Rancho de la Mora

By: Robert H. Thonhoff

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: April 30, 2019

Rancho de la Mora ("mulberry"), on the west bank of the San Antonio River at a site between Indian Crossing near Hobson and Conquista Crossing west of Falls City in what is now Karnes County, was an eighteenth-century ranch that belonged to San Antonio de Valero Mission. Some sources claim that the ranch first belonged to San Francisco de la Espada Mission. A report of 1762 indicated that it had a stone house and a stone chapel to accommodate the cowboys, shepherds, and possibly the families who lived on the site. The ranchhouse, measuring twenty-four varas (sixty-seven feet) long, had three rooms with an arched portal. The chapel was eleven varas (thirty feet) long. It had an altar, a large stone cross, and two sets of vestments. An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 cattle grazed the pastures of La Mora in 1772. In 1779 Fray Juan Agustín de Morfi reported that twenty-six persons resided at the Rancho de la Mora. The same year it provided 180 cattle to the herd of 970 delivered to the Spanish forces of Gen. Bernardo de Gálvez, who had just started a campaign against the British in Louisiana during the American Revolution. In 1780 the ranch was reported to have 1,422 head of stock, of which 410 were branded. In 1781 a roundup report showed La Mora with 820 head and 256 branded. In 1782 the ranch was reported to have 633 head of stock and 473 branded. After San Antonio de Valero Mission was secularized in 1793, ranching operations declined. Sometime later Juan José Maria Erasmo Seguín acquired much of the land that had formerly belonged to Rancho de la Mora and was granted in 1834 a Mexican title for five leagues of land. Historical and archeological evidence indicates that the ranch headquarters was probably situated near the site of present Skiles Falls on the south bank of the San Antonio River near its confluence with Mora Creek; however, by 1993 its site had not been archeologically confirmed.

Jack Jackson, Los Mesteños: Spanish Ranching in Texas, 1721–1821 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1986). Robert H. Thonhoff, The Texas Connection with the American Revolution (Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1981). Robert S. Weddle and Robert H. Thonhoff, Drama and Conflict: The Texas Saga of 1776 (Austin: Madrona, 1976).


  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranches Established Before 1835

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

Robert H. Thonhoff, “Rancho de la Mora,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 26, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/rancho-de-la-mora.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 30, 2019