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Alcalde Encyclopedia

Why do we need encyclopedic entries of the alcaldes

Outside of the handful of well-known alcaldes, most are obscure or have no available research. Surprisingly, nearly half of the known alcaldes have no entry in academic journals. A large percentage of those that do have only a small snippet of information.

ENTRIES BY LOS ALCALDES DE BEXAR PROJECT SCHOLARS TO DATE:


Juan Curbelo

By Francis Galan, Ph.D.

(1680 - 1742)

Juan Curbelo, born around 1680 in Arrecife, Canary Islands, played a pivotal role in the settlement of Texas by Canary Islanders. He, along with his wife Gracia Perdomo de Umpierres and three children, was part of the group that founded San Fernando de Béxar (present-day San Antonio) in 1731. Curbelo served as a councilman and faced challenges, including imprisonment, due to conflicts over fencing and debts. Despite these hurdles, he and his wife accumulated land, established ranching and farming operations, and left a detailed will in 1742. Curbelo's legacy continued through his son Joseph, who carried on the family ranching business and served as alcalde of San Fernando de Béxar, highlighting the enduring impact of Juan Curbelo's contributions to the region's history.

(1731 - 1814)

Ignacio Francisco Xavier Calvillo, born in 1731 in Aguascalientes, Mexico, was a prominent Spanish Texas rancher and alcalde of San Fernando de Béxar. His journey to Béxar is undocumented, but he married into the influential Arocha family in 1760. Calvillo, a skilled rancher, initially operated on leased land, eventually owning El Paso de las Mujeres. His ranching endeavors expanded, leading him to seek markets in Coahuila with his brothers-in-law. In 1780, he served on the cabildo, later becoming alcalde in 1789, serving through 1790 due to election challenges. Simultaneously, he focused on ranching, acquiring much of Rancho de las Cabras by 1809. Calvillo's life tragically ended in 1814 during a Lipan Apache raid on Rancho de las Cabras, with evidence of a personal motive involving his grandson. Despite his violent end, Calvillo's legacy persisted through his daughter María, who inherited and owned the ranch into the 1840s.

Clemente Delgado

By Anthony Delgado

(1760 - 1833)

Clemente Delgado, born on October 8, 1760, in San Antonio, Texas, was a rancher and city official with a notable legacy. Descendant of the original Canary Islanders, Clemente was raised by his father Jacinto and in-laws after his mother's early death. He married Maria Gertrudes Saucedo, connected to the families that established Presidio San Antonio de Béxar. Engaging in ranching, Clemente contributed to General Bernardo de Gálvez's efforts during the American Revolution. He served as a regidor on the town's council, displaying loyalty during the Casas counterrevolt. Clemente played a role in the short-lived Texas Republic in 1813 but faced adversity after the insurgents' defeat in 1814. Banished and returning in 1819, he resumed public service, later regaining his property in 1828. Clemente continued his civic duties until his death in July 1833. His descendants, including granddaughter Jesusa Curbelo, contributed to preserving his legacy in San Antonio.

Manuel Yturri y Castillo 

By Erika Arredondo-Haskins, Ph.D.

(1790 - 1842)

Manuel Yturri y Castillo, a city official, merchant, and rancher born in Elgueta, Spain, around 1790, achieved notable success in various roles, with significant contributions during his term as alcalde of San Antonio in 1823. In 1821, he married María Josefa Isabel Rodríguez, and together they had four legitimate children. Yturri y Castillo, who made San Antonio his permanent residence in 1817, owned properties, including the Yturri-Edmunds home. As alcalde, he played a crucial role in local governance. In 1823, he faced expulsion during anti-Spanish sentiments in post-independent Mexico but successfully reclaimed his lands and political status upon his return. Yturri y Castillo continued his political involvement, becoming an alderman in 1838. He hosted a grand ball in honor of Texas President Mirabeau Lamar in 1841, he thrived with extensive land and livestock holdings until his death on October 17, 1842. His legacy lived on through his son Manuel, who followed in his father's footsteps as a rancher, businessman, and public servant.

Joseph Curbelo

By Francis Galan, Ph.D.

(ca. 1710–1767)

Joseph Curbelo, born around 1710 in the Canary Islands, played a significant role in the early history of San Antonio. As one of the original settlers who established the town of San Fernando de Béxar, he inherited valuable properties, including lots in the town plaza, a farm, a ranch, livestock, and a cattle brand. Curbelo served in the town council between 1745 and 1758, holding four terms as a magistrate. Notably, he participated in a lawsuit against Governor Francisco García Larios over the exploitation of settlers for personal gain. Curbelo also implemented measures to maintain order, such as curfews and restrictions on carrying small arms. After years of legal battles, he gained possession of his father's property in 1756. Curbelo's legacy continued through his children, with his son expanding the family's cattle business and becoming lieutenant governor of Texas. Curbelo's daughter contributed to intercultural kinship and trade networks through her marriages. Joseph Curbelo passed away in 1767, leaving behind a lasting impact on the history of San Antonio.

José Domingo Estevan Bustillo

By Erika Arredondo-Haskins, Ph.D.

(1779 - 1854)

José Domingo Estevan Bustillo, born in 1779, was a distinguished military and political figure during the transition from Spanish rule to the Republic era. Descended from notable ancestors, Bustillo's father encouraged his education. Engaging in politics, he joined the Spanish Royal Army, excelled as a merchant and landowner, and secured significant land grants. His notable achievements include serving as alférez, second lieutenant in the royal army, councilman, first alcalde, and later as an alderman. Bustillo played a crucial role in Mexican and Texan fights for independence, facing capture during a key invasion but managing to escape. His legacy endures through his descendants living on the original land granted in the Mission Espada area.

Alcalde Project: List

Alcalde Portraits

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(1760 - 1833)

Clemente Delgado, rancher and city official, was born on October 8, 1760, in la villa de San Fernando de Béxar (present-day San Antonio) to Jacinto Delgado and Rita Álvarez Travieso.

(1793 - 1849)

Jose Miguel de Arciniega was a Mexican military explorer and legislator. He was mayor of San Antonio, Texas, in 1830 and 1833.

(1804 - 1876)

Francisco Antonio Ruiz was the alcalde of San Antonio during the Texas Revolution and was responsible for identifying the bodies of those killed at the Battle of the Alamo.

(1806–1890)

Spanish-Tejano political and military figure of the Texas Revolution who helped to establish the independence of Texas.

Alcalde Project: List
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