YGNACIO, TEXAS Zapata
30 miles SE of Laredo
14 miles NW of Zapata
Population: 853 (2000) 895 (1990)
1851 sundial and doorway |
in a Pecan Shell
The town of San Ygnacio was settled in 1830 - making it the oldest town in
Zapata County. It was named for the patron saint of Guerrero, Saint Ignatius Loyola.
The land was originally
granted by Col. José de Escandón to José Vázquez Borrego and was one of 23 settlements
founded by Escandón.
Jesús Treviño, the leader of the settlers built
a fortified residence at the site. (See
sundial was placed at the home in 1851 - an unusual item considering the time
and place. ( See Sundial
in San Ygnacio)
Confederate troops fought followers of Juan Cortina
here during the Civil War.
In 1890 revolutionaries against the regime
of Porfirio Díaz led raids into Mexico from San Ygnacio. In June of 1916, troops
of President Carranza crossed the border and engaged a U. S. Cavalry unit stationed
During the early 1900s San Ygnacio had a post office, several
stores, a drugstore and remained a commercial center for the region.
The population in 1908 was just under 200 persons. It doubled by 1931 but decreased
back to 225 by the end of WWII.
San Ignacio was used (like Roma) for
scenes in the 1951 movie Viva Zapata with Marlon Brandon in the title role.
of the Treviño compound|
An Endangered Historic Property
Ygnacio Historic DistrictSan
Ygnacio was to be included on the list of other towns flooded for the building
of Falcon Dam, but in 1951 residents petitioned to have their town spared
on the grounds that they were high enough to escape flooding. The town was spared,
but was damaged in a flood two years later.
The 36 buildings
that comprise the Historic District are the same style as those found in Old
Guerrero and Revilla, which now sits underwater in the Falcon Reservoir.
Many of the homes have been beautifully and authentically restored,
and San Ygnacio joins Jefferson
in the small sorority of Texas communities that have somehow managed to escape
1982 the La Paz Museum was opened as the official Zapata County
museum on the campus of the Arturo L. Benevides Elementary School, which was built
in 1967 and enlarged in 1981.
The post office, established in 1876 by first postmaster Fernando Uribe, is in
the historic Trinidad Uribe home, built in 1874 and restored in 1984 by María
Eva Uribe Ramírez. (See Forum below)
on roof top|
in San Ygnacio by Mike Cox
The weathered sundial positioned on top of
the arched entrance to the old family fort at San Ygnacio tells more than the
time – it tells a story.
1851 sundial placed by Jose Villareal|
Ygnacio, Texas Forum Subject:
Correction on Treviño Fort/Post Office San Ygnacio Texas
the leader of the settlers built a fortified residence at the site.
post office, established in 1876 by first postmaster Fernando Uribe, is in the
historic Trinidad Uribe home, built in 1874 and restored in 1984 by María Eva
Would like to make a correction on Treviño Fort in
San Ygnacio, Texas. Also known as Treviño/Uribe Fort. Fort is on land bought
by don Jesus Treviño who built a ONE room stone building in 1830 for protection
from Indians and for him to stay when he visited the ranch. Room was 18 feet by
20 feet with one door facing South. It was after his death in 1843 that his daughter
inherited the ranch site that his son in law, don Blas Maria Uribe, built the
Indian fort as it is known. Work on rooms facing river and walls on South, East
and North were added in 1850 to 1854. Again, don Blas added a room to Northeast
corner of fort in 1871 and in late 1800s and early 1900s, don Jose Dionicio Uribe,
his son who bought out his brothers and became sole owner of the Fort, made several
modifications.. making enclosed Kitchen next to original room made by don Jesus.
Original Post Office in San Ygnacio was at don Fernando Uribe's
house, across from Nortwest corner of Fort. That was original Post Office and
doña Margarita Sanchez de Uribe, present owner and resident of that house, has
several items from original Post Office, including certificate naming don Fernando
Please read story on San Ygnacio, written by Roberto D.
Uribe and part of story pertaining to building of Fort also written by Roberto
and edited by me since he left us for a better world.
Thank You - Antonio E.
Uribe, February 16, 2004
The Trevino Fort has been National
Historic Landmark since 1998. It is co-owned by the River Pierce Foundation
and the heirs (Alfonso Herrera, Raquel H. Ramirez, and Abigail H. Molina) of the
family who founded San Ygnacio. The River Pierce Foundation, founded in 1990 is
dedicated to the cultural and historic preservation of San Ygnacio. - Christopher
Rincon, Director, The River Pierce Foundation, June 19, 2003
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic
photos of their town, please contact