United States / Floresville, TX

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Cemetery of Canary Islanders. Predates church built 1732 by colonists who arrived 1731, led by Juan Leal Goras. They farmed and raised stock. Their villa, San Fernando, was first municipality in Texas. Among unmarked graves is that of flamboyant Dona Maria Cavillo. Site now county-owned. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967. #701

SH 181, W of Floresville, Floresville, TX, United States

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Captain Will Wright. (1868-1942) Founding officer, Co. D, Texas Rangers. Had uncles, brother, sons in Rangers and Border Patrol. Wilson County deputy sheriff, 1896-1900; sheriff, 1902-1917. While in office reared his family in the jailer's quarters. Always was armed. A stern leader, but gentlemanly and kind. (1967) #706

B and 3rd Street, Floresville, TX, United States

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Casa Blanca. Home of Don Erasmo Seguin who died here; in 1856 by appointment of the Spanish governor he inducted Stephen F. Austin into Texas, 1821; Texas Deputy to the Mexican Congress, 1824; on October 13, 1834 in a convention in Bexar he made the first effort to organize a provisional government in Texas. #742

Loop 181, Floresville, TX, United States

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Floresville United Methodist Church. The organizational meeting for the Floresville Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Agee on October 25, 1875. The Rev. Ichabod Kingsbury led in the congregation's formation and served as first pastor. The six charter members included Mr. and Mrs. Agee, Judge W. L. Worsham, Mr. and Mrs. Zack Burrows, and James C. Wilson. During its early years, the congregation held worship services at various locations, including homes, the Wilson County Courthouse, and a private school known as Floresville Academy. Its first sanctuary, completed on this site in 1885 during the pastorate of The Rev. W. H. Killough, was destroyed in an 1886 storm. Under the leadership of The Rev. J. C. Russell, another building was constructed in 1887 and served the church until 1942. Several area Methodist congregations have merged with the Floresville church over the years, allowing it to provide additional service and leadership to the community. Known since 1968 as the Floresville United Methodist Church, the congregation continues to reflect the ideals and traditions of its founders as it celebrates the Bicentennial of Methodism in America. (1984) #1922

4th & B St., Floresville, TX, United States

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Yndo Ranch. (RTHL medallion only - no text) #4159

?, Floresville, TX, United States

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Texas Ranger and Sheriff Capt. Will L. Wright. (February 10, 1868-March 7, 1942) A fearless, colorful, cultured man whose honesty and diplomacy often prevented bloodshed. An 1890s Wilson County Deputy Sheriff. In Frontier Battalion, Texas Rangers. Sheriff, Wilson County, 1902-1917. At request of Texas Adjutant-General, he organized and commanded Co. D, Texas Rangers, 1918-1939. Gained great fame along Rio Grande. Married Mary Ann Brown. Their seven children included two who became law officers. Recorded, 1967 #5269

SH 181, Floresville, TX, United States

Wilson courthouse
Wilson County Courthouse. Constructed in 1884, this courthouse replaced one built soon after Floresville was chosen Wilson County seat in 1871. Designed by noted San Antonio architect Alfred Giles, this Italianate structure was constructed of bricks made in a local brickyard. It features entry pavilions supported on Doric columns, a bracketed cornice along the roofline, and a noteworthy central tower with steeple. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1984 #5856

1420 Third Street, Floresville, TX, United States

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Wilson County. Wilson County created February 13, 1860; organized August 6, 1860; named in honor of James Charles Wilson 1816-1861; member of the Mier Expedition; district clerk of Brazoria County, 1844; Senator from Matagorda County; Floresville, the county seat. #5855

1420 Third Street, Floresville, TX, United States

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First Baptist Church of Floresville. This congregation was established by the Rev. John Washburn, who came to Texas from Illinois in 1877. He moved to Floresville to become superintendent of the Floresville Academy in May 1878. According to tradition, about 20 charter members attended the organizational meeting of this fellowship on Aug. 25, 1878, at the Wilson County Courthouse. The charter members included County Judge and Mrs. B. F. Ballard, and Mr. and Mrs. O.D. Rhode. A merchant, Rhode opened the second store in town. His wife taught Sunday School in this church for over 60 years. Another early leader, S. Allen Franklin, served as lay preacher on occasion. Worship services were held in the courthouse until 1889. In that year, the congregation bought this property, originally part of eight leagues granted to Juan and Simon Arocha, and erected a simple church building measuring 40 ft. by 60 ft. In 1905 the structure was remodeled and enlarged. A two-story education facility was added in 1916. The original sanctuary was torn down in 1953 and a new church building erected on the same site. A fellowship hall, library, and pastor's study were added in 1973. (1977) #1631

