Manuel M. García, educator, rancher, and philanthropist, the son of Sixto and Dolores (Ramírez) García, was born on June 17, 1872, at Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The family owned land near Rio Grande City, Starr County, Texas, where García spent much of his early life. He was attended the Anglo-Mexican School, a private school in San Diego, Texas, and returned to Rio Grande City upon completion of his studies. In 1888 he enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin, where he studied classics and was a member of the Rusk Society, of which he was president in 1893. He was also editor of the annual, the Cactus (1894), and a writer for Business Manager Magazine. In 1894 García became the first Mexican American to graduate from the University of Texas, when he received his bachelor of arts degree. After graduation he taught modern languages and English at San Antonio Academy for Boys from 1894 to 1898, when he completed his master's degree at UT. He then returned to Starr County, where he served as notary public and principal of School No. 22 from 1898 to 1902. He returned to the academy in 1902 and taught there until 1904. García then served as supervisor of the Spanish department of the San Antonio public schools from 1904 to 1912.
He and his wife, Carmen Lassaulx de García, moved to Laredo in 1917 with his father and brother, Sixto García, Jr. There they founded the Merchants' Bank and Trust Company, where García was assistant cashier. His wealth came from his cattle business and real estate holdings in and around Laredo and Rio Grande City. He was active in civic organizations and served as the president of the University of Texas Ex-Students Club in Laredo in 1948. That year he donated a $60,000 building to the Laredo Post of the VFW and was elected the Laredo Times Man of the Year. In 1949 García, his wife, and a granddaughter vacationed in Europe and were featured in a Life story upon their return. García died in Temple on January 9, 1950.
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Alcalde (magazine of the Ex-Students' Association of the University of Texas), February 1950. General Register of the Students and Former Students of the University of Texas, 1917 (Austin: Ex-Students' Association, 1917). "Homecoming Tourists Break Travel Record," Life, September 26, 1949. Laredo Times, January 10, 1950.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Alicia A. Garza,
“Garcia, Manuel Marius,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 16, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
January 1, 1995
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: