Mission Valley, on Farm Road 236 fourteen miles northwest of Victoria, is the oldest community in Victoria County. Moving from their original location, probably on Garcitas Creek, Franciscan missionaries relocated Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga Mission (La Bahía) and Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio at the site in 1726. Until forced to move to the area of present Goliad in 1749, the Franciscans operated the first great cattle ranch in Texas, in addition to farming and ministering to the local Aranama and Tamique Indians. Thereafter, the Spanish continued to ranch in the area, using Indian labor to raise thousands of cattle. In 1824 Mission Valley became one of the boundaries of Martín De León's colony on the Guadalupe, although the first recorded land grant in the county was made to a DeWitt colonist, Eben Haven, who settled in the locale in 1831. Félix De León, son of the empresario, was granted a league nearby two years later. Other notable pioneer residents of the Mission Valley vicinity included José María Carbajal , De León's surveyor general, who laid out the city of Guadalupe Victoria; Elijah Stapp, another DeWitt colonist and a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence; and Margaret Wright, whom Sam Houston dubbed "Mother of Texas" for her role in the Goliad Massacre.
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Mission Valley by the Numbers
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