Spencer's Ranch

Presidio is on the Rio Grande, Farm Road 170, and State Highway 67 eighteen miles south of Shafter in southern Presidio County. The surrounding area is the oldest continuously cultivated area in the United States. Farmers have lived at Presidio since 1500 B.C. By 1400 A.D. the area Indians lived in small, close-together settlements, which the Spaniards later called pueblos (see PUEBLO).

The first Spaniards came to Presidio in 1535, when Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, and his three companions stopped at the Indian pueblo, placed a cross on the mountain side, and called the village La Junta de las Cruces. On December 10, 1582, Antonio de Espejo and his company arrived at the site and called the pueblo San Juan Evangelista. By 1681 the area of Presidio was known as La Junta de los Ríos, or the Junction of the Rivers, for the Río Conchos and the Rio Grande join at the site. In 1683 Juan Sabeata, a Jumano Indian, reported having seen a fiery cross on the mountain at Presidio. The settlement then became known as La Navidad en Las Cruces. About 1760 a penal colony and a military garrison of sixty men were established near Presidio. In 1830 the name of the area around Presidio was changed from La Junta de los Rios to Presidio del Norte. Anglo settlers came to Presidio in 1848 after the Mexican War. Among them was John Spencer, who operated a horse ranch on the United States side of the Rio Grande near Presidio. Ben Leaton and Milton Faver built private forts in the area.

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Julia Cauble Smith | © TSHA

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

Belongs to

Spencer's Ranch is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

No

Place type

Spencer's Ranch is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Presidio)

Has Post Office

No

Is Incorporated

No