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María Calvillo petitions Mexican government for ranch title


On this day in 1828, María Calvillo formally petitioned the Mexican government for a new title to her father's Rancho de las Cabras ("the Goat Ranch") in what is now Wilson County. María was born at the Villa of San Fernando de Béxar in 1765, the eldest of six children born to Ygnacio Francisco Xavier Calvillo and Antonia de Arocha. Her father acquired Rancho de las Cabras, an outpost of San Francisco de la Espada Mission, after the mission and its lands were secularized. María Calvillo married Juan Gavino de la Trinidad Delgado around 1781. The couple had two sons and adopted three additional children. In 1811 and 1814 Gavino played a major role in the struggle to overthrow the Spanish; as a result of his activities he was declared a rebel against the crown. María apparently separated from her husband at this time. In 1814 Ygnacio Calvillo was murdered at his ranch during a raid; initially the raid was thought to have been perpetrated by Indians, but subsequent investigation revealed that the attackers included Ygnacio's own grandson. At this time María gained control and ownership of the property. When she died in 1856 her will passed ownership of the property to two of her adopted children.

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