1712 - 1767
—First Colonist —
Linking the Cultures of
Spain * Mexico * United States
In 1746, King Felipe V of Spain, concerned the French would try to claim and settle the Gulf Plains from the Nueces River to Tampico, proclaimed the area to be the Northern Province of New Spain, named Nuevo Santander.
Don Jose de Escandon, count of Sierra Gorda, was appointed Governor and given the task of exploring and settling the province.
By 1755 Escandon had founded 23 settlements but was unsuccessful in attempts to settle north of the Rio Grande Basin.
In 1762, Escandon sent Capitan Blas María de la Garza Falcón to explore the Nueces River area, and in 1764 assigned him the mission of establishing New Spain's northernmost colony near the river.
Capitan Blas de las Garza Falcón successfully founded Santa Petronila on Petronila Creek, five leagues south of the river in present day Nueces county.
The colony served as a presido (garrison) for the Royal Spanish soldiers who patrolled the perimeter of the province.
Santa Patronila was the first private land grant issued by Gov. Escandon.
Capitan de las Garza Falcón brought his family, servants, friends, longhorn cattle, horses, other domesticated animals and farming tools to his Santa Petronila Ranch settlement.
the first ranchero
, he introduced cattle drives, corrals and branding, thus establishing the famous south Texas ranching industry.
It is believed he named Santa Gertrudis Creek after his only daughter Dona Gertrudis.
Capitan Blas María de la Garza Falcón came to this area in friendship. He established missions while offering his colony as a haven for travelers and settlers who pioneered and populated this region, leaving strong and enduring traditions.
The strong Hispanic influence in our culture today is another of Capitan de la Garza Falcon's legacies.
His colonies in the province irreversibly imprinted the culture of Spain on that of present day Mexico and the State of Texas.
This monument symbolizes and commemorates our rich multicultural heritage.
Dedicated September 7, 1992
A project of
The Westside Business Association & The Devary Durril Foundation
Government of Spain * City of Corpus Christi
H-E-B * Kenedy Foundation
Individual and Corporate Donors
Dr. Sherman Coleman, Sculptor