4th and B St., Floresville, TX, United States

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Marcelina Community. Located on the Old San Antonio-Indianola Road, this rural settlement, named for nearby Marcelinas Creek, began in late 1873, when Wiley R. Franklin (1837-93) bought land in the area (1.5 miles S) and built a small horse-powered cotton gin. In 1874, a Baptist congregation was organized, holding services in the home of Gabriel Moffit; a one-teacher school opened in 1875; and the cemetery was begun in 1882 with the death of Martin Donaho. William Y. Elkins established a mercantile store in 1886, and was named postmaster when the post office opened on Feb. 1, 1887. By the mid-1890s, Marcelina had 2 stores, 2 cotton gins, a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, gristmill, large school and church buildings, and several homes. From the beginning, the local economic base had been agriculture, primarily cotton production, but in 1901, the crops became infested with boll weevils and the prosperous community began to decline. Improvements in transportation diverted trade to Floresville (5.5 miles W), and the advent of rural mail delivery caused the post office to close on Oct. 1, 1906. All that remains of the Marcelina Community are the cemetery and the Baptist Church. The present sanctuary was erected in 1935. (1974) #3203

SH 97 NE of Floresville, Floresville, TX, United States

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Near Site of Lodi Ferry. European settlement of this area dates to the early 18th century with the establishment of missions in San Antonio, and missions herdsmen used this area as grazing land for livestock. Until the late 19th century, traveleres in this county crossed the San Antonio River at natural fords, with no bridges or other means to traverse the stream. In 1871, the Wilson County Commissioners Court declared the need for a ferry and decided to grant any potential ferryman a waiver of licensing fees for the first five years, as well as the ability to charge the highest fee allowable by state law. Nemencio de la Zerda, II owned land along the river near the mouth of Chiver Creek. He started a ferry operation on the east bank of the river at the community of Lodi, about one mile north of Floresville's center. De la Zerda, a Confederate veteran and area native, was active in his community, serving as Lodi's justice of the peace, as well as county sheriff and tax collector. Family tradition holds that near his boat he hung a bell that travelers would ring when they wanted to cross. The community of Lodi developed along the Old San Antonio-La Bahia Road, which brought a steady flow of commerce to the area, and the ferry provided a way for traders to haul their wares across the river. The de la Zerda family sold the ferry business in 1877 to W.W. Payne, and it later passed to Vicente J. Carvajal. In 1886, the county built a free bridge nearby across the river, and over time, travelers ceased using the ferry that had once provided local residents and travelers vital transportation access. (2006) #13487

Peach St, Goliad Rd, Floresville, TX, United States

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de la Zerda Cemetery. This cemetery, located on the high east bank of the San Antonio River, served residents of the trading community of Lodi, which declined in the 20th century. Nemencio de la Zerda, Sr., born in San Antonio in 1808, was a rancher, businessman and former soldier under Juan Seguin. He purchased this land in 1839. The earliest burial in the cemetery dates to 1877, though it is believed there are earlier unmarked graves. One notable burial is that of Benito Lopez, a prominent Lodi and Floresville business owner. This burial ground features interior fencing and Spanish language grave markers. The cemetery chronicles the lives of early pioneers of the Mexican American community of Lodi. Historic Texas Cemetery - 2006 #13915

Ferry Rd/Peach St, Floresville, TX, United States

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Marcelina Cemetery. In 1876, Isaac and Malinda Sims moved from Mississippi to Wilson County's Marcelina community. Seven years later, they deeded part of their land for a burial gound and the Marcelina Baptist Church. Samuel Foster, Isaac's stepbrother, also deeded land, including the site of his mother's grave, for burial purposes. Over time the two cemeteries merged into one. The oldest marked grave, that of Martin Donaho, dates to 1882. The cemetery continues to be used by the community. A cemetery association, organized in 1954 by Sally Sims and others, still maintains the burial ground, which remains a link to the area's rich history. Historic Texas Cemetery - 2003 #13805

