Ruiz, Francisco Antonio (ca. 1804–1876)

By: Maria O. Gomez

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1996

Francisco Antonio Ruiz, alcalde of San Antonio, familiarly known as Don Pancho, was born in San Antonio between 1804 and 1811. He was the eldest son of Josefa Hernández and Col. José Francisco Ruiz, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Francisco Antonio was the alcalde of San Antonio during the battle of the Alamo and was held under house arrest until the Alamo fell. He was ordered by Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna to identify the fallen Alamo leaders and to dispose of the dead. Ruiz left one of the most vivid eye-witness accounts of the fall of the Alamo. After the Republic of Texas was established Ruiz served as alderman in San Antonio from 1837 to 1841. He was opposed to the annexation of Texas to the United States and strongly objected to anyone who had not participated in the Texas Revolution having any say in the matter. When Texas was annexed in 1845, Ruiz went to live among the frontier Indians as his father had once done. He may have been the Francisco Ruiz listed in the 1850 census as a resident of Bexar County, aged thirty-nine, with a wife, Concepción, and two children. In later years Ruiz returned to San Antonio, where he died on October 18, 1876. He was buried in the Ruiz-Herrera family cemetery near the Medina River in Bexar County.

San Antonio Daily Express, October 20, 1876. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Amelia W. Williams, A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo and of the Personnel of Its Defenders (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1931; rpt., Southwestern Historical Quarterly 36–37 [April 1933-April 1934]).
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Maria O. Gomez, “Ruiz, Francisco Antonio,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1996

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