stillman and Belden had large investments.
La Encantada remained under the control of the Beldens for about 34 years, until May 16, 1872, when Mauricia A. Belden, the widow of Federico Belden, sold La Encantada to Gregorio Villarreal for $3000. Gregorio Villarreal, a resident of Camargo, was the great-grandfather of Zoila Villarreal, my mother. The ranch established by Gregorio Villarreal, or his heirs, was called La Primavera, and was probably situated at the same site first selected by Juan Manuel de Chapa near “La Mota de la Encantada”, a grove of white oak trees. La Primavera ranch grew to include many houses by the 1920’s, but as the land began to be partitioned and in some cases sold off, the ranch site eventually was razed and disappeared sometime in the 1940’s or 1950’s.
Within a year after purchasing La Encantada, Gregorio Villarreal began selling off 1-league parcels to other citizens of Camargo. First, he sold the most westerly league of land to the Garcias, who established a ranch called “Tacubaya”. Then, on September 25, 1873, Gregorio Villarreal sold 1 league of land in La Encantada to Manuel Perez and another league to Juan Longoria. Perez purchased the league immediately to the east of the one sold earlier to the Garcias and named his ranch “La Mesa”. The league purchased by Juan Longoria, who was to become a compadre of Gregorio Villarreal three years later, was adjacent to the Perez league. The league purchased by Juan Longoria encompasses lands known today as “Santirenea” or “Santa Yrinea”. Sometime later, Gregorio apparently sold the fourth league of land from the La Encantada grant to Sabas Villarreal, the husband of Isabel Ramirez, the first cousin of Gregorio’s wife Maria Ysidora Ramirez.
At some point, perhaps even simultaneously with the La Encantada purchase, Gregorio Villarreal apparently also purchased the Encino del Pozo land grant because after he died his estate included a total of 5 leagues of land, one league from the La Encantada grant and four leagues from the Encino del Pozo grant.
The heading on the cover page of the Inventory of the estate of Gregorio Villarreal, purchaser of the La Encantada and Encino del Pozo land grants. The inventory contains 36 pages.
Gregorio Villarreal died on January 4, 1882, his wife having preceded him in death by six and one-half years. On September 15, 1882, the heirs gathered to approve and receive their respective inheritances. The Inventory and Partition of the Estate of Don Gregorio Villarreal Garza and wife included 5 sitios, or leagues, of land in “La Encantada”. This obviously refers to the remaining acreage that Gregorio Villarreal owned in both the La Encantada and Encino del Pozo tracts. The history of purchases and the resulting ownership may help explain why the two grants were combined into one by the Texas legislature when they were confirmed on June 17, 1904.
The 8th page of the Inventory of the estate of Gregorio Villarreal itemizes the “Ganado Bacuno” (sic), or cattle livestock, and “Ganado Caballar” , or horse livestock.
As for livestock, Gregorio Villarreal’s estate included 494 head of cattle and oxen, 232 horses, mares, colts and mules, 21 hogs and 5368 head of sheep and goats. All of the livestock were categorized and valued accordingly.
The estate was divided equitably by value among the 7 surviving children, each one receiving a combination of land, livestock and other property worth $2573.58. Each heir received 1/7 of the 5 sitios of land in La Encantada, or about 3163.14 acres.
At the time of Gregorio’s death, Juan Longoria owned one league of land in La Encantada. After Gregorio’s death, Juan Longoria’s son Ponciano came to control the 1/7 league of land in La Encantada that his wife Maria Rita Villarreal inherited from her father Gregorio. Nine years later, Juan Longoria started to increase his landholdings in La Encantada. In 1891, Juan Longoria purchased 500 acres in La Encantada from Octaviana Villarreal, another of Gregorio’s heirs. Juan died in February 1892; however, his widow Yrinea continued the land purchases in August of the same year by purchasing 250 acres from Romana, another of Gregorio’s heirs. Yrinea died less than 4 months later and no further land acquisitions occurred until after the estate of Juan and Yrinea Longoria was partitioned in February 1897.
