Ximenez, Fernando (1899–1953)

By: Evangelina Ximénez Bazán

Type: Biography

Published: February 1, 1996

Fernando Ximenez, community and political leader, was born in Floresville, Texas, on August 27, 1899, the son of Josefina (Lopez) and Manuel Jesus Ximenez. His father died when Fernando was twelve. His mother taught at the Floresville Academy and was the first Mexican-American teacher to be certified in Wilson County. Fernando attended school in Floresville and was further educated at old St. Louis College (now St. Mary's University) in San Antonio. He left St. Louis College temporarily to attend West Texas Military Academy during World War I, before returning to complete his studies at St. Louis College in 1919. After attending Tyler Commercial School in 1921, Ximenez was appointed head of Business Administration and assistant coach at St. Louis College later that year. In 1922 Ximenez moved to Hebbronville, where he taught school at various times and worked as a cashier at the Hebbronville State Bank. Beginning in 1932 during the Great Depression, he was employed in the Work Projects Administration establishing programs that helped the young, the elderly, widows, and the sick. He was associated with the Jim Hogg County Welfare Association from 1932 to 1940 and developed friendships and associates throughout the county. He encouraged county residents to become United States citizens and to vote, and he assisted them in finding medical care, seeking employment, opening bank accounts, and in studying for state exams. He raised funds for the Catholic parish to purchase an ambulance to serve the indigent and appealed for clemency for convicts. In 1944 Ximenez was appointed county and district clerk and held that position until his death. A strong supporter of education like his mother, he served on the school board for many years and helped preside over the consolidation of county schools into the Jim Hogg Independent School District. He married Virginia Barrera in 1921; they had five children before her death in 1930. In 1932 he married Victoria Benavides; they had no children, and she died in 1949. Ximenez died in a Kingsville hospital on February 18, 1953. He is buried in the new Hebbronville Cemetery.

Floresville Chronicle Journal, March 27, 1953. Hebbronville Chamber of Commerce, Fiftieth Anniversary, Jim Hogg County (Hebbronville, Texas, 1963).
  • Education
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Advocates
  • Activists
  • Lawyers, Civil Rights Activists, and Legislators
  • Politics and Government
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Civic Leaders
Time Periods:
  • Great Depression

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

Evangelina Ximénez Bazán, “Ximenez, Fernando,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/ximenez-fernando.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1996

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