Navarro, Antonio Victor (1884–1970)

By: Cynthia Orozco

Type: Biography

Published: May 1, 1995

Updated: September 12, 2013

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Antonio Victor Navarro, Zapata county judge, was born in Atascosa County, Texas, on July 28, 1884, to Eugenio and María Antonietta (Chávez) Navarro. His father was a Confederate soldier, rancher, customs collector, and local official. Navarro attended San Antonio and Zapata public schools. He worked as a clerk and as an assayer for a mining company in Presidio County. In 1925 he became sheriff of Zapata county and in 1926 county judge, a post he held until 1936. He served on the Democratic party county executive committee and acted as a delegate to county and state conventions of the party. Political office was often held by a person of Mexican descent in Zapata County at the time; between 1857 and 1946 only twelve Caucasians held office. In 1946 political scientist Edgar G. Shelton, Jr., noted that Navarro and two other Mexican Americans, county clerk Leopold Martínez and sheriff Ignacio Sánchez, were found on lists of candidates for state offices as county campaign managers. He suspected Navarro was either a political boss or "front man." Navarro was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was one of six Tejanos included in Texas Democracy, a history of the Democratic party published for the Texas Centennial in 1936. It is unclear whether Navarro was included because of his individual influence in the party or because he was descended from José Antonio Navarro, who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Antonio Victor Navarro married Elizabeth Dawson, and they had six children. He died on June 9, 1970, in Laredo.

Frank Carter Adams, ed., Texas Democracy: A Centennial History of Politics and Personalities of the Democratic Party, 1836–1936 (4 vols., Austin: Democratic Historical Association, 1937). Edgar G. Shelton, Jr., Political Conditions among Texas Mexicans along the Rio Grande (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1946; San Francisco: R&E Research Associates, 1974).


  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans

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

Cynthia Orozco, “Navarro, Antonio Victor,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 21, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995
September 12, 2013

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