Establishing Towns

Two years later when Escandon arrived to officially found Camargo, his first villa, he found Captain Bias Maria de la Garza Falcon II already camped nearby with 40 families and a few soldiers. Falcon Lake is named in honor of the de la Garza Falcon family which has many descendants on both sides of the international reservoir. Captain Blas Maria II assumed the post of alcalde in Camargo as Escandon administered the oath of office March 3, 1749. Unlike the other primitive settlers, the captain was to wait twenty years before obtaining title to as much as a single vara (33-1/2 inches). Prior to the 1767 Visitation by the Royal Commission all lands along the Rio Grande were held in common.

Escandon's huge grant of 640 leagues, nearly three million acres, stretched miles along the south bank of the Rio Grande down the coast far below the river's mouth. He chose a small village, now Santander Jimenez, Tamps., Mexico, for his headquarters and established a hacienda known as Santander. He was sent, often weeks at a time, attending to needs of his colonists, which included seed for planting and other supplies essential to their survival. For over 20 years he rode back and forth through roadless jungle inspecting scattered settlements situated as far apart as Laredo (Texas) and Guemes (Ciudad Victoria, Tamps.)