VALLERREÑO CEMETERY

Still appearing on many maps and cemetery listings of Brooks County, Vallerreño Cemetery is now nowhere to be found. The site where it was once located is now open pasture land and all traces of the cemetery have disappeared.

Vallerreño Cemetery was located on lands owned by the heirs of Gregorio Villarreal, who purchased the La Encantada and Encino del Pozo land grants in 1872. The cemetery contained about 3 or 4 graves, originally marked only with wooden crosses, fenced in by barbed wire. It fell into disuse sometime in the early 1900’s, probably before 1930, and all signs of the cemetery disappeared in the late 1970’s when a new landowner cleared the cemetery site and the surrounding brush land and converted everything to pasture. Descendants of Gregorio Villarreal still own the land on which the cemetery was located.

The cemetery took its name from a “laguna”, or small lake, in the immediate vicinity. Called El Vallerreño, the laguna until recent years contained surface water year round and was a welcome site to everyone living in the area, also known as the Wild Horse Desert. Now, however, the laguna El Vallerreño has surface water only for short periods after it rains.

Records identifying persons buried at Vallerreño Cemetery have not been found to date, and may be non-existent. Interviews with persons familiar with the cemetery resulted in a consensus on the names of three persons buried there:

1. Saturnino Ruelas Fuentes (husband of Calixta Villarreal, a niece of Gregorio Villarreal)
2. Pedro Ruelas (son of Saturnino & Calixta Villarreal Ruelas)
3. _____ Gonzalez (grandson of Eleno Gonzalez, a contract laborer and farmer).

Sources: (1) Interviews with Evelia Ruelas Barrera, Micaela De Luna Longoria, and Adela De Luna Villarreal; interviews conducted by Irma Longoria Cavazos. (2) Interviews with Servando Villarreal and Jose V. Ruelas, Jr.; interviews conducted by Raul N. Longoria.

Many thanks to Raul N. Longoria for his generosity in sharing this file with me for use in the TXGenWeb Project.
Shirley Cullum Brooks County Coordinator

Contents Copyright@Raul N. Longoria July 18, 2003
Page Design Copyright Shirley Cullum 2005-2012

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