Hwy 97, CR 404, Floresville, TX, United States

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Mission de las Cabras ("Mission of the Goats"). A fortified visita of Mission Espada, founded 1731 in San Antonio. Situated near Paso de las Mujeres ("Crossing of the Women"), an important ford on the San Antonio River, known to most parties obliged to travel between Mexico and San Antonio. Meadowland along the river and near the crossing was used to pasture cattle owned by Mission Espada. Indians under Espada's protection were kept here to herd the cattle. For the care of souls of the herdsmen, a chapel was built. The 1895 guide, "San Antonio at a Glance," described the Old Cabras site as a 2-acre, diamond-shaped lot with bastions at each end. After secularization of the missions in 1794, lands here were owned by one of the descendants of Spain's colonists from the Canary Islands, Ignacio Calvillo. In turn, the Cabras site was inherited by Calvillo's flamboyant daughter, Dona Maria Del Carmen (born in 1765). Noted for her independent spirit, she forsook her husband, Gavino Delgado, and personally managed the ranch, her long black hair flying in the wind as she rode a great white horse. She kept down Indian troubles by paying tribute in beef. In her time and for a century afterward Old Mission Cabras remained in use for rites of the church. (1970) #7

SH 97, S of Floresville, Floresville, TX, United States

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The Flores de Abrego Family and Floresville. The Flores de Abrego family came to the New World from northern Spain before the time of the American Revolution. During the 18th century, members of this family brought their cattle northward and established ranches along the San Antonio River. The head of this family was Francisco Antonio Flores de Abrego II (d. 1757), who married Rosa Hermenegilda Hernandez. Their son, Jose Joaquin Flores de Abrego (1742-c. 1800), grew up on the San Bartolo Ranch in present Karnes County. Jose Joaquin's grandsons Manuel, Salvador, Nepomuceno, and Jose Maria later fought on the side of the Texians during the revolution for independence from Mexico. In 1854 Josefa Agustina Flores de Abrego, daughter of Jose Maria Flores de Abrego, married Samuel William Barker, who became Wilson County's first sheriff in 1860. In 1867 Josefa's donation of 200 acres of land was accepted by the County Commissioners Court as the site for the new county seat. As she requested, the new town was named Floresville in honor of her ancestor, Francisco Antonio Flores de Abrego II. As prominent ranchers, with cattle brands registered in Floresville, the Flores de Abrego family played an important role in the colonization of this area. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986 #5335

4th and B St., Floresville, TX, United States

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Site of Old Town: Lodi. Community in an area known by 1720 as land of the Cayopines, a Coahuiltecan Indian tribe. The site was important to Spanish missions of San Antonio, since here along the river their herds were pastured. For the herdsmen, adobe huts were built. After the Apache Indians began to raid the area in 1731, the herdsmen took refuge across the river within the stronger walls of the Mission Cabras. The Pena brothers had Rancho San Eldifonzo Del Chayopin here from 1756 to 1787, and a nephew applied for title when mission lands were secularized in 1794. However, award was made to Simon and Juan Arocha. Their neighbors (descended from Canary Island colonists of 1731) included Jose Maria Flores and Erasmus Seguin. Stephen T. Cook settled here in 1858, putting in a store and securing office of postmaster. He may have named Lodi for a town in Mississippi, his old home state. Wilson County was organized in an election held Feb. 13, 1860. Samuel W. Barker (husband of local aristocrat Josefa Flores) became the first sheriff of the new county. Improved roads were built here. After the Civil War, Wilson County voters on Dec. 8, 1867, designated Lodi county seat--an honor lost to Floresville in 1872. Area then reverted to ranching. (1971) #4866

FM 536 & Goliad Road, Floresville, TX, United States

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James Charles Wilson. When this county was created in 1860 by the Eighth Texas Legislature, it was named for Texas patriot James Charles Wilson. A native of England, Wilson (1818-1861) left his homeland in 1836 and by 1839 had settled in Brazoria County, Texas. He studied law there under Judge John W. Harris and future Governor Elisha M. Pease, and boarded with former Provisional Governor Henry Smith. Wilson had a multifaceted career while a resident of the state. As part of the ill-fated Mier Expedition in 1842, he was held in a Mexican prison until escaping in 1843. He returned to Brazoria County, where he served as editor of the "Brazos Planter" and a district clerk. After obtaining his law license in 1844, Wilson had a successful law practice, was elected to the Texas Senate, and became Commissioner of Claims to settle problems arising from land grants given under the colonization laws of Spain and Mexico. During the last years of his life, James C. Wilson moved his family to a homestead near Gonzales, where he continued to practice law and was licensed to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Upon his death in 1861, Wilson was buried in the family cemetery near Gonzales but was later reinterred in the State Cemetery in Austin. (1985) #2717

1420 Third Street, Floresville, TX, United States

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