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Refugio
History from Texas Handbook

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Refugio


 

"A ranch headquarters of Refugio Mission was established at the Place of the Copanos shortly after 1791....From the time of the establishment of the ranch headquarters the place began to be called, in addition to the earlier names, Rancho de Santa Gertrudis and El Rancho de el Diesmero...'Here,' as Father Oberste states, 'were kept the cattle of Juan Barrera, the tithesman of the province."

With the removal of Refugio Mission to this locality, in 1795, a settlement began to spring up...

When the mission was abandoned in 1830, there appear to have been considerable groups of Mexican and Indian families living at the mission, who were still there in the summer of 1834.  Lists of these inhabitants are referred to in various documents pertaining to the empresa, but the lists cannot now be found.  Jose Miguel Aldrete, alcalde of Goliad maintained residences both at Goliad and Refugio.

The McMullen and McGloin colonists arrived at the mission in December, 1829, and remained there for a great length of time.  These, with the early arrivals of the Power and Hewetson colony, made up a good-sized settlement....

William St. John describes Refugio when he first saw it, in 1834, as 'a might small place; only a few jacals or huts at that time'...Dr. Beales describes the place on December 30, 1833, as being 'five or six miserable huts.'

The first Irish...families to permanently settle in Refugio were those of John Scott, James Brown and William Ryan, who came there prior to 1829....Among the permanent settlers who arrived at Refugio between 1829 and the arrival of the bulk of the Irish colony in 1834 were Catarina Dugan, Ellen Gillam, John Dunn, Jeremiah Toole, Martin Toole, William Quinn, Patrick Quinn, Edward St. John, Michael Fox, William Quirk, John Keating, John Hynes, and Edward McDonough."

Source:  Hobart Huson, Refugio: A Comprehensive History of Refugio County from Aboriginal Times to 1953 (2 vols., Woodsboro, Texas: Rooke Foundation, 1953, 1955)

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