The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Sanchez, Dario (1854–1924)

Rene Raymond Meza Biography Entry

Darío Sánchez, Laredo mayor and sheriff, was born on December 19, 1854, the son of Nicolás and Manuela (García) Sánchez and a descendant of Tomás Sánchez de la Barrera y Garza, the founder of Laredo. As a young man he attended schools in Laredo and Corpus Christi as well as St. Mary's Institute in San Antonio. After graduating from St Mary's, he returned to the border, where he raised sheep, cattle, and horses. Sánchez also owned a large home and other property in Laredo. Following his father, who had served as mayor in 1866–67, Sánchez was elected mayor of Laredo in 1883 and was reelected in 1885. As mayor he pushed for a sewage system, more public schools, and cleaner streets. During his administration a new city hall was constructed. He was also responsible for building the first fire station equipped with its own fire engine. In 1885, as a member of a local faction known as the Botas ("Boots"), he replaced Darío Gonzáles, of the Guaraches ("Sandals"), as sheriff of Webb County (see BOTAS AND GUARACHES). In this office he married Ofelia de la Garza, daughter of Cayetano de la Garza and Maria de la Presentación Benavides. They had ten children. While Sánchez was sheriff an election riot in April 1886 left sixteen Laredoans dead, including Sánchez's brother Gregorio. Sánchez was elected to the city council in 1890 and to the office of tax collector in 1892. He was chosen as county commissioner in 1897 and served on the board of directors of the Laredo National Bank. In 1905 he moved with his family to Knoxville, Tennessee, where several of his children attended school, but he returned to Laredo in 1909. During World War I Sánchez helped promote the war effort and sent three of his sons to the military; his wife and daughters were active in the American Red Cross. He died on June 7, 1924, and is buried in the Laredo Catholic Cemetery.

Jerry D. Thompson, Warm Weather and Bad Whiskey: The 1886 Laredo Election Riot (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1991).


  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Politics and Government

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

Rene Raymond Meza, “Sanchez, Dario,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 21, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: