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Chaves, Juan Francisco Antonio (1827–1911)

Aragorn Storm Miller Biography

Juan Francisco Antonio Chaves, also listed as Chavez, schoolteacher, farmer, businessman, city official, and state representative, was born in San Antonio, Texas, on February 13, 1827, the son of Juan Ignacio and Maria Leonardo (Monts de Oca) Chavez. Chaves was raised in San Antonio. Between 1841 and 1848 he received a religious education, attending St. Vincent's College in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Upon completion of his studies Chaves returned to San Antonio and taught school both there and in Mexico. On October 25, 1853, he married Gertrudis Rivas in San Antonio. This couple had two sons and three daughters. In the late 1850s Juan Chaves quit teaching school and established himself as a farmer, stock raiser, and land investor. By the 1860s he owned over 800 acres of land. During the Civil War Chaves served as county commissioner for Bexar County. In 1866 he won election as representative for that county to the Eleventh Texas Legislature. Following his term Chaves returned to San Antonio, serving the community as county commissioner as well as deputy sheriff. Juan Chaves died in San Antonio on December 27, 1911, and was buried there at San Fernando Cemetery No. 1.

IGI Individual Record, "Juan Francisco Antonio Chaves" (, accessed May 18, 2007. A Twentieth Century History of Southwest Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1907).


  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Civic Leaders
  • Eleventh Legislature (1866)
  • House

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Aragorn Storm Miller, “Chaves, Juan Francisco Antonio,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 19, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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