Rancho del Atascoso

By: Robert H. Thonhoff

Type: General Entry

Published: June 1, 1995

Updated: January 27, 2021

Rancho del Atascoso, sometimes called El Atascoso ("bog"), was an outlying ranch of San José y San Miguel de Aguayo Mission. The ranch lay astride the Atascosa River between the sites of present Pleasanton and Poteet in Atascosa County. It derived its name from the deep sand in the area. When Fray Gaspár José de Solís visited the ranch in 1768, he noted ten droves of mares, four droves of asses, thirty sets of harness, 1,500 cattle, 5,000 sheep and goats, and all the necessary farming implements, such as plowshares, hoes, axes, and bars. No White overseers were needed, for Pastia Indian residents were in complete charge of the ranch. They did all the work and were skilled in all kinds of labor. They acted as mule drivers, masons, cowboys, and shepherds. The able-bodied men did the manual labor; the old men made arrows for warriors; the older girls wove cloth, carded wool, and sewed clothes; the old women caught fish for the padres; and the younger boys and girls went to school and recited their prayers. After the secularization of San José Mission in 1794, the ranch declined and its lands became vacant. In the early 1830s land that formerly was a part of the ranch was deeded under Mexican title to José Antonio Navarro, Juan N. Seguín, José María Salinas, Joaquín de la Garza, Ignacio Herrera, and others. By 1993 the site of the ranch headquarters had not been archeologically confirmed.

Marion A. Habig, San Antonio's Mission San José (San Antonio: Naylor, 1968). Jack Jackson, Los Mesteños: Spanish Ranching in Texas, 1721–1821 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1986). A. Joachim McGraw, John W. Clark, Jr., and Elizabeth A. Robbins, eds., A Texas Legacy: The Old San Antonio Road and the Caminos Reales (Austin: Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, 1991). 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 del Atascoso,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 26, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/rancho-del-atascoso.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995
January 27, 2021