Willacy County, Texas - Tanquecitos Cemetery

near Santa Monica, TX
by John and Maria Montalvo Graham

DIRECTIONS: From Raymondville, Texas take US 77 South through Lyford and before reaching Sebastian turn right (east) on FM 1018 . Continue on the paved FM 1018 until it ends at a _T_ intersection with another paved FM road (number not noted) in the hamlet of Santa Monica. Take a right onto this paved FM road, go south up across the International Boundary Commission north levee, across the canal and to the south levee. Turn right (west) onto the single lane gravel road atop the south levee and proceed until you are in sight of a locked, pole gate across the levee, which will bar your further travel west on the levee. Locate a gravel vehicle ramp down from the levee on the north (canal) side, back a few yards from the gate. Go down this ramp and travel alongside the levee on the dirt track between the cultivated fields and the levee. Proceed in this manner until you sight another locked pole gate atop the levee. Proceed a few more yards alongside the levee until you come to another vehicle ramp leading to the top of the levee. Once again on the top of the levee, turn left (east) back along the gravel road atop the levee, until you reach the gate. From the gate you can see the cemetery on the right (south) side of the levee. It appears to be partially on Boundary Commission right-of-way and part on private land. You'll have to walk the rest of the way _ about 50 to 75 yards.

We would not recommend trying this route when the roads are soft. It should be possible to walk from the State Farm road down the levee at any time _ probably no more than a mile or so. Please note that vehicular travel on the levee when not on official business is prohibited. There is a warden who keeps the gate keys, living in Santa Monica from whom you can ask permission for entry. Recommend inquiry at any of the houses near the _T_ intersection for directions to his home.

The cemetery is fenced and, when we transcribed it (May 10, 2002), was neat and clean. It is the burial place for a couple of generations of the Cavazos family, descendants of Jose Narsico Cavazos, impresario and Grantee of the San Juan de Carrisitos Land Grant in the late 1700s, and families associated by marriage to them. It was the family cemetery of the Montalvo family who lived at the nearby Rancho Tanquecitos (literally _little tanks_) which no longer exists.

Our transcription is listed in the order we encountered the monuments. We did not attempt to copy various inscriptions on the stones. Dates were mostly in Spanish, but have been translated here into English. Where the monuments were double stones, or were otherwise known by Maria to be associated, we listed them together or noted the relationship.


          Jose Rudolfo Montalvo        Grandson of Antonio & Dolores Montalvo
          b. Nov 23, 1951             
          d. June 23, 1954

          Dolores Cavazos Montalvo     Antonio Montalvo      Husband & Wife
          b. Apr 16, 1870             b. Apr 16, 1870
          d. Feb 9, 1959              d. Jul 11, 1913

          Maria Candida Cavazos        Sister to Dolores Cavazos
          b. Dec 2, 1888
          d. Sep 14, 1954

          Romano Cavazos
          b. 1849
          d. Sep 14, 1926

          Pedro Cavazos                 Father of Dolores and Maria above
          b. Jan 13, 1846
          d. Jul 21, 1929

          Salvador Antonio Montalvo
          b. Jul 29, 1952
          d. Oct 30, 1981

          Hilario Montalvo              Son of Dolores and Antonio above
          b. Oct 1, 1904
          d. Dec 9, 1959

          Antonio Montalvo, Jr.         Son of Dolores and Antonio above
          b. Oct 1, 1901
          d. Oct 19, 1976

          Gumesindo Solis
          b. April 3, 1899
          d. Jan 31, 1977

          Helen McKinney
          b. May 13, 1939
          d. Oct 1, 1978

          Enrique Gutierrez
          b. Nov 9, 1970
          d. Mar 8, 1983

          Ester Solis
          b. Feb. 15, 1904
          d. May 4, 1947

          Jose C. Solis
          b. Jun 27, 1913
          d. Jun 19, 1990

          Francisca Solis McKinney
          b. Jun 27, 1901
          d. Jan 2, 1988

          Uvaldo Garcia   Son of Francisca McKinney above
          b. Aug 12, 1931
          d. April 25, 1962

          Juaquin Garcia Tomasita Garcia         Husband & Wife
          b. Aug 17, 1888     b. Feb. 29, 1899
          d. Jan 15, 1988     d. April 4, 1988

          M. Valdez     A very small cross stone, set apart from the others; probably a baby
          d. Jun 7, 1984                                  

If you have information you would like to add to this page, contact me. David Pitt, Willacy County Coordinator.

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