Bourland and Miller Commission confirmed some grants in Duval County

As the Ford rangers were pulling out of the Trans Nueces, the Bourland and Miller Commission was pulling into Corpus Christi to begin hearings on land titles in the region. The Texas Legislature created the commission with the intent of certifying ownership to the land grants made by Spain and Mexico up to the time of the establishment of the Republic of Texas on March 2, 1836.

The commission met with initial disdain from area residents who feared it as a ploy by the legislature to take their lands and make it available to speculators. Commissioners Bourland and Miller were able to quiet these fears by affirming ownership to a number of titles with due haste. In August or September of 1851, the Commission arrived in Nueces Country.

In 1852, the Commission confirmed Francisco Cordente’s ownership of Santa Cruz de la Concepcion.   The following year, District Surveyor for Starr County R. C. Trimble, along with chain carriers Agapito Garza and Crispín González resurveyed the Santa Cruz de la Concepcion.

On September 9, 1853 the Trimble surveying crew made field notes for the San Pedro del Charco Redondo grant owned by Rafael Ramírez. The Charco Redondo was a round water hole in the Palo Blanco Creek that formed the southern boundary of the grant. The hole was the starting point of the survey that ran up the middle of the creek for 5,290 varas. Los Olmos Creek nicked the top northwest corner of the grant.  On August 29, 1856, Ramirez  patented the grant, consisting of 5 leagues of pasture land located 68 miles north of Fort Ringgold. A corrected map of the grant was filed on August 28, 1856 by H. Willis. Tax receipts on file indicate that Don Rafael Ramirez Y Segura (Yzaguirre?) had paid taxes on the land since the inception of Starr County. The first receipt was dated July 16, 1849 in the amount of $1.50 and received by T. C. Graham, Assessor and Collector. A second receipt dated July 28, 1856 said taxes were paid through 1855. It was signed by Gregorio Saenz, Assessor and Collector for Starr County.

On September 12, 1853, Kimble and his men made field notes of Ramírez’ Santa Rosalía grant. The road to Corpus Christi bisected the grant, as did the Arroyo La Parilla. The grant consisted of 5 and 1/16th leagues. The Santa Rosalia was patented August 29, 1856.

Resurveying of ranches in Duval County continued in 1854, when Felix Blucher, District Surveyor for Nueces County surveyed the San Diego grant on November 4-6, 1854 and July 21-24, 1855. Blucher signed the survey on September 5, 1855. Julián Cortez and Refugio Salas operated the chains and Domingo Escamilla and Andrés González were the carriers.

The San Andres grant was surveyed on April 30, 1854 and Blucher surveyed El Senor de la Carrera grant on September 1, 2, and 4, 1854. Salas, Nieves García, Rafael L. Salinas and Albino Canales completed the surveying crew.  Blucher and his crew of Cortez and Salas surveyed Las Anacuas grant on October 19, 20 and 24, 1854.

On August 18, 1855, Blucher surveyed the San Leandro grant across the creek from Julian and Ventura Flores’ San Diego de Arriba grant. Cortez, Salas, Escamilla, and Gonzales were the chain carriers. The survey was conducted on November 4-5, 1854 and July 18-20, 1855.