Fernando Veramendi, merchant and public figure in San Antonio de Béxar, was born in Pamplona, Spain, in 1743 or 1744, the son of Martín de Veramendi and Benita de Olagrie. As one of countless petty merchants from Spain seeking fortune in the New World, Veramendi first established himself in Texas at La Bahía around 1770. Business took him on occasion to San Antonio, where he married into a family of Canary Islanders in 1776. Once established in San Antonio, Veramendi's business thrived. He opened a store, acted as moneylender, and bought extensive tracts of agricultural land. His success allowed him to build an opulent house on Soledad Street that came to be known as the Veramendi Palace around the time of the Texas Revolution. His affluence gained him prominence in community affairs. He served in the city's militia, was alderman in the ayuntamiento of 1779, and was elected senior alderman for the year 1783. Veramendi married Doña María Josefa Granados on April 17, 1776, soon after arriving in San Antonio. They had five children, of whom three boys, José María, Juan Martín, and Fernando Ramón, survived to manhood. The most prominent, Juan Martín de Veramendi, after years of public service in San Antonio, was elected vice governor of Coahuila and Texas in 1830 and served as governor in 1832–33. Veramendi was on a business trip to Mexico City when he was killed by Mescalero Apaches near the presidio of San Juan Bautista, Coahuila, on May 31, 1783.