Celestino Pardo Barreda, pioneer merchant and landowner, son of Eugenio Pardo and Fermina de Barreda y Liaño, was born in La Penilla, Santander, Spain, on January 1, 1858. He immigrated to New Orleans in 1871 on the German steamship Germania and sailed to Port Isabel, Texas, shortly thereafter. After working a few months with his uncles in Brownsville, he was sent to schools in New Jersey and Massachusetts. In 1874 Barreda returned from the East to work for his uncles, but he soon established a dry goods business for himself. By 1880 he was a United States citizen and was accumulating ranchlands and city properties in Texas and Mexico. He acquired sugar plantations in Cuba and began shipping cattle throughout the southern United States and Cuba. As early as 1908 he was using the Rio Grande for irrigation purposes. By the 1920s he had extensive landholdings in South Texas and was vice president of the First National Bank in Brownsville, organizer of the Texas Bank and Trust Company, and a member of many civic and social organizations. He deeded land for railway and highway development, promoted the county water-improvement district, and served as director of the chamber of commerce. On December 17, 1906, Barreda married María de Guinea in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and although they had no children of their own, they reared their orphaned niece and nephew. Barreda was a Catholic of Immaculate Conception Parish. He died on February 3, 1953, in Brownsville and was buried in Buena Vista Cemetery there.
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Ellis A. Davis and Edwin H. Grobe, comps., The New Encyclopedia of Texas (2 vols., Dallas: Texas Development Bureau, 1925?; 4 vols. 1929?). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Ranching and Cowboys
Landowners and Land Developers
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
C. C. Stewart and Celia S. Santiso,
“Barreda, Celestino Pardo,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 20, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 1, 1994