Federico Villalba's Texas; A Mexican Pioneer's Life in the Big Bend by Juan Manuel Casas.
This is the story of Federica Villalba who, as a young man, moved from old San Geronimo, Chihuahua in the 1880's to begin ranching near the village of San Carlos, near Lajitas, Texas. He prospered and eventually crossed over the Rio Grande to settle and ranch at Burro Mesa. There, Villalba married, built his herd of cattle and Angora goats, discovered cinnabar and opened a store at Cerro Villalba (later Study Butte) and a leather goods store in Santa Elena.
Federico Villalba's life was filled with excitement, challenge, and victory; nevertheless, tragedy also played a hand. The Big Bend country was a dangerous place in those days, especially for those of Mexican descent. Men carried guns and were not reluctant to use them.
In a lively and engaging style, Juan Manual Casas gives us this narrative history of his great-grandfather, Federico Villalba and his family. This is a significant addition to the literature of the Big Bend and the first to represent the Mexican point of view during its early years of settlement.
Iron Mountain Press, 2008. 6" x 9" softcover, 303 pages.