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Simón de Arocha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Simón de Arocha
37th Mayor of San Antonio (1st term)
Assumed office
Preceded byFrancisco Flores de Abrego
Succeeded byJosé Félix Menchaca
53rd Mayor of San Antonio, Texas (2nd term)
Assumed office
Preceded byJuan José de la Santa
Succeeded byJosé Félix Menchaca
Personal details
BornOctober 1731
San Antonio de Béxar, Texas
DiedJuly 29, 1796
Villa de San Fernando, San Antonio, Texas
OccupationJudge presiding over the distribution of public lands and mayor of San Antonio de Béxar

Simón de Arocha (1731–1796) was a Tejano militia commander and alcalde (a municipal magistrate who had both judicial and administrative functions) of San Antonio de Béxar (1770 and 1787). Like his father, who had been city clerk and public notary, Simón and his brothers became leaders in the province.


Simón de Arocha was born in San Antonio de Béxar, Texas, in October, 1731. His parents, Francisco de Arocha and Juana Curbelo, came from La Palma, one of the Canary Islands of Spain. They had arrived at San Antonio in March of the same year with a group of Canarian settlers. Simón was the oldest of fifteen children. His father held important administrative positions in San Antonio. In his youth, Simón joined the local militia, and rose through the ranks to become its commander with the rank of lieutenant general. Eventually, he was appointed as a judge to distribute public lands among the Isleño community in San Antonio.[1][2] He also served as alcalde of San Antonio in 1770 and 1787.[3] Between the years of his service as alcalde Arocha served in other capacities: in 1774 he was appointed lieutenant governor of Béxar province over the objections of the cabildo's sheriff and perhaps most of the local ranchers,[4][5] and escorted the Adaesaños (also descendants of Spanish settlers), who were residents in Los Adaes, to the new settlement of Bucareli on the Trinity River;[6] in 1778 he prepared a census report on the province for the new commanding general, Fray Juan Agustín Morfi. Four year later, in 1782, Simón and his brother Juan de Arocha obtained title to a ranch north of Floresville, and their families became leaders of the local ranching community. Simón played an important role in organizing a cattle roundup with the Spanish missions in 1787.[7] He and his family subsequently gained almost complete control of the city council of San Antonio. When Simón tried to buy another ranch at the confluence of the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers, many ranchers in the province protested, with the support of Governor Rafael Martínez Pacheco. The furor following this protest caused the governor to lose his position. Simón de Arocha died on July 29, 1796.[1]

After his death

Most of the Arocha family's lands were confiscated in the early 19th century during the revolutionary uprisings in the Spanish colony of New Spain, of which they were active participants. With the winning of Mexican independence in 1821, Simón's grandson was able to reconfirm the title to his grandfather's Spanish land grant.[1]

Personal life

In 1752, Simón de Arocha married María Ignacia de Urrutia; they had eight children.[1][8]


  1. ^ a b c d Jack Jackson. Handbook of Texas Online: Arocha, Simón de. November 26, 2008.
  2. ^ William Corner (1890). San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History. Bainbridge & Corner. p. 49.
  3. ^ José Manuel Balbuena Castellano (2007). "IV: La organización de los isleños". La odisea de los canarios en Texas y Luisiana [The Odyssey of the Canarians in Texas and Louisiana] (in Spanish). Anroart Ediciones. p. 47. ISBN 978-84-96577-93-0.
  4. ^ Gerald E. Poyo; Gilberto M. Hinojosa (18 May 2011). Tejano Origins in Eighteenth-Century San Antonio. University of Texas Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-292-78608-0.
  5. ^ Jesús F. de la Teja (1996). San Antonio de Béxar: A Community on New Spain's Northern Frontier. UNM Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-8263-1751-3.
  6. ^ Herbert Eugene Bolton (1915). Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century: Studies in Spanish Colonial History and Administration. University of California Press. pp. 412–413.
  7. ^ Kathryn Stoner O'Connor (1966). The Presidio La Bahìa Del Espritu [i.e. Espìritu] Santo de Zuñiga, 1721 to 1846. Von Boeckmann-Jones Company. p. 66.
  8. ^ Edward Werner Heusinger (1945). The Heusinger family in Texas. Standard Printing Company. p. 41.
This page was last edited on 12 January 2021, at 19:30
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