The Villa de San José de Palafox (Palafos, Palafoz) was an unsuccessful settlement on land that the Spanish crown granted to Mexican settlers during the early nineteenth century. According to documents once contained in the Spanish Archives of Laredo, Joaquín Galán received a royal land grant in Coahuila sometime prior to 1804. Galán's tract was located on the Rio Grande in what is now Webb County, halfway between Laredo and San Juan Bautista Presidio. In December 1804 Galán granted power of attorney to his son Juan, who in April 1805 turned the property over to Manuel Garza. Garza resided on the property until April 1810, when Manuel Antonio Cordero y Bustamante, in accordance with the wishes of the Spanish king, condemned a large tract of land that included Garza's property in order to establish a new town. As compensation, Garza received another tract of land adjoining the condemned property. The Spanish government then ordered the establishment of a new town on the margin of the Rio Grande. It was named Palafox, in honor of a Spanish general, Francisco de Palafox y Melci, who won distinction opposing Napoleon's forces in Spain. Juan José Díaz was to administer justice and distribute land to settlers, mostly families from the older settlements of Coahuila, though no money was available to fund the construction of public buildings. The settlers themselves built a church in the center of town. The townspeople prospered by raising livestock, especially sheep and goats, and the town grew from almost 240 inhabitants in 1815 to 277 by the end of 1816.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Palafox is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [-Villa]
  • [Palafax]
  • [San José de -]
  • (Santiago Carr)


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