County was named for Jose Antonio Navarro, who was born in San
Antonio February 27, 1795 to Maria Josefa (Ruiz) and Angel Navarro.
He was appointed Land Commissioner for DeWitt's Colony in 1831, and
in 1834-5 was Land Commissioner for Bexar District. He was a
consistent Republican and an implacable foe to despotism in any
form. He, with Samuel A. Maverick, was elected delegate from Bexar
to the convention which declared independence and framed the
Constitution of the Republic in March 1836. He became a member of
the Texas Congress in 1838. In 1840 he accompanied the Santa Fe
Expedition as a commissioner to treat with the New Mexicans; was
captured and carried to the Castle of Juan d'Ulloa, where he was
kept in close confinement until his release in 1845. He was an
object of special hatred by Santa Anna, who condemned him to
imprisonment for life, though during his captivity he was offered
his liberty and high office if he would forever abjure Texas. Being
a native Mexican and Texan, his zeal in behalf of Texas aroused all
the ire of Santa Anna. Santa Anna was succeeded by Herrera, a
liberal, in 1845, and he released Navarro. He arrived at Galveston
in February, 1845, after an absence of four and a half years. Upon
his return home he was immediately elected delegate to the
convention which framed the first State Constitution, in 1845, and
afterward served his district in the State Senate.
Always a strong
advocate of state's rights, in 1861 he defended the right of Texas
to secede from the Union. Although he was too advanced in years to
participate in the Civil War, Navarro's four sons served in the
Confederate Military. In 1825 Navarro married Margarita de la Garza;
they had seven children. He died in San Antonio on January 13, 1871,
universally beloved and respected by all patriots in Texas. His
father was a native of Corsica, and in compliment, the county seat
of Navarro was named Corsicana.
BRING REMAINS HERE
Hon. R. S. Neblett Has Started Most Laudable Undertaking
Last night before the business of the city council was taken up,
Hon. R. S. Neblett appeared before that body in regard to a matter
of much historic interest to the people of Corsicana and Navarro
Judge Neblett stated to the council that he had recently learned
that Mr. J. A. Navarro, a grandson of Col. Jose Antonio Navarro, the
Texas-Mexican patriot from whom Navarro county was named, was a
citizen of San Antonio, and that he had recently written him to
ascertain if the Navarro family would consent to the removal of the
body of his grandfather from San Antonio to Corsicana, provided the
people here would erect a suitable monument to his memory over the
tomb after the removal of the remains here. Judge Neblett stated
that his object in bringing the matter before the city council was
to get the council to co-operate with him in bringing the matter
before the county commissioners court, and through the two bodies to
inaugurate a move to bring the body of Col. Navarro to Corsicana and
to bury it in Oakwood cemetery and erect a suitable monument to his
memory. Judge Neblett recited to the council the acts of Col.
Navarro in his efforts to free Texas from Mexican rule, and the fact
that he was with Houston at battle of San Jacinto.
Mayor Halbert appointed as a committee to act with Judge Neblett in
this most laudable matter City Attorney Scarborough and Alderman
Following is the reply received by Judge Neblett from the grandson
of Colonel Navarro:
San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 26, 1916.
Mr. R. S. Neblett, Atty., Corsicana, Texas
Replying to your favor of the 23rd inst., it is my good fortune to
be able to say that I am truly a grandson of Col. Jose Antonio
Navarro, the Texas patriot, and that I am his namesake.
It affords me great pleasure to know that in the City of Corsicana
there is a number of intelligent, enterprising and patriotic
citizens interested in the history of their town, and the first to
launch a movement to do honor to a Texan patriot who was a
conspicuous figure in the struggle for Texas Independence and about
whom so little has yet been written in the pages of the history of
our great and glorious State of Texas.
The question of whether it would be possible to get permission to
remove the remains of Col. Jose Antonio Navarro to Corsicana to
erect a suitable monument in his honor had been broached to me
before by Miss DeZavala, who takes considerable interest in
historical events, and while I have not given the subject due
consideration however, I am inclined to believe that it may be
possible for you to secure such permission provided positive
assurance could be given that a monument will be erected to his
memory and in keeping with the dignity of his character.
I should think the Navarro family would require the parties who are
to be responsible for the project to enter into a contract to defray
the expenses of removing the remains to Corsicana, and to erect a
monument within a certain time in accordance with the plans and
specifications agreed upon by the parties concerned.
Col Jose Antonio Navarro is buried in San Antonio and his resting
place is marked by a small marble tombstone, which bears his name.
His grave has been under my motherís care and under her immediate
supervision for several years, therefore I should think it is with
her and the members of her family that you should correspond
respecting the matter, and in as much as I attend to her affairs and
her correspondence, you might as well communicate with me directly.
However, should you desire to have the names of some other members
of the Navarro family, I shall be glad to furnish them to you. All
of Colonel Navarroís children are dead, and his nearest relatives
living are his grandchildren, of whom there are a great many, all
known to me, and almost all of them living in Texas.
Col. Jose Antonio Navarro died in San Antonio, January 13, 1871, and
his remains were buried in a bronzed casket. About twenty years ago
one of my brothers was buried in the same grave. In digging my
brotherís grave they had to stop at a certain depth because they
struck the bronze casket. Therefore, I should think the remains can
still be located.
I shall appreciate further correspondence with you on this subject
and thanking you for your favors, I am glad to remain.
Yours very truly,
JOSE A. NAVARRO.
||Dawson, Joseph Martin, Jose
Antonio Navarro, Co-Creator of Texas, Baylor University Press, 1969. LOC: 73-112732
[Note: Contains detailed in Jose Navarro's involvement in the
creation of Navarro County]
a vivid account of one of the major founders of Texas. In it we find fresh and full
recognition of his noble origins, his self-education in a period of great turmoil, his
versatility as successful lawyer, businessman, rancher and legislature, and his vast
Dawson, Joseph Martin, Jose Antonio Navarro, Co-Creator of Texas,
Baylor University Press, 1969. LOC: 73-112732
||Defending Mexican Valor in
Texas : Jose Antonio Navarro's Historical Writings, 1853-1857
Antonio Navarro, David
R. McDonald (Editor), Timothy
M. Matovina (Editor)
||"Jose Antonio Navarro" by Richard;
Mays, c. 1935.
||Benito and the White Dove : A
Story of Jose Antonio Navarro