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CHAMPION, ALBERT

CHAMPION, ALBERT (1816–1890). Albert Champion, South Texas settler, son of Giorgio and Marie (Bronzin) Champion (Campione, Campeoni) was born on May 9, 1816, in Revigno, Austria (present-day Italy). In the early 1840s he settled in Mobile, Alabama, after several years at sea. He later moved to New Orleans, where he was joined by his younger brothers, Peter and Nicholas. When the village of Point Isabel, Texas (later Port Isabel), was founded, the Champions were among the first settlers. The brothers secured sail lighters and became engaged in transporting goods and passengers from shipside off the bar to the wharves at Point Isabel. Champion later established the United States Mail Stage Line, which he operated from about 1858 to 1873, when Point Isabel and Brownsville were connected by rail. During the 1850s he established two ranches, La Florida, the oldest in Cameron County, and La Gloria. In 1850 he married Estéfana Solís of Point Isabel. He held the appointive office of road commissioner for many years, and in 1873 Governor E. J. Davis appointed him pilot commissioner for the Brazos Santiago port. Champion suffered property damage from the occupation by federal troops during the Civil War. After the war he became a citizen of Brownsville, where he engaged in merchandizing and managed his ranches. He died there on September 20, 1890, and was buried in the Old City Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Brownsville Herald, January 17, 1937. Gilbert D. Kingsbury Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Joseph Kleiber, Letters, Archives, University of Texas at Brownsville.
A. A. Champion

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Handbook of Texas Online, A. A. Champion, "Champion, Albert," accessed July 26, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fch10.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.