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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Marcos in Hays County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla

 
 
Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, July 10, 2003
1. Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla Marker
Inscription. At the request of Antonio Cordero, interim governor of the Province of Texas, Spanish-born Felipe Roque de la Portilla (1768?-1841) established a colony here on El Camino Real. With his own family of eight, he brought 51 persons from the interior of Mexico and founded San Marcos de Neve in April 1808. Titles were issued to 13 lots, and homes were built, only to be washed away in June floods. Hardships plagued the colony: the defensive troops departed; no priest arrived; seed and a farm irrigation system did not materialize; horses and cattle were lost to Indians, and the people feared for their own lives. In 1809 new settlers brought the population to 81 without bettering living conditions. Portilla lost his health and fortune and was forced to lead his people back to Matamoros, Mexico, in 1812.

In 1829, however, he helped his son-in-law, James Power, and Power's associate, James Hewetson, plant their colony at Refugio, near Copano Bay. Portilla received land there in 1834, but left for Mexico in 1836. Because he invested his own fortune in the colonizing effort, he is sometimes called the First Empresario, and recognized as a forerunner of Stephen F. Austin, “The Father of Texas”.
 
Erected 1976 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 10256.)
 
Marker series.
Panorama of this marker (left) and adjacent markers image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney
2. Panorama of this marker (left) and adjacent markers
This marker is included in the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 29° 51.326′ N, 97° 53.904′ W. Marker is in San Marcos, Texas, in Hays County. Marker is on North Old Bastrop Highway (County Route 266) 1.2 miles south of San Marcos Highway (Texas Highway 80), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located just south of the San Marcos River. Marker is in this post office area: San Marcos TX 78666, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of the First Town of San Marcos (here, next to this marker); Charles Lewis McGehee Cabin (a few steps from this marker); Col. Ignacio Elizondo’s 1813 Campaign (approx. ¼ mile away); Gen. Antonio Gaona’s 1836 Campaign (approx. one mile away but has been reported missing); McGehee Crossing (approx. 1.1 miles away but has been reported missing); El Camino De Nacogdoches (approx. 2.1 miles away but has been reported missing); The Calaboose (approx. 3.1 miles away); San Marcos Springs (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Marcos.
 
Categories. Hispanic AmericansNative AmericansRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
 
Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, October 5, 2013
3. Don Felipe Roque de la Portilla Marker
A view of this marker (left) and two adjacent markers.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 2, 2013, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. This page has been viewed 444 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on October 2, 2013, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.   2, 3. submitted on October 6, 2013, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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