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Mexía, Enrique Guillermo Antonio (1829–1896)

Teresa Palomo Acosta Biography Entry

Enrique Mexía, landowner and businessman, was born in Mexico City to José Antonio Mexía and Charlotte Walker de Mexía in January 1829. His mother was from Southampton, England. Mexía was a youngster of ten living in New Orleans with his older sister and his mother when his father was ordered executed by Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna in Mexico, on May 3, 1839. Subsequently the family moved to Mexico City. Although they returned to New Orleans in 1844 so that the children could be educated in the United States, they lived mostly in Mexico City. Mexía patterned his early life after his father's. He joined the Mexican military and earned the rank of brigadier general. He fought against the French during Maximilian's reign in Mexico. Later he served in the Mexican Legation in Washington, D.C. He married Mary Gray of New Jersey in 1867. A later marriage to Sarah Wilmer of Baltimore produced a daughter, Ynés Mexía de Reygades. In 1871 the family moved to Limestone County, where they owned land. The title to the family's inheritance was in Mexía's sister's name. Another title to five leagues in Limestone County was in his own name. He also held a grant of six tracts of land on the Trinity River in Freestone and Anderson counties. In Limestone County he assumed work as a land agent for George Louis Hammeken, his brother-in-law. In this capacity he oversaw the family's large landholdings in three counties. In 1870 the Houston and Texas Central Townsite Company purchased 1,920 acres of the Mexía grant to build a town. Mexía is credited with arranging the sales. According to some sources, he also donated land for the town. Mexía returned in his later years to Mexico City, where, according to one source, he was credited with installing the first electric lights. He died there on September 19, 1896. He left 54,494 acres in Limestone, Anderson, Freestone, and McLennan counties.

Dallas Morning News, May 31, 1965. C. Alan Hutchinson, "General José Antonio Mexía and his Texas Interests," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 82 (October 1978). Doris Hollis Pemberton, Juneteenth at Comanche Crossing (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983). Vertical Files, Gibbs Memorial Library, Mexia, Texas.


  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Landowners and Land Developers

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

Teresa Palomo Acosta, “Mexía, Enrique Guillermo Antonio,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 22, 2021,

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April 1, 1995
August 2, 2020

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