Goliad has called itself the “Birthplace of Texas Ranching” since at least 1999, the date of the 250th anniversary of a Spanish mission in that city. The Mission Espiritu Santo—now reconstructed at Goliad State Park—was the largest cattle ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century.
Whether Mission Espiritu Santo was the “first” or the “birthplace” of Texas cattle ranching is still open to debate.
Wikipedia: Goliad, Texas
Goliad is a city in Goliad County, Texas, United States. It it had a population of 1,975 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Goliad County. It is part of the Victoria, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The San Antonio River, best known for the River Walk in San Antonio, passes through Goliad en route to the Gulf of Mexico. Goliad is located on U.S. Highway 59, named also for the late U.S. Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen.
In 1747, the Spanish government sent José de Escandón to inspect the northern frontier of its North American colonies, including Spanish Texas. In his final report, Escandónt recommended that Presidio La Bahia be moved from its Guadalupe River location to the banks of the San Antonio River, so that it would be more capable of assisting settlements along the Rio Grande. Both the presidio and the mission it protected, Mission of Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga, likely moved to their new location in October 1749. Escandón proposed that 25 Mexican families be relocated near the presidio to form a civilian settlement but was unable to find enough willing settlers.
Wikipedia: Spanish missions in Texas
Mission Nuestro Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga
Established in 1722 Matagorda Bay among the Karankawa Indians
Moved in 1726 near Victoria
Moved in 1749 to La Bahia (now Goliad, Texas)
Restored from ruins by the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration in the 1930s
Currently a state historical park operated by the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Handbook of Texas Online
NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL ESPÍRITU SANTO DE ZÚÑIGA MISSION. In 1722 the Marqués de Aguayo authorized Father Agustín Patrón y Guzmán to establish Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga Mission, commonly called La Bahía, probably on Garcitas Creek at a site in what is now Victoria County. The mission, one of the oldest and most successful in Texas, was to serve area Karankawa Indians: the Cocos, Copanes, and Cujanes. The Spanish governor fixed April 10, 1722, as the official day of establishment. The mission was placed in the care of the Franciscans from the College of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas and established in connection with Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio, which the Aguayo expedition had established a year earlier on the ruins of Fort St. Louis. The name of the mission, which appears in Spanish records also as La Bahía del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga, was a reference to its location on La Bahía del Espíritu Santo (the Bay of the Holy Spirit, now called Matagorda Bay and Lavaca Bay) and also honored Báltasar de Zúñiga, viceroy of New Spain. The establishment remained at its original site only about four years and was relocated at least twice.
Espíritu Santo is traditionally recognized as the first great cattle ranch in Texas. Historians estimate the total number of cattle and horses belonging to the mission and the settlers of La Bahía to have reached some 40,000, though those actually branded in 1778 numbered something over 15,000. When Mission Rosario was temporarily abandoned in 1779 and again in 1781, its herds of cattle were also combined with those of Espíritu Santo. These herds were driven by Indian cowhands to other missions and to East Texas and Louisiana and exchanged for corn and other supplies.
Goliad County Chamber of Commerce
Goliad County is known as, “The Birthplace of Texas Ranching”, and includes the communities of Goliad, Weesatche, Ander, Kilgore, Schroeder, Weser, Charco, Berlair, Sarco, Riverdale and Fannin.
Goliad Economic Development
Birthplace of Texas Ranching
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Goliad State Park & Historic Site
Goliad Area Historic Sites
Goliad is one of the few places in North America where you can visit both an 18th century Spanish-Colonial mission and presidio (fort) complex, to understand the roles of the Catholic Church and the Spanish military in settling the New World.
Mission Espíritu Santo State Historic Site:
At Goliad State Park, tour the beautiful reconstructed Franciscan Mission Espíritu Santo - home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the 18th century. Enjoy the serenity of this Spanish colonial church and view exhibits that explore the history and daily life of the missionaries and Indian converts - including some of the original artifacts they used.
Victoria (TX) Advocate
Victoria played role in state’s cattle industry
Author: Henry Wolff Jr.
Date: February 23, 1999
Victoria played role in state’s cattle industry A number of places in Texas claim to be the birthplace of the Texas cattle industry, home of the cowboy, or some other similar connection to our state’s ranching heritage.
All, in some respects, are legitimate, but mostly they only go back in history to the beginning of private ranching in one way or another, and none can claim the titles more accurately than Victoria County where the Spanish at Mission Espiritu Santo…
Victoria (TX) Advocate
Espiritu Santo was first great Texas cattle ranch
Author: Henry Wolff Jr.
Date: April 8, 1999
Anybody can claim to be first in anything. It is the surest way I know to create controversy and so I’ve always been a bit reluctant to say that Victoria County was where Texas ranching began even though most historians familiar with Mission Espiritu Santo would agree that it was the first great cattle ranch in Texas and that it was on the Guadalupe River where the Spanish began the great herds that would later graze from the coast to near San Antonio on virtually all the lands…
Goliad fest offers glance back at Old West
June 23, 2000 Weekender Page 23H (558 Words)
John Goodspeed EXPRESS-NEWS STAFF WRITER San Antonio Express-News
Goliad is celebrating its claim to fame as the birthplace of Texas ranching with an event to let city folks get a close-up look at life in the Old West - and today. The second annual “Texas Ranching Today - A Day on the Land with Cattle and Cowboys,” will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Lantana Ridge Farms, owned by Dr. James Fuller, a Victoria cardiologist. The 1,300 acres of rolling hills along the San Antonio River where the event will be held was part of…
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Where I live is very steep in history dating back to the 1700’s that you’ve probably never even heard of - including the Mexican Wars and pre-Alamo; the birthplace of cattle ranching -
Victoria (TX) Advocate
Behind the hype of Texas cattle ranching
Date: August 16, 2006
There is no indstry in Texas that has been the subject of more hype than ranching. While this is true throughout the state, we in South Texas are particularly guilty of stretching the truth a bit when promoting the history of cattle ranching in our counties. There is some justification for this in that ranching did have some of its earliest beginnings in the region, and particularly in and around Victoria County.
It is just that we Texans are often inclined to be a bit overly enthusiastic…
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, September 13, 2008 • Permalink