Jean Batiste LaCoste, merchant and founder of the first ice plant in San Antonio, was born in Gascony, France, in 1823. He immigrated to the United States in 1848, landing first at New Orleans and then moving to San Antonio, where he established several business enterprises. LaCoste was a warm adherent of Emperor Ferdinand Maximilian of Mexico and moved to Matamoros to serve the imperial cause. With the collapse of the French adventure LaCoste returned to San Antonio and began rebuilding his economic fortunes. He built and operated the first ice plant in San Antonio. He married Manuela Menchaca, the daughter of José Antonio Menchaca, in 1852. They had six children. LaCoste died on October 24, 1887, and was buried in the San Fernando Catholic Cemetery.