Calixto Tovar, Félix B. Del Barrio, and others called a meeting to discuss the practicality of establishing a college in San Diego. Some 60 Duval students were attending school out of the area. Fourteen were enrolled at the State College of Mines in Rolla, Missouri alone.
|The Rolla Building.|
Duval County residents sent out $10,000 in one day to pay for their childrens’ schooling. Duval residents believed they could organize a college, hire teachers from Rolla and keep money at home. They would recruit students from surrounding towns as well as from the Rió Grande Valley and México.
Within a day they raised $8,000, with San Diego contributing $5,000. The group’s goal was to raise $15,000 in order to build a brick structure by September.
Deputy Paulino Coy was quickly getting a reputation as a ruthless lawmen. In late 1883 he killed Ezequiel De Los Santos supposedly while the suspect tried to escape. In January 1884 he killed Cristóbal Salinas at a rancho near Concepción.
Salinas was indicted by the grand jury of allegedly stealing sheep, and Coy was given a warrant for his arrest. Coy and two Texas Rangers came across Salinas who, according to the Corpus newspaper “showed flight when he was informed he was wanted and succeeded in wounding one of the Rangers when Coy, seeing that Salinas would kill them, if not prevented, shot him three times.” The newspaper reported that from all the known facts, Coy was justified in the killing. It was the second such killing by Coy.
On the political front in 1884, James O. Luby gave up a lucrative law practice in San Diego and accepted an appointment as Collector of the Port of Brownsville.
County Democrats elected Frank C. Gravis as chairman of the county convention and Andrew R. Valls secretary. The convention named Charles K. Gravis and Ed Chamberlain as delegates to the national party convention; J. W. Shaw, L. L. Wright, and E. A. Atkinson as delegates to the congressional district convention in Victoria; Ed Corkill, F. C. Gravis, and C. Hoffman to the senatorial convention in Cotulla; E. A. Glover, John J. Dix, and N. G. Collins delegates to the state convention in Houston; and Corkill, Gravis, and Hoffman delegates to the state representative convention, if one was called. Democrats also endorsed J. W. Stayton for congress; John Ireland for governor; and Collins for state senator.
Building of a wool house an improvement to public squares were also under discussion.
Some of the businesses in San Diego included Perrenot Bros. manufacturers of cypress cisterns, troughs, and vats. They were the local representatives for Woodmane Windmills and bought a St. Louis steam artesian well boring machine to sink wells. Mac’s Saloon, meanwhile, offered the choicest liquors, cigars, and tobaccos on the northwest corner of the plaza. The saloon also filled demijohns, jugs, and kegs “at rock bottom prices.”
François Gueydan, a large stock owner and merchant of San Diego patented a machine to cut nopal and was preparing to manufacture it. Nopal could be cut and held for several weeks without losing value.