The estate of Juan Longoria and wife Yrinea Villarreal de Longoria included 5178 acres in La Encantada, 4415 acres in Porciones 93 and 94 in Starr County, 2214 acres in Gil Zarate’s La Blanca tract in Hidalgo County, 1280 acres in the Julian grant in Starr County, 930 acres in the Rucias tract in Hidalgo County, and 70 acres in Porcion 95 in Starr County. After dividing the land into 8 equal portions among the heirs, Ponciano Longoria’s inherited 647.25 acres in La Encantada which, when combined with the 3163.14 acres inherited by his wife Maria Rita, brought Ponciano and Maria Rita’s total landholdings in La Encantada to 3810.39 acres.
During 1897 and 1898, Ponciano continued to increase his landholdings in La Encantada, purchasing his seven siblings’ interests in the 750 acres purchased by their parents (a net increase for Ponciano of 656.25 acres) and purchasing 600 acres from Transito Villarreal, another of Gregorio Villarreal’s heirs. This brought Ponciano and Maria Rita Longoria’s total landholdings in La Encantada to 5066.64 acres. In one final transaction in 1910 wherein he traded 132.83 acres in Starr County for his sister Leonor’s interest in an equal amount of acreage in La Encantada, Ponciano brought his total landholdings in La Encantada to 5199.47 acres.
Sometime during the early 1900’s, Ponciano Longoria relocated his family from La Grulla to La Encantada.He first moved his family to a ranch on his La Blanca lands (on the Gil Zarate tract) and used that as his base to scout for a suitable location for his new ranch.Some of my father's younger siblings still recall hearing stories from their grandmother Maria Rita Villarreal about how, during one of his scouting missions, Ponciano encountered some Indians living near a natural spring of water.Once he found a suitable site for his new ranch, Ponciano commenced the building of homes soon thereafter.He named his new ranch “Santa Rita”, in honor of his wife Maria Rita Villarreal.
Not all of Ponciano's children joined him in the initial move to Santa Rita.Staying behind in La Grulla were some of Ponciano’s married children, including my grandfather Eugenio. But soon they too would join their father at Santa Rita. Eugenio would first move his family to Mission, Texas, where they lived for a short while with his wife’s step-brother, Manuel Trevino. They then moved to the La Blanca ranch and remained there until the ranch houses at Santa Rita were constructed, and moved there probably in the year 1914.
At the Santa Rita Ranch, brothers Raul (at left) and Leonel Longoria pose with their pet calf, circa 1918.
Ponciano Longoria died in 1915, but the Santa Rita ranch remained the hub of the Longoria family until 1929, when Ponciano’s wife Maria Rita died. A few years prior to that, about 1925, Maria Rita had given each of her six children 200 acres each, with 100 acres fronting the farm to market road FM 755 and the other 100 acres fronting the highway US 281.The three male children built their own homes on their own 100 acre portions. The two eldest female children were living in homes on theirs husband's inherited lands.The only ones who remained at the Santa Rita ranch itself were Ponciano’s youngest daughter Francisca, her husband Simon Treviño and their children. The ranch continued to be occupied until 1987 when the home in which one of Simon Trevino's sons lived burned down. The ranch site currently belongs to one of Simon Trevino’s granddaughters, but many of the original ranch buildings were razed in the late 1990’s.
Today, many of the descendants of Gregorio Villarreal, Juan and Ponciano Longoria, Sabas Villarreal, Manuel Perez and the Garcias still live on their family lands in La Encantada. In some families, the trials and tribulations of life have resulted in large portions of the lands being sold, and many family members, myself included, have had to move away in order to provide for life’s necessities and make a decent living. La Encantada may have lost its enchantment for some of us, but it will live forever in our hearts.
Children of MARIA YSIDORA RAMIREZ and GREGORIO VILLARREAL are:
- MANUEL VILLARREAL, d. date unknown.
- GABRIELA VILLARREAL, d. date unknown.
- JOSE CILDO VILLARREAL, d. date unknown.
- MARIA RITA VILLARREAL, d. date unknown.
- ROMANA VILLARREAL, d. date unknown.
- TRANSITO VILLARREAL, d. date unknown.
- OCTAVIANA VILLARREAL, d. date unknown.
- +CELSO RAMIREZ VILLARREAL, b. February 25, 1864, CAMARGO, MEXICO, d. January 31, 1947.