Menchaca, Luis Antonio (1713–1793)

By: Jack Jackson

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: January 18, 2013

Luis Antonio Menchaca, rancher, son of Francisco (also called Joseph Antonio) and Antonia (de Urrutia) Menchaca, was born in 1713. His mother was the daughter of Capt. José de Urrutia; his father was a career soldier who served under Governor Martín de Alarcón and was among the first to garrison the San Antonio de Béxar presidio when it was founded in 1718. Luis Antonio continued in this military tradition, following his uncle Toribio de Urrutia as captain in 1763 and occupying this position for a decade. He was also justicia mayor of the villa of San Fernando. Menchaca was a rancher of significance and led the private stock raisers in their dispute with the missions over the ownership of wild cattle (see RANCHING IN SPANISH TEXAS). His San Francisco ranch, the title of which was resolved with Andrés Hernández in a compromise agreement dated April 12, 1758, was one of the oldest private grants in Texas, as well as the largest. It consisted of eleven leagues and four caballerías in El Rincón, the rich grazing lands between the San Antonio River and Cibolo Creek, which Menchaca shared with Hernández. This grant lay in territory now belonging to Karnes and Wilson counties. Menchaca married Ignacia Núñez Morillo in 1745. They had three sons, José, Luis Mariano, and Miguel Jorge, and a daughter, Vicenta María. José pursued a military career, and Luis Mariano became a noted merchant and stockman. The census of 1779 revealed Luis Antonio Menchaca to be the wealthiest man in the province of Texas. He died on September 29, 1793, at age eighty, and his wife died in 1800.

Bexar Archives, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen

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

Jack Jackson, “Menchaca, Luis Antonio,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 18, 2013