A Spanish land grant made by a compromise settlement over disputed land claims to Andrés Hernández and Luis Antonio Menchaca on April 12, 1758, is the oldest land grant on record in the Spanish Archives of the General Land Office in Austin, although there were grants prior to that date. The grant consisted of fifteen leagues and seven labores situated in the Potrero del Rincón, the wedge of land above the confluence of the San Antonio River and Cibolo Creek in South Texas. Hernández, son of Francisco Hernández and resident of the villa of San Fernando, was for many years a soldier of the San Antonio de Béxar Presidio. The grant made to him in 1758 consisted of four leagues and five labores, threefifths of which lay in Karnes County and two-fifths in Wilson County. Hernández had some ranch huts built near the bank of Cibolo Creek in order to raise horses, cattle, sheep, and goats. At the time of his official grant, he made sworn statements to the effect that he had been living on the ranch for more than five years by virtue of a grant of four sitios and eight caballerías of land called San Bartolomé, which had been made to his deceased father more than twenty-two years previously. It is possible that this was the site of the first ranch in Texas.
Hernández's ranch headquarters was in the same locale as Fuerte de Santa Cruz del Cíbolo. At first he owned everything on the west side of the Cibolo from Rincón to a distance of six leagues up the stream. The Hernández ranch, temporarily abandoned after a Comanche raid in 1783, was eventually divided among the heirs and sold to later purchasers.
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Bexar Archives, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Virginia H. Taylor, The Spanish Archives of the General Land Office of Texas (Austin: Lone Star, 1955). Robert H. Thonhoff, "The First Ranch of Texas," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 40 (1964).
Ranching and Cowboys
Ranchers and Cattlemen
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Robert H. Thonhoff,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 08, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
August 3, 2020
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